Woohoo! You finally got your license (and freedom). But how are you going to pay for those privileges?

Now that you’ve mastered parallel parking, it’s time to master the rest of your driving life. From learning to deal with hating your license photo to finding ways to save on gas prices, first-time drivers have many things to consider. And no matter what kind of first-time driver you are, buying car insurance for the first time has a steep learning curve.

Getting the best rate on your auto policy may seem like a daunting task, but it can be simple. And it’s one of the most important ways to protect your pocketbook, both now and in the event of an accident.

But it’s extremely difficult to find affordable car insurance as a new driver. Teenagers and young adults pay the highest premiums on average for coverage. This is attributed to several factors, including:

  • New drivers have little to no driving record or driving experience. Insurance companies rely on driving history to assess the individual risk of drivers.
  • Inexperience also makes new drivers more likely to engage in dangerous driving practices like distracted driving, tailgating, and speeding.
  • Perhaps this is why teen drivers are more likely to get into a car accident than experienced drivers. Not only are car accidents the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one-third of teen car crashes are alcohol-related.
  • Teens and young drivers are the most likely to drink and drive. And a DUI/DWI can cost you (and your insurance company) big time.

These factors mean that your auto insurance company will deem you a higher risk than other drivers. Higher risk always means higher auto insurance rates. Even if you’re not a teen driver, if you’re considered inexperienced, several of these high-risk factors will still apply.

Luckily, there are still ways to lower premiums and save money. Below is a quick guide to getting the best deal in car insurance for new drivers.

For even more tips, check out our guide to car insurance for Millennials and young adults. Find more helpful information for newbies of any age in our official guide for buying car insurance.

Cheapest Car Insurance for New Drivers

Insurify crunched the numbers and determined the cheapest and most expensive companies for international students. See which carriers have the lowest and highest generic quotes for new drivers:

Cheapest Companies

Insurance CompanyLowest Rate
National General$32/month

Most Expensive Companies

Insurance CompanyLowest Rate
Liberty Mutual$140/month

The easiest way for new drivers to save

Once you’ve decided on how much insurance to carry, the type of vehicle you’ll be using, and how to decorate the interior, it’s time to shop. When you’re shopping for the best car insurance, there’s a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way involves going with whatever mascot is most appealing or hopping on your parents’ plan just because it’s easy.

While staying on your parents’ policy will typically help you save, you may find a better car insurance rate somewhere else. To be truly sure you get the best rate, you need to do some comparison shopping.

If you’ve taken consumer ed, then you’ve probably heard of comparison shopping. If you haven’t, comparison shopping just means gathering costs and benefits of several options to learn which option is best.

When your parents first purchased insurance, comparison shopping for car insurance looked like this:

  • Call a local agent or go to an auto insurance office
  • Fill out paper forms for each company
  • Receive a car insurance quote, which could take days
  • Compare quotes and insurance coverage from two or three companies
  • Make a decision
  • Prepare and sign policy paperwork
  • Recieve insurance cards by mail, which could take up to two weeks

Today, comparison shopping for auto insurance is a lot easier. Not only do most insurance companies allow you to receive a quote within minutes of filling out their forms, but you can also print or save a digital copy of your insurance card typically moments after your purchase.

Best of all: auto insurance quotes comparison sites like Insurify can help you compare quotes from several companies within minutes…and with only one simple online form!

Insurify can even alert you when a lower rate is available. Check out Insurify today and be sure to sign up for alerts.

Car Insurance Discounts for New Drivers

Here are the average rates of discount for which you might be eligible:

More insurance saving tips for new drivers

Driving Habits

  • This may seem obvious…but follow the lawA violation that puts points on your driving record dramatically increases your premiums. And these penalties often last five years. In some cases, you may pay higher rates as long as ten years after the initial violation.
  • Remember those safe driving tips located in the back of your driving manual? Use those. Better yet, enroll in an online defensive driving course approved by your insurance company. For the cost of about $20 and a few hours of your time, you can save up to 20 percent off your premium.
  • If you’re practicing safe driving techniques, ask your insurance agent about enrolling in a telematics program. If you’re eligible, your insurance company will send you a small tracking device that plugs into your car. This device records and shares your driving habits. Metrics include the time of day, mileage, hard braking, and acceleration. Some can even detect when you’re speeding. Using these metrics, your insurance provider can decide if you qualify for a safe driver discount.
  • “Occasional driver” and “student away at school” discounts are great options for low-mileage drivers.

Insurance Habits

  • If you engage in safe driving habits and put some extra savings in your rainy-day fund, you may consider raising your deductible. While you will save month to month, remember that you will pay more in the event of a claim. Be sure you can afford that extra cost before raising your deductible.
  • If you live at home, don’t get your own policy. Staying on your parent or guardian’s car insurance policy will most likely unlock a multi-car discount or multi-driver discount. Your parent or guardian may also have access to other discount programs, like loyalty or employer discounts, that you may not.
  • If you don’t have access to a parent or guardians policy, try purchasing a policy with your roommate or live-in partner. Adding someone to your plan or vice versa can help lower costs.
  • Consider purchasing an insurance rider called “accident forgiveness.” While it will increase your premium, it may pay off in the long run by keeping costs low in the event of a claim.
  • While a new car may look great, buying a used car is almost always less expensive…especially if you can drop comprehensive coverage, which will likely cut insurance costs in half. Also, be sure to factor in the cost of insurance before you buy. Cars with top of the line safety features and anti-theft devices can lower costs.

Other Habits

  • Good grades don’t just get you into college. They can also make you eligible for a good student discount. Car insurance companies that offer this discount include AllstateLiberty MutualGEICO, and State FarmCollege students can also qualify for lower rates.
  • Be sure to practice financial responsibility. Your credit history will affect your insurance rates throughout your lifetime. Having a bad credit score can raise insurance premiums.
  • If you have or are planning to get renters or any other property insurance, ask your insurance provider about bundling options.
  • Be sure to inquire about discount programs with your insurance agent as each company will have different and ever-changing options.
  • Make time to check your rates at least every six months. Switching insurance carriers can be an easy way to save.

New Drivers vs Other Peers: Who Pays More?

You might identify with some, all, or none of these driver profiles. Regardless, these other quotes should give you an idea of the cheapest car insurance rates you could encounter in your comparison shopping journey.

Bottom Line

While you’ll be expected to pay more in your first few years of driving, eventually you’ll be able to pay less, especially if you commit yourself to safe driving practices. On average, it takes until drivers reach the age of 26 to start seeing a reduction in car insurance costs. And if you’re a new driver over the age of 26, you’ll begin seeing cost reductions even sooner.

Until then, be sure to ask your insurance provider about discounts and comparison shop regularly. With Insurify, you can save your profile to make it even easier to stay on top of your rate. Be sure to sign up today and check for new rates at least every six months.

Browse, Compare, Discover with Insurify today!

Updated April 27, 2021

J.J. Starr is a health and finance copywriter who enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.