Best Car Insurance for Teens 2024


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Reviewed byMark Friedlander
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ByMark Fitzpatrick
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Reviewed byMark Friedlander
Edited byVictoria Copans
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Updated: May 20, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

GEICO ranks as the top insurance provider for teen drivers aged 16 to 18, offering quality coverage and various discounts. For 19-year-olds, Travelers takes the lead, especially when they're added to a family policy. Nationwide stands out for affordability across multiple age groups, while State Farm offers the best student discounts.

To save on premiums, families can leverage good student discounts, opt for higher deductibles and consider the type of vehicle that their teens drive.

Key Takeaways

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GEICO offers the best coverage for teen drivers between 16 and 18, while Nationwide is the best for 19-year-old drivers.

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Select coverage that aligns with the teen's driving habits and the family's financial situation. Consider options like collision, comprehensive and accident forgiveness to provide a financial safety net in case of emergencies.

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Teen drivers, often seen as high-risk by insurers, can benefit from various discounts and programs. Maintaining good grades and participating in insurer-specific safe driving programs can significantly reduce premiums and encourage responsible driving.

Why Trust MoneyGeek? We ensure that MoneyGeek's content meets our highest editorial standards by carefully scrutinizing it. Throughout each stage, our team writes, checks facts, edits and reviews the content produced to generate accurate information.

Best Car Insurance for Teens

While low rates can be enticing, remember to consider factors like coverage options, customer service and claim handling. By weighing these elements, you can find the best car insurance companies that offer not just affordability but also a well-rounded service experience.

Using MoneyGeek's scoring system, which considers customer satisfaction, financial stability, claims processing, coverage options and available discounts, as a guide, you can find an affordable and reliable insurer.

BEST CAR INSURANCE FOR TEEN DRIVERS
  • Best for 16-year-olds: GEICO
  • Best for 17-year-olds: GEICO
  • Best for 18-year-olds: GEICO
  • Best for 19-year-olds: Travelers
  • Best for Affordability: Nationwide
  • Best for Student Discounts: State Farm
  • Best for Student Away From Home: Allstate
  • Best for Military Students: USAA

Best for 16-Year-Old Teen Drivers

GEICO is the best insurance provider for 16-year-old drivers based on high scores for customer service and coverage offerings:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 84 out of 100 ($2,936 on a family policy, $5,463 on an individual policy)

The rates above are for full coverage policiess.

Check the table below for a list of the best insurance providers for your 16-year-old teen driver based on your preferred coverage level.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
GEICO

GEICO is the third-largest U.S. auto insurer by market share, offering essential coverages that are especially useful for teen drivers. While they may not have the latest specialized coverages, they shine in providing reliable basics like emergency roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.

It also excels in discounts, making it easier to afford insurance for young, inexperienced drivers. This is great news for people looking to make financially smart choices without skimping on coverage.

One big perk with GEICO is the potential for huge savings with a family policy. By bundling policies such as home and auto, you could save a lot, making it a smart financial move for families with teen drivers.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
GEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$5,463Family Premium$2,936Increase in Premium$2,527
State FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$3,732Family Premium$3,055Increase in Premium$678
NationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$5,108Family Premium$2,718Increase in Premium$2,390
TravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$5,622Family Premium$3,436Increase in Premium$2,186
ProgressiveMG Best Score (out of 100)82Individual Premium$7,481Family Premium$3,454Increase in Premium$4,027
AllstateMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$6,583Family Premium$3,292Increase in Premium$3,291
FarmersMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$8,864Family Premium$3,562Increase in Premium$5,301

Best for 17-Year-Old Teen Drivers

GEICO also ranks as the best car insurance company for 17-year-old teen drivers based on quality coverage and affordability:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 84 out of 100 ($2,863 on a family policy, $4,260 on an individual policy)

Age is a significant factor in determining your insurance premiums and choosing the best insurer. Younger drivers often face higher rates due to their lack of experience on the road.

You can toggle the table below to find the best insurance providers tailored for your teen driver.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
GEICO

GEICO ranks highest in terms of MoneyGeek scores and offers some of the most budget-friendly premiums. Whether you're looking at a family or individual policy, GEICO is a top choice for those wanting quality coverage without breaking the bank.

To save on insurance costs, consider having your teen drive the oldest car in the household or the one with the most safety features. GEICO even offers extra savings on cars equipped with safety features like airbags.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
GEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$4,260Family Premium$2,863Increase in Premium$1,396
NationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$4,662Family Premium$2,685Increase in Premium$1,978
State FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$3,312Family Premium$3,030Increase in Premium$281
TravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$4,287Family Premium$3,316Increase in Premium$970
FarmersMG Best Score (out of 100)82Individual Premium$6,664Family Premium$3,311Increase in Premium$3,353
AllstateMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$5,292Family Premium$3,218Increase in Premium$2,074
ProgressiveMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$7,262Family Premium$3,572Increase in Premium$3,691

Best for 18-Year-Old Teen Drivers

GEICO maintains its position at the top, also offering the best full coverage policies for 18-year-old teen drivers:

  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 84 out of 100 ($2,431 on a family policy, $3,594 on an individual policy)

18-year-olds attending college can stay on a family policy if their family home is their permanent residence.

Check out the table below to discover MoneyGeek's top picks for insurance providers for 18-year-old teen drivers based on your specific coverage needs.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
GEICO

At 18, drivers can start building their insurance history, and GEICO is a reliable choice for doing so. GEICO is particularly beneficial for teen drivers new to the road because of its great rates and excellent service. The company excels in key areas like affordability, financial stability and discounts, and it also boasts an above-average rating for user satisfaction.

Even though GEICO already offers affordable insurance for drivers from various backgrounds, you can trim costs even more by taking advantage of the company's multiple discount opportunities.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
GEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$3,594Family Premium$2,431Increase in Premium$1,163
TravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$3,566Family Premium$2,829Increase in Premium$737
State FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$2,966Family Premium$2,716Increase in Premium$250
NationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$4,332Family Premium$2,476Increase in Premium$1,856
AllstateMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$4,180Family Premium$2,673Increase in Premium$1,507
FarmersMG Best Score (out of 100)80Individual Premium$6,124Family Premium$3,062Increase in Premium$3,062
ProgressiveMG Best Score (out of 100)80Individual Premium$6,246Family Premium$3,115Increase in Premium$3,131

Best for 19-Year-Old Teen Drivers

Travelers ranks the highest for 19-year-old drivers based on outstanding customer service and broad coverage offerings:

  • Travelers: MoneyGeek score of 84 out of 100 ($2,305 on a family policy, $2,817 on an individual policy)

Travelers offers a significant cost advantage when a teen driver joins a family policy, charging around $500 less compared to getting an individual policy.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Travelers

If you're a parent of a 19-year-old driver looking to get auto insurance, Travelers is a great option that offers both quality and affordability. The company provides moderate rates catering to a wide range of drivers, including those new to the road.

Travelers stands out with its specialized coverage options tailored for teen drivers. Features like accident forgiveness, rental coverage, new car replacement and roadside assistance offer financial protection and peace of mind.

In addition to these coverage options, Travelers offers common and unique discounts to drive down costs further. Available discounts for 19-year-old drivers signing up for their own policy include the safe driver discount, which kicks in after three years, the student away at school discount and the electronic funds transfer discount for tech-savvy teens. Other ways to save include good student and driver training discounts.

With its moderate rates, specialized coverages and diverse discounts, Travelers helps you manage your budget effectively while ensuring quality insurance for your young driver.

The table below shows the best auto insurance providers and their rates for 19-year-olds based on desired coverage levels.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
TravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)84Individual Premium$2,817Family Premium$2,305Increase in Premium$512
GEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$2,631Family Premium$2,168Increase in Premium$462
NationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$3,389Family Premium$2,066Increase in Premium$1,323
State FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)83Individual Premium$2,531Family Premium$2,344Increase in Premium$188
AllstateMG Best Score (out of 100)81Individual Premium$2,899Family Premium$2,326Increase in Premium$573
ProgressiveMG Best Score (out of 100)79Individual Premium$3,473Family Premium$2,845Increase in Premium$627
FarmersMG Best Score (out of 100)78Individual Premium$3,657Family Premium$3,111Increase in Premium$546

Best Teen Car Insurance for Affordability

The providers that score the best for affordability in MoneyGeek's analysis are:

  • For 16-year-old drivers: Nationwide
  • For 17-year-old drivers: Nationwide
  • For 18-year-old drivers: GEICO
  • For 19-year-old drivers: Nationwide
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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Nationwide

Nationwide offers moderate rates that appeal to both new and experienced drivers, making it a financially smart choice for quality coverage. The company provides a variety of discounts to help you save. For instance, bundling home and car insurance can save you money, and teens maintaining at least a B average can qualify for a good student discount. Students away at college without a car may be eligible for the distant student discount. Safe driving over time can lead to even more savings.

Coverage-wise, Nationwide has a comprehensive range of options. It offers collision and comprehensive coverage as well as towing assistance and rental car reimbursement. Optional features like accident forgiveness and vanishing deductible add extra layers of financial protection.

Nationwide offers a balanced mix of affordable rates, diverse discounts and robust coverage options. It's a standout choice for young drivers seeking quality insurance at a reasonable price.

Best Teen Car Insurance for Student Discounts

State Farm offers the best discounts for students and teen drivers.

