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Cheapest car insurance by age and state

Lowest insurance rates by age and state

South Dakota, North Carolina and Idaho have the cheapest car insurance rates in the country among six age groups, based on a rate analysis by

Here are the cheapest states for car insurance by age group:


State with cheapest average yearly rate


North Carolina -- $654


Idaho -- $570


South Dakota -- $537


South Dakota -- $508


South Dakota -- $479


South Dakota - $506


Location plays a major role in the cost of insurance. Our analysis found that rural states are more likely to have lower car insurance rates than congested states with large cities and suburbs.

When creating rates, car insurance companies look at the cost and frequency of claims in areas. Places with more crime, such as car thefts and break-ins, usually have higher rates than low-crime areas.

South Dakota is an example of a rural state that has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in the country. The state's minimum car insurance requirements are similar to other states so what makes South Dakota so inexpensive?

South Dakota Insurance Director Larry Deiter says low auto thefts and the rural nature of the state helps. Its residents also have some of the "highest average credit scores" in the country. In most states, car insurance companies can factor a person's credit score when devising car insurance rates. Insurers believe a strong credit score means the person is a lower risk than someone with poor credit.

Deiter lists another possible reason.

"Much of the population tends to drive pickup trucks or SUVs, which have higher safety ratings," he says.

Another state with low rates is North Carolina. We found that North Carolina has the lowest rates for 20-year-old drivers.

Teen and young adult drivers often pay the highest car insurance rates. Insurers view young drivers as risky because they are inexperienced and may take more risks than a middle-aged driver.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance tells that one reason for the low car insurance rates for 20-year-olds is that insurers in the state only have a high-rate period for three years from ages 16-18. Other states stretch out that period for seven or eight years, which means higher rates for drivers well into their 20s. So, 20-year-old North Carolina drivers don't get hit with the same high rates as other states.

The low rates may be coming to an end in North Carolina. The North Carolina Rate Bureau requested a 13.8 percent average increase after not raising rates since 2009. If that's approved, car insurance rates will increase for all drivers, including 20-year-olds.

So, which states have the cheapest car insurance? We drilled down by age group to show how states fare in each age group. 

State averages are based on rates for nearly every ZIP code in each state for each age group for three coverage levels. 

Cheapest car insurance for 20-year-olds by state

As mentioned above, North Carolina is the cheapest car insurance for drivers age 20. It wasn't even close.

StateAverage annual rate
North Carolina $654
Hawaii $881
Iowa $1,134
South Dakota $1,153
Idaho $1,175
Nebraska $1,212
Maine $1,229
Indiana $1,230
Vermont $1,267
Virginia $1,322
Alaska $1,336
Montana $1,338
Ohio $1,343
North Dakota $1,383
Missouri $1,425
Illinois $1,431
Wisconsin $1,433
Wyoming $1,433
Kansas $1,439
Tennessee $1,481
New Hampshire $1,524
New Mexico $1,524
Washington $1,538
Mississippi $1,552
Minnesota $1,554
West Virginia $1,617
Pennsylvania $1,617
Arkansas $1,651
Massachusetts $1,664
Utah $1,683
Colorado $1,689
Maryland $1,692
Oklahoma $1,704
Arizona $1,728
Texas $1,730
Alabama $1,781
Oregon $1,818
Georgi $1,843
New Jersey $1,898
South Carolina $1,930
California $1,969
Nevada $2,151
DC $2,218
New York $2,230
Kentucky $2,251
Rhode Island $2,278
Delaware $2,386
Florida $2,388
Connecticut $2,483
Louisiana $2,565
Michigan $3,231

You can save hundreds by shopping for car insurance, even if you live in one of the states with the low-rate car insurance. Don't just go with your parents' insurance. Car insurance company rates vary. While one company may offer your parents huge discounts because they own a home, another insurer may be willing to give you cheaper rates.


Cheapest car insurance for 30-year-olds by state

The cheapest car insurance for 30-year-olds is the largely rural state of Idaho. Fewer cities and metropolitan areas often mean lower rates for a state. Why? Because cities usually have more auto thefts and break-ins than small towns and villages.

