Car Insurance Discounts [Step-by-Step Guide + Data 2018]

Most companies offer a variety of car insurance discounts, and knowing which ones to ask about can help save you money. Some companies offer sizable auto insurance discounts depending on the category. Just remember to read the fine print because some car insurance discounts only apply for a limited time or to a percentage of your premium. Read our guide now to learn how to find the best car insurance discounts on your policy.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Written by Tonya Sisler
Insurance Writer Tonya Sisler

Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • Learn about the top insurance discounts that car insurance companies offer
  • Know which discounts come with the biggest savings
  • Remember to always ask questions about any available discounts
  • The key to getting cheap car insurance is to know enough about it and the vehicle you drive

We all know how expensive car insurance can be. Luckily, almost every car insurance company offers discounts to drivers in need. The key to getting cheaper car insurance is to know enough about it and the car you drive. Do some research before you start a car insurance comparison online.

If you’re like other consumers on the hunt for discounted car insurance, you probably have at least one of the following questions:

  • Who qualifies as a safe driver?
  • Which discounts do most car insurance companies provide?
  • Can any of my vehicle’s features get me discounts?
  • Is car insurance cheap for student drivers?
  • Which auto insurance companies offer the most savings?

Some questions are easy to answer, while others will depend on the unique nature of your profile. But there are plenty of car insurance discounts around to help lower your premiums.

Just remember that you may need to ask car insurance companies about the availability of discounts. Never assume a for-profit corporation will automatically extend you the lowest price.

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Read on to learn more about which discounts to request.

Top Car Insurance Discounts to Ask For

For more information on which discounts are offered by which providers, view the full data here.

You might be surprised by how many different types of car insurance discounts are out there! If you’re in doubt, view our exhaustive list here.

There are at least 67 different auto insurance discounts floating around, but we’ll focus on the six types that every major car insurance company offers. No matter where you go for your car insurance, you should ask about the following opportunities for savings:

#1 – Anti-Lock Brakes Discount

Anti-lock brakes are a safety feature that keeps your brakes from locking up when you need to slam them hard. This feature gives you better control of your vehicle when you are in a precarious driving situation that requires you to (re)act fast. Because this safety feature can prevent car accidents, insurance companies like it, and you could get a discount on your premium if you mention “anti-lock brakes.”

#2 – Anti-Theft Discount

If your car has an anti-theft device, tell your insurance company about it, and see how much you can save! It may not be a lot, but something is better than nothing. Beyond a built-in alarm, some vehicles come with advanced anti-theft features like tracking devices and ignition cut-off switches. If you have either of these, you may receive an adequate discount.

#3 – Claim-Free Discount

A claim-free discount (also called “accident-free discount”) is exactly what you would think. You can be rewarded for not getting into any car accidents or filing any claims for a specific length of time. After the allotted period of time (based on your car insurance provider’s criteria), you may qualify for an even bigger discount if you continue to drive carefully and maintain a squeaky clean driving record.

Although you can’t control anyone or anything else on the road, making smart driving decisions can pay off in many ways!

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#4 – Defensive Driver Discount

If you have successfully completed a defensive driving course, you’re likely eligible for savings. If you haven’t taken a course like this, see which ones your car insurance carrier approves of for discounts.

Other than the potential lower insurance premium to come after a class like this, you’ll learn how to be a safer, better, more confident driver — especially in sticky situations like hitting a patch of ice or hydroplaning in a rainstorm.

You’ll probably find a defensive driving class at either a Department of Public Safety or Department of Motor Vehicles near you.

#5 – Good Student Discount

For students who drive (and parents who pay for their insurance), you’re in luck! Car insurance discounts for students exist because auto insurance companies believe that those who do well in school do well on the road. They make safer driving decisions.

With that said, if you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, most car insurance companies will reward you with a good student discount. For eligibility, you’ll likely have to be under 25. You’ll also need proof of your GPA every time a new policy period rolls around because evidence speaks louder than words!

#6 – Passive Restraint Discount

The passive restraint discount is based on the safety features your car came with — not anything you added post-purchase. We’re talking built-in airbags and automatic seatbelts instead of the manual kind.

Car insurance companies offer this discount because safety features like these lower the risk and magnitude of a car wreck injury. To lower the risk of bank account injury, however, ask if this discount applies to you!

For a full list of discounts and which provider offers them:

Discounts by Insurance Provider

Discounts21st CenturyAAAAllstateAmerican FamilyAmeripriseAmicaCountry FinancialEsuranceFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualMetLifeNationwideProgressiveSafe AutoSafecoState FarmThe GeneralThe HanoverThe HartfordTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxxxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Engaged Couplex
Family Legacyxxxxxx
Family Planxxxxx
Farm Vehiclexxxx
Fast 5x
Federal Employeexxxx
Forward Collision Warningxxxxxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxxxxxxx
Good Creditxxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Driversxx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planxxx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Occasional Operatorx
On Time Paymentsxxxx
Online Shopperxx
Paperless Documentsxxxxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesxx
Roadside Assistancexx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxxxxxxxx
Stable Residencexxxx
Students & Alumnixxxxxx
Switching Providerxxxxxxxxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxxxxxx
Young Driverxxxxxx
Total Discounts Provided21212927182726343431383835362230192022382828
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Car Insurance Companies With the Most Savings

For more information about which discounts give you the biggest savings, view the full data here.

Some car insurance companies offer sizable discounts depending on the category. Just remember to read the fine print that discounts are usually offered up to a particular percentage off your premium. You could get a company’s max percentage on a discount, but there’s also a chance you could get less.

Based on our research, discounts that provide the biggest savings are:

  • Driving Device/App – Up to 50% off (StateFarm), 40% off (Nationwide, American Family), 30% off (Liberty Mutual, Safeco, Travelers)
  • Safe DriverUp to 45% off (Allstate), 40% off (Esurance), 35% off (Nationwide)
  • Newer Vehicle – Up to 40% off (StateFarm), 30% off (Allstate)
  • Passive Restraint – Up to 40% off (Geico, StateFarm), 33% off (Esurance), 30% off (Allstate, Amica)
  • Distant Student – Up to 35% off (Allstate)
  • Claim-Free – Up to 35% off (Allstate), 26% off (Geico), 25% off (Esurance), 23% off (Travelers), 20% off (MetLife, Safeco)

Which provider offers the most car insurance discounts?

For more information about which providers offer the most discounts, view the full data here.

There’s a tie between who offers the most car insurance discounts.

  • 38 Discounts – Liberty Mutual, MetLife, and The Hartford — that’s a lot of savings to choose from!
  • 36 Discounts – Progressive
  • 35 Discounts – Nationwide (After all, they’re on your side!)

For more information about which discounts are offered by which provider, please review our data here and as always be proactive in asking for discounts you may qualify for. You may be surprised!

Of course, purchasing car insurance is a pretty big decision, so take your time to learn all about coverage, policy options, and available discounts like the ones we’ve mentioned. The more you know, the more likely you will save money. This is one of those cases where ignorance is not bliss!

Purchasing a new car? Compare car insurance quotes today! You’ll want to know your options before you settle on a car insurance company.



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