Here’s everything 17-year-old drivers and their parents need to know when looking for auto insurance.
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If you’re a teen driver or the parent of one, the first thing you may be wondering about is how much auto insurance will cost. This, as you may have guessed, depends on a number of different factors — including where you live, what kind of car you drive, and your credit score. Let’s dive into factors that affect the cost to insure 17-year-old drivers.
Review the national averages for an idea of how much you might pay to insure your teen driver. Seventeen-year-old drivers pay about $3,925 annually for auto insurance — 275 percent more than the national average of $1,047.
Teen drivers are generally more expensive to insure because they are more likely to get into a car accident than adult drivers. In fact, a 2019 CDC study found that 16- to 19-year-olds get into more car crashes than any other age group. Unfortunately, these accidents are almost three times as likely to be fatal compared to accidents involving drivers 20 and older1. More accidents, traffic violations, and fatalities incentivize insurance providers to charge high premiums for teen drivers.
Let’s examine some of the key aspects that insurance companies consider when providing quotes.
Where you live strongly influences how much you pay for auto insurance. These are some of the factors that determine insurance costs by state or region:
While your costs will likely be higher than the averages in your state, knowing where your state compares to the rest of the country will give you an idea of premium rates in your area.
You will likely have to pay more for insurance than your female counterparts if you’re a 17-year-old male driver or the parent of one.
Except for companies in the few states that have banned gender as a determining factor for insurance rates — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania — insurance companies can charge higher premiums based on gender.
On average, male teen drivers will have higher DUI rates, higher traffic fatality rates, and higher traffic violation rates than female teen drivers. These increased risks incentivize insurance companies to charge higher premiums because teen male drivers are generally more of a liability2.
The type of vehicle you drive will also have a significant influence on your premium rates. Cars with higher mileage, sports cars, and luxury vehicles tend to come with higher insurance premiums.
Premium rates and plans will differ by insurer, and it’s important to do your due diligence in seeking the best auto insurance provider in your state or region. You can start by looking at some of the bigger providers and see if they offer insurance in your area. Obtain quotes from these companies:
|Insurance provider||Market share in 2021|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (GEICO)||6%|
Seventeen-year-old drivers and parents of teen drivers need the minimum coverage as defined by the state in which you reside. While minimum liability coverage will legally qualify you or your teen to drive, we recommend full coverage auto insurance for 17-year-olds. Teens are more likely to get into car accidents than any age group, which means you want the most protection for yourself or your 17-year-old driver.
Full coverage will provide you with bodily injury protection, medical payments coverage, property damage liability, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. If you’re in a state with a high number of uninsured or underinsured drivers, we also recommend purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Except for in a few states — Massachusetts, Hawaii, Michigan, and California — insurers can use credit scores to determine premiums.
Drivers with clean driving records will attain lower car insurance rates than young drivers with no — or poor — driving records. Although you may be a newer driver, many 17-year-old drivers quickly learn that it doesn’t take much to accumulate points on your driving record. Expect your premiums to increase if your driving record incurs any of these incidents within the last five or so years:
Keep in mind that most states will impose stricter restrictions for teen drivers who carry a DUI.
Inexperienced drivers 16 to 20 years old are significantly more likely to be killed in a single-vehicle accident than sober teen drivers, and adult drunk drivers with a similar BAC level are nine times more likely to be in a fatal crash than sober adult drivers4. Since teen drivers are more likely to get into a fatal accident than adult drivers, you can expect your premiums to increase dramatically if you get a DUI.
While there’s a lot of crossover with adult drivers, there are some ways you can take advantage of discounts unique to teen drivers:
Although premium rates for 17-year-olds will generally be higher than rates for adults, there are still various ways to lower your price for auto insurance. Safe driving, taking advantage of student discounts, adding to a parent’s plan, and a clean driving record are all ways to reduce auto insurance rates.
Seventeen-year-old drivers can get their own car insurance, but minors will likely need a parent or guardian to co-sign. Until the driver reaches the legal age of majority — 18 in most states — they will not be able to sign contracts on their own.
Most insurers offer discounts for installing a black box, or telematics, device on your vehicle. State Farm, for example, offers a 30 percent discount just for initial enrollment, and you can save up to $156 a year with Progressive’s telematics Snapshot program. Ask your agent what kind of deals you can get for monitoring your driving.
You can expect to pay close to the average — $3,925 — as a 17-year-old new driver with a learner’s permit, but your rates will likely drop every year for safe driving. Rates tend to significantly drop after 20 years old.
Sports cars contain high-performance engines and require expensive parts, which makes them a lot more expensive to insure than a sedan. With Progressive, you could pay as much as $12,000 annually for full liability — including comprehensive and collision coverage — to drive a 2020 Chevy Camaro. For a Subaru WRX with minimum liability, Allstate may offer annual rates as low as $3,000. Because prices vary drastically depending on the car and coverage, the best way to get an accurate quote is to speak with an agent directly.
Teen Drivers: Get the Facts. CDC. (2021, Oct).
Persons Killed, by Person Type – State : USA, Year : 2019. NHTSA. (2019).
PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE INDUSTRY 2021 TOP 25 GROUPS AND COMPANIES BY COUNTRYWIDE PREMIUM. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
Graduated licensing laws by state IIHS. (2022).