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Sixteen is the age that most of us associate with driving. In many states, it’s how old you need to be to get your license. If you’re a teenager who recently got their license or a parent of a soon-to-be licensed driver, you might be wondering: How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?

We’ve done our research on the best car insurance companies in the country based on coverage, cost, financial strength, customer service, availability, and technology. This article will break down teen auto insurance rates, provide tips on the most important types of coverage, and suggest which providers are best for 16-year-old drivers.

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How Much Is Car Insurance For A 16-Year-Old?

According to Forbes, adding a teenage driver to a couple’s auto insurance policy increases rates by an average of 79 percent. We researched average car insurance rates by age and found that drivers between ages 30 and 65 see the lowest premiums, while teens pay some of the highest rates.

Statistically speaking, the younger the driver, the more crashes they report. However, some states like California have banned the ability to determine car insurance rates based on age.

What is the average insurance cost for a 16-year-old female? A 16-year-old female might find that her car insurance costs less than the same policy as her male counterpart. Young female drivers get into fewer accidents than males, so insurance rates can be cheaper.

What Factors Influence The Cost Of Car Insurance For A 16-Year-Old?

Car insurance for 16-year-olds and other teenage drivers can be expensive. As you can imagine, teenage drivers and newly licensed drivers are considered high-risk because of their inexperience and the large number of accidents they report.

Age is one of many factors that influences the cost of car insurance for 16-year-old drivers. Other things to consider when asking how much car insurance is for a 16-year-old costs include:

  • Type of car
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Credit score
  • Previous insurance history
  • And more

With 16-year-olds, many haven’t started building credit, gotten married, and are not homeowners. Without these data points to assess a 16-year-old driver’s risk, most insurance companies focus on age and inexperience.

Can A 16-Year-Old Get Their Own Car Insurance?

Yes. A 16-year-old driver can get their own car insurance policy, but such policies are usually very expensive. A less expensive option would be for a 16-year-old to be added to their parents’ auto insurance policy.

Ways To Lower Car Insurance Rates For A 16-Year-Old

It’s no secret that car insurance for a 16-year-old is expensive. Even though many of the factors that car insurance providers take into consideration to calculate each party’s rates don’t apply to teen drivers, there are things that teens can do to save money on car insurance.

What Teens Can DoHow It Can Make Car Insurance More Affordable
Maintain a B average or higher in school.Many car insurance companies give teen drivers discounts on car insurance for being a good student.
Ask about teen driver discounts.Many providers offer discounts for adding teens to your policy or for teens opening an account with the same provider as their parents. Our research shows that Safeco has the most options for teenage drivers looking for ways to save money on auto insurance.
Complete a state-approved defensive driving course.Completing a state-approved driving refresher course could help you qualify for discounted rates on your car insurance. Providers in states like New York, Virginia, Kansas, and Florida are required to give discounts to drivers who complete pre-approved courses.
Start building credit.Encourage your teen to start building credit. The higher an insured’s credit score, the lower their car insurance rates in most states.

The Insurance Information Institute also recommends that parents of teenage drivers do a few things to make getting car insurance for a 16-year-old more affordable:

  • Involve your teen in the car insurance shopping experience.
  • Encourage teens to practice safe driving behavior by informing them about the things they can do to save money on car insurance.
  • If you can, assign your 16-year-old driver the least expensive car to insure on your car insurance policy.
  • Increase your liability coverage just in case your teen is involved in an accident.
  • Raise your deductible to save money on your car insurance premiums.

Best Types Of Car Insurance For A 16-Year-Old

Adding a 16-year-old driver to your car insurance policy might change the types of protection you need on the road. When you’re wondering about how much car insurance is for a 16-year-old, be sure to include the cost of the additional coverages you might consider buying.

