Cheap Car Insurance for Teen Drivers
Use The Zebra to get cheap car insurance for teen drivers from GEICO, Progressive, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual and Allstate (+100 other companies).
How much does car insurance cost for teens?
It's no secret that insurance for teen drivers is notoriously pricey. The typical teen pays $2,520 for car insurance every six months if they've got their own policy. If you're a male teen driver, you should expect to pay more than a female teen driver — $2,670 for a six-month insurance policy for a male teen versus $2,369 for a female teen. Per month, male teen drivers pay $50 more for car insurance than female drivers on their parents' auto insurance policy.
Given the expense of insuring a teen driver, we’ve outlined the best companies for teen drivers below. Continue reading to see state-by-state and coverage-specific costs, along with other ways to save. As always, get real car insurance quotes based on your driving profile for the most accurate rates.
The best car insurance companies for teen drivers
USAA consistently placed in the number one spot for teen drivers in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey. Keep in mind that USAA is for military members and their families, so you may not qualify for coverage.
State Farm ranks second on our list of affordable auto insurance companies for teens. The company also consistently ranks toward the top of customer satisfaction lists and is available nationwide. If USAA is not an option for you, State Farm is another good choice.
American Family is a third option for affordable auto insurance for teen drivers, offering competitive rates and is available to most drivers.
How much does car insurance cost for teen drivers?
Finding cheap auto insurance for young drivers can be a challenge, especially if they're getting a brand-new policy on their own. To save the most money, insuring a teen driver under their parents' policy is almost always the best way to go; compared to a standalone policy for a teenage driver, parents can save $955 every six months by adding them to their policy. Consult the table below to see auto insurance rates for teen drivers on their own policy — ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
AVERAGE PREMIUMS FOR TEEN DRIVERS BY INSURANCE COMPANY
Dynamic auto insurance data methodology
Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.
Teen car insurance costs by age
You already know that auto insurance rates for teen drivers are much higher than those for older drivers, but specific rates for those between ages 16 and 19 can vary by several hundred dollars. Take a look at the rates below to see a more specific average for each age.
|Age||Avg. Monthly Premium||Avg. Annual Premium|
Teen car insurance companies by customer satisfaction rating
The Zebra conducted a survey with the intention of understanding carriers from a customer's perspective. We asked how each major carrier held up in online experience, claims satisfaction, ease of use, customer service, trustworthiness, and willingness to recommend. Drivers in the youngest age group surveyed consistently ranked USAA and State Farm in the top two spots across the board. In the overall category, USAA and State Farm both received 4.5 stars from this age group.
|Rank||Company||Average Customer Satisfaction Rating (out of 5)|
|9th||Auto Club (AAA)||4.1|
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Auto insurance costs for teens by gender
For teen drivers, gender makes an impact on what you pay for car insurance. However, this factor becomes less significant as drivers age into adulthood. On average, it costs an extra $300 a year to add a young male driver versus a young female driver to their parents' policy. Young male drivers are typically more expensive to insure than young female drivers. Learn more about the differences between car insurance rates for male drivers versus rates for female drivers.
|Gender||Avg. Monthly Premium||Avg. Annual Premium|
Car insurance for male teenage drivers
Male teen drivers typically pay more in premium than female drivers because of the comparative risk they present. On average, adding a son to your policy will raise your car insurance rates by $725.
The cheapest insurance companies for adding a male teen driver (between the ages of 16 and 19) to their parents' policy are USAA and State Farm.
Car insurance for female teenage drivers
While not as expensive as teenage male drivers, adding a young daughter to your policy can still increase your insurance rate by an average of $575 every six months. The average monthly premium for a female teen driver on her parent’s policy is $209 — about $1,257 for a six-month policy.
USAA and State Farm are the most affordable insurance companies for female drivers between the ages of 16 and 19.
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Average cost of car insurance for teens by coverage level
The amount of coverage your teen needs will depend on your vehicle and your personal preferences. We’ll group levels of coverage into three categories: best, good, and minimum:
- "Best" coverage includes comprehensive and collision coverage (deductibles at $500) as well as high liability limits (100/300/100).
- "Good" coverage has lower liability limits (50/100/50) and higher deductibles ($1,000 for comprehensive and collision).
- "Minimum" coverage meets state-mandated liability limits and does not include full-body coverage.
The data below shows average rates for teenage drivers on their own policy, as opposed to simply joining their parents' policy (see above for that information).
Best car insurance coverage level for teen drivers
We recommend the “best” coverage level if your teen is driving a high-performance car, you have considerable assets* or you have a loaned or leased vehicle.
*Although we always encourage high levels of liability, if you have considerable financial assets your liability insurance can protect you from having these assets seized if you are sued after an accident. You can be sued if the damage you cause after an accident exceeds the value of your insurance.
Good insurance coverage level for teen drivers
Our “good” coverage offers a middle ground between state liability and top-tier coverage. It offers 50/100/50 liability limits and full coverage with a deductible of $1,000.
While higher deductibles can help lower your overall premium, $500 deductibles are more common than $1,000. If you’d prefer a $500 deductible, it would raise the group average of the above premiums by 19%, or $977 every six months.
Minimum liability coverage will keep you in good graces with your state’s department of insurance. However, it’s not recommended for more than a few years — especially if you have teen drivers.
- Having a history of low insurance coverage can make it more expensive to get insurance in the future because of the risk insurance companies see with drivers who carry minimum coverage.
- You risk being underinsured in the event of an at-fault accident. This means you can be sued for any monetary damage that is not covered by your liability insurance.
- You have no physical coverage for your vehicle. Consider at-fault accidents, damage caused by uninsured drivers or comprehensive claims (like theft, weather and animal-related damage) before you drop this coverage.
However, minimum coverage is much cheaper than other coverages. If you’re worried about insurance costs, you can consider purchasing the state-mandated minimum liability for your coverage needs.
In our analysis of the cheapest insurance companies for teenage drivers, we found that USAA was the cheapest for all coverage levels.
Average car insurance premiums for teen drivers by state
Car insurance is pricier for teens than other age groups in every state. But, the average cost of insurance for teens can vary from state to state.
|State||Avg. Monthly Premium||Avg. Annual Premium|
Rating factors that go into car insurance premiums
When a car insurance company provides you with a rate, there are multiple factors that have gone into this very specific number. Some factors are under your control, such as keeping a safe driving record and your credit score. Yet other factors aren't as easy to control, such as the claim risk in your ZIP code or how expensive it is for companies to operate in your area.
Here are some of the common factors that companies will analyze when calculating your individual rate for auto insurance:
- Driving history
- Credit score
- Insurance history
- Annual mileage
- Marital status
- Claims history
Age is a key factor when it comes to what you pay for car insurance. Luckily for teens, with more experience behind the wheel and a safe record, the high rates they typically pay will likely decrease significantly in their 20s.
How to save on teen car insurance
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to avoid paying significantly more for coverage for teen drivers. As they age and get more driving experience, their risk will lower and it will be easier to find affordable car insurance. However, there are a few steps you can consider to lessen the financial blow. Let's get started.
If your driver has good grades, typically over a 3.0, you might want to consider the Good Student Discount. Your insurer would require proof, such as a transcript, every six months in order to qualify. On average and combined with a good driver discount, you can expect an average savings of $283! See more information on student discounts from top car insurance companies.
Another option is what’s called a defensive driver discount. Young drivers who have taken a professional driving course are less likely to receive a citation or get into an accident. These courses can also help teach teens good driving habits to help reduce the potential for citations and accidents which can raise your premium. The exact requirements and specifications for this discount vary, so consult your insurance company for details to get a cheaper rate.
Courses may be available through the teen's school, or through the state. Make sure you check with your insurance company about the requirements before signing up.
Insurance companies not only use you as a rating factor for determining your car insurance rate but also your vehicle. If you’re interested in keeping your premium down it makes financial sense to choose a cheaper vehicle (like a used car) with a good safety rating for less experienced drivers. Save the new trucks or luxury vehicles for more experienced drivers.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the safest moderately-priced cars for teens include used versions of the Ford C-Max Hybrid and the Mazda 3. See our article for more information on moderately priced vehicles for teens.
Although there are some reasons to exclude your teen drivers from your policy, the most cost-efficient solution is to keep them on your policy. Experienced drivers will help reduce the risk presented by a young driver and thus reduce your insurance premium from your car insurance company. Your company will likely require young drivers to be listed on your policy, anyway, if they live in your household and could potentially drive your vehicle.
If you're not totally convinced by your teen's driving abilities, you may want to consider what's called accident forgiveness to your policy. While it varies by insurer and your state, this would "forgive" the first accident on your insurance policy — meaning, your rate wouldn't be raised just because you had an auto accident. Note that not every offers this protection, and there may also be some age and location restrictions. The Insurance Information Institute also suggests increasing your liability limits if adding a teen driver to your policy, as this can help to protect against lawsuits or damages that may arise if your teen is involved in an accident.
If your new driver will be using an older vehicle, make sure you're not paying for coverage you do not need. Collision and comprehensive coverage are only designed for leased or financed cars, or vehicles worth more than $4,000. Compare the cost of paying for repairs out of pocket with the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance to see if dropping these coverages seems worthwhile.
The logic behind this is simple: if your vehicle isn't worth much to begin with, paying for coverage you do not need is a waste of money. You can determine the value of your vehicle by using online resources such as Kelley Blue Book and NADA online.
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How much is auto insurance for young drivers?
The average six-month rate for teens is $2,520, or about $420 per month. Male drivers typically cost slightly more than female drivers and specific age can also make a difference. 16-year-olds usually pay much more than their older counterparts at 17, 18, and 19 years of age.
How can teen drivers save money on car insurance?
The best way for a teen to save money on auto insurance is to be added to a parent's already-existing policy. There are also discounts a young driver may be eligible for, such as a good student or a safe driving discount. Ask your insurer about options for discounts you or your teen may qualify for.
Do I have to add my teen to my policy?
If your teenage driver lives with you and drives your car, they need to be listed on your policy. It's best to check your state laws and your insurer's requirements, too, since things can vary between locations and companies. If a teen in your household gets into an accident with your vehicle and they aren't properly insured, there could be repercussions (such as your policy not covering the damage).
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.