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Car insurance for 21-year-olds

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Car insurance rates can be expensive for 21-year-olds. This is because new drivers are considered high-risk and are more likely to get into accidents. Based on rate data from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of car insurance for 21-year-olds is $3,005 per year for full coverage and $913 for minimum coverage. However, premiums depend on a variety of factors besides your age, such as gender (in most states), location and the insurance company that issues your policy.

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

According to a review of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant, 21-year-old drivers pay an average of $3,005 per year for full coverage car insurance, which is more than $1,200 higher than the national average rate of $1,771 per year. The average minimum coverage policy for 21-year-olds costs $913 per year, also higher than the national average of $545 per year.

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 driver. To compensate for the increased risk of causing an accident, car insurance companies typically charge a higher rate if you are recently licensed. Statistically, your premiums should begin to decrease when you turn 25.

Average cost of car insurance for 21-year-old men vs. women

In most states, your gender affects your car insurance rate. Regardless of age, men tend to have riskier driving behaviors than women, and are more likely to cause serious accidents. If you are a 21-year-old male, both your age and your gender may increase your auto insurance premiums.

Based on Quadrant rate data, the average 21-year-old male driver pays $3,188 for full coverage car insurance and the average 21-year-old female driver pays $2,822 per year. However, there are several states that do not allow insurance companies to price policies based on gender, which include:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

If you live in one of these states, it does not mean that all 21-year-olds pay the same car insurance rate. There are numerous other factors that determine how much your car insurance costs. But in these states, gender is not used as a rating factor, so your gender will have no impact on how much you pay.

In the table below, you can see the average cost of full coverage and minimum coverage car insurance for 21-year-old male and female drivers:

Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium
Male $3,188 $948
Female $2,822 $878

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 Louisiana has the highest car insurance rates for 21-year-olds ($4,916) and Hawaii has the cheapest rates ($1,265). However, if you live in Hawaii or Massachusetts, car insurance companies are not allowed to use age as a rating factor for premiums.

The table below highlights the average cost of car insurance for 21-year-olds in every state. You can also see the state-by-state breakdown of rates for male vs. female drivers:

State Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old male Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old female Overall average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-olds (male and female)
Alabama $3,401 $2,867 $3,134
Alaska $3,383 $2,736 $3,060
Arizona $3,150 $2,827 $2,988
Arkansas $3,433 $2,853 $3,143
California* $3,558 $3,558 $3,558
Colorado $3,775 $3,241 $3,508
Connecticut $3,185 $2,730 $2,958
Delaware $3,548 $3,062 $3,305
Florida $4,818 $4,288 $4,553
Georgia $3,692 $3,090 $3,391
Hawaii* $1,265 $1,265 $1,265
Idaho $2,059 $1,759 $1,909
Illinois $3,089 $2,627 $2,858
Indiana $2,327 $2,029 $2,178
Iowa $2,219 $1,903 $2,061
Kansas $3,271 $2,863 $3,067
Kentucky $3,850 $3,218 $3,534
Louisiana $5,269 $4,563 $4,916
Maine $1,813 $1,510 $1,661
Maryland $3,903 $3,220 $3,561
Massachusetts* $2,578 $2,578 $2,578
Michigan* $4,027 $4,027 $4,027
Minnesota $2,999 $2,659 $2,829
Mississippi $3,056 $2,573 $2,815
Missouri $3,628 $3,062 $3,345
Montana* $3,170 $3,170 $3,170
Nebraska $2,783 $2,349 $2,566
Nevada $4,526 $3,915 $4,220
New Hampshire $2,389 $1,932 $2,160
New Jersey $3,658 $3,073 $3,365
New Mexico $2,687 $2,295 $2,491
New York $5,182 $4,367 $4,775
North Carolina* $1,567 $1,567 $1,567
North Dakota $2,155 $1,835 $1,995
Ohio $2,370 $1,992 $2,181
Oklahoma $3,473 $3,006 $3,239
Oregon $2,502 $2,246 $2,374
Pennsylvania* $3,524 $3,524 $3,524
Rhode Island $3,543 $2,950 $3,246
South Carolina $2,624 $2,261 $2,443
South Dakota $2,523 $2,195 $2,359
Tennessee $2,743 $2,339 $2,541
Texas $3,557 $2,897 $3,227
Utah $2,841 $2,441 $2,641
Vermont $1,977 $1,680 $1,829
Virginia $2,813 $2,291 $2,552
Washington, D.C. $3,676 $3,015 $3,346
Washington $2,665 $2,260 $2,463
West Virginia $2,881 $2,448 $2,665
Wisconsin $2,344 $2,050 $2,197
Wyoming $3,038 $2,358 $2,698

