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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.

2nd place medal
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 seven popular insurance companies for all ZIP codes in the U.S. USAA offers the cheapest rates for young drivers, with GEICO coming in second.

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USAA

Among major insurers, USAA offers the cheapest car insurance for young drivers.

BEST CHEAP CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DRIVERS AGED 20-25
Company Avg. Annual Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
USAA $1,936 $161
GEICO $2,129 $177
Nationwide $2,325 $194
State Farm $2,523 $210
Farmers $2,652 $221
Progressive $2,822 $235
Allstate $3,633 $303
Updated: 10/04/22.

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.

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 USAA, GEICO and Nationwide 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.
Jun 26, 2019 Las Vegas, NV

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

Why is my insurance so high if I have no accidents?

There are many different factors that go into calculating your rate. Although I do not know your age, you sound like a young driver.
Dec 17, 2018 Worcester, MA

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, 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.