Car insurance for 16-year-olds

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Getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting rites of passage and comes with a feeling of freedom and accomplishment. It also comes with expensive car insurance premiums. The average cost increase to add a 16-year-old driver to their parents’ policy is an extra $2,531 per year for full coverage.

While 16-year-olds are one of the most expensive ages to insure, Bankrate’s research has uncovered ways that you may be able to find a cheaper policy. From understanding what contributes to your teen’s rate to what discounts are offered for new drivers, our analysis of car insurance for 16-year-olds might help you feel more in control of your insurance.

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?

The average cost increase to add a 16-year-old to their parent’s policy is $2,531 per year. This cost is in addition to the premium that parents are already paying for two drivers and one car. The additional $211 per month does not include purchasing a vehicle for your 16-year-old to drive.

Adding an inexperienced driver to a car insurance policy can be expensive. This is because car insurance rates are determined based on risk. Young drivers, with their inexperience on the road, are some of the riskiest drivers to insure. In fact, teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents than any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Average car insurance costs for 16-year-old males and females

In general, men pay more for car insurance than women. Statistics show that males are riskier behind the wheel than females, causing more accidents and getting more tickets. This, combined with the inexperience of young drivers, makes teen males especially expensive to insure. These average rate increases are for young females and males with no speeding tickets or accidents, which would cause premiums to increase even more.

Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old male Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old female
$2,783 $2,280

*rate increase based on full coverage car insurance

Average car insurance cost for a 16-year-old by state

Each state and insurance carrier has its own insurance requirements, and rates will vary because of this. The table below represents the difference between the average annual premium for 16-year-old males and females and the overall average increase you can expect to pay in each state. The rates represent how much it costs to add a teen to their parents’ policy.

Some states, like Michigan and North Carolina, do not use gender as a rating factor.

State Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old male Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old female Overall average premium increase
Alabama $2,976 $2,452 $2,714
Alaska $2,604 $1,887 $2,245
Arizona $3,005 $2,417 $2,711
Arkansas $3,038 $2,371 $2,704
California** $3,777 $3,710 $3,744
Colorado $3,298 $2,574 $2,936
Connecticut $3,338 $2,518 $2,927
Delaware $2,781 $2,231 $2,506
Florida $4,754 $3,933 $4,343
Georgia $3,430 $2,583 $3,007
Hawaii* N/A N/A N/A
Idaho $1,924 $1,485 $1,705
Illinois $2,607 $2,020 $2,313
Indiana $2,207 $1,700 $1,954
Iowa $1,773 $1,302 $1,537
Kansas $2,431 $1,766 $2,099
Kentucky $4,056 $3,129 $3,593
Louisiana $4,797 $3,869 $4,333
Maine $1,587 $1,192 $1,389
Maryland $3,208 $2,365 $2,787
Massachusetts** $2,003 $2,002 $2,002
Michigan** $3,415 $3,392 $3,403
Minnesota $2,440 $1,993 $2,217
Mississippi $2,552 $1,833 $2,192
Missouri $2,763 $2,011 $2,387
Montana** $2,298 $2,298 $2,298
Nebraska $1,864 $1,390 $1,627
Nevada $3,829 $2,966 $3,398
New Hampshire $2,001 $1,469 $1,735
New Jersey $2,592 $2,114 $2,353
New Mexico $2,292 $1,778 $2,035
New York $4,062 $3,084 $3,573
North Carolina** $1,782 $1,749 $1,765
North Dakota $1,737 $1,277 $1,507
Ohio $1,885 $1,409 $1,647
Oklahoma $2,820 $2,090 $2,455
Oregon $2,341 $1,925 $2,133
Pennsylvania** $2,372 $2,372 $2,372
Rhode Island $3,326 $2,527 $2,927
South Carolina $2,418 $1,862 $2,140
South Dakota $1,765 $1,306 $1,535
Tennessee $2,380 $1,852 $2,116
Texas $3,208 $2,512 $2,860
Utah $2,777 $2,147 $2,462
Vermont $2,694 $2,108 $2,401
Virginia $2,361 $1,808 $2,084
Washington, D.C. $2,898 $2,084 $2,491
Washington $2,163 $1,708 $1,935
West Virginia $2,586 $1,966 $2,276
Wisconsin $1,858 $1,543 $1,701
Wyoming $2,470 $1,673 $2,071

*Hawaii does not factor age into rates for 16-year-old drivers so this data is not available.
**These states do not allow insurers to rate consumers differently based on gender.

Best car insurance companies for a 16-year-old driver

Adding a teen driver to your policy will likely increase your premium significantly in most states. A teen getting their driver’s license can be an opportunity to shop your car insurance to understand if another insurer offers a more favorable rate.

Bankrate’s editorial team searched for the best car insurance for 16-year-olds by obtaining current premium data from Quadrant Information Services for the largest U.S. insurers by market share. But because price is not the only factor to consider when buying an auto insurance policy, we also reviewed coverages, discounts, policy features and third-party rankings for each company.

