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Updated June 15, 2022
Whether a minor has a driver’s license or just a learner’s permit, the average cost of car insurance is going to be higher for them than what adult drivers face. This article will cover everything you need to know to
Get the right type of car insurance coverage for a minor driver
Set up your auto insurance policy to get a low rate
Get the best discounts available
Identify the best insurance providers in your area
Plus, we’ll show you how to use car insurance comparison to get low rates now and in the future—it’s easier than you think!
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Auto insurance rates are higher for minor drivers because they are less experienced and have a shorter record of good driving behavior.
Adding a minor driver to an existing policy is less expensive than having them get a separate policy.
Full-coverage car insurance is not necessary for minor drivers unless they’re driving a financed vehicle or one that’s worth more than $5,000.
How much car insurance do minors need?
Should my child have their own car insurance?
Generally, no. A minor often gets a better rate when placed on their parents’ policy.
In short, drivers under 18-years-old need enough car insurance to legally operate their vehicle and comply with lender requirements, if applicable. That being said, deciding how much car insurance to carry for your young driver is easier said than done. Here are our recommendations based on each type of car insurance coverage:
Liability insurance includes bodily injury and property damage coverage. Your state requires a minimum coverage limit (or legal alternative), but we recommend carrying more than the minimum. Increased coverage typically costs only a little more than minimum coverage while adding valuable protection in the event of an at-fault accident.
Many states require uninsured and underinsured motorist protection. One in eight drivers is uninsured nationally, according to the Insurance Information Institute. And in some states, that number is much higher.
Collision coverage protects your car in the event of an at-fault accident. It is required when a car is financed but optional when the car is owned outright. If the car driven by your minor driver is worth less than $5,000, collision coverage is likely not worth the additional cost.
Comprehensive coverage protects your car in the event of a non-collision event, such as a hailstorm. It, too, is required when a car is financed but optional when owned outright.
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How much does car insurance for teenagers cost?
You should expect to pay between $100 and $200 a month to insure your teenager. But teen car insurance costs vary based on several factors. Most importantly, age has a big impact on premiums. Car insurance for 16-year-olds is typically less expensive than for 17-year-olds—so long as they keep a clean record—even though they’re just a year apart.
But costs aren’t lower based on age alone; experience also plays a role. Car insurance for 18-year-olds who’ve been driving for two years (with a clean record) should cost less than what a new driver of the same age who just got their license would pay.
Beyond age and experience, premium costs are based on:
Your teen’s gender: Female drivers pay less than male drivers unless state laws prohibit insurance companies from assessing risk based on gender.
The car your teen drives: Older cars with good safety features tend to cost much less than other options.
Where you live: Some states are more expensive than others, and some areas within those states are more expensive than others. If you’re in an expensive area, expect to pay more.
Discounts: If you have access to discounts for teen drivers, take advantage. You can save as much as 20 percent.
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Why is car insurance for teens so expensive?
Teen drivers simply have less experience on the road than other drivers. Inexperience leads to a higher rate of at-fault accidents and other claims. Even though your teenager may be an excellent driver, your car insurance company will assess them based on the average risk of insuring someone with their general profile.
You should also keep in mind that, since your teen has no driving record, your insurer doesn’t have a clear picture of your teen’s risk profile. Once your teen starts to prove they’re a responsible driver, you should start to see rates go down every time you renew your policy.
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Best Car Insurance Companies for Teen Drivers
The cheapest car insurance for teen drivers isn’t universal. A lot will depend on where you live, the car your teen drives, and your teen’s driving record and habits. That being said, the cheapest car insurance companies for teens, according to our research analyzing thousands of car insurance quotes, are the following:
$59 a month
Mercury offers usage-based car insurance policies. The company tracks the number of miles driven and offers lower rates to minors who drive less.
$79 a month
Dairyland specializes in insuring higher-risk drivers. It doesn’t have a great website but does have a highly functional app. Currently only available in 38 states.
$82 a month
Clearcover policies can be purchased and managed entirely online, which lowers the company’s overhead and drives down their rates. The easy-to-use mobile app makes things easier for minors who are learning to be responsible drivers.
$82 a month
Though only available in eight states, Elephant offers a ton of discounts, including the option to bundle coverage with non-Elephant insurance products!
$84 a month
Here’s another company that specializes in high-risk drivers. Bristol West offers many discounts that minors can access in as little as six months of safe driving.
How to Save Money on Minor Auto Insurance
There are several ways to get cheap car insurance premiums for minors. Here are our best tips for saving on minor car insurance:
When choosing a vehicle for your minor to drive, choose an older model with good safety features. You can forgo collision and comprehensive coverage without sacrificing safety. This will lower your rate significantly.
Choosing a higher deductible lowers your car insurance rate. Just don’t set it so high you can’t afford it in the event of a car accident.
Parents and guardians have access to more discounts than the average minor. These savings can be passed on to the minor if added to their parents' policy which makes it less expensive than buying their own policy.
Maintaining a clean driving record is the key to affordable insurance. Getting a speeding ticket or causing an at-fault accident causes rates to go up considerably. Practice safe driving to keep your rate as low as possible.
Best Car Insurance Discounts for Minors
Auto insurance companies offer lower rates to people who can prove they are safe drivers. Unfortunately, as new drivers, minors haven’t had much time to prove themselves on the road. That’s okay—there are still ways to show insurance providers that you or your minor are a safe bet. Here are the best discount programs that minors can take advantage of:
The good student discount is offered to drivers in high school and college who get good grades—usually a B average or better.
Telematics programs are programs that track driving habits. For people who practice safe driving, this discount can lower rates and the chance of a car accident.
Taking an insurer-approved defensive driver course is a great way to get up to 20 percent off and lower the chance of a claim. This is sometimes called a driver training discount.
Even though minors haven’t spent much time on the road, they can still earn a good driver discount quickly with some car insurance companies.
For college students or boarding school students, the student away at school discount is a great opportunity to save money.
Comparing Car Insurance Quotes for Minors Before You Buy
Of all the ways to save money on minor car insurance, car insurance quote comparison has to be the best strategy. The fact of the matter is that each company not only calculates a driver’s risk differently, but also offers different discounts with different rewards. When you can compare your options side by side, you can easily see which company best fits your needs.
You can use our free tools to compare car insurance quotes in just two minutes. Fill out one form and compare rates without sharing any of your information. Adjust coverage limits, deductibles, and coverage types to see how they affect your rate. When you find the right policy, you can buy quickly online or over the phone with one of our independent agents.
Lastly, don’t forget to save your profile and turn on notifications to receive an email any time there’s a rate drop. The cost of insurance changes quickly, so never miss a chance to save!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not have to add your teen driver to your car insurance policy. But, if your aim is to save money, it may be in your best interest to put them on your policy. You likely have access to valuable discounts that your teen does not. You can lower your costs by adding the minor driver to the least expensive vehicle only.
For most policyholders, it will cost one and a half to two times as much to add an underage driver to their car insurance policy. The exact costs will depend on many factors, including the vehicle, your location, discounts, the age of the minor, and the minor’s driving record. So long as your teenager practices safe driving and doesn’t file a claim, rates should decrease over time.
There are many great insurance companies that offer big advantages to teen drivers and the people who share their policies with them. Allstate, USAA, Amica, State Farm, and Erie all have excellent discount programs that teen drivers can take advantage of. And they also tend to offer competitive rates compared to other car insurance providers.
First, you should ensure that your teenage drivers have a safe but cheap car. Ideally, their car should not need comprehensive or collision coverage. Next, have your teenager complete a driver education course. Finally, always compare car insurance quotes before buying and then every three to six months after that. Rates drop all the time, so don’t miss a chance to save!
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.