Adding a young driver to your car insurance policy can skyrocket the rate by thousands of dollars per year. To save money, you should take your time to find the best car insurance for teens.
In this article, we will look at the process of getting coverage for your teen and evaluate the best car insurance companies for teenage drivers. We’ve already done the research and found top insurance providers that offer cheap insurance for young drivers.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. Many factors affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below to start comparing free, personalized car insurance quotes.
In this article:
- Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
- Best Car Insurance For Teens
- How To Add Teenagers To Your Car Insurance Policy
- How To Get The Cheapest Car Insurance For Teens
- Final Thoughts On The Best Car Insurance For Teens
- FAQ: Car Insurance For Teenage Drivers
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
When adding a teen to your policy, it can be a good idea to compare your company on price against others. According to our rate estimates, USAA, Erie, Auto-Owners, Geico, and State Farm all have cheap average rates.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Annual Cost Estimate|
Cheapest Car Insurance For A Speeding Ticket
Overall, teens tend to get tickets more often for speeding and other infractions. The cheapest options for having a speeding ticket include USAA, State Farm, and Geico.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Annual Cost Estimate|
Cheapest Car Insurance For Fair Credit
Teens and young drivers may not have the chance to build a good credit score before getting insurance. Similarly, making simple financial mistakes at a young age can really affect a credit rating. The cheapest options for fair credit scores include USAA, Geico, and Progressive.
However, if you live in California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts, you don't have to worry about credit scores impacting rates.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Annual Cost Estimate|
Cheapest Car Insurance For 17-Year-Olds
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17-year-olds are among the most at risk for a fatal crash due to immaturity and limited driving experience. One car insurance expert told the Huffington Post that drivers between the age of 16 and 17 are nine times more likely to cause an accident than a 45-year-old driver.
Being such a high-risk demographic usually means teens pay higher rates for auto insurance. The best way to find affordable car insurance for a 17-year-old is by putting them on a parent’s policy and look for student and young driver discounts.
What Is The Average Car Insurance Costs For 18-Year-Olds?
Because 18-year-old drivers don’t have much experience behind the wheel, these drivers are considered high-risk. Teenagers tend to file more claims than older drivers, so car insurance companies raise rates for this age group.
According to The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance study, the average car insurance for 18-year-old drivers runs about $4,700 per year or nearly $400 per month. The same study discusses the savings 18-year-olds can see if they stay on their parents’ insurance policy instead of starting their own – it’s about $2,600.
How Much Is Car Insurance For 19-Year-Olds?
We examined average car insurance rates by age and found that drivers between 30 and 65 see the lowest premiums. Teenage drivers pay some of the highest rates, though there is a big difference between the average cost for 16-year-old and 19-year-old drivers.
According to Forbes, adding a teen driver to a married couple’s car insurance policy increases rates by an average of 79 percent. But that number falls to about 58 percent once the driver turns 19 years old. How much you pay depends on a lot of things, like your exact location and the driver’s gender, in some cases.
Best Car Insurance For Teens
In our "Top 12" industry review of the best car insurance providers, we named Liberty Mutual as the best option for teens. Our runner-up choices include State Farm and USAA.
To protect your teen drivers, you should evaluate each insurance company by several criteria. Young adults have additional needs, so you want to look at more than just cost. We recommend looking at the insurance rating, level of customer service, available discounts, and perks such as accident forgiveness insurance.
|Best Car Insurance for Teens||Our Overall Rating||Customer Service||Affordability||Coverage|
*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 car insurance providers are best for teens.
#1 Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance
Liberty Mutual has the best car insurance for teens because of its comprehensive coverage and benefits. Some car insurance benefits from Liberty Mutual that could be useful for young drivers include:
|Liberty Mutual Deductible Fund®||
Think of this like a savings fund that puts money toward the deductible you pay to the repair shop out-of-pocket in the case of a covered repair. With this plan, Liberty Mutual also contributes to the cost of your deductible savings.
|Lifetime Repair Guarantee||If you purchase this plan with your teen car insurance policy, any covered repair will be guaranteed for the lifetime of your vehicle.|
|Accident Forgiveness||This plan will protect your premium against heightened rates after your first at-fault accident, which can be beneficial for young, less experienced drivers.|
|Roadside Assistance||This provides towing, flat-tire changes, dead battery service, lockout service, and fuel delivery service when your car is disabled.|
|Rental Car Reimbursement||Get reimbursed for the cost of a rental car when your car is in the shop.|
|Auto Loan/Lease Gap||
If you owe more than your vehicle is worth, this plan covers the difference in the event of a total loss.
Liberty Mutual has a positive reputation among industry experts. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with accreditation and an A financial strength rating from AM Best. If you’re interested, we recommend getting a quote and discussing your discount and savings options with the agent.
Learn more about coverage in our complete Liberty Mutual insurance review to determine if this provider is right for you.
