It can be tough to find cheap car insurance as a new driver — let's take a look at some tips.
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Your 20s are bound to be a busy time, filled with highs and lows, wins and losses. You’re just starting to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. As such, car insurance might not be at the top of your mind during your 20s.
As you age through your 20s, you evolve from a youngster to a responsible adult in the eyes of an auto insurance company. Whether you stay on your parents' policy or venture out and find your own car insurance coverage, the road to the perfect policy — and the perfect price — can get confusing. Let's walk through the best ways to save on auto insurance in your early 20s — starting first with our list of the most affordable auto insurance companies for new drivers.
Note: this guide was written by one of The Zebra's insurance experts. Rates were generated as part of The Zebra's industry-leading State of Insurance study.
In order to find out which companies offer the cheapest auto insurance premiums for 20-somethings, we examined rates from five companies across a number of ZIP codes in the U.S. Keeping all other metrics the same, we found GEICO had the cheapest rates, with State Farm a close second. Below are our overall results.
|Insurance Company||Average 6-Month Premium|
Keep in mind that the profile we used most likely won't match your circumstances exactly. Use the above data as a reference point when comparing car insurance. We suggest beginning your search for an auto policy with Progressive and State Farm.
On average, young male drivers aged 20 to 25 pay $386 more every six months than the average driver in the US. Because of the risk young male drivers present to an insurance company, they’re typically charged higher premiums than young female drivers. While over time, the premium difference between male and female drivers subsides, it can still be very expensive to find cheap car insurance as a young male driver. Let’s look at the cheapest car insurance companies for young male drivers and additional ways to save on a policy.
Comparing the top five car insurers, GEICO is the cheapest company for male drivers between the ages of 20 and 25. The below should be considered as a directional jumping-off point in a search for cheaper car insurance. Start — but don't end — your search with GEICO.
|Car insurance provider||Average 6-month premium|
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. Let's break down some of the reasons insurance rates commonly change and how to prepare for these circumstances.
|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.||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.|
It's pretty common for 20-somethings to have roommates, but not everyone knows how this affects your car insurance. 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 present them with documentation that shows the other party has their own car insurance policy. Others will just take your word for it.
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 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. Plus, it's only one bill! Easy and simple.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
While you shouldn't spend too much of your 20s worrying about car insurance, the complexities of this time can create some gray areas. Major life decisions can affect you and your auto insurance rates — whether or not you need your own policy, adding or excluding a roommate to your policy, and even tying the knot.