Car insurance calculator

Estimate the cost to insure your car with the Policygenius free auto insurance calculator.

Andrew Hurst


Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Updated March 18, 2022 | 3 min read

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Getting estimates before you buy car insurance is an easy way to make sure you don’t pay more than you have to for coverage. Lots of factors affect what you pay for car insurance coverage, including your location, age, driving history, and more. That’s why the best way to estimate your rates is to use a car insurance calculator that considers some of that information.

Our car insurance calculator shows you car insurance estimates — for free.

Compare rates and shop affordable car insurance today

We don’t sell your information to third parties.

How to get insurance estimates

As long as you’ve got some basic details at the ready, it's easy to get estimates for car insurance. Before you buy a car insurance policy, make sure you take these steps to get the most accurate estimates:

  1. Understand your coverage options

  2. Decide how much you want to pay

  3. Get estimates from multiple companies

Understand your coverage options

A car insurance policy is made up of different types of coverage that offer different types of protection.Depending on where you live, some may be required while others are always optional.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage (BIL): Pays for injuries to the other driver or their passengers if you’re responsible for an accident.

  • Property damage liability coverage (PDL): Covers damage to the other driver’s car after an at-fault accident. Also covers other property damage you’re responsible for, like if you crash into someone’s fence.

  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection (UI/UM): Pays for your own injuries or property damage if you’re hit by a driver without insurance (or without enough insurance to cover the accident).

  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers the cost of damage not caused by a car accident, like damage from extreme weather, falling objects, theft, vandalism, or animals..

  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your own car after an at-fault accident.

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Pays for your own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at-fault (PIP is required in no-fault states)..

These types of car insurance coverage typically make up what’s called a full-coverage policy, but there are other coverage add-ons you may want to consider, including  roadside assistance, new car replacement, and rental car reimbursement coverage. 

→ Read more about what types of coverage a regular insurance policy includes

Decide how much you want to pay

A car insurance premium  is just the amount you pay for coverage. The more coverage you buy, the more expensive your car insurance estimates will be.

For example, if you only buy enough insurance to meet your state's minimum requirements, your estimated insurance cost may be an average of 66% (or $1,184 per year) cheaper than a full-coverage policy that includes higher limits of liability coverage and comprehensive and collision protection. 

We recommend getting as much liability coverage as you can afford, along with comprehensive and collision coverage. While getting fully covered means your insurance estimates will be higher, it's the best way to avoid paying for expensive medical bills and property damage out of pocket after a serious car accident. 

Set an amount you’re comfortable paying per month or per year so you can shop around for the company that offers you the most coverage at the cheapest rates.

Get estimates from multiple companies

Once you have an idea of how much coverage you need and what you can afford to pay for car insurance, you can get estimates for rates in your area. To get the best insurance rates from a car insurance estimator, you should know your: 

  • Address, including city and state

  • Birthdates for every driver in your household

  • Driver's license numbers

  • Social Security Numbers

  • The make, model, and VIN for every vehicle you want on the policy

  • Your current coverage limits (if you already have insurance)

It's also a good idea to research the insurance companies with the lowest rates to make sure they don't have poor customer service or limited coverage options. When you've found the best company for your needs, you can purchase a policy.

Compare rates and shop affordable car insurance today

We don’t sell your information to third parties.

What affects your car insurance cost estimates

While the average driver pays $1,652 per year for car insurance, every driver will see different estimates for car insurance depending on a range of factors. Some of the details that can help you estimate how much your car insurance will be are:

  • Where you live: Drivers in one state may pay hundreds of dollars more for auto insurance coverage than drivers in another. Even your ZIP code matters when it comes to insurance.

  • Age: All car insurance calculators ask for your age before you can get an estimate. Car insurance companies charge older drivers much less than younger, more inexperienced drivers. If you're younger than 25, your insurance will be more expensive.  

  • Drivers in your household: Even if you're not a teenager yourself, your insurance rates will be much more expensive if you have a newly licensed driver in your house — or a driver with poor credit, or a history of accidents and violations.

  • Credit history: Insurance companies use your credit score to predict whether you're likely to make a claim. If you have a poor credit history, you’ll get significantly higher estimates for auto insurance than if you had good — or even average — credit.

  • Past claims: If you've made any recent claims for damage, whether they were for damage to your own car or to someone else's, a car insurance estimator will show you a more expensive quote. 

  • Accidents and traffic violations: Along with past claims, any recent accidents, traffic violations, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other marks on your driving record will make your car insurance more expensive.

  • Coverage limits: More protection means any estimates you get will go up. Some types of insurance, like PIP and comprehensive and collision coverage, are more expensive to add than others. 

  • Deductible amount: On a full-coverage policy, your deductible amounts for comprehensive and collision affect your estimated car insurance costs. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, but you shouldn't set your deductibles too high — or you won't be able to use your coverage.

  • Your vehicle: You may see higher insurance estimates for newer vehicles. This is partly because newer cars have added safety features that make accidents less likely, but cost more to repair.

→ Read about how much insurance costs for different drivers

How to get lower insurance estimates for your car

If you find that car insurance calculators are giving you high estimates for the amount of coverage you want, there are a few ways that you can bring down your rates and still get the protection you need. 

  1. Compare rates from multiple companies: By getting quotes from more than one company before you buy, you can make sure that you're getting the best and cheapest rates in your area.

  2. Check for insurance discounts: Nearly every insurance company will offer you at least a few ways to save on coverage. Some discounts are relatively easy to qualify for, including switching to paperless billing, requesting a quote online, and paying your premiums electronically.

  3. Avoid accidents and traffic violations: While you're likely to get higher premiums from insurance rate estimators if you have an accident or ticket on your record, your rates will get more affordable over time as long as you remain a safe driver.

  4. Improve your credit: While improving your credit score can take months, or even years, your insurance estimates will be lower if you  pay down outstanding debts and credit card balances.

  5. Bundle coverage: When you get car insurance and home insurance from the same company, you can often get significant discounts on both — savings of up to 20% with some insurance companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which company has the cheapest car insurance estimates?

GEICO typically has the cheapest estimates for most people. USAA offers the most affordable insurance overall, but the insurer only sells coverage to active or retired members of the military and their families.

How do you get an insurance estimate before you buy a car?

You can still get insurance estimates for a car you don't own yet. You can get an estimate as long as you have your address and the car's make and model. While the quote you get won't be exact, it will give you an idea of what you could pay for coverage. Then, once you know the exact car you’re buying, you can add the VIN and exact details and buy your policy for the day you want to take your new vehicle home.

What do you need to check car insurance prices online?

You only need a few details in order to check car insurance prices online. To get insurance estimates, you'll need to know the names and Social Security Numbers of everyone in your household, license numbers, your car's model and VIN number, and the amount of coverage you want.

Do car insurance estimators show yearly or monthly prices?

It depends. Car insurance estimators often display rates on a monthly or bi-annual basis. Fortunately, if you're looking for estimates for your annual cost of car insurance, it's not hard to convert monthly or six-month rates into annual premiums.