Car Insurance for Teenage Drivers
The cost of car insurance for a teenage driver can more than double your family’s auto insurance bill. However, since auto insurance rates vary by company, shopping around may save you a lot of money. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance quotes and coverage for a teen driver.
How much is car insurance for teens?
The average cost of adding a teenage driver to a parent’s car insurance is $327 a month.
The cost of car insurance for a teenage driver with their own policy ranges from $217 a month for minimum coverage to $457 a month for full coverage.
Since the average cost of car insurance for a typical parent is $156 a month, a family’s total cost for a single full-coverage policy for the parent and teen is $483 a month.
This amount is cheaper than separate full-coverage policies for the parent and teen. However, it’s more expensive than separate policies if the teen only gets minimum coverage.
Car insurance costs and coverages for a parent with a teenage driver
|Drivers per policy||Combined rate||Coverage for parent||Coverage for teen|
|Separate policies for parent and teen||$373 a month||Full coverage||Minimum coverage|
|Single policy for parent and teen||$483 a month||Full coverage||Full coverage|
|Separate policies for parent and teen||$612 a month||Full coverage||Full coverage|
Rates are for one 50-year-old parent and their 18-year-old child.
For a family, the advantages of adding a teenager to a parent’s car insurance, as opposed to getting a separate policy for the teen, include:
- Price: A teen can typically get a better rate on full coverage when added to a parent’s policy than they can on their own.
- Convenience: A single policy for parents and teens covers each driver in any household vehicle. If the teen gets their own policy, they might not be covered while driving a parent’s car.
- Avoiding insurance company restrictions: Some insurance companies require all related drivers who live together to be on a single policy.
- Avoiding legal restrictions: Most states prohibit teens under 18 from entering into any legal contract, including car insurance. However, a 16- or 17-year-old can usually get their own car insurance if a parent or guardian cosigns their application.
Teens can remain on their parents’ car insurance for as long as they live in their parents’ home or while they are away at school.
Which companies have the cheapest car insurance for teens?
State Farm and Geico are the cheapest large car insurance companies for teen drivers, whether they are added to a parent’s car insurance or get their own policies.
Cheap car insurance for teens on a parent’s policy
State Farm has the cheapest average full-coverage rate for a parent and teen driver on a single policy, $465 a month. Geico’s rate of $511 a month is next best.
Full-coverage car insurance rates for a parent and teen on the same policy
Rates are for an 18-year-old with a clean driving record. Your rates may vary.
Cheap car insurance for teens getting their own policy
State Farm also has the cheapest rates for teen drivers with their own policies. Its rates for 18-year-olds average $197 a month for minimum coverage and $386 a month for full coverage.
Geico has the next-best rates, charging 18-year-olds an average of $202 a month for minimum coverage and $428 a month for full coverage.
Car insurance rates for a teen’s own policy
|Company||Minimum coverage||Full coverage|
Monthly rates are for an 18-year-old with a clean driving record. Your rates may vary.
A minimum-coverage policy meets a state’s mandatory car insurance requirements. But although these requirements vary by state, they’ll usually include liability coverage for injuries and property damage you may cause to others in a car accident, but no protection for your own car.
Full coverage includes collision and comprehensive insurance, which cover damage to your own vehicle. Neither is required by state law, but both are often required for a car loan or lease.
When should I get car insurance quotes for a teen driver?
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you can minimize the potential spike in your car insurance rate by shopping around for quotes before your teen gets their license.
The cost of adding a teen to your car insurance varies by company. Comparing quotes from multiple companies lets you find the one with the best combined rate for you and your teen.
Schedule your teen’s insurance to take effect on the day they get their license, unless they don’t plan to drive right away.
In the meantime, a teen with a learner’s permit is usually covered while driving under a parent’s supervision in a parent’s vehicle. However, you should still let your insurance company know when your teen gets their learner’s permit to see if any restrictions apply.
Why is car insurance for teenage drivers so expensive?
Insurance companies charge teens high rates for car insurance, since teenagers are considered more risky to insure than drivers in other age groups.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the fatal crash rate for teen drivers is nearly three times higher for teen drivers than it is for those age 20 and up. The risks are particularly high for male teenagers, whose death rate in traffic accidents is three times greater than it is for female teens.
Since insurance rates are based largely on perceived risk, young male drivers pay more for car insurance than young females.
For example, the average cost of car insurance for a parent with a teenage daughter is 11% less than it is for a parent with a teenage son.
The good news is that a teenager’s car insurance rates are likely to decrease as they age, provided they maintain a clean driving record.
The cost of car insurance for a parent with a 19-year-old, male or female, on their policy is 19% less than it is for a parent who adds a 16-year-old to their policy.
Average car insurance costs for a parent with a teenage driver
|Age of teen||Male teen||Female teen|
Monthly rates are for a 50-year-parent and teenage child with clean driving records. Your rates may vary.
Car insurance discounts for teen drivers
Since car insurance is so expensive for teens, it’s important to take advantage of any and all discounts that may be available to you. Although discounts vary by company, here are some of the more common ones to ask about.
Good student discounts
Almost every car insurance company offers a small discount to teens who maintain a B average or better in school. Although you won’t need to provide transcripts for a quote, you will need to provide a copy of them to the company you choose when you initiate your policy.
Safe driving apps
Most large car insurance companies offer a sizable savings to drivers of any age who enroll in their app-based safe driver programs.
The app monitors your driving and gives you a score based on how well you avoid risky behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving. Getting a high enough score qualifies you for future discounts when you renew your policy.
For parents, these programs also provide a tool to make sure your teens are driving safely.
Several insurance companies offer a discount to teens who complete driver’s education, although specific requirements vary by company.
Some companies offer a discount for completing any state accredited driver’s education program. Others require you to complete specific programs.
Allstate, for example, is one of several companies that offers a discount to teens who complete Adept Driver’s teenSmart program. This computer-based program teaches safe driving through videos, driving simulations and parent-teen activities.
State Farm offers a discount to young drivers who complete its app-based Steer Clear program. However, you’ll also need three years of incident-free driving to get a discount. This means the earliest that a newly licensed teen can qualify for a Steer Clear discount is when they turn 19.
Away at school discounts
Several companies offer an away-at-school discount to parents whose teens are off to college or other institutions of higher learning. Along with reducing your insurance rates, these programs keep your teen insured when they borrow someone else’s car at school or on visits back home.
Other ways for teens to save money on car insurance
Whether added to a parent’s policy or on their own, a teen can also save money on car insurance by avoiding coverages they don’t need.
- A teen who drives an older car, with a low resale value and no outstanding loan, can save money by removing the collision and comprehensive coverages from their vehicle.
- If you’re adding your teen to your car insurance, list your teen as the principal driver of the vehicle in your household with the least value, if given the option.
- Teens with their own car insurance typically need lower liability limits then their parents do.
However, if you’re adding a teen to your policy, maintain liability limits that match or exceed your net worth. If your teen is still a minor, you can often be held financially responsible for injuries or damage they cause in a car accident.
LendingTree obtains rate data from insurance company filings reported to Quadrant Information Services.
Rates shown in this article are based on an analysis of car insurance quotes for a two-car household with a 50-year-old parent and 18-year-old child.
Rates were obtained for sample households in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.
Minimum-coverage rates reflect the prices quoted for policies meeting each state’s minimum insurance requirements.
Full-coverage rates reflect the costs of policies with these coverages, limits and deductibles:
- Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Collision: $500 deductible
- Comprehensive: $500 deductible
Rates are shown for comparative purposes only. Your rates may vary.