Best Used Car Insurance: MarketWatch, Trustpilot, NerdWallet, & US News Scores Compared (2024)

How Much Does Used Car Insurance Cost?

The cost of used car insurance varies widely depending on several factors such as the car’s make and model, the age and driving record of the driver, the level of coverage desired, and the new car insurance itself’s safety features and crash-test ratings. On average, insurance for a used car can be less expensive than a new one because used cars are typically less valuable and therefore cheaper to replace or repair. However, older vehicles might lack modern safety features which can lead to higher premiums, and certain models of used cars that have a high theft rate or expensive parts may also carry higher insurance costs.

Trustpilot USNews Nerdwallet MarketWatch
Geico 1.3 / 5 4.1 / 5 5 / 5 9.1 / 10
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Used Car Insurance Costs By State

As of my last update in April 2023, car insurance rates can vary significantly from state to state due to a variety of factors, including the state’s laws, the incidence of theft and vandalism, the proportion of uninsured drivers, and the general level of competition among insurers.

States with the most expensive car insurance typically have high population densities, higher numbers of uninsured drivers, or are prone to natural disasters, which can all lead to higher claim rates. For example:

States with the most expensive car insurance typically have high population densities, higher numbers of uninsured drivers, or are prone to natural disasters, which can all lead to higher claim rates. For example:

- Michigan has consistently ranked among the most expensive due to its unique no-fault insurance system that provides unlimited medical benefits for auto accident injuries.

- Louisiana often has high rates due to its litigation rates, high instances of natural disasters, and higher-than-average claims settlements.

- Florida also trends higher for premiums because of its high number of uninsured drivers and frequent natural disasters like hurricanes.

On the other hand, states with the least expensive car insurance often have a lower cost of living, less dense populations, and fewer claims. Examples of such states include:

- Maine, which typically has the lowest car insurance rates, benefits from a low number of uninsured drivers and relatively few urban areas which reduces traffic congestion and accident rates.

- Idaho enjoys low rates due to a predominantly rural population, leading to less congested roads and lower accident rates.

- Virginia often features among states with lower insurance costs, partly due to its competitive insurance market and low number of uninsured motorists.

Please note that insurance rates are subject to change, and these rankings can vary based on updated statistics and changes in state insurance laws. For the most current information, it's best to refer to a recent report on car insurance rates or check with an insurance comparison tool or provider.

Are Used Cars Cheaper To Insure?

Used cars are often cheaper to insure compared to new cars for several reasons:

1. Depreciation: As cars age, they depreciate in value. Insurance companies factor in the car's current value when determining premiums, so a lower value generally leads to lower coverage costs.

2. Cost to Repair or Replace: It usually costs less to repair or replace a used car than a new one, especially if the new car either isn't a high-end model or doesn't have expensive technology. This potential for lower repair costs can reduce comprehensive and collision coverage premiums.

3. Vehicle History: Used cars can have a detailed history that insurance companies use to predict future risk. If a vehicle has had no accidents and demonstrates reliability, it can be less expensive to insure.

However, some factors may lead to a used car being more expensive to insure:

- Lack of Safety Features: Older cars may lack modern safety features that can prevent accidents or reduce injury severity, which might increase insurance premiums.

- High-Theft Models: Certain older models may be more susceptible to theft due to the demand for their parts, and this can drive up comprehensive insurance costs.

- Condition and Maintenance: A used car that has not been well-maintained may be seen as a higher risk and could potentially have higher insurance rates.

Each insurance company uses its own formula to determine rates, so it's possible for a used car to be either cheaper or more expensive to insure depending on these and other factors. It's always advisable to get quotes for a specific vehicle to understand the insurance costs accurately.

Is minimum coverage cheaper for a used car?

Minimum coverage for a used car can be less expensive since the car's lower value typically results in lower liability limits, which directly influences premium and deductible costs. However, opting for minimum coverage may not always be the best choice, as it might not provide enough protection in the event of a significant accident or if the car is financed. Drivers should balance the cost savings against the potential risk to ensure they're not underinsured, especially if their used car is still of considerable value.

