Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

Sweet 16: good for parties, bad for your car insurance.

So, how much does it cost to insure a 16-year-old?


Nearly every factor with in car insurance premiums comes down to one simple question: what’s the risk? Statistically speaking, a 16-year-old teen driver is less experienced and thus more likely to receive a citation or cause an accident. In the eyes of an insurance company, that means more risk and a greater need for financial protection — i.e., higher premiums. In this regard, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the average 16-year-old in 2016 paid an annual premium of $6,491 for insurance compared to the national average of $1,323.

There are many things an insurance company looks at when determining your rate and the car insurance rate of your new driver. Age, gender, where you live, and what you drive affect how much you pay. And when you’re paying significantly more for your newly-licensed driver, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. So, let's break it down. Starting first with which company should you choose.


How to find cheap car insurance for 16-year-olds

  1. By Company
  2. By Age
  3. By Gender
  4. By Location
  5. By Vehicle
  6. What are some ways to save?
  7. Car Insurance for 16-year-olds: Summed Up




What about by company?


In a survey we completed to find which car insurance company was the cheapest for teens, we discovered that Geico provided the lowest rate with all other metrics and coverage constant with Progressive as number 2. Now, our survey used the profile of a 17-year-old driver on their parent's policy within 5 zip codes across the US. Considering that we are talking about 16-year-olds and you and your driver might not fit the profile we used, you should look at many different companies in order to find the best rate for you. Because your teen's rate changes so much as they age, we recommend shopping for car insurance every 6 months. Do that here with us.

Although the selected profile and policy might be different from your family's, you can still our data as a foundational jumping-off point.


Our Findings: Car Insurance Costs for 16-year-olds

Location State Farm Allstate Geico Progressive Liberty Mutual
Columbus, OH $1,964 $1,355 $544 $858 $1,002
McKinney, TX $4,065 $4,019 $1,082 $1,075 N/A
Fresno, CA $2,533 $1,088 $1,238 $1,272 $2,919
Scranton, PA $3,015 $1,524 $708 $1,280 $846
Aurora, CO $3,419 $3,490 $1,363 $1,673 $1,935
Average $2,999 $2,295 $987 $1,231 $1,676




Why does your child's age matter?



Average Premium on Family Plan

As we stated, your age is a huge rating factor for your teen driver's premium. Out of every age group, drivers between 16-19 pay more than any other driver. It really just comes down to the lack of driving experience combined with the probability a young driver will take more risks, which could lead to a claim pay out and greater cost incurred by your insurance company. This is the average rate per a 6-month policy for a 16-year-old added to a family plan in which the parents are both 50-year-olds, insuring a 2012 Honda Accord and a 2012 Ford Escape prospectively.


Age Premium
16 $2,617
17 $2,485
18 $2,315




How does your gender affect your premium?


Just like the age of your child, gender can affect their insurance premium. Statistically, a young male driver is more likely to receive a citation or be in an accident than a young female driver. As such, they are more expensive to insure. On average, 16-year-old males pay $295 more per 6-month policy period for insurance than their female counterparts. Still, it's worth considering that as you age, the difference between men and women becomes less significant. In fact, some states don't use gender as a metric for determining car insurance rates.


Average Premiums for Teens

Age Male Female Difference
16 $2,794 $2,440 $354
17 $2,645 $2,325 $320
18 $2,449 $2,180 $269
19 $2,154 $1,919 $235
Average $2,511 $2,216 $295




Why does your location matter?


Where you live also plays a big role for you and your young driver’s insurance premium. As insurance as a whole is state regulated and zip-code specific, variations amongst the area you live will cause the cost for car insurance to vary greatly. States with high bodily injury requests or states with no-fault laws such as Michigan or Florida will cost more to get insured. Moreover, the number of drivers in your state can also impact your child’s insurance rate. States with a low population density where there is less bodily injury or overall liability insurance claims, such as Midwestern states like Ohio, tend to have lower premiums than states with more people. Keeping with the idea of risk management, the more drivers your state has, the more likely you are to be near other drivers (with the potential of a collision) and insurance companies have to cover that additional risk.


Annual Premium for Most Expensive States for 16-Year-Olds

State Premium
Louisiana $12,433
Michigan $9,411
Texas $8,887
Delaware $7,311
New York $6,915




Does my child’s car affect my premium?


The type of car your teen drives definitely affects your car insurance rate . . . hence, the name. For example, a teenager with an off-road capable truck is statistically more likely to have a higher insurance rate than a simple car. As a good general rule, any vehicle with a high MSRP will have a high premium because on the expense your insurance company will have to replace it if its totaled. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper rate for your teen driver, you should stick to a simple car like a sedan.

