How Does a Clean Driving Record Affect Car Insurance Rates in 2024?

Drivers with infraction-free records on the road can expect to pay less for car insurance than drivers with violations.

Bob Phillips
Written byBob Phillips
Bob Phillips
Bob Phillips
  • 15+ years in personal finance advising and writing

  • Holds Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation

Bob has spent 15+ years helping people plan their financial lives. As a freelance writer, he’s covered insurance, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, and more.

Featured in

media logomedia logo
Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo
Donald Blume
Reviewed byDonald Blume
Donald Blume
Donald BlumeInsurance Agent
  • Licensed Property and Casualty Insurance agent

  • Experience at AAA and Acceptance Insurance

Donald has 10+ years of experience in the insurance industry. He’s contributed to companies such as Nieman Insurance Group, Answer Financial, and RPR Insurance.

Updated June 12, 2023

Save up to $852 by comparing quotes from the top 100+ insurance companies

Excellent
Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
ProgressiveLiberty MutualAllstate
Why you can trust Insurify: Comparing accurate insurance quotes should never put you at risk of spam. We earn an agent commission only if you buy a policy based on our quotes. Our editorial team follows a rigorous set of editorial standards and operates independently from our insurance partners. Learn more.

Your driving record significantly affects your car insurance rates. For example, a driver with a clean driving record might earn a quote as low as $106 per month, while a driver with a bad record could pay as much as $496 per month, according to Insurify data. Here’s what you need to know about clean driving records, how to clear your driving record, who has the best car insurance rates for clean drivers, and more.

Quick Facts
  • USAA, Erie, and GEICO offer the lowest liability rates for drivers with clean records.

  • Drivers with clean records enjoy the lowest rates in North Carolina, Hawaii, and New Hampshire.

  • Comparing quotes from comparison sites like Insurify makes finding the lowest rates in your state an easy, stress-free process.

What is a clean driving record?

Though each state may define a clean driving record a bit differently, a clean driving record is generally free of infractions like speeding, at-fault accidents, failing to use proper signals, driving under the influence (DUI), or distracted driving.

“Having at-fault accidents, moving violations, or excessive claims will not be in your best interest,” says Tony Russell, an independent insurance agent in Eugene, Oregon. These infractions can remain on your driving record for three to five years or longer, depending on the offense and the state where the violation occurred.

How to check your driving record

If you don’t know exactly what your driving record contains — or the timeline of past infractions — you can check your history. Follow this process to easily check your driving record:

  1. Visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.

  2. Provide your personal information in the required fields.

  3. Pay any requested fees.

  4. Follow the instructions to request an official copy through the mail or in person if your driving record is unavailable online.

How does a clean driving record affect the cost of insurance?

Drivers with clean records tend to pay much lower rates than drivers with infractions like accidents, speeding, and DUIs on their driving records.[1] For example, your insurer may increase your premium by a certain percentage after you file a claim for an accident you caused.[2]

The following table illustrates the difference between average monthly car insurance rates for drivers with clean records and those with driving infractions. On average, drivers with clean records pay about 29% less for car insurance than those with a speeding ticket. And drivers found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs pay about 66% more than drivers with a clean record.

Driving HistoryAverage Monthly Quote: LiabilityAverage Monthly Quote: Full Coverage
Clean record$197$295
Speeding ticket$264$395
At-fault accident$281$422
DUI$391$587
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cost benefits of having a clean record

If you have a clean record, you’re more likely to earn several cost benefits related to your deductible, premium, and good driver discounts.

  • Lower deductible: You may earn a vanishing or diminishing deductible when you have a clean record. Some insurers will consider your risk of getting into an accident to be low and reduce your deductible by a set amount or percentage each policy period you don’t have a violation or accident. For example, Progressive will subtract $50 from your policy’s collision or comprehensive deductible at renewal for each six-month policy period you are accident- and violation-free.

  • Good driver discounts: You can save on your monthly premiums and earn good driver discounts, such as accident forgiveness. With accident forgiveness, some companies, like GEICO, won’t increase your rates due to your first at-fault accident if you’ve been accident-free for a certain amount of time. “If your rate goes up with your current carrier, but you still have accident forgiveness, be very careful about jumping to another insurance company where you may lose it,” says Russell. “Some accidents raise your rate 30%.”

  • Lower premiums: Having a clean driving record will save you a significant amount each year through lower premiums.

Cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with clean records

Drivers with clean records earn some of the lowest rates for liability and full-coverage auto insurance from many different auto insurance companies. As you’ll see in the table below, rates for drivers with clean records vary by insurer and coverage type. 

