Car insurance for teen drivers

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Insuring young drivers can be expensive, but parents may be relieved to know that the expense gets less over time. As they become young adults, rates are generally more affordable, which means they can branch out on their own car insurance policies.

To find the best cheap car insurance for young adult drivers, we partnered with Quadrant Information Services to get average rates for 2021. All rates provided are for young male and female drivers added to their parents’ car insurance policy. The rates detailed below are average rates and may differ from the rates you get when adding a teen to a car insurance policy.

Best car insurance for teen drivers

Each provider sets its own rates for young drivers and adults, so rates will vary by carrier. Young driver rates are typically determined by gender, age, driving history and how long they have had their driver’s license. The companies chosen are based on market share and offer some of the best average car insurance rates for young drivers of the top insurance companies. Average rates are provided for ages 16-19 with state minimum and full coverage annual premiums.

Allstate

Allstate offers car, home, life, business and other insurance products for families, including those with young drivers. Parents can take advantage of discounts such as multi-policy, multi-car, safe driving and other discount opportunities to get cheap car insurance when adding a young adult.

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $859 $2,459
17 $731 $2,182
18 $680 $2,202
19 $329 $1,563

Unmarried young adult drivers can take advantage of Allstate’s smart student discount to lower car insurance rates. To qualify, you must have at least a 2.7 GPA as a full-time student.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Geico

Like Allstate, Geico offers a wide range of insurance products for parents and young drivers. If the entire family of drivers maintains a clean driving record, the car insurance premium could be reduced on several coverages. Taking a defensive driving course can help make everyone a safer driver and may result in cheaper car insurance.

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $596 $1,897
17 $522 $1,675
18 $439 $1,519
19 $329 $1,165

Geico also has a good student discount, which full-time students with a B or above average can use to lower car insurance costs. Belonging to certain fraternities, sororities or honor societies can also help a young driver get cheap car insurance rates on their parents’ policy.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Progressive

Progressive’s average car insurance rates fall between Allstate and Geico, but drivers can participate in the Snapshot program to potentially get cheaper premiums. Driving safely can reduce the cost of car insurance, plus parents can use the Snapshot program to monitor young driver habits while they gain experience behind the wheel.

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $749 $1,955
17 $748 $1,961
18 $589 $1,727
19 $452 $1,398

Progressive offers a teen driver discount for young drivers 19 and younger to help offset car insurance costs. With a good student discount, young adult drivers can also save an average of 10% with a B or above GPA.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

State Farm

Like other top car insurance companies, State Farm offers several ways to save on car insurance premiums. Drivers in certain states can take a defensive driving course and may save up to 15%. Being insured with State Farm for three consecutive years without a surchargeable accident in the household can protect rates with an accident-free discount.

Age Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
16 $898 $2,077
17 $767 $1,769
18 $657 $1,615
19 $521 $1,246

At State Farm, the good student discount may save young drivers up to 25% with a 3.0 or above GPA. Participating in the Steer Clear program is another way for young adults under 25 to save as much as 20% on car insurance premiums.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

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 usually paying less than males. However, gender is not allowed to be used to calculate car insurance premiums in seven states: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

In states where gender is an allowable factor in determining car insurance rates, the reason why young female drivers typically pay less is due to studies that show males speed more and, in general, exhibit more risky behavior behind the wheel compared to female young drivers the same age. Teen drivers and young adults also have the highest cell phone usage of all age groups, which increases the risk of causing an accident and getting a ticket because of distracted driving.

Age Male Female Difference
16 $2,783 $2,280 $503
17 $2,485 $2,015 $471
18 $2,197 $1,753 $444
19 $1,729 $1,327 $402

Car insurance rates generally get cheaper as a young driver gets older and gains more experience behind the wheel. By maintaining a clean driving record and taking advantage of discounts, young adult drivers can typically expect to have lower car insurance costs with each policy renewal following a birthday.

Average car insurance costs for teen drivers by state

The state you live in makes a big difference in how much you pay for car insurance, as shown in the table below. Hawaii is the only state that does not use age as a factor when determining car insurance rates, which makes it the cheapest state for young drivers. Florida has the most expensive 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.

State Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 19
Alabama $2,714 $2,437 $2,136 $1,694
Alaska $2,245 $1,918 $1,630 $1,418
Arkansas $2,711 $2,421 $2,145 $1,701
Arizona $2,704 $2,458 $2,101 $1,813
California $3,744 $3,286 $3,010 $1,823
Colorado $2,936 $2,687 $2,339 $1,879
Connecticut $2,927 $2,578 $2,265 $1,611
Washington DC $2,506 $2,235 $1,939 $1,568
Delaware $2,491 $2,135 $1,922 $1,644
Florida $4,343 $4,042 $3,675 $2,728
Georgia $3,007 $2,736 $2,428 $2,023
Hawaii $35 $35 $35 $35
Iowa $1,705 $1,406 $1,223 $976
Idaho $2,313 $2,023 $1,197 $974
Illinois $1,954 $1,711 $1,760 $1,561
Indiana $1,537 $1,404 $1,505 $1,180
Kansas $2,099 $1,878 $1,660 $1,366
Kentucky $3,593 $3,094 $2,673 $2,026
Louisiana $4,333 $3,859 $3,181 $2,448
Massachusetts $1,389 $1,262 $1,708 $1,100
Maryland $2,787 $2,509 $2,276 $1,781
Maine $2,002 $1,850 $1,124 $937
Michigan $3,403 $3,122 $2,735 $2,238
Minnesota $2,217 $1,920 $1,643 $1,383
Missouri $2,192 $1,971 $1,772 $1,443
Mississippi $2,387 $2,019 $1,687 $1,361
Montana $2,298 $2,067 $1,847 $1,476
North Carolina $1,627 $1,487 $869 $237
North Dakota $3,398 $2,930 $1,152 $883
Nebraska $1,735 $1,650 $1,322 $1,051
New Hampshire $2,353 $2,078 $1,429 $1,130
New Jersey $2,035 $1,737 $1,834 $1,568
New Mexico $3,573 $3,182 $1,458 $1,145
Nevada $1,765 $1,078 $2,646 $2,231
New York $1,507 $1,351 $2,819 $1,936
Ohio $1,647 $1,479 $1,314 $1,036
Oklahoma $2,455 $2,170 $1,893 $1,486
Oregon $2,133 $1,851 $1,581 $1,323
Pennsylvania $2,372 $2,206 $1,881 $1,525
Rhode Island $2,927 $2,715 $2,361 $1,742
South Carolina $2,140 $1,873 $1,622 $1,247
South Dakota $1,535 $1,416 $1,251 $1,033
Tennessee $2,116 $1,903 $1,640 $1,313
Texas $2,860 $2,562 $2,298 $1,959
Utah $2,462 $2,120 $1,861 $1,451
Virginia $2,401 $2,248 $1,627 $1,303
Vermont $2,084 $1,840 $1,956 $1,707
Washington $1,935 $1,729 $1,528 $1,103
Wisconsin $2,276 $2,074 $1,235 $981
West Virginia $1,701 $1,508 $1,775 $1,335
Wyoming $2,071 $1,969 $1,752 $1,341

*Hawaii does not use age as a rating factor

How rates are determined for teen drivers

Providers calculate rates differently than other providers, but these tend to be among the things considered:

  • Car make and model: The make and model of the car a young driver uses helps determine how much you pay for car insurance. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others, so getting quotes can help you make a decision on a car for cheap insurance rates.
  • Annual mileage: The fewer miles you drive, the less you may pay for car insurance. If you do not drive much, consider pay-per-mile insurance so you only pay for the miles you drive.
  • Types of car insurance coverages: Car insurance is cheaper for liability only compared to full coverage. If you can insure a cheap car for a young driver, you may be able to save versus driving a more expensive car that requires full coverage insurance.

Discounts for teen drivers

Teen drivers and young adults can lower their car insurance costs by using discounts they are eligible for. Adding discounts is one of the best ways to get cheap car insurance rates, especially when adding a young driver to the policy.

Good student discounts

Full-time students who are unmarried can get a good student discount with most insurance companies by maintaining a 3.0 or above average. As noted above, Allstate only requires a 2.7 GPA. The amount of savings and eligibility criteria varies by company, as does how often the young driver has to recertify their grades.

Distant student discounts

For college-aged drivers, a distant student discount, also called student away at school, is another way to save. This discount is for 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 not only make young drivers safer and more responsible behind the wheel, but they may also save money on car insurance. The requirements and savings differ by carrier.

Usage-based program discounts

Most insurance companies offer a way for all family members to save on car insurance with a usage-based program. This requires a smartphone or plug-in device installed into the car to monitor driving habits, miles driven and times when the car is driven. Maintaining safe driving habits can earn you cheap car insurance rates.

Frequently asked questions

Why is car insurance more expensive for teen drivers?

Young drivers have less experience behind the wheel and may be riskier when driving. As they practice safety while driving and gain experience, rates usually drop as the young driver becomes an adult.

How can you get cheaper car insurance for teens?

Some of the best ways for young teen drivers to get cheap car insurance is to maintain a clean driving record and get good grades in school. Taking advantage of all the discounts available and driving a cheaper car to insure can also help young drivers get cheap car insurance rates.

What is the cheapest way to insure a teenage driver?

Most often, the cheapest way to insure a teenage driver is to add them to the parents’ car insurance policy. By adding them and using as many qualifying discounts as you can, getting cheap car insurance is possible, even with a young driver on the policy.

Methodology

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 16 through 19-year-old male and female drivers under their parents’ plan 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements.

Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. The parents are 40-year-old drivers with good credit and a clean driving record.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor