Car insurance in the U.S. costs $136 per month, on average, but your rate may be very different.
The national average cost of car insurance is $1,630 per year, according to NerdWallet’s 2022 rate analysis.
That works out to an average car insurance rate of about $136 per month.
These rates are for full coverage insurance, which includes liability, comprehensive, collision and any additional insurance a state requires drivers to carry. However, your personal car insurance rate will vary based on a number of factors, such as your driving history, location, coverage you select, and car make and model. We break down how these factors may affect your rates below.
How much is car insurance?
As previously stated, the average cost of car insurance is $1,630 per year, according to our 2022 rates analysis. But that’s just for a good driver with good credit — rates vary widely depending on your history, as well as the level of coverage you select.
National average car insurance rates for policies with full coverage are:
$1,630 for a good driver with good credit.
$2,792 for a good driver with poor credit.
$2,462 for a driver with an at-fault accident and good credit
$3,139 for a driver with a recent DUI and good credit.
For minimum required coverage, national average car insurance rates are:
$561 for a good driver with good credit.
$973 for a good driver with poor credit.
$862 for a driver with an at-fault accident and good credit.
$1,134 for a driver with a recent DUI and good credit.
As you can see, average rates for full coverage insurance are generally more than twice as high as minimum coverage, according to our analysis.
But averages don’t say much about your own car insurance rates. A number of personal factors, both within and outside of your control, inch rates up or down until your price is totally personalized.
And since NerdWallet can’t anticipate which factors apply to you, we used a specific driver profile throughout this article, unless stated otherwise:
35 years old.
Good driver: Defined as a person with a clean driving record, meaning no accidents, DUIs or other traffic violations.
Good credit: Drivers with a “good credit” rating. Insurers use a credit-based insurance score, which is similar to your regular credit score to calculate rates in most states. Although they aren’t the same, your credit score can be a good indicator of your credit-based insurance score.
Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our writing and data analyses. You can trust the prices we show you because our data analysts take rigorous measures to eliminate outliers and inaccuracies in pricing data, which include rates from every locale in the country where coverage is offered and data is available. When comparing rates for different coverage amounts, ages and backgrounds, we change only one variable at a time, so you can easily see how each factor affects pricing. Read our methodology.
How much does car insurance cost in my state?
Where you live can have an enormous impact on auto insurance rates, because each state has different regulations.
Here’s what our state-by-state analysis of 2022 car insurance rates shows for drivers with good credit and no recent accidents:
Idaho is the cheapest state for full coverage car insurance with an annual average rate of $1,027, followed by Ohio and Vermont.
Louisiana is the most expensive state for full coverage auto insurance at $2,986 per year on average, followed by Florida and Nevada.
Iowa is the cheapest state for minimum required coverage, at an annual average car insurance rate of $237, followed by South Dakota and Idaho.
Florida is the most expensive state for minimum required coverage at $1,085 per year, on average, followed by Nevada and New Jersey.
Every car insurance company sets rates based on dozens of factors, including your driving history, location, vehicle and demographics. They’re making an educated guess about how likely you are to file a claim in the future and setting your price accordingly.
Each insurer treats each factor differently. If you have poor credit, one insurer might charge you 10% more for the policy, while another would charge 40% more. A discount for being claim-free in recent years might earn you a 20% discount with one company and 5% at another.
All this results in very different rates from one person to the next. This is why the company that gives your friend super-low rates might not be the cheapest for you.
Bear in mind, small insurers may have cheaper rates than nationwide carriers. However, many regional insurers are available in only a few states. We analyzed rates from large insurers to provide the most relevant information for all readers.
Additionally, although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our analysis because it does not provide rate data.
Average car insurance rates after an at-fault accident
After an accident, average auto insurance prices for an at-fault driver are:
$2,462 per year for full coverage.
$862 per year for minimum coverage.
On average, car insurance rates are about 50% higher for a driver who has caused a wreck than for one who hasn’t, according to NerdWallet’s analysis.
