Car Insurance Calculator Estimate: A Detailed Review

A car insurance calculator lets you preview changes in your auto coverage and compare costs of different vehicles or coverages. With so many providers offering varied prices, it’s essential to choose wisely. We’ll delve into the workings of car insurance calculators. We aim to guide you in using one to find the best rates tailored to your needs. Additionally, we’ll share our top provider picks and present average rates from the most affordable providers for diverse driver profiles.

Key takeaways

  • First, finalize your preferred vehicle and determine required coverage.
  • Gather quotes from multiple insurers or utilize an online comparison tool.
  • Understand that age, driving history, location, and vehicle type influence insurance estimates.

Why Use a Car Insurance Calculator?

A car insurance calculator provides an estimate of your insurance costs based on key factors like your location, age, driving record, and vehicle. While it doesn’t offer precise quotes from insurers, it can guide you in choosing a vehicle model or in comparing insurance coverage types, such as full versus minimum coverage.

Why Use a Car Insurance Calculator?

What You Need for a Car Insurance Calculator

To use a car insurance calculator effectively, gather the following details:

  • Your vehicle’s year, make, and model
  • The address where it’s registered
  • The desired coverage type
  • Any tickets or at-fault accidents from the last three years

However, the specifics can vary. Some calculators might only require your location for an average estimate, while others consider both your vehicle details and driving history for a more tailored result.

What You Need for a Car Insurance Quote

While car insurance calculators offer a ballpark estimate, specific company quotes provide more accurate potential rates. These quotes consider various factors, including qualifying discounts.

What You Need for a Car Insurance Quote

To get precise quotes, you can either visit online platforms of insurance companies and comparison sites or reach out to agents or brokers. For a detailed quote, be ready with the following information:

  • Your complete name, birth date, marital status, and address
  • Driver’s license and Social Security numbers for all household drivers
  • Details about your car, like its make, model, mileage, or vehicle identification number
  • Vehicle ownership or lender details
  • Address where the vehicle is parked
  • Current insurance provider and policy expiry date
  • Your driving record
  • Information about any other potential drivers of your car.

Average Car Insurance Rates From Top Providers

Car insurance costs vary based on the insurer, your personal details, your vehicle, and the desired coverage. To determine your exact premium, it’s essential to obtain tailored quotes.

Among popular insurance providers, Nationwide, USAA, Geico, and State Farm often stand out as cost-effective choices for full-coverage insurance. We’ve summarized the average yearly rates these companies offer for various drivers below.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Good Drivers 

Drivers with spotless records usually enjoy the most affordable car insurance rates. On average, they pay about $2,008 annually or $167 monthly for a full-coverage policy. Among insurers, Nationwide often stands out as the most cost-effective for such drivers, charging around $1,433 annually or $119 monthly. These figures are based on a 35-year-old married individual with both a clean driving history and good credit.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
State Farm$138$1,657
American Family$154$1,851

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit

In states where it’s allowed, car insurance companies usually offer higher rates to drivers with low credit scores. However, states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan have laws preventing this practice. Drivers with poor credit typically face an average rate of $3,829 annually or $319 monthly. Even so, Nationwide often emerges as the most budget-friendly option, charging these drivers around $2,072 per year or $173 monthly.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
State Farm$375$4,505

Cheapest Car Insurance for Young Drivers

 Young drivers, particularly teens, often face steeper car insurance rates. For instance, a 16-year-old usually pays around $7,581 annually. By comparison, 18-year-olds typically pay about $4,958 yearly, while 21-year-olds spend around $2,786. Among the insurers, USAA often provides the most cost-effective coverage for young drivers. However, State Farm, Geico, and Nationwide also present affordable choices.

AgeCheapest CompanyAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
16State Farm$346$4,146

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a Recent Car Accident

If you have an accident on your record, your insurance rate typically rises. For a 35-year-old male with a recent accident, the average national rate is approximately $2,919 annually or $243 monthly. Notably, State Farm often provides the most affordable rate, averaging around $1,953 yearly or $163 monthly.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
State Farm$163$1,953

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI

A DUI can significantly increase your insurance premium. For a 35-year-old male with a DUI, the average national rate stands at approximately $3,431 annually or $286 monthly. Typically, State Farm offers the most affordable rate for drivers with a DUI, averaging about $2,194 yearly or $183 monthly.

Car Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly RateAverage Annual Rate
State Farm$183$2,194

How to Calculate Your Car Insurance Coverage Needs

To determine the right amount of car insurance for you, it’s best to evaluate each policy component individually.

How to choose the right amount of liability insurance

Liability car insurance, mandated in most states, covers accidental property damage and injuries you inflict on others. Additionally, it addresses your legal defense costs and any settlements if someone sues you due to an accident.

It’s essential to grasp the liability insurance limits to ensure you’re adequately covered. A good guideline is to have enough insurance to shield yourself from potential lawsuit losses.

Typically, liability limits are presented as a series, like 15/30/15. This translates to:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
  • $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage coverage per accident

Opting for only the state-mandated minimum liability insurance can be risky, especially if you’re involved in a costly accident, as these minimums might fall short of covering all expenses.

Do you need collision and comprehensive insurance?

Collision and comprehensive insurance, typically bundled together, provide coverage for various issues such as damages from accidents, theft, animal collisions, natural disasters, vandalism, and other unforeseen events. While state laws don’t mandate these coverages, leasing companies or lenders often do if you’re financing your car.

Rather than selecting a specific coverage amount, it’s based on your vehicle’s value, determining the payout if your car is totaled. Your primary decision lies in choosing a deductible, like $500, which is deducted from any claim payout.