If you purchase a full-coverage car insurance policy, you’ll pay more than you would for liability-only coverage. The average monthly quotes for liability insurance start as low as $106 with USAA, $107 with Erie, and $125 with both GEICO and State Farm. The cheapest average monthly full-coverage quotes include $132 with Erie, $152 with USAA, and $172 with Travelers.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote: LiabilityAverage Monthly Quote: Full Coverage
USAA$106$152
Erie$107$132
GEICO$125$178
State Farm$125$175
Travelers$131$172
Allstate$146$212
Kemper$152$294
American Family$158$227
Progressive$161$238
Nationwide$167$182
Dairyland$185$354
Liberty Mutual$198$284
The Hartford$206$248
Farmers$218$316
Bristol West$239$375
CSAA$266$379
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest states for car insurance with clean records

Car insurance premiums vary by state due to location-based factors, like weather, the likelihood of crime, and state minimum vehicle insurance requirements.[3] Drivers in urban areas also tend to pay higher rates than those in rural and suburban areas because traffic congestion and population density increase driving risks.

For example, the data in the chart below shows how drivers in New York, with its large urban centers and populous suburbs, pay about seven times more for liability-only coverage than drivers in North Carolina, which has much smaller cities. 

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Cheap Car Insurance

Cheap Car Insurance

How to clear your driving record

If you have infractions on your driving record you’d like to clear, you can take specific actions to try to have points removed, including:

  • Take a defensive driving course. Some states won’t give you points on your record for certain traffic charges if you take a defensive driving course. Some municipality websites can even advise you on eligibility requirements and how to apply for a defensive driving course.

  • Dispute errors. To ensure you’re not being charged higher-than-necessary car insurance premiums, check your driving record and dispute any errors with the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles. Notify your insurance company if a resolution occurs in your favor.

  • Ask a judge to clear your record. If you completed a defensive driving course, traffic school, or a driver’s education class after you paid for a ticket, appeal to a judge to show leniency and remove points from your traffic record. Showing up in court shows evidence of your attendance, and you can pledge not to commit future infractions.

  • Avoid additional violations. Sometimes, you’ll have to wait for time to expire before the violations are removed from your driving record, which can take three to five years. Avoid further violations during this time to avoid prolonging the amount of time you have infractions on your record.

Cheapest Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Cheapest Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Clean driving record FAQs

Most auto insurers reward drivers with a clean record. Here’s what you need to know about how a clean driving record affects insurance rates.

  • What is a good driving record?

    When auto insurers examine a copy of your driving record report from your local DMV and don’t see any incidents on your record, they’ll likely believe you have a good driving record. Generally, if your record remains free of violations for a few years, you have a good driving record.

  • Which are the best insurance companies for drivers with a clean record?

    USAA, Erie, and GEICO seem to offer the best rates for drivers with clean records, according to Insurify data. The best auto insurance company for you may depend on your own record, vehicle type, location, and more.

  • How far back does a driving record go?

    Ultimately, this depends on the state in which the violation or infraction occurred. For example, the Utah Department of Public Safety indicates that a motor vehicle report will include citations, arrests, suspensions, and revocations for three years, and DUI or drug-related charges will remain for 10 years.[4] How long speeding tickets, accidents, and DUIs stay on your record will vary by state.

  • How do you withdraw your guilty plea for a speeding ticket?

    You can dispute your ticket in court if you believe the citation is unfair. Specific procedures vary by state, but you’ll need relevant evidence to dispute the ticket. Hiring a lawyer to do this for you will likely cost more than simply paying for the ticket.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Do auto insurance premiums go up after a claim?."
  3. NAIC. "A Consumer's Guide to Auto Insurance."
  4. Utah Department of Motor Safety. "Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)."
Bob Phillips
Bob Phillips


Having spent more than 15 years helping people plan their lives financially, Bob
mastered many different financial products to help people achieve their financial
goals, including life insurance, disability insurance, mutual funds, and stocks and
bonds. He earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation and held
numerous securities licenses. Bob is an internationally published poet and is now
a freelance writer living in North Texas with his wife and Doberman puppy.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo
Donald Blume
Reviewed byDonald BlumeInsurance Agent
Donald Blume
Donald BlumeInsurance Agent
  • Licensed Property and Casualty Insurance agent

  • Experience at AAA and Acceptance Insurance

Donald has 10+ years of experience in the insurance industry. He’s contributed to companies such as Nieman Insurance Group, Answer Financial, and RPR Insurance.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualAllstate

Latest Articles

View all