Cheapest (and Best) Car Insurance for New Drivers (2022)

Everything You Want to Know

car insurance ratesLearning to drive is something every teen looks forward to. They’re excited about having a little freedom, but parents are worried about their teen’s safety—and their car insurance rates. We’re here to help! We think driving can be fun as long as you learn the basics and act responsibly.

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How much is car insurance for teens?

A separate car insurance policy for teen drivers can be expensive because they have a greater tendency to drive distracted, speed, tailgate, and not wear a seatbelt. The average cost of teen car insurance, however, will vary based on the exact age of the driver, their ZIP code, driving history, and vehicle type. Learn more about the factors that impact car insurance rates.

Accident Forgiveness

Accidents happen to even the best young drivers. And if one does occur, insurance rates may rise as much as 30%. If you have Nationwide’s Accident Forgiveness as part of your teen car insurance package, your rates will not increase following the first at-fault automobile accident.

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.

Compare companies

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.

Car insurance for first-time drivers

Teenagers aren’t the only ones driving for the first time. A person of any age who has lived in a large city and primarily relied on public transportation or who hasn’t had the means to purchase a car could also be considered a new driver.

As we mentioned above, factors like the vehicle you choose, as well as your age, location and credit score, will impact the price of car insurance. Even though you may not have experience on the road, if you’re over 25, you may see lower rates than a teen driver.

Another thing to consider is that if you live in an area that has public transit or you don’t plan on driving much, there are alternatives to traditional insurance, like usage-based insurance. Also known as pay-per-mile insurance, this type of coverage measures driving behaviors and mileage and uses this data to set rates. By linking a monthly bill to the actual time on the road and good driving habits, usage-based insurance policies usually end up costing customers less than traditional auto insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Usage-based policies may not be available in every state. They’re also not a good option if you drive often or have a long commute, and people with poor driving habits may actually see their rates increase.

Save on Car Insurance Costs for Teens

Teen drivers will need car insurance. We want to help. Here’s some additional information to help with decisions about insurance coverage for teen drivers.

  • Cutting costs: Adding a teenage to a car insurance policy can be daunting, but there are steps you can take to help save money on premiums.
  • Look into car insurance discounts for students. GEICO offers eligible students Good Student Discounts in most states, as well as discounts for members of certain student organizations.

How Much Does Car Insurance for Young Drivers Cost?

The cost of car insurance is different for everyone and depends on a set of specific factors, such as your age, gender, driving history, and credit score. Young drivers generally have less experience behind the wheel, so they are more susceptible to incidents of all kinds on the road. To compensate for this lack of experience, teens are generally charged more. 

Our research into a selection of the top auto insurance companies found the average annual price for 17-year-olds to be $5,095, compared to $1,810 for 42-year-olds and $1,497 for 67-year-olds. That means 17-year-olds are paying an average of 181% more than 42-year-olds.

How much could Metromile save me on car insurance?

There’s no doubt that car insurance for first-time drivers may be more expensive due to higher levels of risk and no track record to refer to. But pay-per-mile car insurance with Metromile could be good auto insurance for new drivers and keep costs more affordable if you’re not driving that much. Here’s a look at just how much money low-mileage drivers can save with Metromile:

*Average annual car insurance savings by new custo

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Minimum-coverage insurance costs $1,582 per year for first-time drivers, on average, while a full-coverage policy costs $3,867 per year. Young drivers may be able to save money by sharing a policy with parents or older family members.

We recommend full-coverage insurance for new drivers. Full-coverage insurance includes comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays for damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault — a feature that could be worth paying extra for, since first-time drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident. State Farm offers the best full-coverage insurance rates for most new drivers.

Every state requires you to have auto insurance or proof of financial responsibility in order to drive legally. Typically, you’re required to purchase liability insurance, which pays for injuries and damage you cause to others and their property. In addition, you’ll need to decide if you want to purchase additional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive insurance .

To purchase car insurance as a new driver, you will need to provide your personal information (full name, age, address and license number), vehicle information (make, model, VIN number, date of purchase and mileage) and your payment information (usually bank account or credit card).

A full coverage policy for a 16-year-old girl costs $813 per month, and a 16-year-old boy can expect to pay $876 per month. However, insurance costs range from $313 per month to $1,141 per month, which is why it’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurers in your area.

A 25-year-old driver can expect an 11% decrease in car insurance costs, on average. However, rates decrease more between 20 and 21 years old (17%) and 18 and 19 (16%).

Average car insurance costs for young drivers by state

Location is another critical factor in determining auto insurance premiums. Every state has different insurance laws, which can impact the rates set by every auto insurance company. Additionally, the risk of getting into an accident may vary by location.

The table below illustrates the average annual full coverage premium for young adults, analyzed by state.

