AutoInsurance.com
Icon CheckLast updated: November 4, 2022

Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers

Protection for people without driving histories

Best Overall
Liberty Mutual Logo

Available in all 50 states and D.C., Liberty Mutual is a great choice for new drivers. It has good rates and an impressive array of discounts, helping you keep your monthly costs affordable.

Rental and Emergency Assistance
National General logo

National General will give first-time drivers peace of mind with its rental assistance coverage and emergency expense allowance. And if you stopped driving because of a DUI, National General provides special policies for first-time offenders that help you return to the road at an affordable rate.

While many new drivers are teenagers, others are adults who learned how to drive later in life. This includes people who lived in a city and moved somewhere with less public transportation, and individuals who recently immigrated to the United States. Additionally, insurance providers will often consider you a new driver if you have a gap in your insurance history. For example, maybe you drove a friend’s car and weren’t listed on the policy, or you had a policy at some point but stopped driving.

No matter what brings you on the road, we’re here to guide you through your best auto insurance options.

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance Companies for New Drivers

Category #1. Liberty Mutual #2. National General #3. Nationwide #4. Travelers #5. Farmers
What it’s best for Overall Bad record Good drivers Non-owners Young drivers
Applicable discounts Homeowner, military, good student, student away at school, good driving, multipolicy, multicar, automatic payment, buy online, paperless Pay in full, multivehicle, safe driver education course, low mileage, affinity groups, multipolicy, paperless, anti-theft, automatic payment Multipolicy, safe driving, low mileage, good student, defensive driver course, anti-theft, automatic payments Multipolicy, multicar, homeowner, hybrid/electric vehicle, new car, pay in full, good student, student away from home, driver training Multiline, multicar, military, affinity groups, student away from home on your own, mature driver, shared family car, automatic payment, pay in full, safety features
Discount when you sign up to track your driving Not specified 10% 10% Not specified 5%
Discount at next policy renewal for tracking your driving 30% Not specified 40% 30% 15%
Full review Liberty Mutual review Coming Soon Nationwide review Travelers review Coming Soon

Summary of the Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers

  1. 1.

    Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers Overall: Liberty Mutual

  2. 2.

    Best New Driver Auto Insurance for Bad Record: National General

  3. 3.

    Best New Driver Auto Insurance for Good Drivers: Nationwide

  4. 4.

    Best Auto Insurance for Non-Owners: Travelers

  5. 5.

    Best Auto Insurance for Young New Drivers: Farmers

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers

1. Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers Overall - Liberty Mutual

What We Like Most:

  • Save up to 30 percent with driver monitoring program
  • Cheap average rates
  • Over 2,000 local agents throughout the U.S.

Liberty Mutual is our top auto insurance pick for new drivers. It combines great coverage with a number of opportunities to save. And with an A rating from AM Best for financial strength, you can count on its ability to pay for a claim.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Customers looking to save on premiums by applying discounts
  • pro
    New drivers interested in a range of policy add-ons
  • pro
    Teachers, who benefit from special perks
  • pro
    Drivers who want the chance to purchase lifetime repair guarantee coverage
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Rideshare drivers, as Liberty Mutual does not offer add-on rideshare coverage
  • con
    People who want a provider with high customer satisfaction rates

Discounts to Lower Premiums

With any insurer, some discounts only apply if you have a driving history or already have insurance. For example, certain discounts require that you’ve been accident-free for a certain amount of time, or that you buy a policy before your existing one expires. New drivers can’t apply these discounts, but there are a number of discounts they do qualify for:

  • Using RightTrack, an app that tracks your driving behavior (nighttime driving, braking, acceleration, and total miles driven) and awards you a discount up to 30 percent for good driving
  • Owning a home.
  • Being a military member, whether you’re active, retired, or reserved
  • Being a student with a GPA of B or higher or a student away at school who only uses the car on breaks at home (Explore other good student discounts for cheap car insurance, as Liberty Mutual isn’t the only car insurance company to offer this benefit.)
  • Bundling multiple policies
  • Enrolling in automatic payments or paying for your policy in one or two bulk payments
  • Completing your insurance purchase online
  • Enrolling in paperless billing

Deductible Fund

Liberty Mutual is known for its range of add-on coverage options, some of which you won’t find with every insurer. This includes Liberty Mutual’s deductible fund add-on. The purpose of this optional coverage is to reduce the amount you pay toward your deductible before your coverage kicks in after an incident. Here’s how it works:

  1. You add $30 to your yearly premium ($2.50 per month), which goes to your deductible fund.
  2. Every year, Liberty Mutual lowers your deductible by $100.
  3. In the event of an accident, you pay less for your deductible.

For example, let’s say your initial deductible is $500. You’ve been enrolled in the deductible fund for two years, which reduces your deductible by $200. Then, you get into an accident. You’ll pay $300 for your deductible, saving you $140 overall ($200 minus the $30 you paid toward the deductible fund each year).

This coverage is a good option for new drivers, who might have taken a higher deductible to lower insurance premiums.

Benefits for Teachers

If you just got your driver’s license because you’re a teacher who needs to commute to school, Liberty Mutual is a good choice. It offers several benefits to teachers at no extra cost:

  • No deductible if your car is vandalized on school property or at a school event, or if your vehicle sustains damage in a collision while you’re driving it for school-related purposes (except for drivers in Pennsylvania, where a $100 deductible applies)
  • Coverage of up to $2,500 per incident if school-owned property or your teaching materials are damaged or stolen while in your vehicle.
  • Special discounts
2. Best New Driver Auto Insurance for Bad Record - National General
National General logo

What We Like Most:

  • Personal and commercial policies available
  • Lower rates for good drivers with DynamicDrive app
  • Report claims, and get reimbursed, within 48 hours

Recently acquired by Allstate, National General specializes in selling insurance to high-risk drivers that standard insurers might refuse. Its rental and emergency assistance offerings make it stand out, and it has a special program for first-time DUI offenders.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Rental and emergency assistance.
  • pro
    First-time DUI offenders and anyone who needs an SR-22.
  • pro
    People who own RVs.
  • pro
    Customers who want a satisfaction guarantee on repairs.
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Customers who want to manage their policies on a mobile app.
  • con
    People looking for a company with high customer satisfaction rates.

Rental and Emergency Assistance

The prospect of dealing with an accident or roadside emergency is stressful for any driver, especially if you’re new to the road.

Many auto insurers offer some form of rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for a rental car after an incident while your car is in the shop under a covered claim. National General is unique in offering valet service as part of its rental reimbursement coverage.

After a claim, National General will send someone to pick up your damaged vehicle and bring you a rental car. Once your car is repaired, someone will deliver it to you and return the rental vehicle. It’s one less hassle to deal with after an accident, which can be helpful if you’re a new driver dealing with a claim for the first time.

Additionally, National General gives customers an emergency expense allowance. For covered claims, National General will pay you up to $500 for travel expenses, lodging, and food. That way, you can focus on returning home safely and repairing your car.

Special Policies for First-Time DUI Offenders

Impaired driving poses an enormous risk to anyone in the car and others on the road. After a DUI offense, many standard insurers will drop your coverage or increase your premiums substantially.

DID YOU KNOW?


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that if drunk drivers stayed off the road, it would prevent about a quarter of deaths from car crashes every year. That’s about 10,000 lives, which is enough to fill a small concert venue several times over.1

If you are a driver returning to the road after your first DUI, National General is a good option. After your first DUI offense, National General gives you a chance to complete a safe driving and substance abuse therapy program. Drivers who complete the program can get rates that are more affordable compared to the competition.

Though each individual’s insurance premiums are unique, National General claims it can save first-time DUI offenders up to $442 a year. (Note: National General does not offer this opportunity for second and subsequent DUI offenses).

Additionally, if you need to file an SR-22, National General will handle the paperwork for you.

Good Deals for RV Owners

National General offers a 20 percent discount for bundling your auto and RV insurance, making it a good choice for RV owners. And if you get into an accident involving both your regular car and your RV, National General will waive one of your deductibles.

3. Best New Driver Auto Insurance for Good Drivers - Nationwide

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for taking a defensive driver course
  • Network of local agents
  • Usage-based insurance program for low-mileage drivers

With multiple ways to earn savings for clean driving records, Nationwide is a solid choice for people without driving histories who want to save money. The company offers coverage options that new drivers in particular may benefit from. And according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Nationwide receives slightly fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.2

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers with good habits, who can save in multiple ways
  • pro
    People looking to purchase accident forgiveness
  • pro
    Customers who want help reassessing their insurance coverage when needed
  • pro
    Homeowners, as Nationwide offers a good discount on bundling
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People looking to purchase new or better car replacement coverage, which Nationwide does not offer
  • con
    Most military members, as Nationwide’s 25 percent military discount is only available in Louisiana

Savings for Good Drivers

Even if you don’t have a driving history, you can prove that you’re a safe driver with your actions. When you allow Nationwide to track your driving habits with its SmartRide app, you can earn a discount of up to 40 percent. That’s the largest discount for using a tracking app among all of our top auto insurance picks for new drivers. The app uses four driving factors to determine your discount:

  1. Acceleration and braking
  2. Miles driven
  3. Nighttime driving
  4. Idle time

SmartRide is free to use and will never increase your premiums.

If you feel confident in your driving, consider purchasing Nationwide’s optional vanishing deductible coverage. Here’s how it works:

  1. For every year you drive safely, Nationwide will reduce your deductible by $100, up to $500 total.
  2. Nationwide applies the first $100 after a 30-day waiting period from when you purchase the coverage.
  3. If you get into an accident, Nationwide will reset the credit to $100.

Accident Forgiveness

Conversely, if you’re a new driver, maybe you still feel a little nervous on the road. That’s normal, especially considering that accidents happen even to the most experienced drivers. If you’re involved in an accident, the only thing you should have to worry about is your safety, not your insurance premiums increasing.

Nationwide offers an accident forgiveness add-on coverage, which will help you avoid an increase in your premiums after your first at-fault accident. The add-on applies to anyone on your policy, but you can only use it once per policy.

Regular Reviews of Insurance Needs

Navigating your insurance policy can be complicated, especially if you’re a new driver. After you sign up for a policy, Nationwide gives you the opportunity to talk with an insurance professional to review your insurance and answer questions at regular intervals. This assessment accomplishes the following:

  • Understanding your policy and benefits
  • Ensuring you have the right amount of coverage
  • Applying any available discounts
  • Determining whether life events will warrant a change to your insurance policy

You can use this benefit every year, or whenever you experience a major life event. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the following life events may change your auto insurance needs:

FYI


If you drive for a carpool frequently, your liability coverage should reflect the increased risk of transporting additional passengers in your car.3

4. Best Auto Insurance for Non-Owners - Travelers

What We Like Most:

  • High financial strength rating from AM Best
  • Great customer service reviews
  • Discounts for safe drivers, homeowners, electric vehicle owners, and more

Travelers has been in business for more than 165 years, making it one of the longest-standing insurers in the industry. Plus, it holds an AM Best rating of A++ for financial strength, the strongest of our top picks.4

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    New drivers who don’t own cars
  • pro
    People who own new cars
  • pro
    Customers who want to purchase roadside assistance coverage
  • pro
    People who drive a hybrid or electric vehicle, as they'll get a discount
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Lyft and Uber drivers, as extra rideshare coverage is only available in Colorado and Illinois
  • con
    People who live in the following states, where Travelers isn’t available:
    • Alaska
    • Hawaii
    • Louisiana
    • Michigan
    • North Dakota
    • South Dakota
    • West Virginia
    • Wyoming

Non-Owners Insurance

If you’re a new driver who doesn’t own a vehicle, it may still be wise to purchase auto insurance. Some states even require it. This type of policy is known as non-owner car insurance, and it’s good to consider if any of the following is true:

  • You drive rental or Zipcar vehicles.
  • You borrow vehicles from friends or family members.
  • You take care of someone you don’t live with and drive their car.
  • You have a company car that you also drive for personal use.
  • You need an SR-22.

Travelers offers non-owner insurance. Most non-owner insurance is liability only, meaning that it only covers the other party’s bodily injuries and property damage in an accident. This protects you from financial responsibility for the other party’s damages, but it doesn’t pay for you or your passengers’ damages. Travelers’ non-owner insurance can include additional coverages to give you extra protection.

Coverage and Discounts for New Cars

For newly minted drivers who have purchased new cars, Travelers is a good option. If you purchase new car replacement coverage and total a new car within the first five years of owning it, Travelers will replace it with a new vehicle of the same make and model. It’s a strong offering considering most competitors with similar coverage options will only replace your vehicle for the first one or two years.

Additionally, Travelers offers a new car discount for vehicles that are less than three years old, which helps you save on premiums.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is additional coverage you can purchase for times when you run into unexpected car trouble, like a lockout or flat tire. This coverage can give you peace of mind, especially if you’re a new driver.

Travelers offers two roadside assistance options, depending on your needs:

Feature Roadside assistance Premier roadside assistance
Maximum towing distance from breakdown site, in miles 15 100
Battery replacement or jump start (not including the cost of battery) Yes Yes
Fuel delivery (not including the cost of fuel) Yes Yes
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Lockout Yes Yes
Roadside winching (e.g., if you’re stuck in a ditch or snowbank) Yes Yes
Trip interruption coverage for meals, lodging, and transportation if you’re stranded more than 100 miles from home Not included $200 per day, up to $600
Personal property coverage for items stolen or damaged as part of a collision or comprehensive claim Not included $500
5. Best Auto Insurance for Young New Drivers - Farmers

What We Like Most:

  • Good drivers can save money with the Signal app
  • Transportation costs covered when your vehicle is being repaired
  • Roadside assistance available

If you’re a young driver or parent of a young driver, Farmers has a number of discounts that can help you save on premiums. In addition, Farmers’ has rideshare insurance for new drivers who want to work for services like Lyft or Uber.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers under age 30
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
  • pro
    People who want the choice of multiple alternate transportation options if their car is damaged
  • pro
    People who have aftermarket equipment installed on their cars, like custom wheels or infotainment systems
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Customers who want to buy gap insurance, which Farmers doesn’t offer
  • con
    People who live in the following places, where Farmers isn’t available:
    • Alaska
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Delaware
    • Hawaii
    • Maine
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    • West Virginia

Benefits for Young Drivers

The cost of insuring teen drivers is higher than for any other age group. That’s because young drivers tend to get into more car accidents than older drivers.

STATS


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young people comprise only 5 percent of all licensed drivers, but account for 8 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes.5

Farmers offers young new drivers and their families a number of ways to save on insurance premiums:

  • Youthful driver: You get a discount when you add a child or grandchild 25 years old or under to a policy that you’ve had for at least a year. Learn how to add a teen to your policy.
  • Shared family car: If your household has a driver under age 21 and more active drivers than the total number of vehicles, all vehicles on the policy get a discount.
  • On your own: This discount is for young drivers who are transitioning off their family’s insurance. To qualify, you must be 28 years old or younger and active on your family’s policy for at least one year.
  • Signal: Anyone can get a discount by tracking their driving habits with the Signal app. You get an extra discount if a driver in your household under age 25 enrolls.
  • Student: Like many insurers, Farmers offers a discount for students with good grades, as well as college students who live and study at least 100 miles away from home.

Rideshare Coverage

If you got your license in order to drive for a service like Lyft or Uber, it’s a good idea to purchase rideshare coverage. While rideshare services must offer some protection for drivers, there is typically a gap in coverage when you’ve turned the app on and are waiting to match with a rider. During this time, your personal policy doesn’t protect you because you’re working, and the service’s coverage doesn’t protect you because you haven’t yet matched with a rider.

Farmers’ rideshare coverage extends the protections of your personal auto policy to the periods that the rideshare company doesn’t cover. That way, there’s never a concern about lacking coverage. You can add this coverage to an existing policy, or buy it with a new policy.

Loss of Use Coverage

Like most insurers, Farmers offers optional rental reimbursement coverage, which covers the cost of a rental while your car is in the shop after an accident. However, Farmers is unique in that it offers a separate loss of use coverage as well.

With this coverage, if your car needs repair due to damage from a covered incident, you’ll get a flat sum of money to use on alternate transportation. This includes public transit, a rental car, rideshares, and taxis. It’s a great option for new drivers who are more comfortable using a mix of transportation options rather than relying solely on a rental car.

Methodology

Our method for determining the best auto insurance companies is based on three main factors:

  • Company information: We gather information on each auto insurance company’s coverages, average annual auto insurance rates, and available discounts for new drivers. In addition, we assemble data from third-party sources like Moody’s, AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, S&P Global Ratings, and J.D. Power. We use this independent information to assess auto insurance providers’ financial strength and customer service. When we analyze the data, we weigh these factors and assign ratings to companies for low new driver premiums. Our final rankings reflect the companies that offer the best combination of quality coverage, financial solidity, strong customer satisfaction, and low costs.
  • Proprietary data: After 20 years in the business, AutoInsurance.com has helped customers find affordable auto insurance policies that are the best fit for them. We’ve collected millions of data points on these transactions. We examine the data to identify the qualities that predict the greatest success with each company. Then, we match customers with the providers that offer the type of coverage they need at the price they can afford. We crunched the numbers and determined the providers that offer the best and most affordable coverage for new drivers.
  • Institutional experience: Our extensive experience in the auto insurance industry means we’re deeply familiar with each auto insurance provider and its specific strengths and weaknesses. At the head of our team is Paul Ford, a professional with nearly 30 years of industry experience. We leverage Paul’s substantial knowledge about auto insurance to match individuals with their Perfect Policies. Paul’s past experience includes working at NetQuote, InsLogic, Capital One Insurance Services, Canadian Access, Datalot, and Bankrate. He is president of insurance at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is insurance for new drivers monthly?

On average, a new 18-year-old driver pays around $300 per month for minimum coverage and more than twice that for full coverage. Insurance is less expensive for new drivers who are older — for example, a 30-year-old new driver pays around $95 per month for minimum coverage and $250 for full coverage.

What is the cheapest car insurance for new drivers?

State Farm, GEICO, and Travelers offer some of the cheapest car insurance for new drivers. To find the best deal, get quotes from at least three companies, drive a less expensive car, and make sure your agent applies all available discounts.

What is the best car insurance for young drivers in Florida?

The following companies offer the best value car insurance for young drivers in Florida:

  • GEICO
  • Farmers
  • Travelers
  • State Farm
  • Nationwide

GEICO offers the cheapest rates, with an annual average of $915 for minimum coverage and $4,400 for full coverage for 18-year-olds in Florida.

What is the best insurance for new drivers over age 30?

The best insurance companies for new drivers over age 30 are Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Farmers. They offer some of the lowest average premiums to older drivers with no insurance histories.

Citations

  1. Fatality Facts 2020: Alcohol. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. (2022).
    https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/alcohol

  2. Results by Complaint Index. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
    https://www.naic.org/cis_refined_results.htm?TABLEAU=CIS_COMPLAINTS&COCODE=23760&:refresh

  3. 10 questions to help assess your changing insurance needs. Insurance Information Institute. (2022).
    https://www.iii.org/article/10-questions-to-help-assess-your-changing-insurance-needs

  4. Search for a Rating. Ambest. (2022).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/

  5. Traffic Safety Facts:2019 Data. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021, June).
    https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/