#2 State Farm Car Insurance
State Farm is a leading provider of auto insurance, as well as insurance for motorcycles, boats, ATVs, motorhomes, and more. State Farm has some of the best car insurance for teens thanks to its great programs for students and young drivers.
State Farm discounts that could save teen drivers money include:
|Drive Safe & SaveTM||This usage-based safe driver program works by collecting data about your safe driving habits through an app on your phone or OnStar® to qualify you for savings.|
|Steer Clear®||Drivers younger than 25 without any at-fault accidents or moving violations in the past three years who complete this driving training program could save as much 15 percent on their policy.|
|Student Away at School Discount||If you are a student under the age of 25 and move away to school without bringing your car, get a discount on your car insurance rates.|
|Good Student Discount||Maintain a B average or higher and save up to 25 percent for getting good grades. College students can keep the discount until they turn 25, even after graduation.|
|Driver Training Discount||Drivers under the age of 21 are eligible to complete an approved driver education course.|
Young drivers can get affordable insurance through discounts and usage-based programs. Plus, this provider has a positive reputation in the auto insurance industry. State Farm has an AM Best financial strength rating of A++, which bodes well for the company’s reliability.
To learn more, read our full State Farm insurance review.
#3 USAA Car Insurance
USAA earned the highest ratings overall in our industry review for all drivers, and teens can get great rates too. If you are currently enlisted or part of a military family, it makes sense to use this provider for your teen's insurance needs.
In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠, USAA ranked extremely well overall. Among various discounts for teen car insurance, here are some that stand out:
|Driver Training Discount||Additional savings for any driver under the age of 21 who takes a basic driver training course|
|Safe Driving Discount||Additional savings for anyone that has been accident-free for five years|
|Good Student Discount||Decrease in premium if your teen gets good grades|
|Multi-Vehicle Discount||Decrease in premium when you own multiple vehicles|
Aside from those benefits, USAA provides roadside assistance and accident forgiveness plans as well. With complete protection, it’s easy to feel safe when choosing this company to cover your teen. In fact, the coverage doesn’t end when your child moves away from home and is ready for their own policy. USAA has a 10-percent Family Legacy discount when the time comes for your child to get an individual policy.
Read our USAA insurance review to learn more about why this provider has some of the best car insurance for teens.
#4 Geico Auto Insurance
Geico is known for more than just an adorable gecko spokesperson. It is one of the top insurance providers in the country. Geico maintains an A+ BBB rating, and it also fared well on the same 2021 J.D. Power study mentioned above.
As some of the best auto insurance for young adults, we like Geico for its long list of discounts and incentives. Here are just a few of the discounts you and your teen could receive:
|Good Student Discount||Lower premiums if your teen maintains a B average or higher|
|Good Driver Discount||Additional savings for anyone that has been accident-free for five years|
|Air Bag Discount
||Up to 40 percent off for having a vehicle with full-front seat airbags|
|Seat Belt Use Discount
||Up to 15 percent off if you and your passengers always wear seat belts|
|Defensive Driving Discount
||Discounts available if you or your teen takes a defensive driving course|
Many young drivers also appreciate the high-tech app that’s available to users. Some perks you can expect with the Geico app include:
- Vehicle care features that monitor the car’s maintenance
- App locator to find gas, nearby attractions, and parking
- Voice-activated resource for use with Amazon’s Alexa
To find out if Geico has the right insurance policy for your budget, read our comprehensive Geico review.
#5 Progressive Car Insurance
Progressive didn’t rank as highly in the claims department as some of the other options in J.D Power's U.S. Auto Insurance Study, but the perks this company offers make it a top contender for the best car insurance for teens. Progressive is one of the largest insurance providers in the nation and has been in business since 1937. It currently sits in 74th place on the Fortune 500 list.
Not only does this provider have a strong reputation, but it offers several discounts to help you save even more. Some advantages to using Progressive when choosing car insurance for teen drivers include:
|Usage-Based Coverage||Only pay for protection when the vehicle is in use (i.e. if your child goes away to school without the vehicle).|
|Good Student Discount||Get lower premiums if your teen maintains a B average or higher.|
|Multi-Vehicle Discount||Save money when you insure multiple vehicles.|
One of the best parts about shopping for Progressive insurance is the provider’s price comparison tool. Instead of shopping with multiple companies, you can simply use the price comparison tool offered by Progressive to see the rates of competing companies. It’s not unheard of to find a lower rate with another company as a result of this tool. That level of transparency is difficult to find in the insurance industry.
Learn more about coverage in our Progressive insurance review.
#6 AAA Car Insurance
AAA is known for more than just roadside assistance and car rental discounts. With your membership, you can receive low insurance premiums – even when your teen is included on the policy. AAA car insurance is widely regarded as a leader in the industry and maintains an A+ BBB rating. With coverage, you can receive several AAA auto insurance discounts including:
|Accident Forgiveness||Eligibility determined by driving history|
|Extended Car Rental Expense Coverage||Pays for rental car coverage for the entire time that your vehicle is receiving repairs|
Offers a 12-month policy option, instead of the standard 6-month policy
|Pet Coverage||Provides coverage for your pets|
|New Vehicle Replacement||Replaces your vehicle after a total loss in the first year of coverage|
|GAP Coverage||Pay off the remaining balance on the loan if the vehicle is a total loss and you owe more than it is worth|
If you are looking for a wide variety of plan options, from car insurance to great roadside assistance plans and more, you might consider getting a membership to AAA and checking out the policies. Learn more about coverage in our full AAA insurance review.