If you are looking for the best car insurance companies for 16-year-olds, the following carriers could be a good starting place:

Car insurance company Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old male Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old female Overall average premium increase
Nationwide $1,362 $1,100 $1,231
Geico $2,234 $1,785 $2,009
USAA $2,385 $2,066 $2,226
Auto-Owners $2,574 $2,141 $2,358

Nationwide

Nationwide offers low average rates for 16-year-old drivers and several discounts to help policyholders lower their overall insurance premiums. Good student discounts are available for full-time students with a B average or better in school. Nationwide also offers two usage-based driving programs, SmartRide and SmartMiles. You can also personalize your car insurance with elective coverages such as roadside assistance, gap coverage and accident forgiveness.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Geico

If you have a 16-year-old driver to insure, consider getting a car insurance quote from Geico. Although its premiums are already competitive for households insuring teen drivers, Geico also offers a number of discounts to help keep costs low. Teens can take advantage of discounts like good student, driver education and seatbelt use.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

USAA

USAA could be a great choice for military members, veterans or immediate family members. The insurer features low average rates and excellent customer service ratings from J.D. Power, although USAA is ineligible for official ranking due to its eligibility restrictions. Those insuring a teen driver might reduce costs with the driver training and good student discounts. And if your teen decides to remain insured with USAA when they establish their own policy, they could earn a family discount or length of membership discount.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners is not available nationwide, but if you live in one of the 26 states where coverage is available, you might want to get a quote. Families with teen drivers might lower their premium with a good student discount, driving training discount or teen monitoring discount. Auto-Owners also offers several optional coverages to help you personalize your policy to your needs, like road trouble service coverage and car rental coverage.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance for 16-year-olds

Because car insurance can be relatively expensive when adding a 16-year-old, you could be looking for the lowest premium impact. Keep in mind that these rates represent the additional premium to add a 16-year-old to an existing policy, not the total auto policy premium.

Car insurance company Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old male Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old female Overall average premium increase
Nationwide $1,362 $1,100 $1,231
Erie $1,531 $1,178 $1,355
The Hartford $1,946 $1,898 $1,922
Progressive $2,222 $1,949 $2,085
Geico $2,234 $1,785 $2,009

Car insurance rates are personalized based on your rating factors, including the types of vehicles you own, the coverages you choose and the driving histories of each driver on your policy.

How to save on car insurance when insuring a 16-year-old

Though the cost to add a 16-year-old driver to your car insurance can be substantial, there are ways to save money. There are discounts available and other cost-savings tips you can use to offset the increased expenses while your teen gains valuable driving experience.

Good student discounts

Your teen may be eligible for a good student discount if your auto insurance company offers it. Most insurers require a certain GPA or letter-grade average to qualify, and teens may need to show the insurance provider a recent report card as proof. Parents can save an average of 16% on car insurance costs with the good student discount.

Average premium increase for adding a 16-year-old without the good student discount Average premium increase for adding a 16-year-old with the good student discount Percentage difference
Male $2,783 $2,307 -17%
Female $2,280 $1,931 -15%
Overall $2,531 $2,119 -16%

Reduced mileage or mileage tracking discounts

If your auto insurance carrier uses mileage as part of its rating system, you may be able to lower your premium if your teen drives under a certain number of miles per year. This can be a great discount if your teen is only driving to and from school each day. In addition, usage-based driving programs can also be a great way to save money and monitor your teen’s driving habits, like speeding and hard braking or acceleration.

Create a driving agreement

Creating a parent-teen driving agreement can help your teen practice safe driving habits, reducing the likelihood of them getting into an accident or being ticketed. This free agreement from AAA can help you and your teen create a meaningful commitment to safety and consequences for failing to meet their goals. Maintaining a clean driving record is important to keeping overall costs as low as possible as your teenage driver works on gaining driving experience.

How to get the best car insurance for 16-year-old drivers

Although car insurance for teens can be expensive, you can often find options to fit your budget without sacrificing coverage. One of the best ways to do this is to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance companies. This can help you determine the average rate in your area for adding a 16-year-old to your policy and will allow you to compare coverage options and discounts.

You may also want to consider available coverages, discounts, customer satisfaction scores and financial strength when looking for a car insurance policy. Comparing these factors, in addition to price, might help you find coverage that fits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company offers the coverages you need, has good customer satisfaction ratings and offers discounts to keep costs affordable. Because everyone’s situation is different, there is no single best car insurance company. Getting quotes from several insurers can help you find the best car insurance company for your household and insurance needs.

Should I adjust my coverage when adding a teen driver?

That depends on what type of coverage you have before adding your teen driver. If you have liability only, it might be worth the added expense of having full coverage since teens are inexperienced and may get into more accidents. However, if you feel comfortable paying out of pocket for vehicle repairs or buying a new car if yours is totaled, you may want to consider liability-only coverage to save money. Talking to a licensed insurance agent to price out your options may help you decide.

What is the cheapest insurance for a 16-year-old?

Costs for car insurance vary based on a number of factors, so it is important to get several quotes to compare if you are looking for the cheapest insurance coverage. You can expect to pay, on average, $211 more per month to add your 16-year-old driver to your car insurance policy.

Can my teen have their own car insurance policy?

Because 16-year-old teens are minors, they generally cannot own their own car insurance policy. They will need to be listed as drivers on their parent or guardian’s policy. Once a driver reaches 18 years old, they can purchase their own insurance policy. However, it can be financially beneficial to stay on a parent or guardian’s policy until they move out and establish their own household.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on the additional cost of a 16-year-old male and female teen driver added to their 40-year-old parents’ policy (with clean driving records, good credit and the following full coverage limits):

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Rates are determined based on 2021 Quadrant Information Services data.

Gender: the following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.
Edited by
Senior Insurance Editor