Find Your Perfect Policy: 866-843-5386

Last updated: April 19, 2023

Can I Be on My Parent’s Car Insurance?

What are the pros and cons of getting my own insurance?

Twitter brand
Facebook brand
Linkedin brand
Reddit brand
Envelop icon

While the minimum age when you can earn a driver’s license varies by state, most of us start driving while living at home as teenagers. This means that most teen drivers have the option to join their parents’ car insurance policies or to get their own. Keep reading for important information on when you can be on your parent’s car insurance, the cost of insuring teen drivers, how to save and more.

Can I Be on My Parent's Car Insurance?

Does My Parent’s Car Insurance Automatically Cover Me as a Teen?

Although there’s some variation between providers and policies, your parent’s car insurance typically does not cover you automatically, assuming you live in the same household. You will either need to join your parent’s insurance policy or get car insurance of your own.

Can I Drive My Parent’s Car If I’m Not on Their Insurance?

If you’re not listed on your parent’s car insurance, there are two ways you can be covered when driving their car:

  • You live in the same household: If you live in the same household and drive your parent’s car regularly, you’ll need them to name you on their insurance policy to be covered.
  • You live separately: If you don’t live with them and only borrow their car occasionally, you’re likely covered while driving it, thanks to a concept known as permissive use. Most car insurance policies cover permissive users or drivers who the policyholder or policyholders have given permission to use a car.1 For example, if someone lends their car to a friend while theirs is in the shop and the friend gets in an accident, they’re likely covered as a permissive user.

Review your parent’s insurance policy together since different insurers may have different exceptions to who qualifies as a permissive user. Certain insurance policies may not cover young or inexperienced drivers as permissive users.

How Long Can I Be on My Parent’s Car Insurance?

Unlike health insurance coverage, which can cover dependent children only up to age 26, there’s no age limit on using your parent’s insurance. Rather than age, auto insurance is based on household — that is, family members who live at the same primary residence.

In other words, as long as you live with your parents, you can stay on their insurance. You can even stay on their insurance if you get married, provided you continue to live together. If your spouse moves in, they could join as a household member as well with insurance for the whole family.

When You Can Be on Your Parent’s Car Insurance

  • Your parents own or lease the car you drive and you live with them.
  • You co-own a car with your parents.
  • You’re a college student who drives your parent’s car when you’re back home, though your parent’s address must still be your primary residence.
  • You move out of your parent’s home but live at a property that they own or rent to you.

When You Can Not Be on Your Parent’s Car Insurance

  • You don’t live with your parents or at a property that they own or rent for you.
  • You live with your parents but you own or lease your own car.
  • Your parents own or lease your car, but you don’t live with them, in which case, you’ll need nonowner car insurance.

Should I Stay on My Parent’s Car Insurance?

Pros of staying on parent’s car insurance

  • Less expensive premiums for drivers under 25

  • Access to discounts like multiple vehicles, good student and student away at school

Cons of staying on parent’s car insurance

  • Increases parent’s premium

  • Especially expensive if there’s a luxury vehicle or sports car in the household, even if the teenager doesn’t drive it

What Should You Do If It’s Not Clear Whether You Can Be on Your Parents’ Policy?

If it’s not clear whether or not you can be on your parent’s car insurance, it’s vital to contact your insurance company and find out. You don’t want to be wrong and get into an accident only to find out you’re not covered when you thought you were.

Is Car Insurance for Teenagers Expensive?

Teenagers are some of the riskiest drivers, so they are among the most expensive age demographics to insure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenagers made up only 5 percent of all licensed drivers in 2020 but accounted for 9 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.2 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Department of Transportation Safety lists the following risk factors in teen driving:

  • Inexperience: Due to their age, teens have less driving experience than adults and are more likely to make errors that lead to serious accidents.
  • Distracted driving: Distraction is dangerous for all drivers, but especially for inexperienced ones. Nearly 40 percent of United States high school students who drove in 2019 reported texting or emailing while driving in the last month. Learn more about teen distracted driving.
  • Driving after using alcohol or drugs: Drinking any amount of alcohol or using illicit substances, including marijuana, before driving significantly increases crash risk among teen drivers. Teen drivers are also more likely to be involved in crashes compared to older drivers at the same blood alcohol concentration, even at levels below the legal limit for adults, 0.08 percent.
  • Night and weekend driving: Per miles driven, the nighttime fatal crash rate for teen drivers is nearly three times as high as it is for adult drivers.
  • Seatbelt misuse: Teens and young adults are less likely than older adults to wear seat belts. More than half of teen drivers and passengers killed in fatal crashes in 2020 were not wearing seatbelts.
  • Speeding: Teen drivers are more likely to speed and less likely to allow enough space between their cars and the vehicles ahead of them.3

How Much Will the Premium Increase When I Join My Parent's Car Insurance?

