It’s a time that many of us remember fondly: finally getting behind the wheel. The freedom to go anywhere. The feeling of growing up. As a teenager, you couldn’t be more excited. As a parent, you couldn’t be prouder – or more overwhelmed.
After the lessons, tests, and car-hunting, there’s still insurance to figure out. And the big question: how much is car insurance for teens? It can vary widely. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect and how to reduce the cost of insuring your teen.
If you would like more specific information on a certain age, we’ve written articles answering the following: how much is car insurance for a 19 year old, how much is car insurance for a 20 year old, and how much is car insurance for a 17 year old.
What Factors Determine Car Insurance Rates?
As with other kinds of insurance, how much risk a driver poses will determine the cost of their policy. That goes for anyone, but especially for a teenage driver. Two of the main factors that go into car insurance rates for a teen driver is:
- Who you are – Insurance companies take into consideration certain personal factors, such as your age, gender, driving experience, and even grade point average.
- Where you live – When looking at car insurance, you’ll see that the cost of living isn’t limited only to the monthly rent or the gas prices. Where you live also affects the cost of insurance for teenage drivers.
Car Insurance and Personal Factors
Many teenagers might be shocked to discover that insurance provider companies determine risk based on who the driver is. It’s not just enough to say you’re a good driver. You’ll have to prove it over time. Meanwhile, every young driver starts somewhere. This base is determined in a few ways but the main two ways are age and gender.
- Age – When it comes to car insurance policy rates, youth is not an advantage. Data shows that teenage drivers are more likely to be in a car accident than drivers who are twenty years old or older. Insurance companies will want to see that a teenager is trustworthy behind the wheel before offering a more affordable car insurance rate.
- Male or female – Research shows that male drivers account for more accidents than female drivers do. And teenage male drivers appear even riskier based on their driving habits. As a result, female teen drivers can expect to pay less on car insurance, while a teenage male driver can expect to pay more.
This criteria may seem unfair, but new drivers don’t have a driving record, a track record, to go off of. As a result, insurance companies make an educated guess based on data from people who might behave similarly to you. Things are changing, though, and it isn’t like this everywhere.
Car Insurance Varies Across States
Some states are more expensive to live in than others. Car insurance can vary a lot, too. In Hawaii, for instance, the law prohibits insurance companies from using age to determine policy rates. And some states outlaw the use of gender for determining an individual’s auto insurance rate, including:
- Washington, D.C.
Who and where are some of the main factors that affect insurance for teenage drivers. Obviously, teenagers don’t get to decide these things. So, is there any way to lower your insurance rate and get a better deal? Yes, there is. And the next section will tell you how.
How to Get a Cheaper Rate on Teen Car Insurance
Before you give up on driving until you’re twenty-five, there are some things you can do to get a better rate to consider. Let’s take a look at some options that might be right for you:
- Take a driving course – Taking the extra precaution to enroll in a driving class shows that you’re a responsible person. It’ll also help you to be a better driver in the long run. That’s why insurance companies often offer discounts to young drivers who have completed such a course.
- Have good grades – Having trouble getting motivated about your studies? A lot of car insurance companies offer a “Good Student Discount,” for drivers (typically age 16-24) who keep a B+ grade point average or higher. Ace your next math test to see how responsible behavior can really add up.
- Pick the right car – Remember racing around town in the family minivan? Probably not. Which is why insurance companies tend to associate family friendly cars with cautious, less risky behavior. Aside from what the car insurance company thinks, less valuable cars tend to need less insurance coverage. The trade-off? Newer cars tend to have more safety features, and driving a car with safe driver features shows that you value safety. And insurance companies value drivers who value safety.
- The parent’s seal of approval – As a parent, you can vouch for your teen by putting them on your own auto insurance policy. Because the parent is taking on some of the risk, this is a meaningful sign of trust. As a result, the average car insurance for teenagers who are paying for their own policy is much higher than if they were added to a parent’s plan. Though keep in mind that adding a teenager to your plan will significantly increase your own auto insurance costs, sometimes even as much as 77%.
Start Your Search Today with Online Auto Insurance
Which of these routes you take will depend on your particular situation. In general, you can expect insurance for your teenager to be more expensive than it would be for a twenty-five year old.
Need guidance finding insurance that is right for you? Online Auto Insurance can help. To use our free car insurance comparison search tool, simply enter your zip code to get started. We’ll help you find the right car insurance.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Teenagers. https://www.iihs.org/topics/teenagers#by-the-numbers
The Washington Post. Gender Can No Longer be Used to Calculate Auto Insurance Rates in California and Other States. https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/02/11/gender-can-no-longer-be-used-calculate-auto-insurance-rates-california-other-states/
The New York Times. Buying Car Insurance for Teenagers Can be a Balancing Act. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/business/buying-car-insurance-for-teenagers-can-be-a-balancing-act.html