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10 best cities for teen drivers

The safest and most affordable U.S. cities for new drivers

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It's a universal truth that teenagers can increase a family’s monthly expenses by a significant margin. Whether it’s buying them a car or paying for their car insurance, the bottom line is that teenagers are expensive. To help you map out the years ahead, The Zebra has examined the country’s most populous cities to determine the best cities for teenage drivers.  

We looked at three factors:

If you have some flexibility in your future living situation or if you're just curious what's in store, consider the following cities for you and your teenager.

#1: Virginia Beach, VA

The Virginia Beach area is ranked as the tenth safest place to drive according to fatality data, so that's good news for your teen's safety, especially given that motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens. Virigina Beach is also the fifth cheapest area for saving on car insurance. However, you’ll save the most when it comes to buying a used car. Currently, it’s the #1 city for buying with an average used car price of just $21,545. 

Virginia Beach by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 25

Teen car insurance premium: $3,775.21

Average price of used car: $21,545

#2: Raleigh, NC (tied)

Raleigh is good news for the wallet. It's the cheapest city for teenagers to buy insurance, and has an average premium of only $2,672.44. Teen driving fatalities are also low in the area. With 18 in 2020, it’s the fourth safest city to drive. You’ll spend a little bit more when it comes to buying a used car for your teen, though, as the average price for a used car is $24,102.

Raleigh by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 18

Teen car insurance premium: $2,672.44

Average price of used car: $24,102

#2: Minneapolis, MN (tied)

Minneapolis only had 15 fatal crashes in 2020, making it the third safest city for teenage drivers. It’s also a good place to save on a used car (tenth in the nation). Coincidentally, it’s also the tenth cheapest city for car insurance, too. The price of premium averages out to about $4,227.77. All of this good news taken together means Minneapolis ties for second with Raleigh. 

Minneapolis by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 15

Teen car insurance premium: $4,227.77

Average price of used car: $23,500

#4: Cincinnati, OH

Despite being a fairly large city, Cincinnati is the 15th safest area on our list, making it an ideal city for a teenager to learn to drive. It’s also the 11th cheapest city for a teenager to be insured. If you’re in the market for a used car, you’ll probably also save when it comes to making a purchase. Cincinnati is currently the third cheapest city to buy a car with the average price under $22,000.

Cincinnati by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 36

Teen car insurance premium: $4,285.23

Average price of used car: $21,597

#5: Cleveland, OH

Another Ohio city on the list! Cleveland parents will save when it comes to both buying a used car and purchasing car insurance for their teenagers. It’s the sixth cheapest city for buying a used car, and is the eighth cheapest city when it comes to insurance premiums for teenagers. 2020 fatalities tell a slightly different story. With 70 deaths, Cleveland is the only 27th safest city for new drivers.

Cleveland by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 70

Teen car insurance premium: $4,032.63

Average price of used car: $22,704

#6: Pittsburgh, PA

For such a busy area, it may come as a surprise that in 2020 Pittsburgh only had 20 car crash fatalities, making it the seventh safest city for teenage drivers. Car insurance premiums are a little more expensive than other cities on our list, as is the average price for a used car. With an average price of $24,074, Pittsburgh is the 17th cheapest city to buy a car for your teen and is 18th for premiums.

Pittsburgh by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 20

Teen car insurance premium: $5,076.51

Average price of used car: $24,074

#7: Columbus, OH

Ohio continues its meteoric rise to being a great state for teen drivers with yet another entry on our list! Columbus, Ohio has both a cheaper average premium and average used car price than some of the other cities on our list. But it doesn't place higher because of the amount of car-related fatalities that occurred in 2020. So while it’s only the 29th safest city overall, it’s fifth for used cars and ninth for premiums. 

Columbus by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 77

Teen car insurance premium: $4,095.82

Average price of used car: $22,098

#8: Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis tells a similar story to Columbus (and not just because they're both Midwestern capital cities of similar size). It’s the third cheapest city for teen premiums and fourth for used car prices. However, in 2020 the city had 124 car-related fatalities, making it only the 38th safest city to drive.

Indianapolis by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 124

Teen car insurance premium: $3,729.87

Average price of used car: $22,011

#9: Boston, MA

According to the most recent data, Boston only had 18 teen car-related deaths in 2020, making it the fourth safest city on our list for teen drivers. The average price of a used car is higher than other cities, but the price of a teen premium is pretty cheap compared to the rest of the nation. At an average of only $5,022.60, it’s the 16th cheapest place for a teenager to be insured.

Boston by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 18

Teen car insurance premium: $5,022.60

Average price of used car: $24,868

#10: Hartford, CT

Hartford teen drivers pay a bit more than drivers in other cities (it’s actually the seventh most expensive city to be insured). But the city makes up for it with its used car prices and lack of fatal car crashes. It’s currently the fourth safest city for drivers and is number two for used car prices. While you may not like your yearly premium, Boston is friendlier to new drivers in two of the other most important areas.  

Hartford by the numbers

2020 teen fatalities: 18

Teen car insurance premium: $8,131.50

Average price of used car: $21,594

Methodology

The Zebra pulled and analyzed three data points to determine the top 50 MSAs (metropolitan statistical area) in the United States related to teen driving:

Wrapping up

As your teen starts to take to the road, it can add to your worries and to your monthly budget. Here are some final resources for saving on insurance for teen drivers:

Car insurance for teen drivers

8 tips for saving on teen driver insurance

Ask an agent: teen driver questions

And don't forget to compare insurance companies to make sure you're getting the best rate to protect your new driver. 

Compare insurance rates quickly and easily.

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The ZebraThe nation's leading independent insurance comparison site

The Zebra is an independent insurance advisor and quote comparison site with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Utilizing its real-time quote comparison tool, The Zebra partners with companies such as Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive to help consumers browse pricing, coverage, and service level for both home and auto insurance policies.