Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2021

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The Short of It

  • Most states remove accidents and tickets from your driving record in five years or less
  • Auto insurance companies should lower your rates once your driving record is clean
  • Drivers with a very bad driving record can be labeled high-risk and pay much higher auto insurance rates

Your driving record shows auto insurance companies if you are risky to insure. Drivers with a lot of accidents, tickets, and DUIs will pay much higher rates.

However, the good news is that eventually accidents, tickets, and DUIs will no longer show on your record. Auto insurance companies that only go back five years will lower your rates when that happens.

If your driving record is less than perfect, shop around to find the cheapest rates for you. Compare multiple companies to find your best deal.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare free quotes from auto insurance companies that only go back five years in your area.

What auto insurance companies only go back five years?

In most states, any infraction on your driving record is removed within five years. In fact, it’s common to find auto insurance companies that only look back three years.

Rates from auto insurance companies that only go back five years should lower as soon as an accident or ticket is removed from your record.

What do auto insurance companies check when calculating your rates?

There are many factors that affect auto insurance rates, and your driving record is one of the most significant things insurance companies use to determine your rates.

This table shows you average rates from top auto insurance companies based on your driving record.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving History
CompanyAverage Annual Rates with Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with 1 AccidentAverage Annual Rates with 1 DUIAverage Annual Rates with 1 Speeding Violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
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A bad driving record can raise your rates by around $150 a month. Once accidents, tickets, or DUIs are removed from your driving record, your rates will lower to normal.

It’s a good idea to get a copy of your driving record to see what is listed. Then you can make sure your auto insurance reflects any changes.

What auto insurance companies only check driving records two, three, four, or five years back?

In some states, your auto insurance three-year accident history will be the most your insurer will see. Each state will determine how long accidents, tickets, and DUIs stay on your driving record.

For example, according to the California DMV, an accident will stay on your driving record for three years. However, if the accident involves a commercial vehicle or hazardous materials, the accident will stay on your record for 10 years.

It should be noted that each company is different. Some auto insurance companies only look back two, three, four, or five years. Check with your insurer to see exactly how long they look at your driving record.

When are you considered a high-risk driver?

If you have enough accidents, tickets, or DUIs on your driving record, you can be considered a high-risk driver. This means there is an increased chance you are going to cost the auto insurance company money.

There are other reasons you can be labeled high-risk besides your driving record. Your credit, your age, and the type of vehicle you drive can all earn you that high-risk label.

Auto insurance companies believe that drivers with a poor credit score are more likely to file a claim since they may not be able to pay for damages out of pocket.

Age is another reason you can be considered a high-risk driver. Young drivers lack experience and can be in more accidents. On the other hand, older drivers may have medical issues that affect their driving.

The type of car you drive can also affect how your auto insurance company views you. A car that is expensive to repair or replace will also have higher insurance rates.

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How can drivers with a bad driving record save money on auto insurance?

You can still save money on auto insurance if you have dings on your driving record.

Consider taking a defensive driving course. You will learn valuable safe driving tips as well as earn a discount. You can even remove points from your driving record in some states.

Along those lines, ask for any other auto insurance discounts you may be eligible for. Not all discounts are based on your driving, so there should be at least a few that you can take advantage of.

This table shows you the common discounts offered by top auto insurance companies.

Auto Insurance Discounts By Company
Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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You should also consider usage-based auto insurance. This type of coverage is generally cheaper for drivers with a bad driving record since you pay per mile that you drive.

Auto Insurance Companies That Only Go Back Five Years: The Bottom Line

Most auto insurance companies look at your driving record for five years or less. Once an accident, ticket, or DUI comes off your driving record, your rates should go back to normal.

The best way to find cheap auto insurance if your driving record isn’t perfect is to shop around. Compare rates from various companies to find your best deal.

Now that you know about auto insurance companies that only go back five years, enter your ZIP code to compare auto insurance quotes from companies near you for free.