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The best cheap car insurance rates in Virginia have been on the rise like the rest of the nation. Additionally, Virginia is one of the worst states for collisions involving animals, which means drivers make more insurance claims and pay higher premiums. In any case, rates vary widely based on the insurer, city/county, age, driving history, type of vehicle, and even credit score. 

car insurance in virginia
Use this guide to find cheap Virginia car insurance for you – then take a drive up to the historic Monticello. Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Best Cheap Car Insurance Virginia

To get a clearer idea of how cheap auto insurance works and how to find the best car insurance companies in Virginia, let’s first take a look at how Virginia laws regulate drivers, their insurance, and their vehicles.

Car Insurance Laws for Virginia

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers must abide by the following regulations:

  • In order to obtain a license plate and legally operate a vehicle in Virginia, drivers must show proof of insurance or pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee.
  • Virginia drivers must maintain minimum coverage for bodily injury or death and property damage (unless they pay the annual Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee).
  • The minimum coverage for the injury or death of one person is $25,000.
  • Minimum coverage for the injury or death of more than one person is $50,000.
  • The minimum coverage for property damage is $20,000.

Knowing this can help when deciding the best cheap Virginia car insurance for you.

How Are Cheap Car Insurance Rates Determined in Virginia

As of the latest data, good drivers in Virginia pay an average of $1,378 annually for auto insurance or about $115 per month. Rates vary by the insurance provider, location, insurance type, and the level of coverage. However, these rates are also highly dependent on drivers.

When an insurance provider is calculating your rates, they will look at the following factors:

Location

Generally, if you live, commute, or work in an urban area (like Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Chesapeake), your rates will be higher, as accidents are more prevalent in densely-populated regions. However, other location-based factors are important, too, like adverse weather conditions and reports of vandalism.

Age

Statistically, younger drivers get in more accidents. This means that the younger you are, the more you will need to pay in insurance premiums. The average age in Virginia is 38, which is on par with the national average.

Gender

Men are more likely than women to get in accidents, so your gender could impact your auto rates as well.

Marital Status

Typically, married couples take fewer risks than their single counterparts, and this holds true for driving. Married couples get in fewer accidents, and therefore pose a smaller risk for insurance providers.

Driving Experience

While this metric is similar to age, it is still slightly different. Usually, the older you are, the longer you have been driving, but that is not always true. Nonetheless, people who have held a driver’s license for longer are more experienced, and therefore pay lower premiums.

Driving Record

A driver’s record is one of the most important factors that insurance providers consider. If you have a history of frequent speeding tickets, DUIs, or other infractions, you will have to pay more. Virginia’s rate of traffic incidents is significantly higher than the national average.

Claims Record

It is also important to consider how many claims you have made to insurance providers in the past (if any). At-fault claims will cause your premiums to rise, while not-at-fault collisions will generally have no impact on your rates.

Credit History

Your credit is a good indicator of how financially responsible you are, but the research also shows that people with low credit tend to file more claims, making them a greater risk for insurance providers.

Previous Insurance Coverage

If you have maintained auto insurance without any gaps, your new insurance provider will see this as a good sign. However, if you went for several years, months, or even days without any insurance, you will be seen as high-risk.

Vehicle Type

Certain cars are driven differently, which means that certain cars are more prone to accidents. Some cars are also more prone to theft or vandalism.

Use of Vehicle

When you exclusively use your vehicle for personal use, you are less likely to get in an accident. However, if you take long business trips or frequently drive for your work, you increase your chances of a collision. 

Annual Mileage

How much you drive directly impacts your chances of getting in an accident. No matter how you use your vehicle (personal or business use), if you put a lot of mileage on your car, you are more likely to file a claim with your insurance provider.

Number of Policies

Finally, the type of insurance you want/need will help determine your rates. The more policies you have (liability, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc.), the more you will need to pay.

Who Are the Cheapest Virginia Car Insurance Companies

When looking at rates across the entire state, there are 4 major insurance companies that consistently provide low rates for good drivers. Additionally, there are several other companies that provide low rates in certain cities and counties but do not consistently provide low rates statewide.

In any case, let’s take a look at some of the lowest auto insurance rates and best car insurance companies available in the state of Virginia:

 Provider Annual Rate Monthly Rate
 State Farm $1,038 $86
 Geico $1,090 $90
 Progressive $1,272 $106
 Nationwide $1,312 $109

 

It is important to note that the table above shows the average rates for the minimum coverage required by the state of Virginia. For standard, comprehensive, or “full coverage,” the rates are significantly higher:

 

 Provider Annual Rate Monthly Rate
 State Farm $1,422 $118
 Geico $1,457 $121
 Progressive $1,628 $135
 Nationwide $1,740 $145

 

These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Naturally, individual rates will vary. Additionally, insurers like the Virginia Farm Bureau, Erie, and USAA provide low rates for certain areas and applicants.

In order to get a better picture of auto insurance rates around the state, let’s look at how rates vary by city.

Cheap Virginia Car Insurance Rates by City

Aside from your driving history, your location is one of the most important factors when calculating the cost of your auto insurance. Population, crime rates, weather conditions, and the cost of living can all affect the amount you pay each year. Individuals who live and work in rural areas typically have the lowest rates. However, the majority of Virginia residents live in urban or suburban areas, where rates tend to increase. 

The table below shows the average yearly auto insurance rates for 48 of the most populated cities in Virginia, in alphabetical order. These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Additionally, this data is taken from all of the best car insurance companies in Virginia.

Here is what the data shows:

 City Average Yearly Rate
 Abingdon $977
 Alexandria $1,055
 Ashland $1,023
 Bedford $983
 Big Stone Gap $1,025
 Blacksburg $846
 Bluefield $1,086
 Bridgewater $900
 Bristol $942
 Buena Vista $938
 Charlottesville $1,023
 Chesapeake $1,041
 Christiansburg $846
 Covington $938
 Culpeper $1,121
 Danville $1,065
 Dumfries $1,247
 Emporia $1,036
 Fairfax $1,178
 Falls Church $1,213
 Farmville $1,159
 Fredericksburg $1,073
 Front Royal $938
 Galax $945
 Harrisonburg $1,120
 Hopewell $1,316
 Leesburg $965
 Luray $938
 Lynchburg $1,004
 Norfolk $1,177
 Orange $1,108
 Petersburg $1,101
 Poquoson $932
 Portsmouth $1,155
 Pulaski $1,006
 Purcellville $965
 Radford $846
 Richmond $1,300
 Roanoke $969
 Salem $960
 Strasburg $930
 Suffolk $1,043
 Vinton $969
 Virginia Beach $1,117
 Warrenton $1,121
 Williamsburg $932
 Winchester $938
 Woodstock $915

 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top-5 largest cities in Virginia and compare their respective auto insurance rates:

Virginia Beach

In Virginia Beach, the average annual premium is $1,117 for minimum liability insurance and $1,510 for full auto coverage. However, as with most large cities, these prices can vary by district or neighborhood.

For example, residents of beachfront communities will likely need to pay higher premiums than those who live farther inland. Since Virginia Beach is a popular destination for tourists, it also gets a lot of seasonal traffic, which results in higher premiums.

Norfolk

In Norfolk, the average annual premium is $1,177 for minimum liability insurance and $1,565 for full auto coverage. Unfortunately, Norfolk is not known for having good drivers.

Virginia is one of the worst states for traffic accidents, and the city of Norfolk is no exception. Additionally, Norfolk experiences heavy precipitation during the rainy season, which can make roads slick and increase the rate of collisions.

Chesapeake

In Chesapeake, the average annual premium is $1,041 for minimum liability insurance and $1,374 for full auto coverage. Car insurance premiums do not vary much by neighborhood in Chesapeake and compared to cities like Virginia Beach and Norfolk, the rates are relatively low.

This is thanks in part to the mild weather conditions in the city. On average, Chesapeake receives less than 5 inches of snowfall annually. 

Richmond

In Richmond, the average annual premium is $1,300 for minimum liability insurance and $1,664 for full auto coverage. Richmond deals with pretty heavy traffic congestion and high collision rates for a variety of reasons. The climate is humid throughout most of the year, so precipitation is common.

Additionally, over half of the major roads in Richmond are in either “poor” or “mediocre” condition, which puts extra wear-and-tear on vehicles.

Alexandria

In Alexandria, the average annual premium is $1,055 for minimum liability insurance and $1,430 for full auto coverage. Alexandria is significantly smaller than the other cities on this list, and insurance premiums are generally lower as a result. With a lower population, traffic congestion is not a major problem, and collisions are not as common.

That said, Alexandria does experience a lot of rain during certain parts of the year, which increases the number of auto insurance claims.

Cheap Virginia Car Insurance Summary

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that affect the cost of auto insurance in Virginia. Additionally, the figures provided above are averages based on adults with good driving records, so the exact rates you pay may differ. Nonetheless, we hope that this information helps you when you’re ready to obtain a new policy or upgrade your current one with one of the best car insurance companies in Virginia.

If you’d like to learn more about acquiring auto insurance in your state, consult our other car insurance guides and resources. If you’re looking for more information about Virginia auto insurance, consult the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

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Matthew Jones