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 Provider6-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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Methodology

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

 


Recent Questions:

When do I need to add my child with a learners permit to car insurance

You should add your daughter and the new car to your policy if she'll eventually be driving it once she gets her license. This will prevent the insurance company from having any reason to deny a claim in the event of an accident. If you're interested in learning more information regarding car insurance for teens, see our guides below: Car insurance for teens Car insurance for 16-year-olds Car insurance for 17-year-olds Car insurance for 18-year-olds If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.
May 6, 2019 Largo, FL

Will my insurance company cover someone not on my policy?

Unfortunately, this is not a straight-forward answer. While there are a lot of factors that determine whether or not your insurance company will pay for the damages, the number one thing to consider is if your policy has permissive use.
Jul 1, 2018 Austell, GA

How do I handle insurance for my license's test?

Yes, there are several companies that will insure you with a learner's permit. Not all companies will do it but most will.
Jan 14, 2019 Windham, CT

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
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.