To see how much you would pay for car insurance for teens, use this tool to get free, personalized quotes:
How To Add Teenagers To Your Car Insurance Policy
Once your teen receives a driver’s license, you have to begin preparing for the additional expense, even if you use one of our recommendations for the best car insurance for teens. As a two-car family, you are looking at a 58-percent average increase in rates, according to InCharge.org. As a three-car family, those numbers go even higher.
The reason for this increase is the additional risk that a teenage drivers bring. Inexperienced teenagers are more likely to get into accidents, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for teens is motor vehicle accidents. Every day, six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 will die due to a motor vehicle crash.
With higher rates, you need to take your time when shopping car insurance for teens. Once you find the provider you want to work with, though, adding your teenager isn’t difficult:
- Ask the insurance company when it requires coverage. Some expect you to add your teen while driving with a permit, while others wait until your child has a license.
- Get quotes on your existing policy, but also consider changing your plan to one with higher liability protection.
- Remember to ask for discounts.
- Shop various providers every time you are up for renewal.
It’s often more cost-effective to add a teen driver to your policy instead of having them receive their own. Of course, this does increase your yearly premiums but saves your child money. Most auto insurance companies provide a family discount or lower rate when insuring multiple vehicles.
Another reason to add your teen to your policy is to receive coverage no matter what car they drive. If your teenager is involved in an at-fault accident, it won’t matter which one of the covered vehicles was damaged.
What Affects The Price Of Car Insurance?
As you evaluate the best car insurance for teens, you will find that most companies use the same criteria when deciding premiums. These factors determine most of the cost:
- Age: Teen drivers have less experience behind the wheel and therefore pose a higher risk.
- Credit score: Because creditworthiness is an excellent gauge of responsibility, premiums rise the lower the credit score is. Unfortunately, most teens don’t have a credit history, which continues to put them at a disadvantage.
- Driving record: Your young driver doesn’t have a record to speak of. This lack of history makes it challenging for the car insurance company to determine how high of a risk each person poses. To protect itself, the provider charges more than average to compensate.
- Vehicle: Driving a car with a good safety rating and advanced safety technology helps to lower the price. Car insurance companies also evaluate the type of car to determine how much it would cost to repair or replace.
- Location: Where you live plays a huge role in your premium. If you live in a city that puts you at risk for car theft, you will see higher rates than those in a rural area. Required coverage also varies by state.
- Demographics: According to USA Today, Women tend to pay less than men for car insurance during the teen years. In addition, you can expect to pay less if you have a college degree and are married, which isn’t usually the case for teenagers.
- Level of coverage: Finally, the insurance company factors in the level of protection you desire. If you choose the highest plan, you will pay more. In addition, your deductible will alter the price of your premium.
How To Get The Cheapest Car Insurance For Teens
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure you receive cheap car insurance for young drivers. As you evaluate the best car insurance for young adults, you will find that many of them provide car insurance discounts to help you keep more money in your pocket. These driver discounts vary based on the company, but you want to look for options such as:
|Good Student Discount||If your teen driver receives good grades, your provider might offer a discount. As one example, Geico provides a discount for anyone with a B average or higher.|
|Low Mileage Discount||While this discount is available to anyone, it is especially useful for teens that simply drive back and forth to school. Make sure your provider knows how many miles your child will be driving.|
|Student Away Discount||If your teen won’t be driving for a portion of the year while away at school, make sure you inform the provider to receive a lower rate. Some full-time students can earn a discount for the months when there isn’t any active driving.|
|Safe Driving Discount||Some providers now have apps and unique devices that allow for the monitoring of your teen’s driving habits. Not only will this technology help your child become more aware of what’s happening on the road, but it also allows you to receive a discount for their good behavior.|
Final Thoughts On The Best Car Insurance For Teens
When it comes to saving money on a teen auto insurance policy, it might be tempting to lower the level of coverage. While this is a way to save money upfront, consider the implications if your teenager gets into an accident.
It’s far better to go with medium to high-level coverage and shop for the best car insurance rates for teens. You can do this by receiving multiple quotes from several different insurance providers. Once you have coverage in place, don’t forget to shop before every renewal to see if any new discounts have become available.
Best Car Insurance for Teens and Young Drivers in 2021:
- #1 Liberty Mutual
- #2 State Farm
- #3 USAA
- #4 Geico
- #5 Progressive
- #6 AAA
Once you find the right car insurance for teens, you can ensure that both your loved ones and your automobiles are protected.
Use our tool below to start comparing free car insurance quotes for young adults.
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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