The amount that your parent’s premium will increase if you join their insurance policy depends on a variety of factors, such as the number of young drivers in the house, your age, your gender, the types of cars your family owns and your driving records.

The chart below shows the average annual cost of auto insurance for teens compared to the insurance premiums for adults.

Age Average annual cost of car insurance
16 $4,368
17 $3,925
18 $3,953
19 $2,758
20 $2,931
21 $1,910
22 $1,670
23 $1,551
24 $1,456
25 $1,728
26 $1,688
27 $1,664
28 $1,648
29 $1,630
30 $1,716
31 $1,548
32 $1,546
33 $1,540
34 $1,540
35 $1,449
36 $1,520
37 $1,518
38 $1,514
39 $1,514
40 $1,710
45 $1,366
50 $1,489
55 $1,276
60 $1,425
65 $1,321
70 $1,584
75 $1,887
80 $1,933
85 $2,416

How to Lower Car Insurance Rates

If you join your parent’s auto insurance policy and their premiums rise, there are a variety of tactics you can use to minimize that price increase.

  1. Compare quotes: Rather than joining the insurance policy your parents already use automatically, it’s worthwhile to get quotes and compare prices and coverage from multiple options. You may be able to save by switching to another provider.
  2. Look for discounts: Many insurers offer specific car insurance discounts for teens, such as good student discounts, driver’s education discounts or savings for college students away at school.
  3. Drive safely: Young drivers are expensive to insure because they’re more likely to get into accidents. Maintaining a clean driving record will keep your premiums from rising even further.
  4. Join an affiliate organization: Many fraternities, sororities and other student member organizations have affiliate relationships with certain insurance companies that give their members car insurance discounts.
  5. Remove unnecessary coverage: You can save money by opting out of certain forms of insurance which your state doesn’t legally require, such as collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. However, while you can save money in the short term by stripping your coverage to the legal essentials, we don’t recommend it in the long run. For drivers considering full coverage vs. liability insurance, we recommend full coverage whenever possible.

How Do I Add Myself to My Parent’s Car Insurance?

When it comes to adding a teen driver to car insurance, your parents need to add you to their policy. You won’t be able to join without the policyholders adding you and supplying the insurance company with your information, such as your:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Social Security number
  • Occupation
  • Driver’s license number
  • How long you’ve had your driver’s license
  • Any recent traffic violations, such as a speeding ticket or at-fault accident

How Do I Get My Own Car Insurance?

If you decide not to join your parent’s policy, you’ll need to get your own car insurance. Wondering how to get car insurance? Follow these steps:

  1. Decide what coverage you need: Determine what you can afford to pay and what your coverage priorities are. For example, if the value of your car is less than you owe on the loan, you might decide you need gap insurance. Whether you’re leaving your parent’s policy to get your own or if you never joined it in the first place, make sure the policy dates line up so you won’t have a lapse of coverage.
  2. Do your research: Look to a trusted authority for information on the insurance companies you’re considering. Consider the pros and cons of each company. Do they offer the types of coverage you want? What methods do they offer for paying bills and filing claims? How much would their coverage cost?
  3. Get quotes and comparison shop: You can get free quotes from multiple insurance companies and compare costs. Be sure to look for any discounts you can qualify for.
  4. Decide on an insurance company: For advice on which one to use, check out our recommendations for the best auto insurance for teens.
  5. Apply for a policy: If you’re under 18, you’ll likely need a parent or guardian to give their permission or sign onto the policy with you.
  6. Start paying your premiums: To keep your coverage, stay current on paying your premiums.


Teenagers and other young adults are some of the most expensive drivers to insure, thanks to their inexperience and unsafe driving behaviors. From a teenager’s perspective, it’s beneficial to stay on your parent’s car insurance for as long as you can, provided it doesn’t make their premiums too high. Take advantage of all relevant discounts and other ways to save to minimize that premium increase as much as possible and avoid teen driver crashes.


Can I have my own insurance and be on my parent’s at the same time?

Yes, you can have your own car insurance and be on your parent’s at the same time, but there’s no reason to do so. It’s expensive and filing claims on the same car with two different insurers constitutes fraud.

Can people in the same house have different car insurance?

Yes, people in the same house can have different car insurance policies. However, you’d likely be able to save money by joining the same policy.

Does gender matter for car insurance?

Gender matters in the cost of car insurance, especially among teenagers. In most U.S. states, male drivers tend to face higher insurance costs. That being said, the following states prohibit insurance companies from using gender as a factor in determining rates:

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

What is the difference between a policyholder and a driver?

A policyholder is a person who owns a car insurance policy and has control over it. A listed driver is covered by the policy but doesn’t control it and can’t make changes.


  1. “Permissive Use” Car Insurance Coverage. NOLO. (2023).

  2. Traffic Safety Facts 2020 Data: Young Drivers. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022, Jun).

  3. Teen Drivers and Passengers: Get the Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023).