Owning and operating a vehicle can be an expensive but necessary responsibility. We count on our cars to get us to and from work, take our children to school, and run countless errands. And, along with any monthly payments you make if you’ve bought or leased a new car, you also have to pay for gas, regular maintenance, and auto insurance. All this can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. Fortunately, when shopping for car insurance, there are several car policy discounts available to drivers that can lower your monthly premium.

10 Car Insurance Discounts

  • Good Driver Discounts
  • Multi-Policy Discounts (car + home)
  • Multi-Car Discounts 
  • Military Discounts
  • Defensive Driver Discounts
  • Low Mileage Discounts
  • Student Discounts (for good grades)
  • Safety Feature Discounts
  • Anti-Theft Discounts 
  • New Car Discounts

Your insurance agent should ask you about your eligibility for these discounts, but you should also check in with your agent to see if any new discounts are available for you, even if you’ve had a policy with the same provider for years. Every provider will have different programs available and the discounts will vary based on a number of factors.

What Are Car Insurance Discounts?

All insurance companies offer special discounts to current and prospective policyholders if they meet different standards. Some of these are dependent on having a safe driving record, while others may only be available to those who hold multiple policies with the same provider. An auto insurance discount can also be obtained based on your age, the type of car you have, the age of your car, how long you’ve been insured, or whether you’re enrolled in an auto-pay program. 

Available discounts vary by company and can range from 5% to 40% off and many drivers will be eligible for more than one discount which can be applied to your final premium. However, finding cheap car insurance is just the tip of the iceberg, and the lowest cost doesn’t always mean it’s the best insurance for you. You should always review your policy and shop around to make sure you have the coverage you need.

It’s also important to point out that although you’ll frequently see advertisements for cheap insurance, the full range of available discounts may not always be shown. Sometimes discounts are advertised to all prospective customers, while other times they can be intentionally or unintentionally hidden. This means that it’s your responsibility to ask your agent what discounts you may be eligible for when you’re getting an insurance premium quote. It’s a good idea to review articles like this before meeting with an agent so you can ask about specific programs you think you may qualify for.

As a bonus of purchasing a policy for your car and earning auto insurance discounts, you may also be opening yourself up to savings for other policies such as homeowners insurance or life insurance. Always ask your agent about these additional opportunities since many customers can save money by bundling multiple policies under a single insurance company.

10 Car Insurance Discounts

Good Driver Discounts

A good driver discount (also called a safe driver discount) is commonly offered to someone who’s remained accident or claim-free for a certain period of time. This is typically only awarded to those with a safe driving record of three to five years, but you should check with your insurer to be sure. In some cases, you can still qualify for this discount if you’ve only had one accident within this time period, while others don’t allow any accidents. Your provider may also make a distinction between accidents that you were responsible for causing, and those where the other party was found liable. These discounts are usually between 10% and 20%.

Multi-Policy Discounts (car + home)

Almost every insurance provider offers a multi-policy discount (also called a “bundling” discount) for customers who also hold non-auto policies with the same company. This could be homeowners insurance, flood insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, or life insurance. In general, you’ll see the highest discounts if you have a home insurance policy in addition to auto with savings as high as 40%, though on average you can expect around a 13% discount. However, even if you do hold multiple policies, they may not all qualify for discounts. For example, purchasing a life insurance policy may earn discounts on your auto and home premiums, but may not lower your monthly payment on the life insurance policy itself.

Multi-Car Discounts 

Families or individuals with more than one vehicle may qualify for a multi-car discount. The more cars you insure with the same provider, the more discounts may be available and these can go as high as 25%. In most cases, all insured vehicles must be parked at the same address to be eligible, although if you have a college-aged child who uses a family car while they are away at school this could also apply.

Military Discounts

Those who currently serve or have served in the armed forces may qualify for a military discount, and most insurance companies offer this. Veterans and servicemembers will often find the greatest discounts with  United Services Automobile Association (USAA) since this insurance company only serves service members. That said, you should always shop around because you may find a lower overall rate with another company by bundling other policies. These discounts may vary depending on your status and whether or not you’re currently deployed.

