The Best Car Insurance for Teens and Young Drivers


Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
writter logo
Written by
Feature Writer
reviewer logo
Reviewed by
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent
UPDATED: 2021-04-14T20:35:43.804Z
Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.
A photo of a teen driver next to a car.

Finding car insurance for your teenage driver is hard enough, but finding affordable quality insurance is even harder. You need a policy for your teen that provides adequate coverage at a price you can afford.

Before you start calling around to find the best car insurance for teenage drivers, take a look at our guide. We've done our homework and put this guide together to help you narrow down your search and find the best car insurance for your young driver.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost For Teenage Drivers?

That depends on how old your teen is. The younger they are, the more their insurance will cost.

It also depends on the state you live in. However, according to data gathered from Quantum Information Services, you can expect to pay roughly the following annual rates for young drivers:

  • 16-year olds: $6,613 for full coverage and $2,733 for minimum coverage
  • 17-year olds: $5,373 for full coverage and $2,206 for minimum coverage
  • 18-year olds: $4,837 for full coverage and $1,938 for minimum coverage
  • 19-year olds: $3,716 for full coverage and $1,451 for minimum coverage

When getting car insurance for a new driver, make sure you get good coverage and try to find all the ways you can save on premiums with a teen driver.

How Insurance Companies Determine Rates for Teens

Insurers use several factors to determine rates for teens and young adult drivers, including age, gender, location, and the make and model of the car they drive, among other things. We want to note that these are the same criteria that insurers use to determine policy rates for older adults.

Age

Drivers aged 25 and under are a higher risk for insurers than older drivers because, statistically, they cause more accidents. More accidents mean more insurance payouts, which means higher premiums.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about this except teaching your teen how to be a good driver from the start. Make sure you teach them all the ways to stay safe on the road.

Make and Model

Insurers always charge higher premiums for more expensive cars because they cost more to repair or replace after an accident. Because of that, if you give your teen a late-model, expensive car, you'll pay a lot more in insurance than you need to.

You may need to call around and ask what will be more expensive: Adding your teen as a driver of your existing cars or buying a used, sensible car for them. Of course, that depends on whether you can afford the full costs of another car, too.

Location

This can apply to the state you live in, but it also applies to your specific region. If your neighborhood or town is prone to crime, such as car theft and burglary, your teen's insurance will cost more because those areas are a higher risk for the insurers.

Mileage

The more your teen drives, the more their insurance premiums will cost. More miles means more chances to get into accidents. Thus, the more miles you and your teen put on your car each year, the higher your premiums will be.

Coverage

All states have a minimum amount of insurance coverage they require. However, minimum coverage and full coverage are two different things, and full coverage is considerably more expensive.

You may have to buy full coverage anyway if you finance your car or your teen's car. Oftentimes, lenders require full coverage, including collision and comprehensive coverage, on a financed car.

Credit

Your insurer may use your credit to help determine the rate you'll pay for your teen. Later on, when they're older, whatever insurer they go with might use their credit to help determine their rate.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Why Is Insurance More Expensive For Young Men?

The one criterion we haven't discussed yet is gender. Insurance companies take gender into account when determining their rates for young people, and young men tend to pay more than young women. In general, men tend to pay more for insurance than women throughout their life.

Teenage drivers don't have a driving record for insurers to use to help gauge how safe they are behind the wheel, so they use statistics to help determine how much of a risk young drivers pose.

On average, teens aged 16-19 cause more fatal accidents than adults aged 20 and older. Young men in that age bracket tend to cause twice as many accidents as young women in that same age bracket, making them the highest risk driver category for the insurance companies.

So regardless of driving record, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per year more for a young man than you would for a young woman for full coverage, and $70 to $150 per year more for minimum coverage.

The Best Car Insurance For Teenage Drivers

We've identified several companies that provide excellent coverage for teenage drivers at affordable prices.

State Farm

One of the most well-known names in the insurance industry, State Farm earns a spot on our list not just because of its affordable rates, but also because they have so many small offices that, if you want to talk to an agent face-to-face, you won't have much trouble finding one.

You'll find that State Farm's premiums aren't as cheap as some others, but premiums aren't the only criteria that determine whether an insurance company provides the best car insurance for teenage drivers. State Farm offers many discounts for students that will help you reduce your premiums.

State Farm offers three levels of insurance coverage.

