Average Cost of Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

How much is car insurance for teens?

Like we’ve said, teen car insurance is expensive. The younger the driver, the more expensive the car insurance. Young drivers are far more likely to get into car accidents than older drivers. The risk is highest with 16-year-olds, who have a crash rate twice as high as 18- and 19-year-olds. That risk is reflected in the average car insurance rates for teenagers:

  • 16-year-old – $3,989
  • 17-year-old – $3,522
  • 18-year-old – $3,148
  • 19-year-old – $2,178
  • 20-year-old – $1,945

Rates not only depend on age, but the company you choose. This table shows the annual rate a teen will receive in California.

CompanyFemaleMaleAverageCompany 1$2,646$2,961$2,804Company 2$2,607$3,472$3,040Company 3$5,613$8,966$7,290Company 4$2,640$3,080$2,860Company 5$2,642$3,454$3,048Company 6$2,030$2,064$2,047Average$3,030$3,999$3,515

Note: The specific company names were not mentioned next to the rates but the companies are, in no particular order: GEICO, Farmers, State Farm, Progressive, Mercury and AAA.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia now hav

All 50 states and the District of Columbia now have a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) system, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). GDL programs save lives. A study by the IIHS found states with stronger graduated licensing programs had a 30% lower fatal crash rate for 15- to 17-year olds.

Average auto insurance rate increase after adding a 16-year-old male driver

StateAnnual Premium without TeenAnnual Premium with Male Teen% Increase
Connecticut $1,726$3,811121%
District of Columbia$1,809$3,750107%
Florida $2,371$5,362126%
Kentucky $1,903$4,524138%
Louisiana $2,654$5,988126%
Massachusetts $1,254$3,193155%
Nebraska $1,316$3,211144%
New Hampshire $1,265$3,162150%
New Jersey $1,908$4,143117%
New Mexico$1,409$3,437144%
New York$2,745$5,26492%
North Carolina$1,380$3,152128%
North Dakota$1,064$2,581143%
Oklahoma $1,846$4,212128%
Oregon $1,271$3,073142%
Pennsylvania $1,533$3,573133%
Rhode Island$2,017$4,888142%
South Carolina $1,548$3,525128%
South Dakota$1,374$2,977117%
Utah $1,417$3,486146%
West Virginia$1,406$3,829172%
National Average$1,742$4,048132%

Quadrant Information Services, 2020


Practice safe driving

One of the most reliable ways to keep insurance costs low is to avoid accidents. Learn about the risks teen drivers face and get tips for how to prevent them. Nationwide’s teen driving resource center offers practical information about teen decision making, distracted driving, the role of parents in teen driving and more.

Getting the right coverage that best fits your needs is important for saving money on your teen’s car insurance policy. Learn more about Nationwide’s auto insurance coverage types today.

How long until these premiums decrease?

Premium increases from insuring a teen driver can seem daunting. Fortunately, these rate increases won’t last forever.

As Adams explains, “If a young driver avoids accidents and traffic tickets, their auto rate should decrease each year until about age 25 or 26, when they become less risky to an insurer.”

Below are the rates at different ages to highlight that rates will decline over time once a teen has some years of safe driving under their belt. 

Keep in mind, rate decreases are based primarily on driving experience. If a teen starts driving at 18, their rate will likely be higher than an 18-year-old who started driving at 16. That said, the older an individual gets, the less risky insurers consider them to be behind the wheel.

Do I Have To Add My Teenager To My Insurance?

Yes, you must add all drivers of your vehicles to your car insurance policy. There is a bad rumor out there where a lot of agents are stating that you don’t need to add young drivers to your car insurance policy. These agents state that the young drivers are covered under the “Permissive Use” clause in the insurance contract. This is completely false and these agents are setting up these people to have a horrible claim experience where things are covered. Permissive use is for those people that would drive your vehicle that do NOT live in your house and do not drive your vehicle on a regular basis. If someone lives in your house or drives your car on a regular basis (at least once a month) then they need to be added to your policy as a driver. In many cases, if a teenage driver crashes your vehicle and they are not listed on your policy as a driver then there would not be coverage!

Average car insurance costs for teen drivers by state

The state where you live also affects your teen driver auto insurance premium, as illustrated in the table below. Hawaii is the only state that prohibits age as a factor in determining car insurance rates, which makes it the cheapest state for young drivers. Florida has the most expensive rates for car insurance when adding a young driver to their parents’ policy. These rates are based on the top insurers in the country and are for full coverage car insurance for teens added to their parents’ policy and thus reflect added cost and not the total cost.

State Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 19
Alabama $2,714 $2,437 $2,136 $1,694
Alaska $2,245 $1,918 $1,630 $1,418
Arkansas $2,711 $2,421 $2,145 $1,701
Arizona $2,704 $2,458 $2,101 $1,813
California $3,744 $3,286 $3,010 $1,823
Colorado $2,936 $2,687 $2,339 $1,879
Connecticut $2,927 $2,578 $2,265 $1,611
Delaware $2,491 $2,135 $1,922 $1,644
Florida $4,343 $4,042 $3,675 $2,728
Georgia $3,007 $2,736 $2,428 $2,023
Hawaii $35 $35 $35 $35
Idaho $2,313 $2,023 $1,197 $974
Illinois $1,954 $1,711 $1,760 $1,561
Indiana $1,537 $1,404 $1,505 $1,180
Iowa $1,705 $1,406 $1,223 $976
Kansas $2,099 $1,878 $1,660 $1,366
Kentucky $3,593 $3,094 $2,673 $2,026
Louisiana $4,333 $3,859 $3,181 $2,448
Massachusetts $1,389 $1,262 $1,708 $1,100
Maryland $2,787 $2,509 $2,276 $1,781
Maine $2,002 $1,850 $1,124 $937
Michigan $3,403 $3,122 $2,735 $2,238
Minnesota $2,217 $1,920 $1,643 $1,383
Missouri $2,192 $1,971 $1,772 $1,443
Mississippi $2,387 $2,019 $1,687 $1,361
Montana $2,298 $2,067 $1,847 $1,476
North Carolina $1,627 $1,487 $869 $237
North Dakota $3,398 $2,930 $1,152 $883
Nebraska $1,735 $1,650 $1,322 $1,051
New Hampshire $2,353 $2,078 $1,429 $1,130
New Jersey $2,035 $1,737 $1,834 $1,568
New Mexico $3,573 $3,182 $1,458 $1,145
Nevada $1,765 $1,078 $2,646 $2,231
New York $1,507 $1,351 $2,819 $1,936
Ohio $1,647 $1,479 $1,314 $1,036
Oklahoma $2,455 $2,170 $1,893 $1,486
Oregon $2,133 $1,851 $1,581 $1,323
Pennsylvania $2,372 $2,206 $1,881 $1,525
Rhode Island $2,927 $2,715 $2,361 $1,742
South Carolina $2,140 $1,873 $1,622 $1,247
South Dakota $1,535 $1,416 $1,251 $1,033
Tennessee $2,116 $1,903 $1,640 $1,313
Texas $2,860 $2,562 $2,298 $1,959
Utah $2,462 $2,120 $1,861 $1,451
Virginia $2,401 $2,248 $1,627 $1,303
Vermont $2,084 $1,840 $1,956 $1,707
Washington $1,935 $1,729 $1,528 $1,103
Washington, D.C. $2,506 $2,235 $1,939 $1,568
Wisconsin $2,276 $2,074 $1,235 $981
West Virginia $1,701 $1,508 $1,775 $1,335
Wyoming $2,071 $1,969 $1,752 $1,341

*Hawaii does not use age as a rating factor

How to save on the cost of auto insurance for 16-year-olds

Car insurance rates for 16-year-old drivers are very high, but there are ways to bring your monthly premium down. The best thing to do is to be added to a family member’s policy rather than buying your own.

But there are other ways to get the cheapest possible car insurance for a 16-year-old.

Shop around at multiple insurance companies

Every insurance company offers different prices, and the discrepancy is particularly high when it comes to teenagers — we found that going with one insurer over another can amount to thousands of dollars saved over the course of a year.

However, the cheapest insurers for 16-year-old drivers will vary by region. You should collect quotes from several different insurance companies to be confident you’re paying as little as possible.

Find discounts for 16-year-old drivers

To offset the high cost of insurance for 16-year-olds, many insurance companies offer a variety of discounts targeted specifically for young drivers. Here are some common deductions to look out for.

Good grades: If you’re a full-time high school or college student with a certain GPA (often a “B”/3.0 or better), you can see a reduction in rates. Driving tracker: Many insurance companies will provide you with a telematics driving tracker, which reduces your rates after you’ve demonstrated that you drive safely. For example, it may show that you don’t suddenly start or stop, or swerve on the road. These plug into your car’s diagnostic port, or use a mobile app, to track your habits. Driving class: Sixteen-year-old drivers are likely to have recently taken driver’s education, but many states allow you to take a driver’s education course to automatically reduce your car insurance rates — in New York state, the discount is 10%. Student away from home: This discount applies more often to college students than 16-year-old high schoolers, but if you’re more than 100 miles away from home for school (such as boarding school), and you don’t have a car with you, you’ll usually qualify to have your insurance rates reduced. Pay-in-full: You can get a discount on your car insurance from most insurers by paying for the entire plan in full, rather than breaking the cost up by month.

Buy a car that’s cheaper to insure

If you or your parents are buying a new or used car for you to drive once you turn 16, one major consideration is how much it costs to insure. The price of car insurance varies significantly by car model — for example, we found in our study of the cheapest cars to insure that a Honda CR-V, the car with the lowest monthly rates, is 33% cheaper to insure than a Ford Mustang.

Buying a fun or fast car — like a Mustang — may seem appealing, but it’s likely to be much more expensive to buy, drive and insure than a car like a Honda Civic. Plus, if you do get in an accident, a sports car will be more expensive to repair.

Drop comprehensive and collision coverage

One of the simplest ways for teenagers to lower their insurance bills is to reduce the amount of coverage they’re paying for. The most commonly removed portions of car insurance are comprehensive and collision coverage, which pay for the repair of your own vehicle. Collision covers you if your car is damaged in a crash and no one else is at fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by something other than a collision, like vandalism or theft.

Both coverages are optional unless you have a car loan or lease. Dropping comprehensive and collision coverage is generally a better idea when your car is older and not worth as much money. This is because the maximum possible payout of coverage — the replacement cost of your car — is often less than the cost of coverage. However, you should only drop these coverages if you can afford to repair or replace your car without them.

Discounts for teen drivers

Teen drivers and young adults may be able to lower their car insurance premiums by benefiting from some of the best car insurance discounts for students and various other discounts.

Good student discounts

Unmarried, full-time students may be able to get a good student discount by maintaining a 3.0 or above average. As noted above, Allstate only requires a 2.7 GPA. The amount of savings and eligibility criteria vary by company, as does how often the young driver has to recertify their grades.

Distant student discounts

A distant student discount, also called student away at school, is another way to save for college-aged drivers. This discount typically applies to students who go to college at least 100 miles from home and do not take a car with them.

Driver training discounts

Driver training programs not only make teenage drivers safer and more responsible behind the wheel, but they may also save money on car insurance. The requirements and savings differ by carrier.

Usage-based program discounts

Most insurance companies offer a way for all family members to save on car insurance with a usage-based program, also known as a telematics program. Telematics programs require a smartphone or plug-in device installed into the car to monitor driving habits and miles driven. Maintaining safe driving habits can earn you cheap car insurance rates.

Install anti-theft devices

You may save when you install an anti-theft device in the vehicle. Your possible discount varies based on the type of device installed and the state in which the vehicle is garaged.

Frequently asked questions about teenage insurance

Do you have to add a teenage driver to your insurance?

Yes, you’ll have to add your teenager to your car insurance policy if they live with you and drive your car. Some states will require you to add your teen driver as an additional insured person when they get their learner’s permit.

