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Car insurance for 16-year-olds

Young Man Driving
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Young Man Driving
Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Getty Images
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Earning a driver’s license can be one of the most exciting rites of passage. But with that newfound sense of freedom, it’s also important to consider your car insurance options to stay financially protected while on the road. On average, adding a 16-year-old driver to a parents’ policy can increase the annual premium by $2,184 per year for full coverage. That means that a married couple with a 16-year-old driver pays an average of $3,852 per year for a full coverage auto insurance policy compared to the $1,668 national average for a married couple with no children on a policy. This rate is just for one car; if parents decide to buy a vehicle for their child to drive, the rate would likely be higher.

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 cheaper insurance for teens. 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 $2,184 per year. This cost is in addition to the premium that parents are already paying for two drivers and one vehicle. The additional cost does not include purchasing a vehicle for your 16-year-old to drive, and it doesn’t factor in any tickets or accidents that your child may incur behind the wheel. Those factors would increase the premium even more.

Adding an inexperienced driver to a car insurance policy can cause your annual premiums to increase significantly. This is because car insurance rates are determined based on risk. Young drivers, with their inexperience on the road, are statistically 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 drivers than females, typically 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 annual full coverage car insurance cost for 16-year-olds

Average annual 16-year-old male premium Average annual 16-year-old female premium Average annual 16-year-old premium
Average premium increase $1,998 $2,369 $2,184
Average total premium (including married parents) $3,666 $4,037 $3,852

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.

Average annual full coverage car insurance cost for 16-year-olds on married parents’ policy by state (cost indicates total for teen and parents)

State Average premium for 16-year-old male Average premium for 16-year-old female Overall average premium (including married parents)
Alabama $3,589 $4,169 $3,879
Alaska $3,438 $3,745 $3,591
Arizona $3,830 $4,407 $4,119
Arkansas $3,586 $3,981 $3,784
California** $5,129 $5,668 $5,398
Colorado $4,151 $4,572 $4,361
Connecticut $3,052 $3,413 $3,233
Delaware $3,784 $4,174 $3,979
Florida $5,465 $6,142 $5,803
Georgia $3,990 $4,405 $4,197
Hawaii* $1,259 $1,259 $1,259
Idaho $2,132 $2,376 $2,254
Illinois $3,283 $3,830 $3,557
Indiana $2,536 $2,770 $2,653
Iowa $2,190 $2,385 $2,288
Kansas $3,492 $3,832 $3,662
Kentucky $3,936 $4,342 $4,139
Louisiana $5,982 $6,566 $6,274
Maine $1,842 $2,070 $1,956
Maryland $3,848 $4,269 $4,058
Massachusetts** $3,061 $3,315 $3,188
Michigan** $5,256 $5,576 $5,416
Minnesota $3,251 $3,774 $3,512
Mississippi $3,051 $3,273 $3,162
Missouri $3,784 $4,195 $3,990
Montana** $3,518 $3,901 $3,710
Nebraska $2,603 $2,858 $2,730
Nevada $5,107 $5,496 $5,301
New Hampshire $2,317 $2,566 $2,441
New Jersey $3,894 $4,249 $4,071
New Mexico $2,782 $3,068 $2,925
New York $5,957 $6,597 $6,277
North Carolina** $3,156 $3,193 $3,175
North Dakota $2,201 $2,426 $2,313
Ohio $2,307 $2,510 $2,408
Oklahoma $3,558 $3,836 $3,697
Oregon $2,775 $3,254 $3,015
Pennsylvania** $4,558 $4,860 $4,709
Rhode Island $3,679 $4,072 $3,875
South Carolina $2,886 $3,152 $3,019
South Dakota $2,534 $2,780 $2,657
Tennessee $2,917 $3,150 $3,033
Texas $3,822 $4,128 $3,975
Utah $3,370 $3,765 $3,568
Vermont $2,378 $2,629 $2,504
Virginia $2,793 $3,140 $2,967
Washington $2,892 $3,210 $3,051
Washington, D.C. $3,744 $4,090 $3,917
West Virginia $2,972 $3,274 $3,123
Wisconsin $2,613 $2,946 $2,780
Wyoming $2,818 $3,223 $3,020

*Hawaii and Massachusetts do not factor age into rates, 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 coverage options, 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 for 16-year-old male Average for 16-year-old female Overall average premium
Nationwide $2,097 $2,335 $2,216
Geico $2,713 $2,931 $2,822
USAA $2,869 $3,136 $3,002
Auto-Owners $3,058 $3,430 $3,244

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 coverage options such as roadside assistance, gap coverage and accident forgiveness. Although Nationwide has many options for car insurance, it also scored below average in the 2021 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

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. However, Geico has a limited number of local agents, which may not make it a good choice for those who want personalized service.

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. You may even choose to enroll in USAA’s SafePilot program, which tracks your driving habits and assigns a discount accordingly. 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 coverage choices 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 your premium can be relatively expensive when adding a 16-year-old, you could be looking for cheap car insurance for your teen driver. 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 $2,097 $2,335 $2,216
Erie $2,579 $2,579 $2,579
Geico $2,713 $2,931 $2,822
Progressive $3,189 $3,420 $3,305

Car insurance rates are personalized based on your rating factors, including the types of vehicles you own, the coverage types you choose and each driver’s driving history 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 teen driver cost-savings tips you can use to help offset the increased expenses while your teen gains valuable driving experience.

Additionally, your teen’s rates will likely drop as they age and develop a track record of safe driving. As long as your teen maintains a clean driving record, you can generally expect their premium to decrease as they get older, assuming no other changes are made to your policy.

  • 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. Some examples of insurers that offer good student savings include Farmers, Geico and Nationwide, among others.
  • Usage-based discounts: Annual mileage is typically used as a rating factor in auto insurance policies. If your teen drives under a certain number of miles per year, this could be an opportunity to leverage more savings with a low-mileage auto insurance policy or a usage-based program. Some of these programs include:
  • 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 could 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 gains 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.

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

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2020 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts.

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
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is an insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
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