Auto Insurance Discounts (The Big List & How to Save)

The average auto insurance discount is 10%, but you can combine multiple discounts to maximize your savings.

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UPDATED: Aug 26, 2022

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Written By: Mathew B. SimsReviewed By: Daniel WalkerUPDATED: Aug 26, 2022Fact Checked

Things to Remember

  • Auto insurance companies offer discounts based on the driver, policy, and car’s safety features
  • Not all discounts apply to the entire policy, and many apply to only one portion of your insurance
  • Bundle all discounts available to you for the most savings

Auto insurance can be costly, so finding ways to save is essential. Adding car insurance discounts is an easy way to lower your rates effortlessly. Auto insurance discounts add substantial savings, and most companies offer various ways to do so.

Discounts for car insurance usually fall into three categories: driver, policy, and vehicles. Examples include safe driver, multi-car, and anti-theft discounts. So, even drivers with a less than perfect driving record can still find discounts to reduce rates.

More: What discounts does The Hartford offer?

However, not all companies offer the same discounts, and discount amounts also vary. In addition, most discounts only apply to certain coverages, not the entire policy.

As you compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies, look closely at eligible discounts to find your best deal.

Keep reading to learn about auto insurance discounts and how to qualify for the cheapest coverage.

What are the common types of auto insurance discounts?

More: Can I get a discount on auto insurance if my car is in storage?

Car insurance companies use various factors to determine your rates, including age, driving record, vehicle, and ZIP code. Unfortunately, every driver’s factors are different, so rates vary widely based on the driver and insurance company.

Since coverage is so expensive, the best auto insurance companies reward extra savings to drivers with specific characteristics.

Most car insurance companies base discounts on the driver, policy, and vehicle. Since so many discounts are available, most drivers can save considerably on their policies.

More: Disabled Veteran Auto Insurance Discounts [2022 Guide]

Remember that each insurance company chooses what discounts to offer and the savings amount. So while one company may offer a 25% discount, another company may only provide a 10% savings or no discount at all.

In addition, each car insurance company determines when you’re eligible for a discount. For example, you may have to be with the company for several years to qualify for a loyalty discount.

When you shop for auto insurance, compare discounts, rates, and coverages. Discounts may make the difference in which company is cheaper for you.

Now we’ll look at the categories of auto insurance discounts potentially available to you.

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What are driver-related discounts?

Your personal characteristics may help you find discount auto insurance. Everything from your driving record to where you work can save you money. Auto insurance companies offer savings for traits that make you a safer driver and save them money.

Let’s look at some driver-related discounts and how you can take advantage of them.

Safe Driver

It’s not a surprise that your driving record affects your auto insurance rates. Drivers with accidents, tickets, or DUIs pay much higher rates than drivers with a clean record.

Additionally, your driving record can earn you up to a 35% discount on car insurance for safe driving. Drivers who stay accident or claims free for some time earn significant discounts since they’re less likely to cost the insurance company.

The amount of time you must be accident-free and the discount amount varies by company. 

But don’t worry if your driving record isn’t clear. In most states, accidents and tickets stop affecting auto insurance rates in three to five years. So, avoid adding dings to your driving record to get lower rates and earn a significant discount.

Defensive Driving Course

A defensive driving course helps drivers avoid accidents, and some states remove driver’s license points for taking the class. In some states, you can take the class online at your own pace.

Defensive driving course requirements vary by state but typically teach essential, safe driving skills, such as how to drive in bad weather, avoid road rage, and the dangers of distracted driving.

Not only do defensive driving courses earn you a car insurance discount, but they help you become a safe driver.

Good Student

Although specifics vary by company, students with a high GPA earn an additional discount, lowering notoriously high rates for younger drivers.

Most insurance companies require the student to maintain at least a B average, be enrolled full-time in high school or college, and be under 25 years of age.

While requirements vary, young drivers can earn up to a 25% discount, bringing high coverage rates down to a reasonable cost.

Driver’s Education

Drivers ed teaches new drivers how to drive safely, and most states require underage drivers to complete a course to get a license. Although driver’s ed is similar to a defensive driving course, it teaches young drivers the rules of the road in addition to safe driving skills.

Combine your good student and driver’s ed discounts for significant savings on teen driver’s auto insurance. 

Away Student

Students away at school without a car earn a discount since they only drive when they’re home.

Although requirements vary, students typically must be enrolled full-time in school at least 75 miles from home and not take a vehicle. In addition, since the student lacks access to a car most of the time, most insurance companies offer significant savings.

Married Driver

Auto insurance companies offer married drivers a discount since statistics show that they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and are safer drivers. In addition, many married couples chose to bundle their insurance, resulting in more significant savings.

Remember that only about half of the top insurance companies offer a discount for married drivers. So, let your insurance company know if you’ve had significant life events like getting married because you may qualify for additional savings.

Military

Many auto insurance companies offer discounts of up to 15% for active and retired military members and their families. Expected savings include military, garaging, and deployment discounts.

For example, GEICO offers a 25% emergency deployment discount if a service member is deployed to an imminent danger area and stores their vehicle.