Even if you fully own your car, it’s wise to consider these insurances. They ensure you have the support to replace or repair your vehicle in case of covered damages.

What other car insurance could be required?

While states like California mandate only liability insurance, others like New York necessitate additional coverages. Here are various types of car insurance you might need based on your state’s regulations:

What other car insurance could be required?
  • Uninsured Motorist (UM): This is compulsory in certain states and optional in others. It covers your and your passengers’ medical expenses if injured by a driver lacking liability insurance. Typically, UM limits align with your liability limits.
  • Underinsured Motorist (UIM): Required in some places and optional elsewhere, UIM acts like UM. It steps in when the at-fault driver’s insurance falls short in covering the injuries they inflicted. Usually, UIM limits mirror your liability limits.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Some states make this mandatory. In no-fault insurance regions, you’ll tap into your PIP for medical expenses stemming from a car accident, irrespective of who’s at fault. Additionally, PIP can address other concerns, like lost wages or child care costs, should you be unable to handle them post-accident.
  • Medical Payments (MedPay): Some states require this. It shoulders the medical bills for you and your passengers after a car mishap, regardless of who’s responsible.

5+ Factors Impact Your Car Insurance Estimate

When comparing auto insurance options, providing detailed information about yourself and any additional drivers ensures a precise quote. Here are the key factors that typically influence a car insurance quote.

Your age

Young drivers, especially those under 25, often face higher car insurance rates due to their higher risk of accidents. While age is a factor in pricing for most states, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are exceptions. Rates typically stabilize between your 30s to 50s, but as you near your 70s, they begin to increase. This upward trend continues into the 80s, as age-related factors can increase the likelihood of accident claims.

Driving experience

Inexperienced and younger drivers often face higher auto insurance premiums. Since they tend to be involved in more accidents, insurance companies typically charge them more to cover the increased risk.

Driving record

Safe driving and a spotless record can help you secure lower insurance rates. Let’s examine how certain violations can impact your premiums:

  • If you’re at fault in an accident causing property damage, your rates can increase by an average of 45%. If the accident results in injuries, that surge could reach 47%.
  • Speeding tickets can lead to an average rate hike of 24%.
  • A DUI conviction can cause your premiums to soar by an average of 74%.

Your location

Your location plays a significant role in determining your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies assess the frequency and types of claims in your area, factoring in incidents like accidents, theft, vandalism, and weather-related damages like hail or flooding. Additionally, local repair and medical care costs can influence your premiums. Typically, city dwellers pay more than those in suburbs or rural regions due to increased risks of accidents, thefts, and vandalism in urban settings, even for exemplary drivers.

Your vehicle model

Your car’s model directly affects your insurance rates. Insurance companies evaluate previous claims related to specific models, considering repair costs and theft rates. This information can influence prices for optional coverages like collision and comprehensive insurance. Essentially, if your car is pricier to repair or replace, you’ll likely face higher insurance premiums.


Except in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan, car insurance companies often consider your credit when determining rates. This practice sparks debate, but insurers cite a Federal Trade Commission report linking credit scores with the likelihood of filing a claim. Consequently, poor credit can lead to higher insurance rates. In fact, our analysis shows drivers with poor credit pay, on average, 76% more than those with good credit. However, since insurers weigh credit differently, it’s essential to compare rates across different companies.

Lapses in car insurance coverage

Having a break in your car insurance can lead to higher rates. Insurers view drivers with continuous coverage as more stable and less risky. So, consistent insurance coverage can benefit you by keeping your rates lower.

Coverage and deductibles selected

Choosing basic liability car insurance is more affordable than opting for full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision. However, this choice can expose you to significant financial risks if you face a major car accident lawsuit not fully covered by insurance. 

When it comes to collision and comprehensive coverages, you pick a deductible, usually between $500 and $2,500. By selecting a higher deductible, you reduce your premium since the deductible amount gets deducted from any claim payout. In essence, the higher the deductible, the less the insurance company pays out in claims.

How to Reduce Your Car Insurance Costs

Here’s how to save on car insurance:

  • Compare quotes: By shopping around and comparing quotes from different insurers, you can find the best policy at an affordable rate.
  • Inquire about discounts: Many insurers offer various discounts, like those for good driving or bundling multiple vehicles. Some, like the good student discount for teens with a B average or higher, might require you to ask.
  • Adjust your deductible: Consider increasing your deductible for collision and comprehensive insurance. A higher deductible means lower premiums since you’ll cover more initial costs if you file a claim.


We sourced our data from Quadrant Information Services, a leading insurance data analytics provider. The rates reflect a 40-year-old female’s coverage that includes liability limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 property damage), uninsured motorist coverage, and both collision and comprehensive insurance with a $500 deductible.

Car Insurance Calculator: FAQs

What do you need to get a car insurance cost estimate?

To use Forbes Advisor’s car insurance calculator:

  • Choose your state.
  • Select the driving record that closely resembles yours.

When you’re ready to compare and purchase a car insurance policy, ensure you have:

  • Your driver’s license and those of any other drivers in your household.
  • Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you can find on the driver’s side dashboard or doorjamb.
  • The current mileage of your vehicle.

What are the cheapest car insurance companies?

Based on our nationwide study, Geico and Auto-Owners offer the most affordable car insurance. While USAA also provides competitive rates, it’s exclusively for military members, veterans, and their families.

What are the best car insurance companies?

Based on our research, American Family, Auto-Owners, Nationwide, and USAA stand out as the top car insurance companies. They excel in offering a broad range of coverage options, competitive rates, efficient collision repair, and handling minimal complaints. However, it’s worth noting that USAA exclusively caters to military members, veterans, and their families.

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