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Scoring a great deal on auto insurance isn't easy at any age, but when you're a young driver, there's an added challenge. Teens have less experience on the roads and are more likely to get in accidents, so car insurance for teens tends to be pricey. But scoring a great rate is still doable. This guide will walk you through how it can be done and which car insurers young drivers may want to take a closer look at.
Allstate had the cheapest car insurance for teens in our analysis, though the difference was slight. One of the largest insurers in the nation, the company also offers solid car insurance coverage options and a variety of ways to save at any age.
State Farm bested all the companies listed here in J.D. Power's latest Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Survey. It also has some nice teen driver discounts that can help young drivers reduce their rates.
Progressive is famous for its Name-Your-Price tool, which helps drivers of all ages get the most bang for their buck. This tells drivers exactly what coverage they can afford based on how much they're willing to spend.
Geico offers a huge selection of discounts, including some specific to teens, like a good student discount for teens who maintain a B-average or better in school and a driver's education discount for teens who complete an approved course.
Liberty Mutual doesn't offer the cheapest car insurance for teens, but it does have some less-common coverage options like new car replacement, gap insurance, and accident forgiveness. These may appeal to teens worried about their car or their insurance rates following an accident.
Car insurance for teens can be very expensive. When parents add a teen driver to their policy, industry estimates suggest costs increase around 150%. This means adding a teen to a policy originally priced at $1,500 annually would cause premiums to increase to $2250.
A policy for a teen driver also costs more than double what insurance would cost for older motorists. For example, average annual premiums for an 18-year-old are $5,988 annually, compared with $2,208 for a 35-year-old and $1,979 for a 65-year-old.
The table below shows average costs for teens depending on age and sex based on The Ascent's research.
Insurance for teens is very expensive because:
Remaining on a parent's car insurance policy typically costs teen drivers less than trying to purchase their own, so it's an appealing option. Fortunately, there's no legal reason why teens can't be on their parents' insurance if the family's in agreement.
This gives a teen driver the benefit of any discounts their parents qualify for, like a multi-policy discount for bundling home and auto and a discount for continuous insurance coverage, that teens may not qualify for on their own.
Of course, adding a teen driver means higher rates for parents, so that's something each family has to consider. Parents wary of taking on the extra cost may have their teen pay the difference between their current premiums and their new ones.
There's no law about when a young driver has to get their own insurance, but in most cases, if they're living independently, paying for their own expenses, and driving their own vehicle, they should probably have their own policy.
Parents and teens who need help finding affordable insurance for young drivers should take the following steps:
Taking these steps can help to keep premiums down so insurance is as affordable as possible for young drivers.
Here are some of the best car insurance providers for teen drivers:
Here's an overview of average monthly car insurance premiums, based on our analysis of quotes for drivers aged 16 to 19 from five of the best insurance companies.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Monthly Premium for Teens|
There are many programs that help teenage drivers to reduce the risk of collisions. These include:
Insurance companies may also provide resources for parents and teens, including information about driver's education and defensive driving courses that teens can take to reduce insurance premiums while learning how to be safer behind the wheel.
The data below gives parents and young drivers some idea of how much car insurance for teens will cost. But there are many other factors that come into play here, like what discounts a teen may qualify for and whether they have accidents on their record. The only way to know which company will offer a teen the best rate is to get some quotes.
Here's a closer look at the average cost of car insurance for teens with clean driving records, based on our analysis.
|Average monthly car insurance||Male||Female|
|16 Year Olds||$210||$221||$198|
|17 Year Olds||$195||$208||$183|
|18 Year Olds||$169||$177||$161|
|19 Year Olds||$116||$124||$108|
Here are some discounts the best car insurance for teens offers to young drivers. Note that not all insurers have all these discounts and not all discounts are available in all states.
These aren't the only discounts a teen driver may qualify for. Always check with an insurer for a full list of available discounts.
Finding affordable auto insurance for young drivers isn't always easy, but following these tips can help parents and young drivers find the best rate:
|Offer||Best For||Next Steps|
|Great For: Best for Pricing|
|Great For: Best for Claims Handling|
|Great For: Best for Flexible Policies|
|Great For: Best for Student Discounts|
|Great For: Best for Extra Coverage Options|
Yes, car insurers will sell directly to teens, though in some states, the teen may need a parent to cosign. Going solo is usually more expensive than remaining on a parent's insurance policy, though, so it's not ideal for those trying to keep costs low.
There's no single company that offers the best car insurance for teens. But if parents and young drivers get some quotes, they can find the one that offers the best deal right now.
Every company calculates its rates differently, based on age, driving history, vehicle make and model, location, and more. So the only way to determine which has the cheapest rate for teenagers is to get quotes and compare them.
Most auto insurance policies cover teen drivers in their parents' vehicle even if the teen is not on the policy themselves. However, the teen must have the parent's consent to drive the vehicle in order for any claims to be covered.
It is usually cheaper for a teenage driver to be on their parents' car insurance policy than to be on their own policy, but it's up to each family to decide how they want to handle their teen's auto insurance.
Our Insurance Expert
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