Very Cheap Car Insurance With no Deposit or Down Payment

You’ll almost always have to pay some money at the beginning of a car insurance policy, but it’s possible to find insurers with low initial costs.

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Zero-down car insurance doesn’t exist. Car insurance companies want to mitigate their risk of financial loss, so they’ll always require you to pay at least the first month’s premium up front when you start a policy. Some may require a down payment that’s higher than the first month’s premium.

But it’s still possible to get cheap car insurance with a low down payment. You can find an affordable policy within minutes by comparing car insurance quotes from top-rated insurers in your area.

Can you get cheap car insurance with no deposit?

Despite what some car insurance companies advertise, it’s not possible to get cheap car insurance with no money down. Most insurance companies require at least the first month’s premium when you purchase a policy, which locks in your coverage.

However, you can find a car insurance policy that doesn’t require an additional deposit. For example, State Farm and GEICO don’t require a separate deposit on top of your initial premium payment. With these companies, your down payment is equal to your monthly rate.

You should focus on finding the lowest car insurance premium if you want very cheap car insurance with no deposit. Start by shopping around and comparing quotes to see which provider offers you the lowest rate for the type and amount of coverage you want.

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Hear from the experts:

Laura Adams

Laura Adams


Personal Finance Expert

Car insurance with no down payment or up-front premium doesn’t exist — so be wary of companies offering to reduce your cost. The best way to save money on car insurance is to understand which discounts are available and whether you’re eligible for them. For instance, if you recently got married, bought a home, or have a young driver who’s a good student, that can cut your rate. Also, completing a defensive driving course may qualify you or other drivers in your household for an auto insurance discount. Online school, Aceable, allows drivers to complete a state-approved curriculum in just a few hours. The savings vary by insurer, so ask your providers what discount may be available.

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Why do car insurance companies require payment up front?

Car insurance companies require payment up front to reduce their financial risk. The minute your policy takes effect, the insurer agrees to compensate you for any covered losses. An up-front payment protects the insurance company financially if you have a claim early on in your coverage period.

Additionally, charging a down payment prevents drivers from purchasing a policy to show proof of coverage and then never paying. A driver who needs to reinstate a suspended license or get their car out of impound might think twice about this tactic if they know they’ll lose their deposit.

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Most states require drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of liability coverage. Failure to maintain car insurance coverage can have significant legal and financial consequences.

How to find a low-down-payment auto insurance policy

You’ll need to find the lowest premium to get the lowest down payment. But before you start getting quotes, it’s helpful to understand what factors insurance companies look at when pricing your policy.

When you apply for a car insurance quote, the insurance company looks at various criteria. Some are unique to your personal driver profile, and others are related to your vehicle.

Here are some factors that affect your car insurance premium:[1]

  • Information about your car: Your vehicle’s make and model greatly influence the cost of your car insurance. In general, new cars and models with lots of bells and whistles are more expensive to insure than older cars.

  • Information about you: Some personal factors that affect your car insurance premium include your age, gender, driving record, location, and insurance claim history.

  • Credit information: In most states, car insurance companies can consider credit-based insurance scores when determining your premiums.[2] . Drivers with good credit typically pay less for car insurance than drivers with poor credit. Improving your credit score can help you get a lower rate.

Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender

Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender

Find car insurance discounts

To help drivers get affordable coverage, most car insurance companies offer discounts. Below are some of the most common discounts insurers offer:

  • Safe driver: You can usually qualify for a discount on your premium if you have no prior insurance claims, accidents, or tickets.

  • Paperless billing: You can often get a slightly lower car insurance premium if you enroll in paperless billing and electronic policy statements.

  • Multi-vehicle: Insuring two or more vehicles on the same car insurance policy will usually result in a lower premium.

  • Safety features: If your car is equipped with certain safety features, like antilock brakes and airbags, your insurer may lower your rate.

  • Good student: Teen and college-aged drivers may be able to get a good student discount if they maintain a GPA that meets the insurer’s requirements.

Every car insurance company uses a different rating algorithm and offers unique discounts. To get the most affordable no-down-payment car insurance, you should get quotes from a few different insurers and pay attention to the discounts available to see how much you can save.

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Tips for getting cheaper car insurance

Dozens of reputable car insurance providers are available, but each company has pros and cons. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, here are some things to consider.

Modify your coverage level

Liability-only insurance is typically cheaper than full coverage, according to Insurify data trends. While you may meet your state’s minimum liability requirements, liability insurance only covers damage that you cause to another person’s car, property, and injuries. It doesn’t cover any damages to your vehicle. Full-coverage car insurance provides coverage for repairing or replacing your vehicle after a covered incident.[3]

Consider modifying your coverage to liability only if you drive an older vehicle that you paid off and if the car’s fair market value is worth less than what it would be for a major repair. If you drop full coverage from your car insurance policy, you can save roughly 40% to 90% on your premiums.

For example, a full-coverage policy with Dairyland is an average of $354 a month, but its average liability-only premiums are much lower, at $186 a month. The table below shows the differences between insurers’ liability and full-coverage average premiums.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Monthly Quote: Full Coverage
American Family$158$227
Liberty Mutual$198$284
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.