Here are average rates for drivers age 30:

StateAverage annual rate
Idaho $570
South Dakota $579
North Carolina $580
Maine $592
Iowa $595
Ohio $600
Vermont $602
Alaska $621
Indiana $629
Montana $642
Nebraska $644
Virginia $650
Illinois $651
Missouri $690
North Dakota $716
Tennessee $723
Kansas $733
Wyoming $744
Wisconsin $746
New Mexico $756
New Hampshire $757
Washington $768
Mississippi $773
Alabama $778
Arkansas $784
Massachusetts $798
South Carolina $802
Utah $816
Texas $831
Arizona $838
Minnesota $858
West Virginia $864
Colorado $870
Pennsylvania $874
Hawaii $874
Oklahoma $895
Gerogia $896
Oregon $933
Maryland $937
California $953
New Jersey $1,005
Nevada $1,124
DC $1,147
Delaware $1,152
Kentucky $1,162
Rhode Island $1,196
New York $1,200
Connecticut $1,218
Louisiana $1,292
Florida $1,331
Michigan $2,040

The insurance company that gave you the best rates at 20 might not have such great savings when you're 30. For instance, you might get a car insurance discount for bundling your home's insurance with car insurance. Turning 30 is a good time to check with multiple insurers to see if you can get a better deal.


Cheapest car insurance for 40-year-olds by state

South Dakota, which has the second lowest rates for 30-year-olds, swept the rest of the older age groups, though Idaho was a close second.

Here are average rates for drivers age 40:

StateAverage annual rate
South Dakota $537
Idaho $538
Iowa $547
Maine $547
Vermont $554
North Carolina $565
Ohio $575
Alaska $585
Virginia $589
Indiana $597
Nebraska $598
Illinois $600
Montana $634
Missouri $676
North Dakota $684
Tennessee $688
Kansas $695
New Hampshire $702
Wisconsin $702
New Mexico $711
Mississippi $720
Washington $722
Alabama $723
Wyoming $723
Arkansas $735
Texas $755
South Carolina $758
Utah $768
Massachusetts $780
Minnesota $797
Arizona $806
West Virginia $813
Georgia $823
Colorado $835
Pennsylvania $848
Oklahoma $854
California $872
Hawaii $874
Oregon $909
New Jersey $937
Maryland $955
Nevada $1,045
DC $1,096
Rhode Island $1,110
Kentucky $1,112
Delaware $1,132
Connecticut $1,141
New York $1,169
Florida $1,226
Louisiana $1,237
Michigan $2,056


You're 40 years old, and you have a teenager who makes honor roll every semester. Did you know you can get discounts on your car insurance because of your honor student? Check with your insurance company and a couple of competitors to see if they will give you a good student discount.

Plus, adding a teen driver to your insurance policy can cost in the thousands. Before adding your teen to your policy, it's a good idea to request rates for car insurance companies to see who charges the least for teen drivers. 

Cheapest car insurance for 50-year-olds by state

The home of Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug Store tops the list for 50-year-olds with Idaho and Iowa a close second and third.

Here are the average rates for drivers age 50:

StateAverage annual rate
South Dakota $508
Idaho $511
Iowa $513
Vermont $526
Maine $535
Alaska $542
Ohio $545
North Carolina $555
Virginia $563
Indiana $563
Nebraska $567
Illinois $577
Montana $596
Tennessee $638
Missouri $645
North Dakota $658
Wisconsin $660
Kansas $662
New Hampshire $662
Mississippi $673
Washington $676
Alabama $678
New Mexico $682
Wyoming $686
Arkansas $696
Texas $713
South Carolina $715
Utah $729
Minnesota $748
Massachusetts $756
Arizona $772
West Virginia $776
Georgia $783
Colorado $791
Pennsylvania $791
Oklahoma $811
California $818
Oregon $866
Hawaii $874
New Jersey $890
Maryland $903
Nevada $1,001
DC $1,056
Rhode Island $1,066
Kentucky $1,071
Delaware $1,086
Connecticut $1,088
New York $1,130
Florida $1,135
Louisiana $1,164
Michigan $1,917

You've hit your 50s. You're paying off your child's college and trying to save more for retirement. You're looking for ways to save money. Have you checked to see if you can save on car insurance?

Cheapest car insurance for  60-year-olds by state

The same three states have the cheapest car insurance rates for 60-year-olds.

