Cheapest Car Insurance for 16-Year-Old Drivers

USAA, GEICO, and State Farm offer the cheapest full-coverage car insurance policies for 16-year-old drivers.

Aly J. Yale
Written byAly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
  • National Association of Real Estate Editors member

  • Bylines include Forbes, Bankrate, and CBS News

Aly is a reporter specializing in real estate, mortgages, and personal finance. You can find her work in Hearst newspapers and numerous financial publications.

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Ashley Cox
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Ashley CoxSenior Managing Editor
  • 7+ years in content creation and management

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Ashley is a seasoned personal finance editor who’s produced a variety of digital content, including insurance, credit cards, mortgages, and consumer lending products.

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Mark Friedlander
Reviewed byMark Friedlander
Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.

Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated June 20, 2024

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Cheapest recent rates

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $36/mo for liability only and $40/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 20, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 20, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 20, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 20, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Teen drivers have a higher risk of accidents than more experienced drivers, so insurers typically charge larger premiums to account for this. The average 16-year-old driver pays $188 per month for liability-only insurance and $381 per month for full coverage, compared to the national averages of $105 and $214 for all drivers.

But you can use several strategies to reduce your premiums, and shopping around and comparing rates from multiple insurance companies can help, too. Here’s what to know about getting the cheapest car insurance for a 16-year-old driver.

Quick Facts
  • A driver’s age plays a big role in determining car insurance premiums, and 16-year-old drivers pay more for car insurance than older drivers.

  • Teen drivers can save money on their premium by choosing a safe vehicle, getting good grades, and taking advantage of discounts.

  • USAA, GEICO, and State Farm have the lowest liability and full-coverage premiums for 16-year-old drivers.

Cheapest car insurance for 16-year-olds

USAA offers the cheapest car insurance for 16-year-olds, though not all drivers are eligible for its policies. To qualify for USAA coverage, you must be a U.S. military member, veteran, or the family member of one.

GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, and American Family are also among the best car insurance companies for 16-year-old drivers. Check out some of the other cheapest car insurance companies for teenage drivers in the table below.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Tuesday, June 18 at 12:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full Coverage
COUNTRY Financial$22$48
NJM$38$63
Auto-Owners$61$129
USAA$70$153
GEICO$75$164
Erie$85$145
Hugo$88$105
State Farm$88$190
Allstate$108$236
Root$110$161
Metromile$114$183
Mile Auto$125$234
CSAA$128$193
Dairyland$130$354
American Family$131$293
Nationwide$138$303
Progressive$142$243
Mercury$151$292
Elephant$154$282
National General$156$325
Travelers$163$352
The General$164$348
State Auto$165$335
Safeco$175$316
Shelter$176$328
Direct Auto$181$357
Clearcover$183$300
21st Century$184$400
Farmers$193$430
Bristol West$204$449
Liberty Mutual$205$426
Amica$209$352
Commonwealth Casualty$209$545
Chubb$217$464
GAINSCO$220$495
The Hartford$227$361
AssuranceAmerica$242$422
Foremost$242$498
Infinity$343$463
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Find Cheap Car Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

Liability rates start at $22 per month for teen drivers

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How much teen car insurance costs by age

Young drivers ages 16 and 17 pay higher premiums than older teens, as they’re less experienced and more at risk for serious and fatal accidents. This means they’re also more likely to file a claim against their policy — a risk auto insurers account for with higher premiums. [1] [2]

Males are more likely to get into car accidents, so insurers charge them more. Nearly 57% of fatal crashes in 2020 involved young male drivers, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.[3]

The table below shows the average car insurance cost for 16- through 19-year-olds by gender. As you can see, a 16-year-old male driver pays about $40 more per month than female drivers of the same age.

AgeMaleFemale
16$400$362
17$389$352
18$380$344
19$368$332

Why is car insurance so much more expensive for 16-year-olds?

Car insurance is expensive for 16-year-old drivers because they’re at a higher risk of accidents — particularly fatal ones — than other age groups. Per mile driven, the fatal crash rate for 16- to 19-year-old drivers is almost three times the rate for drivers older than 20.[2]

The fatal crash rate is highest among 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Good to Know

This “high risk requires a higher insurance premium,” according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), and having a teen driver on a family’s policy can increase premiums by as much as 50% to 100%.[1]

Should parents add their teen driver to their car insurance?

It’s typically cheapest to add your teen driver to your insurance rather than have them secure their own policy. It may also qualify you for a multi-vehicle discount, which can help reduce your premiums. And if your teen is younger than 18, they won’t be able to buy a policy of their own without written consent from a parent or guardian.

Still, adding your teen to your existing car insurance policy isn’t always a good idea. Before doing so, you’ll want to consider the following pros and cons:

Adding a teen driver to your policy

Pros
  • You may qualify for additional discounts, such as a multi-vehicle discount.

  • You can make claims on your teen’s behalf if they need to file one.

Cons
  • It can increase the premium of your existing policy significantly (by 50% to 100% sometimes).

  • If your teen is in an accident or gets a ticket, it could increase your policy premium.

Having your teen get their own policy

Pros
  • Your existing premium will remain the same.

  • If your teen is in an accident or gets a ticket, it won’t affect your premiums.

Cons
  • Your teen may have difficulty finding an insurance company that will cover them. If they do find an insurer, they may pay more for coverage than they would if added to your policy.

  • You won’t be able to file claims on their behalf if they get into an accident.