Consider, as well, the type of coverage your teen driver's vehicle has. If your teen has full coverage, including comprehensive and collision coverage as well as uninsured motorist, you can expect to pay more.





How can I save?


Now that we’ve talked about why it is so expensive to insure 16-year-olds, let’s talk about ways to save.


Good Student Discount

If your driver has the grades, you might want to consider the good student discount. Your insurance company would require proof, such as a transcript. Usually, your insurer will require above a 3.0 GPA, or B average. But this can vary, so you'll want to speak with your insurer specifically for details.


Savings for Good Student and Good Driver Discount

Age Male Female
16 $439 $248
17 $348 $222
18 $338 $197

Defensive Driver Discount

Another option is what’s called a defensive driver discount. Young drivers who have taken a professional driving course are less likely to receive a citation or get into an accident. Like the good student discount, your insurance company will usually require proof of this such as a receipt. Not every insurance company offers this discount, so ask your insurance company beforehand!


Keep a Clean Driving Record

Because teens are already more likely to be in an accident or get a citation, it is imperative for low rates to keep them out of any legal trouble. Texting while driving, speeding, or being in an at-fault accident can seriously affect your premium. In a state-by-state breakdown, DUIs, and racing (on average the most expensive citations) raise insurance premiums at least 40%. Moreover, most insurance companies offer a good driver discount which is dependent on a clean driving record.


Average Increase in Annual Premium in 2016

Accident/Violation Premium Increase
None
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit $141
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit $153
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit $165
At-Fault Accident $306
Reckless Driving $499
Racing $523
DUI $529

Consider, however, that these numbers are a holistic average of the entire US population. If your teen receives a citation or violation, you can expect the rates to be significantly higher.


Keep Them on Your Policy

Although it's tempting to get your child their own policy, bear in mind our data shows that it will cost much more — about $452 more per 6-month policy period. Moreover, most insurance companies require anyone that lives in your residence, as a 16-year-old would be, that is above legal driving age be either added to your policy or excluded altogether. Meaning, if your teen were to use your vehicle for any reason, they risk not having coverage because they have their own policy and are thus excluded from yours.


Shop Around

There are many things that go into your insurance quote, as we discussed. So, any time there is a change in your location, your age, your car, etc., you should check with other insurance companies to make sure you're getting the best possible rate. For example, because your teen's rates vary so much as they age, any time they have a birthday you should look at as many companies as possible in order to make sure you're getting the best possible rate. Only with us can you examine hundreds of companies at once.





Summary: Car Insurance for 16-year-olds


At the end of the day, you should expect the premium for a 16-year-old driver to be higher than any other age group. Insurance companies see their proclivity for accidents and lack of driving experience as major red flags and thus, charge quite high for them. But, considering companies like Geico and Progressive as well as owning a moderate car, being good student, and attending defensive driving classes are some good places to start in order cut costs on car insurance. However, the absolute best way to save on car insurance is to look for rates every 6 months. Only with The Zebra can you shop over 200 car insurance companies at once.




Compare over 200 insurance companies at once!





Recent Questions:

Cheap Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

Can my daughter stay on my car insurance policy after I transfer the title of the car to her?

Jul 16, 2018

My daughter is going to be a freshman in college next fall and will be taking her car with her. ...

Lying about the primary driver on a car insurance policy wrong

Jul 14, 2018

My daughter bought a car but she couldn’t afford the insurance rates. Instead, I put the insurance policy on the ...

Will my insurance company cover someone not on my policy?

Jul 02, 2018

I was teaching my younger sister to drive and she crashed into a car while turning left. As she does ...

Car insurance for an 18yo in Colorado

Jun 07, 2018

How much is it for an 18-year-old living in Colorado?...

Additional Resources:

Cheap Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

How to Safely Handle Unsafe Road Situations
How to Safely Handle Unsafe Road Situations
Jun 29, 2017

What should you do if you’re in a minor accident but it doesn’t feel safe to get out of your...

Drunk Driving vs. Distracted Driving: Which is More Dangerous?
Drunk Driving vs. Distracted Driving: Which is More Dangerous?
Jun 09, 2017

  Drunk driving has long been a major cause of accidents on the road. Having a few drinks impairs our...

7 Things to Know About Giving (or Getting) a Car for Graduation
7 Things to Know About Giving (or Getting) a Car for Graduation
May 27, 2017

Behind every diploma bestowed at high school and college graduations is a lot of hard work. And for some lucky...

