Delaware Car Insurance Guide (Cheap Rates + Best Companies)

Delaware car insurance requires minimum liability coverage, and you can find rates average at $146/mo. The cheapest Delaware car insurance company is USAA. However, Delaware is a no-fault state, meaning you will need to file any damages/injuries you get from an accident with your own insurance provider. Use our free quote comparison tool below to find affordable Delaware auto insurance coverage.

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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

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2020

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Delaware Statistics SummaryDetails
Roadway MilesTotal in State: 6,407
Annual Miles Driven: 10,178 million
Vehicles Registered927,276
Population961,939
Most Popular VehicleChevrolet Silverado 1500
Uninsured Drivers11.40%
Traffic Fatalities2017
Total in State: 119
Speeding: 33
Drunk Driving: 32
Average Annual PremiumsLiability: $799
Collisions: $319
Comprehensive: $123
Combined: $1,241
Cheapest ProviderUSAA
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One of the more stressful parts of owning a vehicle is trying to find the right car insurance coverage for your needs. Especially since each state has its own unique regulations and laws you have to follow to get it. That’s where we come in! We’ve put together this comprehensive guide for those Delaware citizens trying to find the best car insurance coverage.

We’ll discuss everything from the specific coverage you are required to have in the state to the various statistics and facts about driving in Delaware.

If you want to start comparing your coverage today, you can use our FREE online tool now. All you need is your zip code to get started.

Table of Contents

Delaware Insurance Coverage & Rates

Let’s kick off this guide with the insurance coverage you’ll need to have to legally drive in the state of Delaware.

Keep reading to find out more.

Delaware Minimum Coverage

Most states across the nation have something known as a minimum liability coverage. It’s the least amount of liability coverage you are legally allowed to have to drive in the state. These values vary greatly from state to state but are highly dependent on one factor: whether the state is an “at-fault” state or a “no-fault” state.

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Delaware is that it is one of a few states in the nation that is “no-fault.” But what is “no-fault”, and why would that affect you?

A “no-fault” state is a state where, regardless of who is the cause of an accident, you will need to file any damages/injuries you get from an accident with your own insurance provider.

What kind of minimum liability coverage can you expect in the great state of Delaware? Well, the following coverage is required, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III):

  • $25,000 for the payment of any injuries/death of one person
  • $50,0000 for the payment of any injuries/death of multiple people
  • $10,000 for the payment of any property damage
  • $15,000 for the payment of any injuries of the policyholder (also known as Personal Injury Protection)
  • $30,000 for the payment of any injuries of anyone covered by the policyholder (also known as Personal Injury Protection)

So what does this mean for you? Bottom line, if you don’t have the appropriate insurance coverage, you could be paying for all of this out of pocket.

Forms of Financial Responsibility

To legally drive in Delaware, you must have the minimum liability coverage. Due to this requirement, you will also need to have something known as a form of financial responsibility, perhaps better known as proof of insurance.

This proof of financial responsibility provides verification that you do indeed have this minimum requirement.

According to the state of Delaware, the following types of forms of financial responsibility are acceptable:

  • Insurance ID Card (can be an actual physical card, or it can be electronic)
  • Copy of your insurance policy
  • Certificate of Self Insurance

So make sure you have at least one of these with you while operating your vehicle.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

A factor to consider that will affect your car insurance premium is something known as the per capita disposable income.

The per capita disposable income is the average amount of money that a group of citizens has after they have all paid their taxes.

So, for instance, if you were to make $90,000 per year, but after taxes, you are left with $75,000, that $75,000 is your disposable income. It’s the money you have left to pay for your other expenses, such as your mortgage, health insurance, groceries, etc.

In the table below, we’ve displayed the per capita income for Delaware citizens and exactly how much of that income is paid toward your car insurance.

Per Capita Disposable Income - 3 year trendFull Coverage
2014
Disposable
Income 2014
Insurance as %
of Income 2014
Full Coverage
2013
Disposable
Income 2013
Insurance as %
of Income 2013
Full Coverage
2012
Disposable
Income 2012
Insurance as %
of Income 2012
Delaware$1,215.69$40,256.003.02%$1,187.18$38,879.003.05%$1,153.59$38,893.002.97%
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As you can see, on average, Delaware citizens tend to pay approximately 3 percent of this disposable income toward their car insurance.

