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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.
When it comes to car insurance for teens, young drivers pay more than their older, more experienced counterparts -- about $169 per month on average, according to our analysis.
It comes down to simple statistics. Teens 16 to 19 are nearly twice as likely to experience fatal car accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They're also more likely to engage in distracted driving. Plus, insurance companies don't have as much data to look at when assessing how responsible a teen driver is on the road. That signals more risk to insurers, which is why car insurance for teens is more expensive.
In our analysis, we found that male teen drivers pay about $20 more per month than female teen drivers. This is again due to statistics. Teen males are more likely to get in wrecks. They've caused two-thirds of all accidents among teens 16 to 19 in recent years, according to IIHS data.
The best way to find cheap car insurance for teens is to compare rates from several companies. Every insurer has its own risk algorithm. While they all consider teen drivers riskier to insure than older drivers, they don't all upcharge teens the same amount. So the only way to see which offers a young driver the best rate is to compare quotes side by side.
In addition to shopping around, look for teen-specific auto insurance discounts, like the ones mentioned below. These can take some of the sting out of those high premium costs.
Another way to make car insurance for teens more affordable is to reduce their coverage levels. But this is risky and may not even be possible. For example, a lender may not allow customers to get rid of collision and comprehensive coverage if they have a lease or loan on their vehicle. And even if it isn't needed, a young driver could be taking a risk skipping it because they could face high out-of-pocket costs in an accident. So weigh this option carefully and err on the side of finding a better value rather than the lowest possible rate.
For more information, check out our guide on how much car insurance coverage do you really need?
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.
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|
Here's a closer look at the average cost of car insurance for teens with clean driving records, based on our analysis.
The average car insurance premium for a 16-year-old driver is approximately $210 per month with females paying slightly less, at about $198 per month on average, and males paying slightly more, averaging $221 per month.
Auto insurance premiums for 17-year-olds average around $195 per month. Males still pay quite a bit more, averaging $208 per month compared to $183 per month for females.
At 18, young drivers see their average auto insurance premium fall to around $169 per month. The gap between male and female drivers closes slightly with male 18-year-olds paying about $177 per month on average while females pay approximately $161 per month.
Car insurance for teens tends to become less expensive around this age. At 19, drivers usually see a fairly significant drop in their auto insurance rates if they have a clean driving record. The average premium for 19-year-olds is about $116 per month, with rates of $124 per month for males and $108 per month for females.
The data above 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 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.
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