The Ultimate Guide to Teen Driving Safety
The Ultimate Guide to Teen Driving Safety
May 15, 2017

Parenthood means getting to celebrate tons of milestones with your kids. Those first steps. Those first days of school. That first...

There Are 3 Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors – Do You Know Them?
There Are 3 Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors – Do You Know Them?
Apr 14, 2017

By now, the dangers of drunk driving are widely known and there’s serious stigma attached to it. But other types...

Car Insurance for First-Time Drivers: 6 Things You Should Know
Car Insurance for First-Time Drivers: 6 Things You Should Know
Apr 03, 2017

A driver’s license is more than just permission to take to the open road. To many, including first-time drivers, it...

#ZebraChat on April 4: Distracted Driving Awareness Twitter Chat
#ZebraChat on April 4: Distracted Driving Awareness Twitter Chat
Mar 29, 2017

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Here at Quoted, we’ve written about this highly dangerous behavior in great detail. Here...

So, You Think You Can Pass a Driving Test?
So, You Think You Can Pass a Driving Test?
Sep 27, 2016

Most drivers on U.S. roads took Driver’s Ed and sat for the written portion of their driver’s test as young...

Practical Gifts for New Teen Drivers
Practical Gifts for New Teen Drivers
Jun 27, 2016

Gifts for teens are tricky enough already: you want to find a balance between what they need and what they want, not...

Safe Teen Driving: When It’s Actually Good to Be a Helicopter Parent
Safe Teen Driving: When It’s Actually Good to Be a Helicopter Parent
Apr 26, 2016

Last month, The New York Times endorsed a widely ridiculed and mocked parenting trend: helicopter parenting. But before anxious parents...

When to Drop Your Child from Your Insurance Policy
When to Drop Your Child from Your Insurance Policy
Mar 03, 2016

Every parent dreams of the day their kids graduate from school, move into their own homes, make their ways in...

How Getting Your Permit Lowers Car Insurance
How Getting Your Permit Lowers Car Insurance
May 15, 2015

Learner’s permits. Logging parent-supervised driving hours. Curfews. If you associate these words with your experience of obtaining a driver’s license,...

Defensive Driving 101: What It Is and Why It Matters
Defensive Driving 101: What It Is and Why It Matters
May 14, 2015

You’re first in line at a red light, calmly waiting for the green, maybe even enjoying the music or scenery,...

How to Teach your Teen to Drive: 5 Tips
How to Teach your Teen to Drive: 5 Tips
May 01, 2015

Each rite of passage that parents watch their kids go through can feel like a muddle of pride, excitement, and...

Top 5 Cars for Teen Drivers
Top 5 Cars for Teen Drivers
Apr 02, 2015

The teenage rite of passage: learning to drive. But what car is best for your newly licensed teen? And does...

The Scariest Video Ever: What Teens Really Do When They Drive
The Scariest Video Ever: What Teens Really Do When They Drive
Mar 27, 2015

We all know how dangerous distracted driving is, but it turns out that seeing it in action is even more...

The Worst Cars for Teen Drivers
The Worst Cars for Teen Drivers
Jan 14, 2015

Bad news for kids who want to be like the cool kids: Consumer Reports found that the ideal car for...

The Teen Driving Danger No One is Talking About
The Teen Driving Danger No One is Talking About
Dec 04, 2014

The drive across Western Kansas along I-70 is not a thrilling one. I’m speaking from experience here—in college, two girlfriends...

5 High-tech Solutions for Teen Driving Safety
5 High-tech Solutions for Teen Driving Safety
Nov 18, 2014

Handing the keys over to your new teen driver can no doubt be a terrifying milestone. We know the stats:...

5 Teenage Driving Dangers
5 Teenage Driving Dangers
Oct 22, 2014

Driving, for anyone, is scary business. Statistically speaking, you’re likely to crash your car once every 18 years or so....

How to Lower Car Insurance for Young Drivers
How to Lower Car Insurance for Young Drivers
Aug 06, 2014

When I turned sixteen, my father gave me the keys to a shiny blue 1998 Isuzu Rodeo—and the news that...

Would You Paint Your Thumb Red to Stop Texting and Driving?
Would You Paint Your Thumb Red to Stop Texting and Driving?
Jun 04, 2014

We’ve written here at Quoted about the powerful pyschological motivations behind texting and driving, but we’ve yet to dive into...

Infographic: Driving While Intexticated
Infographic: Driving While Intexticated
May 15, 2014

You already know it's dangerous, but you have to see these stats broken down to understand how truly terrifying this trend is.