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Cheapest Car Insurance in Iowa

The Missouri River, the Mississippi River, the Sioux River and the American Heartland; Iowa is as American as a state can get. In the heart of the Corn Belt, this midwestern state hosts rolling hills, neatly-lined crop fields, industrial-sized family farms and an unbeatable American spirit. While not the tourist attraction that some of its neighbors are, Iowa has been supporting America’s families for generations through its industry and agriculture. An easy drive through flat plains and highways, this state can be a pleasure to live in or to visit. is making sure Americans like those living in Iowa are well protected by providing beneficial, easy-to-read car insurance information.


Sorting through insurance laws and regulations can be like trying to find your way out of an Iowa corn maze. This list of helpful facts will give the driver a roadmap to get through the maze with ease.

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Iowa

  • Iowa’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires all vehicles to maintain the minimum liability insurance coverage if registered and/or operated in the state.
  • Liability Coverage minimums:
    • $20,000 per single bodily injury or death.
    • $40,000 per multiple bodily injury or deaths.
    • $15,000 for property damage.

New Driver Licensing Requirements

  • Residents of Iowa must obtain a state drivers license within 30 days of residency. Residents may obtain a license by passing the vision, written and road tests and by paying the required fees.
  • New drivers under 18 years of age must apply for a Graduated Drivers License (GDL). The GDL consists of an Instruction Permit, an Intermediate License and a Full License. The purpose of this program is to give applicants supervised driving experience prior to obtaining their full license.
  • To obtain an Instruction Permit, the applicant:
    • Must be at least 14 years old
    • Must hold the permit for at least 12 months
    • Must complete an Iowa MVD approved driver education course
    • Must successfully pass the knowledge and vision tests
    • Log 20 hours of drive time including 2 hours of nighttime driving
    • Must have parental or legal guardian consent
  • Restrictions on the Instruction Permit include:
    • Must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian, a licensed driver over 25 with written consent, a family member over 21 or a driving instructor
    • Number of passenger cannot exceed the number of seat belts
  • After holding the permit for at least 12 months and turning 16 years old, the applicant may obtain the Intermediate License. Restrictions and requirements for this license include:
    • Written consent from parent or legal guardian
    • Must hold the license for at least 12 months
    • May drive unsupervised between the hours of 5 am and 12:30 am
    • May drive at any time if supervised according to the above Instruction Permit guidelines
    • Must log 10 hours of driving with 2 hours of nighttime driving
    • For the first 6 months only, passengers are restricted to only one unrelated minor passenger
  • After holding the Intermediate License for 12 consecutive months without an accident or violation, the driver, if 17 years old, may apply for a Full License. If under 18, applicant must have parent or legal guardian’s written consent.
  • Vision Exam. The Iowa Driver’s Manual explains the importance of vision when driving a vehicle, and it outlines additional precautions that can and should be taken by all drivers. The vision exam is a minimum requirement, and to pass, the applicant must have vision acuity of at least 20/40. Corrective lenses may be worn to pass the test, and these lenses must be worn when driving as well.
    Visual acuity between 20/40 and 20/70 requires a daytime driving restriction, and a field of vision between 100 and 139 degrees requires left and right outside mirrors. Visual acuity worse than 20/70 and field of vision less than 100 degrees will result in ineligibility for a license.
  • Knowledge Test. A touch screen computer provides the knowledge test to evaluate the applicant’s understanding of basic road signs and rules. All of the information necessary to pass the knowledge test is located in the Iowa Driver’s Manual.
  • Road Skills Test. The applicant’s vehicle must be properly registered, insured, licensed and maintained. The vehicle must be driven to and from the testing site by a licensed driver. The test will evaluate the applicant’s ability to safely operate and control his/her vehicle.The test administrator will sit in the front seat adjacent to the driver. If the driver fails the skills test, the administrator will explain and the applicant will be allowed to re-take the test.
  • Fees. The Iowa MVD lists the following fees for Iowa drivers licenses:
    • Instruction Permit, $6
    • Intermediate License, $8
    • Full drivers license, $4 per year