Average auto insurance rates before and after an at-fault accident
State to state, rate increases after an accident tend to stay in the 30% to 60% range. California, North Carolina and Texas are notable exceptions, in which rates increase 70% or more after an accident, on average. In California, that translates to an extra $1,372 a year in car insurance premiums.
How much your rates will rise also depends on the severity of damage and whether you have accident forgiveness on your policy or any “good driver” discounts you stand to lose. The hypothetical accident in our analysis was relatively minor, resulting in $10,000 worth of property damage and no injuries. Accidents resulting in medical costs can be very expensive and result in even steeper rate increases.
It’s important to shop for the cheapest insurer after an accident, because each company considers factors like a crash differently when setting prices. For instance, our analysis found that American Family increases car insurance rates by about 7% on average after a wreck, while rates at Geico went up by 63% on average.
Causing an accident can raise your auto insurance costs for three to five years afterward, depending on the carrier. This is why it’s wise to shop for car insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversary of your wreck to see if you can get a better deal.
Average car insurance costs for good and bad credit
Having bad credit has a surprisingly large impact on auto insurance rates in most states. On average, car insurance rates for drivers with poor credit are more than 71% higher than for people with good credit.
Average car insurance rates for a driver with poor credit are:
$2,792 per year for full coverage.
$973 per year for minimum coverage.
Average auto insurance rates for drivers with good versus bad credit
Remember, insurers use a “credit-based insurance score,” similar to a regular credit score, to help set rates in most states. The insurance score uses all the same factors as a regular credit score — things like on-time payments and delinquencies — but weighs them differently.
California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan don’t allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.
Insurance companies point to data linking poor credit to more frequent insurance claims to justify the higher prices to state regulators.
The score’s impact on your premium depends on where you live and which car insurance company you choose.
For instance, average rates more than double in four states: Nebraska, New York, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Some companies are more forgiving of bad credit than others, so it’s worthwhile to shop for quotes while you’re trying to build your credit. For example, here’s what we found for a 35-year-old buying full coverage:
State Farm’s rates for a driver with bad credit in Arizona, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin are more than quadruple its rates for someone with good credit.
On the other hand, Nationwide’s rates in North Carolina and Indiana are about $25 a month higher for a driver with poor credit than for one with good credit.
Average car insurance rates after a DUI
Getting caught drinking and driving will mean significantly higher prices for car insurance. On average, auto insurance rates go up about 93% for a driver with a recent DUI, NerdWallet’s analysis found.
For a 35-year-old driver, average car insurance rates after a DUI are:
$3,139 per year for full coverage.
$1,134 per year for minimum coverage.
How much a DUI raises average car insurance costs
Our analysis found an average increase of about $370 a year for full coverage car insurance after a DUI in every state, and in Hawaii and Michigan, the average increase is more than $3,000 a year.
Shopping around for the cheapest car insurance after a DUI can lessen the blow. Among the largest companies in our analysis, average annual rates for full coverage car insurance after a DUI ranged from $1,754 at American Family to $2,964 at Allstate, a difference of more than $1,200 a year between companies.
Switching to your state’s minimum required insurance coverage is another way to lower the cost. For minimum coverage, we found average annual rates ranging from $713 at American Family to $1,181 at Nationwide.
Although minimum insurance is the cheapest option, it’s not always the best choice. If you’re looking for coverage for your own vehicle after an at-fault accident, you’ll want collision insurance. And if you have a loan on your car, or it’s leased, you may be required to keep collision and comprehensive coverage.
Average car insurance rates for young drivers
Insurers see less experienced drivers as a bigger risk and typically charge them heftier prices. Insurers may categorize young drivers as anyone 16 to 25 years old, and sometimes even anyone under 30 years old. For our analysis, we analyzed rates for 20-year-old drivers.
As you age, rates tend to go down. On average, car insurance rates are about $1,700 a year higher for a 20-year-old driver than a 35-year-old, our analysis found.
Average auto insurance costs for a 20-year-old driver
For a 20-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record, average car insurance rates are:
$3,325 for full coverage.
$1,191 for minimum required coverage.
But young drivers with blemished credit or a less-than-perfect driving history are likely to shell out more for car insurance.
Average car insurance costs by gender
On average, car insurance costs differ little by gender compared with differences we see by company, state, credit score and driving history. That doesn’t mean that a cost difference due to your gender would be insignificant, however, just that it’s not a pricing factor well-illustrated by national statistics. Gender-based pricing is banned by law in seven states: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
In general, young adults have a much wider price discrepancy based on gender than older drivers. Men pay more than women across all age groups we analyzed.
For example, in states where the practice is allowed, we averaged full coverage insurance rates for men and women separately and found that on average:
At age 20, men pay about $434 more than women per year.
At age 30, men pay around $30 more than women per year.
At age 35, men pay about $13 more than men per year.
Note: In this article, NerdWallet uses the term “gender.” We recognize that this is different than sex. Gender is how you identify within society, while sex refers to certain biological attributes.
Some insurers don’t recognize this distinction and use the terms interchangeably. This means when applying for car insurance, they may ask for your gender, when they really mean sex.
They may also ask for identification that doesn’t reflect your gender accurately. For instance, a company may want the “gender” you list on your insurance application to match the sex listed on your driver’s license.
Average cost of car insurance by vehicle
In other analyses, we used a 3-year-old Toyota Camry (the most popular sedan in America by sales in recent years) to show how rates vary by personal history and demographics. But the make and model of your vehicle will certainly affect rates.
Insurers charge more to cover certain cars, including:
Sports cars, which have higher top speeds. People tend to drive them faster, increasing the likelihood of a wreck or traffic violation. If you get a speeding ticket, insurers think you’ll be more likely to cause an accident, which increases rates further.
Luxury cars because they tend to have expensive parts and details that are costlier to replace if damaged in a crash.
Electric vehicles, which have more expensive engine parts to replace. The batteries alone can cost thousands each.
Cars that are stolen often, which tend to be the nation’s more popular makes and models. These vehicles generally have higher rates for comprehensive insurance, the part of an auto policy that pays out when your car is stolen or damaged by something non-traffic-related, such as floods, fire and vandalism. It is typically optional unless you have a loan or lease.
To see how rates differ depending on your vehicle, we looked at average car insurance rates for the most popular vehicles based on sales in a separate analysis from 2021. As you can see below, the Camry is far from the cheapest model. That honor goes to the Subaru Outback, with an average car insurance cost of $1,336 per year.
What else affects my car insurance cost?
There are additional factors you may need to consider that can affect insurance rates. Here are some of them:
More specific location data such as your ZIP code or city.
Your occupation, in many states.
Your previous insurance company. If it was a nonstandard insurer specializing in high-risk drivers, you might see higher insurance rates with some companies.
Continuous insurance coverage. Companies charge more for drivers with lapses in coverage.
Annual mileage driven per car.
Your marital status. Some insurers believe married people drive more responsibly, which means single people — even widows, widowers and divorced folks — tend to have higher insurance rates.
Discounts you’re eligible for, which vary widely by company.
Whom you live with. Some companies won’t allow you to exclude people such as roommates or nondriving adults from your policy.
How to get cheap car insurance
By now you may have concluded that average car insurance costs have little to do with your own — this is true. No matter how many averages you look at, your own rates will likely be different.
But you can still find cheap car insurance by shopping around for rates every year and every time something major happens in your life, including marriage, a new job, moving or buying a new car. Additionally, if you’ve had a recent at-fault accident, DUI or other traffic violation, be sure to shop in the month after the third and fifth anniversaries of the incident.
If you’re ready to shop, you can check out the cheapest companies in your own state for several driver profiles.