StateAverage annual rate
South Dakota $479
Idaho $489
Iowa $499
Vermont $509
Ohio $521
Maine $528
Alaska $531
North Carolina $541
Virginia $544
Illinois $547
Nebraska $548
Indiana $551
Montana $579
Missouri $607
Kansas $625
Tennessee $626
Wisconsin $632
North Dakota $637
Mississippi $650
New Mexico $654
Washington $656
Arkansas $659
Wyoming $660
Alabama $664
New Hampshire $666
South Carolina $695
Texas $699
Utah $700
Minnesota $729
Arizona $730
Massachusetts $744
Colorado $754
West Virginia $758
Georgia $777
California $783
Oklahoma $783
Pennsylvania $786
Oregon $823
New Jersey $872
Hawaii $874
Maryland $918
Nevada $998
DC $1,033
Kentucky $1,036
Connecticut $1,037
Delaware $1,037
Rhode Island $1,065
New York $1,086
Florida $1,087
Louisiana $1,184
Michigan $1,811

Car insurance companies usually love 60-year-olds. They are experienced drivers, don't take risks on the road, and often drive sensible vehicles. Plus, teen drivers are usually no longer on 60-year-olds' car insurance policies. Turning 60 is a great time to get quotes from multiple car insurance companies to see which one will give you the best rate.


Cheapest car insurance for 70-year-old by state

South Dakota tops the list again but is joined by the one and only Northeast state (Maine) to make the list. Maine has the oldest population with a median age of 44 years old, which is nearly seven years older than the national average. Those older Mainers are enjoying low car insurance rates.

Here are the average car insurance rates for 70-year-olds:

StateAverage annual rate
South Dakota $506
Maine $528
Iowa $534
Idaho $557
North Carolina $571
Indiana $576
Ohio $586
Vermont $589
Nebraska $599
Massachusetts $601
Illinois $619
Virginia $631
Alaska $633
Montana $634
Missouri $661
Kansas $670
Wisconsin $680
Alabama $714
Wyoming $714
North Dakota $717
Washington $732
New Hampshire $733
Mississippi $735
Arkansas $736
Tennessee $743
Utah $766
New Mexico $778
South Carolina $782
Minnesota $801
Arizona $818
Colorado $821
New Jersey $836
Oklahoma $839
West Virginia $848
California $853
Texas $862
Pennsylvania $864
Hawaii $874
Oregon $878
Georgia $893
Maryland $1,000
Nevada $1,069
Florida $1,105
Kentucky $1,126
Delaware $1,140
DC $1,142
Connecticut $1,159
New York $1,161
Rhode Island $1,248
Lousiana $1,263
Michigan $2,023

Your car insurance rates usually rise in your 70s. This is a good time to get quotes from your insurance company and a couple of others too. Insurer rates vary, so you might find another insurer is willing to give you a better rate. Wouldn't you rather pay a car insurance company less and use that money for your retirement?


How age affects car insurance rates

Young drivers pay the highest car insurance rates because of their inexperience and greater risk of getting into accidents.

Car insurance companies want to reduce the number of claims paid out, so those in age groups that are considered the riskiest have to pay the highest rates.

As you spend more time behind the wheel, your rates will likely go down unless you file multiple claims. Once drivers get into their 30s and 40s, they should see their car insurance premiums drop.

Plus, as you age, you are eligible for auto insurance discounts that bring down rates. Car insurance discounts include bundling your home and car insurance, good driver, and loyalty when you stay with the same insurer for a long time.

Now, here's the bad news -- your rates will likely begin to increase again once you hit your senior years. Elderly drivers are considered riskier than middle-aged drivers. Older people's reaction times may slow, which can lead to accidents. That means higher car insurance rates for the older age groups.


Shopping for car insurance

No matter your location or age, it pays to shop around for car insurance. Insurers price the same policies differently based on their respective formulas. Each insurance company has a different algorithm that weighs risk factors. That's why costs vary and it's important to do a car insurance comparison before you buy.

For instance, one insurance company may charge a lot more if you get speeding tickets, while another may not raise rates that much. Another example is one insurer may charge higher rates for young drivers or motorists who live in cities, while another might give you a break.

It's a smart idea to get car insurance quotes from at least three car insurance companies every couple of years. Provide multiple insurers with the same request, including coverage levels, and let them compete against one another. Make sure you take everything into account, including loyalty discounts or new customer discounts, when making the decision as to the right car insurance company for you.

Methodology: commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).

Averages rates are based on drivers ages 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 for the following coverage levels: 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) with $500 deductible on comprehensive and collision and uninsured motorist coverage, state minimum liability and liability only of 50/100/50. These hypothetical drivers have clean records, good credit and commute 12 miles each day. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.


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