States with the Cheapest (and Most Expensive) Car Insurance [New Data]

The fortunate residents of the ten states with the cheapest auto insurance are paying about $500 less a year than the rest of us! The states with the cheapest car insurance rates are Idaho, South Dakota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Vermont, Maine, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, and Hawaii. Read our guide to see if you live in any of the states with the cheapest and most expensive car insurance rates in the country.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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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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Things to know...

Many people think car insurance rates are pretty standard across the U.S. for decent drivers. WRONG!

It’s quite shocking the difference in price people pay from state to state. Every state has different laws, varying coverage minimums, and vastly different insurance coverage costs.

Louisiana residents are paying about $144 more per month for their car insurance than the residents of Hawaii.

So before you decide to switch providers or drop your coverage entirely due to the outrageous bills they keep sending you, check out how your rates compare to the rest of the nation. Maybe you’ll find you actually have it pretty good.

And if you haven’t already, make sure you compare a few policies in your area before choosing your insurance provider. You want to be sure you get the best deal and can stay with that company for years to come to benefit . . . hello loyalty discounts.

What’s covered in this article:

10 States with the Cheapest Car Insurance

In these ten states, you can have great car insurance coverage and not feel completely robbed. Granted, a car insurance bill is never fun to pay, but it doesn’t come with the painful sting that most bills do.

The fortunate residents of these ten states are paying about $500 less a year for their car insurance than the rest of the country.

Those who live in the below ten states are spending about $220 more each month going out to eat than they are on car insurance!

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#10 – Idaho

 MonthlyAnnual (Two 6mo bills)

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In 2012, Idaho became the first state to allow motorists to show proof of their car insurance coverage with a smartphone app or PDF image on a phone.

For over six years, Idaho insurance providers have been able to cut costs thanks to eliminating the paper, ink, and postage required to mail hard copy insurance cards to all of their customers.

This bill signed by Governor Butch Otter is a big part of what allows Idaho car insurance providers to offer some of the cheapest rates in the nation.

#9 – South Dakota

 MonthlyAnnual (Two 6mo bills)

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South Dakota may currently offer some of the lowest car insurance costs in the country, but things could change if the state’s death rates don’t improve.

National studies show South Dakota to have the highest child mortality rate in the U.S. with spikes in fatal car crashes to blame.

When auto insurance providers see increases in deadly crashes — especially involving children — rates often increase. Providers are constantly determining what makes drivers more likely to crash, and they always charge more for proven risk factors.

#8 – Wisconsin

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It looks like residents of the Badger State will have to fork out more money for their car insurance soon.

In March of 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel warned its residents: “…premiums in the metro Milwaukee area are rising faster than the national average…”

Car insurance rates in the city have increased 32 percent since 2011, but there are even bigger problems in Wisconsin as you can see below:

Because the at-fault driver was uninsured, Shawn and Jessica — who were abiding by the law — had to pay nearly $20,000 for a collision in which they were innocent (and injured) victims.

In 2017 the number of automobile crashes involving a driver without insurance in Wisconsin was 18,244, which was 3,734 more than in 2014.

“It’s a weakness in Wisconsin law that can leave you on the hook for someone else’s bad decision. Drivers are required to have auto insurance, but there are almost no penalties if you break that law.” – Milwaukee’s TMJ4 News

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#7 – North Dakota

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In July of 2018 North Dakota got a brand new car insurance company that was founded just three years ago: Root Insurance.

When Root announced they were launching in North Dakota on their website, they started with the bad news:

“North Dakota is ranked as the second worst state in the U.S. for drunk driving. Yikes. And it’s ranked as the 10th worst state for overall driving ability.”

But it looks like the “Peace Garden State” is turning things around with 54 fewer traffic deaths from January through June of 2018 compared to the same time period last year.

#6 – Vermont

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Vermont might have some of the lowest auto insurance rates in the nation, but a Burlington local news report warns residents about rate increases:

“Cars are safer than ever, but auto insurance rates are on the rise. One reason — more cars are on the road and that’s leading to more accidents. Also technology in today’s vehicles is making them more expensive to fix.”

