If it feels like that seat belt around your waist is getting tighter and tighter, you can be forgiven. Double-digit increases in car insurance rates are squeezing drivers as companies battle with higher payouts, increased litigation and catastrophe-related losses.

The consumer-price index for motor vehicle insurance was up an average of 22.6% year-over-year in May 2024.

Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute, says that the insurance industry as a whole is still suffering underwriting losses, so insurance rates will continue to increase.

“The U.S. auto insurance industry generated a better performance in 2023 than 2022, but still posted an underwriting loss for the third consecutive year,” Friedlander says. “2023’s net written premium growth rate of 14.3% is the highest in over 15 years, reflecting rate increases to offset inflationary loss costs. The industry’s underwriting performance in 2024 is forecast to improve but remain unprofitable. We estimate average rate increases of 13% this year. It’s going to take time for every carrier to get their rates to where they want to be.”

But fortunately, there are a few clever ways to lower auto insurance costs.

How do I lower car insurance?

Key Highlights
  • The easiest way to save on car insurance is to shop around at renewal time and get quotes from multiple companies. 
  • Insurers offer discounts for students, good drivers, anti-theft devices and bundling with homeowners insurance.
  • Choosing a higher deductible can significantly lower your rate.
Written by:
Mel Duvall
Contributing Researcher
Mel Duvall is an award-winning senior business writer and communications professional. He served as Senior Media Manager for Husky Energy, a fully integrated energy company with operations in Canada, the United States, China and Indonesia. Mel also served a three-year term on the Mount Royal University Journalism Committee.
Reviewed by:
Laura Longero
reviewer icon
Executive Editor
Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

How to save money on car insurance in 2024

Getting cheaper car insurance requires some legwork, but the potential savings could make it worthwhile. Learn the best ways to save on car insurance — from shopping around to asking about discounts.

  1. Shop around and compare car insurance quotes
  2. Bundle your policies
  3. Raise your deductible
  4. Save with teen and student drivers
  5. Compare insurance rates when buying a vehicle
  6. Improve driving record by avoiding tickets and accidents
  7. Drop coverage you don’t need
  8. Buy only state-required minimum liability coverage
  9. Go for pay-per-mile insurance
  10. Ask about group insurance or an affinity discount

1.  Shop around and compare car insurance quotes

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How often do you shop around for better car insurance rates?

The best place to start is by determining where you can get the cheapest car insurance. Comparison shopping and gathering quotes from several insurers is the top way to save.

You may already have a pretty good deal with your current insurer, but the only way to know is by comparing regularly.

Comparison shopping can help you find cheap car insurance companies in your area and may even make you aware of deals from lesser-known insurers. It makes sense to get a comparison quote whenever your policy comes up for renewal.

In 2023, CarInsurance.com surveyed drivers nationwide about car insurance. The survey found that 49% of drivers shopped for a new car insurer in the past 12 months. Of people who switched insurers, 26% of drivers saved 10% on a new policy, and 29% of people saved 15% on a new insurance policy.

Compare car insurance quotes from 25+ companies with a rate calculator

2.  Bundle your policies

One of the best strategies for lowering your rates is to look for insurers who offer discounts for bundling policies – such as auto and home or renters and car insurance.

For example, purchasing homeowners insurance from the same company that provides your car insurance can earn you a deep discount. In some instances, multi-policy discounts can be more than 25%.

Similarly, you can save as much as 25% by taking advantage of multi-car discounts when you insure two or more vehicles with the same company.

But you don’t always save by bundling. It’s essential to compare what it would cost to purchase your policies separately to the price break you get on a bundle. It’s possible, for example, that you would do better to buy a home policy on its own and get your auto coverage from a company that offers one of the cheapest rates.

National averages for multi-policy discounts are:

3. Raise your deductible

Raising your collision and comprehensive deductibles from $250 to $500 can significantly impact rates. Nationwide, for example, says you might save 15% to 30%. Increase your deductibles to $1,000; the savings could be as high as 40%. 

Remember that a higher deductible means you’ll pay more out of pocket if you get in an accident and need to repair your vehicle. An expensive repair bill could easily surpass any savings you made on the front end.

Learn more on why raising deductibles saves you money

4. Save even with teen and student drivers, and ask about discounts

Insurers typically offer a range of other discounts based on such factors as driving habits and school performance.

Here are a few standard discounts that might be available to you:

Good student: Many insurers offer a good student discount for high school and college students. A “good student” is typically someone who maintains a “B” (3.0) or better average and is under 25 years of age.