Cheapest car insurance companies for 21-year-olds

Because car insurance rates tend to be relatively expensive for 21-year-olds, most 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. USAA has the cheapest average rates, with an average annual full coverage premium of $1,977 for 21-year-old male and female drivers. 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, Geico offers the next-cheapest average rates on our list.

If you are looking for cheap car insurance for 21-year-old drivers, consider getting quotes from the following companies:

Car insurance company Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old males Average annual full coverage premium for 21-year-old females Average annual full coverage premium overall for 21-year-olds (male and female)
USAA $2,050 $1,903 $1,977
Geico $2,344 $2,109 $2,227
Erie $2,462 $2,038 $2,250
Travelers $2,574 $2,173 $2,373
Progressive $2,790 $2,459 $2,624

USAA

USAA offers the cheapest full coverage and minimum coverage premiums on our list, based on average rate data. However, the company only sells insurance to current and past military members and their immediate families. If you qualify for coverage, you may have access to cheap rates, excellent claims handling and plenty of discounts. On top of the low average premiums, USAA has discounts for insuring a new car, garaging your vehicle on a military base, storing your vehicle while you are deployed and many others.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Geico

Geico is known for offering low average rates and a wide range of discounts, and this holds true for 21-year-old drivers. You might save for having certain safety features in your vehicle, being a good student or taking a driver’s education course. The company also offers a robust mobile app, which allows you to file claims, pay your bills, call for roadside service, view ID cards and make policy changes. However, Geico does not offer as many coverage options as some of the other companies on our list, and it only scores one point above the industry average for claims satisfaction, as surveyed by J.D. Power.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Erie

If you are looking for cheap car insurance and a range of coverage options, Erie might be a good option. However, Erie is not a national carrier. You will only be able to purchase Erie’s auto insurance if you live in one of the 12 states that the carrier operates in. If you are eligible for coverage, Erie provides unique coverages on their standard auto insurance policy, like pet coverage and locksmith coverage. You might also be interested in Erie’s Rate Lock feature, which keeps your premium from increasing unless you make certain changes to your policy, like adding a driver or vehicle, or changing your coverage.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Travelers

Travelers may be a good choice if you are searching for a highly customizable auto insurance policy. In addition to the standard car insurance coverages, like liability, collision and comprehensive coverage, Travelers offers a long list of unique optional coverages to round out your policy. You may want to add roadside assistance coverage, gap coverage, rental car reimbursement, accident forgiveness or ridesharing coverage. If you are looking to save money, Travelers offers numerous discounts that might lower your premium.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Progressive

Progressive stands out for its impressive digital tools. The company’s Name Your Price tool allows you to enter your monthly budget and shows you several coverage options within your designated price range. You can also compare quotes from several companies right from Progressive’s website. Although Progressive’s average full coverage and minimum coverage rates for 21-year-olds are the highest on our list, the company also offers numerous discounts that might help you save. You could get a lower premium by getting a quote and buying a policy online, paying in full, being a good student or participating in the Snapshot safe driving program.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

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 2022 rates for all 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 2020 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 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not allowed to be considered by law when calculating insurance premiums in Hawaii or 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
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others
Edited by
Insurance Editor