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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

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Senior Content Strategist

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Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Common reasons why car insurance rates decrease

Car insurance costs typically go down for the following reasons:

The most substantial reductions in auto insurance rates typically come as teen drivers get older, usually when they hit 18 or 19 years old. Rates continue to decline as you age, particularly once drivers pass the age of 25. Car insurance rates tend to be lowest for drivers in their 50s, averaging $703 for a six-month policy.

Drivers with accidents or other violations on their driving records usually see higher rates for a period of three years, though this may vary by how your state handles certain violations. Many drivers may also see decreases after switching to a new company. Read on for details on common reasons that make your auto insurance rates drop.

Key takeaways

  • Car insurance rates decrease with age because older drivers are less likely to file claims.
  • Male and female drivers see the largest drop in car insurance between ages 18 and 19.
  • Car insurance rates drop three to five years after a violation hits your claims record.
  • Switching insurers is usually the fastest way to make your insurance rates go down.

At what age does car insurance go down?

If you’re a young driver, you can look forward to car insurance savings as you get older. Both male and female drivers see the biggest drop in average annual car insurance premiums between the ages of 18 and 19. This is because younger drivers are seen by most auto insurance companies as riskier to insure due to their overall inexperience behind the wheel. On average, you can expect savings of $1,595 per year when you turn 19.

Have a look at the following rates below to get a sense of what drivers in this age group are likely to pay in premiums for their own insurance policy.

Age Average Annual Premium Difference From Previous Year
16 $6,647 --
17 $5,749 -$898
18 $5,033 -$716
19 $3,438 -$1,595
20 $3,076 -$362
21 $2,461 -$615
22 $2,217 -$244
23 $2,059 -$158
24 $1,921 -$138
25 $1,649 -$272

Why does car insurance decrease with age?

Car insurance rates decrease with age because insurers see less risk in covering older, more experienced drivers. While it's unlikely your driving skills will magically improve on your birthday each year, data shows older drivers are less likely to file insurance claims as they age. Young drivers would do better to stay on their parents' insurance policy during their teenage years if possible, as rates can be dramatically lower. Furthermore, there may be insurance discounts they can seek out. For instance, many auto insurance companies offer telematics programs that reward safe drivers. Similarly, good student discounts can be another way to lower a teen driver's car insurance rates. It's also a good idea for new drivers to drive older vehicles, as new cars are often more expensive to insure. 

Parent of a teen? Check out the cheapest insurers for teen drivers:

USAA ($4,838/year), State Farm ($4,726/year), and American Family ($4,843/year) have the cheapest annual car insurance rates for teenage drivers. See our Guide to Cheap Insurance for Teen Drivers for details about each company and additional tips for insuring teens.

Does car insurance go down at 25?

25-year-olds with relatively clean driving records and claims histories can expect to pay less than a driver in their teens or early 20s. However, turning 25 is not as significant to insurers as moving into your 20s from your teenage years. If you're in the 39% of our 25-year-old customers who feel they are paying too much for car insurance, you could benefit from getting quotes from the cheapest carriers for 25-year-olds: USAA ($130/month), State Farm ($150/month), and Progressive ($167/month).

See our Guide to Cheap Car Insurance for 25-Year-Olds for more money-saving tips for this age group. Or, learn more about how your age and driving experience affects your car insurance rate by checking out our breakdowns by age.

How long after a claim or ticket does car insurance go down?

Most tickets, claims, and citations will stay on your insurance record for three years. However, this can depend on the severity of the infraction as well as what state you live in. Below are common citations and their projected three-year impacts on car insurance premiums, along with the accompanying insurer-specific estimates. Bear in mind these figures are estimates, dependent on state- and insurance company-specific regulations.

Year Average annual premium Average annual increase
None $1,470 --
First-Year Increase $1,811 $341
Second-Year Increase $2,231 $420
Third-Year Increase $2,749 $518
Company Average premium after ticket Total cost over three years
GEICO $1,580 $4,740
Nationwide $1,728 $5,184
USAA $1,096 $3,288
State Farm $1,490 $4,470
Allstate $2,322 $6,966
Liberty Mutual $2,014 $6,042
Farmers $1,952 $5,856
Progressive $2,072 $6,216
Year Average Annual Premium Average Annual Increase
None $1,470 --
First-Year Increase $2,556 $1,086
Second-Year Increase $4,442 $1,886
Third-Year Increase $7,721 $3,279
Company Average premium after DUI Total cost over three years
GEICO $2,647 $7,941
Nationwide $3,092 $9,276
USAA $1,753 $5,259
State Farm $1,975 $5,925
Allstate $3,634 $10,902
Liberty Mutual $2,635 $7,905
Farmers $2,632 $7,896
Progressive $2,004 $6,012
Year Average Annual Premium Average Annual Increase
None $1,470 --
First-Year Increase $2,087 $617
Second-Year Increase $2,963 $876
Third-Year Increase $4,207 $1,244
Company Average premium after accident Total cost over three years
GEICO $1,997 $5,991
Nationwide $2,174 $6,522
USAA $1,288 $3,864
State Farm $1,617 $4,851
Allstate $3,017 $9,051
Liberty Mutual $2,358 $7,074
Farmers $2,226 $6,678
Progressive $2,772 $8,316

There are some serious ramifications for receiving a ticket, DUI conviction, or causing an at-fault accident — especially considering the total cost of increased premiums over three years. Serious infractions like a DUI can make a significant dent in both your finances and even put your car insurance policy at risk of cancellation.

If your driving history is riddled with such offenses, you may benefit from finding a non-standard insurance policy. Non-standard carriers typically offer less expensive, no-frills auto insurance coverage that puts less weight on factors such as your driving record or your credit score. However, many of these companies suffer from less-than-stellar customer service, which can be problematic if you need to file a claim.

Not sure whether filing a claim is worth it? Try our claim calculator.

Switching companies:  one of the quickest ways to lower insurance costs

Similar to the effects of celebrating a birthday or having a violation fall off your insurance record, moving to another company is another way to lower your auto insurance rates. This is because underwriting methods vary from company to company. Put simply, what one company might deem a high-risk profile, another might view as moderate or even low-risk. 

This is why actively exploring quotes from a variety of insurers is highly recommended. When talking to different companies, don't be shy about asking for possible savings avenues, such as the potential discounts available when bundling homeowners or renters coverage with your car insurance.

A good rule of thumb is to reevaluate your car insurance policy and car insurance quotes every six months. This ensures that you are always with the company that's going to offer you the best price for your desired coverage level. Enter your ZIP below to see if all you need to make your rates drop is to switch insurers.

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Frequently asked questions

Car insurance costs will decrease as you age because younger drivers are seen as riskier by insurers given they are inexperienced and statistically more likely to file claims. The biggest drop is typically from 18 to 19, when the average rate drops by around $1,595.

Car insurance typically drops as you grow older, when you drive safely for three to five years following an accident or citation, and when you switch to a cheaper company.

Both men and women see the steepest drop in car insurance costs between ages 18 and 19. Driving safely, only making a claim when necessary, and switching car insurance companies (after comparison shopping) can all help improve your insurance rate.

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 editorial 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.