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Car insurance for 19-year-olds

A group of young ladies in a car going for a nice drive.
Click_and_Photo/Getty Images
A group of young ladies in a car going for a nice drive.
Click_and_Photo/Getty Images
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By age 19, most drivers have at least a few years of road experience under their belt, which is reflected in the average cost of car insurance for this age group. 19-year-old drivers pay an average of $4,130 per year, $1,190 less than 18-year-olds on their own full coverage policy, according to Bankrate’s 2022 study of quoted annual premiums. If staying on their parents’ policy, 19-year-old drivers can save a little more as long as they meet the requirements to qualify for this option.

Although rates generally trend downward the older young drivers get, finding the right auto insurance policy at an affordable price often takes some additional research. To assist drivers in finding appropriate coverage, Bankrate’s insurance experts compared quotes and policies from multiple providers to evaluate some of the best car insurance options for 19-year-old motorists.

How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old?

By utilizing Quadrant Information Services, our insurance editorial team gathered and compared quotes from dozens of auto insurers to help young drivers make an informed decision with their insurance. The average cost of car insurance for a 19-year-old on their own policy is $4,130 a year for full coverage and $1,291 a year for minimum coverage, based on quoted annual premiums. In comparison, 19-year-old drivers pay 133% more for full coverage than the national average cost of car insurance for adult drivers. However, costs are a little less when added to a parent’s policy, at $2,929 annually or $936 annually, for full or minimum coverage respectively.

Due to a lack of a lengthy driving history, car insurance companies typically consider young drivers — including those under the age of 21 — risky to insure. A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that drivers aged 16- to 19-years-old were three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash compared to drivers aged 20 and older. Additionally, 19-year-olds were responsible for 600 fatal car accidents in total in 2020, the highest number of any other driver age group under 21.

The average cost of car insurance for 19-year-old male drivers is slightly higher than the average cost for 19-year-old female drivers. Historically, both age and gender tend to be strong indicators of driver risk in most states.

Average cost of car insurance for 19-year-old males and females

Why does car insurance typically cost more for 19-year-old males than 19-year-old females on average? Each car insurance company has underwriters who determine the cost of car insurance based on several factors set by the insurance firm, including the driver’s stated gender. Based on the fact that men are statistically riskier drivers than women, according to actuarial data, insurance companies often factor gender into rates. Hawaii and Massachusetts do not use age, and join California, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in banning the use of gender in setting insurance rates.

The table below breaks down the average costs of minimum and full coverage car insurance for 19-year-old males and females.

Average annual premium 19-year-old male on their parent’s policy 19-year-old female on their parent’s policy 19-year-old male on their own policy 19-year-old female on their own policy
Full coverage $2,789 $2,520 $4,440 $3,819
Minimum coverage $905 $785 $1,362 $1,219

*19-year-olds on their own policy are renters.

Best car insurance companies for 19-year-olds

There are many options for 19-year-old drivers seeking auto insurance coverage. To make the insurance landscape clearer, we leveraged 2022 average premium data and considered standout coverage options from each insurer to highlight some of the best car insurance companies for consideration. The following carriers have high Bankrate Scores, calculated on a five-point scale measuring performance across several categories. These include average premiums, coverage options, discounts, state availability, financial strength ratings, customer satisfaction scores and digital accessibility.

Insurance company Bankrate Score Average premium for 19-year-olds on their parent’s policy Average premium for 19-year-olds on their own policy
USAA 5 $1,724 $2,672
Geico 4.7 $2,112 $3,223
Travelers 4.7 $2,322 $4,062
Erie 4.6 $2,416 $2,613
Auto-Owners 4.5 $2,188 $2,340

USAA

USAA is a unique insurance provider because it only provides coverage to active-duty military, veterans and their eligible immediate family members. However, even though it has strict membership requirements, it consistently earns high J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores from its covered drivers and exhibits superior financial strength according to AM Best. If you are 19 and you qualify, getting a quote from USAA could provide you dedicated coverage and savings opportunities like its SafePilot program, which offers up to a 30% discount for safe driving behaviors.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Geico

