Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • To avoid the stress when you switch, paying month-to-month tends to be the best option
  • You must make your initial payment before the coverage can take effect
  • You will need to sign a paper that states that you are giving the insurer permission to take the money from your account
  • Some companies that work with high-risk drivers are more likely to provide zero down car insurance

Is there any auto insurance with no down payment?

Buying car insurance can be an expensive mission, so if could find $0 down car insurance why wouldn’t you? If you are price shopping and are interested in switching to another insurer, it is very common for your new company to charge a one or two-month deposit for coverage. Zero deposit car insurance isn’t common practice and there are some additional considerations.

Where can I find zero money down car insurance? If you’re looking for quick car insurance, you can get quotes here from multiples car insurers. Enter your zip code above to get started.

How do you find an auto insurance company that offers zero down car insurance?

Where can I get car insurance with no down payment? Now that you are familiar with payment schedules and payment methods, the next step is to look for auto insurance companies that don’t require a down payment.

There are a number of ways that you can start your search for an affordable policy that is deposit-free. Some of the methods require more time and effort and others are quick and easy. Even a company that offers something low like $20 down payment car insurance is better than others.

If you’re a high-risk driver looking for low down payment SR22 insurance, you may be able to find that with a company that specializes in high-risk drivers. They’re generally more flexible with payment arrangements.

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How does zero down car insurance work?

A car insurance deposit is usually required to protect the insurer against individuals who buy insurance to register their vehicle and then cancel it.

The deposit can also help insurance companies cover a few things:

  • The administrative
  • Taking applications
  • Underwriting policies
  • Issuing policies

Because the younger market and the average consumer now prefers to start a policy for just the amount it costs to cover them for the month, it is not outrageous to ask whether or not you can find a policy that can take effect without a down payment.

Zero down car insurance makes it easier for the average person to afford mandatory car insurance or supplemental car insurance coverage options by eliminating the huge initial payment that will activate coverage.

Just like it sounds, when you start a policy for zero down you are becoming a customer and starting your cover without paying a lump sum or a large portion of the premiums upfront.

How much you will pay for car insurance depends on your premiums and the payment frequency that you choose.

If you were to purchase a policy from a reputable company that does not require a down payment, you would get to choose a payment term that is suitable for you and then make regular payments.

You must make your initial payment before the coverage can take effect, but as long as the effective date is in the future and you make your payment, it is possible to pay for a policy without paying for a down payment.

You’ll still get the coverage that you need. As well as your liability requirements mandated by your state, the Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates one out of every eight drivers is uninsured. You’ll still be covered against them.

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What are the benefits of zero down car insurance?

If everyone could live comfortably and pay their premiums in full with no worries at all, they would probably choose this option just to save money.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the vehicle owners in the nation are trying to make it on a limited income and would prefer to pay monthly premiums with no down payment car insurance. So, can you get an auto insurance policy now and pay later?

Since car insurance is a requirement in most states, as you can see compiled here by AAA, 0 down car insurance is a great alternative so that people can comply with the law and buy the coverage they are mandated to carry.

If it is the difference between affording a basic policy and driving uninsured, it is a great choice. Some companies even offer first-month free car insurance, so make sure to ask about that.

Another benefit of buying a policy with no money upfront is that you have more freedom to switch carriers if you find a better deal in the future. When you buy insurance, the rates will be fixed for 6 months or a year.

This is because you are guaranteed for your auto insurance premium to stay level after the policy is issued for the term that you select.

Your carrier cannot increase your rates but you are free to cancel your policy at any time if you buy coverage elsewhere.

This is because you can never be double covered and the insurer must honor your written request for cancellation.

If you have already paid in advance, getting your refund back to cover the cost of your new policy can take some time.

To avoid the stress and the hassle when you plan on switching, paying car insurance month-to-month tends to be the best option.

Make sure that you verify that you will not be charged a cancellation fee for canceling during your term before you start a policy with this intention.

