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If you’re on this page, you’re probably shopping around for car insurance. That’s a smart idea because car insurance companies charge very different rates to similar drivers, and getting the best deal can potentially save you thousands. That’s especially true if you’ve recently married, gotten older, or added a teen driver to your policy; these are all factors that impact your rates.

Maybe you’re shopping for car insurance because you made a claim with your company and are unhappy with the service you received. That’s another smart reason to shop around, as not all car insurance companies are created equal.

To help you find the best car insurance company for you, we’ve gathered rates from the 10 largest car insurance companies in the country. We’ve also collected feedback from customers who’ve made car insurance claims in the last five years about how their insurer treated them. We’re going to compare two large insurance companies, Geico and USAA. Both have some of the lowest rates in the industry, but there are some key differences when it comes to customer service. Let’s dive in.

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USAA

  • Best overall company
  • Cheapest average annual rates
  • Need connection to military member to join

Geico

  • Some of the cheapest rates in industry
  • Middle-of-the-road ranking with customers

USAA vs. Geico: Which Is Cheaper?

When it comes to cost, USAA and Geico are both top choices. USAA is the cheapest of the 10 national companies we studied, with an average overall car insurance rate of $2,537. Geico is in the second-place slot with an overall average of $3,215. Those are both well below the national average of $3,953 for the top 10 auto insurance providers.

How We Did This Comparison

U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.

We also surveyed 2,799 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies ranking and this head-to-head comparison.

USAA Auto Insurance Information

USAA is one of the largest insurers in the nation, but it serves a very specific group: members of the military, veterans, and their eligible family members. That’s still a large enough segment of the American population to give USAA 5.7 percent of the market in 2017, up 0.24 points from the year before.

USAA received some of the highest scores in our survey. They had the highest scores for the ease of filing a claim, but they also had very high scores for customer service and satisfaction with the way those claims were resolved. Nearly 90 percent of respondents would recommend USAA auto insurance to others, and 93 percent were likely to renew their own policies with the company.

Geico Auto Insurance Information

The Geico gecko is climbing the ranks and gaining market share. In 2017, Geico had 12.83 percent of the market, which is up .91 points from the year before. That makes it the second-largest auto insurer in the country, behind State Farm.

As with many of the top insurance companies in our survey, Geico scored very high when it comes to ease of filing a claim. Respondents were also happy with customer service. The company’s lowest scores were for satisfaction with the value of Geico car insurance. About a third of respondents would recommend Geico auto insurance to others, and 70 percent were likely to renew.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Teens?

Company

Single 17-year-old female

Single 17-year-old male

Geico

$5,653.55

$6,278.96

USAA

$4,807.54

$5,385.61

Car insurance rates for 17-year-old drivers from these two insurance companies are within $1,000 of each other, with USAA being the cheapest for teens. The average rate for a teen male driver at USAA is $5,385, which is half the average rates for some of the more expensive insurers. For teen female drivers, it’s $4,808.

Geico’s average car insurance rate for a 17-year-old male driver is $6,279, and its rate for a female driver of the same age is $5,654. Each of these averages are higher than USAA’s rates by less than $900. The rates from both companies are well under the national average rate for teen drivers, which is $8,293.

Both USAA and Geico give discounts for teen drivers added to their parent’s car insurance policy. Both companies offer lower rates for good students with at least a B average and drivers with no accidents. USAA provides a discount for teens who have completed a driver training course as well.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Men?

Company

Single 25-year-old male

Married 35-year-old male

Married 60-year-old male

Geico

$2,262.87

$2,312.38

$2,283.45

USAA

$2,126.14

$1,540.32

$1,448.98

When drivers have at least a decade of practice on the road, their insurance rates drop. The average car insurance rate for 25-year-old males is $2,126 with USAA and $2,263 with Geico. Those rates are only about $135 apart, and they’re $3,000 to $4,000 lower than these companies’ rates for teen male drivers.

For 35-year-olds, the average rate for male drivers is $1,540 with USAA and $2,312 with Geico, which is a difference of about $775. The average rate for 60-year-old male drivers at USAA is $1,449, and it’s $2,284 with Geico. The rates at Geico are close to the national average for all 60-year-old drivers, $2,275.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women?

Company

Single 25-year-old female

Married 35-year-old female

Married 60-year-old female

Geico

$2,378.89

$2,302.89

$2,247.06

USAA

$1,988.52

$1,551.43

$1,449.85

Often, rates for female drivers are lower than the rates for males. But with Geico, the average car insurance rate for female drivers is $2,379, which is higher by more than $100. The rate at USAA for female drivers, $1,988, is lower than its average for male drivers. USAA’s average rate for women is also nearly $400 lower than Geico’s.

