The Cheapest Car Insurance in North Carolina for 2022

MoneyGeek compared car insurance quotes from insurers across North Carolina. Our analysis found that Nationwide is the cheapest insurer for the average driver in North Carolina and that drivers can pay up to $484 less per annum by shopping around.

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Last Updated: 6/13/2022
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Although Nationwide offers the most affordable car insurance in North Carolina on average, several factors determine your car insurance cost, including coverage amount, driving history, age and credit score. This means that while Nationwide is the cheapest company overall, the most affordable option for you can vary depending on your profile.

For example, GEICO offers the cheapest policy for North Carolina drivers with bad credit. Depending on your age, GEICO and State Farm are the cheapest options for young drivers.

For those looking for an even more local solution, we also broke down the cheapest companies by city, as well as the best car insurance companies in North Carolina for those looking to balance quality service and cost.

To find out how MoneyGeek calculated the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina, read our methodology.

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Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in North Carolina

Minimum liability-only coverage is generally less expensive than full coverage, as it does not offer comprehensive and collision coverage. This policy is cheaper because it presents low liability coverage limits that only meet North Carolina’s minimum car insurance requirements.

The most affordable car insurance for minimum coverage in North Carolina are:

  • Nationwide: $301 per year
  • State Farm: $357 per year

MetLife offers the costliest car insurance for minimum coverage in this state, with average annual rates of $559.

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in North Carolina
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    North Carolina Farm Bureau
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These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average North Carolina driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

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Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance in North Carolina

A full coverage policy is more expensive than minimum coverage, but it safeguards against the cost of damages to your car, not just others’ vehicles. This package offers higher liability limits and comprehensive and collision insurance, which can protect you against most road accidents and off-road incidents in North Carolina. It’s wise to compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers so you can find the lowest prices.

The cheapest full coverage car insurance companies in North Carolina are:

  • Nationwide: $600 per year
  • State Farm: $650 per year

The most expensive car insurance for full coverage is Progressive, costing $1,084 per year on average.

Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance in North Carolina

Please note that your individual premiums will vary from these examples. The costs are for a plan with comprehensive and collision insurance, $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $100,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

How to Compare Cheap North Carolina Car Insurance Quotes Online

Most insurers offer an online quote feature for consumers’ convenience. You should use consistent limits while comparing quotes. For example, if you get a rate with one carrier for $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, you should make sure to use the same limit when acquiring prices from another provider.

MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculator will give you a quote estimate for car insurance in North Carolina. However, for a personalized quote, you need to provide personal details or use MoneyGeek’s pricing data to find good company websites to shop on. In North Carolina, Nationwide, State Farm and Erie are the three least expensive insurers, and they are ideal places to start your search for a policy.

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Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI in North Carolina

Drivers in North Carolina with a high-risk driving violation in their history, such as a DUI, are riskier for insurers to cover and will pay higher rates. Even the cheapest car insurance for high-risk drivers can cost significantly higher. In this state, the average cost of car insurance for drivers with a DUI is $3,397 per year, compared to $841 for the average driver with a clean record.

The least expensive insurers for a driver with a DUI and full coverage in North Carolina are:

  • Nationwide: $2,240 per year
  • State Farm: $2,572 per year

These two providers also present the cheapest full coverage packages for drivers with a clean record.

Average Car Insurance Rates With a DUI

More than 3,848 drunk driving deaths occurred in North Carolina between 2009-2018. 1.3% of drivers in North Carolina admit to driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days. North Carolina has instituted strict penalties for those caught driving under the influence, including jail time, fines and license suspension. Finding cheap car insurance with a DUI in North Carolina may take extra work, but it can be done. Review the table above to get a sense of how premiums stack up across several companies.

In previous years, individuals convicted of a DUI in North Carolina could have their records expunged after seven years. That law changed and now only individuals found not guilty – or those whose cases were dismissed – can have their record expunged. Otherwise, it stays permanently. Having a DUI can result in costs far beyond court fees and fines, so think twice before getting behind the wheel while impaired.

Cheapest Car Insurance in North Carolina for Drivers With an At-Fault Accident

Car insurance costs in North Carolina vary depending on the driver’s record, with poor driving records attracting higher rates. On average, a driver with an at-fault accident on their record will pay $1,345 yearly for car insurance in North Carolina.

For drivers in North Carolina with an at-fault accident, the cheapest car insurance companies are:

  • State Farm: $971 per year
  • Nationwide: $1,040 per year
Cheapest Car Insurance With an At-Fault Accident

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With Tickets in North Carolina

It’s advisable to avoid even a minor driving offense like a ticket, as it will increase your car insurance costs. In North Carolina, drivers with a recorded speeding ticket need to shell out $1,193 per year on average for auto insurance, compared to $841 for those with a spotless record.

The most affordable car insurance companies in North Carolina for a driver with full coverage and a speeding ticket are:

  • Nationwide: $866 per year
  • State Farm: $971 per year

Meanwhile, Progressive has the most expensive full coverage package for a driver with tickets in North Carolina, with an average annual rate of $1,490.

Average Car Insurance Rates With a Ticket

Tickets for distracted driving and speeding can cause your car insurance rates to rise in some cases, and for good reason. Whether looking at your cell phone or adjusting your radio dial, these acts can have serious consequences for yourself and others. The table above looks at approximate rates of auto insurance for those with a ticket on their record.

According to I Drive Safely, moving violations stay on your driving record for approximately three years. After this time – assuming you do not receive any other citations – you can apply for more affordable auto insurance.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina for Drivers With Bad Credit

A bad credit score can make it more difficult to obtain loans, and it can also increase your insurance costs. In North Carolina, drivers with poor credit pay $1,061 per year on average for their car insurance coverage, about $220 more than the typical driver pays.

The cheapest car insurance companies for a driver with poor credit and full coverage in North Carolina are:

  • GEICO: $540 per year
  • Nationwide: $724 per year

While GEICO offers cheaper full coverage packages for drivers with bad credit, State Farm’s rates are lower for those with a healthy credit score.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With Bad Credit

North Carolinians maintained an overall average credit score of 694 as of 2019, a number considered “good” by credit reporting company Experian. But not all residents have a great credit score. For those with low numbers, their car insurance rates may be higher. When writing an insurance policy, agencies must assess the risk they take on by insuring that person. People with bad credit are seen as higher risk because they may not be able to pay their premiums due to outstanding debt. The table above gives you a sense of what to expect if you have a bad credit rating.

A bad credit score can impact your rates for a lot more than car insurance, so it’s best to try and raise it as soon as possible. The good news is that improving your credit score may help improve your rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance in North Carolina for Seniors

In North Carolina, senior drivers typically need to pay slightly higher car insurance rates than the typical driver. The average price of car insurance is $847 per year for senior drivers in the state, $6 more than a 40-year-old driver pays.

The most affordable insurers in North Carolina for senior drivers with full coverage are:

  • Nationwide: $549 per year
  • State Farm: $687 per year

These two providers also present the cheapest full coverage insurance options for the average non-senior driver.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Seniors

Drivers aged 65 and older are considered seniors and may encounter several unique factors when gathering free car insurance quotes in North Carolina. Due to the fact that these drivers were responsible for 14.3% of all fatal crashes in the state during 2017, some insurers may require them to pay higher rates. When seeking car insurance for seniors, emphasize factors such as a clean record and a reduced amount of driving to vie for lower rates. The table above demonstrates the spectrum of costs senior drivers may be quoted.

Seniors in North Carolina can renew their license every eight years until the age of 66. Those aged 66 and older must renew their license every five years. Regardless of age, seniors must pass a vision test every time they apply.

Cheapest Car Insurance in North Carolina for Young Drivers

In North Carolina, car insurance rates for young drivers are typically expensive because inexperienced drivers are a high-risk category for insurers. On average, a 16-year-old driver will pay $2,130 per year for car insurance compared to an annual rate of $882 for a 25-year-old.

GEICO is usually the cheapest company for young drivers in North Carolina, although State Farm is the cheapest for young drivers aged 16-18.

Annual Car Insurance In North Carolina for Young Drivers

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  • Age
    Average Cost
    Cheapest Company
    Company Cost
  • $2,167
    State Farm
  • $1,808
    State Farm
  • $1,603
    State Farm
  • $1,092
  • $1,062
  • $942
  • $923
  • $903
  • $886
  • $858

Inform your insurer when your teenager is ready to begin driving and discuss ways to minimize the inevitable increase in premiums. If you limit your child to driving your least expensive car, for example, it may keep your rate down.

North Carolina currently ranks third in the nation for teen driver deaths, averaging 2.36 fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers aged 16–19. Therefore, finding cheap car insurance quotes for students in this age group can be difficult.

