Finding cheap car insurance as a 22-year-old can be tough. Read our guide and find out how to save.
A typical 22-year-old in the U.S. pays $2,205 per year for car insurance, on average — an annual premium that is 42% more than the national average for drivers of all ages, according to The Zebra's most recent research study.
The high cost of car insurance for 22-year-old drivers comes down to their relatively limited driving experience and less-robust insurance history, equating to greater risk for auto insurance companies. Below, our insurance expert breaks down the ins-and-outs of car insurance for 22-year-olds to help you find the best rates when comparing auto insurance options.
Not every insurance company handles young drivers in the same way. The Zebra's industry-leading study gathered average rates from some of America's most popular insurance companies in ZIP codes across the nation. For our sample driver profile, we discovered that USAA was the cheapest for a 22-year-old driver, with GEICO a close second. Remember: your prices may vary. Use this data as a jumping-off point when looking for car insurance quotes.
|Insurance Company||Average Cost of 6-Month Premium||Monthly Premium|
As you age, the difference between car insurance premiums for men and women gets smaller. At the national level, the difference between men and women for auto insurance premiums is less than 1%. But the gap in insurance rates by gender at the age of 22 is over $200 per year, reflecting the elevated risk associated with young male motorists. This is accounted for with insurance companies charging higher rates.
Using the same user profile used above, we gathered rates from some of the top insurers in the US to see which was the most affordable for 22-year-old male drivers.
|Insurance Company||6-Month Premium||Monthly Premium|
To find the cheapest rate, we recommend starting your search with USAA and GEICO, which can save you an average of $55 per month.
Conducting the same survey but for 22-year-old female drivers — who pay more than $200 less per year for auto insurance compared to their male counterparts — we found that GEICO and USAA were again the cheapest insurance companies for this demographic.
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Your early 20s is still quite an expensive time to be an insurance customer. Luckily, the cost of insurance tends to decline as you get older and get more driving experience. The best way to find the most affordable rate as a 22-year-old driver is to shop around as much as possible — don't be afraid to switch companies if you're offered a better rate elsewhere!
In the traditional route of life, most 22-year-olds have graduated from college and with that, comes some savings on auto insurance rates. Car insurance companies use the correlation between higher levels of education and decreased severity or frequency in claims to lower premiums with people with more education. Whether that's fair or not, the difference is only moderate.
Your credit score is one of the primary rating factors for insurance companies. Statistically, drivers with lower credit scores (below 524) can pay up to double as much for car insurance as do drivers with excellent credit (823 or above). Just like education, this has to do with the correlation insurance companies observe between drivers with lower credit and an increased number of severe claims and car accidents. From an insurance perspective, if there is more risk associated with insuring a person with a poor credit score, a company will account for this risk with higher premiums.
|Very Poor||Fair||Good||Very Good||Exceptional|
While you shouldn’t pick your home's location solely based on your prospective auto insurance costs, it's a factor worth considering. Residing in a densely populated metropolitan area could lead to more expensive auto insurance premiums, as more tightly packed cities see more frequent claims. Moreover, coastal areas in which floods are likely, such as Louisiana and Florida, are home to higher premiums.
|State||Average 6-Month Premium|
When an insurance quote is calculated, it takes into account a vehicle's attributes. Just as a driver's poor credit can be seen as an indicator of increased risk, a high-value car can also trigger high rates. New cars with high MSRPs — and their parts — are more expensive for an insurance company to replace. If you’re trying to find the cheapest car insurance coverage, a moderately priced used vehicle is the best car to insure.
It's possible to save on car insurance without having to cut back on your coverage. Whether you're still in school, have bypassed college, or are celebrating a recent graduation, take these tips into account if you're seeking savings.
These student discounts are pretty straightforward. In order to be considered a good student by an insurance company, you should maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better and submit proof to your insurance company every policy period. In order to qualify for the defensive driver discount, you must take an actual defensive driving course and again, supply proof. While the amount varies per company, if you take advantage of both of these discounts, you can expect average savings upward of $100 per year.
This goes without saying, but it’s imperative as a young driver to stay out of trouble. While your age is already counting against you, you don’t want a DUI or unnecessary citation on your record, as it will affect your rate massively. In most states, you will be charged for a citation or at-fault accident for three years. Meaning, if you are rated for a DUI, your premium will increase an extra $3,297 cumulatively for those three years. If, however, you’re in California, you’ll actually be charged for 10 years as a result of that citation.
|Accident/Violation||Annual Premium Increase|
|Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit||$337|
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit||$385|
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit||$460|
If you’re living on your own, you most likely have a homeowners insurance policy. A renters insurance policy acts as a liability policy for yourself and protects your personal property. While it's usually pretty inexpensive, you can save some money if you bundle your renters and car insurance policies. Through a multi-policy discount, your insurance rewards you for carrying two policies.
Because your premium can change as you do, it’s important to shop for car insurance every six months.
Learn more about The Zebra's methodology in our estimated rates here.