How to get cheap car insurance for a 16-year-old

While it’s true that 16-year-old drivers are subject to higher premiums than most drivers, several strategies can help reduce a young driver’s premium and make your household’s policy more affordable.

Here are four ways you can lower your car insurance costs as a teen driver:[4]

1. Maintain good grades

Many car insurance companies offer good student discounts, so keeping your grades high (usually a B average or higher is required) may lower your premiums as a new driver.

State Farm, for example, offers a discount of up to 25% for good grades until age 25. That could mean as much as $100 off a $400 monthly premium, saving you $1,200 per year.

See More: How to Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts

See More: How to Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts

2. Enroll in a driver’s education program

Taking a driver’s education program or defensive driving course can also qualify you for a discount with certain insurance companies, as it reinforces safe driving and reduces your likelihood of an accident.

Some insurance companies also offer safe driving programs, which use a mobile app to monitor your driving for a set period of time. After that period ends, you can get a discount on your premium if you’ve proven safe driving habits. State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save and Progressive’s Snapshot programs are two examples of this.

3. Drive a safe vehicle

The type of car you drive can make a big difference in your premium.[5] Insurers consider a car’s overall safety record, how good it is at protecting occupants, how much damage it can inflict on other vehicles, the costs to repair or replace it, and its likelihood of theft.

Check out the crash safety ratings of every vehicle you consider. You can start by looking at IIHS vehicle safety ratings and looking for cars with added safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, collision warning systems, and backup cameras.

4. Compare car insurance rates

Shopping around for your car insurance policy is the best way to secure a lower premium. Not only do insurance companies vary in pricing strategy, but they also offer different discounts, which could help reduce what you pay.

Make sure to get quotes from at least a few companies and compare each on pricing, discounts, and customer service. If you need to reduce your premiums further, opting for a higher deductible may help.

Cheapest recent rates

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $36/mo for liability only and $40/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 20, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 20, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 20, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 20, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Car insurance coverage for 16-year-olds

Your state’s mandatory minimum coverage will include liability coverage, but not collision and comprehensive coverage, which you should strongly consider if you have a teen driver. Liability-only coverage only pays for injury and damage to others and their vehicles, so your teen and their car won’t be covered in an at-fault accident. This means you’d be financially responsible for repairing or replacing your teen’s car.

As the parent of a teen driver, consider these extra coverages when adding a teen driver to your policy:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Collision coverage

    If your teen is involved in an accident with another vehicle or hits an object such as a fence, tree, or light pole, collision insurance helps repair or replace the car.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive coverage

    Comprehensive insurance can help cover damage to your teen’s car from non-collision events, like theft, vandalism, fire, hail, or flood. It helps pay to repair or replace the vehicle up to the vehicle’s actual cash value, minus any deductible, which is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before the insurance company reimburses you for a covered claim.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    If your 16-year-old is hit by a driver who either doesn’t have insurance or whose liability limits aren’t enough to cover your child’s car repair costs or medical bills, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will help pay those costs. UM/UIM also covers damage caused by hit-and-runs.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments coverage

    Medical payments coverage can help pay for costs associated with injuries your teen driver sustains in an accident that they cause. This can include hospital visits, X-rays, and other medical expenses.

Car insurance for 16-year-olds FAQs

If you’re considering adding a 16-year-old driver to your policy or helping them buy car insurance for the first time, this additional information can help you make a decision.

  • Should you add your 16-year-old to your policy or get a separate policy?

    Most car insurance companies and agents recommend adding a teenage driver to their parents’ policy rather than having them purchase their own. Teenagers have little driving experience, so insurers consider them high-risk and charge them higher premiums to account for that risk.

  • At what age will car insurance rates start to go down?

    Car insurance premiums go down as you age, but generally speaking, insurance companies charge the highest rates for drivers younger than 25. The lowest premiums tend to go to drivers ages 60 to 69, according to Insurify data. Women in this age group have an average car insurance cost of $170 per month.

  • What is the cheapest insurance for a 16-year-old?

    The cheapest insurance for a 16-year-old driver can be found with USAA, which boasts an average premium of $161 per month for full coverage and $74 per month for liability-only coverage. GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, and American Family also have some of the lowest premiums for 16-year-olds.

  • Can you have your own auto insurance policy as a 16-year-old?

    You can have your own car insurance policy at age 16, but you’ll generally pay less by getting on an existing policy with a parent or guardian. This may also qualify you for a multi-vehicle discount, which can reduce your premium even more. If you opt for your own policy, make sure to compare several insurance companies. This will ensure you get the best coverage and lowest possible premium for your situation.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Students."
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Teenagers."
  3. U.S. Department of Transportation. "Young Drivers."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance for teen drivers."
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?."
Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and reporter covering real estate, mortgages, and personal finance. Her work has been published in Forbes, Business Insider, Money, CBS News, US News & World Report, and The Miami Herald. She has a bachelor’s degree in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism from the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at TCU and is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Ashley Cox
Edited byAshley CoxSenior Managing Editor
Headshot of Managing Editor Ashley Cox
Ashley CoxSenior Managing Editor
  • 7+ years in content creation and management

  • 5+ years in insurance and personal finance content

Ashley is a seasoned personal finance editor who’s produced a variety of digital content, including insurance, credit cards, mortgages, and consumer lending products.

Featured in

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Mark Friedlander
Reviewed byMark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.

Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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