How much is it worth? According to the latest analysis, the average good student discount is 14%, which can be considerable when you consider that is off what is typically a much higher rate for a young driver.

Homeschooled teen drivers may also be eligible, provided they achieve a particular score on standardized tests. The discount typically applies to bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments, collision and comprehensive coverages.

Students away from home: Most insurance providers also offer discounts to good students who are away at college.

A wide array of variables affects the discount rate, including:

  • Whether or not the student is taking a car to school and driving it regularly
  • Whose name(s) is on the title
  • Whether or not the student’s permanent address is still the parent(s)’ home

And be sure to look for loyalty, good driving and other discounts:

Loyalty: Have you stuck through thick and thin with your insurance provider? Your loyalty could equal savings. Several insurance companies offer this discount, which generally reduces rates by up to 11%.

Good driver: Good and safe driver discounts can get you between 5% and 25% in savings, depending on your carrier. Reducing how much you drive your vehicle can also garner a discount.

Vehicle security: Do you have an alarm or security/anti-theft device installed in your vehicle? It could qualify you for a “safety-feature discount” of up to 5%.

Many insurance companies offer anti-theft discounts, but do your homework, as savings vary based on the state and type of device used.

Paid in full: Paying your annual bill in full can save you up to 9%, rather than paying in installments. Going paperless, too, can add a small discount.

Understand all the car insurance discounts you may qualify for to take advantage of additional reductions.

5. Compare insurance rates when buying a vehicle

Make sure to consider the insurance cost when shopping for a new ride. Cars that cost less to repair or replace generally have more affordable rates.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the “cheaper the car, the cheaper the insurance.” It doesn’t always work that way. Instead, compare car insurance rates by vehicle when shopping for a car.

Drive a car that’s cheaper to insure. Insurance rates depend on your vehicle’s make and model.

According to 2023 data from Quadrant Information Services, the top five cheapest cars to insure are the Subaru Forester 2.5I Wilderness, the Hyundai Venue SE, the Honda CR-V LX, the Mazda CX-30 S and the Toyota C-HR XLE.

Here’s a look at the top 10 cheapest cars to insure.

Top 10 cheapest cars to insure
RankMake and modelAverage annual rateAverage monthly rate
1Honda HR-V$1,673$139
2Mazda CX-30$1,679$140
3Chevrolet TrailBlazer$1,683$140
4Chevrolet Express 2500 Cargo Van$1,685$140
5Kia Seltos$1,693$141
6Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van$1,695$141
7Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon$1,702$142
8GMC Savana Cargo Van$1,713$143
9Hyundai Venue$1,719$143
10Honda CR-V$1,722$144

6. Improve your driving record by avoiding tickets and accidents

There are steps you can take to avoid expensive tickets and accident claims. Pay attention to your speed, don’t try to run a red light, be more cautious and drive defensively.

Poor driving history can disqualify you from getting the cheapest car insurance. Insurers will check your record to see if you present a high level of risk. Speeding tickets, accidents, and citations for driving under the influence can increase your insurance rates.

As we pointed out earlier, good driver discounts can save you up to 25%. In addition, insurance companies usually require that you have a clean driving record for at least three years. That means no DUIs, no moving violations and no at-fault collisions.

Drive sensibly and cautiously, and you’ll get cheap car insurance by avoiding surcharges and receiving a good driver discount.

7. Drop coverage you don’t need

You can get cheaper car insurance by dropping comprehensive and collision coverage if you have an older vehicle. But don’t drop that coverage without giving it some thought. Many experts say it’s time to drop these coverages when the actual cash value you’d receive for your vehicle doesn’t justify the insurance expense.

Another type of coverage that could be unnecessary is rental reimbursement coverage. You can skip that if you have an extra car in the household that you can use if yours is in the shop after an accident or if you have easy access to public transportation.

8. Consider buying only the state-required minimum liability coverage

One way to get the cheapest car insurance rate is to buy “bare-bones” coverage. This protection is liability insurance at the lowest legal limits required by your state to drive a car. If you cause an accident, it pays only for others’ property damage and medical bills up to the specified limits.

Be aware that if you go with the state minimum, you might be unable to cover serious claims. That could leave you on the hook for paying thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages out of pocket.

But if you don’t drive much and are desperate to find a way to get cheaper car insurance, bare-bones coverage may be an option.

9. Pay only what you use: Consider usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance

People who drive less than a specified number of miles yearly, usually 7,500 to 10,000 miles, can get cheaper rates. The rate cut is applied to bodily injury liability, property damage liability and collision premiums, depending on the policy.