Want to know how much of your own income is going to your insurance? Use the tool below in order to get the exact percentage.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Delaware has the following core coverage costs:

Core Coverage in Delaware20152014201320122011Average
Comprehensive Coverage$122.49$116.49$112.21$108.49$106.45$113.23
Collision Coverage$318.77$303.86$291.67$286.06$282.62$296.60
Liability Coverage Average$799.30$795.35$783.30$759.04$745.53$776.50
Full Coverage$1,240.57$1,215.69$1,187.18$1,153.59$1,134.60$1,186.33
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As you can see, prices have been steadily increasing over the past few years in Delaware. A reason why this could be occurring is due to high loss ratios, which is further explained in the section below.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates in DE (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

Let’s take a look at the average monthly car insurance rates.

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Additional Liability

In addition to the minimum liability coverage available, there are additional types of liability coverage you can get. These additional liability types are Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments (MedPay), and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

In Delaware, you are legally required to get Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of the minimum requirements, but the other two liability types are optional.

Medical Payment (MedPay) coverage is an additional liability type to help cover any of your own medical expenses if you are ever injured in an accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is to help protect you should you ever be in an accident with another driver who either has less than the minimum liability coverage or who has no coverage at all.

Considering Delaware has an average uninsured/underinsured motorist rate of 11.4 percent, this coverage isn’t a bad thing to consider.

Now that you know what kinds of additional liability coverage you have available, we’ll now discuss the loss ratios for these coverage types in the state of Delaware. A loss ratio is a comparison of how much money companies pay out to their clients through claims versus how much money companies bring in through insurance premiums.

You want the loss ratio for the coverage type to be just right. Why?

A loss ratio that is too high (over 100 percent) means that companies are paying out too much in insurance claims. This is putting these companies at risk of going bankrupt. Meanwhile, a loss ratio that is too low means companies aren’t paying out enough in insurance claims.

In Delaware, you have the following loss ratios for the additional liability coverage types according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):

Loss Ratios in Delaware201520142013
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)81.59%75.49%79.32%
Medical Payments135.54%169.04%86.94%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist85.08%85.48%71.16%
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Personal Injury Protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage both are in a pretty good range. Medical Payments (MedPay), however, is higher than 100 percent, meaning that insurance providers are paying out too much.

Customers can expect to see a rise in insurance premiums for this coverage type, as companies try to compensate for this.

Add-Ons, Endorsements, & Riders

If you’re looking for additional coverage but are not sure what to choose, there are a few cheap add-on coverage types you may not have thought of. Getting additional coverage for cheap can save you cash down the road.

Here are a few add on coverage types that you could find useful:

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in DE

A common myth often heard in the insurance world is that men tend to pay more than women do for their insurance coverage. We wanted to see if this was true in the state of Delaware and found the following:

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CompanySingle 17-year old female annual rateSingle 17-year old male annual rateSingle 25-year old female annual rateSingle 25-year old male annual rateMarried 35-year old female annual rateMarried 35-year old male annual rateMarried 60-year old female annual rateMarried 60-year old male annual rate
Allstate P&C$13,198.18 $15,406.57 $3,876.03 $4,113.55 $3,680.77 $3,617.49 $3,230.45 $3,405.48
Geico Advantage$6,449.50 $6,710.85 $2,798.53 $2,699.68 $2,660.39 $2,952.77 $2,562.65 $2,983.93
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co$27,326.93 $41,390.16 $12,287.48 $17,022.83 $12,287.48 $12,287.48 $12,138.88 $12,138.88
Nationwide Mutual$7,151.92 $9,060.24 $3,345.06 $3,575.26 $3,017.56 $2,994.99 $2,753.71 $2,742.95
Progressive Direct$10,102.13 $11,159.65 $2,437.17 $2,371.56 $1,994.89 $1,844.62 $1,754.37 $1,790.24
State Farm Mutual Auto$8,048.04 $10,393.68 $3,162.14 $3,294.46 $2,818.09 $2,818.09 $2,600.14 $2,600.14
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$9,243.54 $14,106.72 $1,745.40 $1,906.92 $1,634.80 $1,642.27 $1,610.37 $1,568.84
USAA$4,729.53 $5,556.07 $1,615.19 $1,773.54 $1,286.77 $1,265.78 $1,191.65 $1,189.30
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So as you can see, gender is less of a factor in demographic rates than factors such as marital status and age.

Rates by Zip Code

To help you get a better idea as to what kinds of insurance rates you’re going to find specifically in the state of Delaware, we’ve collected rates by zip code.

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The table below displays the zip codes with the highest insurance rates in Delaware.