What is the cheapest way to get car insurance for a teenager?

The cheapest way to get car insurance for a teenager is by adding them to your own insurance policy. It is not advised to buy a teen their own insurance because it can be very expensive. Insurance companies charge teens more for auto coverage than adults because they believe drivers under 25 have a higher chance of causing accidents.

Should I add my 16-year-old to car insurance?

Most states require you to add your 16-year-old teen to your car insurance as soon as they get their license. It is mandatory in some states, and many insurance companies also require it. Even if it is not mandatory, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re covered by car insurance.

How to get car insurance for a teenager?

It is possible for a teenager to get car insurance with a permit, but most insurance providers will include the permitted teen on their parent’s policy without any other formalities. Teenagers should get car insurance after they receive their driving permit to stay protected in the event of an accident.

How much does it cost to add a 17-year-old to car insurance? The average car insurance cost for a 17-year-old for full coverage is $5,836 a year. Your auto insurance rate will depend on where you live, the coverage level you choose, the make and model of your car, among other factors.

The Cost of Teen Auto Insurance

Expect your premium to increase when you add your teen to your car insurance. According to Reviews.com, motorists ages 16 to 19 have higher accident rates than all other drivers. That creates a significant risk of a claim for the auto insurance company, which results in higher premiums for you.

Insurance.com looked at the changes in rates from insurance companies in 10 different zip codes when a 40-year-old man with full coverage on a 2019 Honda Accord received quotes to add a 16-year-old teen driver. The website found that:

  • Households in California had the highest rate increases of more than 200 percent.
  • On average, the cost of coverage increased by 152 percent.
  • The average increase was 129 percent for a female teen and 176 percent for a male teen.

Insurance companies raise rates for teen drivers because of the high rate of serious crashes among drivers ages 16 to 19. Insurance.com reports that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this age group has a 400 percent higher accident rate than other age groups. What’s more, the accident rate for 16-year-old drivers is 200 percent more than drivers aged 18 and 19.

They also report these average annual rates for adolescent drivers:

  • Allstate – $3558
  • Farmers Insurance – $7136
  • GEICO – $1695
  • Nationwide – $2857
  • State Farm – $1928
  • Progressive – $3478

The average overall for drivers in this age group is $3442 a year, which breaks down to an average rate of $2712 a year for teen girls and $4172 for teen boys, who have the highest overall accident rate of any demographic group.

In another example, WalletHub looked at the change in the price of a six-month policy for a 2014 Hyundai Sonata when adding a 16-year-old driver to a policy owned by a 50-year-old parent and found an average increase of $2259 for the policy period. In contrast, the average six-month increase to add another 50-year-old to the same policy is just $939.

How do rates differ between 16-year-old male and female drivers?

The average cost of car insurance for 16-year-old female drivers is generally cheaper than the cost for male drivers. This is because young male drivers tend to display more risky driving behavior compared to young female drivers, such as speeding or driving drunk.

Age Monthly cost – male driver Monthly cost – female driver 16$845$78217$768$70518$647$586

Why is car insurance so expensive for 16-year-olds?

Car insurance is much more expensive for 16-year-old drivers because they are more likely to get in accidents than older drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drivers are three times more likely than other drivers to get in a fatal crash.

Rates for 16-year-olds are also higher because insurance companies don’t have existing data to base their models on. Car insurance rates are partly based on your driving history, as someone who has driven accident-free for several years will pay less for insurance than someone who has caused several car accidents.

But for these teens, who have typically had their driver’s licenses for a year or less, there’s very little data for insurance companies to base their decision on. This leads to higher costs for every teenage driver, no matter how careful they are.

Compare Quotes With an Independent Agent

Every insurance company is different. Some companies want certain types of policies but don’t want other types of policies. So some insurance companies will have really good pricing for teen drivers, because they want that type of business whereas other car insurance companies will have really high rates on teenage drivers because that type of policy is not what they want. So until you shop around and check with many different companies, you can’t be sure you’re getting the best rates. To check rates with an independent agent, click here.