Getting a driver’s license at 16 is considered a rite of passage for a lot of teens. But parents may be shocked at how much their car insurance costs increase when adding a teen driver.
Insurance companies allow teens to practice driving with their learner’s permit without affecting insurance rates. It is not until they receive their driver’s license that they need to be rated on a policy as a licensed driver. Since a 16-year-old driver is inexperienced, they are considered at high-risk for accidents and tickets, so the rate increase for insuring them can be substantial.
Though rates will gradually decrease over time as newly licensed drivers gain driving experience, the average cost for a first-time driver can be surprising.
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. This rate is basically for the risk of adding an inexperienced driver to your existing policy, which is the way insurance companies determine their base rates for coverage.
Adding an inexperienced driver to an existing car insurance policy can be expensive. Consider getting a quote from your insurance company before your teen gets their license so you can prepare for the rate increase and find potential ways to save on insurance costs.
Average car insurance costs for 16-year-old males and females
You may notice the average annual premium listed below is cheaper for a 16-year-old female compared to a 16-year-old male. 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 rates are for young females and males with no speeding tickets or accidents, which would cause premiums to be even higher.
|Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old male||Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old female|
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 you can expect to pay in each state. The rates represent how much it costs to add a teen to your policy. Think of these numbers as the premium increase for adding a teen driver in addition to your current annual premium.
Additionally, some states, like Michigan and North Carolina, do not use gender as a rating factor.
|State||Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old male||Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old female||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
|District of Columbia||$2,898||$2,084||$2,491|
*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.
Cheapest car insurance companies for a 16-year-old driver
Every insurance company has its own rating system, so the cost for adding a teen driver will be different depending on the company. The most popular car insurance carriers in the table below were found to have the lowest premium increases when adding a 16-year-old to their parents’ policy.
These companies offer average annual premium increases that are substantially lower than the national average of $2,531 per year when adding a 16-year-old driver to a policy with full coverage. Since teen drivers cannot be on their own policy if they are under 18-years-old, parents considering a new insurance company for their teen driver will need to switch their own coverage as well.
Age is only one factor considered when car insurance companies calculate premiums, so the premium you pay may be higher or lower based on your specific details.
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old males||Average annual full coverage premium for 16-year-old females||Overall average annual full coverage premium|
On top of low average rates for 16-year-old drivers, Nationwide offers several discounts to help teens and parents lower their 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 personalize your car insurance with elective coverages such as roadside assistance, gap coverage and accident forgiveness.
Although only available in certain states, if you have a 16-year-old driver, you may want to consider Erie Insurance in your car insurance search. In addition to providing standard car insurance coverages such as liability, collision and comprehensive, Erie offers several unique coverages on car insurance policies, such as pet coverage, personal item coverage and locksmith coverage.
Erie also offers a safe driving program for young drivers called teenSMART. Drivers insured with Erie can get a reduced price on the program, which is shown to reduce crash frequency by about 30 percent. Teen drivers who complete the program may be eligible for a reduced car insurance premium as well.
The Hartford provides auto insurance to AARP members, and for those insuring 16-year-old drivers, it offers some of the most competitive rates around. It also offers unique features that may help keep premiums low for households insuring teen drivers, such as accident forgiveness. If all the drivers listed on your policy have clean driving records for five years, the first at-fault loss will not be charged against your policy.
If you have a 16-year-old driver to insure, you may want to 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.
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
Full-time teen students may be eligible for a good student discount if their car insurance company offers it. Most companies require a certain GPA or letter grade average to qualify, and teens may need to show a recent grade card to the insurance company as proof. Parents can save an average of 16% on car insurance costs with the good student discount.
|Average full coverage premium without good student discount||Average full coverage premium with good student discount||Percentage difference|
Reduced mileage or mileage tracking discounts
If your insurance carrier uses mileage as part of its rating system, you may be able to lower your premium if you drive under a certain number of miles per year. 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.
How to get the best car insurance for 16-year-old drivers
Although car insurance for teens can be expensive, you can 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 customer satisfaction scores and financial strength when looking for coverage. By shopping around, you can find the best car insurance company with affordable rates for you and your teen driver.
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. The best insurance company will vary based on your specific situation. Getting multiple quotes from different companies 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 car 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 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. Expect to pay on average $211 more per month to add your 16-year-old driver to your car insurance policy.
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.