Zip CodeGrand TotalRankCompared to Average
19801$8,265.75 1$2,279.43
19802$8,136.26 2$2,149.94
19805$7,939.41 3$1,953.09
19736$7,863.61 4$1,877.29
19806$7,806.15 5$1,819.83
19733$7,549.45 6$1,563.13
19734$7,434.79 7$1,448.47
19732$7,433.65 8$1,447.33
19708$7,393.19 9$1,406.87
19720$7,378.97 10$1,392.65
19706$7,358.23 11$1,371.91
19731$7,329.63 12$1,343.31
19710$7,199.39 13$1,213.07
19702$7,071.81 14$1,085.49
19701$6,949.68 15$963.36
19713$6,828.11 16$841.79
19809$6,824.40 17$838.08
19703$6,767.07 18$780.75
19804$6,656.56 19$670.24
19803$6,372.49 20$386.17
19730$6,354.44 21$368.12
19707$6,339.10 22$352.78
19807$6,326.10 23$339.78
19716$6,296.25 23$309.93
19810$6,291.90 25$305.58
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The table below displays the zip codes with the lowest insurance rates in Delaware.

Zip CodeGrand TotalRankCompared to Average
19930$4,953.79 71-$1,032.53
19970$4,954.08 70-$1,032.24
19975$4,956.80 69-$1,029.52
19958$4,962.40 68-$1,023.92
19944$4,964.30 67-$1,022.02
19945$4,966.95 66-$1,019.37
19966$4,971.33 65-$1,014.99
19939$4,974.65 64-$1,011.67
19968$4,979.38 63-$1,006.94
19971$4,983.50 62-$1,002.82
19967$4,986.08 61-$1,000.24
19969$5,009.19 60-$977.13
19947$5,051.50 59-$934.82
19951$5,058.86 58-$927.46
19950$5,262.52 57-$723.80
19980$5,279.25 56-$707.07
19940$5,280.34 55-$705.98
19941$5,296.57 54-$689.75
19960$5,300.74 53-$685.58
19963$5,309.15 52-$677.17
19956$5,309.29 51-$677.03
19933$5,310.53 50-$675.79
19906$5,312.12 49-$674.20
19934$5,320.67 48-$665.65
19952$5,325.34 47-$660.98
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As made clear in the tables above, depending on where you live in the state of Delaware, prices can highly vary.

Rates by City

In addition to zip codes, we’ve also collected the insurance rates by cities in Delaware, as seen below:

City (Highest)Average Grand TotalCity (Lowest)Average Grand Total
YORKLYN$7,863.61 BETHANY BEACH$4,953.79
SAINT GEORGES$7,549.45 OCEAN VIEW$4,954.08
TOWNSEND$7,434.79 SELBYVILLE$4,956.80
ROCKLAND$7,433.65 LEWES$4,962.40
KIRKWOOD$7,393.19 FENWICK ISLAND$4,964.30
NEW CASTLE$7,378.97 FRANKFORD$4,966.95
DELAWARE CITY$7,358.23 MILLSBORO$4,971.33
PORT PENN$7,329.63 DAGSBORO$4,974.65
MONTCHANIN$7,199.39 MILTON$4,979.38
WILMINGTON$7,088.18 REHOBOTH BEACH$4,983.50
BEAR$6,949.68 MILLVILLE$4,986.08
CLAYMONT$6,767.07 NASSAU$5,009.19
NEWARK$6,543.81 GEORGETOWN$5,051.50
ODESSA$6,354.44 HARBESON$5,058.86
HOCKESSIN$6,339.10 GREENWOOD$5,262.52
WINTERTHUR$6,287.71 WOODSIDE$5,279.25
MIDDLETOWN$6,072.84 DELMAR$5,280.34
SMYRNA$5,983.51 ELLENDALE$5,296.57
CLAYTON$5,648.66 LINCOLN$5,300.74
VIOLA$5,466.08 MILFORD$5,309.15
FREDERICA$5,438.33 LAUREL$5,309.29
FELTON$5,434.10 BRIDGEVILLE$5,310.53
MAGNOLIA$5,423.18 CAMDEN WYOMING$5,320.67
HARTLY$5,411.87 HARRINGTON$5,325.34
HOUSTON$5,367.66 SEAFORD$5,343.52
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From the table above, it’s clear that if you were to live in Yorklyn, you’d be paying a much higher insurance rate than if you were to live in Bethany Beach. So make sure to factor in where you live when shopping for car insurance.