Low Coverage

This is the minimum coverage requirement for the state you live in.

Medium Coverage

Coverage of $50,000 to $100,000 for bodily injury liability and uninsured and underinsured bodily injury liability. You also get $50,000 worth of coverage for property damage liability and uninsured and underinsured property damage liability.

High Coverage

$100,000/$300,000 for bodily injury liability and uninsured and underinsured bodily injury liability, as well as $100,000 coverage for property damage liability and uninsured and underinsured property damage liability.

What We Like

  • Below-average rates for drivers with one traffic violation
  • Multiple discounts specifically for students
  • App-based safe driving discount
  • Household name
  • Online quotes available via local insurance agents

What We Didn't Like

  • Highest rates in the country for drivers with poor or no credit
  • Heavy pressure to work with a local agent

Allstate

Headquartered just outside of Chicago, Allstate is the fourth-largest insurance company in the U.S. and has several options available for young drivers. However, out of the country's nine largest insurers, Allstate is among the most expensive.

Cost isn't everything. Allstate is an excellent insurance company for you and your teen driver. If your teen likes to drive a lot, their annual low-mileage rates aren't likely to affect your premiums much.

However, Allstate has something else: The Milewise Program. This program bases your premiums on miles driven per month in addition to setting annual rates for 6,000 and 12,000 miles. If your teen likes to drive a lot, their premiums will be higher than if they don't drive very much. This can affect decisions like whether to take their car with them to college.

Types of Coverage

Besides the typical insurance you find with everyone, Allstate offers the following:

  • Personal umbrella policy
  • Sound system coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Coverage for vehicles like motorcycles

Discounts and Rewards for Students

Allstate has the typical student discounts, but they also have some unique discounts that help mitigate their expensive coverage.

  • Smart student discount
  • teenSmart driver education
  • Rewards and reductions in deductibles for safe driving
  • Drivewise app that tracks and rewards safe driving

What We Like

  • Towing coverage
  • Sound system coverage includes stolen after-market systems
  • Insurance for traveling to Mexico
  • Comprehensive app that allows you to track your teen's driving habits
  • Available in all 50 states

What We Didn't Like

  • You need as many discounts as possible to bring your premiums down to some other insurers' levels
  • Middle-of-the-road customer service experiences

Geico

Geico is one of the largest insurers in the U.S., ahead of Allstate but not quite as large as State Farm. They no longer exclusively sell car insurance, but they provide excellent car insurance at affordable rates for young drivers, saving you as much as 15 percent over the national average.

When they say they're cheaper than other auto insurance companies, they aren't lying. The only company with cheaper rates is USAA, which has some heavy restrictions on who can buy their policies. You might think that, with such cheap rates, Geico would have terrible service and flimsy policies, but the opposite is true.

Types of Coverage

As most insurance companies do, Geico offers a range of insurance coverages for your young driver, including:

  • Liability (bodily injury and property damage)
  • Medical (medical payments and personal injury)
  • Uninsured and underinsured coverage
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive

You can also get as much as 25 percent off your premium with a multi-car discount.

What We Like

  • Add-ons like roadside assistance and mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Responsive customer service
  • Discounts for things like seatbelt usage, airbag systems, and anti-theft devices
  • Two separate discounts for safe driving
  • 24/7 customer service available via phone and app

What We Didn't Like

  • Not all add-ons and benefits are available in all states
  • No gap insurance available

Progressive

Progressive has been around for over 80 years and was the first insurance company to offer things like drive-in claims and installment payments for premiums. At that time, the industry standard for premium payments was annual or semi-annual, and due all at once. Progressive changed that.

They were also the first to launch a website, further living up to their name. When it comes to average premiums, though, they're in the middle of the road. On average, they're cheaper than American Family Insurance, Allstate, and others, but more expensive than Geico, USAA, and State Farm.

One particular program Progressive has that could help you with your young driver's premiums is the "Name Your Price" tool. You can tell them what you're willing to pay in premiums, and they'll tell you what kind of coverage you can get for your price.

Types of Coverage

Progressive's website allows you to not only get online quotes, but also to apply for discounts and customize coverage options. Aside from standard coverage options, like collision, comprehensive, and liability, they offer these options, too:

  • Gap coverage
  • Custom aftermarket parts
  • Deductible savings bank (letting you reduce your deductible the longer you go without an accident)
  • Mexico coverage

What We Like

  • Snapshot app, which calculates discounts based on your driving
  • Eight percent discount for signing documents online
  • Undisclosed discount for going paperless
  • Discount for having a teenage driver on your policy
  • "Name Your Price" program

What We Didn't Like

  • Multiple undisclosed discounts
  • Less-than-stellar claims handling

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Nationwide

Nationwide may not win any points when it comes to high premiums for young drivers, and, at first glance, they may appear to be a poor choice when it comes to young drivers.

However, when you look deeper, you'll see factors that put Nationwide up there with the other insurance companies that are good for young drivers. One of those is a generous accident-forgiveness program. Since one of the reasons insuring teens is so expensive is because they cause more accidents than other age groups, accident forgiveness is almost a must.

The other item to look at is their safe-driver discounts. Even though pretty much every insurer offers safe-driver discounts, Nationwide's safe-driver discounts are excellent for bringing premiums down and making their insurance more affordable.

Types of Coverage

In addition to liability, comprehensive, collision, and medical coverage, Nationwide offers the following interesting products:

  • Total loss deductible waivers (waives your property damage deductible in the event your car is a total loss)
  • Vanishing deductible policies, taking $100 off your deductible for each year you go without an accident or other unsafe driving violations, up to $500

What We Like

  • SmartRide program tracks young drivers behavior behind the wheel
  • Good student discount requires a B average
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Multi-car and multi-policy discounts
  • Rates for drivers with poor credit up to 20 percent below the national average

What We Didn't Like

  • Premiums skyrocket with certain traffic violations
  • Accident forgiveness is not available in all states

American Family Insurance

While American Family Insurance only exists in 19 states and is, generally, one of the most expensive insurers in the U.S., they offer some things that benefit young drivers more than other insurers.

They, too, offer low, medium, and high coverage that's on par with anything anyone else has to offer in terms of overall coverage. What caught our eye were things like their low rates for drivers with good credit (excellent for you if you're adding your teen to your policy) and their rates for drivers with violations and even DUIs.

Even though their premiums are among the highest in the country, they have a laundry list of student discounts available, especially compared to other insurers:

  • 10 percent discount for young drivers after they've driven 3,000 miles
  • Away-at-school discount
  • Teen safe-driving program discount
  • Generational discount (available to young drivers whose parents are American Family policy-holders)

Types of Coverage

Besides liability, collision, personal injury, and comprehensive coverage, American Family Insurance offers the following:

  • Gap coverage
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement

What We Like

  • Discounts like loyalty discounts
  • Young volunteer discount
  • Lowest rates in the U.S. for drivers with traffic violations and DUIs
  • Good student discount available to homeschooled students
  • Deductible may come down over time

What We Didn't Like

  • Expensive compared to other insurers
  • Less-than-stellar customer service

USAA

USAA has some of the best, most affordable coverage for young drivers. Based in San Antonio, TX, they boast over 13 million policy-holders, which they call members because each policy-holder actually owns a small share of the company.

They have some of the cheapest policies for teens despite the risks that teenaged drivers pose. You can pay as much as 40 percent less for USAA's insurance than the national average, making them the best car insurance for teenage drivers.

Like State Farm, USAA has three main coverage levels: Low, medium, and high.

Low Coverage

This is the minimum insurance coverage your particular state requires. Remember, some states require more than others.

Medium Coverage

With medium coverage, you get $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury and uninsured and underinsured driver bodily injury liability.

You also get $50,000 for property damage liability as well as uninsured and underinsured driver property damage liability.

High Coverage

High coverage, which is the most comprehensive (but also the most expensive), gives you $100,000/$300,000 for everything you get with medium coverage.

What We Like

  • Add-ons like rideshare driver insurance and accident forgiveness
  • Discounts for low annual mileage
  • Vehicle storage discount
  • Spelled-out coverage levels
  • Excellent customer service

What We Didn't Like

  • Only available to members of the military, veterans, and their immediate families (check your eligibility)
  • Even with high coverage, policy-holders must pay for add-ons

Since USAA is only available to members of the military, veterans, and their immediate families, you may not be able to insure your teenage driver through them. However, it is worth it to check and see if they are eligible.

Tips for Finding A Good Policy

There are some car insurance tips that parents with new teen drivers should follow. When shopping for the best car insurance for teenage drivers, you have a few things to look for: what kind of coverage you want, what factors you have that might affect your insurance, and what discounts you might qualify for.

