Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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Most auto insurance companies will require you to pay premiums upfront in order to get insurance coverage from their company. This might be unaffordable for some car owners, especially students and first time car buyers who might have exhausted all their funds on the purchase of the car.

However, there are ways to get around this problem and the first option you should look at is auto insurance companies that will require a very low down payment or no down payment at all. While many insurers will require you to submit payment for your entire policy term, be it 6 or 12 months, some insurers only require the first month of premiums in order to gain coverage. Other insurers will insure you without any initial payment required.

Qualifying For No Down Payment Insurance Policies

Insurance companies calculate your premiums based on risk. If you have a poor driving record and a poor credit history, chances are you will end up paying a lot more for insurance than somebody that doesn’t. At the same time, if you have a bad driving record and a bad credit score, you might not qualify for getting car insurance without a down payment. It would be too risky for the insurance company to offer it to you.

Another factor that determines whether or not you’ll be able to pay a low down payment or no down payment is the car you drive. If your car is new and fairly expensive, it might be difficult to get a no down payment insurance policy and insurance companies will require you to put down some amount upfront. Again, the reason for this being that insuring new expensive cars present a greater risk to the insurance company. Drivers of older, inexpensive cars, however, might be offered a no down payment option.

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Zero-Money-Down Car Insurance Isn’t Always The Cheapest

One should also understand that although these “zero down” policies will not burden you with a large upfront payment, these types of policies are not exactly the cheapest. To explain this a bit further, consider the following example: You might be able to purchase insurance coverage from an insurance company that will require you to pay $300 in advance for a whole year. Another company might offer you an attractive $0 upfront payment requirement but then ask you to pay $35 a month in premiums. If you actually did the math, you’d realize that you’d be paying $420 for an insurance policy that could have otherwise cost you $300.

However, if you do not have a lot of extra cash, monthly premiums with zero-down up front might be your best bet.

Buying Low or No Down Payment Insurance In The United States

When buying insurance for your car, you first have to decide if you want a basic liability-only insurance policy, or if you want a full coverage insurance policy. Liability insurance is required in all 50 states in the U.S. and it is mandatory. Full coverage insurance, on the other hand, is optional. Liability insurance will not cover damages to you or your car in the event of an accident. Only collision coverage, which is included in all full coverage policies, will cover that. Although it will typically drive up the cost of the monthly premium, most states recommend that a person sign up for full coverage insurance policies.

Whichever type of auto insurance you want to buy, realize that low or no down payment options aren’t available in every state. According to CarsDirect, only the following states offer these types of policies:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington

At the same time, not every auto insurance provider offers this down payment option. Auto insurers that do, include:

  • Allstate
  • Farmers
  • Kemper
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safe Auto
  • State Farm

Most auto insurance companies offer a variety of different payment plans. Even if your insurance company is not listed above, that does not mean that these no down payment options are not available. To be sure, the simplest thing to do is call up your insurance agent and ask.

Shopping Online For Auto Insurance Without A Down Payment

One of the best ways to look for low or no down payment insurance policies is to shop online. Most sites will ask you how much you can pay upfront and you can enter a big fat “0” in that field to be presented with insurance company quotes that will not require down payment.

4AutoInsuranceQuote.com is one of those sites that will provide you with quotes from companies that do not require down payments on their insurance policies.  To begin shopping for low/no down payment car insurance, scroll back up to the top of this page and enter your zip code to be presented with quotes from the top insurance providers that do not require down payments.