Content of the material
- What Factors Into the Insurance Cost for First-time Drivers?
- Car insurance for teenagers
- How to get cheap car insurance for new drivers
- Choose the right car and insurance policy
- Additional factors that affect car insurance rates
- How to Add a Teen Driver to your Car Insurance
- Why is car insurance for new drivers so expensive?
- Car Insurance and Accidents
- The bottom line
- Whats the bottom line when it comes to new drivers?
- How to get car insurance for the first time
- What info you’ll need when you get car insurance for the first time
- What kind of coverage do you plan to purchase?
- What you need to know about driving records
- Tips to save money on car insurance for new drivers
- Compare companies
- Look for discounts
- Adjust your coverage
- Related topics & resources
What Factors Into the Insurance Cost for First-time Drivers?
In auto insurance, the term “new driver” refers to a person who doesn’t have any driving history or record of insurance. These drivers include newly licensed teenagers, those new to the country, or those who got his or her driver’s license later in life.
Several factors and the type of insured vehicle factor into the cost of car insurance for a first-time driver. The average price for new drivers will be higher than that for more experienced ones. It’s important to remember, though, that insurance costs vary widely. Some of the factors that insurance companies take into account when calculating the cost of a policy include the following:
- Driver’s age
- Driver’s driving history including accidents or violations
- Driver’s credit score
- The vehicle’s make and model
- Driver’s address
Of these factors, two carry the most weight: your driving record and where you live. If you compile speeding tickets, DUIs, or accidents, your rates will increase exponentially. In addition to fines, these tickets can remain on your driving record for three to five years. Avoiding violations can save you thousands of dollars.
Similarly, where you live plays a role in the costs. If you live in an area with a high rate of theft, your insurance rates will increase to offset those costs. Also, if you live in a place that has a lot of traffic, the accident rate will increase—and so will your premium.
Car insurance for teenagers
It can be exciting for a teen to start driving on their own for the first time, but the cost of car insurance for new drivers is typically high. As mentioned, age is one of the main factors insurance companies consider when calculating prices.
Part of the reason insurance companies hike rates for younger drivers is the increased likelihood of an accident. Car crashes are the second-highest leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additional reporting from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that nearly two out of every three teenagers killed in crashes in 2019 were males.
How to get cheap car insurance for new drivers
Usually, the best way for young drivers to get cheap car insurance is to stay on their parents’ policies. Car insurance companies typically offer families several discounts to save money on insurance coverage, including:
- Safe driving discounts
- Good student discounts (must have B average grades or higher)
- College student and student-away-at-school discounts
- Defensive driving course discounts
Young drivers can’t purchase their own policies unless they own their own cars and no longer have the same permanent address as their parents. Keep in mind that drivers under the age of 25 usually pay much higher rates. Adding a young driver to an insurance policy will still increase your premiums substantially, but the amount will depend on your insurance company, the vehicle and where you live.
Choose the right car and insurance policy
Your new driver may have their heart set on the car of their dreams, but it’s important to remember that a luxury car is likely going to cost you more in insurance. Your best bet when buying a teen’s first car is to find one that is safe and reliable, as this is often less of a risk on the road or your wallet.
However, if your teen does have a luxury vehicle, it may be cheaper for them to be on their own car insurance policy, since chances are the insurance premiums will be significantly higher than other cars within your policy. It may also make more sense for them to purchase their own policy if either parent has any DUIs or multiple moving violations, as adding a teen driver can make the current policy cost even more.
In most cases though, it’s generally cheaper to add your teenager to your household car insurance policy. While doing so will increase your insurance rates, your policy’s coverage and deductibles will also apply to your teen. You may also be able to save money by signing up for a multi-car insurance policy.
A higher auto insurance deductible may lower the rate, but could mean more out-of-pocket expenses after an accident. If the vehicle is older or has very high mileage, liability coverage may be a better option than collision or comprehensive – though it will not cover damages to the car after an at-fault accident. Getting the right coverage that best fits your needs is important for saving money on your teen auto policy. Learn more about Nationwide’s auto insurance coverage types today.
Additional factors that affect car insurance rates
In addition to your state requirements, vehicle type, age (except in Hawaii and Massachusetts), driving record and gender (in most states), several other common rating factors will impact your auto insurance premium.
Your car insurance coverage options have a significant effect on your rate. If you select higher liability limits, choose lower deductible levels or add endorsements, your rates will likely be higher.
If you’ve had continuous car insurance for the length of time you’ve been a licensed driver, you may pay lower rates. Lapses in your insurance coverage (unless you did not own a car during that time) can be an indication of high-risk behavior and may increase your premium.
The more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident. Policyholders who drive fewer miles a year often qualify for lower rates (although this mileage designation varies by company).
