New drivers pose a higher risk for insurance companies and therefore are a lot more expensive to insure. To find the best car insurance for new drivers, we researched every major car insurance company and ranked them in areas like coverage, cost, and industry reputation.
Here, we'll discuss the best car insurance for new drivers as well as how to take out a policy, what you should know about car insurance, and how to save money on your premium. Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates.
Use the tool below to start comparing free, personalized car insurance quotes.
In this article:
- Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
- What Kind Of Car Insurance Do New Drivers Need?
- How Does Your Vehicle Affect Your Insurance Premium?
- Why Is Car Insurance For New Drivers So Expensive?
- How To Get Cheap Car Insurance For New Drivers
- FAQ: Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
Best Car Insurance For New Drivers
After reviewing every major auto insurance provider, our top picks for best car insurance for new drivers include Liberty Mutual, State Farm, and USAA. Keep in mind that different providers have different strengths.
To determine which is right for you, you should consider the types of coverage that are important to you, the discounts you qualify for, and the level of service you will receive should you ever need to file a claim.
|Best Insurance For New Drivers||Relevant Discounts||Average Cost For 24-Year-Old||Accident Forgiveness|
|1. Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance|| |
Good student discount, student away at school discount
|2. State Farm Auto Insurance|| |
25% off for students under the age of 25 with good grades, up to 15% off for drivers under 25 with no accidents in the past 3 years
|3. USAA Auto Insurance|| |
Driver training discount, safe driver discount
|4. Geico Auto Insurance||Good student discount, driver training discount||$1,627||Yes|
|5. Progressive Auto Insurance||Good student discount, teen driver discount||$2,029||Yes|
*You may notice that some car insurance companies are listed above those with higher star ratings. This is because our ratings take into account nationwide factors, while our ranking for this article looks specifically at what insurance providers are best for new drivers.
#1 Liberty Mutual: Cheapest Insurance For New Drivers
Liberty Mutual provides the best insurance for new drivers thanks to its affordable rates and many discounts, including:
- Student away at school discount: If you're a student who has moved onto campus 100 miles or more away from home and did not bring the car to school, you could be eligible for a discount.
- Good student discount: Maintain higher than a B average to be eligible for this discount.
- Multi-car discount: This is an argument to stay on your parent's car insurance policy, because if you add more cars to one policy, you all receive discounted monthly rates.
Liberty Mutual also has impressive ratings from industry experts like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where the company holds an A+. This bodes well for Liberty Mutual's reliability and business practices.
Our Verdict: Given the discounts that could benefit young drivers, we think Liberty Mutual is the provider with the best car insurance for new drivers. Learn more about coverage in our complete Liberty Mutual auto insurance review.
#2 State Farm: Best Safe Driving Programs
As America’s largest auto insurance provider, State Farm has earned its reputation as one of the most trusted companies around and provides great car insurance for new drivers. With a financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best, new drivers should feel safe taking out a policy with State Farm.
In addition to the standard coverage types, State Farm offers:
- Car rental and travel expenses coverage: You’re covered for the cost of a rental car if your car is not drivable. With travel coverage, the cost of meals, transportation, and lodging are also taken care of up to a certain amount if your car breaks down more than 50 miles from your home.
- Rideshare insurance: This covers drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber.
- Emergency road service coverage: This type of coverage takes care of the cost of on-site repairs, towing, locksmith services, and gas and battery delivery.
State Farm has great apps for new drivers, including Steer Clear®, a driving refresher course that is available to drivers younger than 25.
Our Verdict: We’ve rated State Farm the No. 1 choice for college students and No. 2 choice for the best car insurance for teens. It is a highly reputable company with strong financials and affordable policies. State Farm’s 25-percent good grades discount and 15-percent safe driving discount make it a fantastic choice for young drivers. Read our State Farm auto insurance review to learn more.
#3 USAA: Car Insurance For Military Families
USAA provides the best insurance for new drivers from military families. The auto insurance company consistently receives high marks from industry experts. AM Best rates USAA’s financial strength at an A++, and USAA swept the board in multiple 2020 and 2021 J.D. Power studies.
Some benefits to getting USAA car insurance include quality customer service and a variety of discounts, like the military installation discount of up to 15-percent off for garaging a vehicle on a military base.
Our Verdict: Although USAA is only available to a small number of new drivers, we think the impressive ratings and discounts make it worth a look for anyone who is eligible. Find out more about coverage and eligibility in our complete USAA auto insurance review.
#4 Geico: High Ratings For Teen Car Insurance
Geico auto insurance is our first choice in the industry for a reason. The insurer has a strong reputation, with an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, an A+ rating from the BBB, and high marks on several 2020 and 2021 J.D. Power studies.
Along with standard coverage, Geico offers extra types of coverage like:
- Roadside assistance
- Mechanical breakdown insurance
- Rental car reimbursement
Our Verdict: Geico offers the best overall car insurance in the industry and has some of the best insurance for new drivers according to our research. With impressive discounts, a longstanding positive reputation, and affordable rates, Geico is a great choice for teens. Find out more about coverage and discounts in our Geico auto insurance review.
#5 Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers
Our research team named Progressive car insurance best for high-risk drivers, which makes this coverage beneficial for new drivers with little experience. We think Progressive is one of the best auto insurance providers in the nation because of its competitive industry tools and discounts.
Progressive maintains an advantage over its competitors with exclusive tools like the Name Your Price® tool and Snapshot® program. Name Your Price constructs a Progressive policy with your budget in mind, and Snapshot collects data from an app in your phone about your driving habits to adjust rates based on safe driving behavior.
Plus, Progressive has positive customer reviews and high marks from experts:
- AM Best financial strength rating: A+
- BBB rating: NR
- J.D. Power 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM: 3/5
- J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM: 856/1,000
Our Verdict: With discounts like Snapshot and accident forgiveness that won't let your rates go up after your first at-fault accident, Progressive is a strong contender for the best insurance for new drivers. Read our comprehensive Progressive auto insurance review to find out more.
What Kind Of Car Insurance Do New Drivers Need?
New drivers do not need a special type of auto insurance – they just need to make sure they meet their state’s minimum requirements. These requirements differ from state to state, so it’s important to check your state’s laws.
Most states require you to take out liability insurance at a minimum. This covers the costs associated with bodily injuries to other drivers and passengers, as well as property damages.
In addition to liability insurance, some states require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, which covers you if you get into an accident with another driver that doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage.
In total, there are six common types of car insurance. These include:
Covers damages and injuries to other drivers and vehicles when you are at fault, as well as your legal fees
Covers damages that aren’t due to collisions, such as storms, vandalism, etc. and may be required by your lender if you are leasing or financing your vehicle
Covers you for damage related to collisions with vehicles or other objects, regardless of who is at fault
Personal Injury Protection
Covers you for medical payments and sometimes lost wages due to a car accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Covers you if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver
Covers the medical costs for anyone injured in your vehicle
Determining the required car insurance for new drivers depends on your state. For example, California only requires bodily injury and property damage liability for all drivers, but New York requires personal injury protection and uninsured motorist bodily injury in addition to liability coverages.
However, in most cases, it’s not advisable to simply take out the minimum coverage. All of the types of coverage listed above can save you from serious financial disaster if the unexpected occurs, so we recommend finding a policy that provides full coverage if it’s financially feasible for you.
In addition to these standard coverages, some of the best insurance for new drivers can include premium coverage options that provide peace of mind to many motorists. These include options like:
- New car replacement coverage: If you total your car within a certain period of time (usually two to three years), your insurance provider will cover the cost of a brand new vehicle of the same make, model, and trim.
- Loan/lease gap insurance: This covers you if you total your car before your lease or loan is paid off in full. This may be required by your lender.
- Rental coverage: This type of coverage reimburses the cost of a rental car for a specified period of time if your car is not drivable.
How Does Your Vehicle Affect Your Insurance Premium?
The make and model of your vehicle can raise or lower your risk of getting in an accident, the cost of repairs, and consequently the risk your insurance provider takes when covering you.
The following factors affect your insurance premium and are an important consideration in the search for the best insurance for new drivers.
- Vehicle year: The year of your car will play into an insurer’s risk profiling procedure. Some insurance companies offer new car discounts.
- Vehicle make and model: Higher-end models are more expensive to insure, and your premium will reflect that.
- Safety features: The more safety features your vehicle has, the lower your vehicle’s risk profile is unless those features require very hi-tech and expensive components.
- Theft prevention systems: Active and passive theft prevention systems affect your premium to different degrees. Passive systems are generally preferred by insurance companies.
Why Is Car Insurance For New Drivers So Expensive?
While higher rates for new drivers are definitely frustrating, they are admittedly understandable. New drivers have two factors going against them: inexperience and lack of track record.
New drivers are more likely they’ll slip up and forget to check their blindspots, misunderstand the right of way, or make another mistake that will cause an accident.
Furthermore, new drivers don’t have a track record to back them up – it’s like walking into a job interview with no previous experience.
In many cases, there’s also a third factor that increases new driver insurance premiums: age. Most new drivers are young, and teenagers have a crash rate that’s almost four times that of drivers 20 and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
If you’re young and inexperienced with no track record to back you up, there’s a lot of risk for auto insurance companies. That's why it's so important to find the best insurance for new drivers.
How Your Credit Score Affects Car Insurance
Besides your age, your credit report can also affect your rates. If you're a new driver, there's a good chance that you're young and you might not have a good credit score yet. Unfortunately, it's easy to get a bad score as a young person since you probably have less history and available credit to work with.
California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts don't allow credit scores to affect your car insurance. But, if you live in another state, you could pay more for having a poor score. Here's how your credit score can affect your rate according to our data (not including CA, HI, or MA):
|Credit Rating||Estimated Annual Car Insurance For A 24-Year-Old|
To see what an insurance premium for your age and credit level would look like, enter your zip code below.
How To Get Cheap Car Insurance For New Drivers
Unfortunately, cheap insurance for new drivers may be a bit of a misnomer. That said, it’s possible to get cheaper car insurance as a new driver in a few different ways:
- Stay on your parents’ plan: Most insurance companies offer discounts for plans that insure multiple people, so if at all possible, stay on your parents’ plan to lower your rate.
- Build a clean driving record: New driver or not, maintaining a clean driving record free from accidents and traffic violations is by far one of the best ways to keep your premiums low.
- Look for discounts: Consider taking a defensive driving class, which will lower your premium right away with some insurance companies. Many providers offer other programs to lower costs for new drivers too.
- Raise your deductible: You can lower your car insurance costs by raising your deductible, as long as you can still manage to cover it if an accident should happen.
While many of us wish we could stay young forever, growing old is universally looked forward to when it comes to car insurance. After the age of 20, car insurance rates slowly begin to decrease.
However, the most drastic decrease is after age 25, just like for rental cars. If you can maintain a clean driving record from the time you start driving until you’re 25, you’ll be well-positioned for a low and affordable premium when you hit that milestone.
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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 auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services 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.
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