Best Car Insurance Companies in Delaware

With so many different insurance providers in the nation, it can seem pretty overwhelming to have to choose just one.

But rest assured, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered information from the largest car insurance providers in Delaware to help give you a better idea of what to expect.

Largest Companies’ Financial Rating

Did you know that insurance companies can be graded on their financial health? That’s right!

An organization known as the A.M. Best Rating provides insurance companies with a grade based on various factors of their financial health. The higher the grade the company receives, the more financially responsible the company is.

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In the table below, you will see the A.M. Best Ratings for some of the largest providers in Delaware:

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenAM Best Rating
State Farm Group$208,113 A++
Geico$149,130 A++
Nationwide Corp Group$117,716 A+
Progressive Group$71,536 A+
Liberty Mutual Group$65,887 A-
USAA Group$65,690 A++
Allstate Insurance Group$50,794 A+
Hartford Fire & Casualty Group$22,107 A+
Travelers Group$16,349 A+
CSAA Insurance Group$13,997 A
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So, in Delaware, some of the more higher ratings are with companies such as State Farm Group, Geico, and USAA Group.

Companies with the Best Customer Ratings

One great tool to know what kind of insurance provider you’re working with is what their customer ratings are like. The more satisfied others are with a company, the more we tend to trust that company. To help customers easily find this kind of information, J.D. Power conducted a study to help find out the best customer ratings across the nation by region.

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The results below are for the Mid-Atlantic region (based on a 1,000-point scale), in order from highest ranked to lowest, where the Mid-Atlantic average is 838:

  • Erie Insurance: 852
  • Geico: 845
  • The Hartford: 842
  • State Farm: 834
  • Progressive: 828
  • Farmers: 826
  • Plymouth Rock Assurance: 826
  • Nationwide: 822
  • Travelers: 821
  • CSAA Insurance Group: 817
  • Liberty Mutual: 817
  • Allstate: 816

Delaware Car Insurance Rates by Company

In the following table, we’ve compared some of the top insurance providers in the state of Delaware based on their company rates.

CompanyAverage Annual RateCompared to State AveragePercentage Compared to State Average
Allstate P&C$6,316.07$329.745.22%
GEICO Advantage$3,727.29-$2,259.04-60.61%
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co$18,360.01$12,373.6967.39%
Nationwide Mutual$4,330.21-$1,656.11-38.25%
Progressive Direct$4,181.83-$1,804.50-43.15%
State Farm Mutual Auto$4,466.85-$1,519.48-34.02%
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$4,182.36-$1,803.97-43.13%
USAA$2,325.98-$3,660.34-157.37%
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As you can see, some companies will actually charge you less than what the state average is, such as Geico Advantage. Other companies, however, such as Liberty Mut Fire Ins. Co. will actually charge you more for your coverage.

Commute Rates by Companies

Your commute can have an effect on what your car insurance rates are. The further you tend to commute on a regular basis, the more you tend to pay with particular insurance providers.

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Company10-mile Commute
6,000 Annual Mileage
25-Mile Commute
12,000 annual mileage
Liberty Mutual$17,851.76 $18,868.27
Allstate$6,316.06 $6,316.06
State Farm$4,314.22 $4,619.47
Nationwide$4,330.21 $4,330.21
Travelers$4,182.36 $4,182.36
Progressive$4,181.83 $4,181.83
Geico$3,668.09 $3,786.48
USAA$2,301.33 $2,350.62
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As you can see, not all insurance providers charge for your commutes, such as Allstate, Nationwide, Travelers, and Progressive. Comparing the different insurance rates from companies can help save you some extra cash.

Coverage Level Rates by Companies

No one likes paying more for less, so why should you pay more for less coverage? If you don’t shop around and compare insurance rates, you could be doing just that.

CompanyHighMediumLow
Allstate$6,780.70$6,390.63$5,776.86
Geico$4,053.82$3,781.75$3,346.29
Liberty Mutual$19,461.69$18,149.05$17,469.29
Nationwide$4,427.19$4,257.06$4,306.39
Progressive$4,650.79$4,231.00$3,663.70
State Farm$4,756.42$4,477.15$4,166.98
Travelers$4,274.89$4,310.79$3,961.39
USAA$2,478.30$2,322.08$2,177.57
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A low coverage plan with Liberty Mutual is $17,469.29, while a high coverage plan with Allstate is $6,780.70. That means you’d be paying $10,688.59 more for a lower coverage plan.