Look into monthly plans

Many car insurance companies offer monthly payment plans, which can make your premium payments more manageable if you’re on a budget. Rather than paying your annual premium up front and in full, you usually have the option to pay it in six or 12 installments, depending on the length of your policy term. 

However, you can often get a discount for paying your annual premium in a lump sum when you first purchase coverage. You should consider paying annually if you want to save money. The following insurance companies let drivers break up their premiums into monthly payments:


  • Allstate

  • Progressive

  • American Family

Consider pay-as-you-go or pay-per-mile insurance

Both pay-as-you-go and pay-per-mile insurance aim to help reduce your costs by allowing you to pay only for the amount of insurance you really need. Several pay-per-mile companies, like Mile Auto and Metromile, charge based on the number of miles you drive in a month. If you don’t drive much, this can be a good way to lower your car insurance costs.

Pay-as-you-go is a fairly new type of car insurance launched by Hugo. The company currently operates in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Drivers who need temporary car insurance can purchase coverage for as little as three days, or in intervals of seven or 14 days, or one or six months.

Research customer support

The best car insurance companies offer excellent customer support options. Look for features like live chat or 24/7 customer service and claims-handling when comparing providers. We also recommend providers with a robust mobile app or online customer portal that allows you to make changes and file claims anytime, anywhere.

Diminished Value Claim Explained

Diminished Value Claim Explained

Research company history and financial strength

Before you purchase car insurance, do some research to make sure the company is reputable. Free resources, like J.D. Power’s Auto Insurance Study and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index, can help you gauge current customers’ opinions of the insurer.

You should also check out A.M. Best to see how the insurance company fares in terms of financial strength. Insurers with excellent or superior financial strength have a strong balance sheet and have demonstrated their ability to meet policyholder obligations and pay out claims.

Compare multiple car insurance quotes

The most effective way to find cheap no-down-payment car insurance is to compare quotes. To make the process easier, we recommend using a car insurance quote-comparison platform to get quotes from multiple providers with a single application. 

Another option is to get quotes on individual insurer websites and compare the quotes manually. But comparing quotes this way takes longer, and some car insurance companies require you to call an agent to get a rate estimate.

Keep In Mind

You should focus on getting the cheapest car insurance premium if you want the lowest down payment. Get quotes from multiple insurers and compare them to see which one offers you the lowest price.

Find Affordable Car Insurance

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Finding very cheap car insurance without a deposit

Zero-down car insurance doesn’t exist, and it’s not possible to secure coverage without paying any money up front. In most cases, car insurance companies require you to pay at least the first month’s premium before your policy becomes active.

However, getting very cheap car insurance with no additional deposit is possible. Find the best insurers by considering criteria like discounts, customer service, and financial strength. Then, compare car insurance quotes to find the lowest rate for your coverage needs.

Car insurance with no deposit FAQs

If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to find affordable car insurance. Here’s some additional information that might help as you research different policies.

  • Do all car insurance companies require a deposit or down payment?

    All car insurance companies require some form of payment up front before you can purchase coverage. This is a way for insurers to reduce risk. Whether you make a traditional deposit or pay the first month’s premium, you must pay something to lock in your policy. You won’t find any car insurance companies that provide coverage for free, with zero dollars down.

  • Is it possible to get very cheap car insurance without a down payment?

    Although you can get coverage without an additional deposit, you’re always required to pay at least the first month’s premium up front before your coverage takes effect.

    Depending on your insurance company, you usually also have the option to pay the premium annually, biannually, or quarterly. Whatever amount you pay up front is considered the deposit, with the lowest deposit being the first month’s premium.

  • Which auto insurance companies don’t require a down payment?

    Every car insurance company requires a down payment in the form of the first month’s premium. However, many car insurance providers don’t require a secondary deposit on top of the initial premium, including: 

    • Farmers

    • Progressive

    • State Farm

    • Kemper

    • SafeAuto

    • Allstate

    • Nationwide

    • Alliance

    This list is not exhaustive, so it’s a good idea to contact a car insurance company directly if you have questions about its down payment requirements.

  • How can you compare car insurance quotes from the best companies?

    Comparing car insurance quotes is easy, and there are a few ways to do it. One option is to apply for quotes on provider websites. Most of the biggest car insurance companies have an online quote tool where you input some personal information and receive an automatic quote.

    Another way to compare quotes is to use a quote-comparison platform. This makes the process of comparing car insurance quotes quicker and easier. With a single application, you can get personalized quotes from multiple insurance companies. Then, you can purchase a policy online or over the phone with an agent.

    No matter which option you choose, it’s important to compare car insurance quotes to find the most affordable policy for your unique coverage needs.


Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.


  1. III. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed April 19, 2023
  2. NAIC. "Credit-Based Insurance Scores." Accessed April 19, 2023
  3. III. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage." Accessed April 19, 2023
Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer covering insurance and personal finance. She has extensive knowledge of various insurance lines, including property and casualty, health, and life insurance. Her byline has been featured in dozens of publications, including Investopedia, Forbes, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, and