How Much is Car Insurance for First-time Drivers in Seattle?

The words “bargain” and “auto insurance” really shouldn’t be used together, specifically when trying to find the best insurance rates for first-time drivers. Let’s open your eyes to a few of the factors that impact insurance prices, and come up with some ideas to lower the price of your next policy.

Trying to buy reasonably-priced auto insurance is confusing at best, and finding out which company offers the lowest-priced insurance rates for first-time drivers requires even more diligence. Every car insurance company has a unique approach for establishing rates, so to begin we’ll rank the most budget-friendly insurance companies in Seattle, WA.

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Rankings for the cheapest Washington auto insurance companies
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 Capital $777
2 Grange $822
3 PEMCO $974
4 Nationwide $990
5 Travelers $1,028
6 USAA $1,060
7 Mutual Enumclaw $1,065
8 The Hartford $1,080
9 California Casualty $1,105
10 Allied $1,109
11 Chubb $1,116
12 State Farm $1,130
13 Safeco $1,180
14 American Family $1,208
15 Amica $1,256
16 Liberty Mutual $1,296
17 Farmers $1,329
18 Progressive $1,465
19 National General $1,495
20 MetLife $1,647
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Capital offers some of the cheapest car insurance rates in Seattle at around $777 each year. Grange, PEMCO, Nationwide, and Travelers also are some of the best Seattle, WA car insurance companies.

In the above rates, if you currently have a policy with Grange and switched to Capital, you may see yearly savings of upwards of $45. Insureds with PEMCO might save as much as $197 a year, and Nationwide policyholders might lower prices by up to $213 a year.

Understand that those rates are averages across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and and are not calculated with a vehicle location for first-time drivers. So the insurer that fits your age and vehicle best may not even be in the top 25 companies in the list above. That helps illustrate why you need to get car insurance quotes using your own individual information.

The make and model of vehicle you are insuring is one of the largest considerations when shopping for the most affordable car insurance for first-time drivers. Vehicles with reasonable performance levels, good crash test ratings, or a low likelihood of liability claims will cost less to insure than fast, unsafe models.

The data below shows insurance rates for some of the most affordable vehicles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in Seattle, WA
Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Hyundai Elantra GLS Touring Station Wagon $5,885
Honda CR-V EX-L 4WD $5,937
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $5,947
Toyota Prius $6,346
Dodge Grand Caravan SE $6,622
Ford Explorer XLT AWD $6,632
Honda Civic DX 4-Dr Sedan $6,926
Honda Odyssey EX W/Rear Entertainment $6,933
Chevrolet Impala LT $6,978
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD $6,985
Chevrolet Malibu LS $6,978
Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD $6,984
Ford F-150 FX4 Super Cab 4WD $7,031
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off-Road Package 4WD $7,036
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $7,285
Toyota Corolla XLE $7,337
Ford Edge Sport AWD $7,345
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Data based on single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and Washington minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Rates do not factor in your specific Seattle, WA location which can revise coverage prices substantially.

Based on these rates, we can infer that models like the Hyundai Elantra, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota Prius, and Dodge Grand Caravan are some of the cheaper vehicles to insure for new drivers. Rates will tend to be higher because there is more inherent risk for first-time drivers, but generally speaking those makes and models will tend to have the lowest insurance rates that you’ll find.

Get discounts on Seattle insurance rates

Discounts on insurance for first-time driversInsurance companies that offer cheap quotes for first-time drivers may also give you policy discounts that could lower prices by as much as 35% if you are eligible for them. A few of the larger companies and their possible discounts are included below.

The chart below illustrates the difference between yearly insurance costs with and without some available policy discounts. The premium estimates are based on a female driver, no claims or driving citations, Washington state minimum liability limits, full coverage, and $1,000 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows insurance cost with no discounts. The second shows the rates with passive restraint, paid-in-full, good student, continuous coverage, anti-theft, and vehicle safety discounts applied. When these discounts are applied to the policy premium, the average amount saved each year on insurance for first-time drivers is 28% or $430.

Impact of careless driving on insurance rates

The easiest method to maintain the most affordable insurance prices in Seattle for new drivers is to pay attention while driving and maintain a clean driving record. The diagram below shows how violations and accident claims can increase insurance costs for different categories of driver ages. The rates are based on a single male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

The data charted above shows the average cost of an auto insurance policy in Washington per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $1,525. Receive one speeding ticket and the average cost hikes up to $1,718, an increase of $193 each year. Next add one accident along with the one speeding ticket and the 12-month cost of insurance for first-time drivers goes up to an average of $2,256. That’s an increase of $731, or $61 per month, just for not paying attention while driving!

The diagram below demonstrates how deductibles can influence insurance premiums when quoting cheap insurance for first-time drivers. The prices are based on a single female driver, comp and collision included, and no additional discounts are factored in.

The chart above illustrates that a 50-year-old driver could save $280 a year by switching from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $422 by changing to a $1,000 deductible. Youthful drivers, like the Age 20 chart data, could lower their rates $710 each year by choosing a larger deductible amount. When insureds make the decision to increase the deductibles on their policy, it will be necessary to have enough savings set aside to allow you to cover the extra out-of-pocket expense, which deters some people from using high deductibles.

Who has the cheapest Seattle car insurance?

Seattle insurance rates are impacted by many things which can significantly increase or decrease the price you pay. Simply improving your credit, adding a teenager to your policy, or getting a driving violation may prompt premium changes that can now make some companies more affordable than the competition.

Additionally, insurers change the rates they charge in Washington every year in order to offset underwriting gains or losses. An extended period of higher than normal claims can cause more expensive premiums, while a lower level of claims can cause cheaper Seattle car insurance rates.

To help illustrate this point, the bar chart below shows the companies that have the cheapest car insurance in Seattle, WA for a 45-year-old female driver with no accidents, a clean driving record, and great credit. Based on her current rating profile, Capital may have the most affordable car insurance rates in Seattle at $1,072 each year. This is $340 less than the average rate paid by Washington drivers of $1,412. Grange, Nationwide, PEMCO, and Mutual Enumclaw are the remainder of the cheapest Seattle, WA auto insurance companies.

In this next rate comparison, we will give the driver in the first chart an at-fault accident, a lower credit rating, and a speeding ticket. Due to the fact that every insurance company has a different process for determining rates, getting updated rate quotes may now show a substantially altered list of cheap Seattle auto insurance companies as shown below.

The Hartford now has the lowest price on auto insurance in Seattle, WA with USAA, Chubb, California Casualty, and Allied completing the list. This example illustrates why consumers need to spend some time comparing rates when trying to get the cheapest car insurance quotes for first-time drivers. Prices are impacted by many factors and can change without notice, so the best option three years ago may now be quite expensive.