State Minimum Coverage

Each state has its own set of rules for minimum coverage that drivers must carry, which usually includes liability insurance to cover damages to other vehicles and medical costs in accidents you cause. While adhering to state minimum coverage can keep insurance costs down for a used car, it's important to consider purchasing higher limits to protect your assets fully. States with higher minimum requirements might see higher average costs for this coverage, even for used cars.

Shop for Insurance Before You Buy

Before purchasing a used car, it's wise to shop around for car insurance quotes to get an accurate idea of the ongoing costs and to ensure you're getting the best deal. Getting insurance quotes can also reveal if the particular model has any issues that could increase insurance rates, such as a history of claims or being a target for theft. Plus, comparing insurance costs may influence your decision on which used car to buy, as insurance affordability could be a crucial factor in your budget.

Minimum car insurance rates stay the same over time

The minimum rates for car insurance are largely dictated by state regulations, which do not often change drastically over time. However, individual premiums can fluctuate due to factors such as a driver's changing age, driving record, or even credit score. For used cars, while the vehicle's depreciation might lead to lower comprehensive and collision coverage costs over time, the basic liability coverage costs, tied to state minimums, tend to stay more consistent.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs

Car insurance costs are influenced by a complex interplay of factors need insurance alone, which can include:

1. Driver's Age and Driving Experience: Younger drivers, particularly teens, typically face higher insurance rates due to their perceived inexperience and higher risk of accidents. Conversely, middle-aged drivers with long, clean driving records often enjoy lower rates.

2. Driving Record and Claims History: Drivers with a history of traffic violations, accidents, or insurance claims pose a higher risk to insurers and therefore usually pay higher premiums. A clean driving record can significantly reduce insurance costs.

3. Location: Insurers consider the rate of theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and even traffic density in your area. Urban drivers often pay more than those in rural areas due to the higher risk of accidents and thefts.

4. Type of Car Insured: The make, model, and age of the car can greatly impact insurance costs. Sports cars or luxury vehicles can be more expensive to insure than family sedans because they're more costly to repair or replace. Used cars often cost less to insure due to lower replacement values.

5. Credit Score: In many states, insurers use credit scores to help predict the risk of filing a claim. A higher credit score can lead to lower premiums, while a lower credit score can make your insurance more expensive.

6. Coverage Level: The amount and types of coverage you choose, such as liability, comprehensive, collision, and any additional riders, will affect your insurance premium amount. Choosing higher deductibles can lower your insurance costs, but you'll pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim.

7. Annual Mileage: The more you drive, the higher the likelihood of an accident, so cars with higher annual mileage can incur higher insurance costs.

8. Gender: Statistics used by insurers can sometimes result in different rates for men and women, particularly with younger drivers, as data may show different risk patterns between genders.

9. Marital Status: Married individuals often receive lower car insurance rates compared to single drivers, as they are statistically shown to have fewer accidents.

10. Discounts: Eligibility for various discounts can affect insurance costs. This includes discounts for safe driving, having multiple cars on one policy, or bundling your car insurance with other policies like homeowner's insurance.

These factors are combined in different ways by individual insurers to determine your unique insurance rate. It's always beneficial to understand these factors and see where you might be able to make adjustments to lower your premiums.

How to best insure a classic or specialty car

Insuring a classic or specialty car requires consideration of unique factors that don't typically apply to standard vehicles. Here's how to approach the process:

1. Choose a Specialized Insurer: Regular auto insurance companies might not recognize the true value of a classic or specialty car. Specialized insurers understand the intricacies of classic car ownership, including their appreciation in value and the rarity of certain models.

2. Agree on a Value: Standard car insurance policies cover the actual cash value, depreciating the amount buy a used car over time. Classic and specialty cars, however, often appreciate. Agreed value policies are essential for these vehicles, where you and the insurer agree upon the car's value when the policy is written, ensuring you get the full value without depreciation if there's a total loss.

3. Understand Usage Restrictions: Classic car insurance often comes with usage restrictions—like a cap on annual mileage or rules about where you can park your car (usually requiring a garage). Make sure these terms align with how you intend to use and store your vehicle.

4. Consider the Add-ons: Look into policy add-ons that cater to classic car owners. This can include coverage for spare parts, which may be hard to find and expensive, or coverage for automotive tools and memorabilia associated with the vehicle.