And researchers have found that a safe driving record doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper coverage. A representative of Consumer Reports was on CBS This Morning sharing their nationwide findings:

“…insurers have a very complex way of pricing you. And more and more it has to do with factors like your credit score and how you shop and less to do with how you drive, whether you are a safe and careful driver.” – Margot Gilman, Consumer Reports’ Content Team Leader

#5 – Maine

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We aren’t the only ones talking about The Pine Tree State’s impressively low auto insurance rates.

“Maine has coverage requirements that exceed those in most other states, yet Maine continues to have consistently low average auto premiums” – Bureau of Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa

Here are some of Maine’s strict minimum requirements:

  • $100,000 Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage
  • $100,000 Injury or Death Coverage
  • $25,000 in Property Damage Coverage
  • $2,000 per Person for Medical Expenses

The injury attorneys at Lowry & Associates warn, “These amounts are only the minimum requirements. It’s not unwise to choose maximum coverage for your policy. This can keep you protected if you’re ever at fault for an accident.”

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#4 – Wyoming

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Especially in states like Wyoming with monthly insurance rates under $40, motorists need to be wary of the repairs their insurance company orders to be done.

CNN reports: “Car repair shops say auto insurance companies are coercing them to use cheap parts and sometimes dangerous practices to fix vehicles involved in accidents. Headlights held together by glue, dented rims and a new hood that’s already coming apart are among the kinds of parts allegedly being pushed to go into cars as part of the repairs…”

“More than 500 garages from 36 states are joining in a lawsuit against the top insurance companies…”

You can’t always trust the fix your insurance is paying for.

#3 – Montana

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It’s a good thing a typical car insurance bill is under $40/month because Montana has been ranked the 5th most expensive state to own a car.

“…the average Montana driver can expect to spend 17 percent more than their vehicle is worth to own and operate it over a five-year period.” – Great Falls Tribune

That means spending $27,454 on maintenance, insurance, registration, and taxes over five years on a vehicle that originally only cost $23,407.

So how do residents afford to drive at all? Well, in addition to some of the lowest insurance rates, Montana is also one of the cheapest states to buy a car thanks to no sales tax and a title fee of only $12.

#2 – Iowa

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The state with the 2nd cheapest auto insurance rates in the nation is giving out steep traffic citations to keep people on the side of the road safe.

“If you get caught violating the law and you get pulled over, you can expect a fine of close to $200… Last year, troopers issued nearly 300 tickets to drivers caught breaking that law.” – Fox 42

Iowa State Trooper, Jared Kastner shared with CBS 3 News Now, “…everyone thinks being in law enforcement you know your biggest concern is maybe being assaulted or shot. Our biggest concern really is… the motoring public driving by and striking us while we’re on the side of the road. I mean it’s truly my biggest fear.” 

If an Iowa motorist fails to move over for a vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road, they will end up paying the equivalence of nearly six months of car insurance bills in one lump sum to the police department.

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#1 – Hawaii

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The state with the cheapest car insurance in the entire country isn’t located in the continental U.S.

Hawaii is the only state in this article — one of only three in the country — with equal insurance rates for men and women.

Hawaii residents not only enjoy 750 miles of coastline and an average annual temperature of 78 degrees, but they also pay $216 less a year for their car insurance than the cost of the iPad Pro.

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10 States with the Most Expensive Car Insurance

In 20 percent of the United States, you can’t even have minimum coverage without spending an average of $1,477 a year on your car insurance alone.

It is nearly impossible to have any money left over for savings when your monthly auto insurance bill is $123 — the average for the below ten states.

Let’s dig a little deeper into these areas and find out why they make insuring your vehicle so costly.

#10 – Minnesota

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What’s far more shocking than the cost of car insurance in Minnesota is how much less men are paying than women.

Our study found that women in Minnesota — with identical driving records — can be charged over double what men are charged for the exact same car insurance coverage.

  • “Reality: The Insurance Commissioner is permitting the insurance coverage business [to] use a ridiculous and [clearly] concocted excuse to cost ladies greater than males.” – Herald Magazine
  • “It is widely believed that male drivers, especially young male drivers, cause more, and costlier, accidents,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s Director of Insurance. “State insurance commissioners should insist that auto insurers explain why they usually charge middle-aged and older women higher rates than men.”

Minnesota should take notes from Hawaii and not only charge less for car insurance in general but start charging men and women equal coverage rates for equal driving records.

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#9 – Colorado

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The Centennial State is already in the top 18 percent of the country for having the most expensive car insurance, but the statewide rates are still rapidly increasing.

Since 2012, car insurance rates in Colorado have increased 54 percent.

Denver’s Fox31 lists the following reasons for the continued increase in rates:

  • More people on the road: Colorado gained 77,000 residents in 2016
  • Deadly crashes are on the rise: in 2016 Colorado had 605 traffic fatalities (the most in over ten years)
  • Distracted driving: more drivers are distracted and causing more dangerous collisions
  • Repair costs increasing: new car technology is increasing maintenance expenses
  • Natural disaster damage: Colorado has the 2nd most claims for hail damage ($2.3 billion in May 2017 alone)

“Unfortunately, we are on a collision course with all those different risk factors in Colorado.” – Carole Walker, Director at Rocky Mountain Insurance

#8 – California

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If car owners in California choose to pay their annual car insurance in two lump sums, they save a lot of money. Rather than the 12 monthly payments totaling $1,120, customers can save $313 and only pay $807!

Regardless of how customers pay, The Golden State still has some of the most expensive car insurance in the country; in fact some drivers are so desperate to save money they are trying to scam other drivers into paying for previously caused damage.

In the video below you will see dashcam footage of a driver in San Diego slamming on his brakes 20 feet before a stop sign in attempts to blame the driver behind him for old damage.

“This story clearly illustrates why everyone should consider investing in dashboard-mounted cameras for their cars. Russian drivers have known the value of dashboard cameras for years. Insurance fraud is rife in Russia, and certainly happens on American roads as well.” – Autoblog

It’s very sad that drivers in the U.S. need to worry about insurance scams now too.

#7 – Georgia

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The “Peach State” brings us to the 9th state out of 17 so far where women pay more than men for their car insurance.

Georgia not only has some of the most expensive car insurance costs in the country, but it also has experienced the biggest price jumps in the U.S. for consecutive years.

“Georgia led the nation with the highest increase in personal auto insurance rates in 2016… Georgia ranked either first or second nationally for increases in the three previous years, too.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The State Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, is powerless to stop these price jumps due to a law that keeps the state government out of the price setting and approval process.

The AJC writer also reported, “…double-digit jumps and two increases a year have become routine. The biggest hike among the state’s large insurers hit last year, when Allstate imposed a stunning 25 percent average rate boost.”

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#6 – Washington

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The average American often has difficulty paying for car insurance — especially when it’s nearly $1,500 a year. Now think about the over 9,000 kids in foster care across Washington state who would likely never be able to afford to learn to drive or own a car if it weren’t for programs like Treehouse.

The nonprofit organization, Treehouse, began Driver Assistance that provides funding for youth in foster care to learn how to drive, get a license, and pay for their car insurance.

One out of five youth in foster care end up homeless within a year of aging out of the system in part because of transportation needs. Treehouse is committed to launching youth successfully into adulthood.” – Patrick Nickell, Treehouse Licensing Coordinator

Treehouse’s Patrick Nickell, who started in foster care at age five and was homeless by age 17, shares what it felt like to not be able to learn how to drive like his peers:

“Well, it’s this right of passage that so many people take for granted and the tremendous freedom you have when you have a license and you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle — the world is yours. And, as a foster kid I sat back and had to watch that happen for all my classmates, and you’re bummed it’s not happening for you.”

In just the first six weeks of the Driver Assistance program, Treehouse received 210 applications.

#5 – Rhode Island

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Seeing that Rhode Island requires some of the most expensive car insurance in the nation, it’s good that new insurance providers have designed innovative ways to save people money.

Founded in 2017, HiRoad offers auto insurance in Rhode Island that boasts 50 percent savings if their driving monitoring app reports the customer was a safe driver.

“We use the smarts in your smartphone to recognize your good choices, like driving smoothly, minding your speed, and trying to drive less… And, because who you’re trying to be today is what matters the most, we give you a fresh start each month.” – HiRoad

#4 – Delaware

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One of the reasons car insurance coverage is as expensive as you see in the chart above is because of drivers like 44-year-old Alvin Hubbard Jr., who in an instant killed a 61-year-old man and his four 13 to 20-year-old daughters.

