Cheapest Cars for 17 Year Old Motorists to Insure


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UPDATED: 2021-09-07T20:48:56.612Z
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A teen driver buckling her seatbelt before she drives in her new car.

It can be challenging to figure out what car to buy as a new driver. Many factors go into the short- and long-term costs of owning a car, including maintenance, gas efficiency, and insurance.

Car insurance can be especially difficult to predict before buying a car. To that end, many factors go into the cost of insurance, including credit score, driver history, and even academic success. And insurers tend to charge younger drivers more when compared to older drivers.

When you try to find the best car insurance for you, you may find that it can be pricey for teen drivers. We found four of the cheapest cars for a 17-year-old to insure.

No matter how old you are, one of the best ways to save on car insurance is to compare different quotes. You can compare the cheapest car insurance rates with our free search tool just by putting in your ZIP code.

Risk and Cost of Insurance for Young Motorists

The risk of a car accident is much higher for teenagers than for any other age group. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, many of these crashes happen at night and involve inexperienced drivers. The longer a driver can stay with an insurance company without an accident, the lower their insurance cost will be in most cases.

But new drivers are unable to receive these discounts, as they usually kick in after a few years.

The cost of insurance can be the most expensive long-term cost for a car owner, especially for drivers between 16 to 19 years old. For that reason, we’ve prepared a list of the cheapest cars to insure.

What affects the cost of car insurance?

Insurance costs change from person to person, region to region. While the type of car you own can have a massive effect on your insurance premiums, your age, driving history, and financial stability can also significantly sway over the cost.

Be sure to find an insurance plan that works for you.

Coverage depends on the amount paid for the premium. More money paid means more protection. However, full coverage is unaffordable for some (especially drivers between the ages of 16-19). Be sure to shop around and compare rates before deciding on your premium.

What makes a car’s insurance cheaper?

As you’re probably aware, there are countless car models and makers. This leads to a spectrum of possible insurance cost options when buying a new car. A more expensive car does not necessarily mean cheaper insurance and vice versa.

In general, an insurance company looks at a few major characteristics when judging the cost of a premium. Your car make and model is one of these characteristics.

Luxury and sports cars tend to have higher insurance rates. Luxury cars are more expensive to insure because it costs more to repair them. Meanwhile, sports cars are more expensive to insure because their drivers tend to be a bit more accident-prone.

SUVs and minivans, cars that most families drive often, typically have the lowest overall insurance rates, and some of the lowest overall incidence rates. According to CBS News, nine car models did not record a single fatality in 2011. Six of those cars were SUVs.

Many SUVs have an all-wheel-drive, which helps alleviate some of the dangers associated with winter driving, especially if you live in one of the states with the most fatal winter crashes. Sports cars, which are often rear-wheel-drive, suffer in the winter by comparison.

Some characteristics factored into the cost of an insurance premium are out of your control. Insurance companies charge more on cars which are more likely to be targeted by thieves, but this rate is often dependent on the region a car owner lives in (the crime rate of a geographical location).

If you’re looking to save on insurance and haven’t yet made a car purchase, be sure to look for cars with low overall maintenance costs and robust safety features. If you live in an area that experiences the seasons, be sure to look for either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. And when possible, buy a car without too many miles on it.

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Cheapest Cars for Teen Drivers to Insure

Since 17-year-old drivers don't have a lot of experience on the road, they can expect to pay higher insurance rates than those with a clean record and some years of driving under their belt. If you're looking to buy a car as a young driver, here are four options that we found are the cheapest cars for a 17-year-old driver to insure.

#1 — Subaru Outback

Compared to the national average cost of insurance, $1,674 per year, the Subaru Outback is an excellent pick if you’re looking for a cheap premium. It has all-wheel-drive, and because it is raised relatively high above the ground, accidents near curbs and curb stops are significantly less likely.

Regardless of your age, the Subaru Outback will be one of the cheapest cars to insure (of course, this is dependent on your driving record and history). Minimum annual coverage costs just $510 each year, while full coverage costs around $1,475.

The Subaru Outback is a fairly old car as well, meaning there’s a healthy market for replacement parts. While there are minor changes in the model from year to year (the first model originated in 1995), many parts are kept the same.

New cars are often the most expensive to insure — especially electric vehicles — in part due to the lack of availability of some replacement parts.

#2 — Honda CR-V

The average annual premium for a Honda CR-V owner is $1,574. Minimum coverage, meanwhile, costs only $538 annually. The CR-V is another SUV with all-wheel-drive and a long-standing parts market.

The cost of insurance for the Honda CRV is low for many of the same reasons as the Subaru Outback. Families often buy the CR-V and consistently scores high in most safety indexes.

The latest models of the CR-V have a variety of technology-driven features, which help prevent accidents on the road. The latest model automatically brakes when a crash may become imminent, detects when a driver leaves their lane without signaling, lightly corrects the steering, and the cruise control maintains a consistent distance behind the car in front of it.

If you’re looking for a car with cheap auto insurance, the CR-V is a great choice, both new and used. While the older versions lack the features of the current versions, insurance will likely be cheaper overall. More recent technology means a new parts market, which can raise insurance rates for newer vehicles.

New cars are also more likely to be stolen, and broken into. But much of the new technology prevents costly accidents, which is the highest potential cost in insuring a car.

#3 — Toyota RAV 4

The last SUV on our list is much like the Outback and the CR-V. The Toyota RAV 4 has a four-wheel-drive and was named a top safety pick in 2021. The car drives smoothly in all terrains, including mud and snow.

The cheapest cars to insure, as you surely know by now, are the safest cars.

The RAV 4 is sturdy, has tons of storage space, and has been in production for years. Like the other SUVs on this list, the RAV 4 is undergoing technological improvements and continues to retain its reliability. The RAV 4 automatically gives more torque to whichever wheel needs it, and comes equipped with various settings for different terrains, allowing drivers to tweak their gas mileage and acceleration.

#4 — Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 costs up to $200 less to insure per year compared to the average annual insurance cost. Like our SUVs, the F-150 has been in production for years and has a long-standing parts market. Many F-150s are also made with an aluminum bed, which are cheap to replace when compared to your average car part.

Despite its relatively cheap insurance cost, up to 32,000, Ford F-150s were stolen in 2016. Insurance rates are calculated by the overall risk involved in covering the owner of a type of vehicle. Even with the influx of stolen F-150s, the risk of insuring an F-150 is relatively low, meaning F-150 owners are involved in relatively few accidents.

The F-150 is a sturdy, reliable car.

Despite the theft and carjacking risks associated, if you’re looking for a truck as a first car, choosing the F-150 promises relatively affordable insurance rates.

How to Find the Cheapest Car Insurance

Regardless of the car you choose, it can be challenging to find a long-term auto insurance provider as a 17-year-old motorist. Whether you want to compare rates for different vehicles or find the right rate for the car you’ve purchased, we can help

We want insurance consumers to make informed decisions. From Fortune 100 companies to regional agencies, we connect our shoppers to trusted brands.

To begin comparing rates, just type in your ZIP code to find multiple great car insurance rates offered near you. With us, you’ll make the right choice.

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References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-lists-cars-with-highest-and-lowest-rates-of-deaths/
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