Credit History Rates by Companies

Just like you want to know that the company you are getting your insurance coverage from is financially healthy, companies want to know the same about you. At the end of the day, companies want to make sure you can pay them for the coverage they provide you with.

You can expect that the better your credit history is, the better your insurance rate will be.

CompanyGoodFairPoor
Allstate$5,094.26$5,748.80$8,105.13
Geico$2,195.57$3,205.19$5,781.10
Liberty Mutual$13,495.40$16,738.18$24,846.46
Nationwide$3,797.09$4,170.85$5,022.69
Progressive$3,780.31$4,090.99$4,674.19
State Farm$2,796.45$3,767.83$6,836.26
Travelers$4,028.81$3,851.51$4,666.75
USAA$1,327.18$1,841.00$3,809.76
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The poorer your credit history, the higher your insurance rate.

Driving Record Rates by Companies

Insurance providers will also look at your driving record, because, just like with your credit history, it gives them a better idea as to the kind of customer you are going to be.

The better your driving history is, the more responsible of a driver they view you as. The more violations, accidents, and other incidents on your driving record you have, the less responsible you are seen.

CompanyClean RecordWith 1 Speeding ViolationWith 1 AccidentWith 1 DUI
Allstate$5,339.71$6,062.01$6,398.38$7,464.16
Geico$2,859.02$3,247.89$3,960.12$4,842.11
Liberty Mutual$14,685.04$15,044.50$16,885.42$26,825.11
Nationwide$3,454.89$4,081.55$3,454.89$6,329.52
Progressive$3,602.97$4,247.32$4,773.89$4,103.13
State Farm$4,048.67$4,466.85$4,885.02$4,466.85
Travelers$3,563.54$3,744.85$3,573.78$5,847.26
USAA$1,916.79$2,189.94$1,916.79$3,280.40
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Keeping a clean driving record can save you some extra money, as detailed in the table above.

Number of Insurers in Delaware

There are two main classifications of insurance providers in the United States, a foreign provider and a domestic provider.

A domestic provider is a provider local to the state in which they provide coverage for, and can only provide coverage for that state. So think of that little mom and pop agency, and that would be a domestic provider.

A foreign provider is a provider that can provide coverage for many states in the nation. This would be your larger insurance providers such as Allstate and Progressive.

Delaware has 101 domestic providers and 766 foreign providers available.

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Delaware State Laws

Each state is unique, and therefore each state has laws that are unique to them. In this section, we’ll cover some of the various state laws you’ll need to know in Delaware, such as car insurance laws, vehicle licensing laws, safety laws, and more.

Car Insurance Laws

As we’ve stated previously, it’s required by law for you to have at least the minimum liability coverage to drive in the state of Delaware. As such, there are a few car insurance laws you’ll want to know.

High-Risk Laws

If you are a driver who has a less-than-stellar driving record, you’ve probably been labeled as something known as a high-risk driver. Being labeled this can make obtaining insurance coverage difficult, but, as you are required to have at least the minimum liability coverage, what are you to do?

Well, in Delaware, there’s a program known as the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP) you can apply for.

This plan works by assigning you, once you’ve been accepted into the program, to a participating insurance provider, who will then be required to provide you with at least the minimum liability coverage.

This program will get you the coverage that you need, but it comes with a catch. As the provider is assigned to provide you with this coverage, they can charge you whatever rate they deem reasonable. So it’s always recommended to try your best to get coverage voluntarily through an insurance provider.

Once you’ve been accepted into the program and assigned to a provider, you’re locked into whatever rate they charge you.

Low-Cost Insurance

Unfortunately for those of you in Delaware in need of a low-income insurance program, you won’t be able to find one in the state. But that shouldn’t discourage you from trying to save some extra cash. Car insurance discounts are an amazing way to cut down on costs.

Check out the list below of some of the most common car insurance discount to see if you qualify for any:

  • Good Student
  • Safe Driver/Accident-less Driver
  • Homeowners
  • Multiple Vehicles
  • Paperless/Green (discounts offered if you opt for a paperless insurance policy)
  • Auto-Payments
  • Safety Devices

Windshield Coverage

Another type of insurance coverage is specifically for your windshield. In some states, this type of coverage is required, but not in Delaware. This state does not have any specific laws about windshield coverage.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Delaware

Insurance fraud is one of the most common crimes in the United States and is the second-largest economic crime.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately $30 billion is lost each year due to car insurance fraud.