  • BAC limit: .08 Iowa holds to a Zero Tolerance Law regarding under age Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offenses. BAC limit for drivers under the age of 21 is .02, and for further details see the Iowa DOT Driver Services website. Every license suspension requires a $200 re-instatement fee. The following is a list of the state’s penalties for OWI convictions:
  • First Offense:
    • Minimum 180-day license revocation
    • If BAC was above .15 and/or the violation involved an accident, the driver must wait 30 days to apply for a temporary restricted license
    • If BAC was greater than .10 and/or the violation involved an accident, the driver must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to be eligible for the restricted license
    • Driver under age 18 is not eligible for a restricted license
  • Second Offense:
    • Minimum 1-year license revocation
    • The driver is not eligible for a temporary restricted license for 45 days
    • IID required for all vehicles the driver owns or operates
    • Drivers under the age of 18 are not eligible for a temporary license, and the license revocation lasts for 12 months or until the driver turns 18; whichever is longer
  • Third Offense:
    • Minimum 6-year license revocation
    • Driver may apply for a temporary restricted license after one year if all vehicles he/she owns or operates are equipped with IID(‘s)
  • Any OWI offense resulting in bodily injury requires an additional 1-year license revocation and IID installations.
    If the OWI offense results in a death, the license revocation is extended by 6 years, IID is installed and the driver will not be eligible for a restricted license for 2 years.

Texting & Driving Laws points out that Iowa has banned all cell phone use for novice drivers and texting for all drivers.

Unique Laws

Keeping up with the times can be a challenge, especially if “keeping up” means managing the thousands of laws Iowa has on their books. If one slipped through, it may be the ordinance that requires all hotels in Dubuque to provide a water bucket and hitching post out front. Also, in Marshalltown, horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants, and driving through just became safer as it is illegal to shoot missiles onto a highway without written consent!


Best Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Iowa

Polk County Car Insurance

Named for U.S. President James K. Polk, Polk County is located in southern central Iowa and is its most populous county. The state capital, Des Moines, is also the county seat and largest city, and not to be confused with Des Moines County, Iowa, in the far eastern part of the state.

Polk County hosts the Iowa State Fair each August and the World Food and Music Festival in September. Among unique tourist attractions is the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a 4.4-acre outdoor park featuring 20 works from noted artists. Also popular with visitors is the Capitol Building, Blank Park Zoo and Botanical Garden.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Linn County Car Insurance

Located along Interstate 380 in east central Iowa, Linn County is the state's second most populated. The county seat and largest city is Cedar Rapids, home of Quaker Oats, the largest cereal company in the world.

The largest collection of Grant Wood art can be found in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Wood is a native of Cedar Rapids, which also produced journalist William L. Shirer and aerodynamics pioneer Alexander Lippisch, in addition to a number of actors and athletes. Marion, the county's second largest city, hosts an annual Marion Arts Festival and Swamp Fox Festival.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Scott County Car Insurance

Bisected by Interstate 80, Scott County was the first American settlement in the area, now home to roughly 167,000. The Mississippi River forms its southeast border, with Illinois to the east. The county seat and largest city is Davenport, a city halfway between Chicago and Des Moines.

Davenport hosts several annual music festivals, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Mississippi Valley Fair and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, which features an internationally known 7-mile foot race called the Bix 7. Scott County is also home to the world's largest truck stop, known as Iowa 80. Its facilities include a 300-seat restaurant, barber shop, 60-seat movie theater and food court with numerous options.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Johnson County Car Insurance

Centered around the intersection of Interstate 380 running north-to-south and Interstate 80 running east-to-west, Johnson County lies just south of Cedar Rapids in southeast Iowa.

The county seat is Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa. Iowa City surrounds the town of University Heights and is adjacent to Coralville, the site of a 3,800-year-old archeological site known as Edgewater Park Site. The small community of West Branch is the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, the only U.S. President born in Iowa, and the first to be born west of the Mississippi.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Black Hawk County Car Insurance

Along Interstate 380 in northeast Iowa, Black Hawk County is centered around the county seat and largest city, Waterloo. The county is mostly level, lying within the Cedar River flood plain. The county's second largest city, Cedar Falls, is home to the University of Northern Iowa.

The Cedar River bisects the county, and major floods occurred in 1993 and 2008, with the downstream community of Cedar Rapids the hardest hit. Among its unique points of interest are the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum. Visitors also come for the Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo, along with golf courses and a go-kart track.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid
Black Hawk$836.00$698.00$782.00$853.00$903.00

Woodbury County Car Insurance

The far west Iowa County of Woodbury lies at the Nebraska border. The county seat is the river town of Sioux City that is home to four higher education institutions: Morningside College, Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech and St. Luke's College.

