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Car insurance for teen drivers

Updated Dec 12, 2023
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Key takeaways

  • Geico, State Farm, Progressive and Allstate are some of the best car insurance companies for teens, according to our research.
  • Parents adding a 16-year-old to their policy experience the highest average rates, with an average annual full coverage premium of $4,584 for a male teen and $4,201 for a female teen.
  • Massachusetts and Hawaii generally have the lowest rates for teen drivers, likely because they don’t allow age as a rating factor. New York, Florida and Louisiana have the highest average rates.

In most states, young drivers generally pay more for their insurance. This is based on the statistical evidence that they have less experience behind the wheel and are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors. This doesn't mean you won't be able to find affordable coverage for your teen driver, though. Bankrate's insurance editorial team took a close look at average rates and found several carriers that may have cheap rates for families that include a teen driver.

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Best car insurance for teen drivers

We chose the best car insurance companies for teens by analyzing factors specific to teen drivers. First, we researched average auto insurance rates pulled from Quadrant Information Services. Price is far from the only factor to consider when insuring a teen, though, especially when you know teens are more likely than any other age group to get into accidents. To that end, we also looked into coverage options, teen-specific discounts, safe driving programs and third-party scores for each insurer. Because we know that accidents do sometimes happen, we also analyzed 2023 claims satisfaction scores from J.D. Power.

We compiled these factors to create a Bankrate Score for each company, calculated on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0. The higher a company scored, the higher that carrier ranked in the individual categories. Our Bankrate Score can help you understand a company’s overall profile when shopping for teen car insurance.

It is helpful to know that, while your age factors into your car insurance premium in most states, Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit this practice. Similarly, in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, car insurance companies are prohibited from using gender as a rating factor.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score
Progressive 4.4
Geico 4.3
State Farm 4.2
Allstate 3.9

Progressive

PROS

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    Several options for digital policy management

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    Several discounts available

CONS

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    Telematics programs can actually raise rates for unsafe driving

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    Below-average score for J.D. Power claims satisfaction

Geico

PROS

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    Comprehensive website and mobile app with easy access to a customer service representative

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    Lower average premium for high-risk drivers

CONS

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    Other insurance lines may be written by third parties

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    Coverage add-on options limited

State Farm

PROS

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    High customer satisfaction and financial strength scores

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    Savings options tailored for younger drivers

CONS

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    Certain discounts may not be available in all states

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    No live chat option

Allstate

PROS

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    Available in all states and Washington, D.C.

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    Student discounts available for young drivers

CONS

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    Average rates in some states may be more expensive than the national average

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    Lowest Bankrate Score on the list

Average cost of car insurance for teen drivers

The average cost of car insurance varies for male and female young drivers, with female teen drivers generally paying less than males. Keep in mind, however, that Hawaii and Massachusetts ban the use of age to calculate car insurance premiums. Additionally, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania prohibit using gender as a rating factor.

Female drivers typically pay less than their male peers since male drivers are seen as riskier to insure. Studies show that males speed more and generally exhibit more risky behavior behind the wheel than female drivers. Teenage drivers and young adults also have the highest cell phone usage of all age groups, which may increase the risk of causing an accident or getting a ticket due to distracted driving.

Here is the average annual premium for full coverage car insurance for teen drivers, both males and females, added to their parents’ policy:

Age Male* Female* Difference*
16 $4,584 $4,201 $383
17 $4,285 $3,919 $366
18 $4,013 $3,661 $352
19 $3,503 $3,186 $317

*Rates reflect the total cost for two adult drivers, one teen and one vehicle

Car insurance rates generally decrease as drivers get older and gain more experience behind the wheel. By maintaining a clean driving record and taking advantage of discounts, teenage drivers can typically expect lower car insurance costs over time.

Average car insurance costs for teen drivers by state

The state where you live also affects your auto insurance premium, as illustrated in the table below. Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit age in determining car insurance rates, which means that rates in those states will generally be lower than the national average.

Massachusetts and Hawaii are the cheapest states for teen drivers of all four ages, which makes sense due these states not permitting age as a rating factor. New York, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan and Nevada have the most expensive average rates for car insurance when adding a young driver to their parents’ policy.

These rates are based on the top insurers in the country and are for full coverage car insurance for teens added to their parents’ policy and thus reflect added cost and not the total cost.