Insurance Rate Information for Military Drivers and Veterans

Home to Fort Bragg, America's largest Army base, North Carolina has a large active military and veteran population. When comparing insurance rates, look into companies that cater to active military, veterans and their families, like USAA or Armed Forces Insurance (AFI). They will likely offer special insurance options to cover you during military deployments, for example. Other insurance companies, like GEICO, also provide special discounts for military families.

If you are a member of the Armed Forces and deployed outside North Carolina, you can present the DMV with your deployment orders and renew your license prior to leaving. If your license expires while on active duty outside of North Carolina, you have 60 days after you are released from active duty to renew. You can also register a vehicle by mail when deployed out of state.

Average Rates for North Carolina service members

25 years$968
50 years$869
25 years$968
50 years$869

Car Insurance in North Carolina: What You Need to Know

All drivers in North Carolina must carry liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You need to carry liability coverage on your vehicle to maintain its registration. If you plan to cancel your insurance or switch to a new company, turn in your license plate or purchase the new policy before canceling your old insurance. Otherwise, the state could fine you.

Proof of Insurance in North Carolina

You must provide proof of auto insurance to register your vehicle in North Carolina. The state does not accept out-of-state policies.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements in North Carolina

North Carolina requires that all motor vehicle drivers possess the following minimum insurance coverage:

  • $30,000 for injuries to one person
  • $60,000 for injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

The state also requires that all policies include uninsured motorist coverage with the same 30/60/25 minimums. If a motorist without insurance hits you, this coverage helps pay for the damages.

How Much Coverage Do You Need in North Carolina?

North Carolina's liability coverage minimums are slightly higher than average, but that doesn't mean this is enough to cover you in a serious accident. Most experts recommend carrying liability insurance with up to $100,000 for injuries per person and $300,000 per accident. If you have a new car, your lender will probably also require collision and comprehensive insurance. Talk with your insurance agent to decide what combination of insurance is best for you.

North Carolina adds a surcharge on all insurance policies to fund the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, the state's "residual" auto insurance program for high-risk drivers. When an insurance company thinks a driver is too risky to insure, it will transfer the driver to the residual pool. North Carolina's Reinsurance Facility covers around a quarter of the state's drivers. This is the largest percentage of drivers insured in any residual state pool in the country.

Because the pool incorporates surcharges to help fund the pool, some consumer advocates complain that the program punishes drivers with good driving records. But former North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin argues that the system works. "Drivers in North Carolina are fortunate to have among the lowest average car insurance costs in the country," he said. "On top of that, they have an abundance of choices of coverage from more than 150 car insurance companies. Making drastic changes to our system would only benefit insurers' bottom lines and lead to higher rates for all North Carolina drivers."

FAQs About Car Insurance in North Carolina

To help consumers make the right buying decision, MoneyGeek answers their commonly asked questions about car insurance policies and rates in North Carolina.

Expert Advice on Finding Cheap Car Insurance in North Carolina

To help you find credible and accurate information on car insurance in North Carolina, MoneyGeek collected expert advice from trusted professionals. The perspectives and opinions expressed are those of the individual contributor.

  1. What are the key factors drivers in North Carolina should look for when searching for the best auto insurance coverage?
  2. What steps can drivers in North Carolina take to find affordable car insurance?
  3. How do regulations and rules in North Carolina impact insurance pricing and how consumers might shop for coverage?
David Marlett
David Marlett

Managing Director of Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, IIANC Distinguished Professor of Insurance at Appalachian State University

Melissa M. Hart
Melissa M. Hart

Senior Lecturer, Finance at North Carolina State University

Dr. Brenda Wells
Dr. Brenda Wells

Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance at East Carolina University; Director, Risk Management and Insurance Program

John Forlines III
John Forlines III

Professor of Economics at Duke University

Dr. Jia Li
Dr. Jia Li

Associate Professor at the School of Business, Wake Forest University

Daniel Tobias
Daniel Tobias

CEO and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional at Passport Wealth Management

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About the Author


Katy McWhirter is a professional writer and owner of Heritage Creatives, a boutique historical branding agency. She has experience in nonprofit management, marketing, personal finance, government relations and education from her decade-plus writing career. Katy’s work has been featured in both the United States and abroad, highlighting the need for research-driven, accessible information on financial topics.

Katy earned her bachelor’s degree in social entrepreneurship from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her master’s degree in modern history from the University of York in England. She spends her free time with her husband and two cats, restoring their 1901 home in Louisville and reading up on all things personal finance.