The Best Cheap Car Insurance for New Drivers

Do I have to add my teenage driver to my insurance?

A teenage driver must have car insurance in almost every state, so they can either be added to your policy or insured with a separate policy. Buying a standalone policy for a teenager can be expensive due to their lack of driving experience and a higher likelihood of accidents, so it’s usually more affordable to add a young driver to your existing policy. By adding them to your policy, they benefit from the savings and rate you’ve earned as a longtime driver with (in most states) an established credit history. Here are a few more reasons why it’s usually best to add a young adult driver to your car insurance policy:

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.

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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.

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.

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 Now

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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 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.

What Are the Different Types of Car Insurance for Teens?

Although there are some exceptions, most car insurance companies offer:

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability to cover the other party's medical care and damages when you are the at-fault driver
  • Collision Coverage to cover your own vehicle’s damage regardless of fault
  • Comprehensive Coverage to pay for non-accident related damages
  • Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments to cover your medical expenses in case of an accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage to cover your damages and medical expenses when the at-fault driver doesn’t have accurate coverage
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) Coverage to cover the gap between your car's lease or loan and the determined value in the case of a total loss

How much is insurance for a new driver?

Who is considered a new driver?

Newly licensed teens Older drivers who have never had a license People with a gap in driving or insurance coverage Immigrants and foreign nationals

On average, new drivers can expect to pay $1,582 per year for minimum-coverage and $3,867 per year for full-coverage insurance. However, car insurance rates vary greatly depending on your age, where you live and other factors such as your credit score.

How does experience affect car insurance rates?

Auto insurance companies consider a broad range of factors to determine rates, including driving experience. People with little to no driving history tend to be significantly riskier to insure, so they’ll have to pay higher premiums during the first few years of their driving careers. However, as you spend more time behind the wheel, you’ll see your insurance rates begin to fall.

Years licensed Average annual premium Percentage increase $1,10543%1$88415%2$85511%3$8328%4$8277%5$7720% Percentage increase shows the difference in premium from a driver with five years of experience, which is when experience no longer affects rates, on average.

In Texas, a 30-year-old man with no driving experience can expect to pay $1,105 per year for a minimum-coverage policy. After one year of driving, his rates go down by $131. After having his license for five years, his rates are $333 cheaper.

Insurance companies only consider driving experience within the U.S., so immigrants and foreign nationals pay higher premiums as well, even with foreign driving experience.

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How does age affect car insurance rates?

One of the biggest factors that raises new-driver rates is age. Teens, who tend to have a higher risk tolerance, cause more accidents on average than middle-aged drivers. However, some people do begin driving later in life. If you’re a new-but-not-young driver, you’ll still pay higher rates than other drivers your age. However, you’ll see less of an increase than your younger counterparts.

Age Minimum coverage Full coverage 16$3,097$7,22917$3,021$7,07918$3,107$7,45021$1,747$4,35125$1,198$2,984Show All Rows

In Texas, a 16-year-old driver pays more than twice what a 25-year-old new driver pays for a full-coverage policy, despite the fact that they have the same level of driving experience. Rates decrease even more for first-time drivers in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Our recommendations for car insurance for new drivers

Whether you’re a new driver or have been driving for decades, researching and comparing quotes from several providers is a great way to find the best rate. Our insurance experts have found that Geico and State Farm are excellent options for car insurance for new drivers. Read on to learn more about these providers.

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.

What is the cheapest car insurance for a new driver?

When looking for the cheapest car insurance for a new driver, you’ll need to shop around and find the best new driver coverage for your needs. As we’ll discuss later, there are a number of factors that can affect your rates, and how much those factors affect your rates varies from company to company.