Here are a few quick tips to help you select the right policy for your family.

Review, Review, Review

Finding the right car insurance policy, whether for you or your teenage driver, involves reviewing changes in your life, your insurance rates, and more.

Perform an Annual Check on Your Rate

If you check your insurance rates on an annual basis and compare them to other companies, you might find something that's better and cheaper. This is especially important when looking for the best insurance for teenage drivers; someone else may have better rates.

Determine The Right Deductible

Your deductible can bring your annual premiums down, but it can also be so high that you can't afford to pay it when you need to. Find a policy with a deductible you can meet with premiums you can also afford.

Look At Top-Rated Insurers

Unless everything about your driving history, credit history, and job history are horrendous, you should have little trouble finding a policy through a top-rated insurer. These insurers are large, have multiple policies, and you can find multiple reviews about them anywhere. Visit Clearsurance's car insurance rankings page to see a ranking of the carriers in your area.

Pick the Right Car

We mentioned earlier that the make and model of your car affect your insurance premiums. When looking for quotes, ask about the cars you have and whether buying a used car for your teen is a better idea. Also, ask for advice about the best cars for your teen.

Report Reduced Mileage

If your teen isn't going to drive very much, and you've recently dropped how much you drive, report that to your insurance company. They may offer you a reduced rate for low-mileage.

Some insurance companies also offer discounts or programs for teens who don't drive too much, and many offer discounts if your teen goes off to college and doesn't take their car with them.

Watch Out For Scams

There are scammers everywhere trying to scam us all out of everything. This is another reason you want to stick with top-rated insurers. They aren't fly-by-night operations. Scammers will rip you off when you get in an accident, get a traffic ticket or a DUI, and in many other ways.

Be on the lookout for possible insurance scams, and if you aren't sure about something, call the company itself and ask. They'll tell you the truth.

Types of Coverage

There are six types of coverage:

Your state will require some of these while others are optional. Most states require liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and some also require personal injury protection.

Other Types of Coverage and Add-ons

You can get other types of coverage, too. You might want to consider these for your teenage driver, but they aren't necessary and will add dollars to your premium.

  • Rental reimbursement (pays for a rental car while yours is undergoing repairs following a covered incident)
  • Gap coverage (helps you pay off your loan if you financed your car and it gets totaled)
  • New car replacement (helps you buy a new car if your total yours in an accident and it's less than two years old)
  • Towing and labor coverage (pays for the cost of towing your car should you break down)

Discounts

Always ask about discounts because you never know how much you might be able to knock off your premiums. Most insurers offer certain discounts and will give you multiple discounts if you meet their criteria.

Multi-Car Discounts

Most adults are already familiar with this discount since most households already have more than one car on their policy. Ask about this discount if you're considering buying your teen a car of their own.

Young Driver Safety Training

Insurance companies look favorably upon young drivers who have taken driving courses beyond their school's regular driver's ed class. If you have your teen take one of these courses, you could save some more money.

Distant Student Discount

Many insurance companies will provide a discount for college students attending school out of state if they don't take their car with them.

Good Student Discount

If your student does well in school, you might be able to get a discount for that, too. These apply to full-time high school and college students who maintain a high GPA, and are 18, 19, or 20, although some insurers provide these discounts for 16 and 17-year olds as well.

You can save up to nine percent on your insurance with these discounts. Not to mention your young driver has an incentive to keep their grades up.

Each insurer provides other young-driver discounts that are less universal. They might include apps that monitor your teen's driving habits, and reduce premiums for safe driving.

Methodology and Sources

We went through extensive reviews of car insurance policies on USNews, which works with data analysis firm Quantum Information Services to analyze reports of insurance rates from the ten largest insurers across all 50 states.

USNews also used profiles for male and female drivers to show the differences in rates and based those rates on vehicles like the 2015 Toyota Rav 4, Honda Civic, and Ford F-150.

In addition to that, we used data from the CDC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to gather information on why teens and young adults pay so much more for car insurance than adults over the age of 25, as well as why young men have the highest premiums of all.

Finally, we used the listed insurance companies' websites to learn what they offer that's good for teenage drivers, including discounts and driver monitoring services. We also used their websites to learn what coverage they generally offer and to explore the add-ons available.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption


Image source: pixelheadphoto digitalskillet/ shutterstock.com

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption