If you’re a teen or young adult driver, you’ve probably heard of the money magic that’s supposed to happen when you turn 25. These things include standard rates for rental cars without young-driver surcharges. If you play your cards right, you may also see a substantial decrease in your car insurance rate.
When it comes to auto insurance rates, turning 25 isn’t an automatic rate-reducing scenario. Insurance providers only reward policyholders with lower rates when they avoid accidents and traffic violations, and when they reach milestones that typically signify maturity.
If you’re the parent of a teen driver or an independent early-20-something, don’t fret about high insurance rates. We’ll show you what to expect when you turn 25 and how to earn the best rate reduction when you hit the quarter-century mark.
When does the cost of car insurance go down?
Age is a major factor in the rate you’ll pay for car insurance. “Generally, once you turn 25, your rates are going to be a little better,” says Robert Passmore, Assistant Vice President of personal line policies for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. When you turn 30, insurance companies consider you an adult and your rates will improve again if you maintain a clean driving record.
Almost always, teen drivers can get better insurance rates if their parents add them to their policies instead of taking out standalone coverage. However, rates vary among insurance carriers. Some providers offer better standalone rates when drivers turn 19. If your household includes teen drivers, ask your insurance agent how adding them to your policy will affect your rate and theirs and when they should get a standalone policy.
If you avoid accidents and traffic violations from ages 16 to 24, chances are you’ll get a better insurance rate when you turn 25. Once your 25th birthday rolls around, ask your insurer to take a new look at your premium, said Amy Bach, executive director of insurance consumer group United Policyholders. “You always should ask. Don’t wait to be offered a discount or a rate reduction,” she said.
Why are premiums for young drivers so expensive?
Young drivers aged 16 to 25 pay more for car insurance because, statistically, they cause more accidents. The high rate of youth driver accidents increases insurers’ risk, which they mitigate by charging higher premiums.
Thankfully, teen traffic fatalities have trended downward in recent decades. In 1997, 5,729 teenagers, aged 13 to 19, died in traffic accidents. In 2017, 2,364 U.S. teens aged 16 to 19 died in traffic accidents.
Among teens, male drivers are more than twice as likely to die in a traffic accident than females. Recently licensed 16 year olds have 150 percent more than teens aged 18 to 19 years of age.
Unfortunately, statistics don’t get better when folks reach their early 20s. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, people 20 to 24 years of age died in automobile crashes at a higher rate than any other age group. Based on CDC estimates, the cost of fatal and non-fatal teen auto accidents exceeded $13 billion in 2017 alone.
Numerous factors play a role in the high incidents of teen and young adult accidents, including inexperience, alcohol use, failing to wear seatbelts, speeding and driving during peak accident periods, particularly weekends and from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Distracted driving, like texting or talking on the phone while driving, also leads to higher auto fatalities among young drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 297 fatalities involving distracted teen drivers occurred in 2017.
How much does car insurance go down at 25?
Does car insurance go down at 25? Your insurance rate typically will drop as you hit the quarter-century mark. Typically, drivers in their mid-20s are more experienced and mature. By that age, many have graduated from college, gotten married or started a career. Some young adults even buy a home in their mid-20s. Coupled with a good driving record, these factors can earn you a reduced car insurance rate.
To earn the best car insurance rate when you turn 25, maintain a good driving record. Avoid speeding, turn off distractions like cellphones and music, never drive intoxicated, obey traffic laws and drive defensively. By following these simple rules, your record will prove you’re a responsible driver. Your insurer should reward you with a more reasonable premium.
To perfect your driving performance, consider signing up for a usage-based insurance program, like Progressive’s Snapshot or Allstate’s Drivewise. Both programs monitor driving habits, like acceleration, braking, speed and the time of day you drive. You will also get trip reports that can help you assess your performance. These programs also qualify you for premium discounts if you maintain good driving habits.
Why you might not save on car insurance when you turn 25
If you rack up a few traffic violations or accidents as a teen, your rates won’t go down when you turn 25. If you have a particularly poor driving record, your rates may even increase in your mid-twenties.
Also, if you got your license when you were older, for example in your early 20s, your rates probably won’t decrease just because you turn 25 because your insurer may consider you an experienced driver. Buying a new vehicle can also affect your rates because driving a late-model car will cost more to insure than an older automobile.
To find out how turning 25 will affect your premium, talk with your insurance agent. Underwriting guidelines vary among insurers. Some providers offer better rates for teens and young adults than others do. If you’re not satisfied with your rate, shop around. Get quotes from several insurance companies and compare coverages, deductibles and rates.
Always inquire about discounts. Your vehicle may qualify for safety and security features, and you may earn even greater savings if you’re a student with good grades. If you rent an apartment, you may also qualify for a multipolicy discount if you bundle your renters and auto insurance policies.
Other factors that may affect your premiums
While your age plays a significant role in your car insurance premium, other factors may impact the rate you pay, including:
- Where you live
- Your vehicle’s make and model
- How frequently you drive
- Your credit history
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- Your driving record
Each of these factors may increase or decrease your premiums, regardless of your age. For example, a new sports car will cost more to insure than a five-year-old Honda Civic. If you live in a neighborhood prone to car theft and vandalism, you’ll pay higher rates than drivers in safer areas of town.
Most state insurance codes allow carriers to use your credit history has a premium rating factor. If you have poor credit, you can expect to pay a higher insurance rate. If you live behind the wheel, you pay more for auto insurance than your friend who only drives a few miles per day.
Insurers like policyholders that don’t pose much risk. Besides your age, driving record and credit rating, life events that signify maturity, like getting married and buying a house, can earn a reduced car insurance rate.
Drive safe, avoid accidents, maintain a good credit score and forego a fancy sports car, and you should enjoy an insurance drop at 25.