Defensive Driver Discounts

The defensive driver discount isn’t available with all providers but may be offered to good drivers who take a pre-approved defensive driving course. Notably, this driver training discount is usually only offered to drivers over the age of 50 or 55 and is intended to reduce the number of accidents older drivers are involved in.  Discounts for completing this course are typically around 10%. However, if you think you may qualify, contact your car insurance company before enrolling in a course to make sure it will count. Not all driving courses will be properly certified, and your provider and the state you live in will affect what courses are available.  

Low Mileage Discounts

Most car insurance rates are based on individuals driving an average of 10,000 miles annually. However, some people who drive less than 7,500 miles a year could be eligible for a special low mileage discount. These auto insurance discounts may also be available on a pay-per-mile basis which involves installing a monitor in your car that tracks your mileage. Not all car insurance companies will offer this, but it may be ideal for those who only drive short distances or don’t use their car every day.

Student Discounts (for good grades)

You may be eligible for a good student discount. Many students who are enrolled full time in either high school or college are eligible for a young driver discount if they maintain a certain grade point average, usually B’s or above. This driver discount is usually limited to those under the age of 25 and can be especially valuable because on average younger drivers face much higher premiums because they’re more likely to get into accidents.

Safety Feature Discounts

Certain safety features like daytime running lights, lane departure warnings, dual airbags, or anti-lock brakes can get you discounts from some providers. These features can reduce the likelihood of an accident and the severity of injuries, so providers offer discounts because they can lower their medical payment or personal injury protection payment. Features like anti-lock brakes can also minimize the damage of a car wreck and insurers may apply a special discount to your collision coverage because of this.

Anti-Theft Discounts

Nowadays, it’s common for new cars to come with a factory-installed anti-theft device. This can not only prevent your car from being stolen in the first place but can also help you locate a stolen vehicle after the fact. If your car did not come with this, there are after-market devices that can be installed by the owner. In many cases, having this added security protection can also include discounts on your comprehensive coverage (the coverage that pays out after a theft) of between 5% and 15%.

New Car Discounts

If you’re the first owner of your car and it’s between one and three years old, you may be able to get a small discount of between 5% and 15% on your premium. Newer cars typically have more safety features and it’s assumed that less can go wrong with a new car mechanically. New cars can lower the financial responsibility of your insurance provider after an accident. 

Tips for Finding Car Insurance Discounts

Anyone who wants to drive a car legally must obtain insurance coverage, but it can be overwhelming trying to decide what provider to go with and how to make sure you’re getting the best deal. The most important step you can take when shopping around is to actually talk with an insurance agent and get several comprehensive quotes. This way you can compare coverage and costs side by side instead of depending on ballpark estimates.

Many insurance companies will advertise a policy discount on their website, but you won’t know for sure if you qualify until you work with an agent. For example, you may see ads for a certain insurance discount that says “up to 30% off,” when in reality very few people will qualify for that high a discount and yours might be closer to 10% or 15%. Your actual discount can be affected by your age, your driving record, or your credit score. Additionally, there are likely hidden discounts that you may be unaware of unless you ask about them. Insurance companies can have dozens of available discounts, but they won’t always know what you’ll qualify for unless you speak up.

When shopping, keep in mind that each state has its own requirements for what types of car insurance drivers have to carry as well as certain discounts that providers must offer. Because of this, you may want to do a little research on your own about your specific state before you start talking with providers.

Lastly, just because you can qualify for multiple discounts, doesn’t mean that you’ll be allowed to take them all. Many companies impose caps on how high your total discount can go. This is often limited to 30% or 40% even if you theoretically qualify for a 60% discount. This makes it even more essential that you obtain multiple quotes, because you may think you’ll be getting a huge discount from one provider, when in fact they’re only able to reduce your total premium by 30%.

There seem to be more options for discounts on car insurance than any other type of coverage. As it turns out, most drivers will qualify for some sort of discount, even if they’ve had accidents in the past. By doing your homework and speaking with multiple agents, you can find the right discounted insurance policy for your needs and budget.