Best and Cheapest Car Insurance for New Drivers (2024)

New drivers can cut car insurance costs with discounts, comparison shopping, and other steps.

Anna Baluch
Written byAnna Baluch
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Anna BaluchInsurance Writer
  • 4+ years writing insurance and personal finance content

  • MBA from Roosevelt University

Anna leverages her personal finance and insurance knowledge to create educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated June 12, 2023 at 12:00 PM PDT

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Best car insurance for new drivers

The best car insurance companies for new drivers in the U.S. include Auto-Owners, Erie, and GEICO. Each of these insurers provides coverage at an affordable cost and has opportunities for you to earn discounts.

New drivers earn the cheapest average rates from Auto-Owners, at $257 per month for liability coverage and $370 for full coverage. High school and college students can benefit from the good student, teen driver monitoring, and student away at school discounts. New drivers of all ages can earn paid-in-full, paperless billing, advance quote, and safety feature discounts.

On average, new drivers with coverage from Erie pay $306 per month for liability and $404 for full coverage. You may qualify for college student, youthful driver, safety feature, and payment perk discounts. All drivers benefit from Erie’s rate lock and first accident forgiveness features.

You can qualify for vehicle equipment, new vehicle, seat belt use, defensive driving, driver’s education course, and good student discounts with GEICO. Coverage from GEICO for new drivers costs $342 per month for liability coverage and $504 for full coverage on average.

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Who’s considered a new driver?

Generally, people younger than 25 — and especially teenagers — are considered new drivers. Insurance companies may also consider new drivers to be:

  • Immigrants and foreign nationals who just moved to the U.S.

  • Adults who started to drive later in life

  • Adults who have a long gap in their driving history or insurance coverage

  • Adults who have relied on public transportation and started to drive when they moved to a place that requires driving to get around

In summary, a new driver is someone who is either new to driving, new to driving in the U.S., or hasn’t driven in quite some time. Compared to other drivers, they have less experience on the road.[1]

How to Get Car Insurance as an Immigrant or Non-U.S. Citizen

How to Get Car Insurance as an Immigrant or Non-U.S. Citizen

How much is car insurance for new drivers?

Teenagers and drivers younger than 25 typically pay the highest rates for car insurance out of any age group, largely because of a lack of driving experience and a greater risk of vehicle accidents. Per mile driven, drivers between 16 and 19 have a fatal crash rate three times the rate for drivers 20 and older, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).[2]

For teenagers and other young drivers, factors that increase risk levels and car insurance costs include inexperience, nighttime and weekend driving, not using seat belts, distracted driving, speeding, and alcohol or drug usage.[3] Eighteen-year-old drivers pay more than double the average full-coverage car insurance rates for 25-year-olds. Average premiums decrease with age.

AgeAverage Monthly Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Monthly Quote: Full Coverage
18$397$637
19$329$538
20$298$489
21$259$416
22$236$372
23$218$343
24$213$336
25$202$309
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for new drivers

Car insurance rates for new drivers vary by auto insurance company, as well as other factors like where you live, the car you drive, your credit, and your driving experience. Here’s a look at the top cheap car insurers for new drivers. You’ll find that the average liability rates range from $257 to $514 per month.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Monthly Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Auto-Owners$257$3704.1
National General$268$8143.5
SafeAuto$288$5063.0
NationwideN/A$5954.1
Erie$306$4044.4
USAA$314$4674.5
GEICO$342$5044.3
Elephant$372$5313.6
State Farm$381$5604.4
Kemper$426$8522.8
Allstate$456$6854.1
American Family$495$7464.3
Safeco$502$8543.8
Plymouth Rock$508$730N/A
Progressive$514$8204.1
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.
  • Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.

    Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.

Why car insurance for new drivers is expensive

New drivers have minimal to no experience behind the wheel. For this reason, they’re more likely to cause accidents and get into dangerous situations than drivers with years of experience under their belt. Since new drivers pose a greater risk for car insurance companies, they pay higher premiums.[4] In addition to driving experience, insurers consider other factors like age and credit score when they calculate their rates.[5]

Hear from the experts:

Laura Adams

Laura Adams

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Personal Finance Expert

If you’re worried about affording the cost of car insurance for new drivers, there are many ways to reduce your premium. The first is comparing rates from multiple carriers for the same coverage because insurers evaluate you differently. Also, find out what discounts you and other drivers in your household qualify for, such as being a good student, taking a defensive driving course, or bundling car and home or renters coverage. Plus, many carriers offer a pay-as-you-drive program, which monitors driving behaviors–such as your average speed, braking, and mileage–and rewards safe drivers with lower rates.

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Car insurance for immigrants

Auto insurance companies typically view immigrants and foreign nationals driving in the U.S. as new drivers because they check domestic driving records rather than international records. So, even if you’ve driven for a long time in the country you lived in before, your auto insurer will quote you as a new driver if you only recently obtained a U.S. driver’s license.

Drivers must purchase the minimum required car insurance in the state they live in. You need to decide if the minimum liability coverage protects you enough or if you want additional coverage.

Your state may issue you a license or another form of driving identification, regardless of your immigration status or absence of a Social Security number. Not having a driver’s license makes purchasing car insurance more difficult.