Car insurance fraud can be committed in some of the following ways:

  • Falsifying a claim
  • Intentionally causing an accident
  • Adding “additional” costs onto a legitimate claim

You can contact the Delaware Department of Insurance to report any fraudulent activities if you suspect them.

Statute of Limitations

If you are in an accident and need to file a claim or are looking to take another person to court, you will need to know the term “statute of limitations.”

The statute of limitations is a time cap on the amount of time you have to file a claim or take a case to court as a result of an accident. The time starts from the day of your accident.

In Delaware, you have the following statute of limitations to adhere to:

  • Personal Injury: 2 years
  • Property Damage: 2 years

Vehicle Licensing Laws

In addition to having car insurance laws you’ll need to adhere to, you’ll also have some specific vehicle licensing laws you’ll need to follow.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

As we’ve stated throughout this guide, you are required to carry at least the minimum liability coverage to drive in the state of Delaware. But what were to happen if you were to be caught driving without insurance coverage?

According to NOLO: “If you drive a vehicle without car insurance in Delaware, you could face a fine of $1,500 for a first offense, and a $3,000 fine for any subsequent offenses. A six-month suspension of your driving privileges is also possible. Note that these fines and penalties will likely pale in comparison to the financial hit you could take if you’re in a car accident and you don’t have car insurance.”

Teen Driver Laws

One of the most exciting times in a young person’s life is when they are able to get their driver’s license and have the freedom to go wherever they want. Well, if you want to do that in Delaware, teens are going to have to follow the following guidelines and rules:

RestrictionsLevel 1 Learner's PermitClass D License
Age15 years, 10 months16 - must have held an Level 1 Permit for a minimum of six months prior
PassengersNo more than one passenger in addition to parent, supervisor, or sponsorFirst six months or until age 18 - no passengers under 18
HoursUnder age 18 - no driving between 10:00 p.m. and 6 a.m.Under age 18 - no driving between 10:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. (exceptions: presence of a parent/guardian, driving to and from school activities or work, family emergency, being an emancipated teen)
Cell phone useComplete ban
Texting prohibted for all drivers
Handheld ban
Texting prohibted for all drivers
Pre-requisitesIf under 18, parent or guardian or sponsor must assume financial responsibility in written documentation50 total hours supervised driving, 10 must be at night
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So if you are a new driver on the road, make sure you make your curfew and are off the roads from the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6 a.m.

License Renewal Procedures

If you are looking to get your license renewed, you’ll want to make sure you follow the following procedures:

License Renewal Procedures in DelawareGeneral PopulationOlder Population
License Renewal Cycle8 years8 years
Proof of Adequate Visionevery renewalevery renewal
Mail/Online Renewal Permitted? nono
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As you can see, both the general population and older population of drivers have the same requirements, which is not the case in many other states.

New Residents

If you are looking to make Delaware your home, new residents will need to make sure they visit their local DMV branch to get their Delaware driver’s license.

Rules of the Road

Now that you have some of the basics down, we’ll move on to some of the rules of the road that you’ll want to know while out driving in Delaware.

Fault vs. No-Fault

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this guide, Delaware is considered a “no-fault” state. Regardless of who is at fault for causing the accident, whatever expenses you incur from that accident will need to be filed with your own insurance provider.

So making sure that you have at least the minimum liability coverage will help keep your hard-earned cash in your pocket if you are ever involved in an accident.

Seat Belt & Car Seat Laws

Delaware has the following car seat and seat belt laws, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

Seat Belt Laws in DelawareDetails
Initial effective date01/01/92
Primary enforcement?yes; effective 06/30/03
Who is covered? In what seats?16+ years in all seats
Maximum base fine 1st offense, additional fees may apply$25
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Car Seat Laws in DelawareDetails
Must be in child safety seat7 years and younger and less than 66 pounds
Adult belt permissible8 through 15 years or 66+ pounds
Maximum base fine 1st offense, additional fees may apply$25
Preference for rear seatchildren 11 years and younger and 65 inches or less must be in rear seat if passenger airbag is active
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In addition, IIHS states the following for car seat laws in Delaware: “In Delaware, children younger than 12 and 65 inches or less must be restrained in a rear seat if a vehicle has a passenger airbag unless the airbag has been either deactivated or designed to accommodate smaller people. Exceptions: no rear seat or rear seat occupied by other children younger than 12 and 65 inches or less.”

Primary enforcement means if law enforcement sees you without your seat belt or sees a child who is not in the proper car seat, they can pull you over and fine you.

