Insurance policy on desk
Average car insurance prices are what they are: a mere average. There are many factors you completely control and which can alter your rate.

Maybe you are a new car owner and you have purchased your new auto insurance policy, or perhaps you have received a renewal notice and your rate went up. You may be asking yourself, “What are the factors that influence my auto rate?” You will want to know how you can keep your rates from increasing and how you can also possibly decrease your premium, but most importantly, “how much is car insurance?

It’s a fact of life. Prices increase on goods and services, and auto insurance is no different. If you maintain a perfect driving record your entire life, you will still experience incremental increases in your rates. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Their costs for goods, services, and payroll increase, too. But let;s have a look on the average price and how you can control it, despite of it’s tendency to grow over time.

How Much is Auto Insurance by State – Average Car Insurance Costs

Car insurance costs vary heavily by several factors: state, city, even zip code, your vehicle type, and of course: your driving records and experience. But also other factors, such as credit score, driving behavior or occupation may be taken into account. We explore these factors in the second part of the article. In order what to expect, having a look at the state average is a good way to go:

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State 2010 Average Premium 2010 Rank 2009 Average Premium 2009 Rank 2008 Average Premium 2008 Rank
United States $791 $785 $789
Alabama $651 37 $652 34 $667 34
Alaska $890 13 $897 12 $904 12
Arizona $804 18 $837 14 $858 14
Arkansas $662 35 $656 32 $653 38
California $746 21 $754 19 $776 20
Colorado $730 25 $741 20 $729 23
Connecticut $965 8 $952 8 $950 9
Delaware $1,031 6 $1,021 5 $1,007 6
Washington D.C. $1,134 2 $1,128 1 $1,126 1
Florida $1,037 5 $1,006 6 $1,055 4
Georgia $749 20 $754 19 $765 21
Hawaii $766 19 $786 18 $816 18
Idaho $548 48 $555 45 $562 47
Illinois $733 24 $728 22 $720 27
Indiana $625 41 $620 38 $612 42
Iowa $547 49 $532 46 $519 50
Kansas $625 40 $578 43 $576 46
Kentucky $723 27 $699 27 $699 29
Louisiana $1,121 3 $1,099 3 $1,105 2
Maine $582 47 $598 41 $600 43
Maryland $948 9 $929 10 $922 10
Massachusetts $891 12 $860 13 $903 13
Michigan $935 10 $913 11 $907 11
Minnesota $693 32 $694 28 $698 30
Mississippi $745 22 $738 21 $654 36
Missouri $678 33 $668 30 $657 32
Montana $656 36 $655 33 $667 31
Nebraska $593 46 $559 44 $547 48
Nevada $931 11 $944 9 $970 8
New Hampshire $706 29 $718 24 $727 25
New Jersey $1,157 1 $1,101 2 $1,081 3
New Mexico $704 30 $713 26 $728 24
New York $1,079 4 $1,057 4 $1,044 5
North Carolina $600 45 $610 40 $595 44
North Dakota $529 50 $510 48 $503 51
Ohio $619 43 $616 39 $617 41
Oklahoma $700 31 $680 29 $663 33
Oregon $724 26 $723 23 $727 26
Pennsylvania $812 17 $811 17 $817 17
Rhode Island $985 7 $969 7 $986 7
South Carolina $738 23 $738 21 $751 22
South Dakota $525 51 $521 47 $520 49
Tennessee $641 38 $634 36 $641 39
Texas $848 14 $860 13 $854 15
Utah $717 28 $716 25 $709 28
Vermont $630 39 $646 35 $653 37
Virginia $674 34 $667 31 $663 31
Washington $815 16 $826 15 $840 16
West Virginia $830 15 $815 16 $808 19
Wisconsin $613 44 $591 42 $581 45
Wyoming $621 42 $623 37 $632 40

Note: All data based on the latest NAIC Report.

Obviously, US citizen will have quite different answers on how much their car insurance is, ranging anywhere from $547 in Iowa up to $1,157 in New Jersey, just depending on the State. But beside of moving, there are several practical measures you can actually do in order to keep bills lower.

How Much is Car Insurance by Age?

Another question of major interest is how auto insurance premiums are “affected” by the age of a policy holder. While there is a strong relationship between rates and age, the correlation boils basically down to your driving record/history and experience as a driver. As young drivers typically don’t have a history, their rates tend to be much higher at the age of 16, 17, and 18 and so on as for those already in their twenties. However, special discounts for students and college students do apply, which can positively affect rates, and there are strategies for new drivers to build a history without owning a vehicle.

Average auto insurance rates by age for a 100/300/100 liability policy
Age group Average rate
16 – 19 years old
College students or
20-24 years old
25-29 years old $1,707
30-34 years old $1,591
35-39 years old $1,610
40-44 years old $1,603
45-49 years old $1,478
50-54 years old $1,284
55-59 years old $1,214
60-64 years old $1,169
65-69 years old $1,244
70-74 years old $1,187
75 and up years old $1,203

Seven Factors You Control And Keep Your Auto Insurance Rates In Check

Slow Down

Difficult weather and safely driving cars This may be obvious, but it bears reminding: safe driving pays off. Saving 40 seconds in your commute to work is not worth a speeding ticket for going seven miles over the posted speed limit. That is about all you would gain in a 20-minute average commute. Even if you end up with your pay being docked for being a minute late, will it be as costly as ticket fees and court costs? If you make $12 an hour, you might be docked $3. The cost of your ticket can be in the hundreds, and your next renewal will show an increase of potentially hundreds. Is it worth it when you look at it that way?


Man and women talking after car collision Auto insurance is there if you need it for major damage to your car so that you can get yourself back on the road. However, do not call your insurance company for every ding and dent, particularly if the dings and dents were due to your driving and did not involve another vehicle or person. Not only are you still going to have to pay your deductible each time, you

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are going to have “dings” on your claim history that will affect subsequent renewals. Get too many of them and you may knock yourself out of eligibility for a preferred company and have to be rewritten into a high-risk (high cost) policy. If you cause a little dent or ding, find out the cost of repair before considering a claim. If the cost is less than, or close to, your deductible amount, it is not worth a claim.


Little boy in his first car driving Keep Good Grades. If you are a young driver and you’ve had a pretty good GPA, chances are you are receiving a “good student” discount. If you aren’t sure, be sure to check. However, if you were getting this discount and your grades start dropping, the next time your insurer asks for proof of your GPA, you may find a big hike in your insurance. This is why it is worth keeping in mind to stick with maintaining your grades in school if you still want to avail of student discounts for your auto insurance.

Take an Accident Prevention Course

Driving lessons in the city Many states will offer a discount if you take a defensive driving course, regardless of your driving history. Even with a clean history a driving course will reduce your rate. If you end up with a ticket, you may want to check if taking a course will expunge the ticket off your driving record. It’s not that hard to find a driving course in your area. If you think your driving needs some improvement enroll yourself in one of these courses. It can help you with your bid in getting your auto insurance rates too.

Keep Credit Report Activity to a Minimum

Sign: "All credit cards good here" Most car insurers now base a portion of your premium on your credit report activity. Even if you have an excellent score, increased activity could make your rate go up. That includes opening and closing accounts, any late payments reported, collection agencies being added, and any hits on your credit score. Try to reduce your credit activities and you will notice how easier it is to control the rate of your auto insurance.

Vehicle Choice

Car driving safe on rainy road Another main contributing factor to your premium is the vehicle you drive. If you buy a brand new, very sporty and expensive convertible coupe, you are going to pay a lot more than if you drive a ten year old sedan and only carry liability. If you are car shopping and you have a tight budget, consider buying a car outright, or an inexpensive car that you can pay off within a year. You only have to carry full coverage when you have a loan. Just imagine how much you will be paying for your auto insurance if you will insist on buying that roadster you’ve been eyeing for some time now not to mention the time it takes to pay off your new vehicle.

Monthly vs. Annual Payments

Red car on black calculator Another proven way to immediately lower your bill is to raise it on the short term and pay your premium in full for the whole year or bi-annual rather than monthly. Insurance companies typically offer a good discount on full and upfront payments, so at the end of the year you can easily save a good amount of money in premiums. However, this approach will only work if you have enough resources at the ready without other bills piling up.

Wrapping up

So now your question won’t be “How much is car insurance” but rather “What are the factors that influence my auto rate that I can control?”

There are other contributing factors, many of which you have no control, but these seven factors you do have some control over. Please be sure to keep them in mind so that you can keep your rates low, or even drop your rates lower over time. These factors can be tweaked to your advantage that is why many professional drivers are aware of these factors when it comes to renewing or purchasing new auto insurance. You should too as these can help you get lower rates on your car insurance. Last but not least, switching car insurance companies provides another good opportunity to get a better offer for the same coverage. For a quote from up to eight different, major carriers in your area, just try our form at the top of the page.