How to Compare Car Insurance Rates

If you're wanting to know how to compare car insurance rates, a comparison search is a great way to narrow down your list of potential insurers. Using a comparison website can reduce hours of the car insurance comparison process.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • There are many ways to find cheap car insurance quotes
  • Independent insurance agents can help you find great deals on car insurance
  • Most insurance companies have websites that offer online insurance quotes
  • Gather all pertinent information such as driving records before comparing rates

Although car insurance rates vary considerably from state to state, auto insurance coverage can be expensive no matter where you live.

If you live on a tight budget, you might wonder if you can find cheap auto insurance to protect your finances and meet your state’s financial responsibility requirements.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to obtain and compare cheap car insurance quotes. Use our FREE tool to compare cheap car insurance quotes. Enter your ZIP code above now!

Talk to an Independent Agent


If you have the time to travel to an agent’s office, you can take advantage of services offered by a local independent agent. These agents represent more than one insurance carrier, which allows them to provide you with several quotes at once.

Getting quotes from an independent agent is a simple process. Provide your agent with personal information for each driver you plan to insure, as well as the vehicle identification number, or the VIN, make, and model of each car you want to cover under your policy.

If you are not sure about coverage and limits, your independent agent can help you determine which coverage options are right for your financial situation.

Each state requires certain coverage and allows insurance carriers to offer optional coverage to increase your financial protection.

Once you have chosen a cheap car insurance quote that meets your needs, your agent will help you complete your auto insurance application before submitting the application, your first month’s premium payment, and your application fee to the insurance carrier.

As long as you meet the company’s underwriting criteria, you will then receive your policy documents in about one week.

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Using Insurance Company Websites

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Although working with a local agent is the traditional method of obtaining and comparing car insurance quotes, there are other options available.

If you maintain a busy schedule and don’t have time to travel to an agent’s office, you can shop for car insurance quotes online.

Some car insurance company websites feature quote engines where you can enter your driver and vehicle information, and obtain a quote in as little as 10 minutes.

Most of these companies allow you to purchase your policy online which can save you additional time. You can print your identification cards, declarations page, and other documents as soon as you have made your initial premium payment.

If you purchase your policy directly from an insurance company’s website, you may receive a policy discount. The insurance carrier’s website will disclose the discount amount before you finalize your policy purchase.

Keep in mind that you should obtain quotes from several insurance company websites before making a purchase.

You will likely obtain a different quote from each website, even if the quote is based on the same coverages and limits.

Taking the time to acquire multiple quotes can allow you to find the cheapest car insurance available while still meeting your coverage needs.

Using Comparison Sites

Another option is using comparison websites, which can instantly provide you with quotes from several insurance carriers in your state.

The main advantage of choosing this strategy is that you will only be required to enter driver and vehicle information one time instead of duplicating your efforts each time you visit a different insurance carrier’s website.

You will receive side-by-side quotes from each licensed company in the comparison website’s database, so you can quickly determine which company offers the best coverage at the lowest rates.

Using a comparison website can shave hours off of the car insurance shopping process.

Preparing to Shop for Quotes


Before you shop for cheap car insurance quotes, there are some things you should know.

Make sure you have the Social Security number of each driver that will be covered under your policy. Insurance carriers use this information to access driving records, which are essential for providing correct rate quotes.

In some cases, insurance companies also use Social Security numbers to obtain consumer credit reports. Depending on your state’s laws, insurance companies may use credit information as a factor when determining your rates.

You should make sure you have the correct VIN for each car on your policy. The VIN contains information about safety features, such as side airbags and anti-lock braking systems that can save you money on your car insurance premiums.

Although insurance carriers will pull driving reports for each driver, you should have all information that will appear on these reports in advance.

If you do not have this information, contact your state’s motor vehicle department and obtain a copy of each person’s driving report.

Although you may have to pay a fee for these reports, this can help prevent you from being double-charged for violations, suspensions, and accidents because of incorrect dates.

Obtaining cheap car insurance quotes takes both time and effort.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance quotes for FREE!


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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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