“…the Trinidad family was driving north on Del. 1, heading home from Ocean City… a heavy-duty pickup crossed the center median from the southbound lanes… The out-of-control truck clipped one vehicle then collided with the family’s minivan.” – Delaware News Journal

The now widow who survived read a statement: “…I have to bury my husband and four daughters. I want justice for them. I want to see him criminally prosecuted. All my broken bones and injuries will heal, but not the unbearable pain in my heart. When they died, a part of me died. And I am dying inside over and over again. Justice will not bring them back, but we will be in a safer place.”

With 635 people killed in car crashes in New Jersey in 2017, you know the above tragic story is just one of many that are happening each and every year.

#3 – District of Columbia

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Bad driving, which manifests itself with car accidents and moving violations, carries the consequence of higher car insurance rates. Well, it seems the high-risk drivers of D.C. might have earned their expensive rates.

Allstate ran a study on drivers in the 200 largest cities and found the District of Columbia to have some of the worst drivers in the country.

This is how D.C. performed:

  • 2018 National Rank: 3rd Worst
  • Years between Claims: 3.9 (national average = 10)
  • Hard-braking per 1,000 miles: 26.3
  • 2017 National Rank: 2nd Worst

“From always buckling up to never texting behind the wheel, there are many ways people across the nation practice safe driving habits. With its annual report, Allstate hopes to encourage Americans to be safer, smarter drivers.”

#2 – Florida

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When you’re spending at least $1,419.20 (what the average safe-driving Florida male pays), you assume that insurance will be there for you when you need it, right?

Well, sadly, rate increases after just one claim are so high that many people often choose to pay out of pocket for their vehicle damage.

ABC Action News reported that Florida drivers’ annual rates will increase by a shocking 44 percent after just one claim. Looking at our findings, this means a female in her mid 20s with one speeding ticket could have her yearly total car insurance price increase by $808!

  • “More crashes lead to more claims. More claims lead to higher costs for insurers. Higher costs for insurers must be recouped by charging everyone more.” – SunSentinel
  • “We’ve seen up to 30, 35 percent increase on an auto policy for somebody who’s been with a carrier for a long time, has a good driving record,” said Karyn Roeling, President of Seitbert Insurance Agency in Tampa. “Small fender-benders, where there’s maybe $800 damage to the car, could end up easily being a $20,000 claim, where five years ago it would have been an $800 claim.”

The reason? The Florida Department of Highway Safety found from 2014 to 2016 across Florida, the number of car crashes increased by 15 percent and the number of traffic deaths increased by 27 percent. These increases were over three times the rate Florida’s population grew during that same time period.

#1 – Louisiana

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Most people can’t afford a 6 to 12-month lump sum payment, which means they’re stuck paying monthly. A woman living in Louisiana who pays monthly is looking at a total of $2,317.68 for the year — assuming she doesn’t file a claim or get a moving violation.

A female Louisiana resident could lease the 2018 Ford Fusion for $650 less than she will end up paying for a year of minimum coverage car insurance in monthly payments.

“High auto insurance rates have plagued Louisiana families for years, and while we’ve come up with some Band-Aids, we haven’t seen any silver bullet solutions.”  – Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon

The staggering car insurance costs across this southern state are such a problem that in August of 2018 the Department of Insurance established the Louisiana High Auto Rates Task Force to devise a plan to lower premiums.

Car Insurance Rates Across America

Contrary to popular belief, in the United States, most car insurance companies charge women more than men even when they have the exact same profile and driving record.

Out of the 20 states that compile the most and least expensive states for car insurance, 15 of the 20 states charge women more, four states charge men more, and just one state, Hawaii, charges equal rates regardless of gender.

Is your home state not one of the 20 most or least expensive for car insurance? The below table shows the rates for both men and women in 50 areas:

Average Monthly Car Insurance Payments By State

Men - $76.34
Women - $71.68
Men - $61.57
Women - $63.95
Men - $63.34
Women - $66.05
Men - $68.89
Women - $78.49
Men - $93.74
Women - $92.91
Men - $86.46
Women - $99.94
Men - $67.18
Women - $65.76
Men - $111.32
Women - $142.59
District of Columbia:
Men - $139.40
Women - $149.19
Men - $140.38
Women - $153.02
Men - $98.89
Women - $118.92
Men - $36.08
Women - $36.08
Men - $49.61
Women - $51.45
Men - $62.42
Women - $67.69
Men - $52.79
Women - $55.66
Men - $35.01
Women - $38.32
Men - $60.60
Women - $63.96
Men - $65.43
Women - $71.85
Men - $166.54
Women - $193.14
Men - $42.31
Women - $40.88
Men - $77.45
Women - $85.96
Men - $77.31
Women - $74.27
Men - $75.41
Women - $108.17
Men - $71.36
Women - $71.84
Men - $78.76
Women - $87
Men - $37.30
Women - $37.03
Men - $79.62
Women - $84.84
Men - $84.92
Women - $91.83
New Hampshire:
Men - $49.47
Women - $53.38
New Jersey:
Men - $79.20
Women - $93.91
New Mexico:
Men - $63.08
Women - $70.03
New York:
Men - $54.40
Women - $61.33
North Carolina:
Men - $56.02
Women - $56.02
North Dakota:
Men - $46.73
Women - $47.29
Men - $62.55
Women - $65.99
Men - $79.48
Women - $83.94
Men - $66.37
Women - $73.04
Men - $71.93
Women - $71.93
Rhode Island:
Men - $124.45
Women - $125.66
South Carolina:
Men - $73.05
Women - $76.07
South Dakota:
Men - $48.61
Women - $49.13
Men - $66.91
Women - $66.22
Men - $86.46
Women - $93.34
Men - $67.16
Women - $71.35
Men - $44.67
Women - $43.07
Men - $75.24
Women - $74.78
Men - $112.04
Women - $129
West Virginia:
Men - $83.08
Women - $96.03
Men - $46.52
Women - $48.83
Men - $39.47
Women - $39.60

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Discounts that can Lower Your Rates

In some states, especially the ten with the highest insurance premiums, there’s no escaping expensive coverage, but most companies offer discounts that can help.

It’s important you know what discounts you might qualify for, because they aren’t always automatically applied. Make sure you know what rate cuts you deserve!

Here are 60 Common Discounts that many insurance companies offer:

Available Insurance Discounts by Type

Vehicle Discounts:Driver/Customer Discounts:Personal Discounts:
Active Disabling DeviceClaim FreeEmergency Deployment
Adaptive Cruise ControlContinuous CoverageFamily Legacy
Adaptive HeadlightsDefensive DriverFamily Plan
Anti-Lock BrakesDriver's EducationFederal Employee
Audible AlarmDriving Device/AppFurther Education
Automatic BrakingEarly SigningGood Student
Blind Spot WarningFull PaymentHomeowner
Daytime Running LightsGood CreditLife Insurance
Economy VehicleLoyaltyMarried
Electronic Stability ControlMultiple PoliciesMembership/Group
Farm/Ranch VehicleMultiple VehiclesMilitary
Forward Collision WarningNew Customer/New PlanNew Address
Garaging/StoringOccasional OperatorNew Graduate
Green/Hyrbid VehicleOnline ShopperNon-Smoker/Non-Drinker
Lane Departure WarningOn-Time PaymentsOccupation
Newer VehiclePaperless/Auto BillingRecent Retirees
Passive RestraintPaperless DocumentsStable Residence
Utility VehicleRoadside AssistanceStudent Away
Vehicle RecoverySafe DriverStudent or Alumni
VIN EtchingSeat Belt UseVolunteer
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In addition to making sure you get all the rate discounts you deserve, always compare a few policies from different providers serving your home state. Simply enter your ZIP code to get started!


The most and least expensive states for car insurance were found by retrieving four quotes each from 50 areas (D.C. + 49 states). Due to state law, Michigan doesn’t provide car insurance quotes online or by phone — only to adults with proper identification, in person.

In order to conduct this study our analysts retrieved 200 specific quotes from top insurance providers in the country.

The following profile was used for every quote:

  • Personal: 25-yr-old, single, college graduate, homeowner, employed
  • Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Altima, 4 door sedan, bought new, 12-15 mi/yr
  • Record: 1 speeding ticket <2 yrs ago <20pmh over, insured — no lapse

The profile was identical for all 50 areas, the only difference being gender — two male and two female quotes were retrieved for each area.

By averaging the four quotes, we were able to accurately rank all 50 areas according to their car insurance rates. An average of the two male/female quotes allowed us to compare prices by gender.

The rates we received were all for six-month packages that could be paid monthly or by one discounted full payment.



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