What’s the cheapest way to insure a second car?

The cheapest way to insure a second car is by adding it to your pre-existing policy. You can also buy multi-car auto insurance. Depending on what insurance provider you use, you can save up to 20 percent on your auto insurance premiums with a multi-car discount. Typically, multi-car policies are cheaper than separate policies unless you're adding high-risk drivers to your policy. Other cheap ways to insure a second car include low-mileage discounts, low-usage discounts, and comparing multiple auto insurance quotes online for multi-car policies.

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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
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • The cheapest way to insure a second car is usually by purchasing a multi-vehicle auto insurance policy and not taking out separate policies on each of your vehicles.
  • Multi-car insurance discounts can save you up to 20 percent on your insurance rates, depending on your insurer.
  • You may qualify for other discounts, such as usage-based and low-mileage discounts, that can save you up to 50 percent and 30 percent on your rates, respectively, depending on your insurer.

So you purchased a second car and need to insure it, but what’s the most affordable approach? What’s the cheapest way to insure a second car? In this guide, we’ll answer all of your questions about finding cheap car insurance for a second vehicle.

Taking out a second auto insurance policy often is more expensive than simply adding the new vehicle to your pre-existing policy. You may even qualify for a discount of up to 20 percent, depending on your provider. 

Understanding auto insurance and all of its intricacies is important for finding the best rates for you. Keep reading to learn if you should consider adding your second car to your insurance and if it will be worth the price. 

When you’re shopping for coverage for your second vehicle, it’s a good idea to get multiple car insurance quotes from different providers. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool above and immediately receive multi-car insurance quotes from reputable insurers near you. 

What is the cheapest way to insure a second car?

If your family owns multiple vehicles, you’re not alone. According to DataUSA, the average number of vehicles per household is two. Unless you meet certain specifications and live in either New Hampshire or Virginia, both cars will legally require auto insurance coverage.

Are there ways to save on insurance if you insure more than one vehicle on the same policy? Fortunately, yes. Insuring two cars doesn’t have to mean incredibly high premiums. We’re here to help you find the most affordable multi-car auto insurance company for you and your needs. 

But first, you need to know what actually is the cheapest way to insure your second vehicle. In most cases, you’ll save more money if you buy multi-car auto insurance, or add your new car to your current policy, instead of purchasing an entirely separate one. 

Adding your second car to your pre-existing policy is cheaper because most insurance companies will provide you with a discount as a customer loyalty reward. Depending on what provider you use, that discount can be substantial. 

Question: If you have more than one vehicle, can you qualify for insurance discounts?
Answer: Yes, depending on your insurance provider. Many companies offer a multi-car discount, with savings reaching as high as 20 percent.  

Check out what providers offer a multi-car discount in the table below. If specific savings rates are publicly available, it has been included in the data. 

Multi-Vehicle Discount Availability by Company
Companies
Multi-Vehicle Discount Available
Percent Saved
21st CenturyYesNot Available
AAAYesNot Available
AllstateNo-
American FamilyYesNot Available
AmeripriseYesNot Available
AmicaYes15%
Country FinancialYes15%
EsuranceYesNot Available
FarmersYesNot Available
GEICOYes25%
Liberty MutualYes10%
MetLifeYesNot Available
NationwideYes20%
ProgressiveYes10%
Safe AutoYes15%
SafecoYes15%
State FarmYes20%
The GeneralYes15%
The HanoverYes5%
The HartfordYes5%
TravelersYes8%
USAAYesNot Available
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If your auto insurance provider doesn’t appear in the data above, it might be time to shop around for new coverage so you can take advantage of the multi-car discount rates.  

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What is a multi-car auto insurance policy?

A multi-car auto insurance policy is exactly what it sounds like: a policy covering more than one vehicle. It is standard for auto insurance companies to offer policies that insure multiple vehicles, in large part because most households have more than one vehicle to insure. 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 37.3 percent of households have two vehicles and an additional 21 percent have three or more vehicles. 

