Car Insurance Calculator

Estimate your car insurance premium cost before you buy a policy to get your best and cheapest rate.

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If you want to get the best and cheapest car insurance rates for the amount of coverage you need, estimate your costs and compare quotes before you buy a policy.

Although you could type numbers into a car insurance calculator to do this, you might save money by understanding how those costs work and then using that knowledge to get a basic estimate.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

How to estimate car insurance rates

To estimate your car insurance costs, start by looking at the car insurance coverage you know you need to buy.

Almost all drivers need to buy liability car insurance coverage. Many need to buy collision and comprehensive coverage, too.

After you know how much car insurance you need, think about whether you should buy more than what’s required. If your car is new or still worth a lot of money, you’ll want more than the minimum amount of liability coverage your state requires, for example.

Finally, use that information, plus some other details about yourself and your car, to get and compare quotes from several car insurance companies.

Estimate how much car insurance you need

Almost all drivers need to buy liability coverage, but how much you need depends on the state you call home. Every state has its own minimum car insurance requirements for drivers.

Liability coverage is at the heart of these requirements, though some states also require one or more of these coverages:

  • Uninsured motorist
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Medical payments (MedPay)

After you figure out how much car insurance your state requires, move on to the coverage types and amounts demanded by your lender or leasing company (if you finance or lease your vehicle). You’ll often need to buy collision and comprehensive coverage, as well as liability coverage.

Depending on the age of your vehicle, what it’s worth, and other details, you may want to buy more car insurance coverage than your state, lender or lessor require.

Calculating your car insurance rate

The average cost of car insurance is $777 a year if you buy minimum coverage. If you buy full-coverage car insurance, the average cost is $1,984 a year.

These average rates are for a 30-year-old male who has a clean driving record and drives a Honda Civic. You may pay more or less than these averages depending on the make/model of your car, as well as if:

  • You’re younger or older
  • You’re a woman (women usually pay less)
  • You’ve had traffic violations or accidents

A driver with an at-fault accident on their record pays an average car insurance cost of $2,945 a year, for example. A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction on your record bumps your average rate to $3,642 a year. Both averages are for full coverage. You’ll pay less for minimum coverage, but still far more than $777 a year.

Teen drivers pay an average car insurance rate of $5,801 a year for full coverage and $2,446 a year for minimum coverage — if they have clean driving records. The rates are higher if the teen has a speeding ticket or accident on their record.

 Monthly car insurance cost

Minimum-coverage car insurance costs $65 a month, on average, while full coverage costs $165 a month.

Again, these average rates are for 30-year-old men with clean records. You’ll likely pay higher rates if your personal details differ from this sample driver.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

How to choose the right amount of liability car insurance

The minimum amount of liability car insurance coverage your state requires is a good starting point.

However, most state minimums aren’t enough to fully protect you if you cause an accident that injures one or more people severely, or if the crash causes a lot of car or property damage.

To fully protect yourself, consider upping your bodily injury liability limits to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. And increase your property damage liability limit to $100,000 as well.

Do you need collision and comprehensive car insurance?

You’ll likely need both comprehensive and collision car insurance coverages if you finance or lease your vehicle.

If you bought your vehicle with cash or have paid it off, you don’t need either of these coverage types. You should still think about buying them if your car is new or newer, though. The same is true if your car still has a high value.

Don’t forget: Liability car insurance coverage only covers other people or vehicles. It won’t cover damage to your own vehicle. For that, you need collision and/or comprehensive coverage.

What other car insurance should you consider?

Some other types of car insurance you should consider as you estimate and calculate your costs include uninsured motorist coverage, gap insurance and rental reimbursement insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage

Uninsured motorist car insurance coverage protects you if someone without any car insurance causes an accident that injures you or damages your car.

You can also buy underinsured motorist coverage, which protects you from drivers who don’t have enough car insurance to pay your medical or repair bills.

Personal injury protection

Personal injury protection, or PIP, helps pay your medical bills and those of passengers in your car if you’re injured in an accident. It does this no matter who caused the crash.

PIP covers other costs, too, like lost income, some housekeeping or childcare bills and funeral expenses.

Gap insurance

If your financed or leased vehicle is totaled or stolen, gap insurance pays the difference between what it’s worth and what you still owe on it.

Rental reimbursement coverage

If a covered peril damages your vehicle, rental reimbursement insurance may pay for a rental car while yours is repaired.

Roadside assistance

This coverage can help in many ways if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road. It often pays for towing, jump-starts, replacing a flat tire — even bringing you fuel when you run out. Some plans pay for battery replacement, too.

Factors that affect your car insurance rate

While calculating your car insurance costs, keep in mind that several factors affect your rate. They include your:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Car make and model
  • ZIP code
  • Driving record
  • Insurance claim history

These factors won’t affect your rate equally. Also, one insurance company may consider some factors more important than other companies do.

This is why it’s so important to compare quotes from multiple companies before you buy a policy.

 Why some cars cost more to insure

Some cars cost more to insure than others because some cars are more likely to result in claims than others.

Claims cost insurance companies money, so they charge higher rates to people who own and drive cars that tend to produce more claims.

If affordable or cheap car insurance is important to you, buy and drive a vehicle that’s especially safe to operate. Stay away from sports or luxury vehicles, as well as vehicles with large engines.

How to lower your car insurance costs

Some of the best ways to cut your car insurance costs are to decrease coverage, increase your deductible, look for discounts and shop around for a new insurer.

 Drop coverage you don’t need

If your vehicle is old, you may not need collision or comprehensive coverage any more. Or you might not need as much of it.

 Raise your deductible

Raising your deductible lowers your premium. Just make sure you can afford to pay your new deductible if you ever need to file a claim.

 Shop for discounts

Most insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts that could save you money. If you’re unsure which ones you might qualify for, talk with an agent.

 Compare quotes

Getting and comparing car insurance quotes from several companies is a quick way to lower your costs. Your current company might have been the cheapest for you when you first bought your policy, but another company may offer a better deal now.

How to get a car insurance quote

The fastest way to get a car insurance quote is to go to a company’s website or an insurance comparison site.

Once there, look for a button that says something like “Get a quote” or “Compare quotes.”

Click on it and you’ll be asked to share certain details about yourself, your vehicle and your policy.

You can also get car insurance quotes by going calling an insurance company or talking with an agent in person, though this usually takes more time than doing it online.


The rates in this article are based on an analysis of auto insurance quotes obtained from Quadrant Information Services for sample drivers from across the U.S.

Unless otherwise noted, our sample driver is a single 30-year-old male who owns a 2015 Honda Civic.

Minimum-coverage rates reflect the cost of policies meeting the minimum liability limits required by each state.

Full-coverage policies include these coverages, limits and deductibles:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 limit per person/$100,000 limit per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 limit
  • Collision: $500 deductible
  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible