Average Cost of Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds in 2024

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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Reviewed byMark Friedlander
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ByMark Fitzpatrick
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Reviewed byMark Friedlander
Edited byMegan Hull
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Updated: May 20, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old on a family policy is around $2,641. This cost varies depending on factors like gender, location and the teen's driving record. GEICO offers the cheapest full coverage policy for 18-year-olds, averaging $203 per month, making it a cost-effective option for young drivers.

Teen drivers generally pay the highest rates for car insurance. Insurance companies use actuarial data that shows that teens are more likely to be involved in collisions, leading to higher premiums to offset this risk.

Key Takeaways

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The average car insurance cost for 18-year-olds is $2,756 for full coverage and $530 for a liability-only policy.

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GEICO offers the cheapest policies for 18-year-olds, with liability-only coverage averaging $557 and full coverage around $2,431 annually.

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Teen drivers face higher insurance rates than other age groups due to increased accident risks and limited driving experience.

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These rates reflect the average cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds as of 2024.

Average Cost of Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds by Gender

On average, the cost of a full coverage car insurance policy for 18-year-olds on a family policy is:

  • For a female: $2,526 per year; $210 per month
  • For a male: $2,756 per year; $230 per month

Gender significantly impacts car insurance rates for drivers under 25, with young men generally paying more due to higher accident rates and more careless driving habits. However, states like Michigan, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, North Carolina and Pennsylvania prohibit insurers from using gender as a factor in determining rates.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
MaleFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,756Family Policy Monthly Premium$230
FemaleFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,526Family Policy Monthly Premium$210

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for 18-Year-Olds

The cost of full coverage and state minimum liability policies differ. MoneyGeek found that the cheapest car insurance companies for 18-year-olds on a family policy for each policy type are:

For full coverage policies:

  • GEICO: $2,431 per year; $203 per month
  • Nationwide: $2,476 per year; $206 per month

For state minimum liability policies:

  • GEICO: $557 per year; $46 per month
  • Travelers: $613 per year; $41 per month

GEICO stands out as the cheapest option for both full coverage and liability-only car insurance, priced at $2,431 and $557 annually, respectively. They also cater to young drivers with discounts for good academic records, completing safe driving courses and using vehicles equipped with safety features.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
GEICOFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,431Family Policy Monthly Premium$203
NationwideFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,476Family Policy Monthly Premium$206
AllstateFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,673Family Policy Monthly Premium$223
State FarmFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,716Family Policy Monthly Premium$226
TravelersFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,829Family Policy Monthly Premium$236
FarmersFamily Policy Annual Premium$3,062Family Policy Monthly Premium$255
ProgressiveFamily Policy Annual Premium$3,115Family Policy Monthly Premium$260
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Car insurance rating factors all relate to risk; riskier drivers are costly to insure, and are therefore charged more. No age group is found to be riskier than those below 20.

Drivers between 16 and 19 are at the greatest risk for car accidents, with their likelihood of fatal crashes being almost three times higher per mile driven than drivers older than 20. Male drivers in this age group also face a notably higher rate of fatal crashes. The increased risk is often attributed to teen drivers being more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, such as nighttime driving, not using seat belts, distracted driving and speeding.

Average Cost of Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds by Coverage

By coverage level, a male 18-year-old driver on a family policy should expect to pay:

  • For state minimum liability: $515 per year; $43 per month
  • For full coverage insurance: $2,641 per year; $220 per month

Eighteen-year-old drivers using older vehicles may find state minimum insurance adequate. However, it's important to be prepared for potential out-of-pocket expenses, as liability-only may not fully cover accident costs. Opting for full coverage provides a broader safety net despite higher costs. For new drivers, extra features like roadside assistance can also be invaluable in emergencies. Given the high-risk factors associated with young drivers, such as inexperience and a higher likelihood of accidents, more comprehensive coverage offers better financial security.

State Minimum Liability OnlyFamily Policy Annual Premium$515Family Policy Monthly Premium$43
100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.Family Policy Annual Premium$2,641Family Policy Monthly Premium$220
300/500/300 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.Family Policy Annual Premium$3,130Family Policy Monthly Premium$261

Average Cost of Car Insurance at 18 for Individual vs. Family Policies

On average, teens will pay $4,965 more for an individual policy than if they were added to their parents’ insurance. The average cost of coverage for each is:

  • Individual policy: $7,605
  • Family policy: $2,641

To find the best cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds, the best strategy is to stay on a parent's policy until the teen permanently moves out of the family home. Opting for an individual policy at this age can be 39% more expensive than remaining under a parent's coverage.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
$2,641Individual Premium$7,605Increase in Premium$4,965

Can 18-Year-Olds Get Their Own Car Insurance?

Yes, an 18-year-old can legally purchase their own car insurance policy. However, it's often more cost-effective for them to remain on their parents' policy, as individual policies for young drivers can be significantly more expensive due to their higher risk profile.

Car insurance companies usually require all vehicles on a policy to be garaged at the same address. Therefore, unless the teen driver moves out permanently, keeping them on the family policy is typically the better option. An 18-year-old can stay on a family policy even when attending college.

Average Cost of Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds by State

Eighteen-year-olds in California pay $2,180 more for a full coverage policy than teens in Idaho. The cheapest state for 18-year-olds is Hawaii, with an average $998 annual premium for a full coverage policy. Rates are the lowest in Hawaii because insurers are not allowed to use age as a rating factor. On the other end of the spectrum, teens in Louisiana tend to pay the most, $6,625 per year.

Even though the state excludes the use of non-driving factors — like age and gender — in determining insurance rates, the average cost of car insurance in Michigan is still 68% higher than the national average. Other factors, like population density and elevated vehicle theft rates, may drive these high costs.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
AlabamaFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,430Family Policy Monthly Premium$202
AlaskaFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,569Family Policy Monthly Premium$214
ArizonaFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,613Family Policy Monthly Premium$218
ArkansasFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,097Family Policy Monthly Premium$175
CaliforniaFamily Policy Annual Premium$3,543Family Policy Monthly Premium$295
ColoradoFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,539Family Policy Monthly Premium$212
ConnecticutFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,213Family Policy Monthly Premium$184
DelawareFamily Policy Annual Premium$2,582Family Policy Monthly Premium$215

How 18-Year-Olds Can Save Money on Car Insurance

Teens pay more for car insurance than any other age group. Fortunately, there are steps teens and their families can take to meaningfully lower the cost of their coverage.

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    Stay on a parent's policy

    For 18-year-olds, staying on a parent's policy often results in significantly lower rates due to the parent's longer insurance history and potential multi-car discounts. If the teen still lives at home and uses a family car — rather than owning their own vehicle — insurers usually let them stay on a family policy.

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    Choose a safe, older car

    Selecting a less expensive car with a good safety rating can significantly reduce insurance costs, as they are cheaper to repair and are considered lower risk.

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    Seek good student discounts

    Insurers often provide discounts to students who maintain good grades, usually a B average or higher. These discounts are given because insurers indicate responsibility that translates to safer driving. Students attending boarding school or college away from home may also be eligible for distant student discounts.

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    Complete a driver's education course

    Insurance companies typically offer discounts to young drivers who complete certified driving courses, seeing this action as a commitment to safe driving.

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    Opt for higher deductibles

    Choosing a higher deductible can lower your insurance premiums, but it's important to ensure the deductible is still affordable if you need to file a claim. Separate deductibles apply to optional collision and comprehensive coverages, but liability coverages do not have deductibles.

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    Limit coverage on older vehicles

    If you have an older, less valuable car, consider reducing coverage to liability only, as the cost of full coverage might not be worth the car's value.

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    Drive responsibly

    Keeping a clean driving record free of accidents and traffic violations is key to lowering insurance rates over time, as it proves your reliability as a driver. In the future, it also may make you eligible for accident-free discounts.

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    Explore telematics programs

    Joining usage-based insurance programs can earn you discounts for safe and low-mileage driving, as these programs monitor driving behaviors.

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    Take advantage of low mileage discounts

    If you don't drive often, seek insurers that offer discounts for low mileage, as limited road time reduces the likelihood of accidents.

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    Shop around

    Regularly researching and comparing insurance rates from different providers is crucial. Be sure to compare premiums from at least three companies before purchasing a policy.

FAQ About Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds

We answer the most common questions about car insurance for 18-year-olds, covering costs and tips for finding coverage.

How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old per month?
How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old male?
How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old female?
How much is liability insurance for an 18-year-old?
Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?

About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.