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: Aug 11, 2021

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The Short of It

  • You get a 10% auto insurance discount for just signing up for Nationwide SmartRide
  • SmartRide uses an app to monitor your driving behaviors like hard braking, when you drive, and how long you sit in traffic
  • Drivers can save up to 40% on auto insurance depending on how well they score with the Nationwide SmartRide program
  • Your Nationwide auto insurance rates won’t increase even if you score poorly

Auto insurance can be expensive, and drivers look for ways to lower rates easily. Participating in a telematics program is a great way to add car insurance discounts to your policy.

Nationwide SmartRide offers a discount for signing up with the program, as well as a monthly discount based on how well you score.

Since most companies offer a similar program, it’s important to shop around before you buy Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance. Compare rates and discounts to see which company can offer you the best deal.

Keep reading to learn more about Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance. Enter your ZIP code before scrolling down to compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies in your area for free.

How does Nationwide SmartRide work?

SmartRide is a Nationwide telematics program that rewards you for good driving habits while not penalizing you for bad ones.

Enrollment is free, and you can do so either when you sign up for Nationwide auto insurance or at any time later.

Nationwide SmartRide uses an app to monitor your driving. Once you sign up for the program, simply download the app and drive.

The app runs continually in the background on your smartphone and monitors your driving habits.

Nationwide also offers a plug-in device for some drivers, especially if they are enrolled in other telematics programs, such as Nationwide SmartMiles.

With the plug-in device, Nationwide SmartRide installation is easy. It simply plugs into a port in your dash. When your monitoring is over, the device gets sent back to Nationwide.

SmartRide monitors driving for four to six months. Once the program is over, you will find out how much you will save. Most drivers report saving about 20%.

How much you save on your Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance rates is completely up to you. The better you score, the more you save.

While you can’t get a Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance quote, you can save up to 40% when you renew. Your rates also won’t increase if you score poorly.

While reviews are generally good, Nationwide SmartRide complaints include not getting a large enough discount and difficulty using the app.

Other things to consider are that SmartRide does record your data and privacy may be an issue. However, Nationwide does say it does not share your data.

Also, SmartRide uses your data plan on your smartphone, as well as the battery. This can cause higher data rates and possibly drain your phone battery faster.

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What does Nationwide SmartRide Monitor?

SmartRide from Nationwide offers you a discount based solely on certain driving behaviors. These are the behaviors that SmartRide monitors:

  • Miles driven – The more miles that you drive, the higher the chance of an accident.
  • Hard braking and acceleration – These can show that either you aren’t paying attention to the traffic around you or that you are driving aggressively.
  • Idle time – Idle time can show that you are sitting in heavy traffic often, which can lead to more accidents.
  • Nighttime driving – Driving between midnight and 5 a.m. is riskier than any other time of day.

How well you score on these factors will determine how affordable Nationwide SmartRide auto insurance is for you. The better you score, the higher your discount.

In addition to saving money, SmartRide can make you safer. According to the Insurance Information Institute, telematics can improve your safe driving skills by offering immediate feedback.

What are other ways to save with Nationwide?

While SmartRide from Nationwide can help you save money, you can also take advantage of additional discounts. Nationwide will allow you to combine all of your available discounts to save even more money.

This table shows you available Nationwide auto insurance discounts. If the amount of the discount is known, it is listed.

Nationwide Auto Insurance Discounts
Auto Insurance DiscountsNationwide (%)
Adaptive Cruise Controlx
Adaptive Headlightsx
Anti-lock Brakes5
Claim Free10
Daytime Running Lights5
Defensive Driver5
Distant Student10
Driving Device/App40
Early Signing8
Electronic Stability Controlx
Family Plan25
Forward Collision Warningx
Further Education15
Good Creditx
Good Student10
Lane Departure Warningx
Life Insurancex
Low Mileagex
Multiple Policies10
Multiple Vehicles20
Newer Vehiclex
Paperless Documents5
Paperless/Auto Billing$30
Passive Restraint20
Safe Driver35
Stable Residencex
Students & Alumni7
Vehicle Recovery25
VIN Etchingx
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Also, lowering your coverage limits, boosting your deductible, and cutting add-ons like roadside assistance are all ways to save money on auto insurance.

Is Nationwide SmartRide worth it?

SmartRide is a free program from Nationwide that can offer you up to 40% off of your auto insurance rates depending on how well you score.

Nationwide uses an app to monitor your driving behaviors for up to six months and then offers you a discount for the life of your policy.

Even if you score badly, your Nationwide car insurance rates won’t increase. You really don’t have anything to lose by trying SmartRide by Nationwide.

You can also take advantage of other Nationwide auto insurance discounts to save even more. Be sure to bundle all eligible discounts for the lowest rates.

Read our Nationwide auto insurance review to learn more about the company.

If you’re thinking about enrolling in a telematics program, keep in mind that most major auto insurance companies offer savings based on your driving habits. Compare rates and discounts to determine which company is the greatest fit for you.

We hope you’ve learned all you need to know about Nationwide SmartRide. Before you go, enter your ZIP code to compare free auto insurance quotes from companies near you.