How Much Is District Of Columbia Car Insurance?

Ever wonder how much drivers in District Of Columbia pay for car insurance? Check out the average price that most people pay and see if you can find a cheaper rate.

Get Quotes in Less Than 3 Minutes

Affordable Car Insurance in Washington DC

Driving in the District of Columbia can be quite an experience. With nearly 700,000 residents, another three hundred thousand or so commuters from the surrounding suburbs every weekday, and loads of tourists, the roads certainly get crowded—including with many people who aren't familiar with them.

It probably doesn't come as a surprise that average car insurance rates in our nation's capital city are some of the highest in the country. Although it might if you're a new driver. In which case, we're sorry to be the ones to break it to you.

But we can also make it up to you.

SmartFinancial is an innovative technology platform for comparison shopping for the lowest auto insurance rates. Just answer a few quick questions and we set you up with unbiased, carrier-neutral information and competing quotes from leading Washington, D.C. car insurance companies. It's a fast, free, easy way to score a rate well below the regional average. Combined with all the info about how to save on your premium in this page, you can proceed with confidence that you're paying as little as possible each month.

Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates in District Of Columbia

Carriers look at multiple variables when determining your insurance rate. Your age, location, driving history, and state requirements are all factors in determining the price you pay. We used our in-house reporting to determine the companies that offer the cheapest car insurance rates in District Of Columbia. Nationwide came in with the lowest rate currently available in District Of Columbia at $171.17 per month. Followed by at per month and at per month.

RankCompanyAvg monthly rate
1 Nationwide $171.17 / month

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Car Insurance

If you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities you are likely paying some of the lowest car insurance rates available in District Of Columbia. According to our data, Washington D. C. comes in at the cheapest at only $168.40 per month. Other cities that made the top 10 list include Washington dc at $182.97 per month, Washington at $190.17 per month, and washington, d.c. at $272.75 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Washington D. C., DC$168.40 / month
2 Washington dc , DC$182.97 / month
3 Washington , DC$190.17 / month
4 washington, d.c., DC$272.75 / month

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Car Insurance

These top 10 cities ranked as the most expensive places in District Of Columbia for car insurance. Location is a big factor when determining the price you pay for car insurance and these cities came in at the top. washington, d.c. is the most expensive city in District Of Columbia at $272.75 per month. Second and third place goes to Washington at $190.17 per month and Washington dc at $182.97 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 washington, d.c. , DC $272.75 / month
2 Washington , DC $190.17 / month
3 Washington dc , DC $182.97 / month
4 Washington D. C. , DC $168.40 / month

Average Quotes by Top Companies

Rates can vary wildly from company to company. Here is a quick look at a few rates from some of the top car insurance companies in District Of Columbia.

Compare Recent Car Insurance Quotes in District Of Columbia

SmartFinancial helps thousands of drivers every day find and compare the best car insurance rates available. Here is a list of some recent quotes that we recently found for drivers in District Of Columbia.

CompanyMonthly rateVehicle
ClearCover $1112003 Honda Accord
Everest $1402014 Dodge Journey
21st Century $1582019 Dodge Journey
Metlife $1402018 Toyota Rav4
Mercury $1422012 Chevrolet Malibu
Foremost Auto $1772020 Ford Edge
Foremost Auto $1752021 Nissan Versa
ClearCover $1782020 Hyundai Santa Fe
Safeco $1462008 Toyota Prius
Metlife $1192015 Ford Fusion
Liberty Mutual $1522013 Gmc Yukon
Safe Auto $1542020 Hyundai Elantra


The statistics listed on this page are from our own in house reporting. We track and record quotes that carriers have provided based on various criteria. The rates and averages shown on this page should only be used as an estimate.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Washington DC

If you have a registered vehicle in Washington, D.C., you're required to carry at least $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 property damage liability coverage.

Your auto insurance policy must also include uninsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $5,000 property damage per accident subject to a $200 deductible.


Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person


Bodily injury coverage per accident

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to multiple people


Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Minimum coverage provides significant protection, but many consumers involved in serious accidents find it to be inadequate. It's always recommended to extend your coverage limits beyond the minimums if you can afford it. Also, keep in mind that the required liability and uninsured motorist coverage in Washington, D.C. won't pay for a variety of repairs and services you may need under all sorts of different circumstances.

If you look at your car insurance as an investment, you'll probably come to the conclusion that just a little more expenditure on your policy can provide a huge return when you need to file any type of claim.

Optional Coverage in Washington DC

  • Auto Loan/Lease (or "gap")
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Customized Parts and Equipment
  • Emergency Road Service
  • Excess Electronic Equipment
  • Medical Payments
  • Rental Coverage
  • Towing and Labor
  • Travel Expenses

Vehicle financing sometimes means that certain optional coverages aren't actually optional. Most lenders insist that you take out collision and comprehensive coverage, and possibly others, in your policy.

Washington DC Car Safety

Just like how every U.S. state sets its own car insurance laws, so too does Washington, D.C. Learn more about its minimum coverage requirements and optional coverages a little further down on this page.

While mandatory auto insurance may seem like an imposition, it's for everyone's benefit—including yours. It protects people from potential financial hardship or even devastation following an accident. It's also effective at keeping insurance costs down where they are; as pricey as average premiums are in D.C., they could certainly be higher.

The system is part of the unfortunate reality that most drivers eventually end up in some sort of traffic crash or incident.

There's lots of traffic in Washington, D.C., and plenty of motorists from out of town who don't know the area. These factors contribute to a high accident rate—and with it, high car insurance rates. Distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, tailgating, and failure to yield the right of way are some other key contributors.

Find a great deal of in-depth traffic crash data in the PDF version of the District Department of Transportation's Traffic Safety Statistics Report for the District of Columbia (2013-2015).

Car Safety for Washington DC Kids

Babies up to 1 year of age and 20 pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat; if your seat's size limit allows you to continue this practice longer, it's safer to do so. The car seat should be in the back seat of the vehicle, but if one isn't available, you can only use the front passenger seat if there's no airbag, or if it's deactivated.

After a child reaches 1 year and 20 pounds, you may switch him or her to a forward-facing car seat. This should be used until the child reaches its manufacturer-designated weight and height limit, at least up to 40 pounds. Once the child outgrows the safety seat, he or she must use a booster seat until reaching either 8 years of age or 4 feet 9 inches tall. Going by height is safer than age, though, as height is what determines whether a kid can be properly secured in a vehicle's built-in seat belts. It's safest to use a booster seat for as long as permitted by its size limit.

Washington D.C.'s car safety seat program Project Safe-Child makes car and booster seats available to residents at discounted prices.

Washington, D.C. may not yet have a law addressing this issue, but it's still an important one for all parents, guardians, and other caregivers of small children to be aware of. It's dangerous to leave young kids alone in a vehicle.

There are some obvious concerns, like that the child could get hurt while playing around in the car, SUV, van, or truck, or that he or she could be victimized by a passer-by who notices the opportunity. Also, if the keys are in the vehicle, a child can set it into motion, potentially striking something or someone.

A less obvious risk—though it's thankfully getting increased attention in recent years—is vehicular hyperthermia. That refers to overheating in a hot car. Interior temperatures can skyrocket well beyond the outside temperature in a matter of minutes. And this isn't just possible on really hot days; it can happen on warm or even mild days if the vehicle's sitting in direct sunlight. This situation can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, brain damage, and death (in pets as well as children).


Number of reported crashes in 2015


Number of non-fatal crash injuries in 2015


Number of crash fatalities in 2015

Driving Green in Washington DC

In addition to Federal tax credits, there are a number of incentives available to Washington, D.C. residents through the District and through local car insurance companies. So, not only do you benefit the environment with your eco-friendly driving, you also benefit your wallet.


Emissions Inspection Exemptions for Electric Vehicles

Washington, D.C. motorists are required to have emissions testing performed at the time of auto registration and renewal. However, some zero-emissions and electric vehicles are exempted from inspection. Zero-emissions vehicles don't need to undergo any inspections, while some others are only exempted from the initial test.