However, remember that availability, eligibility and the amount you can save may vary depending on your state. To get the best deal, always compare quotes from multiple insurance companies.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm

State Farm, the largest U.S. auto insurer by market share, sets itself apart from competitors with a wide array of discount options for teen drivers. Whether your teen is getting their own policy or joining your family plan, they can benefit from multiple stacked discounts to reduce insurance costs.

Core student-focused discounts include:

  • Good Student (up to 25%)
  • Steer Clear
  • Student Away at School
  • Driver Training
  • Drive Safe & Save (up to 30%)

The company also offers innovative telematics programs like Steer Clear and Drive Safe and Save. The latter can save you up to 30% on your car insurance and, like Steer Clear, can be easily completed via a mobile app or through OnStar. These features make State Farm a cost-effective choice for families with student drivers.

Best Teen Car Insurance for Student Away From Home

With Allstate, you can lower the cost of insuring a college student through the company's "student away from home" discount.

The student away from home discount lowers your premium if your college student doesn't have regular access to the insured car. It's designed for students who go to school far from home and drive less as a result.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Allstate

Allstate offers a discount for policyholders whose teen drivers are under 21 and attend school at least 100 miles away from where their car is garaged. If your young driver fits that description, this discount can lower the cost of insuring them while attending college and is generally the cheapest option. Allstate also offers a teenSMART telematics program.

If the most affordable car insurance provider in your state doesn't offer a student away from home discount, another option is to remove your teen driver from the policy while they're away at college. This could help you manage costs more effectively during their time away.

Best Teen Car Insurance for Military Students and Families

USAA focuses on serving active-duty military members, veterans and their families, making it especially good at meeting the unique insurance needs of those affiliated with the military.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
USAA

MoneyGeek found that USAA is the cheapest option for teen drivers in military school or whose parents have a military background. The company offers a robust array of discounts for these young drivers, including safe driving and good student discounts and a driver training discount. Plus, it sets up teen drivers for success, giving qualifying drivers a 10% family legacy discount once they get their own policy.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 w/ $1000 Deductible
Age:
Age:16
USAAMG Best Score (out of 100)91Annual Premium$3,320
State FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)87Annual Premium$3,732
TravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual Premium$5,622
GEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual Premium$5,463
NationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)84Annual Premium$5,108
AllstateMG Best Score (out of 100)82Annual Premium$6,583
ProgressiveMG Best Score (out of 100)81Annual Premium$7,481
FarmersMG Best Score (out of 100)79Annual Premium$8,864

Best Teen Car Insurance for Teens by State

Based on MoneyGeek's Best Scores, the top three car insurance companies across multiple states are Auto-Owners, State Farm and GEICO.

These companies offer both quality coverage and competitive rates, making them strong choices for reliable and affordable car insurance. The best insurance provider in your state may vary — use the table below to find the company we recommend for teen auto insurance based on your state.

AlabamaCompanyNationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)89Individual Premium$3,725Family Premium$1,791
AlaskaCompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)90Individual Premium$3,740Family Premium$2,031
ArizonaCompanyTravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)91Individual Premium$3,448Family Premium$1,828
ArkansasCompanyNationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)89Individual Premium$3,742Family Premium$1,725
CaliforniaCompanyCapital Insurance GroupMG Best Score (out of 100)91Individual Premium$3,307Family Premium$3,405

Insurance costs and options can differ widely from one state to another. Plus, each insurer has its own proprietary underwriting criteria for setting premiums, so some are more affordable for certain kinds of drivers.

Regional insurers sometimes offer better rates and discounts than major national brands. And specific insurers, like Metromile for low-mileage drivers, can offer specialized service that suits your needs. The best insurance for you depends on your situation and location.

Car Insurance Costs for Teenage Drivers

For an individual policy, 16-year-old teens can expect to pay an average of $10,626 per year. When added to a family policy, insuring a 16-year-old teen driver costs around $3,567 annually — significantly less.

It's important to note that in most cases, minors can't legally secure an individual policy without a parent or guardian to co-sign the policy.

Average Insurance Costs for 16-Year-Olds

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Individual (Male)

16-Year-Old

$3,732
family
Family Policy (Male)

16-Year-Old

$3,055
Cost of a family policy vs. an individual policy:$677 saved

This is 18% less expensive.

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CAN A TEENAGER GET THEIR OWN CAR INSURANCE POLICY?

Yes, a teenager can legally obtain their own car insurance policy if they are of legal age. Typically, the legal age to enter into a binding contract, such as an insurance policy, is 18 years old. However, the specific age can vary by state. In many places, those under 18 need a parent or guardian's involvement to secure a policy.

How to Save on Car Insurance for Teen Drivers

Driving less or choosing a safer car can significantly reduce insurance costs. Taking a driver's education course also often leads to cheaper rates, as providers typically see teen drivers as high-risk. Additionally, some insurance companies offer programs that monitor teen driving behavior, rewarding safe patterns with discounts.

