Cheap No Down Payment Car Insurance


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byErika Hearthway
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byErika Hearthway

Updated: May 20, 2024

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Auto insurance providers require some form of payment to activate a policy, but some may offer car insurance that allows policyholders to pay lower upfront costs. You only need to settle the first month's payment to get coverage. You’ll be charged monthly premiums after that.

GEICO provides the cheapest car insurance with no down payment at $501 per year on average. That said, it’s best to shop around and compare car insurance rates, as actual prices may vary depending on your state and driver profile.

Why Trust MoneyGeek?
MoneyGeek analyzed companies offering no down payment car insurance using data from Quadrant Information Services and state insurance departments to find the most affordable options. Different driver profiles and geographic locations were also considered to showcase the importance of comparing rates and shopping around.

Can I Get Car Insurance With No Down Payment?

Generally, car insurance providers require some form of payment before activating a policy. If affordability is one of the main factors you consider when shopping for a policy, seeking out the cheapest car insurance companies can help you find the lowest upfront costs.

The best car insurance may vary per person because of different driver profiles and circumstances. If you’re looking for a policy that allows you to pay monthly premiums instead of a lump sum, no down payment car insurance may be a good option for you. However, you still need to make an initial payment.

If an agent offers an insurance policy without asking for any sort of payment, it’s likely a fraudulent agent and a car insurance scam. Help protect yourself and avoid falling victim to such scams by comparing quotes from recognized providers. Should you encounter a fraudulent agent, report the incident to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

How No Down Payment Car Insurance Works

Car insurance with no down payment is a misnomer. Insurance providers require an initial payment to start a policy. This first payment can be for a full year, for several months or for one month. No down payment car insurance simply makes the first payment more affordable as it only requires the first month’s premium to activate coverage.

Even so, paying for several months at once is generally cheaper in the long run. Companies may charge lower premiums or offer car insurance discounts. Additionally, it helps prevent missing monthly payments or a lapse in coverage. That said, it requires you to pay a large amount in a lump sum, which can make budgeting a bit more challenging.

On the other hand, monthly premium payments can be a beneficial option for car insurance for low-income drivers or individuals with limited budgets. Instead of paying in a lump sum, you can split the cost of your auto insurance into more manageable payments. However, this may lead to a higher total per year.

The table below shows how the cost of a GEICO full coverage auto insurance policy may vary depending on the payment option. Monthly payments show the lowest upfront cost, but annual payments include a discount.

Note that these figures are illustrative examples only. The annual payment includes a 5% discount. The rates and discounts are also based on averages. GEICO may provide a different quote for a user.

GEICO Full Coverage Auto Insurance Costs & Payment Options
Cost & Savings
Monthly Payments
Annual Payment

First Payment (Upfront Cost)

$77.34

$881.60

Cost Per Month (x11)

$77.34

0

Total Cost

$928

$881.60

Total savings

0

$46.40

Cheap Full Coverage Car Insurance With No Down Payment

Based on MoneyGeek data, the top three companies for cheap full coverage car insurance with no down payment are:

  • GEICO: $928 per year
  • State Farm: $1,097 per year
  • USAA: $816 per year

Although USAA has the cheapest average rate, the company only offers its policies to active-duty military members, veterans and qualified family members.

Full coverage car insurance covers different situations. There’s no official definition of a full coverage policy, but it typically is a combination of liability, comprehensive and collision insurance. Thus, it offers the best financial protection in the event of an accident.

Cheapest National Full Coverage Insurance Providers
USAAAnnual Premium $816
GEICOAnnual Premium $928
State FarmAnnual Premium $1,097
NationwideAnnual Premium $1,192
AllstateAnnual Premium $1,215
ProgressiveAnnual Premium $1,215
TravelersAnnual Premium $1,379
FarmersAnnual Premium $1,383

These rates are for a full coverage policy, including 50/100/50 coverage limits. That means the policyholder can get up to $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 for bodily injury liability per accident and $50,000 for property damage liability.

The deductible used in gathering quotes was $1,000. This refers to the amount the policyholder owes before the insurance kicks in.

Keep in mind that the table shows average rates for a sample driver profile and insurance policy. The most affordable full coverage insurance policy for you will be based on individualized factors.

Shop around and compare rates from multiple providers to find cheap full coverage car insurance suitable for your needs.

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Cheap Liability-Only No Down Payment Car Insurance

The top options for drivers looking for cheap liability-only no down payment car insurance are:

  • GEICO: $501 per year
  • State Farm: $645 per year
  • USAA: $405 per year

USAA has the cheapest average rate, but it’s only available to individuals with a military association.

Liability-only auto insurance offers the most basic protection against possible financial losses. It also has the least coverage, which is why it’s typically the cheapest type of car insurance. Liability-only coverage covers bodily injuries and property damage to another party due to an accident where the policyholder is at fault.

Average Premiums for State Minimum Liability Coverage
USAAAnnual Premium$405
GEICOAnnual Premium$501
State FarmAnnual Premium$645
NationwideAnnual Premium$677
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$722
AllstateAnnual Premium$723
TravelersAnnual Premium$745
FarmersAnnual Premium$826

These rates are based on national averages for state mandatory minimum coverage requirements.

States have different minimum coverage limits that drivers need to meet. For instance, most states require liability coverage. Some may also include personal insurance protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.

For most drivers, liability-only coverage is the cheapest option. However, the cheapest liability-only car insurance may vary per person. The table shows national averages for state-mandated minimum coverage, but this may differ from your actual rates. Review quotes in your state to find the most affordable liability-only insurance for you.

Cheapest No Down Payment Car Insurance in Your State

When looking for the cheapest no down payment car insurance, it’s best to look at the cheapest rates for the minimum coverage requirement in your state.

Use the table below to see the cheapest provider per state. Click on your state to learn more about the providers offering cheap car insurance in your area.

Cheapest No Down Payment Car Insurance Provider in Each State
AlabamaCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$368
AlaskaCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$453
ArizonaCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$363
ArkansasCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$373
CaliforniaCompanyCSAAAnnual Premium$479
ColoradoCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$347
ConnecticutCompanyGEICOAnnual Premium$420
DelawareCompanyState FarmAnnual Premium$791
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The Best No Down Payment Car Insurance Companies

Although affordability is key when finding the right insurance company, it shouldn’t be your only consideration. The best insurer offers the right coverage options, provides good customer service and has financial stability.

MoneyGeek ranked auto insurance providers using a rating system to determine the best no down payment car insurance providers for a state minimum car insurance policy. Scores were calculated using affordability, financial stability and claim satisfaction ratings from leading sources, including AM Best and J.D. Power.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
GEICO

GEICO is the top pick for no down payment car insurance with state minimum coverage. It has an average annual rate of $501.

The company has an overall score of 85 out of 100, mainly driven by a perfect score in terms of discounts and financial stability, and a high customer satisfaction rating. Read our GEICO review for a complete breakdown of MoneyGeek’s rating.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm

State Farm, which has an average annual rate of $645, ranked second overall for best no down payment car insurance with state minimum coverage.

State Farm got an overall MoneyGeek score of 81 out of 100. It scores highly across categories, especially discounts, financial stability and customer complaints. However, the company only got average ratings for customer satisfaction and affordability. Read MoneyGeek’s State Farm review for more information.

Get No Down Payment Car Insurance Online

Many car insurance companies allow interested individuals to purchase a policy online, making the buying process easier than ever. Below is a simple guide on the steps you need to take when looking for the best no down payment car insurance.

1
Understand your coverage needs

The first thing you need to do is to evaluate your needs as a driver. These play a huge role in determining the right coverage, which will also impact your insurance rate.

How much car insurance you need depends on various factors. The state you live in has a minimum coverage requirement. The value of your car and your financial situation are also important considerations.

2
Research the best providers

The best car insurance companies offer a balance of quality and cost. That’s why it’s important to check available discounts, the claims process and customer service reviews, along with average insurance rates.

Additionally, the best option also varies depending on the type of driver you are because of differences in needs and circumstances.

3
Comparison shop

Insurance providers have different rates even for the same driver profile. The best way to find the best option is to compare quotes. Ideally, you should get personalized quotes from at least three auto insurance companies.

You should also compare offers, specifically coverage levels and relevant discounts. Review the fine print to prevent any issues and unexpected costs.

4
Make your first month’s payment

Once you decide which company offers the best no down payment car insurance, you’ll have to make an initial payment to activate your policy. If you’re looking for the cheapest upfront cost, choosing to pay monthly premiums may be a good option for you.

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Tips for Affordable Car Insurance With No Down Payment

Car insurance can be expensive, but finding the right policy can help you get affordable premiums. Taking extra steps can help you further reduce your car insurance costs.

  • Apply for discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts, which allow policyholders to lower their car insurance expenses. These may include discounts for practicing safe driving, being a good student, insuring multiple vehicles and installing anti-theft devices. For available discounts in your location, visit insurance company websites or contact an agent.
  • Bundle your insurance: Bundling insurance policies can lead to additional savings. Many insurance companies offer discounts or lower premium rates to policyholders who purchase more than one type of policy.
    The most common type is a home and auto insurance bundle, which combines the said policies with the same insurance company. Compare bundling offers from multiple providers. Not only will this help you find the best home and auto bundle. It’ll also determine whether bundling is right for you.
  • Safe driving discounts: Your driving record can affect the cost of your auto insurance. Generally, drivers with speeding tickets or other violations on record have higher premium rates. Maintaining a clean driving record gives you access to more affordable rates. You may also enroll in safe driving courses or defensive driving programs to be eligible for certain insurance discounts.
  • Improve your credit score: Insurance companies usually consider credit scores when calculating car insurance rates. Credit scores show how risky a driver is. Typically, individuals who are careful with their credit scores are seen to be more careful when driving. Thus, making them less risky to insure.

These tips can help reduce your insurance costs. However, it’s still important to get personalized quotes for a more accurate cost comparison.

Shopping around for car insurance every year will also help you find the best offer for your driver profile, especially if your credit score has improved.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have answered some questions you may have thought of concerning cheap no down payment car insurance.

Why do you have to put a down payment on car insurance?
Can I get insurance with no deposit?
Do you pay car insurance up front?
What is the most affordable car insurance with no down payment?
Can I get car insurance with no down payment today?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


sources
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Report Fraud." Accessed December 3, 2022.