Cheap Car Insurance for Teens

Teenagers are scary and unpredictable - but their insurance doesn't have to be

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Getting your teen licensed up can be a big step towards adulthood. The shackles of dependency for rides have been released — and yet the burden of responsibility for owning a car and the corresponding insurance requirements loom. Whether you’re a teen looking for car insurance, or a parent thinking about adding your child onto your personal policy, we have some tips for you. 

How does your premium change?

As a parent

The first thought most parents have when their children come of driving age is typically not one of positive exclamation, but rather a nervous groan. Teen drivers are the most expensive customers to insure for an obvious reason: they’re scary drivers. They have the least amount of experience behind the wheel, so this makes you AND insurance companies pretty nervous. While the monetary increase of adding a teen driver to your policy depends on how many current drivers you already have on your policy, it’s more difficult to give an average value than it is for an individual teen driver. Still, don't be surprised when your premiums rise by hundreds to thousands of dollars.

As a teen

If you’re a teen driver on your own policy, you should expect to pay quite a bit more than the national average for car insurance. As we stated, teen drivers are considered huge liabilities for insurance companies and thus they cushion their risk by charging you a higher premium.

National Average Annual Premiums

Age Group Avg. Annual Premium
16 $6,491
17 $5,403
18 $4,736
19 $3,197
Average $4,957

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, there isn’t some magic trick to not having a pay an arm and a leg for you or your teenager's insurance policy. Still, there are some ways to find a cheap premium. 

Consider the following discounts:

Good Student Discount

If your driver has the grades, typically over a 3.0, you might want to consider the Good Student Discount. Your insurance company would require proof, such as a transcript, every 6 months in order to qualify.

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. The exact requirements and specifications for this discount vary, so consult your insurance company for details to get a cheaper rate.


Telematics are small devices within the actual car that detect driving patterns and habits. Certain insurance companies use the data collected by the device to determine discounts and premiums. This is a growing relationship between insurance companies and technology, so not every insurance company will have this discount available.

Choose a moderate vehicle

Insurance companies not only use you as a rating factor for determining premium, but also your vehicle. If you’re interested in keeping your premium down, it makes financial sense to chose a cheaper vehicle for less experienced drivers. Save the new trucks or luxury vehicles for more experienced drivers.

Stay on your parent’s plan

You may feel that now that you’re driving and being independent, it’s time to get your own policy as well. But that’s a pretty expensive plan. If you’re looking to have some independence within your car insurance, your insurance agent or a customer-service representative can breakdown your policy for you to the exact amount of your premium only within your parent's policy. Every month, you could pay that amount to your parents to cover your portion. You are paying for your "policy" without having to spend thousands of dollars.

Shop Around

We encourage drivers of all ages to shop for car insurance every 6 months. Only with The Zebra can you compares hundreds of car insurance companies at once to make sure you're getting the best possible rate. Shop with us here.


Whether you’re a parent, or a teenager looking for your own policy, you should expect this to be a pricey time. Shopping around for car insurance every 6 months as well as looking for discounts wherever possible to find that cheapest rate!