Although many insurance companies offer military discounts, USAA only provides coverage to military members and their families. So, there isn’t a particular USAA military discount, but rates are generally much lower with USAA, even without the discount.

Affiliation

Many insurance companies offer discounts based on your affiliated occupations and organizations. For example, first responders and teachers generally receive up to a 15% discount on auto insurance. 

Some insurance companies also offer discounts based on the organizations and schools you’re a part of. Examples include AAA, AARP, various colleges, fraternities, sororities, and student organizations.

Low Mileage

Some insurance companies also offer up to 30% discounts for not driving your car. Insurance companies know that less time on the road means a lower chance of an accident. However, to qualify for a low-mileage discount, you must show proof of your mileage each year.

What are policy-related discounts?

You may also be eligible for discounts based on your policy. So whether you have multiple cars or like to pay your bills online, you can save money.

Every car insurance company offers various discounts related to your policy, and not all companies offer the same discounts. 

Most drivers qualify for multiple discounts, such as multi-policy and paperless discounts. Adjust how you pay your bill and when you renew for easy ways to save.

Multi-vehicle

Drivers save up to 25% if they insure more than one vehicle with the same company. In addition to saving money, it’s also easier to have all of your cars insured together. Many insurance companies have apps that allow you to access all of your information in one place.

Multi-policy

Many companies offer discounts up to 25% if you have multiple policies, such as auto, homeowners, and boat coverage.

Insurance companies typically offer many insurance products that allow you to use one company for all your insurance needs. Not only does bundling all of your needs make it easier for you, but the insurer gains more policies.

With many companies, you save more when you bundle more policies and may get additional savings on your other policies. For example, you can get 25% off of your auto insurance by bundling your home and auto, and you may save on your home insurance too.

Payments

How you pay for auto insurance can also save you money. For example, you may qualify for a discount if you pay in advance or make payments.

Many auto insurance companies offer a paid-in-full discount of up to 15% for drivers who pay their entire policy at the start. In addition, some companies offer savings if you choose to set up automatic payments throughout your term.

Early Signing

If you renew your policy or start a new one 14 days before your current policy expires, you can save up to 12%. 

However, each company decides just how far in advance you need to sign up to receive the discount. While most companies prefer at least 14 days, some offer savings for less time.

Paperless

Many insurance companies offer a discount if you access your account through the app and get policy information online. Since most drivers prefer taking advantage of online options, discounts are usually around 5%.

Loyalty

Staying with your insurance company for multiple terms saves you money, but each company decides how long you have to be a customer to get the discount. Although you can save up to 5% with a loyalty discount, not every company offers it.

Remember that the best way to save money is to shop around. So, although you may lose your loyalty discount, you may find much lower rates elsewhere.

New Customer

Switching auto insurance companies can mean lower rates and an extra one-time discount when you switch. However, Liberty Mutual is the only one that offers a discount from top insurance companies. 

In addition, some companies offer a discount of up to 12% for getting an online quote.

What are vehicle-related discounts?

You may be surprised to learn that your vehicle can also lower your rates. While auto insurance on new or expensive cars is higher, there are ways to save.

When looking for discount car insurance, give accurate vehicle information to earn the most discounts. In addition, let your insurance company know if you’ve added features like an additional anti-theft device.

Many vehicle discounts only apply to your collision or comprehensive coverage. For example, comprehensive insurance covers a stolen vehicle — so anti-theft discounts only apply to that coverage.

New Car

Since most new cars have many safety features to help avoid accidents, auto insurance companies offer a discount. Typically, the car must be less than three years old to earn the 15% discount.

Anti-theft

Most cars now come with anti-theft features, such as VIN etching and car alarms, which can save drivers up to 25% on their auto insurance. Be sure to inform your insurance company if you install anti-theft devices aftermarket to get the discount.

GPS tracking programs like OnStar and LoJack help recover your vehicle if it’s stolen. Since your comprehensive insurance covers stolen cars, that’s where your discount applies.

Remember, not all insurance companies offer identical discount amounts. For example, State Farm insurance discounts for anti-theft devices are as much as 15%. However, GEICO offers up to a 25% discount for the devices.

Safety Features

Auto insurance companies understand that safety features on your car save them money. Not only do these features keep you safe, but they also help you avoid an accident and reduce claims.

Some insurance companies offer a general safety feature discount, and others give up to 5% discounts for each feature individually.

Standard safety features include air bags, seat belts, daytime running lights, cameras, automatic braking, lane assists, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes.

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What are usage-based discounts?

How you drive your car can also help you get discount car insurance. Many larger auto insurance companies offer telematics programs that offer usage-based discounts, such as State Farm Drive Safe & Save, Allstate Drivewise, Liberty Mutual RightTrack, and Progressive Snapshot.

Typically, the insurer uses an app to track specific driving behaviors, such as speeding, phone use, acceleration, and hard braking. Then, you receive a discount based on how well you score.

This table shows usage-based programs from top insurers and the saving amount offered.

Usage-Based Insurance by Provider, Discount, and Savings
Insurance CompanyProgramDeviceEnrollment Discount (Up to)Earned Savings (Up to)
AAAAAADriveMobile App15%30%
AllstateDrivewiseMobile App3%15%
American FamilyKnowYourDriveMobile App or Plug-in5%20%
EsuranceDriveSenseMobile App5%30%
Geico DriveEasyMobile App-20%
Liberty Mutual/SafeCoRightTrackMobile App or Plug-in5% and up30%
MetLifeMy JourneyPlug-in10%30%
MetromileMetromileMobile App-60%
Mile AutoMile AutoNeither-40%
NationwideSmartRideMobile App or Plug-in10%40%
ProgressiveSnapshotMobile App or Plug-inaverage of $2520%
State FarmDrive Safe & SaveMobile App or Plug-in5%30%
The HartfordTrueLanePlug-in5%25%
TravelersIntelliDriveMobile App10%20%
USAASafePilot Mobile App 5%20%
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Keep in mind that some insurers raise your rates if you score poorly. Although telematics can make you a safer driver with immediate feedback, you don’t want your rates to increase either. For drivers with safe driving habits, usage-based discounts offer significant savings. 

What companies offer the most significant discount on auto insurance?

When it comes to auto insurance, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, your personal characteristics determine your rates and discounts. Additionally, each car insurance company determines discount amounts.

To get started, the map below shows the average annual full coverage auto insurance rates by state.

This table shows auto insurance discounts from top insurance companies. Remember, not all insurance companies offer the same discounts, so look carefully to see which insurer can provide you with the most savings.

Average Annual Rates by Coverage for the Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies
Insurance
Company
Average Minimum
Coverage Rates
Average Full
Coverage Rates
Allstate$605$1,993
American Family$582$1,386
Farmers$674$1,674
GEICO$290$984
Liberty Mutual$771$2,120
Nationwide$588$1,445
Progressive$484$1,310
State Farm$408$1,091
Travelers$471$1,287
USAA$238$753
Average$541$1,477

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Compare discounts and rates when shopping for car insurance. Discounts may determine which company is cheaper for you.

Read the fine print when looking at discounts — some discounts are up to a certain percentage, meaning you may not qualify for the total discount.

Also, car insurance companies don’t automatically apply discounts to your policy, so you may have to ask for specific discounts.

What are some tips for getting the cheapest car insurance?

Add discounts to your car insurance policy to significantly lower rates. There are also other ways to get the lowest auto insurance rates available.

First, shop around. As we discussed, each company offers different discounts and rates. Compare multiple companies to find your cheapest auto insurance.

Next, learn what discounts are mandatory and available for you in your state. Then, ask for all eligible discounts, and bundle them for the most savings. Since not all discounts are automatic, you need to know what you’re eligible for and what is mandatory in your state.

Remember, many discounts are up to a certain amount and don’t apply to your entire policy. For example, some discounts only apply to comprehensive coverage. So pay careful attention to the discounts your auto insurance company offers to know precisely how much you’re saving.

Also, change your personal factors to get the lowest car insurance rates. For example, improve your credit score and keep your driving record clean to get lower rates. You can also lower coverage and raise deductibles to get the lowest rates possible.

In addition, think carefully when you buy a new car. Newer or more expensive cars have higher auto insurance rates since repair costs are higher.

Finally, make changes to your policy to add more discounts. Pay in full, go paperless, and renew early to save even more. See what car insurance discounts your insurer offers and learn how to take advantage of as many as possible.

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Auto Insurance Discounts: The Bottom Line

Auto insurance discounts are an easy way to lower high coverage rates. For example, discounts can bring your rates down to normal if you have high rates due to a bad driving record.

Car insurance companies typically base discounts on the driver, policy, and vehicle. Most insurers allow you to bundle eligible discounts for the most significant savings.

When shopping for insurance, compare discounts and rates. Every insurance company offers different discounts, and the discount amount also varies.

Typical savings include safe driver, good student, multi-car, and occupational discounts. Many top insurance companies also offer usage-based discounts, which use telematics to monitor specific driving habits. How safely you drive determines your discount.

Get the cheapest rates by shopping around. Comparing rates, coverages, and discounts helps you find the best insurance for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best auto insurance discounts? 

The best car insurance discounts vary by driver. The most significant savings typically comes from a safe driver discount, but not everyone has a good driving record. While one driver qualifies for a safe driver discount, another may only be able to take advantage of vehicle discounts. 

The best way to save with discounts is to bundle them. Bundling your discounts may also save you on other insurance products, like homeowners, renters, and boat coverage.

How long must you be an insurance company customer before receiving discounts?

Each car insurance company decides how long you have to be a customer before being eligible for discounts. However, some discounts, such as a loyalty discount, require you to be a customer for longer.

However, vehicle and policy discounts are typically available immediately. Additionally, discounts like a defensive driving discount only apply after your complete an action.

How much is a good student discount?

Drivers can save up to 25% with a good student discount if the student maintains at least a B average while enrolled in school full-time and is under 25. Young drivers can bundle the good student and driver’s education discounts for the most savings.

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.

Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Written by Mathew B. Sims
Editor-in-Chief Mathew B. Sims

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

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