To give you a baseline, we’ve collected first-time driver insurance average costs at age 17 compared to more experienced drivers at ages 25 and 35. Take a look to get an idea of the average cost of insurance for a new driver.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old Male USAA$4,807.54$5,385.61$1,988.52$2,126.14$1,551.43$1,540.32 GEICO $5,653.55$6,278.96$2,378.89$2,262.87$2,302.89$2,312.38 Nationwide$5,756.37$7,175.31$2,686.48$2,889.04$2,360.49$2,387.43 State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34$2,335.96$2,554.56$2,081.72$2,081.72 American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50$2,288.65$2,694.72$2,202.70$2,224.31 Farmers$8,521.97$9,144.04$2,946.80$3,041.44$2,556.98$2,557.75 Progressive$8,689.95$9,625.49$2,697.73$2,758.66$2,296.90$2,175.27 Allstate$9,282.19$10,642.53$3,424.87$3,570.93$3,156.09$3,123.01 Travelers$9,307.32$12,850.91$2,325.25$2,491.21$2,178.66$2,199.51 Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69$3,959.67$4,503.13$3,802.77$3,856.84 Get Your Rates Quote Now

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You can see that average insurance costs for new drivers are much higher than that of more experienced drivers.

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance for new drivers under 21, your best bet may be GEICO or USAA, based on the data in the table.

Car insurance for new drivers over 21 will vary, but the same rate information suggests both USAA and GEICO are good options. This also holds true when looking to insure drivers under the age of 25.

If you’re looking for coverage for new drivers over 25, you may want to consider USAA, American Family, or GEICO, based on available rate data.

However, keep in mind that this data is not specifically focused on new drivers but, as we already noted, includes rates for more experienced drivers.

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.

Defensive driving class discount

A Nationwide discount is applied when your teen successfully completes an approved defensive driving class. This may help you get more affordable car insurance.

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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What Are the Best Insurance Companies for New Drivers?

Without an insurance history or driving experience, new drivers are viewed as risky to insure, so companies often charge them rates. Despite this, some companies do offer competitive rates. The Zebra has ranked three of the best:

  • GEICO. Considered one of the most affordable companies, a six-month premium for a 16-year-old male averages $1,545. It also offers specific features to help newer drivers, including a good student discount, company-created driver safety programs, and discounts for completing driver training programs.
  • Nationwide. Although $1,142 isn’t exactly an inexpensive six-month premium, Nationwide still offers the best price for a 16-year-old male. It also offers certain discounts for new drivers, including a good student discount, accident forgiveness, roadside assistance, and its SmartRide usage-based insurance program.
  • USAA. For a 16-year-old male, USAA’s premiums average just $1,105 for a six-month policy. To qualify, drivers must be in the military or belong to a military family. It has discounts for good students, those who complete a driver training program, and has a Safe Pilot program that encourages safe driving habits.

One thing that you should keep in mind that it’s more expensive to insure a first-time driver on a separate policy than to include them on a family plan. According to WalletHub, for a 17-year-old driver, a stand-alone policy will likely cost more than $5,500 annually. However, if you add that same child to a parent’s policy, however, the annual cost is about $2,750.

Premium costs do decrease quite a bit after younger drivers turn 20, but they still pay almost twice as much as the average U.S. driver, according to The Zebra.

Methodology

We collected thousands of quotes from ZIP codes across Texas for the largest insurers in the state to determine the best rates for new drivers.

For our minimum-coverage rates, we quoted a policy with the minimum required limits in Texas. Minimum- and full-coverage limits are shown below:

Coverage Minimum-coverage limit Full-coverage limit Bodily injury liability$30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accidentProperty damage liability$25,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentUninsured motorist bodily injury liability-$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accidentComprehensive deductible-$500Collision deductible-$500

The driver for the study was a 30-year-old man with average credit driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. Characteristics were changed to reflect age and driving experience.

For difference in rates after adding a first-time driver to a family policy, quotes are based on a 16-year-old male sharing a policy with a married couple who are both 50 years old.

Insurance rate data for ValuePenguin’s analysis was provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates are publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your own quotes will differ.

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