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Car insurance for 17-year-olds

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Seventeen-year-old drivers typically have a bit more driving experience than their 16-year-old counterparts, but are still considered fairly inexperienced on the road by insurers. Average auto rates for 17-year-old teen drivers reflect this inexperience — as well as their above-normal accident frequency — and are quite a bit higher compared to other age groups. Understanding how your teen’s premium is calculated and learning strategies to keep your premium as low as possible could help you choose the best car insurance company for your needs.

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team used data from Quadrant Information Services to obtain current rate information for 17-year-old drivers. We analyzed this data by gender, state, company and good student discount status. Additionally, our insurance experts reviewed the data and compiled a list of ways to help you find the best and cheapest auto insurance policy for you and your 17-year-old.

How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?

The average cost of full coverage car insurance to add a 17-year-old driver to their parents’ existing policy is $2,250 per year. For comparison, the average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 per year. Because 17-year-olds are still minors and cannot purchase a policy themselves, this premium reflects the difference in price to add the teen to their parents’ policy, not the total cost of the policy. This figure is for a shared family vehicle and does not include insuring a car specifically purchased for your 17-year-old to drive.

Teens are among the most expensive drivers to insure, due to their lack of driving experience and high accident rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are at a greater risk of car accidents than any other age group. Since there is a greater likelihood that teen drivers will cause accidents, insurance carriers charge more to cover them.

Average car insurance costs for 17-year-old males and females

In addition to age, gender is often a factor in determining car insurance rates. In general, males pay more for car insurance because men are more likely to be risky drivers, engaging in driving habits like speeding and not wearing seat belts. For this reason, males are generally seen as a higher risk and are charged accordingly, typically regardless of age. However, auto insurance companies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are banned by state insurance regulations from using gender as a rating factor when setting premiums.

The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage premium for 17-year-old male and female drivers.

Average annual 17-year-old male premium Average annual 17-year-old female premium Average annual 17-year-old premium
Average premium increase $2,485 $2,015 $2,250
Average total premium* $4,110 $3,650 $3,875

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

These rates are for good drivers with a clean motor vehicle record (MVR) and do not reflect if a driver has at-fault accidents or traffic violations. Having incidents like these on your MVR will result in a higher car insurance rate. Additionally, other individual rating factors impact your car insurance premium, like the make and model of your vehicle, number of miles driven annually, and auto claim history.

Average car insurance cost for 17-year-olds by state

Each state has its own laws surrounding insurance coverage, causing rates to vary depending on your location. Every geographic area of the country also has its own statistics pertaining to the volume and severity of car accidents, the cost of car repairs and the likelihood of weather-related damage.

The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage car insurance premium for 17-year-old males and females by state. Insurance companies are not allowed to use gender in determining auto premiums in seven states. Your premium will also likely vary by the city and even the specific ZIP code you live in; some cities are more expensive for parents of teen drivers.

State Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old males Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old females Overall average annual full coverage premium increase
Alabama $2,686 $2,188 $2,437
Alaska $2,251 $1,586 $1,918
Arizona $2,693 $2,148 $2,421
Arkansas $2,774 $2,141 $2,458
California** $3,308 $3,263 $3,286
Colorado $3,020 $2,353 $2,687
Connecticut $2,983 $2,172 $2,578
Delaware $2,539 $1,931 $2,235
Florida $4,446 $3,638 $4,042
Georgia $3,123 $2,349 $2,736
Hawaii* N/A N/A N/A
Idaho $1,611 $1,201 $1,406
Illinois $2,301 $1,746 $2,023
Indiana $1,950 $1,473 $1,711
Iowa $1,629 $1,178 $1,404
Kansas $2,189 $1,566 $1,878
Kentucky $3,508 $2,680 $3,094
Louisiana $4,291 $3,426 $3,859
Maine $1,453 $1,071 $1,262
Maryland $2,903 $2,115 $2,509
Massachusetts** N/A N/A N/A
Michigan** $3,134 $3,110 $3,122
Minnesota $2,119 $1,721 $1,920
Mississippi $2,311 $1,631 $1,971
Missouri $2,366 $1,671 $2,019
Montana** $2,067 $2,067 $2,067
Nebraska $1,717 $1,257 $1,487
Nevada $3,332 $2,528 $2,930
New Hampshire $1,915 $1,384 $1,650
New Jersey $2,320 $1,837 $2,078
New Mexico $1,992 $1,483 $1,737
New York $3,629 $2,735 $3,182
North Carolina** $1,092 $1,065 $1,078
North Dakota $1,557 $1,145 $1,351
Ohio $1,704 $1,254 $1,479
Oklahoma $2,493 $1,847 $2,170
Oregon $2,046 $1,655 $1,851
Pennsylvania** $2,206 $2,206 $2,206
Rhode Island $3,107 $2,322 $2,715
South Carolina $2,135 $1,611 $1,873
South Dakota $1,613 $1,218 $1,416
Tennessee $2,150 $1,655 $1,903
Texas $2,893 $2,232 $2,562
Utah $2,411 $1,830 $2,120
Vermont $2,533 $1,963 $2,248
Virginia $2,111 $1,570 $1,840
Washington $1,952 $1,507 $1,729
Washington, D.C. $2,520 $1,750 $2,135
West Virginia $2,372 $1,775 $2,074
Wisconsin $1,659 $1,356 $1,508
Wyoming $2,350 $1,588 $1,969

*Hawaii and Massachusetts do not allow insurers to factor age into rates. Thus, this data is not available in these two states.

**These states do not allow insurers to rate consumers differently based on gender.

Best car insurance companies for 17-year-olds

Choosing a company with coverage and discount options tailored to the needs of 17-year-old drivers can be important. Based on our research, the following companies might be worth your consideration as you search for the best car insurance for 17-year-olds:

Car insurance company Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old males Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old females Overall average annual full coverage premium increase
Allstate $2,518 $1,951 $2,182
Erie $1,120 $1,125 $1,123
Nationwide $1,279 $983 $1,104
State Farm $2,082 $1,571 $1,769

Allstate

Allstate’s average premium for 17-year-olds might be the highest on our list, but the company still has a lot to offer. The Drivewise program can help your teen learn safe driving habits and allow you to monitor their driving patterns, all while saving you money. Smart students could also earn a discount. Perhaps the most alluring feature of all is the teenSMART safety program. This program is specifically geared toward teen drivers and addresses the driving behaviors that account for the overwhelming majority of teen crashes. The program has a participation fee, but Allstate customers get a discounted rate.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Erie

Erie provides competitive rates for teen drivers and plenty of coverage types and discounts tailored for this age group. For example, the carrier’s roadside and rentals bundle might give you peace of mind that your 17-year-old driver would be taken care of during a roadside emergency. Additionally, with Erie’s Rate Lock feature, policyholders lock in their rates, only experiencing a change if they make certain adjustments to their policy, like changing their address or adding a vehicle. Erie also offers a discount to unmarried drivers under 21 who live with their parents in all states where it offers auto coverage except North Carolina. Erie is only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and may not be an option for drivers in many parts of the country. However, the company carries an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Nationwide

Aside from its affordable rates, Nationwide is one of the best insurance companies for 17-year-old drivers for its coverage options and available discounts. Nationwide offers special auto coverage options such as accident forgiveness, which helps you avoid rate increases following your first at-fault accident. Additionally, full-time high school and college students between the ages of 16 and 24 who maintain at least a B grade average are eligible for a discount on their premium. Nationwide does have a lower-than-average claims satisfaction score from J.D. Power, though, which means that current customers may be less than satisfied with the carrier’s claims process.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

State Farm

For teens whose parents like to keep all their policies in one place, State Farm might be a good option. The company offers a wide range of insurance and financial products, sold and managed by an exclusive network of more than 19,000 local agents. Teens might be able to save money with State Farm by being good students, taking a driver education course and participating in the company’s Steer Clear safe driving program that tracks the driving habits of young drivers. One downside is that the carrier has a higher-than-average overall complaint index rating from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which indicates that NAIC receives more policyholder complaints about State Farm than average.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds

Because teens are expensive to insure, many families are likely interested in finding the cheapest teen car insurance possible. Choosing a company with cheap average rates can go a long way toward keeping your costs down.

Car insurance company Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old males Average annual full coverage premium increase for 17-year-old females Overall average annual full coverage premium increase
Nationwide $1,279 $983 $1,104
Erie $1,120 $1,125 $1,123
The Hartford $1,384 $1,689 $1,521
USAA $1,738 $1,462 $1,565
Geico $1,768 $1,613 $1,675

Although the average rates offered by these companies are lower than the average premium for a 17-year-old driver, bear in mind that the premium you will pay for your teenage driver will depend on several individual rating factors. Your teen’s driving record, the car they drive and the coverage types, limits and deductibles you choose will all impact your premium.

How to save on car insurance when insuring a 17-year-old

Although the price to insure a teenage driver can be unnerving, there are numerous ways to save money. Most insurance companies offer car insurance discounts for students to help you offset the premium increase you will likely experience after adding your 17-year-old driver.

Good student discounts

Most insurance providers offer discounts to students who are able to maintain good grades in school. Every auto insurance company has its own qualifications, so be sure to check with your carrier to see if your 17-year-old qualifies. Some major companies that offer good student discounts include Allstate, Geico and Nationwide, to name a few.

Reduced mileage or mileage tracking discounts

Many insurance carriers offer reduced rates for drivers who drive under a certain number of miles per year. This can be an ideal solution to lower premiums for teens, who may only be driving to and from school. Your provider may also offer pay-per-mile telematics programs, which will track your teen’s mileage and adjust your premium based on the actual number of miles your teen has driven.

Safe driving discounts

One of the easiest ways to reduce your car insurance premium is by maintaining a good driving record. Many insurance carriers will apply a safe driving discount when drivers have avoided accidents and traffic violations for a certain number of years, which varies by carrier. Some carriers offer discounts for tracking your driving patterns via a mobile app or plug-in device in what are called usage-based insurance programs.

How to get the best car insurance for a 17-year-old

Since teen drivers are viewed as a higher risk, they tend to be expensive to insure. However, by obtaining quotes from multiple companies, teaching your teen safe driving habits and taking advantage of available discounts, you may be able to find an insurance policy that works for you and your family.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

Because each driver has a different set of circumstances as well as different wants, needs and preferences, there isn’t one company that will be best for everyone. One of the best strategies to find the best company for you is to understand your needs and shop around. Reviewing quotes from multiple insurance companies and comparing discounts and coverage types can help you find the right policy for your needs.

Should I adjust my coverage when adding a teen driver?

Adding a teen can increase your premium substantially, and it could be tempting to lower coverage levels or remove entire coverage types to save money. While there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to what coverage types and levels you should carry, insurance agents typically recommend against lowering coverage to lower your bill. Especially because teens are a higher risk for accidents, lower limits could put you at a greater risk for out-of-pocket expenses after an accident. Shopping around and utilizing discounts is a safer strategy to lower your premium while maintaining an adequate level of financial protection.

Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

Teens under 18 are minors and can’t purchase their own car insurance policies in most circumstances, so 16- and 17-year-olds will likely need to be listed on an adult’s family auto policy. Once a driver turns age 18, they can purchase their own insurance policy. However, older teenagers will likely pay a higher premium on their own policies than if they stay on their parents’ policy. As long as your teen lives in your household or lives on a college campus, your insurance company will likely allow them to stay on your policy, and they will be required to stay on your policy as long as they are driving a vehicle you own.

What kind of car should a 17-year-old drive?

The car your teen drives will have a big impact on how much insurance will cost. Because of accident statistics, the price of replacement parts and labor and available safety features, some cars are cheaper to insure than others. If you are looking for a car for your teen, most insurance professionals recommend that you get insurance quotes for the vehicle before you purchase it. That way, there are no surprises when you add the vehicle and your teen to your policy, and you have a clearer picture of the financial implications of a certain car for your teen.

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 17-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.

Gender: Seven states prohibit auto insurers from using gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Age: Massachusetts and Hawaii prohibit auto insurers from using age as a rating factor.

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
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute