There are ways to save money with teen drivers.

 

Turning 18 years old is the start of adulthood. You are eligible to vote, open your own lines of credit, and in many states, own a car. Whether you’re shopping for auto insurance for the first time or looking for a cheaper policy, car insurance for 18-year-olds can be expensive.

We’re going to take a look at average costs, then explore ways to save money on coverage and which companies provide the best car insurance in the industry.

When you’re ready to start comparing car insurance for 18-year-old drivers, enter your zip code below or call our team at (844) 246-8209 for free, personalized quotes seven days a week.

 

In this article:

 

What Is The Average Car Insurance 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.

 


 

What Affects The Cost Of Car Insurance?

Many factors go into calculating auto insurance rates for 18-year-olds, including:

Age 

It's an understood fact that the more experience on the road, the better driver you are. Even at 18, you are still considered relatively inexperienced and more at risk on the road to car insurance companies. This is why the average car insurance for an 18-year-old is higher than someone who is in their mid-twenties. 

Gender

Being an 18-year-old girl could mean lower car insurance rates compared to an 18-year-old-boy. Some states have outlawed considering gender when calculating car insurance rates, but your gender will generally play a role. According to the Insurance Information Institute, women report fewer accidents, lower numbers of DUIs, and less severe accidents than men. 

Location

To protect your teenager, car insurance companies take everything into account, including location, so you get the best quote possible. The ZIP code you live in matters when companies verify your address, so if you live in an area that has a low rate of accidents, theft, and vandalism, your car insurance will usually be more affordable. 

Driving record

Establishing and maintaining a clean driving record goes a long way for an 18-year-old.  The fewer claims, accidents reported, or citations you've had, the less of a risk you are seen to the insurance company. Accidents happen, and when they do, don't be alarmed if you see your policy drastically go up. 

Type of car

If you're in the market for the best car for your teenager, you're probably thinking about two things: safety and affordability. But did you know the type of car your 18-year-old drives can qualify for you auto insurance discounts and lower rates? The less expensive your car, the less expensive your car insurance will be as well. If your teenager's car has safety features like anti-theft technology, anti-lock brakes, or passive restraints, you could qualify for discounts.

Credit

Credit scores matter, even at the age of 18. Most big first-time purchases require a credit score, like renting a student apartment and buying a car. So, it's not uncommon for an insurance company to ask for your teenager's credit score. Data from the Federal Trade Commission suggests that drivers with a better credit score file fewer claims.

Coverage limits

Considering how much you can pay out-of-pocket for your teenager's car influences the cost of your car insurance premium. The limits and deductibles you choose will determine how expensive your car insurance rates are, so it's important to shop around for policies. 

 


 

How To Save On Car Insurance For An 18-Year-Old

From discounts to usage-based savings programs, there are many ways for teens to save money on car insurance. Here are some of the discounts offered by major providers that could help you get lower rates for car insurance for 18-year-olds.

  • Good student discount: Many auto insurance companies offer student discounts for full-time students who maintain a certain average in school, usually a B or higher.
  • Driver training course: Some states require insurance companies to give customers discounted rates after completing a state-approved driver safety course.
  • Distant student discount: Do you have a full-time student who goes to school more than 100 miles from home? If your student is without their car, you could qualify for lower insurance rates.
  • Safe driver discount: Safe driving habits can be monitored through a plug-in device or cell phone app. If you accelerate and brake safely, you can save on car insurance.

 


 

Usage-Based Car Insurance For Teenage Drivers

Usage-based programs can help you save money on teen car insurance. When you consider how expensive the average car insurance for 18-year-old drivers is, taking the time to drive safely can have great rewards.

As always, it's important to check the availability of each company in your state before purchase. 

Provider

Program

Details

Google Play

Allstate

Drivewise®

Up to 10% cash back for signing up

Up to 25% off every 6 months

4.0 Stars

Geico

DriveEasy

Up to 20% off for signing up

3.1 Stars

Progressive

Snapshot®

Average discount of $26 for signing up

Average discount of $145 for completing the program

4.2 Stars

Safeco

RightTrack®

Guaranteed savings between 5% and 30%

4.0 Stars

State Farm

Drive Safe & Save™

Up to 30% off

3.6 Stars

USAA

SafePilot®

Save 5% for enrolling

Up to 20% off at renewal

2.2 Stars

Liberty Mutual

RightTrack®

Savings between 5% and 30%

4.7 Stars

 

Safeco’s Teen Safety Rewards Program

Although Safeco isn’t as large as the other providers listed above, we included it for its extensive offerings for teens. Safeco’s teen program includes tips, rewards points, and discounts for new drivers. Some of the car insurance discounts you can get for 18-year-old drivers include:

  • Good student discount for maintaining a B average or higher
  • Driver training course discount for completing pre-approved courses
  • Distant student discount for students who go to school over 100 miles away from home without a car
  • Newly independent discount for drivers who were previously listed on their parents policies and are now opening their own
  • New teen rewards for customers of over one year that are adding a teen to their policy

The Road Ahead Guide gives you general driving tips, tips on driving in hazardous weather conditions, and more. Plus, Safeco’s RightTrack app monitors safe driving habits like mileage, acceleration, braking, and time spent driving at night to qualify you for discounts. Finally, Safeco offers a parent-teen contract that outlines clear expectations and rules for new drivers behind the wheel.

