John Davey


July 10, 2023

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr


Car insurance is a vital requirement for every licensed driver, but the costs can vary significantly based on various factors. Whether you’re a new driver or a seasoned one, understanding the key factors that affect¬†car insurance rates¬†is crucial. In this comprehensive consumer guide, we’ll delve into the world of car insurance costs and demystify the intricacies of full coverage auto insurance. From state variations to company comparisons and driver profiles,¬†¬†will explore the factors that shape car insurance premiums, empowering you to make informed decisions about your coverage.

car protected inside of a garage
image credit: Erik Mclean

Key Factors for Car Insurance Costs:

Several factors come into play when determining car insurance costs. These factors include:

Full Coverage vs. Minimum Coverage:

Car insurance policies typically offer two types of coverage: full coverage and minimum coverage. Full coverage includes liability protection, comprehensive, and collision coverage. On the other hand, minimum coverage meets the minimum legal requirements of the state but offers limited protection. Full coverage policies cost, on average, 156% more than minimum coverage policies. However, the extra cost provides comprehensive protection for both your vehicle and others involved in an accident.

Average Costs for Car Insurance by State:

Car insurance rates can vary significantly from state to state. Factors such as population density, accident rates, and local regulations impact these variations. Michigan ranks as the most expensive state for car insurance, with an average monthly premium of $399 for full coverage. In contrast, South Dakota boasts the cheapest minimum coverage policies, with an average monthly premium of just $28.

Cheapest States for Full Coverage Car Insurance:

If you’re looking for affordable full coverage car insurance, certain states offer better rates than others. Vermont, Maine, and Idaho top the list as the cheapest states for full coverage car insurance, with average monthly premiums ranging from $92 to $99.

Most Expensive States for Full Coverage Car Insurance:

Conversely, some states demand higher premiums for full coverage auto insurance. Michigan, Florida, and Rhode Island rank as the most expensive states, with average monthly premiums ranging from $229 to $399.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost by Company:

Different insurance companies offer varying rates based on their underwriting policies and risk assessments. Auto-Owners stands out as the cheapest car insurance company, with an average rate of $36 per month for minimum coverage. Farmers, on the other hand, tends to offer the most expensive quotes for both minimum and full coverage car insurance.

High-Risk Driver Coverage Rates by Provider:

Insurance rates significantly increase for high-risk drivers, such as those with a history of accidents or DUI offenses. State Farm exhibits a relatively lower rate increase of 26% after a crash, while Geico’s rates surge by 70% for a driver with one at-fault accident on their record

How Much Car Insurance Costs by Age:

Age is a significant factor in determining car insurance rates, as younger drivers are considered higher risk. On average, an 18-year-old driver pays more than twice as much for auto insurance as a 25-year-old driver. However, insurance rates gradually decrease between the ages of 18 and 25, as older drivers are perceived as less risky.

Car Insurance Cost By Age

The Average Car Insurance Cost by Age
Analysis by Marketwatch

How Much is the Average Cost of Car Insurance by Car Make and Model:

The make and model of your vehicle also impact car insurance costs. While higher-value cars generally cost more to insure, there are exceptions. The Honda CR-V is the cheapest car model to insure among the country’s top-selling cars. Safety features and the likelihood of a total loss in the event of an accident play a significant role in determining insurance premiums.

Average Cost of Car Insurance By Model

ModelMonthly rateMSRP
Honda CR-V$156 $26,800
Ford F-150$164 $31,520
Ford Escape$167 $27,185
Ford Bronco$167 $28,815
Toyota RAV4$172 $27,575
Chevrolet Equinox$173 $25,800
Honda Pilot$173 $38,080
Mazda CX-5$173 $26,700
Chevrolet Traverse$173 $34,520
Ford Explorer$174 $35,510
Jeep Wrangler$176 $31,195
Toyota Tundra$176 $36,965
Kia Telluride$176 $35,690
Honda Accord$176 $26,520
Chevrolet Colorado$177 $26,135
Dodge Ram$177 $30,235
Ford Bronco Sport$177 $29,215
Jeep Compass$178 $27,285
Hyundai Palisade$179 $33,600
Hyundai Tucson$179 $26,450
Toyota Highlander$180 $36,420
Honda Civic$180 $22,550
Subaru Crosstrek$180 $23,645
Toyota Corolla$182 $21,550
Subaru Forester$183 $26,395
Volkswagen Tiguan$183 $26,950
Kia Sportage$183 $25,990
Subaru Outback$185 $28,395
Toyota Camry$186 $25,945
Nissan Rogue$186 $38,645
Hyundai Elantra$190 $20,200
Jeep Gladiator$191 $38,775
Hyundai Santa Fe$191 $28,200
Toyota 4Runner$192 $28,805
Kia Sorento$195 $29,990
Chevrolet Tahoe$195 $54,200
Nissan Altima$196 $25,290
GMC Sierra 1500$200 $46,660
Toyota Tacoma$201 $27,250
GMC Yukon$205 $52,500
Chevrolet Silverado$209 $35,600
Chevrolet Malibu$210 $24,700
Lexus RX$211 $48,550
Jeep Grand Cherokee$213 $41,530
Dodge Charger$232 $32,645
Tesla Model 3$246 $46,990
Tesla Model Y$259 $58,190
BMW X5$382 $61,600
Average Cost of Car Insurance By Model - data supplied by Valuepenguin

