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 $4,146 per year, over $1,100 less than 18-year-olds on their own full coverage policy, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.
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 help assist drivers in finding appropriate coverage, Bankrate 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 team gathered and compared up-to-date quotes from dozens of auto insurers to help young drivers make an informed decision with their insurance. The average cost of full coverage car insurance for a 19-year-old is $4,146 a year, based on quoted annual premiums.
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 had the highest rate of fatal single vehicle car accidents compared to any other age group. Additionally, 19-year-olds were responsible for 682 car accidents in total in 2019, the highest number of any other driver age group under 21.
The average cost of car insurance for 19-year-old males is slightly higher than the average cost for 19-year-old females. Historically, both age and gender tend to be strong indicators of driver risk.
Average cost of car insurance for men and women
Why does car insurance 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, insurance companies often factor gender into rates. However, it is worth noting that not all states allow gender to be included as a rating factor, including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The table below compares the average costs of minimum and full coverage car insurance for 19-year-old males and females.
|Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
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 2021 average premium data and considered standout coverage options from each insurer to highlight some of the best car insurance companies for consideration.
|Insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
For drivers who prefer one-to-one communication with their insurer, Auto-Owners may prove to be a great option. To get a quote, Auto-Owners employs 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.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
As the cheapest provider on our list available to all drivers in its covered states, Erie stands out for offering cheap car insurance and robust policies. 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, like the youthful driver discount for drivers under age 21.
Learn more: Erie Insurance review
Geico is not as cheap as Erie, but it offers so many 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
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 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
USAA is a unique insurance provider because it only provides coverage to current and retired military, as well as their immediate family members. However, even though it has 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
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. 19-year-old drivers could save significantly by purchasing a policy through the following providers. American National offers the cheapest policy on average on our list, at $2,702 less than the average cost of full coverage car insurance for 19-year-old drivers, nationally.
|Insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
*Amica insurance is not available in Hawaii
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 elements tend to cost less to insure. A car with a favorable crash rating, for example, would likely earn you a better 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 accident. Insurance agents often recommend consulting 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 for you. 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
Take advantage of discounts
There are a variety of discounts 19-year-old drivers can take advantage of. Some of which include:
- Good student
- Defensive driving course
- Paid in full
Each company offers different discounts and has different requirements for each. Before you sign up with 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 of 3.0 GPA in school. For 19-year-old drivers insured on their parent’s policy, a good student discount reduces the national average cost of full coverage car insurance from $1,674 per year to $1,247 per year on average.
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. For 19-year-old drivers insured on their parent’s policy, a distant student discount reduces the national average cost of full coverage car insurance from $1,674 per year to $1,483 per year.
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.
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, you may want to reconsider. 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 a crash.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance for 19-year-olds?
American National and USAA offer two of the cheapest average premiums for 19-year-olds. Both insurers offer coverage nationwide, although USAA coverage is limited to active and retired military personnel, as well as their family members. However, there are several options for cheap car insurance. Comparing quotes from multiple companies is a good way to find which insurers offer the best premium for your driver profile.
Do men pay more for car insurance than women when they are 19?
19-year-old male drivers typically pay more for car insurance than female drivers of the same age. This is because males are statistically more likely to speed and get into accidents. As male drivers get older, what they pay for insurance gradually aligns more consistently with what female drivers pay.
When should I get off my parent’s car insurance policy?
With car insurance, you typically have the option to remain on your parent’s policy for as long as you would like, as long as you remain a listed driver living within the same primary residence. However, most young drivers decide to purchase their own policy when they move out. Consider researching the average rates within different towns or cities before moving, as rates could change drastically even between ZIP codes.
What characteristics impact my car insurance rates?
Your car insurance premium depends on several factors. Most car insurance companies analyze your vehicle make and model, driving history, claims history and ZIP code, among other factors, to determine your premium. In every state except Hawaii, insurance companies are allowed to factor in your age. Many insurance companies also consider gender, although using gender as a rating factor for car insurance is prohibited in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Additionally, many car insurance companies will consider your credit history, unless you live in the states of California, Massachusetts or Michigan.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, 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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Age: Rates were calculated based on 19-year-old drivers on their own policy (renters).
Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.