If your household has more than one vehicle, then it’s generally cheaper to insure all vehicles under a single policy rather than under multiple policies. As mentioned previously, the reason a multi-car insurance policy is cheaper is that auto insurance companies want to attract as much of your business as possible.

Companies don’t want you to insure your vehicles with separate insurance providers. To incentivize you, the consumer, insurance companies offer discounts for multiple drivers and vehicles. 

It ends up being a win-win for both you and the insurance company. You can bundle together your insurance needs and receive customer loyalty discounts and savings. The insurance provider, in turn, receives more business. 

Multi-car insurance policies are also more convenient. You pay one premium each month. You deal with one set of paperwork. You deal with one insurance company or one insurance agent when things go wrong. You can even renew your policy on a single renewal date for all your vehicles.

What are the requirements for a multi-car auto insurance policy?

Different insurance companies may have different requirements, but in general, the main requirement for a multi-car auto insurance policy is that all vehicles insured under the policy be registered to and parked at the same address.

If one of your vehicles is registered and parked at a different address than the one on your policy, and you don’t disclose this to your insurance company, it can disqualify you from receiving a payout if you file a claim for that vehicle. It may even be considered a form of insurance fraud.

Penalties for insurance fraud can range from fees and fines all the way to jail time, so you’ll want to be careful to be completely truthful and accurate when providing information to your insurance company.

How many vehicles can be covered under the same policy? Typically, a multi-car insurance policy will cover two-to-five vehicles. Some insurance companies, however, restrict multi-car policies to just four vehicles.

Does auto insurance coverage need to be the same for each vehicle on a multi-car policy?

While you will need to carry at least your state’s minimum legal auto insurance limits for every vehicle you own, you usually have flexibility about any additional coverages you want for each specific car under your policy. 

You may own one car that is brand new and an older used car that your teenager drives. On the new vehicle, you can purchase a full coverage policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage but still purchase just a basic liability-only policy for the second used car.

Even if you purchase different coverage limits on your two vehicles, you can still qualify for a multi-car discount. 

What are the requirements for multi-car insurance discounts?

Just because you’re bundling multiple cars under the same policy doesn’t necessarily mean you automatically qualify for multi-car discounts.

Different insurance companies have different requirements when insuring multiple vehicles. Some of the most common requirements to be eligible for multi-car insurance discounts include:

  • All vehicles must be garaged or parked at the same household
  • All vehicles must be standard passenger vehicles (you may not be able to bundle commercial vehicles under a multi-car policy, for example)
  • All cars must have at least liability coverage (cars with just storage coverage, for example, won’t qualify for the multi-car discount)
  • Some insurance companies allow you to get a multi-car discount when bundling motorcycle insurance with an ordinary car insurance plan, but not all companies allow this
  • Some insurance companies require all cars to be owned by the same driver, while others allow any drivers living within the household to qualify for the multi-car discount

Speak to your insurance agent to determine what your insurance company specifically requires for this discount to be applied to a policy.

Should I ask about other auto insurance discounts for my second car?

You may qualify for other discounts beyond just the multi-vehicle discount, which can further reduce your second car auto insurance rates for your two cars.

Many discounts you can qualify for even if you don’t have more than one vehicle. This includes safe driver discounts, homeowner insurance bundling, good student discounts, and specific savings opportunities due to safety features your vehicle may be equipped with.  

However, a few discounts are particularly useful for people with more than one car, depending on how that second car is primarily used. 

For example, you might be adding a secondary vehicle to your policy that is rarely driven. Perhaps one car is used daily for your commute and everyday errands, but the second vehicle only gets used in the evenings or on weekends.

In this case, that second vehicle might qualify for a low-usage or low mileage discount

The requirements for qualifying for this type of discount will vary by company, however commonly it is provided to people who drive less than 5,000 miles per year.

Take a look at the following table for usage-based and low mileage discounts available from some of the country’s major insurers. If specific savings amounts are available, it has been included in the data. 