Keep Right & Move Over Laws

Two types of rules that should be easy for you to follow are keep right and move over laws. Keep right laws in Delaware state that if you are driving slower than the average speed of traffic around you, you need to keep to the right lane.

Move over laws are just as easy. Basically, if you see a vehicle with flashing lights (such as an ambulance, firetruck, law enforcement, etc.) you need to move over.

Recent laws also state that in addition to moving to another lane safely, you should also lower your speed as you pass.

Speed Limits

Delaware has the following speed limits posted according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

  • Rural Interstates: 65 mph
  • Urban Interstates: 55 mph
  • Other Limited Access Roads: 65 mph
  • Other Roads: 55 mph

Safety Laws

Safety should be a priority when you are operating such a powerful and dangerous machine. This is exactly why there are safety laws in place to help keep you and other drivers safe while out on the roads.

DUI Laws

Drinking and driving is not only one of the most dangerous causes of vehicular accidents, but it’s also one of the most preventable.

Delaware is fortunately ranked as one of the least dangerous states for drinking and driving, at 49th place. But this doesn’t mean that drinking and driving accidents don’t happen.

Should you choose to drink and drive in the state of Delaware, you’ll be facing some of the following penalties:

DUI in Delaware1st Offense2nd Offense3rd Offense4th Offense
JailMax. Six monthsTwo to 18 monthsOne to Two yearsTwo to Five years
Fines and Penalties$500 to $1,500$750 to $2,500$1,500 to $5,000$3,000 to $7,000
License Suspension12 to 24 months24 to 30 months24 to 36 months60 months
IID** RequiredNoPossible - after 24 monthsPossible - after 24 monthsPossible - after 48 months
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Jail time for your first offense? Just say no thanks! Drinking and driving is simply not worth it. Either find an alternative way home if you do go out drinking with friends or simply stay put and drink in the safety of your own home. It’s not worth putting your life, and the lives of others, at risk.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

The debate on legalizing marijuana has been a battle for lawmakers for a number of years. Many states have only just started legalizing the substance, calling into question whether there should be driving-related laws around the substance. As most states have only just recently legalized it, there are very few studies on the effects of marijuana-impaired driving.

In Delaware, a state where marijuana is fully illegal, there is a zero-tolerance policy on THC and metabolites. If you are even caught with the substance, you’ll be facing criminal charges.

Distracted Driving Laws

Ever since the invention of the mobile cellphone, lawmakers have been scrambling to create laws to keep citizens safe from distracted driving. The following distracted driving laws are present in the state of Delaware:

  • Handheld Ban: all drivers
  • Young Drivers All Cellphone Ban: learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
  • Texting Ban: all drivers
  • Enforcement: primary (meaning that if law enforcement even sees a cellphone in your hand while in your vehicle, they can pull you over and issue you a citation)

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Driving in Delaware

Before you pop the top off of your convertible and cruise the roads, there are a few facts and statistics we want to provide you with.

Vehicle Theft in Delaware

Vehicle theft is an unfortunate event to happen to any vehicle owner. To better prepare you, we’ve collected data for the most popular vehicles to be stolen in the state of Delaware, as displayed in the table below:

RankMake/ModelYear of VehicleYearThefts
1Honda Civic2000200053
2Honda Accord2004200443
3Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)2005200536
4Ford Pickup (Full Size)1999199931
5Chevrolet Impala2007200728
6Nissan Altima2006200623
6Honda CR-V2001200123
8Ford Taurus2002200222
9Toyota Corolla2010201021
10Toyota Camry2012201220
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Watch out Honda Civic owners!

In addition to this, we’ve collected the data found by an FBI-conducted study on vehicle thefts in Delaware by city:

CityNumber of Thefts
Wilmington371
Dover86
Milford20
Newark14
Elsmere9
Middletown9
Seaford9
Smyrna9
Rehoboth Beach7
Georgetown6
Millsboro6
Laurel5
New Castle5
Delaware City3
Delmar3
Harrington3
Lewes3
Newport3
Camden2
Cheswold2
Milton2
Selbyville2
Bridgeville1
Dagsboro1
Greenwood1
Wyoming1
Bethany Beach0
Blades0
Clayton0
Dewey Beach0
Felton0
Fenwick Island0
Ocean View0
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Those of you living in Wilmington are at a higher risk for vehicle theft, so it would be wise to consider getting anti-theft devices for your vehicle.

Road Fatalities in Delaware

The last thing that anyone wants is to get into an accident, but they happen. Even worse, road fatalities happen, too. It’s the dark side of driving, but we feel that by giving you this information, it’ll help better prepare you for getting out on the roads.

