No one saves for years just to buy dream car insurance. But that doesn’t mean picking the right policy should be an afterthought. 

If you’re a first-time driver, car buyer, or primary policyholder, rates can be expensive. You can avoid the nightmare of high insurance premiums by finding the best policy customized for your price point by getting multiple quotes at Insurify.

Getting Car Insurance for the First Time: Tips and Tricks

Here’s our best advice for how first-time car insurance buyers should go about getting coverage. 

Join an Existing Plan

First-time drivers, especially teen drivers, have higher than average rates for car insurance. Insurance companies see them as risky because they lack experience, may text and drive, and are more likely to engage in other forms of distracted driving or dangerous behavior. One thing you can do is get on a family member’s plan with a good driving record.

Before You Buy Your New Car

The cost to replace your vehicle plays into your overall premium. Pick an older first car to get cheap car insurance. Hybrid and electric vehicles get excellent gas mileage but have a high replacement cost because of batteries and other advanced parts.

High Deductible for Full Coverage

If you select full coverage car insurance (which includes both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage), you want to select the highest deductible you can afford out-of-pocket. The deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays to fix your vehicle. Common deductibles are $500 or $1,000. 

Liability Only

If you have an older car or can afford to replace your vehicle in case of an at-fault accident, buying liability insurance coverage only is a smart choice. “Liability-only” gives no protection to your car. It means you are only covering the other driver’s bodily injury and property damage if the accident is your fault.

Avoid Car Accidents and Tickets

Yes, it may be obvious, but being a safe driver is the best way to keep your car insurance rates low. Distracted driving, speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs can all raise your rates.

Improve Your Credit

Insurance providers use your credit to rate you in every state but California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. You can improve your credit score when you get your first credit card, pay off your credit balance monthly, or become an authorized user on an account with excellent payment history.

Shop Around for Car Insurance Quotes

By far, the best strategy to get the right match of cheap car insurance is to get multiple quotes. Many first-time car buyers make the mistake of picking the first insurance agent or company they talk to, so they can drive off the car lot. Instead, get plenty of auto insurance quotes by searching the best companies in your local area with Insurify.

What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance for First-Time Drivers?

Many factors go into determining the average insurance costs, including age, gender, location, company, coverages, and the vehicle. We collected data and built driver profiles to reflect the needs of first-time drivers, car buyers, and primary policyholders. 

Cheap Car Insurance for First-Time Drivers

Insurance discounts vary between companies, and the names may be different, but here are some that you should look out for.

Driving History and Habits Discounts

  • Defensive Driving Course. Your insurance company will often point you toward approved schools and courses. Depending on the discount and cost of the course, you may recoup the price of the schooling and still save money overall.
  • Good Student Discount. You can qualify for this discount with most insurance companies by keeping a 3.0 GPA or a B average.
  • Job, University, or Other Memberships. Do you work for a large corporation, attend a major university, or have a membership in a club, volunteer group, or other organization? You can check with the insurance company for a deal.
  • Marriage. It’s not the most romantic reason to propose, but getting your crush to say “I do” could save you money on your car insurance.

Vehicle-Based Discounts

  • Anti-Theft Devices. You can expect small savings from an alarm, disabling device, or tracking device, but every dollar counts.
  • Pay-per-Mile, Usage-Based Insurance, and Telematics. These savings programs use technology to watch your driving (usually an under-the-dash plug-in device). Your acceleration, braking, distance, speed, route choice, and time of day can all affect your total savings. 

Insurance Policy and Payment Discounts

  • Automatic Payments. You can usually get a slightly larger discount for electronic payments from your bank account rather than a credit card because of the lack of processing fees.
  • E-Sign. Buying car insurance online can give you a discount.
  • Multi-Policy. Are you moving to your first place or looking to rent while you attend school? You can add a renters policy and get a deal on your car insurance. If you own or condo or home or live with someone who does, think about bundling all household policies with the same company.
  • Pay In Full. Tax season, student funds disbursement, graduation gifts, and other piles of green can save you money when taking care of your car insurance policy upfront.
  • Buy in Advance. Buy your auto insurance policy and have it start seven or more days later to get added discounts.

How do rates vary between age groups? 

Car insurance companies don’t have a grudge against young drivers. It’s just that statistics prove the people with the least driving experience present the highest risk. 

As you add candles to the birthday cake, your insurance rate goes down. People under 25 have the highest prices. And then from the ages of 30 to 65, it’s smooth sailing. As you get past 65, your cognitive and physical abilities may slip, and the risk and price rise again.

Here is crash data by age group from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: 

Age group Crashes per 100 Million Miles Driven Fatal Crashes
16–17  1,432 3.75
18–19  730 2.47
20–24 572 2.15
25–29 526 1.99
30–39 328 1.20
40–49 314 1.12
50–59 315 1.25
60–69 241 1.04
70–79 301 1.79
80+ 432 3.85

So, how can I get car insurance for the first time

You can get car insurance in three easy steps:

  1. Gather your information. You’ll need:
    • Name, address, date of birth, marital status, and driver’s license numbers for all drivers on the policy. Social Security number is optional.
    • Year, make, model, and vehicle identification number or VIN. Most insurers will not issue an auto policy without the VIN.
    • Car’s mileage
    • Date of purchase
    • Names of registered owners
    • Credit, debit, or bank routing and account number. There may be a discount for automatic payment.
    • If you’ve financed or leased the car, then you’ll need the bank or lienholder’s name and address. 
  1. Get multiple quotes from Insurify.
  2. Pay for the Policy with Best Price and Protection

More First Time Car Insurance FAQs

How much is car insurance for a first-time driver in NYC?

New York City can be one of the most expensive places to drive for people with little experience. Many factors affect the price of car insurance, including age, gender, location, company, coverages, and the vehicle. Your best strategy in NYC is to get several quotes with an auto insurance comparison site like Insurify.

How much does car insurance typically cost for first-time drivers?

Many factors go into determining the average costs of car insurance including age, gender, location, company, coverages, and the vehicle. Rather than settle on averages, why not find out your cost with real quotes from multiple companies in just a few minutes at Insurify?

Conclusion: The best way for first-time drivers to get cheap car insurance

The competitive rate you always wanted can be a dream come true with Insurify

If you’re a first-time driver, car buyer, or policyholder, you can compare the best deals, car insurance coverage options, and companies personalized for your price point. Get instant, free quotes today on America’s top-rated auto insurance comparison site.

Updated May 21, 2020

Courtney Roy is a financial and technology copywriter. He creates content that makes an actionable difference in the life of his readers. In addition to years of experience across multiple industries, Courtney has insurance licenses, a real estate license, and a degree in electrical engineering. He and his wife chase their five kids in the Phoenix, Arizona sun. You can learn more at thecopyprophet.com.