Some companies offer a prorated refund where you will receive everything that you have not used back.

Other companies will offer a refund minus a 5 or even 10 percent fee. It is best to choose the companies that do not charge these fees to save yourself money.

How do you find the cheapest car insurance?

Who really has the cheapest auto insurance coverage? The traditional way to do business is to go into a local agency or brokerage and request an insurance quote. When you request this quote, you can ask about the payment plan options and the accepted methods. Going directly to the company is popular with people who love doing business face-to-face, but it can take your time.

If you want to save money and you do not prefer to speak with an insurance agent, you can also get quotes from multiple insurers using a quoting tool, such as the one below. These tools will give you details on the coverage options as well as insurance costs and payment terms.

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Discounts for Car Insurance

You need money to pay insurance, obviously. What can you do if you can’t afford car insurance?

If you find you’re having trouble finding affordable car insurance, keep in mind that you may be eligible for discounts. Every insurer has its own unique list of what qualifies for a discount, so that’s another reason it really helps to shop around.

Here’s a sample of common discounts provided and which insurers honor them.

Common Car Insurance Discounts by Auto Insurance Provider
CompaniesAnti-TheftClaim FreeGood StudentMarriedMembership/GroupMilitaryMultiple PoliciesMultiple VehiclesSafe Driver
American Familyxxxxxx
Liberty Mutualxxxxxxxx
State Farmxxxxxxxx
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That’s not the only way insurers differ in how they charge you, either. If your credit score isn’t the best or if you don’t have a clean driving record, you’ll see that these affect your rates differently depending on your provider. Even when shopping for only down insurers, they’ll each provide specific auto insurance discounts.

These might include a safe driver discount, good student discount, or a discount for taking a defensive driving course.

Some companies, like USAA car insurance, even offer discounts for active military, veterans, and their families.

Your location is also a big deal. If you want low down payment car insurance in Michigan, you’ll probably be paying a lot more than you would in Massachusetts.

Again, it helps to shop around.

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What is a payment schedule for car insurance?

One thing that differentiates a traditional car insurance policy from a buy now pay later car insurance policy is the payment schedule and how much your payments will be.

If you pay one annual premium, you never have to worry about a down payment because you are paying in full.

If you pay in monthly installments, you will either pay equal payments each month or pay for two months down and then have the last month of the term with no payment.

What payment types are accepted for car insurance?

Now that you know how payment schedules differ when you are buying 0 down policies, it is time to brush up on the common payment types that insurers accept.

Every insurance company is different, but the companies that want to cater to the widest audience will generally accept all payment types and methods.

Here are some of the options and reasons why you might choose them:

Paid in Full Car Insurance

One of the main reasons why paid in full clients are enticing is because the company does not have to spend money billing or collecting insurance premiums from their clients.

Another reason why paid in full is beneficial is because the customer is a lot less likely to switch to another carrier during their term when they have to worry about receiving a refund back.

In exchange for paying in full, the company may offer you a pay in full discount that can save you over $120 per year.

Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) for Car Insurance

Another option is to give your insurance carrier your checking account information so that monthly payments can be automatically drafted from your account on a given day.

You will need to sign a paper that states that you are giving the insurer permission to take the money from your account and the company will notify you in advance if your payments ever change.

While you will not save as much as you would paying in full, if you plan on paying monthly, choosing automatic payments can save you up to $10 per month in billing fees.

Eliminating the fees can save you a pretty penny when you add them up.

Manual Credit, Debit or Cash Payments For Car Insurance

If you are not comfortable allowing a company to withdraw money from your account, you can make your monthly payments by phone, email, online or in person.

Some companies accept only cash, but most will accept credit or debit payments.

You should check to see what kind of credit issuers are accepted if you have American Express or Discover.

Start comparing cheap car insurance rates that don’t require a down payment with our free tool below.  Enter your zip code below to get started.