Car Insurance Cost by Vehicle Type:

In addition to the make and model, the type of vehicle you drive can affect insurance costs. Sports cars and luxury vehicles often come with higher insurance premiums due to their higher value and increased risk of theft or accidents. On the other hand, sedans and family-friendly vehicles may have lower insurance costs.

Average Cost of Car Insurance After an Accident:

Being involved in a car accident can have a substantial impact on your insurance rates. On average, insurance rates increase by $220 per month, representing a 49% increase compared to a clean driving record1. However, the extent of the increase varies among insurance companies. For example, State Farm has a relatively lower rate increase of 26%, while Geico’s rates go up by 70% after an at-fault accident.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance for Drivers with a DUI:

Drivers with a history of driving under the influence (DUI) face significantly higher insurance rates. On average, car insurance premiums increase by 83% after a DUI offense, adding an additional $1,484 per year to the cost of coverage1. However, the rate increase may vary depending on the state, with North Carolina experiencing the highest increase at over 255% and Pennsylvania at 48%1.

Monthly full-coverage car insurance costs with a DUI

South Dakota$22955%
New Hampshire$21263%
South Carolina$22565%
North Dakota$23470%
New Jersey$27271%
New Mexico$25785%
New York$28793%
Washington, D.C.$330102%
West Virginia$283108%
Rhode Island$421113%
North Carolina$387255%
Monthly full-coverage car insurance costs with a DUI - Data source Valuepenguin

Other Factors That Can Affect Average Car Insurance Costs:

In addition to the specific factors mentioned above, several other elements can impact car insurance costs. These include:

  • Driving experience: The number of years you’ve been licensed and insured can affect your rates. Drivers with more experience generally receive lower premiums.
  • Location: Insurance companies consider certain locations to be higher risk due to factors like accident rates, crime rates, and severe weather conditions. Living in an area with higher risks can result in higher premiums.
  • Insurance and claims history: Maintaining continuous auto insurance coverage and having a clean claims history can help lower your insurance rates.
  • Mileage: Cars that are driven less frequently are less likely to be involved in accidents, leading to potential discounts for lower annual mileage.
  • Discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts for safe driving habits, completing defensive driving courses, or being a student with good grades. Exploring these discounts can help reduce your car insurance costs.

How to Lower Car Insurance:

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lower your car insurance costs. Consider the following strategies:

Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the best rates for your coverage needs. Each company evaluates risk differently, so shopping around can save you money.

Increase your deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. By opting for a higher deductible, you may lower your premiums.

Maintain a clean driving record. Avoiding accidents and traffic violations demonstrates responsible driving behavior and can result in lower insurance rates.

Take advantage of available discounts. Inquire about discounts for safe driving, bundling policies, installing safety devices in your vehicle, or being a good student.

Consider bundling your car insurance with other policies, such as homeowner or renter insurance, to potentially receive a multi-policy discount.

Review your coverage periodically. As your circumstances change, your insurance needs may also evolve. Adjusting your coverage accordingly can help avoid unnecessary expenses.


Understanding the factors that influence car insurance costs is essential for every licensed driver. From the choice between full coverage and minimum coverage to the impact of age, location, and driving history, these elements play a crucial role in determining insurance premiums. By comparing quotes, exploring discounts, and maintaining a clean driving record, you can potentially lower your car insurance costs. Remember to review your coverage regularly to ensure it aligns withyour current needs. By staying informed and proactive, you can make confident decisions about your car insurance coverage and find a balance between protection and affordability.


  • Valuepenguin: How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?¬†
  • Marketwatch: Average Cost of Car Insurance