Average annual full coverage premium by age and state

State 20-year-old 21-year-old 22-year-old 23-year-old 24-year-old 25-year-old
Alabama $4,247 $3,103 $2,899 $2,742 $2,583 $2,189
Alaska $3,534 $2,810 $2,627 $2,457 $2,350 $2,050
Arizona $3,391 $2,750 $2,570 $2,399 $2,284 $1,953
Arkansas $4,357 $3,370 $3,092 $2,947 $2,824 $2,470
California $3,980 $3,459 $3,228 $3,064 $2,870 $2,671
Colorado $4,494 $3,411 $3,161 $3,016 $2,891 $2,443
Connecticut $4,420 $3,079 $2,769 $2,546 $2,406 $2,075
Delaware $4,352 $3,045 $2,831 $2,687 $2,568 $2,176
Florida $5,726 $4,580 $4,148 $3,955 $3,828 $3,357
Georgia $4,763 $3,589 $3,426 $3,209 $3,071 $2,562
Hawaii* $1,294 $1,272 $1,273 $1,272 $1,272 $1,272
Idaho $2,648 $2,034 $1,882 $1,795 $1,729 $1,460
Illinois $3,634 $2,807 $2,556 $2,387 $2,267 $1,913
Indiana $2,945 $2,421 $2,207 $2,129 $1,979 $1,682
Iowa $2,657 $2,150 $1,996 $1,907 $1,823 $1,550
Kansas $3,838 $2,998 $2,758 $2,675 $2,597 $2,150
Kentucky $5,444 $4,071 $3,788 $3,649 $3,479 $2,863
Louisiana $5,911 $4,847 $4,390 $4,176 $3,979 $3,426
Maine $2,372 $1,566 $1,476 $1,420 $1,366 $1,107
Maryland $4,473 $3,208 $2,966 $2,732 $2,538 $2,208
Massachusetts* $1,451 $1,451 $1,451 $1,451 $1,451 $1,451
Michigan $5,743 $4,495 $4,165 $3,825 $3,625 $3,038
Minnesota $3,333 $2,856 $2,643 $2,444 $2,329 $2,011
Mississippi $3,840 $2,959 $2,763 $2,614 $2,494 $2,144
Missouri $3,923 $2,984 $2,788 $2,670 $2,562 $2,111
Montana $4,238 $3,183 $3,001 $2,760 $2,639 $2,094
Nebraska $3,414 $2,584 $2,368 $2,262 $2,187 $1,839
Nevada $4,928 $3,903 $3,656 $3,358 $3,250 $2,836
New Hampshire $2,806 $2,199 $2,000 $1,906 $1,806 $1,512
New Jersey $4,232 $3,346 $3,045 $2,818 $2,670 $2,294
New Mexico $3,033 $2,511 $2,348 $2,243 $2,148 $1,862
New York $4,861 $3,754 $3,542 $3,354 $3,207 $2,798
North Carolina $1,653 $1,576 $1,559 $1,542 $1,512 $1,482
North Dakota $2,648 $2,158 $1,995 $1,852 $1,777 $1,576
Ohio $2,679 $2,097 $1,967 $1,832 $1,722 $1,462
Oklahoma $3,791 $3,154 $2,903 $2,739 $2,615 $2,299
Oregon $2,945 $2,395 $2,173 $2,062 $1,972 $1,721
Pennsylvania $3,806 $2,913 $2,735 $2,586 $2,437 $1,964
Rhode Island $4,238 $3,314 $3,060 $2,824 $2,707 $2,324
South Carolina $3,733 $2,661 $2,506 $2,347 $2,250 $1,921
South Dakota $3,232 $2,645 $2,522 $2,379 $2,300 $2,029
Tennessee $3,241 $2,561 $2,358 $2,201 $2,033 $1,789
Texas $4,455 $3,346 $3,126 $2,960 $2,817 $2,353
Utah $3,215 $2,416 $2,221 $2,080 $1,958 $1,651
Vermont $3,539 $2,133 $2,021 $1,911 $1,853 $1,413
Virginia $3,246 $2,409 $2,226 $2,098 $1,996 $1,770
Washington $3,034 $2,235 $2,023 $1,887 $1,794 $1,545
Washington, D.C. $3,863 $3,224 $2,989 $2,766 $2,602 $2,246
West Virginia $3,520 $2,773 $2,530 $2,370 $2,216 $1,912
Wisconsin $2,609 $2,096 $1,922 $1,813 $1,726 $1,505
Wyoming $3,035 $2,616 $2,397 $2,232 $2,142 $1,720

*Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit using age as a rating factor

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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 do you save money on auto insurance for teens?

There are ways to cut down on insurance premium policy costs. For instance, being a safe driver and using more efficient vehicles (such as Honda Civics, Toyota Priuses and Nissan Rogues) tends to cut costs, even for teen drivers, according to Giusti. There are also discounts based on how often you use your car: “Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive less than the average number of miles per year,” says Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communication at the Insurance Information Institute.

Teens may also qualify for “good student” discounts, or discounts based on learning safe driving habits from a defensive driving course or graduated driver licensing programs.

You may also be able to save money if the younger driver on your policy isn’t using their car because they’re away at college. “If there is a young driver on your policy who is … away at college without a car you may also qualify for a lower rate,” according to Ruiz. Every insurance carrier offers different discounts depending on your coverage option and other factors, so it pays to check which ones apply to you before signing up.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Car Insurance for Young Drivers?

Teens have little to no experience behind the wheel, so rates can be much more expensive than for the average driver. Other factors that can impact the cost of auto insurance for teens are the amount of coverage you buy, the kind of car you drive, and how much you drive each year. Moving violations or accidents on your driving record can also increase rates.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 18-year-old through 25-year-old male and female drivers with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. The drivers are renters on their own insurance plans except for distant student discount rates, in which case the drivers are on their parents’ plan.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

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