It makes sense that so many American drivers are looking for cheap car insurance with no deposit. Who wouldn’t want instant auto insurance without a down payment?

Unfortunately, buying cheap car insurance without a deposit isn’t easy. You might even find it impossible. Reputable companies won’t sell you an auto insurance policy if you don’t put at least some money down on it.

The good news here is that while you probably won’t be able to find cheap “no down payment” car insurance, you should be able to find cheap car insurance with a low down payment.

Keep reading to learn more about getting cheap car insurance with a low deposit, including:

How can I get cheap car insurance with no down payment?

Beware of any company that offers to sell you car insurance without putting money down on it — such as your first payment — in some way. Most of these insurers are fraudulent.

Getting auto insurance from a legitimate company doesn’t mean you have to pay for a full year of coverage in advance and all at once. It does, however, usually mean you have to pay for at least the first month of coverage.

If you can afford to pay the total annual bill for your policy, though, go for it. This can be a great way to get the cheapest auto insurance, as many companies discount your rate for going this route.

What if you choose to pay for your auto coverage in monthly or semi-annual installments? You’ll probably get a discounted rate for the first payment only.

Can I buy instant auto insurance with no down payment?

If you need cheap car insurance now, one way to get it is to pay for your policy monthly. Although you might pay a bit more in the long run, this can help you get coverage immediately. Also, you may have an easier time affording smaller monthly payments rather than bigger annual or semi-annual ones.

Wondering which option might be best for you? Compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies. After you input your address, your car make and model, and some other information, you’ll get a quote with several payment options. These payment options usually include:

  • The first month’s deposit.
  • The total policy premium, often for six months or a year.
  • The monthly payment cost, usually split evenly over six months.

How can I get the cheapest low down payment car insurance?

Although you’ll have a hard time finding legitimate insurance companies that will offer you no-down-payment car insurance, you should have little trouble finding companies that will offer you low-down-payment car insurance.

To get the cheapest low-down-payment or low-deposit auto insurance, pay for a full year of coverage upfront. Many insurance providers will give you a discounted rate if you pay your entire premium all at once.

If you can’t or don’t want to do that, spread your premium payments throughout the year. Most insurers will let you pay for a policy through monthly or semi-annual installments. Even in this case, you may get a discount on your first payment.

We compared rates from the top three insurance companies in the Seattle area and found the average savings for a six-month car insurance policy compared to a monthly policy.

As the table below shows, the first month’s deposit usually is cheaper than the monthly payments that follow. These are the prices the driver should expect if they pay for the full six months at once instead of paying monthly:

Cost of car insurance premiums, monthly vs. upfront payment
  Down payment Monthly premium (x5) Total cost Savings
Monthly $126.30 $158.33 $917.95 --
Six-month total upfront $864.96 $0 $864.96 $52.99

The policy we analyzed covers a 30-year-old female who drives a 2015 Toyota Camry less than 10,000 miles annually in the Seattle metro area. Her car insurance policy has 25/50/10 liability coverage, collision and comprehensive coverages with $500 deductibles, and $10,000 of PIP coverage.

When this sample driver pays for six months of car insurance coverage at once, she saves an average of $53 — or about 6% of her premium.

How much you might save in this situation depends on your insurance provider. For example, we found that one provider offered no savings if our driver paid for the policy upfront. Another provider, though, offered savings of around 18%.

Worth noting, too, is that none of the companies we included in our study offered auto insurance with no deposit.

Compare quotes for low-deposit car insurance from top companies now!

No down payment car insurance companies

No reputable insurance company will sell you car insurance with no deposit. They will often sell you car insurance with a low deposit, though.

The companies listed below offer the cheapest low-down-payment car insurance, according to rate data provided by Quadrant Information Services. These rates are based on a driver profile of a 35-year-old who owns a 2015 Toyota Camry, drives less than 10,000 miles annually, has good credit and a clean driving record, and chose the state-minimum amount of liability coverage in 10 different states.

Companies with cheapest low-down-payment car insurance
Company Average monthly premium
American Family $50
GEICO $52
State Farm $52
Progressive $62
Nationwide $68
Farmers $70
Allstate $86

We found that American Family offers the cheapest auto insurance in this situation, ringing in at an average of $50 per month. Allstate offered the highest rates of the insurers we surveyed, at an average $86 per month.

Keep in mind that what you pay for car insurance and how much you may save by paying for a policy upfront varies depending on where you live, your age, your gender and other factors.

Is it possible to get free insurance?

The term “no-deposit car insurance” tends to be used by insincere companies marketing free insurance to drivers. Don’t expect to get free car insurance from a legitimate company. 

Although a reputable insurer will never offer you free car insurance, that doesn’t mean you can’t get cheap car insurance from them. There are ways to lower car insurance costs or keep them as low as possible. The best way to keep your rates low is to drive safely and maintain a clean driving record.

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