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Car insurance for 16-year-olds
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Getting their driver’s license is an exciting time for most 16-year-olds, but the massive impact these teens have on car insurance rates is one that many parents dread. A married couple with a 16-year-old driver on their policy will pay $4,392 per year, on average, for a full coverage policy. Since a 16-year-old will rarely qualify for a policy of their own, Bankrate understands that parents may need some guidance to fit a newly licensed driver into their budgets. For this reason, Bankrate analyzed major auto insurance carriers to help parents and guardians find the best car insurance for 16-year-olds.
How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?
Bankrate’s editorial team searched for the best car insurance for 16-year-olds by obtaining 2023 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.
On average, a married couple will pay around $1,898 annually for a full coverage policy. After adding a 16-year-old, that total more than doubles. This couple can expect to pay an extra $2,494 annually, or $208 a month, to insure their newly licensed 16-year-old driver. This cost is in addition to the premium that parents already pay for two drivers and one vehicle, bringing the total premium to $4,392 per year. The additional cost does not include purchasing a vehicle for your 16-year-old to drive and doesn’t factor in any tickets or accidents that an inexperienced driver may incur behind the wheel. Those negative rating factors would increase the premium even more.
Since most insurance companies calculate car insurance rates by risk, adding an inexperienced driver can cause premiums to increase significantly. 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 and Prevention.
Average car insurance costs for 16-year-old males and females
Some states will use gender to calculate insurance rates. 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 annual rate increases are for young females and males with no speeding tickets or accidents.
|Average annual 16-year-old male premium||Average annual 16-year-old female premium||Average annual 16-year-old premium|
|Average premium increase||$2,686||$2,303||$2,494|
|Average total full coverage premium (including married parents)||$4,584||$4,201||$4,392|
Average car insurance rates for 16-year-olds by state
Each state and insurance carrier has its insurance requirements, and rates will vary. 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.
Six states do not use gender to calculate premiums, meaning the amount you pay for your 16-year-old should be the same. These states include California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
|State||Average annual 16-year-old male full coverage premium||Average annual 16-year-old female full coverage premium||Average annual 16-year-old total full coverage premium (including married parents)|
**These states do not allow insurers to rate consumers differently based on gender.
Best car insurance companies for a 16-year-old
Some drivers look for the least expensive option when shopping for car insurance. Others are less concerned with price and want extra coverage options or 24/7 customer service. Because everyone is looking for different features included in their car insurance policy, no one company is best for everyone.
Additionally, your idea of the best car insurance company can change depending on your stage in life. Some companies are best for seniors because of their coverage offerings and prices for older drivers. That same idea applies to milestone events like your child getting their driver’s license. If you are looking for the best car insurance for 16-year-old drivers, you may want to consider some of the providers below when getting car insurance quotes.
|Car insurance company||Average annual 16-year-old male full coverage premium||Average annual 16-year-old female full coverage premium||Average annual 16-year-old total full coverage premium (including married parents)|
Nationwide offers low average rates for 16-year-old drivers and several discounts that may 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 telematics 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 2022 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
If you have a 16-year-old driver to insure, Geico may be a provider worth considering. 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.
Since State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the country by market share, it may be no surprise that it could also be an excellent choice for your 16-year-old driver. State Farm offers two discounts for young drivers: Steer Clear and good student. The good student discount is similar to others offered by competitors. On the other hand, Steer Clear is a unique, app-driven program that includes driver’s training classes, behind-the-wheel practice and mentoring. Along with the potential for premium savings, your teen will earn a certificate upon course completion.
USAA could be a great choice for military members, veterans or their immediate families. 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 enroll in USAA’s SafePilot program, which tracks your driving habits via telematics and assigns a discount accordingly. And if your teen decides to remain insured with USAA when they establish their own policy, they might earn a family discount or length of membership discount.
Cheapest car insurance for 16-year-old drivers
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 and the total auto policy premium for three drivers and one vehicle on a policy.
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium increase for 16-year-old male||Average annual premium increase for 16-year-old female||Overall average annual premium increase||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
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.
Average car insurance cost for 16-year-olds by vehicle
The cost to insure a 16-year-old driver can even vary significantly depending on the make and model of the vehicle they drive. The table below shows how car insurance rates vary depending on the vehicle type your 16-year-old driver has access to in your household. These rates are for three drivers sharing one vehicle; insurance costs for adding another vehicle to the policy for your 16-year-old driver can be even more substantial. If you purchase a vehicle for your new driver, consider shopping for different vehicle types to find the right one that fits your budget while meeting your needs. Knowing the cheapest vehicles to insure can help you prepare your budget for insuring an inexperienced driver.
Please note that the overall average full coverage premium is the total cost for a 16-year-old driver (male or female) plus their married parents. Additionally, all vehicles are the model year 2021.
|Vehicle type||Average annual premium for 16-year-old male||Average annual premium for 16-year-old female||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
|Mercedes Benz C300||$4,341||$3,789||$5,963|
How to save on car insurance for a 16-year-old
Insuring a 16-year-old comes at a hefty price, but there are savings opportunities you may be able to take advantage of when insuring your teen:
- Good student discounts: Although the details vary among providers, your teen may qualify for a discount if they earn good grades. You can want to contact your agent or insurance company for specific eligibility information.
- Telematics: Using a telematics device or app may save money and encourage your 16-year-old to practice safe driving habits.
- Usage-based discounts: Some companies offer a cheaper rate for people who drive fewer miles than average or low-mileage drivers. If you don’t plan on your 16-year-old driving often, a pay-per-mile usage-based insurance policy may also be a good option.
- Vehicle choice: The type of vehicle your 16-year-old drives can considerably impact your car insurance premium. If you decide to purchase a vehicle for your teen, consider a 4-door sedan over a fast and sporty coupe. You may want to even consider insuring a vehicle where you are comfortable without comprehensive and collision coverage to save on costs. Just know that you would have to replace your vehicle out of pocket if your inexperienced driver is involved in an at-fault accident. Talking with your insurance agent or company during vehicle shopping may help determine which coverage is best for your budget.
- Safe driving agreement: A safe driving agreement may not save you money directly, but it may provide peace of mind for parents as their teens test the boundaries of their newfound freedom on the road. A safe driving agreement may encourage your teen to remain accident-free and ticket free.
Know that these insurance costs won’t be high forever. As your young driver gains experience behind the wheel, you will likely see your insurance rates drop. But, planning for higher rates for a few years and knowing how to offset some hikes can help your budget.
Frequently asked questions
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for 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 married drivers 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
Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
16-year-old driver rates were determined by adding a 16-year-old to the 40-year-old married drivers’ policy and sharing one vehicle.
To determine the cost by vehicle type, we applied the following vehicles to our 16-year-old profile with three drivers: Nissan Altima, Mercedes Benz C300, Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Camry.
Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.
The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.