As always, we first recommend you research basic car insurance requirements in your state to be sure you’re purchasing at least the minimum amount of liability limits that your state requires. Some of the most common car insurance requirements include:

  • Bodily injury liability (BI): This type of coverage protects you from having to pay for the other party’s injuries out-of-pocket in an accident you cause.
  • Property damage liability (PD): PD protects you from having to pay for another party’s damages to their vehicle as a result of an accident you cause.
  • Medical payments (MedPay): This type of coverage pays for your medical bills after a covered accident, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This type of coverage helps you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and death benefits in a no-fault state.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): This type of protection helps you pay for property damages or injuries to your own person in the event that the at-fault driver has insufficient limits to cover you.

Two other forms of coverage, collision and comprehensive insurance, are not required by any state, but it could be a good idea to consider purchasing these when you’re wondering how much car insurance to purchase for a 16-year-old. Here’s how collision or comprehensive insurance could help you:

  • Collision coverage: This type of coverage pays for repairs to your car after an accident regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive covers vehicle damage not related to an accident, such as vandalism, theft, hazardous weather conditions, or animal damage.

If you purchase these coverages for your teen driver, you could get peace of mind knowing that your car is covered. Beyond these standard types of car insurance, there are numerous add-ons that may benefit your 16-year-old driver:

  • Roadside assistance can cover situations like a flat tire change, lockout services, towing to a repair shop, and fuel delivery.
  • Accident forgiveness prevents your auto insurance rates from going up after your first at-fault accident. We think Progressive has an impressive accident forgiveness policy.
  • Gap coverage could also be beneficial for young drivers with financed cars. This type of insurance covers the difference between the amount you owe and the actual cash value of your car in the event of a total loss.

Recommendations For Teen Auto Insurance

When you’re shopping for the right car insurance for a 16-year-old, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple providers to be sure you’re getting the best rates. Enter your zip code to start comparing car insurance quotes from major providers in your area for free. Or, call us at (844) 246-8209. 

Compare auto insurance rates
Enter your zip code to shop for the best rates in your area:

#1 Geico: 4.6 Stars

Our Geico review, we named this provider best overall. Geico has a variety of coverages that could help young drivers create a basic car insurance policy to satisfy state minimum requirements or a cheap, full coverage insurance plan that includes add-ons like:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • And more

Plus, Geico has a variety of discounts that could help 16-year-old drivers save money on car insurance:

  • Good student discount
  • Vehicle safety feature discounts
  • Usage-based savings program (DriveEasy app)

#2 State Farm: 4.6 Stars

We named State Farm the best for students in our State Farm insurance review. We think a policy from State Farm has a lot to offer 16-year-old drivers, including:

  • Usage based savings program (Drive Safe & Save® app)
  • Good student discount
  • Student away at school discount
  • Steer Clear® driving refresher course for drivers under 25 years old

If you’re a 16-year-old driver, a usage-based program is a good way to make up for your lack of driving experience, because the data collected by the app will never work against you.

#3 Safeco: 4.1 Stars

Finally, we think it’s worth keeping Safeco car insurance on your radar when wondering about the right auto insurance for a 16-year-old. A car insurance policy from Safeco gives you access to nine discounts for teens through the Teen Safety Rewards™ program.

Some of the standout discounts from the program include:

  • Newly independent discount: If a driver was previously insured on their parent’s Safeco policy and recently opened their own, the driver will get a discount.
  • New teen reward: If you’ve been insured by Safeco for more than one year and are ready to add your teen driver to your policy, you could save up to 27 percent.
  • Safeco RightTrack®: Safeco’s usage-based savings program monitors your safe driving behavior to save you up to 30 percent on your insurance premium.
  • Parent-teen contract: This form is a good tool for parents to use to teach their new driver about rules and expectations when they’re on the road.
  • Road Ahead Guide: This is a program that will give your teen driver tips on safe driving, driving in different weather conditions, what to do in an accident, and more.

Read more in our full Safeco insurance review.

FAQ: Car Insurance For New Drivers


In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
  • Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.