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Car insurance for 16-year-olds

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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 $2,531 per year for full coverage. That means that a married couple with a 16-year-old driver pays an average of $4,156 per year for a full coverage auto insurance policy. And that 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 $2,531 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 16-year-old male premium Average annual 16-year-old female premium Average annual 16-year-old premium
Average premium increase $2,783 $2,280 $2,531
Average total premium* $4,408 $3,905 $4,156

*Rate reflects the total average annual premium for a 16-year-old driver added to a married parent’s policy

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** N/A N/A N/A
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 $2,163 $1,708 $1,935
Washington, D.C. $2,898 $2,084 $2,491
West Virginia $2,586 $1,966 $2,276
Wisconsin $1,858 $1,543 $1,701
Wyoming $2,470 $1,673 $2,071

*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 premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old male Average premium increase for insuring a 16-year-old female Overall average premium increase
Nationwide $1,478 $1,082 $1,241
Geico $1,970 $1,850 $1,897
USAA $2,395 $2,063 $2,186
Auto-Owners $2,175 $2,258 $2,226


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


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 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 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 $1,478 $1,082 $1,241
Erie $1,274 $1,295 $1,285
The Hartford $1,698 $2,065 $1,864
Geico $1,970 $1,850 $1,897
Progressive $1,725 $2,089 $1,955

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. A 17-year-old driver increases their parents’ policy an average of $2,250 per year, which is $281 less than the average annual increase for a 16-year-old. 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. Parents could save a considerable amount on car insurance costs with the good student discount applied. 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. Some car insurance companies have a separate low-mileage auto insurance policy, where rates are determined based on miles driven. Others may have a usage-based program, which uses telematics to track your driving habits and adjust or discount your insurance rates accordingly. 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

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company offers the coverage 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. This can include other coverage options, but typically consists of both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage to insure your vehicle. 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. Married policyholders can expect to pay $211 more per month, on average, to add their 16-year-old driver to their 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.


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 coverage that meets 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.

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
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Assistant Vice President & Claims Field Manager