5. Participate in a Classic Car Club: Membership in a classic car club can sometimes offer benefits like discounts on insurance premiums. Insurers view club members as more likely to be careful with their vehicles, which can translate to lower risk.

6. Opt for a Lay-Up Policy: If you only drive your classic car during certain times of the year, a lay-up policy suspends all coverage except comprehensive during off-season months, saving you money while still protecting against events like theft or weather damage.

7. Regularly Reassess the Car's Value: With appreciation a factor, it's important to regularly reassess and update the agreed value of your classic car. As you improve or restore your car, its value might increase, necessitating changes to your coverage.

8. Documentation is Key: Keep detailed records of all restorations, parts purchases, maintenance, and storage conditions for your vehicle. In the event of a claim, well-documented evidence of the car's condition and history can help ensure the insurance payout matches its true value.

9. Consider Roadside Assistance and Travel Coverage: Specialty towing and labor or mechanical breakdown insurance can be crucial for classic cars, as they may require specialized services in the event of a breakdown. Additionally, consider whether you need travel interruption coverage, which can help with expenses if your classic car breaks down while you're on the road.

When insuring a classic or specialty car, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the policy details and to work with an insurer who recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of your vehicle.

Cheapest Used Car Insurance Companies

The cheapest used car insurance companies often vary depending on an individual’s profile, which includes location, driving history, and the specific make and model of the used car. However, as of my last update, there were several companies that frequently appeared to offer competitive rates for used cars across various consumer surveys and studies:

1. GEICO: Known for its affordable rates and various discounts, GEICO often ranks as one of the cheapest insurance options for many drivers.

2. State Farm: As one of the largest auto insurance providers, State Farm offers competitive pricing, especially for drivers who take advantage of their multi-car and safe driver discounts.

3. Progressive: Progressive offers potential savings through their Snapshot program, which personalizes rates based on your actual driving behavior, often benefiting used car owners.

4. USAA: For those who qualify (military members, veterans, and their families), USAA frequently has some of the lowest rates available and is highly regarded for customer service.

5. Erie Insurance: Available in certain states, Erie is often praised for its affordable rates and excellent customer service. They offer rate lock features that can be particularly appealing for used car owners.

6. Farmers: Farmers Insurance provides a variety of coverage options and discounts that can make insurance for a used car more affordable, like their good driver and good student discounts.

7. Nationwide: Offering a range of standard and optional coverages, Nationwide has competitive rates and offers a variety of discounts, including for accident-free drivers and those who bundle policies.

8. American Family: American Family is known for its affordable rates and a wide range of discounts, including loyalty and defensive driver discounts.

9. Travelers: With various discounts available, including for safe driving and owning a hybrid/electric vehicle, Travelers can offer low rates for some used car drivers.

10. Auto-Owners Insurance: This company often offers low rates and has a reputation for excellent customer service and claims handling.

It's important to remember that the cheapest company for one person might not be the cheapest for another due to how each insurer weighs different rating factors. Additionally, regional insurance companies or local providers can sometimes offer better rates than national companies for certain individuals or in specific areas.

The best approach to save money by finding the cheapest used car insurance is to get quotes from multiple insurers and compare them, keeping in mind the coverage levels and customer service, not just the price. Always check for discounts for which you may be eligible, and consider bundling your auto insurance with other policies if possible to save even more.

The Best Car Insurance for Used Cars

When shopping for the best car insurance for used cars, it's important to consider insurers that offer a combination of affordability, comprehensive coverage options, and a strong customer service reputation. Look for companies that provide a range of discounts that specifically benefit used car owners, such as lower rates for older models or cars with anti-theft devices. Comparison shopping is key, as some insurers may offer better deals based on the vehicle's age and your driving history.

What Is Used Car Insurance?

Used used car insurance policy is a policy specifically underwritten for vehicles that are not new, taking into account factors like depreciation and the potential lower cost of replacement parts. It's designed to provide protection against financial loss from accidents, theft, and other damages for cars that have a previous owner. The premiums for used car insurance can be lower compared to new cars due to the vehicle's reduced value.

Types of Used Car Insurance Coverage

There are several types of used car insurance coverage, including liability insurance which covers damage to others caused by the policyholder, and collision and comprehensive insurance, which cover the policyholder's vehicle. Other coverages can include uninsured motorist insurance, which protects against accidents with other uninsured motorist coverage for drivers, and medical payments coverage for medical expenses resulting from an accident. Each type of coverage is designed to protect used car owners from different kinds of financial risks.

Types of Used Car Insurance

Beyond the standard liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages, used car insurance can also include specialty policies like classic car insurance for vintage models, and non-owner car insurance for those who drive but don't own a vehicle. There's also the option for pay-per-mile insurance, which is ideal for used car owners who drive less, potentially saving them money on premiums. Each type offers unique benefits tailored to specific needs and usage patterns of the driver.

How To Get Insurance When Buying a Used Car

To get insurance when buying a used car, start by obtaining quotes from multiple insurers before finalizing the purchase to ensure you can secure an affordable coverage amount that fits your budget. Once you've selected a policy, you can typically start the insurance coverage process online, over the phone, or in-person by providing details about the vehicle and your driving history. Ensure you have coverage in place before driving your new purchase off the lot to comply with legal requirements and protect your investment from day one.

Stay Covered

It's crucial for used car owners to stay covered with an auto insurance policy that meets at least the minimum state requirements to protect against unexpected financial burdens. Regularly reviewing and updating your insurance coverage can help you keep up with changes in your vehicle's value and your personal circumstances. Always ensure your policy is active and has not lapsed to the minimum insurance requirements to avoid penalties and maintain continuous protection while on the road.

Full Coverage Car Insurance for a Used Car

Opting for full coverage car insurance on a used car means you're not only meeting state liability requirements but also protecting your vehicle against a wide range of potential damages. While full coverage insurance is more expensive than liability only, it includes collision and comprehensive insurance, which can be particularly beneficial if the used car still has significant value or is financed. It offers peace of mind by safeguarding against costs incurred from non-collision-related events and accidents.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP Insurance)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an extension of car insurance available in some states that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. PIP is often referred to as "no-fault" coverage because it pays out claims regardless of who is at fault in an accident. This type of insurance is particularly beneficial for drivers in no-fault states, providing immediate medical coverage without the need to establish liability first.

Best Car Insurance Companies 2023

In 2023, the best car insurance companies are those that combine competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and a hassle-free claims process. They stand out for offering a range of coverage options, discounts tailored to a variety of drivers, and digital tools that enhance the customer experience. While rankings often change year to year, consistent customer satisfaction and financial stability are key indicators of a top insurance provider.

Gap Insurance On a Used Car

Gap insurance is an optional coverage for used car owners that can cover the "gap" between the car's actual cash value and the amount owed on a used car loan, or lease in the event of total loss. While not every used car owner needs gap insurance, it can be a wise purchase for those who have financed their vehicle and owe more than its depreciated value. This insurance can be particularly important shortly after purchase, as cars depreciate most rapidly in the first few years.

Used Car Insurance Grace Period

Many insurance companies offer a grace period for transferring existing coverage to a newly purchased used car, typically ranging from a few days up to 30 days. During this time, your current coverage levels apply to your new used vehicle, giving you a window to notify your insurer of the change. However, it's important not to rely on this grace period and instead to arrange for proper

coverage as soon as possible to avoid potential gaps.

Geico: Affordable for Most Drivers

Geico is renowned for offering affordable car insurance for a wide range of drivers, including those with used cars. Their competitive rates are complemented by an extensive list of discounts, such as for safe driving, good students, and military personnel. Customers appreciate Geico for its user-friendly mobile app and 24/7 customer service, making policy management and filing claims convenient.

Progressive: Low Rates for High-Risk Drivers

Progressive is often the insurer of choice for high-risk drivers, providing lower rates for those who may have a blemished driving record or other factors that typically increase insurance premiums. Their Snapshot program allows drivers to potentially lower their rates based on actual driving behavior, which can be beneficial for those willing to demonstrate safe driving habits. Progressive's rate comparison tool and customizable coverages make them a strong contender in the insurance market.