You must carry the minimum required car insurance in order to legally drive in Seattle and the rest of the state of Washington. The average auto insurance rate in Washington is right around the national average, but costs are higher in Seattle. Luckily, we have some tips to help make your car insurance more affordable.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington

Insuring a Car in Seattle with Bad CreditIn the state of Washington, drivers are required to carry certain types and amounts of minimum auto insurance coverage. According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, you have to have the following liability and property damage limits:

  1. $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident you cause.
  2. $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all people in an accident you cause.
  3. $10,000 for damage to other's property in an accident you cause.

Auto Insurance Costs in Washington

According to a 2019 study from, Washington state is the 25th most expensive state for car insurance. The average annual premium is $1,401, which is actually $56 cheaper than the $1,457 national average.

Just how much your auto insurance is going to cost you depends on your specific situation. Multiple factors influence your car insurance premium, including your age, gender, vehicle choice, driving record, credit score, and more.

Later on, we’ll explain how you can lower your annual insurance premium, but let’s first dive into the numbers on auto insurance costs in Seattle.

Auto Insurance Costs in Seattle

Residents of Seattle can expect their car insurance premiums to be higher than the state average.

According to ValuePenguin, the average annual auto insurance premium in 2019 in Washington for a single 30-year-old male with a 2011 Toyota Camry, good credit, and a clean driving record is $1,259. In the city of Seattle, the average car insurance cost is $1,659 using the same information – a $400 difference.

While it's going to cost more in the Emerald City, there are ways to make your auto insurance more affordable.

How to Make Car Insurance More Affordable

Car insurance is expensive for Seattleites, so how do you make it as affordable as possible? While you can’t control your age or gender, you have control over other factors that affect your premium.

Here are some common ways you can try to lower your insurance premium:

  • Vehicle choice – The year, make, model, and available safety features of your car can affect your auto insurance costs. Generally, the more features available, and newer the vehicle, the more expensive it is to insure.
  • Keeping a clean driving record – Your driving record affects your car insurance premium. The cleaner your record is, the better your premium typically is.
  • Improving your credit score – Take positive steps toward improving your credit score if you’re worried about insurance premiums. If you can’t wait, you can still raise your credit score by applying for an auto loan and making the payments on time. As time goes on and your credit score increases, you could shop around for a better insurance premium.
  • Bundling insurance – Many insurance companies offer discounts and incentives if you bundle (combine) insurance types. You could insure more than one vehicle, or bundle your renter's or homeowner’s policy to save money.
  • Raising your deductible – If you have the money to set aside to cover the up-front costs, you could raise your deductible and lower your premium.

The Bottom Line

You need to have car insurance in Seattle in order to legally drive. If you're here because you need a vehicle in the first place, Auto Credit Express can help you find an auto loan.

We want to help you find financing by connecting you to a local dealership in Seattle, or anywhere else around the country, that knows how to handle unique credit situations. Complete our free, no-obligation car loan request form, and we’ll get right to work for you.