Low-Mileage Discounts Available by Company
CompaniesLow Mileage Discount AvailablePercent Saved for Low Mileage Discount
21st CenturyNo-
AAAYesNot Available
AllstateYesNot Available
American FamilyYesNot Available
AmeripriseNo-
AmicaYes10%
Country FinancialYesNot Available
EsuranceYes15%
FarmersYesNot Available
GEICOYesNot Available
Liberty MutualYesNot Available
MetLifeYesNot Available
NationwideYesNot Available
ProgressiveYesNot Available
Safe AutoNo-
SafecoYes20%
State FarmYes30%
The GeneralYesNot Available
The HanoverYesNot Available
The HartfordYesNot Available
TravelersYesNot Available
USAAYesNot Available
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Insurance companies provide a low-mileage discount because you’re spending less time driving the second vehicle, making it a lower-risk of being involved in an accident. Therefore, you’re less likely to make an insurance claim, which means lower rates and bigger discounts. 

Is a multi-car insurance policy always cheaper than separate policies for my second car?

Multi-car auto insurance policies aren’t always the best option for insuring a second vehicle. There are rare occasions where purchasing separate policies for your two vehicles actually might be cheaper. 

Sometimes, it can even be a bad idea to bundle multiple drivers under the same policy. For example, if you’re covering all family members under the same policy but one driver has multiple at-fault collisions or traffic citations in the past 10 years, it can be costly to insure that driver under your multi-car policy. 

In this situation, you might actually want to sign an agreement with your insurance company that guarantees you won’t let that individual drive your vehicle. Otherwise, your rates will be higher for as long as that person is living in your house.

If your secondary vehicle is a classic or collectible car, you may be able to access cheaper rates for it by seeking out a separate classic car auto insurance policy rather than adding it to your pre-existing one. This is especially true if your current provider does not offer classic car auto insurance.

Classic car auto insurance is a specialized type of insurance that typically provides comprehensive coverage for your classic or collectible vehicle. 

Usually, you’ll pay a lower rate for classic car auto insurance because your insurance company knows you’re putting fewer miles on that vehicle and using it less than your ordinary vehicle. You’re also more likely to drive carefully and safely in a classic or collectible vehicle. 

Don’t be afraid to seek out quotes for your vehicles both separately and together to see which option truly is cheaper for you. You can seek out quotes for each vehicle separately with no obligations to purchase anything. 

In most cases, as we’ve already noted, it will be significantly cheaper to get multi-car auto insurance rather than multiple single insurance policies.

The Bottom Line: Cheapest Way to Insure a Second Car

When you’re looking to insure a second vehicle, you’ll find that adding the second car to your pre-existing policy is often the cheapest option. This is largely because the most standard auto insurance discount available to the average driver is the multi-car discount. However, there are rare exceptions. 

If you own a classic or collectible vehicle, it could be cheaper to purchase multiple lines of insurance. Similarly, if the second vehicle is driven primarily by someone with a bad driving history and high-risk insurance rates, it might be too expensive to add it to your policy. 

If you don’t drive your second vehicle that often, don’t forget to ask about usage-based and low mileage discounts as well.

Ultimately, the cheapest way to insure a second vehicle is to add it to your existing insurance policy and get a multi-car discount. 

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Frequently Asked Questions: What’s the cheapest way to insure a second car?

Do you still have questions about the cheapest way to insure a second vehicle? Read through these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – Can you add a vehicle to your insurance policy online?

This depends on your insurance company. Check the company website or give the company a call to determine what policy changes can be made online.

#2 – How much auto insurance coverage do you need?

You’re only required to maintain auto liability coverage that meets the minimum amount set by your state to drive legally. However, minimum liability coverage may not be enough to provide sufficient financial protection in the event of an accident or other damage-inducing event. 

Only you can decide how much coverage you need given the risk factors you face, your financial situation, and the needs of your household or family.

#3 – What factors can affect your auto insurance rates?

In addition to driving record, which we alluded to earlier, there are several other factors that can affect your insurance rates, including where you live, your age, and even the type of vehicle you drive. 

Before you go, enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool below to get affordable second car auto insurance quotes from insurers in your area so you can start comparing rates for adding your second car to a policy today.

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