Car insurance companies often require installing a small device in your vehicle that transmits data to the company to monitor mileage. If you keep your mileage under a certain amount, you score discounts. Usage-based programs may also monitor driving habits like braking and speed.

Actual pay-per-mile insurance allows you to pay based on the actual miles you drive, rather than just giving a discount for driving less and doesn’t consider driving habits.

10. Ask about group insurance or an affinity discount

Some companies offer lower rates to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employer or professional, business and alumni groups, and other associations or schools.

The Insurance Information Institute suggests checking with your affiliated organizations to see what they offer.

Employers often offer health insurance group plans, but a lesser-known option is group car insurance. Larger companies are more apt to provide this option to their employees because the number of employees allows them to secure a group rate.

Prominent colleges or trade schools sometimes offer the benefit of buying into group insurance to their students and alums. Some insurance companies also provide members of certain groups an affinity discount.

Annual vs. monthly premium payments: Which is most cost-effective?

Drivers will save an average of 9% by paying upfront for your insurance policy—for either a six-month or annual policy. A paid-in full discount nets a savings of $171 per year on a full coverage policy. Drivers with this discount will spend $1,724 annually on car insurance vs. $1,895 without the discount.

If you want the discount, consider saving a monthly amount in order to pay your next premium in full.

Tips for teen drivers to minimize car insurance costs

If your teen is going to be driving, they’ll need car insurance—whether they get their own policy or you add them to yours. Adding them to your policy is usually much cheaper than having them purchase their own, but keep in mind that teens can only have their own policies if they’re of the age of majority.

Here are some tips for adding a teen to your insurance policy:

  • Start the insurance process before your teen gets their learner’s permit.
  • Typically, your policy will automatically cover your teen at no extra cost while they have a learner’s permit, but confirm this with your insurance company.
  • Once your teen is licensed, inform your insurance company to add them to your policy.
  • Save money by designating your teen as the primary driver for the cheapest car on your policy.
  • Register your teen’s car in your name so you can add them to your policy.
  • Track your teens’ driving with a telematics device.
  • Ask your insurer about good student and driver training discounts.

FAQ: How to save on car insurance

How do life changes like marriage or retirement affect car insurance rates?

Drivers who get married can save 8% per year on their car insurance policy, which brings their rate down from $1,895 before the discount to $1,741 after the discount—a savings of $187 per year.

When it comes to retirement, there isn’t a discount tailored specifically to this life milestone. However, there are discounts available for driving fewer miles, taking defensive driving for those who are 65 years or older and for staying with a company for a long time (loyalty).

The defensive driver discount is 4%, bringing a senior’s annual rate down $77 annually from $1,740 before the discount to $1,663 after the discount.

Driving less than 7,500 miles per year nets a 9% discount of $172 per year. And loyalty discounts for 10 to 20 years with the same company average 11%, bringing your rate down 11%.

Can my job or profession qualify me for lower insurance rates?

Your job can save you money—firefighters and scientists earn the steepest professional discount of 13%, saving up to $255 annually on a full coverage insurance policy. Below, see other professions and the average discounts you can receive.

OccupationBefore discountAfter discountDollar differencePercent difference
Civil servant$1,895$1,669$22612%
Law enforcement$1,895$1,680$21511%

How do parking arrangements impact my insurance premiums?

When you sign up for insurance, your agent or company representative will need your ZIP code and ask whether you park in a garage. Garage parking is less risky than street parking, so while there isn’t a specific discount for garage parking, your insurer will consider where your vehicle is parked, as well as your address, when they give you a rate quote.

Final thoughts

There are plenty of ways to lower your car insurance, but you must take the wheel. Researching, comparing costs and taking advantage of all available discounts can yield substantial savings.

Resources & Methodology


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Consumer Price Index Summary.” Accessed April 2024.

J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Rate Hikes Erode Price Satisfaction, Drive Surge in Value Shopping.” Accessed January 2024.

Insurance Information Institute. “How to save money on car insurance.” Accessed January 2024.


CarInsurance.com editors in 2024 collected rates from Quadrant Information Services for a 40-year-old male driving a 2023 Honda Accord LX with a good insurance score and no violation on record for a full coverage insurance policy with limits 100/300/50 and $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. We analyzed 2,677,890 records, 4,686 ZIP codes and 1,252 cities nationwide.

Laura Longero

Ask the Insurance Expert

Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Researcher

Mel Duvall is an award-winning senior business writer and communications professional. He served as Senior Media Manager for Husky Energy, a fully integrated energy company with operations in Canada, the United States, China and Indonesia. Mel also served a three-year term on the Mount Royal University Journalism Committee.