On average, Geico is not as cheap as Erie for 19-year-old drivers and does not have many additional optional coverage, but it offers a long list of discounts that many drivers should be able to lower the average annual premium by a good margin. In addition to having coverage from a nationally trusted company, policyholders have access to Geico’s top-rated mobile app. With it, you can conveniently view your ID cards, make a payment, file a claim, request roadside assistance and check the status of your claim.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Travelers

While Travelers insurance policies are more expensive on average than other providers on our list, there are multiple discounts 19-year-old drivers could apply to reduce their premiums. Through young-driver specific discounts, like good student, distant student and driver training, and more general options, like the pay in full and early quote discount, you are likely to find at least a few ways to save on coverage. By utilizing every discount that applies to you, it is possible that you could achieve a premium that competes or even surpasses other low-cost auto insurance providers.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Erie

Erie stands out for offering cheap car insurance and robust policies to drivers in its covered states. Unlike most providers, Erie includes several “extras” on its standard policies, such as pet coverage and locksmith services. To help keep your auto policy affordable, you can add the rate lock endorsement to maintain your premium and take advantage of relevant discounts. The oy company offers the youthful driver discount for drivers under age 21, but drivers must be unmarried and still live with their parents to qualify. Additionally, Erie’s availability is more limited than other carriers on this list, as it only offers car insurance in 12 states.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Auto-Owners

For 19-year-old drivers on their own policy, Auto-Owners offers the cheapest full coverage on our list. For drivers who prefer one-to-one communication with their insurer, the company may prove to be a great option. To get a quote, Auto-Owners’s distribution network includes 48,000 independent licensed agents to personally guide you through the insurance buying experience. In addition to the expertise its agents offer, policies through Auto-Owners have useful optional add-ons for 19-year-olds, such as diminished value coverage, which ensures your claim payout accounts for the expense to repair your car to its original value, prior to damage. If managing your car insurance through your mobile phone is a priority, Auto-Owners may not be the best fit, as you can’t file a claim via its app.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance for 19-year-olds

Because price is often a top consideration when choosing coverage — especially for younger drivers who tend to pay more for car insurance — many 19-year-olds may be looking for the cheapest auto insurance available. We compared rates from providers across the country and found five that stand out in offering the cheapest car insurance out of providers available in most of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Price is an important factor when seeking coverage, but there are other considerations as well. Think about any special discounts or optional coverage you might benefit from, as well as how easy it will be to get customer assistance and manage your policy.

Below are some top-rated car insurance companies that also offer some of the most affordable average rates for 19-year-old drivers both on their own policy and on their parents’ policy. USAA ranks as the cheapest overall according to our research, although it is only available to active-duty military members, veterans and their qualifying family. Nationwide is the next cheapest option for 19-year-olds still insured on their parent’s policy, with Farmers being the second cheapest carrier for 19-year-olds on their own policy. Travelers and Amica may also be worth a look.

Company Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their parent’s policy Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their own policy
USAA $1,724 $2,672
Nationwide $1,999 $3,889
Travelers $2,322 $4,062
Farmers $2,384 $3,497
Amica $2,777 $3,785

*Amica insurance is not available in Hawaii

Average car insurance cost for 19-year-olds by state

Car insurance companies can use location to determine car insurance rates. This means that if you move to a different ZIP code or city, your car insurance rate could be affected. Two exceptions are Michigan, which does not allow the use of ZIP codes in determining car insurance premiums, and California, which has limitations on how ZIP codes can be used.

State Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their parent’s policy Average annual full coverage premium for 19-year-olds on their own policy
Alabama $2,973 $4,499
Alaska $2,962 $4,205
Arizona $3,263 $4,410
Arkansas $2,963 $4,526
California $3,606 $4,335
Colorado $3,638 $5,084
Connecticut $2,401 $4,468
Delaware $3,212 $5,304
District of Columbia $3,188 $4,532
Florida $4,507 $6,225
Georgia $3,573 $4,983
Hawaii $1,277 $1,318
Idaho $1,707 $2,757
Illinois $2,795 $4,433
Indiana $1,996 $2,899
Iowa $1,925 $2,757
Kansas $2,845 $4,179
Kentucky $3,192 $4,914
Louisiana $4,645 $6,647
Maine $1,528 $2,347
Maryland $3,365 $5,415
Massachusetts $2,176 $3,331
Michigan $4,222 $5,948
Minnesota $2,656 $3,951
Mississippi $2,604 $3,903
Missouri $3,156 $4,660
Montana $2,827 $4,451
Nebraska $2,298 $3,612
Nevada $4,264 $5,734
New Hampshire $1,951 $2,982
New Jersey $3,079 $4,663
New Mexico $2,291 $3,321
New York $4,666 $6,442
North Carolina $1,608 $1,712
North Dakota $1,797 $2,693
Ohio $1,969 $3,031
Oklahoma $3,059 $4,209
Oregon $2,347 $3,472
Pennsylvania $3,518 $4,928
Rhode Island $2,970 $4,372
South Carolina $2,322 $3,564
South Dakota $2,220 $3,039
Tennessee $2,418 $3,525
Texas $3,331 $4,618
Utah $2,640 $3,901
Vermont $1,960 $2,934
Virginia $2,337 $3,674
Washington $2,241 $3,610
West Virginia $2,412 $3,643
Wisconsin $1,996 $3,030
Wyoming $2,363 $3,427

How to save on car insurance for 19-year-olds

There are a variety of ways a 19-year-old can save money on their policy. One of the most common ways involves taking advantage of discounts, but there are a few other strategies to consider.

Drive an older car

New cars typically cost more to replace. By driving an older car, it is likely that your insurance company will not charge as much to insure the vehicle. However, it may be worth considering how insuring an older vehicle may affect other costs, such as those associated with a higher likelihood of mechanical breakdown.

Drive a safer car

Because insurance companies set rates based on risk factor, cars with added safety features tend to cost less to insure. A car with a favorable crash rating, for example, would likely earn you a lower premium due to you and your passengers being less likely to suffer severe injuries in an accident.

Opt for a high deductible

If you opt for a high deductible, you will pay less each month for insurance. However, the tradeoff is having a higher out-of-pocket payment if you get into an at-fault accident. Insurance agents often recommend reviewing your budget to ensure you choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford.

Usage-based car insurance

If you are a full-time student, a usage-based car insurance policy may be worth considering. Many 19-year-olds attending college live on or near campus and walk to class or take public transit. If you only drive a few dozen miles each week, usage-based programs may help you reduce your premiums significantly.

With a usage-based policy, the amount of money you pay each month depends on:

  • How far you drive
  • How long you drive
  • The type of car you drive
  • How fast you drive
  • How well you drive

Not every provider offers usage-based car insurance so may need to do a little research before you choose. In addition to costs, consider third-party ratings and scores, such as those by AM Best and J.D. Power.

Take advantage of discounts

There are a variety of discounts 19-year-old drivers can usually take advantage of, some of which include:

  • Good student
  • Defensive driving course
  • Accident-free
  • Auto-pay
  • Paperless
  • Pay in full

Each company offers different discounts and has different requirements for each. Before you purchase coverage from any provider, ask which discounts you are able to apply for and how much each one would affect your monthly rate.

Apply the good student discount

Most insurance companies have a good student discount. A good student discount is generally available to young drivers who earn and maintain a minimum GPA (typically 3.0) in school, and could reduce car insurance costs by hundreds of dollars. You can speak with an insurance agent that represents your desired company to check your good student discount eligibility and see how much it could save you on premiums.

Apply the distant student discount

Many insurance companies also offer a distant student discount for young drivers who are away at college without their insured vehicle. Most insurance companies allow you to apply the distant student discount if your student is attending college more than 100 miles away from home.

How to get the best car insurance for a 19-year-old

To get the best car insurance for a 19-year-old, it helps to take time researching and shopping around because each insurance company uses different rating criteria to determine the cost of car insurance for drivers. Comparing car insurance companies will help you get a sense of what options are available to you.

Consider starting with basics in understanding your state requirements, researching the best insurance companies in your ZIP code and checking that there are applicable discounts like good student or driving training to help save costs. If you’re tempted to purchase only minimum coverage car insurance to save costs, you may want to consider long-term cost impacts. Most car insurance experts recommend purchasing higher liability limits or even full coverage car insurance — even though it can be more expensive upfront — for more financial protection in the event of an at-fault accident.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute