Best Car Insurance for a Learner's Permit

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What car insurance do you need to drive with a learner's permit?

A learner's permit is the first big step towards adulthood and the freedom that comes with it. But, with this freedom comes the confusing, expensive, and sometimes tedious responsibility of owning and understanding your car insurance. Even if you do not have a car to insure, there are car insurance implications of getting your learner's permit. Whether or not you need car insurance, if you need to be added to your parent’s policy, and where to find cheap car insurance as a new driver are all topics we will discuss.
Table of contents:
  1. When do you need insurance with a learner’s permit?
  2. Can you be added to your parent’s policy?
  3. What are the cheapest car insurance companies for a young driver?
  4. Discounts for young drivers
  5. Considerations



Can you get car insurance with a learner’s permit?

Simply put, yes. While it may sound strange, but you don’t even need a driver’s license to get car insurance. Moreover, you’re able to purchase and register a vehicle all with just a learner’s permit. But there are certain circumstances where you might not need car insurance, as you could be automatically covered by your parent’s or significant other’s policy.



Can my parents add me to their policy?

The most common circumstance for someone with a learner’s permit is a young teen driver living with their parents. In this scenario, whether or not you needed to be added to their car insurance company will depend on the insurance company’s rules. Some car insurance companies have provisions within the policy to cover drivers with a learner’s permit. However, other car insurance companies require anyone of driving age (even if they don’t have a driver's license or learner’s permit) to be added to the policy as an excluded or included driver.

It’s never a good idea to assume anything about your insurance company. So, if you’ve just received your learner’s permit or your teen has, make sure you speak to your insurance company about your situation. If you assume they’re covered and they’re not, you run the risk of having a claim denied.

This same rule applies to anyone else you might be living with — a spouse or a significant other. If you’re living with someone full time, you should speak to their insurance company about the implications of your driving status.



Cheap companies for young drivers

As we stated, whether or not you need to be added to your parent’s or significant others policy will depend on the company and unique situation. Thus, it’s difficult to give car insurance quotes for companies. However, we skipped ahead to the next step of your driving life and created a user profile (outlined here) where a licensed teen was added to their parent’s policy. Here, we can see that, all other metrics constant, Geico and Progressive were the cheapest companies for families with young drivers.

Car Insurance Provider 6-month premium
State Farm $2,999
Allstate $2,295
Geico $987
Progressive $1,231
Liberty Mutual $1,676


Discounts for young drivers

While young drivers may face higher rates overall, there are ways to save money on your insurance policy. Have a look at the following discounts that can help you save money on your insurance rates.

  • Good student discount: Being a student with good grades can oftentimes lead to reduced rates. This is often stipulated at a B average or above.
  • Safe driver discount: Safe driving and keeping a clean driving record can often save you money. 
  • Take a driving course: Taking a course — like drivers ed — can lower your auto insurance rates in many cases.



Drivers permit insurance considerations

You should consider our data as a starting point and not a strict rule. Every company will view you differently and thus charge you differently. So, your best bet for finding affordable car insurance is to shop around as much as possible. Be upfront about you or your child’s learner permit status ahead of time.

Bear in mind, however, getting car insurance with a learner’s permit may be fairly expensive. Car insurance companies use driving age and years of experience as major rating factors which could hurt your chances of keeping your premium low. Again, the best way to mitigate this is to look at as many companies as possible.

Most auto insurance companies allow first-time drivers with permits to be added to the plan of a parent or significant other. Once they become a licensed driver, however, it's possible that rates will go up. Whether you are a permit driver or have a full license, shopping around for car insurance quotes regularly is a good idea. The Zebra can help you find a car insurance policy that is right for you and your family's needs.


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We randomly selected five zip codes in different areas across the US and assessed rates from five popular companies in the US based on net premiums written. Here are the zip codes we selected:

  • Columbus, OH - 43216
  • McKinney, TX - 75070
  • Fresno, CA - 75070
  • Scranton, PA - 93722
  • Aurora, CO - 80013

With that created, we decided to get the male and female teen two parents with two vehicles in order to create a base to build the teenage driver profiles from. This is the information we chose to use:

  • Parent's DOB: 08/01/1960
  • Mother's Vehicle: 2015 Toyota Sienna LE, owned, driving 12,000 miles/year
  • Father's Vehicle: 2015 Toyota Crewmax, owned, driving 12,000 miles/year
  • Driving Record: no accidents or citation
  • Education: BA
  • Licensed at: 16
  • Occupation: Manager Level - Accounting
  • Insurance History: Max amount selectable of previous years with insurance company, limits at 100/300/100

Next, we needed to create the profile of the teen drivers; one female, one male:

  • Teen's DOB: 08/01/2000
  • Teen's: 2015 Toyota Camry, owned, 12,000 miles/year
  • Driving Record: no accidents or citation
  • Education: Above B Above
  • Licensed at: 17
  • Occupation: None



How will my insurance handle a claim where I backed my boat into another truck at the dock?

The simple is, yes, you will have to file 2 claims. The damage to your boat would have to be claimed on your boat insurance policy.
Jul 16, 2017 Fenton, MO

My uninsured 15-year-old daughter got into an accident.

Given her young age, filing a claim will likely result in a huge increase in your premium because your insurer will probably require that she be added as a driver to your policy with an at-fault accident on her record. If you can afford to pay for the damage out of pocket, I would recommend doing that.
Nov 21, 2017 Goswell, Georgia

Should I file a claim if I only have a learners permit?

Unfortunately, I'm not an insurance adjuster which means I cannot tell you how much it will cost to repair the damage. However, if you do not want to have a claim filed for the accident, you can offer to pay for the damages out of pocket.
Oct 14, 2018 Yakima, WA

Can I get car insurance with only a permit?

Yes, you can get insurance with a permit. You typically have 60 days to get your license, but every company is different.
May 10, 2019 Columbia, SC

Kristine Lee photo
Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

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.

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  • 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.