How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes 2024
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Get Very Cheap Car Insurance with No Deposit

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.

You can’t get car insurance without paying for your first month. But you can make that payment as cheap as possible by buying your policy from State Farm or Geico.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Beware of companies that promise cheap car insurance with no deposit or down payment. Legitimate car insurance companies will require you to make a payment of some sort before they cover you. Usually this is in the form of your first monthly payment.

If you can afford a low down payment or deposit for your car insurance, you have options. You can compare quotes from several companies to find the cheapest one for you. Or you can buy less coverage, pick a higher deductible and look for discounts.

No-deposit car insurance is car insurance you get without having to make an upfront payment. You might think of this upfront payment as a deposit or down payment, which is why both terms are used on this page.

Regardless, trustworthy car insurance companies won’t sell you a policy until you’ve paid them something. The key is to make your first payment cheap enough for you to afford.

True no-deposit or no-down-payment car insurance lets you buy car insurance without an initial or immediate payment. Unfortunately, you won’t get this from an honest insurer.

What you can get from many companies is car insurance with a low down payment. This usually means choosing to pay your car insurance premium monthly. It also means buying the policy from the company with the lowest rate for you.

Paying your premium monthly, rather than every six months or yearly, is cheaper at the start, but it often costs more in the long run. Most companies give you a discount if you agree to pay for six or 12 months at a time.

Companies require a down payment for car insurance because they don’t want to issue a policy until they’re sure they’ll be paid for it.

Also, your first payment lets them know the payment method you included in your application works.

To lower your car insurance down payment, compare car insurance quotes from a number of companies before you buy a policy.

The quote you get from one company will often differ from the quote you receive from other companies. This is because each company has its own way of determining risk and calculating rates.

Many risk factors play a role in what you pay for car insurance, including:

  • Your age
  • The make and model of your car
  • Where you live
  • Your driving record
  • If you’ve filed any claims before

You may get a lower quote, and thus a lower down payment, from one insurance company than you do from others because of how they view these factors.

Make sure you look carefully at the payment options each company offers you with your quotes. The cheapest company for you usually has the lowest initial payment, too, but that’s not always the case.

Shop around to save money on car insurance — not only for your deposit or down payment, but over the life of the policy. You should also see if you can reduce your coverage, raise your deductible and qualify for discounts.

Buy a policy from the cheapest car insurance company for you

State Farm offers the cheapest car insurance rates for most drivers, based on our research. Its average rate is $50 a month. This is for liability-only coverage.

Cheapest companies for minimum-coverage car insurance

CompanyAnnual rate
State Farm$599
Geico$726
Progressive$789
Allstate$1,158
USAA*$413

Geico and Progressive also charge affordable rates for minimum car insurance. Their average rates are $61 and $66 a month, respectively.

If you have military ties, you might get even cheaper car insurance from USAA, which charges an average $34 a month.

State Farm also has the cheapest full-coverage car insurance for most drivers, with an average rate of $125 a month. USAA’s is even lower at $101 a month.

Cheapest companies for full-coverage car insurance

CompanyAnnual rate
State Farm$1,496
Geico$1,936
Progressive$2,028
Allstate$2,605
USAA*$1,207

Geico offers affordable premiums, too, if USAA isn’t an option. Its average monthly rate is $161.

Geico also is a great option if you have bad or poor credit and need cheap car insurance with a low down payment. It offers the cheapest average rate of $257 a month for most drivers with bad credit.

Cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with bad credit

CompanyAnnual rate
Geico$3,083
Progressive$3,458
Allstate$4,208
State Farm$5,601
USAA*$2,167

Drivers with military ties may get an even lower rate from USAA. Its average rate for drivers with poor or bad credit is $181 a month.

Consider local or regional companies, too, if you need cheap car insurance with bad credit. Acuity, Concord, Grange, MMG and Westfield all offer average rates that are cheaper than even USAA’s, though they only sell policies in certain states.

Get less coverage

Reducing your amount of coverage is another way to save money on car insurance.

You may not be able to do this if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. In other situations, though, you might be able to drop collision or comprehensive coverage to get a lower rate and make a lower down payment.

Having just liability coverage will help you the most, but it protects you the least, too.

Raise your deductible

Having a higher deductible on your policy lowers your premium. Your down payment or deposit should be lower in this case, too.

You need to pay your deductible if you file a claim, though, so make sure you can afford whatever deductible amount you choose.

See if you qualify for discounts

Discounts can not only help cut your overall car insurance costs, but they can make your first payment lower, too.

You can usually get discounts for:

  • Bundling multiple insurance policies with one company
  • Covering more than one vehicle
  • Taking a defensive driving course
  • Being a student who gets good grades

Look online to find discounts that seem right for you. If you’re unsure, talk with an agent — they’ll be able to figure out which discounts you might qualify for and save you money.

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

*USAA is only available to current/former military and their families.

A legitimate company won’t offer you car insurance with no deposit. You should also be wary of companies that promise “first month free” car insurance or “instant” car insurance with no down payment. Honest companies ill need proof you can and will pay before issuing a policy to you.

Look for insurance companies that will sell you coverage with the lowest down payment for your situation. This may require a bit of work on your part, but it’ll usually be worth it — in the form of a low overall payment in the long term.

To get a low down payment for your car insurance policy, you’ll need to find the company with the cheapest car insurance rate for you. Qualifying for one or more discounts helps, too.

Car insurance companies typically let you choose to pay your policy premium monthly, every six months or yearly. You’ll pay more overall if you pay monthly, and you’ll pay less if you pay for the entire year at once.

While no-payment-down car insurance is often a scam, you may be able to get a deal on your first payment. But because a lower down payment exposes insurers to more risk, they’ll want someone who’s a safe driver with good credit. Just as your driving record and credit score can affect what sort of auto insurance rate you get, it can also help you make a low first payment.

If you need car insurance now but can’t afford to make your first payment until later, consider contacting a local agent rather than buying your policy online.

A local agent may be able to offer some flexibility in terms of payment options. Even if they can’t, they might offer other advice that could help you get the coverage you need as soon as possible.