The following states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license:

How do insurers calculate car insurance quotes?

While every car insurance company calculates auto insurance quotes in their own way, most of them consider the following factors.

Age

In general, young drivers have less experience and face higher car insurance premiums as a result. Studies show that teens, as well as those in their 20s, are more likely to be involved in an accident than middle-aged drivers with decades of experience.

Rates generally start dropping as you age but begin rising again when you enter your senior years. Still, senior drivers generally have the lowest insurance rates of any age group.

Gender

Women tend to get into fewer and less-serious accidents than men, and they tend to have fewer driving infractions, data shows. So female drivers usually pay less than male drivers. This is especially true for inexperienced drivers — men under the age of 25 typically have the highest car insurance premiums.

Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender

Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender

Driving record

If you’re a new driver, car insurance companies won’t know how safe or risky you are behind the wheel. To combat this uncertainty, they’ll charge you higher rates than more experienced drivers with clean driving records. As you gain experience and establish a good driving record — free of serious traffic violations, like speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs — your premiums will eventually fall.

It can take three to five years before your experience and driving record earn you lower premiums.

Type of vehicle

The type of car you drive will affect your insurance premiums. Generally, if a car is an expensive model or a model that has high theft rates, insurance companies charge higher premiums for those vehicles. And if you’re a young driver with an expensive car, you’ll pay a lot more than a peer of the same experience level who’s driving a modest vehicle.

Credit score

Depending on the state you live in, your credit can affect how much you spend on car insurance. Most states allow insurance companies to consider your credit when determining car insurance rates. Credit-based insurance scores use information from your credit history to estimate how likely you may be to file a claim.

When you apply for a policy, most car insurance companies will look at your credit-based insurance score, which is a variation of your regular credit score. The higher your credit score is, the better your credit-based insurance score will be.

If you have good credit, you may lock in lower rates than a driver with poor credit because car insurers will deem you a lower risk. To improve your credit and increase your chances for more affordable premiums, pay all your bills on time, pay down debt, and keep your credit utilization low.

Note that California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have made it illegal for car insurance companies to use credit-based insurance scores when calculating premiums for their residents. If you live in one of these states, your credit won’t be considered.[6] Maryland and Michigan limit how insurance providers can use your score, too.

No-Credit-Check Car Insurance

No-Credit-Check Car Insurance

How to save on car insurance as a new driver

As a new driver, you can use some strategies to lower your car insurance costs. While your premiums will naturally start out higher than drivers with experience, you can still save if you use the following tips.

Compare car insurance quotes

Car insurance rates aren’t created equal. In fact, they can vary greatly by auto insurance company. That’s why it’s worth your time and effort to compare quotes online from multiple providers. Continue to shop around on a yearly basis, as rates fluctuate regularly. Just because you had the lowest premium a few years ago doesn’t mean you still do.

Look for discounts

Fortunately, many car insurance providers offer a variety of discounts that you might qualify for as a new driver. Some examples of these discounts include:

  • Good student discounts

  • Student away at school discounts

  • Military discounts

  • Safety equipment discounts

  • Multi-policy discounts

  • Multi-vehicle discounts

Before you choose a car insurance company, find out what discounts might apply to you. Most providers will let you take advantage of multiple discounts. You can usually find them clearly listed on their websites.[7]

How to Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts

How to Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts

Stay on your parents’ policy

If you live with your parents or guardians, it’ll likely be cheaper for you to get added to their policy than purchase a stand-alone policy. Just make sure you talk to your parents or guardians and determine how you’ll pay them back for your portion of the car insurance. It should be a fairly quick and straightforward process for you to get added.[7]

Choose the right vehicle

While it may be tempting to splurge on a luxury SUV or trendy sports car, you’ll face higher premiums if you do. These types of vehicles generally cost more and can be more likely to be stolen, resulting in higher claims costs.

To lock in lower premiums, pick an older vehicle with good safety ratings. It should also have safety features like automatic airbags, as some insurance companies offer discounts for having them in your vehicle.

Car and Driver says many car insurance companies consider the Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Jetta, and Ford Taurus to be the safest cars for newer drivers. Once you prove that you’re a responsible driver, you can always treat yourself to the car of your dreams.[8]

Get a high-deductible plan

A deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket before your car insurance policy kicks in and takes care of the rest.

The higher your deductible, the lower your car insurance rates will be. If you do go with a high-deductible plan, however, make sure you have enough funds saved up for unexpected car expenses.

A high-deductible plan only makes sense if you’re confident you can afford to pay more out of pocket after a car accident or other related event.[9]

Consider pay-per-mile insurance

If you don’t drive a lot, pay-per-mile insurance is worth exploring. Pay-per-mile policies typically offer affordable coverage for drivers who drive 10,000 miles per year or less. Most of them keep track of how far you drive using a special device and charge you accordingly. If you’re a student who only drives to class and occasional social activities, for example, pay-per-mile insurance can be a good fit.[10]

Track your driving

Since you have no proof that you’re a responsible driver, some insurance providers let you track your driving and reward you with a discount. You’ll install a special device in your car and drive it around for 30 to 90 days. As you do, insurance companies will pay attention to your daily mileage, when you drive, fast acceleration, and other factors that can affect how risky you may be behind the wheel. If they like what they see, you can save some money on your policy.[11]

Take a defensive driving course

Not only can a state-approved defensive driving course help you become a safer driver, it might also lead to cheaper car insurance premiums. Many of these courses are available online or in person and are recommended for new drivers who would like to improve their skills on the road. Depending on the insurance company, you can land a discount if you prove you’ve completed this type of course.[12]

Drive responsibly

At the end of the day, the best way to lock in affordable car insurance is to build safe driving habits and be careful behind the wheel. No matter how many years you’ve been driving, serious traffic violations can take a toll on your record and cause your car insurance premiums to skyrocket. Make every effort to always drive responsibly.[9]

Delay driving

Depending on your lifestyle and where you live, it may be realistic for you to put off driving as a teen. If you wait a few years before you get your license, you might be able to lower your car insurance costs. Just make sure you don’t delay driving for too long, as safe driving habits are easier to develop at a younger age.

What type of coverage should new drivers get?

When you shop around for auto insurance as a new driver, think about what type of coverage you need. Most states require liability policies, which cover bodily injury (injuries you cause to other drivers and passengers if you’re at fault in an accident) and property damage liability (damage to other vehicles following a crash).

But if you have a car loan or lease, you’ll probably need to invest in a full-coverage policy. Full-coverage car insurance includes liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident, while comprehensive coverage is for damage to your car from any other cause.

Once you choose what type of car insurance you need, look for a policy with affordable rates. Ideally, it would also come with new driver discounts you’re eligible for, like good student discounts and defensive driving course discounts.

If you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, you might want to bundle your car insurance with it to save. Don’t forget to check online rankings and reviews to make sure you choose a policy from a reputable provider.

How Long Does an Accident Affect Your Insurance Rates?

How Long Does an Accident Affect Your Insurance Rates?

Car insurance for new drivers FAQs

You may feel overwhelmed trying to find cheap coverage as a new driver. Here’s what you need to know to find the best coverage.

  • Do new drivers need car insurance?

    In almost every state, all drivers, including new drivers, must purchase car insurance. States generally require liability coverage, but if your car is leased or financed, the leasing company or lender will mandate full coverage.

    If you do choose liability-only car insurance, note that it may not provide all the protection you need. It may be worth the extra cost to spend a bit more on a full-coverage policy.

  • How much is car insurance for new drivers?

    Compared to experienced drivers, new drivers typically pay more for auto insurance because they pose a greater risk on the road. But you can still find affordable rates as a new driver if you compare quotes, lock in discounts, and drive safely. On average, new drivers in the U.S. can expect to pay $514 a month for a policy.

  • What is the best car insurance for new drivers?

    The best car insurance for new drivers comes with affordable rates and discounts from insurers with a great reputation and excellent industry ratings. You might want to consider an auto policy from Auto-Owners, Erie, and GEICO. Their average monthly rates for new drivers range between $257 and $342 per month for liability-only coverage and $370 and $504 per month for full coverage.

  • Which insurance is cheapest for new drivers?

    You can find the cheapest liability rates for new drivers from Auto-Owners, National General, SafeAuto, and Erie. Policyholders pay between $257 and $306 per month for liability coverage from these companies. Auto-Owners, Erie, and USAA offer the cheapest full-coverage insurance rates.

  • What are three ways to reduce your car insurance costs as a new driver?

    You can reduce your car insurance costs as a new driver by shopping around, setting a higher deductible, and looking for discounts unrelated to your driving history. For example, auto insurers commonly offer discounts for the installation of anti-theft and safety devices, bundling with homeowners coverage, taking a defensive driving course, and having a good credit history.

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Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. NHTSA. "Teen Safe Driving: How Teens Can Be Safer Drivers." Accessed December 2, 2022
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "National Statistics." Accessed May 3, 2023
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Teen Drivers and Passengers: Get the Facts." Accessed May 3, 2023
  4. Progressive. "How Much Is Car Insurance?." Accessed December 2, 2022
  5. Metromile. "Car Insurance for New Drivers." Accessed December 2, 2022
  6. NAIC. "Credit-Based Insurance Scores." Accessed December 2, 2022
  7. GEICO. "Car Insurance for Teens and New Drivers." Accessed December 2, 2022
  8. Allstate. "What Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?." Accessed December 2, 2022
  9. Liberty Mutual. "Pay less for car insurance for teens & new drivers." Accessed December 2, 2022
  10. Nationwide. "Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance with SmartMiles." Accessed December 2, 2022
  11. American Family Insurance. "KnowYourDrive Program." Accessed December 2, 2022
  12. Progressive. "How to Get a Defensive Driving Discount." Accessed December 2, 2022
Anna Baluch
Anna BaluchInsurance Writer

Anna Baluch is a Cleveland-based personal finance and insurance expert. With an MBA from Roosevelt University, she enjoys writing educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions. Her work can be seen across the internet on many publications, including Freedom Debt Relief, Credit Karma, RateGenius, and the Balance. Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

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