How to Add a Teen Driver to your Car Insurance
For parents, it’s important that your teen driver has the proper amount of car insurance coverage before they get behind the wheel. Luckily, adding them to your auto insurance policy is easy. It may also be cheaper than getting them a new policy of their own. Contact a GEICO agent when your teen gets their permit or driver’s license to get a quote for a new driver on your policy.
Why is car insurance for new drivers so expensive?
Car insurance for new drivers may be more expensive because of the level of risk. When determining your car insurance premiums, auto insurance companies look at things like your driving record and insurance history. This also includes how many years you’ve had your driver’s license.
If you recently turned 16 and got a license or just moved to the U.S., you don’t have a track record to show yet.
How many years of experience you have as a driver can be more important than your age. Some people think that your car insurance rate will go down automatically once you reach a certain age, but it’s not true; that’s just a myth.
Another reason car insurance may also be more expensive is if you can’t demonstrate a track record of safe driving or continuous insurance coverage over time. Driving discounts are typically connected to a verified driving history.
Also, if you’re a teenager or immigrant, you might not even have an established credit score just yet — which some insurance companies use to determine your rate.
Car Insurance and Accidents
- Top 10 ways to prevent an accident: A quick list of tips that might seem obvious, but are really important to helping you avoid an accident.
- Auto insurance basics: Insurance can be a complicated thing. Learn what it is, why you need it and ways to save money as a new driver.
- Branching out on your own: Coming off your parent’s GEICO policy? Learn more about the advantages of staying with GEICO for your own policy.
The bottom line
It can feel like a big step to get your license and be free to drive but you may be discouraged by the high cost of car insurance for new drivers. New drivers can consider pay-per-mile coverage as a way to lower costs if driving less while gaining more experience on the road. Remember, car insurance is based on many factors and you won’t always be considered a new driver. To find the best car insurance for first-time drivers, get a free quote with Metromile.
Whats the bottom line when it comes to new drivers?
New drivers pay more for coverage because they have less experience and driving history than more seasoned drivers. The less driving history you have, the higher your rates will be. Additionally, the younger you are, the more you’ll likely pay. However you still want to play it safe. Don’t just look at the cheapest companies – compare prices across the board in order to find coverage and annual premiums that would fit into your budget.
Ready to buy car insurance for a new driver? Enter your ZIP code to get free car insurance quotes for new drivers so you can start your car insurance comparison today.
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How to get car insurance for the first time
When buying car insurance for the first time, you will need to:
Gather personal and vehicle information. Decide how much coverage you need. Get online quotes or work with an insurance agent. Compare quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Once you’ve narrowed down your best rate, you can buy auto insurance online from most insurers or work with an insurance agent. We recommend getting free car insurance quotes from multiple companies to find your best rate.
You can also use our car insurance calculator to get an estimate of your insurance cost.
What info you’ll need when you get car insurance for the first time
When you’re shopping for quotes, you will need some personal info for you and anyone else listed on the policy:
Driver’s license Date of birth Address Occupation Marital status Education level Driving history Insurance history
Some of this information — like driving history and location — will affect the cost of insurance for first-time drivers. You will also need details about your vehicle, including the vehicle identification number (VIN), date of purchase and person who registered the vehicle.
Having the year, make and model of your car ready is also important, as it will help you get the best and most accurate policy for your new car insurance.
What kind of coverage do you plan to purchase?
There is a wide range of options out there so you need to figure out what particular type of coverage you want. Are you shopping for liability-only car insurance or full coverage, including comprehensive and collision? The type of coverage you’re looking into is going to affect what you pay.
As expected, the more additional coverages you ask for, the more expensive the policy. Take a look at this table to see average rates for various types of coverage to get an idea of costs.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type StatesAverage Annual Liability Insurance RatesAverage Annual Collision Insurance RatesAverage Annual Comprehensive Insurance RatesAverage Annual Full Coverage Insurance Rates Alabama$372.57$317.96$156.31$868.48 Alaska$547.34$350.81$137.26$1,027.75 Arizona$488.59$277.96$186.12$972.85 Arkansas$381.14$321.80$190.41$906.34 California$462.95$396.55$100.54$986.75 Colorado$477.10$287.00$174.61$981.64 Connecticut$633.95$368.51$131.62$1,151.07 District of Columbia$628.09$468.67$233.24$1,330.73 Delaware$776.50$318.77$122.49$1,240.57 Florida$845.05$331.83$159.18$1,048.40 Georgia$490.64$313.17$101.56$873.28 Hawaii$458.49$219.05$116.55$679.89 Idaho$337.17$309.71$128.13$884.56 Illinois$430.54$250.29$122.06$755.03 Indiana$372.44$219.75$183.53$702.46 Iowa$293.34$263.33$267.91$862.93 Kansas$342.33$267.91$141.39$938.51 Kentucky$518.91$414.36$215.17$1,405.36 Louisiana$727.15$259.98$104.98$703.82 Maine$333.92$353.99$152.72$1,116.45 Maryland$599.48$388.28$134.96$1,129.29 Massachusetts$587.75$413.83$154.85$1,364.00 Michigan$722.04$234.40$184.27$875.49 Minnesota$439.58$323.22$210.33$994.05 Mississippi$437.38$275.28$181.27$872.43 Missouri$399.41$265.32$211.91$863.52 Montana$387.77$237.13$229.25$831.02 Nebraska$349.07$303.86$117.63$1,103.05 Nevada$647.07$307.42$110.77$818.75 New Hampshire$393.24$381.86$131.35$1,382.79 New Jersey$865.55$276.98$172.57$937.59 New Mexico$462.21$385.02$171.12$1,360.66 New York$784.98$293.59$136.08$789.09 North Carolina$357.59$244.09$231.04$773.30 North Dakota$282.55$269.84$121.61$788.56 Ohio$376.16$318.47$225.84$1,005.32 Oklahoma$441.57$226.83$93.87$904.83 Oregon$553.43$327.24$144.21$970.51 Pennsylvania$495.02$411.51$132.19$1,303.50 Rhode Island$720.06$265.07$180.94$973.10 South Carolina$497.50$208.58$258.11$766.91 South Dakota$289.04$282.96$116.53$1,257.13 Tennessee$397.73$309.07$148.45$871.43 Texas$498.44$374.49$206.42$1,109.66 Utah$471.26$265.90$109.50$872.93 Vermont$340.98$295.42$125.48$764.02 Virginia$413.12$280.52$136.54$842.67 Washington$568.92$265.74$106.38$968.80 West Virginia$501.44$329.67$204.28$1,025.78 Wisconsin$359.84$226.00$136.81$737.18 Wyoming$323.38$278.83$247.57$847.44 Get Your Rates Quote NowCompare RatesStart Now →
The more coverage you have, the higher your insurance rates will be. However, the more coverage you have, the less you will have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident.
What you need to know about driving records
After a moving violation, you may be deemed a high-risk driver by your insurer, and your premium could increase accordingly. The severity of your infraction and how many incidents you have on your MVR will impact how much your car insurance premium increases. For example, the average full coverage premium increases by over $1,400 per year after a DUI conviction but only by $388 annually for a speeding ticket.
Average cost of full coverage car insurance by driving record Driving record Annual premium Monthly cost Increase above national average Clean driving record $1,771 $148 $0 Speeding ticket $2,138 $178 $367 At-fault accident $2,521 $210 $750 DUI conviction $3,421 $285 $1,650
- Speeding ticket: Receiving a speeding ticket conviction may be one of the most common ways that your car insurance rate can be affected. The length of time your insurance may be surcharged and how long it stays on your driving record may depend on the speed at which you were traveling.
- At-fault accident: Being involved in an at-fault accident will have an effect on your car insurance. The amount of time it will stay on your driving record depends on the severity of the accident and state regulations.
- DUI conviction: As one of the most serious driving incidents, receiving a DUI conviction typically increases your car insurance premium more than an at-fault accident or speeding ticket. This also may stay on your driving record for as long as ten years.
Tips to save money on car insurance for new drivers
There’s no one surefire way to find the best price for auto insurance, but there are a few things you can do to get a lower car insurance premium. We recommend using the following strategies if you’re purchasing car insurance for new drivers.
No two insurance companies will give you the same price. Taking time to compare car insurance quotes will give you a baseline idea of what you can expect to pay when adding someone to an existing policy — or how much you could save by switching providers.
When you’re deciding between two companies, it may also help to read comparisons like our Allstate vs. Progressive review or State Farm vs. Geico review. These break down each company’s discount offerings and customer reviews side by side.
Look for discounts
Several car insurance companies offer discounts for young drivers and students, but you can save money through other means too. Bundling policies like homeowners insurance with your auto coverage can lower your premium, so check to see if your insurer offers a multi-policy discount.
Here are some common discounts offered by insurance providers:
- Safe driver discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Military discount
- New vehicle discount
- Vehicle safety feature discount
Adjust your coverage
If you’re looking to save and have a new driver on the road, adjusting your current auto policy might give you a better rate. Opting for a higher deductible usually leads to lower premiums, but it does mean paying more up front if you file an insurance claim.
Another option is dropping coverage you don’t need. If one of your cars is older and you own it outright, you can likely stop paying for collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. In most states, you’ll still have to pay for liability insurance if you decide to drop the rest of your full coverage policy.
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