Best Car Insurance for Used Vehicles

Used car insurance can be more affordable than new car insurance. When purchasing car insurance for your used car, consider its value and your state’s minimum car insurance requirement.

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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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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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Things to Know

  • Car insurance is often more affordable for used cars
  • Car insurance rates are based on your demographics and where you live
  • If you cannot provide proof of insurance, some states will suspend your license 

The older your car gets, and the longer you keep it running, the lower car insurance rates become. Used car insurance is standard insurance. While some companies may offer you savings for owning a used car or using a car for a long time, drivers are buying standard policies for these models. 

That still doesn’t answer your car insurance question: how much should I be paying for car insurance? If you have a used car, keep reading to learn about car insurance estimates for used cars and where to get the best insurance for you. 

If you are here to get a quote, look no further. Enter your ZIP code now to speak with a local agent about car insurance in your area. 

Comparing the Cost of Used Car Insurance

Car insurance for new vehicles isn’t always more expensive than car insurance for used vehicles. While you’re likely to see savings on a used car, some risk factors could raise your rates. Car insurance estimates are based on local averages, demographics, and where you live.

In most cases, a used car will save you money. However, some cars are better than others. If you purchase a car that is only one year old, it will be more expensive to cover than a 10-year-old option.

The table below shows average costs to insure some of the most common vehicles. See how rates begin to change once the car reaches its five-year mark drastically. Also, some vehicle makes and sizes cost less to insure. For example, trucks are more expensive than sedans and hatchbacks.

See the table below for the average cost of insurance for the top selling used cars.

Used Vehicle Type
Cost of Full Coverage Insurance When New

Cost of Full Coverage Insurance When Five Years Old

Cost of Full Coverage Insurance When 10 Years Old

Ford F-150$1,269
Chevrolet Silverado$1,323$1,267$1,077
Dodge Ram 2500$1,609$1,470$1,260
Toyota Rav4
Honda CR-V
Toyota Camry
Chevrolet Equinox
Honda Civic
Toyota Tacoma
Nissan Rogue
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The cheapest cars to insure have strong safety ratings, a history of fewer claims, and low repair costs. Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai have a reputation for their reliability and affordable repair costs and likely yield some of the cheapest insurance options.

Keep reading to learn more about the factors that could impact your car insurance quote when buying a used car. 

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Best Cheap Insurance for Used Cars

Based on consumer reviews, USAA is one of the most affordable car insurance options. However, the company only services military members and their families. GEICO is also a fan favorite for its low rates and discounts.

See the table below for a side-by-side comparison of the average car insurance policy by company. 

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Based on Coverage Type

CompanyAverage Annual Rate for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rate for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rate for High Coverage
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
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Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to keep your car insurance rates low. 

Factors That Affect Used Car Insurance Costs

Model year and amount of insurance will also impact your costs. Other factors analyze you as a driver, such as your driving record, age, and ZIP code. The price of used cars has also been steadily increasing since 2015, which may mean full coverage is more expensive because of higher replacement costs.

Below are some of the factors that can affect the cost of insurance for a used car:

  • Your car’s value. If you have full coverage, it fully covers the value of your car. For example, you’ll pay a higher insurance rate if your used car is worth $30,000 than you would if it were worthless or $10,000.
  • Sports cars. The type of car can significantly impact your insurance rates. Insuring sports or vintage automobiles is more expensive than insuring a standard sedan. Car insurance companies calculate risk to determine rates.
  • Repair costs. Commonly sold makes, such as Toyota and Honda, are typically less expensive to repair than a rare vehicle with unique parts. 

Coverage types also determine how much drivers pay for car insurance. Read more about policy options in the next section.

Car Insurance Options for Used Cars

Drivers do not need to purchase a policy covering unexpected accident costs. Full coverage refers to comprehensive and collision plus liability.

Aspects of a full-coverage policy may include:

  • $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person
  • $300,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident
  • $100,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident
  • Comprehensive and collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible

Coverage levels are available for affordability, security, and accident-prone drivers. Check out the table below for the national average cost of basic and full coverage. 

National Average Annual and Monthly Rates for Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage
Coverage TypeNational Average Annual Car Insurance RatesNational Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates
Comprehensive Insurance$160.74$13.40
Collision Insurance$305.45$25.45
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Car insurance experts recommend purchasing full coverage for models made in or before 2011. If you buy a car made in 2010 or older, the recommended coverage range is relaxed. Keep in mind that if you carry liability only on your vehicle, it isn’t covered if damaged in an accident.

When picking your car insurance, something else to consider is the worth of your car. When calculating your car insurance quote, providers consider the vehicle’s value. If your car is only worth $1,000 but runs well, the state minimum coverage is an affordable option.

If you live in New Hampshire, alternative options to a standard policy could be not having one. You may also find that a pay-as-you-go policy or one that measures your mileage proves most cost-efficient. 

Do I need insurance before I buy a used car?

Aside from New Hampshire and Virginia, every state requires you to have car insurance to legally drive on the road, regardless of whether it is new or old. 

You will need car insurance to buy a used car and drive it to your home if you buy it from a dealership or out of state. However, if you purchase the car from a friend or are in-between providers with a used car, you have some time to get coverage. 

If you buy from a dealership, you won’t be able to drive off the lot without proof of your state’s minimum liability coverage insurance. The dealer needs proof of insurance, particularly when you are financing the car. There may be circumstances where drivers can tow or drive their car home from the dealership without proof of insurance. If you require assistance, speak with your dealership.

How long do you have to get insurance after buying a used car?

In states that require insurance, drivers have a limited time to report proof of insurance to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you’re adding a vehicle to your standing policy, the grace period begins once you register your vehicle.

Drivers have between 14 and 30 days to get car insurance in most cases. If you cannot provide proof of insurance, some states will automatically suspend your license until you get covered. Getting your license re-activated is always followed by a fee. 

How to Save on Used Car Insurance

When you’re buying a car — whether it is new or old — you need to have it insured. Determining how much car insurance to buy will depend on the coverage you need and how much you can afford. If you have an old beater, basic liability could be the only coverage worth your time.

However, if you need to cover your assets better, many nationwide providers offer discounts that can lower your monthly rates. According to the Insurance Information Institute, another way to reduce your costs is to choose a higher deductible. 

Ready to shop around for car insurance? Enter your ZIP code now to speak with a local agent about car insurance rates in your area. 

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