State Age 16* Age 17* Age 18* Age 19*
Alabama $3,986 $3,753 $3,477 $3,108
Alaska $4,096 $3,790 $3,481 $3,262
Arizona $4,214 $3,940 $3,643 $3,388
Arkansas $4,006 $3,749 $3,501 $3,124
California $5,360 $5,001 $4,768 $3,758
Colorado $4,594 $4,491 $4,219 $3,817
Connecticut $3,313 $3,008 $2,760 $2,446
Delaware $4,239 $3,972 $3,742 $3,440
Florida $6,738 $6,405 $6,117 $5,247
Georgia $4,428 $4,192 $3,909 $3,692
Hawaii** $1,275 $1,275 $1,275 $1,275
Idaho $2,409 $2,124 $1,999 $1,819
Illinois $4,148 $3,782 $3,496 $3,315
Indiana $2,783 $2,547 $2,363 $2,076
Iowa $2,482 $2,343 $2,206 $2,033
Kansas $3,861 $3,545 $3,272 $2,974
Kentucky $4,602 $4,385 $3,996 $3,462
Louisiana $6,486 $6,044 $5,409 $4,759
Maine $2,140 $1,983 $1,828 $1,638
Maryland $4,273 $4,076 $3,910 $3,431
Massachusetts** $1,262 $1,262 $1,262 $1,262
Michigan $6,200 $5,937 $5,504 $4,953
Minnesota $3,507 $3,236 $2,980 $2,746
Mississippi $3,488 $3,268 $3,011 $2,715
Missouri $4,186 $3,832 $3,572 $3,221
Montana $3,714 $3,491 $3,347 $3,008
Nebraska $2,920 $2,779 $2,639 $2,417
Nevada $6,296 $5,753 $5,437 $4,902
New Hampshire $2,682 $2,528 $2,329 $2,086
New Jersey $3,722 $3,461 $3,271 $2,940
New Mexico $3,172 $2,971 $2,740 $2,454
New York $6,808 $6,336 $5,882 $4,902
North Carolina $3,270 $2,543 $2,337 $1,694
North Dakota $2,495 $2,310 $2,125 $1,903
Ohio $2,630 $2,483 $2,340 $2,084
Oklahoma $4,167 $3,845 $3,591 $3,227
Oregon $2,993 $2,758 $2,537 $2,417
Pennsylvania $4,684 $4,444 $4,044 $3,610
Rhode Island $4,186 $3,922 $3,644 $3,107
South Carolina $3,184 $2,945 $2,725 $2,425
South Dakota $2,688 $2,591 $2,435 $2,247
Tennessee $3,234 $3,048 $2,804 $2,500
Texas $4,355 $4,098 $3,844 $3,563
Utah $3,722 $3,361 $3,104 $2,752
Vermont $2,773 $2,602 $2,350 $2,135
Virginia $3,219 $2,991 $2,781 $2,487
Washington $3,317 $3,088 $2,886 $2,416
Washington, D.C. $4,287 $3,920 $3,692 $3,403
West Virginia $3,312 $3,114 $2,880 $2,510
Wisconsin $2,814 $2,658 $2,392 $2,089
Wyoming $3,248 $3,070 $2,868 $2,477

*Rates reflect the total cost for two adult drivers, one teen and one vehicle

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

How rates are determined for teen drivers

Car insurance companies consider several factors when determining teen car insurance rates. A few of the main considerations include:

  • Car make and model: Your vehicle’s make and model affect car insurance rates for several reasons. Certain cars are made with more expensive parts and are costlier to repair, which increases insurance costs. Certain vehicles come with more sophisticated safety features, which may lessen a car insurance company’s risk, and as a result, decrease your premium. However, some sophisticated safety features might increase your costs as they can be expensive to repair if damaged in a covered claim. In addition, vehicles have different crash statistics. If your vehicle make and model has a high rate of collisions, your car insurance company may charge you a higher price.
  • Age: Statistics show that drivers with less experience on the road are more likely to be involved in a car accident or engage in risky driving behaviors like speeding. As young drivers become more experienced, they are considered less of a risk in most states and typically see lower premiums as long as they maintain a clean driving record. Hawaii and Massachusetts, however, do not allow using age as an insurance rating factor.
  • Driving history: If a teen has a history of car accidents and moving violations, the car insurance company may see them as riskier to insure and increase their premium.
  • Types of car insurance coverage: Minimum coverage car insurance is cheaper than full coverage car insurance. However, most insurance experts recommend purchasing more than the minimum coverage insurance required to better protect your finances. There may be some additional coverage options, however, that you may not need. For instance, if you drive an older vehicle that you own outright, you would not be required to have comprehensive coverage or collision coverage.

Discounts for teen drivers

Teen drivers and young adults may lower their car insurance premiums by benefiting from some of the best car insurance discounts for students and various other discounts.

  • Good student discounts: Unmarried, full-time students may get a good student discount by maintaining a certain letter grade or grade point average. The savings amount and eligibility criteria vary by company.
  • Distant student discounts: A distant student discount, also called student away at school, is a potential way to save for college-aged drivers. This discount typically applies to students who go to college at least 100 miles from home and do not take a car with them.
  • Driver training discounts: Driver training programs help teenage drivers develop safer and more responsible driving habits and may also save money on car insurance. The requirements and savings differ by carrier.
  • Usage-based program discounts: Many insurance companies offer a way for all family members to save on car insurance with a usage-based program, also known as a telematics program. Telematics programs require a smartphone or plug-in device installed into the car to monitor driving habits and miles driven. Maintaining safe driving habits can earn you cheap car insurance rates.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 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 2021 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 16-19 (base: 40 years) applied. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Former Writer & Editor, Insurance
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by Editor, Insurance