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Car insurance for 21-year-olds

Updated Feb 14, 2024
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If you're a 21-year-old shopping for car insurance, you're probably getting quoted pretty steep rates. This is because young drivers have less experience behind the wheel and are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors. Based on rate data from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of car insurance for a 21-year-old driver on their own policy is $4,333 per year for full coverage and $1,250 per year for minimum coverage. If on their parents’ policy, the average cost is $3,506 per year for full coverage and $1,044 per year for minimum coverage. However, premiums depend on a variety of factors besides your age, such location, vehicle type and the insurance company that issues your policy.

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How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old?

According to Bankrate’s review of quoted annual premiums, 21-year-old drivers pay an average of $4,333 per year for their own full coverage car insurance policy, which is 70 percent higher than the national average rate of $2,542 per year. The average minimum coverage policy for a 21-year-old costs $1,250 per year, which is more than $500 higher than the national average of $740 per year.

Drivers who live in the same residence as their parents can be listed as a driver on their parents’ insurance, which can make the overall cost of coverage less expensive. The average annual cost of car insurance for a 21-year-old on their parents’ policy is $3,506 for full coverage and $1,044 for minimum coverage. However, keep in mind that being added to your parents’ policy still causes a significant increase in premium and your driving record will also impact their rates.

The reason why car insurance rates are higher for young adults is because prices are based on risk. If you are 21 years old, you have less driving experience than an older, more experienced driver. To compensate for the increased risk of causing an accident, car insurance companies typically charge a higher rate if you are recently licensed. Generally, your premiums should begin to decrease when you turn 25.

Car insurance rates for 21-year-olds by state

Another factor that can significantly affect car insurance premiums is where you live. For example, in states with a high risk of severe weather or a large number of uninsured drivers, the average cost of car insurance is likely to be more expensive. Rate data shows that Florida has the highest full coverage car insurance rates for 21-year-olds on their own policies ($6,417) and Hawaii has the cheapest rates ($1,768). However, if you live in Hawaii or Massachusetts, car insurance companies are not allowed to use age as a rating factor for premiums, which helps explain why average rates are so low in the Aloha State.

The table below highlights the average cost of full coverage car insurance for 21-year-olds in every state. You can also see the state-by-state breakdown of rates for 21-year-olds on their parents’ policy vs. their own policy.

State Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old on their parents’ policy Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old on their own policy
Alabama $3,861 $3,083
Alaska $4,045 $3,154
Arizona $4,428 $3,701
Arkansas $3,661 $2,863
California $4,423 $3,752
Colorado $4,206 $3,715
Connecticut $3,975 $2,910
Delaware $4,451 $3,537
Florida $6,417 $5,269
Georgia $4,348 $3,556
Hawaii* $1,768 $1,713
Idaho $2,559 $1,873
Illinois $4,299 $3,318
Indiana $2,945 $2,233
Iowa $2,816 $2,251
Kansas $4,420 $3,542
Kentucky $4,623 $3,394
Louisiana $6,113 $4,859
Maine $2,699 $2,012
Maryland $4,618 $3,554
Massachusetts* $3,305 $2,382
Michigan $5,865 $5,647
Minnesota $3,263 $2,561
Mississippi $3,404 $2,716
Missouri $5,909 $4,800
Montana $3,838 $2,906
Nebraska $3,317 $2,592
Nevada $6,133 $5,340
New Hampshire $2,960 $2,103
New Jersey $5,009 $3,758
New Mexico $3,773 $3,027
New York $6,122 $4,926
North Carolina $1,962 $1,960
North Dakota $2,606 $2,180
Ohio $2,688 $2,175
Oklahoma $4,293 $3,357
Oregon $3,230 $2,577
Pennsylvania $4,902 $3,931
Rhode Island $4,972 $3,661
South Carolina $3,141 $2,507
South Dakota $2,956 $2,638
Tennessee $3,350 $2,688
Texas $4,530 $3,541
Utah $3,478 $2,867
Vermont $2,479 $1,892
Virginia $3,632 $2,666
Washington $3,145 $2,330
Washington, D.C. $4,189 $3,489
West Virginia $3,241 $2,465
Wisconsin $3,082 $2,339
Wyoming $2,905 $2,139

Rates were calculated for 21-year-old drivers either on their parents’ policy or as a renter on their own policy.

*Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Cheapest car insurance companies for 21-year-olds

Because car insurance rates tend to be relatively expensive for 21-year-olds, many drivers will want to get a policy from the cheapest car insurance company. Based on our analysis of the average premiums for the largest car insurance companies by market share, several stand out as offering low average rates to 21-year-olds on their own policy and on their parents’ policy.

According to our findings, USAA has one of the cheapest average rates for 21-year-olds, with an average annual full coverage premium of $2,708 for 21-year-old drivers on their own policy. However, USAA is not available to everyone; it is exclusively available to active duty military, veterans and qualifying immediate family members. If you don’t qualify for USAA, Auto-Owners offers the next-cheapest average rates on our list at $2,871 per year. If you decide to remain insured on your parents’ policy, Geico has the cheapest rates, with an average annual full coverage premium of $2,165 per year.

Cheapest car insurance companies for 21-year-olds on their parents’ policy

21 year olds looking to be insured on their parents’ policy can consider getting quotes from the following companies, which offer low average rates:

Car insurance company Average annual minimum coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium
USAA $572 $2,164
Geico $581 $2,165
Auto-Owners $639 $2,478
Allstate $778 $3,515
Amica $881 $3,557

Cheapest car insurance companies for 21-year-olds on their own policy

If you don't qualify for coverage on your parents' policy, the following carriers offer some of the lowest average rates for 21-year-old drivers on their own policy.

Car insurance company Average annual minimum coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium
USAA $705 $2,708
Auto-Owners $750 $2,871
Geico $789 $2,938
Travelers $797 $2,924
Allstate $942 $4,815

How to save on car insurance for 21-year-olds

Although car insurance is, on average, more expensive for 21-year-olds than it is for older drivers, there are ways you may be able to save.

  • Compare quotes: Car insurance companies use unique rating algorithms, meaning that they weigh your individual rating factors differently. Getting quotes from several companies allows you to compare the price for the same type and amount of coverage.
  • Take advantage of good student discounts: If you are under 25 years old and are a full-time student, many insurance companies offer a good student discount. The qualifications will vary by company, but most insurers require that you maintain a ‘B’ average or a 3.0 or higher GPA.
  • Ask about a distant student discount: If you are a college student who does not take a vehicle with you to campus, you may qualify for a distant student discount. Typically, you have to be at least 100 miles away from home to qualify, but this will vary by insurance carrier.
  • Drive an affordable vehicle: The type of car you drive has a huge impact on how much you pay for car insurance. Sports cars, luxury vehicles and vehicles that may be more expensive to repair or replace will generally result in higher premiums. There are some cars that are generally cheaper to insure than others, like the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Ford F-150.
  • Improve your driving skills: Many insurers offer a discount to drivers who agree to install a telematics device in their car or use a mobile app to track their driving habits. These programs record information about your driving skills, such as your speed, braking and the time of day you are driving. If you demonstrate safe driving habits, you could get a discount on your premium.

How to get the best car insurance for 21-year-olds

The cheapest car insurance is not necessarily the best car insurance, because every 21-year-old driver has different insurance needs. To find the best coverage for your personal needs, it’s important to determine what you want from a policy. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you want a company that has a strong mobile app?
  • Are you looking for certain coverages, like accident forgiveness?
  • What discounts can you qualify for?
  • How strict is your budget?

Once you have decided what matters most, you can get quotes from several companies to see which companies best fit your needs. If you are not sure where to start, talking to a licensed agent might help you decide what coverages and options are right for you.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2024 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 2022 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 by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-21 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor, Insurance