Reduced Registration Fees and Excise Tax Exemptions

Many electric, hybrid, and clean-fuel vehicles that get at least 40 miles to the gallon for city driving to qualify for a 50% discount on first-time registration fees in Washington, D.C. (as of this writing, that's $36 instead of $72). And if your vehicle is eligible for this reduced rate, it's also eligible for the hybrid vehicle excise tax exemption.


Car Insurance Discounts

Do you drive an economy-size, all-electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicle? If so, there's a good chance your insurance carrier will offer a discount on your premium. Do you rely on public transportation, carpooling, walking, and/or biking to drive as little as possible? If so, there's also a good chance you could save big with a pay-as-you-go option or a low mileage discount from your carrier.

Washington DC Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Washington DC?

Yes. Most places in the country, including Washington, D.C., allow carriers to reference your credit history when calculating your "insurance score." This is a formula for estimating risk and rates. Read more about the practice on the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking website.

Does Washington DC offer a good-driver discount?

Lots of carriers reward 3 or more years without an accident or moving violation with a good-driver discount. Ask yours if this is available, and what their specific requirements are for eligibility. And while you're at it, inquire about other common discounts, such as:

  • Accident-Free
  • Claims-Free
  • Teen Driver
  • Multi-Car
  • Distant Student
  • Alternative Fuel
  • Homeowner
  • Defensive Driver
  • Good Student
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Multiple Line
  • Passive Restraint
  • Vehicle Safety

Does Washington DC allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Sorry, but no. As of this writing, Washington, D.C. is one of the last few holdouts in the country still not allowing drivers to show digital proof of coverage on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

If your auto insurance lapses or is terminated for any reason, you must immediately surrender your vehicle tag and registration to the DMV. Failure to do so results in various fines and penalties. You cannot drive again until you can show proof of coverage.

What are Washington DC's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It's against the law to operate a motor vehicle in Washington, D.C. with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older.04%+ for commercial vehicle driversAny at under 21 years old

In Washington D.C., you can be convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) at a BAC of 0.08% or higher. However, if a law enforcement officer believes your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol, but you have a lower BAC, you can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). D.C. has a zero-tolerance law for underage drinkers who drive.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Washington DC?

Washington, D.C. has an "implied consent" law that means all motorists have consented to chemical screening at the request of a law enforcement officer who suspects them of driving while impaired. Refusing the test will result in a 1-year license suspension, and it may be used as evidence against you in court.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

Penalties are determined by how many prior offenses you have. Also, if your BAC is at least 0.20%, penalties start increasing. Other aggravating factors include having a minor in your vehicle while driving impaired, operating a commercial vehicle, and carrying illegal drugs. Even a first offense with no aggravating circumstances may result in jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, license revocation for up to 6 months, and other penalties. Get more information on the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department website.

Does Washington DC offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Many carriers reward you with a discount if you voluntarily take a driver improvement course. Ask your agent if this is available to you. These are the same courses you would take to following a moving violation or court order to prevent points from being assessed against your license. Find a District-approved course through the DMV, or find an approved online course here.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Washington DC car insurance?

If you've been paying attention over the course of this page, you've picked up on lots of potential savings, from green driving incentives to all sorts or discounts. Also, opt for a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium. Striving to keep up your credit score and maintain a clean driving record are good long-term tactics, too. The single best way to minimize your monthly car insurance costs, though, is to diligently comparison shop for the lowest quotes on D.C. auto coverage.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Washington DC?

Uninsured motorist coverage is applied if you're in an accident caused by a driver who's illegally operating their vehicle without auto insurance. It also applies in the event of a hit-and-run incident. While this type of coverage is optional in some places around the nation, it's mandatory in Washington, D.C. Your policy must have minimum limits of $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $5,000 property damage coverage per accident subject to a $200 deductible.

Compare Car Insurance Rates in District Of Columbia for Free

Answer a few questions and let Penny find the best rates in your area.