Its largest section is in Iowa, but Sioux City continues in two neighboring states. North Sioux City lies is in South Dakota to the north, and South Sioux City is across the Big Sioux River in Nebraska. The nearby Missouri River provides green space for parks, hiking and boating. About 50,000 attend the annual Saturday in the Park festival held near the Fourth of July.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Dubuque County Car Insurance

Named for European settler Julien Dubuque, Dubuque County lies across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin and Illinois to the east. Dubuque, the county seat, is also the state's oldest city, home of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the only county courthouse with a gold dome.

The world's steepest and shortest railway, the Fenlon Place Elevator, is located in Dubuque, as is the baseball field constructed for the movie, "Field of Dreams," which is now a tourist attraction a few miles outside the City of Dyersville. The National Farm Toy Museum preserves models, replicas and real toys based on farm equipment.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Pottawattamie County Car Insurance

Just across the Mississippi River from Omaha, Neb., Pottawattamie County, Iowa, is named for the Native American tribe that lived in the area. Council Bluffs, the county seat, is on the east bank of the river, only 15 minutes from Omaha.

Once known as the Gateway to the American West, Council Bluffs was the eastern terminus of the first transcontinental railroad. Unique points of interest in Pottawattamie County include the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the Lewis and Clark Monument and Scenic Overlook and Historic General Dodge House. The RailsWest Railroad Museum includes an intricate HO model railroad exhibit.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Story County Car Insurance

About 30 miles north of Des Moines on Interstate 35, Story County lies almost at the exact center of Iowa. It was named after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. The county seast is the small town of Nevada, pronounced differently than the state with the same name.

The City of Ames, 8 miles west of Nevada, is the birthplace of the computer, first developed at the Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Just south of the university is a neighborhood known as "Campustown," a mix of student apartments, restaurants and nightlife venues unique to the City of Ames. On Interstate 35 is Story City, home to the oldest continually operating theater in Iowa, the Story Theatre/Grand Opera House.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Dallas County Car Insurance

Just west of the Des Moines metro area in central Iowa, Dallas County encompasses part of the cities of West Des Moines, Clive and Grimes. The county seat and oldest city in the county is Adel, located along the North Raccoon River.

The world's largest private seed company, Stine Seed, is located in Adel. The family-owned company encompasses 15,000 acres of Iowa farmland. Dallas County is known for its golf courses and outdoor activities such as the Raccoon River Valley Trail, built on an abandoned railroad right of way through four total counties.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid
Black Hawk$836.00$698.00$782.00$853.00$903.00
Buena Vista$801.00$662.00$730.00$739.00$872.00
Cerro Gordo$783.00$651.00$727.00$802.00$848.00
Des Moines$786.00$653.00$727.00$807.00$854.00
Palo Alto$792.00$655.00$723.00$773.00$868.00
Van Buren$884.00$728.00$802.00$919.00$972.00
Wright$801.00$658.00$729.00$829.00$879.00 Methodology

Car insurance quotes are for one car and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 40 years old, female, married, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no moving violations, accidents, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicles are assumed to be garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Car insurance quotes include commonly available discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.

Average Car Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance premiums in Iowa show good potential to remain affordable for years to come. makes it clear that the state’s auto premiums have been below the national average for nearly two decades.

Drunk Driving Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that, although the number of drunk driving fatalities rose above the national average in 2013, the state’s numbers are now once again under the national average.

Teen Drinking and Driving

According to the Center for Disease Control Iowa teens drink and drive approximately 3.5 percent more than the national average.

Vehicular Theft in Iowa

At 130, Iowa’s vehicle thefts are completely outdone by the national average. The FBI reports a fraction of a percent increase in Iowa’s 2013 vehicle thefts. The number has dipped in 2014.

Cheap Car Insurance understands you work hard for your money so, why spend more on your affordable auto insurance. Here is a list of some of the car insurance discounts that will help keep your hard-earned money in your pockets:

  • Multi-car insurance discount
  • Good student discount
  • Military discount
  • Car safety features discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Bundling your auto with home or renters
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Usage or low-mileage discount
  • Senior citizen discount
  • Mature driver discount

Insurance discounts may vary by state so, contact us today to see if you qualify for any of these car insurance discounts!

Driver RatingBest Rate Option
Good driversAmerican Family, Nationwide (tie)
Drivers with poor creditNationwide
Retired driversFarm Bureau


State Department of Insurance

Iowa Insurance Division
601 Locust St.,
4th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50309-3738
Phone: 515-281-5705
Get Directions

Department of Transportation

Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
(515) 239-1101
Get Directions

Department of Motor Vehicles

Iowa Department of Transportation
Motor Vehicle Division
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
(800) 532-1121
Get Directions

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