Published: June 15, 2022Updated: August 15, 2022

Cost of Auto Insurance for Teens

With high fatality and crash rates, it’s no wonder car insurance for teens is so expensive.

Out of any age group, teens are often the worst drivers — and that’s not their fault. With very little driving experience, teen drivers get into crashes more often than any other age group. Unfortunately for parents, that means car insurance costs more than average for teen drivers. Find how to add your high-risk teenage driver to your auto insurance without spending thousands of dollars more per year.

Cost of Auto Insurance for Teens

Car insurance for teens costs an average of $3,751.02 — 45 percent higher than the national average annual auto insurance cost of $2,070.62.

Cost of Auto Insurance for Teens

Age

Car insurance for 16-year-olds costs the most, while prices generally decrease for the remainder of the teen years.

Age Average annual car insurance cost
16 $4,368
17 $3,925
18 $3,952.75
19 $2,758.33

But don’t worry, parents: Car insurance costs start to decrease to normal rates after your child turns 25. At that point, you should be off the hook for their premiums anyway. This data from Progressive shows how car insurance costs change based on age.

Age Price difference from previous age group
17 and under N/A
18 12%
19-20 -12%
21-22 -13%
23-24 -13%
25-29 -11%
30-34 -6%
35-39 -2%
40-44 -2%
45-49 -1%
50-54 -8%
55-64 -10%
65-74 -3%
75 and over 4%

Gender

Do you have teenage boys? If so, expect to pay more for their car insurance than you would for teenage girls. However, there are some states in which men don’t pay more for car insurance, as insurance companies in those states aren’t legally allowed to use gender as a factor when determining premiums:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

In every other state, young men pay more for car insurance than young women. Why? Because in general, men drive more miles than women, which leads to more accidents and, thus, more claims.1

College Students

Even with the best car insurance for college students, you can still expect to pay high fees for your children ages 18 to 22.

Age Average annual cost of car insurance
18 $3,952.75
19 $2,758.33
20 $2,931.25
21 $1,909.67
22 $1,670

NOTE

The average annual cost of car insurance for college students is $3,073.57, assuming they’re between ages 18 and 22.

Learner’s Permits

Depending on the state, teens can obtain learner’s permits between the ages of 14 and 16. The younger the driver, the higher their auto insurance rate will be. See below to find out when your teen can start driving in your state.

Age Permit Restricted license Full license
Alabama 15 16 17
Alaska 14 16 16.5
Arizona 15.5 16 16.5
Arkansas 14 16 18
California 15.5 16 17
Colorado 15 16 17
Connecticut 16 16.33 18
Delaware 16 16.5 17
Florida 15 16.515 18
Georgia 15 16 18
Hawaii 15.5 16 17
Idaho 14.5 15 16
Illinois 15 16 18
Indiana 15 16.25 18
Iowa 14 16 17
Kansas 14 16 16.5
Kentucky 16 16.5 17
Louisiana 15 16 17
Maine 15 16 16.75
Maryland 15.75 16.5 18
Massachusetts 16 16.5 18
Michigan 14.75 16 17
Minnesota 15 16 16.5
Mississippi 15 16 16.5
Missouri 15 16 17.92
Montana 14.5 15 16
Nebraska 15 16 17
Nevada 15.5 16 16.5
New Hampshire 15.5 16 16.5
New Jersey 16 17 18
New Mexico 15 15.5 16.5
New York 16 16.5 17
North Carolina 15 16 16.5
North Dakota 14 16 16
Ohio 15.5 16 18
Oklahoma 15.5 16 16.5
Oregon 15 16 17
Pennsylvania 16 16.5 17
Rhode Island 16 16.5 17.5
South Carolina 15 15.5 16.5
South Dakota 14 14.5 16
Tennessee 15 16 17
Texas 15 16 18
Utah 15 16 17
Vermont 15 16 18
Virginia 15.5 16.25 18
Washington 15 16 18
West Virginia 15 16 17
Wisconsin 15.5 16 16.75
Wyoming 15 16 16.52

Other Factors That Affect Teen Car Insurance Costs

Aside from age and gender, here are some other factors that affect car insurance rates for teens.