Read more in our full Safeco insurance review.

State Farm’s Steer Clear® Program

In addition to Drive Safe & Save, State Farm also offers Steer Clear – a special discount available to drivers younger than 25. To get this discount, you must:

  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have no at-fault accidents or moving violations during the past three years
  • Complete the program requirements within six months of enrolling

Customers who enroll have to complete modules about safe driving. The modules encompass the following themes:

  • Course training: Participants must complete five training modules that include a few lessons, videos, driving scenarios, and quizzes.
  • Practice driving: Participants must complete five hours of driving in ten trips.
  • Mentorship: Friends and family members can use the mentor login to track teen progress and give feedback.
  • Program certification: Young drivers that complete the program receive a certificate of completion on the app and qualify for a discount.

Read more in our full State Farm insurance review.

Liberty Mutual's RightTrack® Program

Liberty Mutual offers RightTrack, an easy way to save reward your 18-year-old for safe driving habits. Discounts for safe driving begin at 5% and can be earned up to 30%. This usage-based program is a free for Liberty Mutual members and you will receive a discount immediately after signing up.

Other discounts you can get for teen drivers include:

  • Good student: Any full-time student with a B average or better gets rewarded.
  • Student Away at School: If a child is away at school and only occasionally drives the vehicle, premiums are lower.
  • Multi-car: Families with multiple vehicles earn a lower premium, allowing for even more policy savings with multiple dependents.

Read more in our full Liberty Mutual Review.

 


 

It's important to compare the average car insurance rates for your 18-year-old to save on annual auto premium costs. Whether you're looking for the most cost-effective plan, or the safest plan for your teen, you should keep a lookout for policies from Geico and Progressive. Our research found that these providers have affordable rates and good coverage for young drivers.

The best way to know that you’re getting the most affordable car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies side-by-side. Enter your zip code in the quote box below or call (844) 246-8209 to get started. 

 

#1 Liberty Mutual: Best For Teens

Liberty Mutual Insurance logo

After comparing top auto insurance plans for 18-year-olds, Liberty Mutual is the best for teenaged drivers. It is an established brand that has been serving young adults and parents with dependents since 1912, which has earned it a 4.0 out of 5.0 star rating. 

Some of the coverage benefits that are useful for young drivers are:

  • Accident Forgiveness: This plan will protect your premium against heightened rates after your first at-fault accident, which can be beneficial for newer drivers.
  • Roadside Assistance: Liberty Mutual will cover towing, flat-tire changes, dead battery service, lockout service, and fuel delivery service when your teen's car is disabled.

It's usage-based program, RightTrack®, is another popular way to save money on teen car insurance and rewards safe driving choices. The discount is based upon total miles driven, nighttime driving, braking, and acceleration.

If you're interested, we recommend reading our review of Liberty Mutual in full and contacting an agent to get matched with the best quotes in your area. 

#2 State Farm: Best For Students

State Farm Insurance logo

If you're looking for a trusted provider to protect your recent high school student or recent graduate, State Farm insurance is for you. Its extensive list of student-driver discounts, driving programs and usage-based programs have reassured parents of young drivers in almost every U.S. state. 

With State Farm, you have access to the following discounts for your 18-year-old student:

    • Safe driving discounts: Your teenager can get discounts for having a clean driving record, no accidents or moving violations for three years, completing a defensive driving course, taking a driver’s education, and being a good student away at school. 
    • Safe vehicle discounts: With State Farm, you can get discounts for having a modern vehicle with safety features and anti-theft mechanisms. However, at a certain point, high-tech safety features may cost more to repair and can increase overall rates.
    • Loyalty discounts: If you have multiple teen drivers on one policy, can get up to 20 percent off by insuring multiple vehicles and 17 percent off by bundling auto with another policy like homeowners insurance or life insurance.

To learn more, check out our State Farm review. 

#3 Geico: Best Overall

Geico Insurance logo

Our research named Geico auto insurance the best overall. With affordable rates, helpful coverage, and discounts, we think Geico is a great choice for teen car insurance.

With Geico, you can get standard insurance and the following types of coverage:

    • Roadside assistance: Covers jumpstarts, tire changes, towing, and lockout services
    • Rental car reimbursement: Covers rental cars from Enterprise Rent-A-Car
    • Mechanical breakdown insurance: Cover repairs to mechanical parts on your car, excluding wear and tear, tune-ups, and maintenance

Plus, Geico has the usage-based safe driving program called DriveEasy in some states. Driving safely could get you reduced car insurance for 18-year-olds.

Read more in our full review of Geico insurance.

#4 Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers

Progressive Insurance logo

Our research found Progressive auto insurance is best for high-risk drivers, like teens and drivers with a DUI on record.  We think Progressive’s accident forgiveness program is impressive and could be useful to young, claim-free drivers. Accident forgiveness from Progressive comes in two parts:

  • Small accident forgiveness: Covers claims less than $500 and starts the day you start a policy with Progressive
  • Large accident forgiveness: Covers claims larger than $500 and can be purchased in addition to your basic car insurance policy

Plus, Progressive has many exclusive tools that could help you save money on your auto insurance, like the Name Your Price® tool that matches you with Progressive car insurance policies beginning with your price point.

Progressive’s usage-based program Snapshot® monitors safe driving habits to get you discounted car insurance rates.

Read more in our full review of Progressive insurance.

 


 

Methodology

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.

 

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