July 16, 2021

How Much is Car Insurance for a 17 Year Old?

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Earning your driver’s license is a coming-of-age rite of passage. Finally, you’re free to plan trips to the mall, cruise along the coast, or simply grab a bite at your favorite fast food joint without having to find someone else to drive you. But being able to drive a vehicle comes at a price, and if you’re a new 17-year-old driver, that price is a higher insurance premium.

So how expensive is insurance for a 17 year old?

In this guide, we’ll explore how much it costs for a 17-year-old to purchase car insurance, as well as the steps you can take to lower these premiums.

If you’re also asking, “how much is car insurance for a 19 year old,” or “how much is car insurance for a 20 year old,” we’ve written about these topics in detail on our blog as well.

How Much is Car Insurance for a 17 Year Old?

While many states require drivers to be at least 18 years old to receive their driver’s license, some states, including Alabama, California, New York, Tennessee, and Michigan, permit 17-year-olds full driving rights under the law. However, due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, a teen driver will typically pay a higher car insurance premium than older drivers.

In fact, reports show that drivers between 16 and 19-years-old are at a greater risk of ending up in an accident than more experienced drivers. This gives insurance companies incentive to boost their insurance premiums.

On average, the cost for a 17-year-old driver to be insured on their parents’ policy is $2,250 annually. This works out to about $188 per month. It’s also important to note that because 17-year-old drivers are still considered minors, they must be insured on their parent’s policy, or the policy of another licensed adult over the age of 18.

On the other hand, the average annual cost of car insurance for experienced, adult drivers is $1,674 as of 2021. That’s an increase of over $500 a year.

What Other Factors Can Affect Car Insurance Costs?

In addition to age, the average insurance for 17 year old drivers can also be impacted by other factors, including location, car type, gender, and policyholder credit.

Why Where You Drive Matters

Car insurance rates vary from state to state. When determining your premium, your insurance company will take into account your state’s:

  • Weather – If you live in a sunny state that doesn’t experience inclement weather conditions, your insurance costs will likely be lower than those of someone who lives in an area known for hurricanes, snowstorms, or tornadoes.
  • Frequency of accidents – Your insurance company isn’t only paying attention to your driving statistics. They’re also looking at your state’s statistics. If your state has a higher frequency of car accidents, perhaps due to poorly maintained roads, you’ll likely have to pay a higher insurance premium.
  • Auto repair costs – If the cost of living is higher in your area, the average auto repair costs will likely reflect this. When it comes to your car insurance, this means paying a higher car insurance rate.

Your car insurance company will also consider your zip code when determining your insurance costs. In fact, due to increased rates of vandalism, theft, and accidents, drivers who live in urban areas typically may pay more for their car insurance than those who live in rural areas.

Why Your Car Matters

When calculating your rate, your insurance company will look at what type of car you drive and how often you drive it. Newer model cars are often equipped with enhanced safety features, such as:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Daytime running lights
  • Collision-avoidance systems
  • Anti-theft systems

If you drive a newer model car, chances are your premium will be lower. If you drive an expensive car, your insurer may charge you a higher rate because your car’s value makes it more likely to be stolen or vandalized, and more costly to repair in the event of an accident.

Insurance provider companies will also take into account how often you drive your car. If you rely on your vehicle to regularly drive you to your job or school, or if you often have longer commutes, you’ll likely face steeper rates than if you only use your car for pleasure cruises.

Why Your Gender Matters

While being a man or a woman doesn’t necessarily make you a better or safer driver, insurance companies have found that men are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior than women. Because of this, the cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old male is higher than that of a 17-year-old female.

How much higher?

On average, a 17-year-old male driver can expect to pay about $2,485 per year, while a female driver of the same age will pay around $2,015 per year.

Why Your Policyholder’s Credit Matters

Like a credit score, individuals also have credit-based insurance scores. These scores are used as a tool to predict a driver’s likelihood of filing a claim, as well as the cost of that claim. Because young drivers typically don’t have a credit card or an expansive driving history, this particular factor will fall on the shoulders of their policyholder.

If the parents of a teenage driver have poor insurance scores, the driver may want to consider asking another of-age adult in the family to add them to their car insurance policy to help them receive a lower rate and save money in the long run.

How to Find the Best Insurance Rates for Young Drivers

Because 17-year-old drivers will need to be insured on an adult’s insurance policy, the hunt for the best premium should be a team effort. In fact, the policyholder may need to switch insurance companies depending on the rates they find. When seeking out the best rates, it’s also helpful to look for discounts and research the top companies on the market.

Find Car Insurance Discounts

While 17-year-olds have not yet had time to prove to insurance companies that they’re safe, responsible drivers, there are some advantages to being a young driver when it comes to car insurance discounts.

Discounts available for 17-year-old drivers include:

  • Good student – Most providers offer discounts to high school and college students who are able to prove they maintain high grades. This discount can significantly reduce the cost of your premium. With a good student discount, the average for a 17-year-old driver’s policy can be reduced by 17%, leaving you with a premium of only $1,868 a year.
  • Safe driving – It’s never too early to start building your safe driving record. Many companies will offer discounts to young drivers after a certain amount of time has passed with no accidents to report. You can also receive discounts for tracking your driving patterns with a mobile app or device.
  • Reduced mileage – Insurers will often base rates on the actual number of miles driven. The less miles driven, the fewer opportunities for accidents, thus the less risky the driver is to insure. A reduced mileage discount can be particularly helpful for 17-year-old drivers if they’re only using their car to drive short distances, such as to school and back.

Research Top Insurance Companies

Every auto insurance company wants your business, which means the ball is in your court when it comes to entering into a contract. Before signing onto the first appealing policy you come across, explore what some of these other popular car insurance companies have to offer to young drivers.


Nationwide is a solid choice for young drivers because of its coverage options and available discounts. These discounts include accident forgiveness, a good student discount for those who maintain at least a B grade average, plus a vanishing deductible option. This means that young drivers can earn $100 off their deductible for each year they drive safely.

The Hartford

Given their inexperience on the road, young drivers (and their policyholders) will likely want to find an insurance plan that offers ample accident forgiveness. The Hartford does just that. Along with their comprehensive accident forgiveness, The Hartford also provides a driver training discount. All drivers under 21 who complete an approved training course are eligible for a discount, as are good students.


Although not all drivers are eligible for USAA coverage, those who are should take time to research this insurance option. Active or retired military members who add a 17-year-old driver to their policy can take advantage of special discounts, including good student discounts, driver training discounts, and discounts on defensive driving courses.

Find the Best Premiums for Young Drivers with Online Auto Insurance

When it comes to finding the most affordable car insurance, 17-year-old drivers are placed at a disadvantage due to their age and inexperience. But there are still steps you can take to find the best available rates on the market, even if you’re a young driver. One of the best ways to find affordable car insurance for 17-year-olds in particular is to seek out discounts and compare rates from popular insurers.

With Online Auto Insurance, you can easily and quickly compare quotes from multiple insurance companies at no cost to you. Online Auto Insurance even has resources to help guide you through the minimum insurance requirements of your state, as well as details on what different levels of car insurance entail.

Ready to hit the road knowing you have the best, most affordable car insurance available?

Check out Online Auto Insurance today for fast, free quotes, and quality insurance coverage.


Bankrate. Car Insurance for 17-year-olds.https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/17-year-old/

Car and Driver. Car Insurance for a 17 Year Old: Everything You Need To Know.https://www.caranddriver.com/car-insurance/a35766377/car-insurance-for-a-17-year-old/

U.S. News & World Report. The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies (July 2021).https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/car-insurance/cheapest-car-insurance-companies

Insurance Information Institute. What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy? https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy