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The best car insurance for young drivers

As you reach your 20s, you evolve from a risky teen driver to a more responsible adult in the eyes of an auto insurance company. Whether you remain on your parents' policy or venture out to find your own car insurance coverage, finding a reasonable auto insurance rate can be tricky.

Let's walk through the best ways to save on auto insurance in your early 20s — starting with our list of the best auto insurance companies for young drivers as rated by The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.

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USAA

USAA topped the list among Gen Z drivers in The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey with a score of 4.5 out of 5.

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State Farm

State Farm placed 2nd overall among younger drivers with a score of 4.5 out of 5.

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GEICO

GEICO rounds out the top three with a score of 4.2 out of 5.

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2021.


The best cheap insurance companies for young drivers

In order to find out which companies offer the cheapest auto insurance premiums for young drivers in their 20s, we examined rates from five popular insurance companies in a collection of randomized ZIP codes in the U.S. (methodology). State Farm offers the cheapest rates for young drivers, with Progressive coming in second.

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State Farm

Among major insurers, State Farm offers the cheapest car insurance for young drivers, averaging around $2,452 per year.

BEST CHEAP CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DRIVERS AGED 20-25
Car Insurance Company Average 6-Month Premium
State Farm $1,226
Progressive $1,404
GEICO $1,431
Allstate $1,882
Liberty Mutual $2,641

Auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.

In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.

The profile used to generate the above rates may not match your circumstances. Use the above data as a reference point when comparing car insurance. Try beginning your search for an auto insurance policy with State Farm, Progressive and GEICO before moving on to compare more expensive car insurance quotes.

Find an affordable insurance policy today.

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How life events affect auto insurance costs as a new driver

There are some gray areas as far as car insurance in your 20s is concerned. Many drivers in their 20s have one foot in the world of adulthood, and another foot in their parents' house. Insurance, in all its forms, reflects the insured party and their assets. With every major life event, car insurance premiums are subject to change. Below are some of the common reasons that your insurance rate might change and ways that you can prepare for these circumstances.

Marriage and car insurance

After you get married, inform your insurance company and add your significant other to your policy if you haven't already. This will simplify your car insurance situation in several ways. First, you will likely see an automatic decrease in your premium. By updating your marital status from single to married, you can expect your car insurance premiums to drop by about $89 per year.

Also, it's just easier. As we stated, if they’re not on your policy already you’ll have to exclude them — meaning, anytime they would use your vehicle they would essentially be driving without insurance. This can come back to bite you if you need to switch vehicles, or if you’re unable to drive and need their help. 

Consult our guide to marriage and auto insurance.

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Living with roommates

Most insurance companies have stipulations regarding roommates and shared vehicles — they either need to be listed on your car insurance policy or excluded entirely. Because you and your roommate share a home and responsibilities, an insurance company will assume you might occasionally share vehicles and want to be covered to account for this extra risk.

If you’re living with someone else, either add them to your policy (or you to theirs) or exclude them. To exclude a driver from your policy, some insurance companies may require you to present them with documentation that shows the other party has their own car insurance policy. Others will just take your word for it.

Learn more about car insurance and roommates.

Renting vs. buying a home

Homeownership opens up some car insurance savings possibilities. Just like getting married, buying a home can decrease your car insurance premium for two reasons. One, if you bundle your home and auto insurance policies with a single company, you could receive a handy multi-policy discount. Second, insurance companies view homeowners as more financially stable than renters and thus reward that stability with cheaper auto insurance rates.

Learn more about car and home insurance bundling.

apartment building

Do you need your own car insurance policy in your 20s?

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Yes

In the simplest of terms, you need your own policy if you are living outside of your parents' residence and drive a vehicle.

Because insurance is ZIP code-specific, living on your own with your vehicle (even in the same city) doesn't allow your insurance company to anticipate the risks they would use to calculate the premium.

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No

You don't need to get your own policy if you don't drive a vehicle regularly or if you still live with your parents.

If you're away at college — usually more than 100 miles away — but don't drive, you should speak with your insurance company about a Student Away From Home discount.


Other ways to save on car insurance as a new driver in your 20s

Aside from your teenage years, your 20s will be the most expensive time to insure your car. Young and inexperienced drivers are considered liabilities for insurance companies and thus are charged higher than other drivers. Still, you can alleviate these higher rates in one of several ways.

 

Shop for discounts

Car insurance discounts offer a great way for eligible drivers to save money. Discount options vary by company and may include savings for going claims-free, paying your premium in full or enrolling in auto-pay. Having certain safety features or anti-theft devices in your car can also lead to discounts.

 

Defensive driving coursework

If you're younger than 25 and looking for insurance, taking a defensive driving course can save you a few bucks on your auto policy. To an insurance company, drivers who have taken a defensive driving class are less likely to receive citations or file claims. All of which means you appear to be a better client for the insurer — one who earns a cheaper rate!

 

Keep your grades up

If you're under 25 years of age and maintain a "B" average, your insurance company will often reward you with a good student discount — dependent on the proof you provide them. Coupled with a defensive driver discount, drivers in their 20s with good grades can save an average of $122 per year.
 

Bundle your insurance policies

If you rent an apartment or own a house, use one insurance company for both. Bundling your auto and renters policies or auto and home coverages with a single company can save you money on your auto insurance. Plus, it keeps all your bills within the same company.

Find the ideal policy for you today in just a few minutes.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

How do I help my father lower his rate if I'm on his policy and have accidents?

One thing to keep in mind is that accidents occurring more than 5 years in the past should have&nbsp;no impact&nbsp;on your current insurance rates, so you are definitely outside of that window. Concerning your speeding ticket, if you have not yet been to court then it most likely has not been added to your driving record, meaning you shouldn't be penalized for the violation if you purchase insurance coverage before your court date.
Sep 22, 2017 Tenafly, NJ

Do I have to add my adult son to my insurance if he'll be driving my car while visiting?

Since your son lives in his own home at college, you will not have to add them to your policy if they drive your car less than ten times per year, with most companies. Some insurance companies offer a discount if you add a college student who lives away from home and has limited access to the insured car and seldom drives it.&nbsp;Every company is different so I would check with your company for their specific rules.
Jun 26, 2019 Las Vegas, NV

Are some insurance providers better suited to my needs than others to get the best rate?

Because most coverage options can be matched across insurance companies, I think what you are really looking for is the best customer service/claims support for the best cost. Right off the bat, I know Geico probably wouldn't be an option for you with a leased vehicle.
May 30, 2018 Glendale, CO

Get insurance involved for $1800 in damage?

The short answer is no but there's a lot to unpack here. First is the other vehicle in the accident.
Aug 22, 2018 Camden, NJ

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

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 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.