Getting Affordable Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Updated: January 2022

If you’ve recently gotten a ticket, caused an accident, or been involved in a DUI, you know how expensive and difficult it is to get car insurance as a high-risk driver. There are many carriers that will charge you impossibly high rates. It can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming for drivers in this category to find affordable insurance, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless -- by following our tips, you can still save on car insurance.

Discounts to Look Into

Even if your driving record isn’t the best, there are still likely discounts you can take advantage of:

  • Driver-Based Discounts: While your driving history might not be doing you favors, other aspects of you as a driver still can. This can include age-related discounts or affiliation discounts, including discounts for veterans or active-duty members of our military.
  • Policy-Based Discounts: From how you pay your insurance bill to how long you’ve been insured, there are a surprising number of ways you can earn discounts based on your policy alone.
  • Vehicle-Based Discounts: Have a newer car? You might be able to get discounts for that. Carriers commonly offer discounts for safety features on vehicles -- check with your provider to see what they offer.

Staying on top of your discount options is one of the best strategies for saving on car insurance despite your driving record. As small as these discounts might seem at first, they add up quickly.

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Ways Higher Risk Drivers Can Save

Looking for other ways to save as a high-risk driver? Consider the following steps:

  1. Try a Non-Owner Policy: This is not for everyone, but if you have a DUI on record, you might consider opting for a non-owner policy. With this, you will only be insured to drive cars owned by other drivers, who have their own insurance policies as well. As you won’t be able to drive your own car under this type of policy, you’ll have to decide if this can work with your lifestyle.
  2. Improve Your Credit Score: If your credit score is low, it might increase your insurance rates. This will take time and effort, but if you’re able to pay bills on time and improve your score gradually, you’ll likely become eligible for lower rates in the future.
  3. Switch Cars: If your car is older and you have the means, consider buying a newer car -- many insurers charge lower rates for newer cars with improved safety features. As a bonus, this can also make you eligible for more discounts.
  4. Don’t Settle: Always shop carefully when looking for a new insurance policy. If you go with the first quote you see, you’ll likely end up overpaying. To maximize savings, get several quotes and do research on each of the carriers you’re considering before choosing a policy.

Change Your Driving Habits and Save More

As much as we’ve discussed discounts and tips for finding extra savings, the long-run game is to improve your driving record. Although it can feel like a long wait, as most transgressions on your record take a few years to be wiped away, changing your driving habits now to ensure that you do not get any further driving incidents added to your record is key to getting affordable insurance in the future. Most insurers give safe drivers the lowest rates, so that’s the category you’ll want to earn your way into. If you’re wondering how exactly to drive more safely, consider enrolling in a defensive driving course to start learning.

Drivers with accidents, tickets, and DUIs on their record do usually pay more for car insurance, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an unreasonably high rate. By using the tips we’ve shared here and taking the time to compare carriers and quotes on our site, you can still save on car insurance.

Even if you have a bad driving record, you can still save up to $744*/year by using our site to compare quotes and carriers. Just fill in your zip code now and see how low your rates can drop!

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