Here’s an Easy Way to See Whether You’re Overpaying for Car Insurance

Cars drive past a sculpture of cars.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.
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For many, car insurance is just one of those things where we cave in and pay. Because, just like the electric bill and phone service, we need it, right?

There’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But one way you could save money is by shopping and comparing rates twice a year.

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine, which offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds, so you can see whether you’re overpaying.

“Not only can a lot of circumstances in your life and your car (mileage, age) change in that time [less than a year], but insurance companies may be changing their pricing as well, and you want to be sure you’re getting the right coverage, service and of course pricing to suit your changing needs,” says Alyssa Connolly, the director of marketing insights at The Zebra.

How much difference things like mileage or age make on your rate depends on the insurer. But The Zebra says most insurers consider 12,000 miles a year average, so your premiums could be higher if you drive more than that — or lower, if you drive less.

You might be surprised to learn the style of car you drive doesn’t matter as much as you might think — but its automaker could. The cheapest makes to insure? Honda, GMC, Chevrolet and Kia, according to a ValuePenguin report.

The most expensive? Tesla and Mercedes-Benz topping the list might not surprise you — but we didn’t expect to see Jeep at No. 3! If you’re driving a Cherokee, check your rates regularly to see if you can find a better deal.

We’re Not Looking for Better Car Insurance Rates

According to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Insurance report, consumers just aren’t shopping around. And car insurance rates keep increasing, with the average person paying $1,470 a year for coverage.

The takeaway? Compare rates regularly.

We talked to Artie Januario, who found new insurance through The Zebra and managed to knock off $30 a month — or $360 a year — from his premium.

“The Zebra is literally there to save me money, which I think at the end of the day, that’s what everybody wants,” he says.

Just enter information about your car and your coverage needs, and The Zebra shows dozens of side-by-side quotes from top insurance companies for free.