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    Leverage good student discounts

    Many insurance companies recognize the dedication it takes for teens to excel academically. Maintaining a B average or better can indicate responsibility, leading insurers to offer discounts. Parents should check with their providers to see if they offer a good student discount and the criteria for eligibility. Major insurers, like State Farm and GEICO, offer car insurance discounts targeting students. These also include distant student discounts for students away at school without use of a car.

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    Enroll in driver's education

    Beyond the essential skills taught, certified driver's education courses often come with financial perks. Insurers might view these courses as a sign that a teen is better prepared for the road, leading to reduced premiums. Check with the insurer to understand which courses qualify for discounts.

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    Opt for higher deductibles

    Increasing your car insurance deductible can lead to lower monthly premiums. While it does mean potentially higher out-of-pocket costs in case of an accident, it can be a calculated move for those looking to reduce monthly expenses. Evaluate your family's financial situation to determine whether this option is viable. Optional collision and comprehensive coverages are subject to separate deductibles, while liability coverages have no deductibles.

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    Consider the vehicle your teen drives

    The type of car a teen drives can greatly influence insurance costs. A used car with a solid safety rating may result in lower premiums compared to a brand-new sports car. Research vehicles known for safety and reliability to balance financial protection with affordability. If your car has safety features, it may also be eligible for additional discounts. MoneyGeek found that the cheapest cars to insure for teenagers are the MINI Cooper, Subaru Forester, and Chevrolet Corvette.

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    Bundle policies

    Consolidating multiple insurance policies with a single provider can lead to savings. If your family already has home or life insurance, adding a teen's auto policy to the mix might unlock bundle discounts. Most insurers offer home and auto bundles that reward loyal customers.

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    Encourage safe driving habits

    Safe driving can directly translate to financial benefits. Teens who maintain a clean driving record without accidents or violations can keep premiums low. Additionally, some insurers offer tracking devices or apps that monitor driving, rewarding safe habits with discounts.

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    Research special programs

    Innovative programs catered to teen drivers are increasingly available. These might include apps that provide feedback on driving habits, allowing teens to learn and adapt. Successfully participating in these programs can lead to discounts and better driving practices. State Farm’s Steer Clear program is one example. To qualify, the driver must be under 25 years old and have a valid license and clean record.

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    Shop around

    Insurance rates can vary significantly between providers. Regularly comparing quotes ensures that you're getting the best value for your coverage. As circumstances change, such as a teen aging or achieving a milestone like graduation, it's beneficial to revisit and reassess insurance options.

How to Choose Coverage for Your Teen Driver

To select coverages for teen drivers, focus on collision insurance because of their higher accident risk. Evaluate the car's value when weighing comprehensive coverage. Also, consider adding accident forgiveness to provide a financial cushion in emergencies.

Type of Coverage
What It Covers
When to Consider

Bodily injury and property damage your teen might cause to others

If your teen drives an older, inexpensive vehicle that's cheap to repair. The savings from skipping collision/comprehensive might outweigh potential repair costs. Insurance professionals warn that purchasing state minimum liability coverage can leave you financially vulnerable to a substantial loss from an at-fault accident.

Damage to your teen’s vehicle from a collision

Given that teens face higher accident risks due to inexperience, having this coverage can save significant out-of-pocket repair costs, especially for valuable vehicles. Collision provides coverage for accidents with other vehicles, stationary objects like trees and light poles, as well as rollover accidents and pothole damage.

Damage from theft, vandalism, fire and natural events

For protection against a range of non-collision related incidents. Especially relevant if the teen's vehicle has significant value, or if they can't afford unexpected replacement/repair costs.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Damage to your vehicle if another driver causes an accident and has insufficient coverage

If you can afford the typically minor increase in cost to add this coverage, it's worth it to have peace of mind in case a driver hits you without insurance (or enough coverage).

No premium increase after your teen's first at-fault accident

Beneficial for teen drivers who are more prone to initial driving mistakes, helping to prevent immediate insurance premium hikes.

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WHAT IS THE 10% RULE?

The "10% rule" in car insurance suggests that if your annual collision and comprehensive premiums exceed 10% of your car's value, you might think about dropping those coverages. It's based on the idea that paying for these coverages might not be worth it for older or low-value cars. However, if you can't afford out-of-pocket repairs or replacement, it's wise to keep the coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

MoneyGeek goes over common questions related to finding the best car insurance for teen drivers to help you understand how to balance the right coverage at the right cost.

Can a teenager legally obtain their own car insurance policy?
How can teen drivers lower their insurance premiums?
Does the type of car a teen drives impact insurance costs?
What is the 10% rule in car insurance?
Are there specific programs that reward teen drivers for safe driving?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

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.