The below sections contain the statistics for road fatalities in Delaware are according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Most Fatal Highway in Delaware

According to Geotab, the most fatal highway in the state of Delaware is I-80. The following statistics are known about this dangerous highway in Delaware:

  • Crashes: 106
  • Fatalities: 116
  • Fatal Crash Rate: 0.4

That’s a lot of fatalities just on one stretch of road! Make sure to drive carefully if you find yourself on I-80!

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition & Light Condition

The weather can be highly unpredictable, and if you aren’t prepared, it can cause fatalities!

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal4115385099
Rain2281013
Snow/Sleet000000
Other000000
Unknown000000
TOTAL43174660112
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Most accidents in Delaware occur during regular daylight hours, but a close second for fatalities occurs in the dark. Make sure you have the proper headlights and are able to see in front of you.

Top Counties for Fatalities

The table below displays the top three counties for fatalities in the state of Delaware:

Top Counties for Fatalities20132014201520162017
New Castle County4859635359
Sussex County3644413539
Kent County1421273121
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Fatalities by Road Type

Roadway Type2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rural273248234200192167223207230N/A
Urban7576586792778910070N/A
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As you can see, rural roads see more road fatalities than urban roads. Why? It’s likely due to factors such as less lighting, faster speed limits, more winding roads, and more.

Fatalities by Person Type

Are you a driver, or were you just walking across the street when you were in an accident?

Person Type20132014201520162017
Passenger Vehicle Occupant5073697369
Motorcyclist2015191410
Pedestrian2526362733
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist13325
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The most common person to become a fatality in an accident in Delaware is the passenger vehicle occupant.

Fatalities by Crash Type

There are different ways in which you can get into an accident, as seen in the table below.

Crash Type20142015201620172018
Single Vehicle6771716255
Involving a Large Truck121291515
Involving Speeding4535393333
Involving a Rollover2316201312
Involving a Roadway Departure6348574548
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)2636373922
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)*124131119119111
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As you can see, the most common types of crashes in Delaware are from single-vehicle crashes and those involving roadway departures.

Speeding Fatalities by County

If you speed, you increase your chances of getting into a car accident, as seen in the table below.

Top Counties for Speeding Fatalities20142015201620172018
Kent531486
New Castle2718121617
Sussex131413910
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The county most notorious for speeding, according to the table above, is New Castle.

Alcohol-Impaired Fatalities by County

Top Counties for Alcohol-Impaired Fatalities in Delaware20142015201620172018
Kent1077107
New Castle2319161415
Sussex18141476
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As you can see, the top counties in Delaware for alcohol-related fatalities are Kent, New Castle, and Sussex.

EMS Response Time

Getting to the hospital on time can be vital, especially if you have a severe enough injury from an accident. You can expect the following EMS response times in Delaware:

EMS Response Time in Delaware - LocationTime of Crash to EMS NotificationNotification to ArrivalArrival at Scene to Hospital ArrivalTime of Crash to Time of Hospital Arrival
Rural3.047.7839.2747.79
Urban2.064.3320.3226.92
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Transportation

You’re so close! In this final section of this guide, we’ll discuss some of the transportation statistics for the state of Delaware.

The data for this section (for Car Ownership, Commute Time, and Commuter Transportation) was taken from the Census Bureau via Data USA.

Car Ownership

According to Data USA, the average number of vehicles owned is two vehicles per household.

Commute Time

The average commute time across the nation is 25.5 minutes. In Delaware, however, the commute time is less than the national average, at only 25.1 minutes.

Commuter Transportation

How you choose to travel in each can vary greatly, but in Delaware, you’ll see the following methods of transportation being used most:

  • Drive Alone: 82 percent
  • Carpooled: 7.12 percent
  • Work from home: 5.16 percent

Traffic Congestion in Delaware

Traffic congestion can make getting behind the wheel a real pain, but we have some good news for you.

Delaware sure has all the luck. According to INRIX Scorecard, TomTom, and Numbeo, there are no cities in Delaware that make the list for traffic congestion. This is a good thing because it means no city in Delaware has enough traffic congestion to even be considered.

If you’re ready to start comparing today, don’t forget to use our FREE online tool, all you need is your zip code.

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State Minimum Car Insurance Rates Nationwide
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Factors Affecting Car Insurance Rates in Delaware
State Minimum Car Insurance Rates Nationwide
Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State
Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in Delaware
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