The average auto insurance rate for 35-year-old female drivers is $2,303 at Geico. USAA’s average rate for this group is $1,551, which is about $10 more than its rate for men of the same age. For 60-year-olds, Geico’s average rate is $2,247 for female drivers, and USAA’s rate of $1,450 is nearly identical to its rate for men.

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USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for High Mileage?

Company

12,000 miles annually

Geico

$3,267.37

USAA

$2,591.91

A typical amount of driving in America is 12,000 miles per year. Drivers who put this many miles on their odometer annually have an average auto insurance rate of $3,267 at Geico and $2,592 at USAA. That’s a difference of about $675.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Low Mileage?

Company

6,000 miles annually

Geico

$3,162.64

USAA

$2,482.69

With half as many miles on the odometer, about 6,000, that doesn’t mean drivers get to pay half as much for car insurance. In fact, the average rates from these two insurance companies are similar to their rates for higher mileage. At USAA, the average auto insurance rate for 6,000 miles a year is $2,483, and it’s $3,163 with Geico. Those rates are only about $100 less than the rates for 12,000 miles a year.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Credit?

Company

Good credit

Geico

$2,434.82

USAA

$1,821.20

Drivers with good credit histories usually see lower car insurance rates. The average rate for these drivers with USAA is $1,821, and the average rate with good credit at Geico is $2,435. That means USAA’s rate is about $600 lower than Geico’s.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Bad Credit?

Company

Poor credit

Geico

$4,259.50

USAA

$3,690.73

Drivers with poor credit see higher rates no matter which insurance company they go with, but USAA’s rates are among the cheapest available. Its average car insurance rate for this group is $3,691. At Geico, drivers with bad credit have an average rate of $4,260. Again, USAA is about $600 cheaper.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Drivers?

Company

Clean record

Geico

$2,145.96

USAA

$1,933.68

Drivers without accidents or violations on their records have some of the lowest auto insurance rates, and the rates from these two companies are the two cheapest we found for this group of drivers. USAA’s average auto insurance rate for drivers with a clean record is $1,934, and Geico’s average rate is only about $200 more, at $2,146. Those are both well under the national average of $3,124 for good drivers.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a Speeding Ticket?

Company

With 1 speeding violation

Geico

$2,645.43

USAA

$2,193.25

Adding speed can increase the chance of an accident, and accidents lead to claims. Drivers with a speeding ticket can expect to see their rates go up, even from two of the least expensive auto insurers in the country. The average rate for these drivers is $2,645 with Geico, which is about $450 more than USAA’s average rate of $2,193.  

While these rates are higher than those for drivers with a clean record, they aren’t much higher than average rates for groups with other violations. At USAA, the average rate for drivers with a speeding ticket is only about $250 higher than the rate for good drivers, and it’s about $500 higher with Geico.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After an Accident?

Company

With 1 accident

Geico

$3,192.77

USAA

$2,516.24

Insurance companies are less than thrilled to pay out for claims, so after an accident, drivers are likely to see their insurance rates go up. The average auto insurance rate after a single accident is $3,193 with Geico and $2,516 with USAA.

Geico places a heavier penalty on drivers with an accident than USAA. On average, these customers pay about $1,050 more than drivers with a clean record. USAA charges drivers with a single accident about $600 more than good drivers.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a DUI?

Company

With 1 DUI

Geico

$4,875.87

USAA

$3,506.03

Driving under the influence is another easy way to raise your insurance rates, and they will go up a lot. At USAA, the cheapest insurer in our study, drivers with a DUI on their record have an average rate of $3,506. That’s nearly $1,600 more than the rate for drivers with a clean record with USAA.

Geico’s average car insurance rate for drivers with a DUI is $4,876, which is already about $1,400 more than USAA’s average rate for this group. But Geico’s rate for drivers with a DUI is also about $2,700 more than its rate for good drivers. That’s more than double.

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Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.

The Best Car Insurance Companies

This head-to-head comparison looks mainly at cost. For more information, check out our full ranking of the best car insurance companies and learn about what real customers say about USAA, Geico, and their competitors.

Our Car Insurance Ranking:

  1. USAA
  2. Travelers
  3. State Farm
  4. Geico
  5. Farmers
  6. Nationwide
  7. Progressive
  8. Allstate
  9. Liberty Mutual
  10. American Family

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

For more information, check out our full list of the cheapest car insurance companies.

Average Annual Rates:

Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.