  • Driving history: Driving history goes hand in hand with age; the less driving history a person has (or the more accidents they’ve had), the more their car insurance will cost.
  • State: Car insurance costs vary widely by state, as each state has different minimum coverages, crime rates, accident rates, and other factors that affect premiums. These are the cheapest states for teen drivers:
    • Alabama
    • California
    • Hawaii
    • Idaho
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Montana
    • North Carolina
    • Pennsylvania
    • Wyoming

    To see the average cost of car insurance in your state, read our auto insurance guide.

  • ZIP code: Not only will your state affect the average cost of car insurance, but so will your ZIP code. Suburban and rural areas have fewer drivers, fewer accidents, and lower car insurance costs than cities.
  • Coverages: The more auto insurance coverages you have, the more expensive your premiums will be (although they could save you money down the line).
  • Limits: As with coverages, higher liability limits will also lead to higher car insurance prices, but again, they could come in handy if your teen has a covered claim.
  • Deductibles: A higher auto insurance deductible means a lower limit, but if your teen has a comprehensive or collision claim, you’ll be responsible for the deductible before you receive any other financial compensation.
  • Vehicle: A vehicle with a good crash-test rating will be cheaper to insure, while pricier cars like sports cars will be more expensive to cover.
  • Mileage: If your teen drives a lot, such as on a commute to a school that’s a long distance from home, then they’ll pay more for insurance.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Teens

While car insurance for teens costs more than it does for regular adults, there are ways to lower your rates as much as possible.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Teens

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Teens

First, find cheap car insurance companies for teens, such as these insurers:

  • Allstate
  • Erie
  • GEICO
  • Grange
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Mercury
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

Ways to Save on Car Insurance

Aside from setting yourself up with a good provider, here’s how to lower auto insurance rates:

  • Add your teen to your existing policy. It’s cheaper to add your teen to your existing car insurance policy than it is to get them a separate policy. We’ll explain in more detail below.
  • Drop unnecessary coverages. Although you risk paying more later on if your teen has an accident, you can lower premiums automatically by dropping coverages your state doesn’t require, like rental car coverage or roadside assistance.
  • Raise your deductibles. Again, a higher deductible leads to lower premiums.
  • Install GPS. Some auto insurance companies offer discounts if you install teen driver monitoring in the form of GPS navigation.
  • Make your teen take a class. By having your teen take an approved defensive driving or driver training class, you might qualify for discounts with your insurance provider.
  • Encourage your child to get good grades. Some car insurance companies offer good-student discounts.
  • Get pay-per-mile insurance. If your teen doesn’t drive a lot, consider usage-based insurance, otherwise known as pay-per-mile insurance. You’ll only pay for the miles your teen drives, so hope they don’t plan a cross-country road trip for the summer.

Check if your car insurance company offers any discounts that could apply to your teenager:

Company Defensive driving course Driver training Good student Multi-car/family Student away from home Teen driver monitoring (GPS) Young driver
21st Century No No Yes Yes No No No
AAA No No Yes Yes No No No
AARP No Yes; 3-year premium discount for AARP Driver Safety Course No Yes No No No
Allstate No Yes; TeenSMART education course for those under 25 and unmarried Yes, for those unmarried and under 25 — average grade of at least B- or GPA of at least 2.7 Yes Yes; must be at least 100 miles away from where the car is garaged, under 25, and unmarried No No
American Family No No Yes No Yes, for those under 25 and more than 100 miles away from home No No
Amica Yes Yes, for drivers under 21 who complete an accredited driver training program Yes, for full-time college or high school students, ages 15-25 with a B average or above Yes Yes No No
Bristol West No No No Yes No No No
Clearcover Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Concord No No Yes No No No No
Dairyland Yes No No No No No No
Direct No No Yes — 10% Yes No No No
Endurance No No No Yes — 25% No No No
Erie No No No No Yes No Yes
Esurance No No No Yes No No No
Farmers Yes No Yes — with at least a 3.0 GPA No Yes — if at least 100 miles away No Yes
GAINSCO Yes No No Yes No No No
GEICO Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Good2Go Yes — 5%-15% Yes — 10% Yes — 5%-20% Yes No No No
Infinity Yes No Yes Yes — 10%-25% No No No
Kemper Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Lemonade No No No Yes No No No
Liberty Mutual No No Yes No Yes No No
Mercury Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Metromile No No No Yes No No No
National General No No No Yes No No No
Nationwide Yes No Yes — for ages 16-24 with a minimum B average Yes No No No
Plymouth Rock Yes — in CT, NJ, and PA Yes — in NJ, NY, and PA Yes — in NJ and NY Yes Yes — in CT, NH, MA, NJ, and NY No Yes — in NH and NJ
Progressive No No Yes Yes — in CT, NH, MA, NJ, and NY Yes No Yes
Root No No Yes Yes — 4% No No No
Safeco No No Yes No No No No
State Farm Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
The General Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Travelers No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
USAA No No Yes Yes No No No

Why Is Car Insurance for Teens So Expensive?

Are teens actually worse drivers than the average adult, or is this just a vicious stereotype?

More Traffic Fatalities

Statistics show teens have more traffic fatalities than any other age group, especially 16-year-olds. Compared to the rest of the population, 16-year-olds are 32 percent more likely to die in traffic accidents, with 51 deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers in 2020.

Age group Rate of licensed drivers in fatal crashes per 100,000 drivers in 2020 Difference from national average
16 51 32%
17 39 11%
18 47 26%
19 42 17%
16-19 44 21%
20 40 13%
21 43 19%
22 39 11%
23 38 8%
24 37 6%
20-24 39 11%
25-34 34 -2%
35-44 26 -34%
45-54 23 -51%
55-64 20 -74%
65-74 14 -148%
75 and older 24 -45%

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., killing seven teens a day.3

More Crashes

The increased likelihood of accidents among teen drivers goes for all crash types, both fatal and nonfatal. Again, 16-year-olds are the most likely drivers to get into crashes — 45 percent higher than the average crash rate across all age groups, according to data from the National Safety Council.

Age group Rate of licensed drivers in all crashes per 100,000 drivers in 2020 Difference from national average
16 26,342 45%
17 22,422 35%
18 22,582 36%
19 20,473 29%
16-19 22,103 34%
20 17,364 17%
21 16,814 14%
22 15,821 8%
23 15,196 5%
24 14,339 -1%
20-24 15,876 9%
25-34 11,941 -21%
35-44 9,062 -60%
45-54 7,776 -86%
55-64 6,187 -134%
65-74 4,383 -231%
75 and older 3,3694 -330%

The more likely someone is to get into an accident, the more likely they are to file a claim. Since teens are much more likely to get into car accidents than any other age group, and therefore more likely to have claims, insurance companies protect themselves financially by issuing high premiums for these drivers from the start.

Do I Have to Add My Teenager to My Car Insurance?

Technically, you don’t have to add your teenager to your existing car insurance policy. Instead, you could keep your car insurance rates as is by getting them a separate policy. Here are some benefits and drawbacks of adding your teen to your existing policy.

Pros

  • Lower premiums: By combining your child’s information with your rate, good driving history, and positive credit score, you can get lower premiums than if you had your child on a standalone policy.

  • Convenience: Easily add coverages or adjust limits as you see fit from one place.

  • Coverage for any of your cars: Once your teen is part of your policy, they can be covered for use of any car in your household, which is convenient if you have multiple cars they might drive.

Cons

  • Bad for luxury or sports cars: If you have a luxury vehicle or a pricey sports car in your household, adding your teen to your policy will make costs skyrocket, even if they’re not driving the high-end ride. In this case, it’s better to have them on a separate policy for the car they will drive.5

What Vehicle Should I Attach to My Teen?

When choosing which vehicle to attach to your teen’s auto insurance policy, look for safety features and good crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety6 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.7

What Vehicle Should I Attach to My Teen

These are some safety features to consider:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Airbags (at least six)
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Automatic climate control
  • Automatic high beams
  • Auto on-off headlights
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Driving monitoring from manufacturers such as these:
    • Chevrolet
    • Ford
    • Hyundai
    • Kia
    • Lexus
    • Toyota
    • Volkswagen
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Hill-start assist
  • Infotainment system with voice recognition
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Outboard mirrors with turn-signal indicators
  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
  • Traction and stability control8

Avoid attaching your teen to the following types of vehicles.

  • Sports cars: Adding your teen to a car that’s already pricey is a recipe for disaster, as repairs will cost more than with less-expensive cars.
  • SUVs and pickup trucks: Larger cars are harder to park and have poor mileage compared to compact cars or sedans.
  • High-horsepower cars: While your teen may love a car with a lot of horsepower, these vehicles come with higher premiums, as they’re at a higher risk of hydroplaning.

TIP

Considering teens’ likelihood of accidents, avoid giving them an expensive sports car. Instead, let them drive an affordable and/or pre-owned vehicle that won’t cost too much to repair.

How to Get Car Insurance for Teens

Getting car insurance for teens is similar to getting car insurance for anyone, but you may need to do some research to get affordable prices.

  • Research. Start with reviewing the best car insurance for teens. Of course, price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Look for great customer service ratings as well if you want your claims to be covered in as little time as possible.
  • Choose your coverages. Before you compare quotes from different providers, decide which coverages and limits you want; that way, you’re comparing apples to apples. For your teen, we recommend full coverage car insurance.
  • Get quotes. It’s easy to find quotes online, so you don’t need to go to an insurance agency in person. Get quotes from at least three agents before you make a decision.
  • Speak to an agent or broker. Speak to an insurance agent, or to a broker if you want someone to shop the market for you. They can help you fine-tune your potential policy based on you and your teen’s needs.
  • Send your application. Apply for the policy.
  • Pay your premiums. To activate your policy, pay your premiums and wait for your effective date.

Conclusion

For a parent, few events are scarier than your teen taking the wheel, so brush up on teen driving laws before you hand them the keys. Although it’s likely your teen will experience at least a fender bender, you can keep accident and car insurance rates low with the right training and defensive driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve received a few questions about car insurance for teens that we haven’t already covered.

After a divorce, the question of who pays for car insurance for teens depends on the stipulations of the parents’ divorce agreement. If the teen is driving multiple cars that both parents own, the parents might need to add them to their policies separately. The payment will be based on the divorce settlement agreement, according to Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino, divorce and family attorneys based in Queens, New York.

You should get car insurance for your teen before they can legally drive a motor vehicle, so before they get their learner’s permit or license. Make sure the policy is active before you start driving lessons, even if you’ll be in the car supervising.

Full coverage car insurance for teens can cost anywhere from $1,693 to $14,899 annually, depending on your state, vehicle, and other factors.

Car insurance for teens may or may not be cheaper if you buy a newer car. It might be cheaper if the newer car includes safety features like driver monitoring, forward-collision warning, or automatic high beams. However, new cars might be more expensive to repair than older cars, which would make them more expensive to insure. It depends on the car’s make, model, and auto theft rate.

Citations

  1. What? Women Pay More Than Men for Auto Insurance? Yup. Insurance Journal. (2019, Feb 12).
    https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/02/12/517466.htm

  2. Driving Age by State 2022. World Population Review. (2022).
    https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/driving-age-by-state

  3. Transportation Safety – Teen Drivers. CDC. (2022).
    https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/index.html#:~:text=Motor%20vehicle%20crashes%20are%20the,be%20in%20a%20fatal%20crash

  4. Overview – Age of Driver. National Safety Council. (2022).
    https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/overview/age-of-driver/

  5. Car insurance for teens. Progressive. (2022).
    https://www.progressive.com/answers/teen-driver-insurance/

  6. Vehicle Ratings. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2022).
    https://www.iihs.org/ratings

  7. Vehicle Crash Test Database. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022).
    https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/research-testing-databases#/vehicle

  8. Best Cars for Teens: The List Every Parent Needs. Kelley Blue Book. (2021, Mar 26).
    https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/teens/