Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers in 2024


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byVictoria Copans
Contributions by6 experts
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byVictoria Copans
Contributions by6 experts

Updated: May 20, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

When deciding on a policy for a young driver, understanding the average cost of car insurance can offer great insight. State Farm emerged as the best car insurance for young drivers in MoneyGeek's study, with policies costing an average of $2,300 per year. The best car to insure for young drivers is the Jeep Patriot.

MoneyGeek analyzed policies for drivers aged 16 to 25 to find the best auto insurance companies for young drivers nationally and by state. These providers were ranked using a weighted rating system, considering affordability, claims ratings, customer satisfaction and financial stability.

Why trust MoneyGeek? To determine the best car insurance for young drivers, we collected data from Quadrant Information Services, state insurance departments and industry-leading evaluations such as J.D. Power, AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers

The best car insurance companies for young drivers on an individual policy are:

  • State Farm: MoneyGeek score of 86
  • Travelers: MoneyGeek score of 85
  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 85

To identify the best insurers, MoneyGeek used a five-point scoring system that evaluated companies based on:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Claims rating
  • Financial stability
  • Affordability
  • Coverage

The average rates shown are for individual full coverage policies with 100/300/100 liability limits and a $1,000 deductible. It's also important to note that teens under 18 cannot legally purchase their own policy without a parent or guardian agreeing to co-sign.


1
State FarmBest Overall for Young Drivers
Score:86
2
Travelers
Score:85
3
GEICO
Score:85

Finding the best car insurance provider for young motorists can help parents and drivers feel safe and secure on the road. Understanding the average cost of car insurance can provide you with a benchmark to work with as you decide on a provider and policy.

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Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers With Accidents

If you have an accident or a ticket on your driving record, insurers will view you as a risky driver and may increase your premiums. Some providers are more forgiving than others, while some have discounts available to help lower your premium.

carInsurance
MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm

The best and cheapest car insurance for high-risk drivers is State Farm, offering the most affordable policies in 27 states. State Farm ranks highly in financial stability for filing a claim and offers the most affordable policies.

While MoneyGeek’s analysis found that State Farm is the best and most affordable, remember that what’s best and cheap for you will depend on your needs.

Best Full Coverage Car Insurance for Young Drivers

A full coverage car insurance policy is often the best insurance option for young drivers.

It includes collision insurance, which pays for repairs to your car if you cause an accident, and liability insurance, which covers damage and injuries to others if you're at fault. Liability alone might not be enough as it doesn't pay for damage to your own car.

Collision insurance can save you money in the long run, especially if you don't have a lot of savings. Comprehensive insurance is also included in a full coverage policy and covers damage from non-collision incidents such as theft or natural disasters.

Together, these coverages provide robust protection, which is valuable for inexperienced drivers.

carInsurance
MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm

State Farm has consistently offered the best and cheapest full coverage car insurance. Besides offering low rates, the company maintains a strong reputation for excellent customer service and financial stability.

Full coverage insurance includes comprehensive and collision coverage and 100/300/100 liability limits. While this may cost more, it does grant extra protection for young drivers on the road.

Best Liability-Only Car Insurance for Young Drivers

Liability-only insurance offers the lowest financial protection — but it’s also the cheapest. Generally, liability-only insurance involves following your state’s required minimums, which is a good option for those looking to find the most affordable car insurance for young drivers.

carInsurance
MoneyGeek Top Pick
State Farm

State Farm consistently offers the best and cheapest liability-only car insurance for young drivers across the U.S. This applies even for drivers who have a ticket or an accident, or increased liability.

Note that we define minimum state insurance as a policy that meets only a state's minimum requirements, but you can also get a liability-only policy with increased limits.

insurance2 icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Whether you’re a parent insuring a teen, a student or a new driver, MoneyGeek has great resources to help you find the car insurance you need. Review some of our studies on the best auto insurers below.

Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers by Age

State Farm offers the best car insurance for young drivers between 16 and 20 years old, while those between 21 and 25 years old may find that GEICO is the best option.

The average premiums by age are for an individual policy with 100/300/100 liability limits, comprehensive and collision coverage and a $1,000 deductible.

16CompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)87Annual premium$3,732
17CompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)87Annual premium$3,312
18CompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)87Annual premium$2,966
19CompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual premium$2,531
20CompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual premium$2,272
21CompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual premium$1,824
22CompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual premium$1,850
23CompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)86Annual premium$1,655
24CompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)86Annual premium$1,571
25CompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)85Annual premium$1,448

Age affects how much you pay for car insurance. Younger drivers often pay more because they don't have much experience and are seen as riskier to insure. This bears out in the statistics: 16- to 19-year-olds are involved in 8.9% of all crashes and 6% of fatal ones, even though they represent less than 4% of licensed drivers.

But as you get older and avoid accidents and tickets, your costs will likely decrease. For example, 25-year-old car insurance is less than half of the cost for a 16-year-old. 

If you're a new or young driver, driving safely can help lower your cost, too. Taking part in defensive driving courses or driver's education can also make a difference.

Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers by State

While MoneyGeek analyzed the best car insurance for young drivers nationally, remember that the best options can vary by state and driver profile. The best insurer for you will depend on your needs and preferences, like whether you prioritize good customer service, a more affordable plan or a certain type of coverage or discount.

If you’re looking for the best car insurance for young drivers in your state, explore the table below and click on your state to learn more.

AlabamaCompanyNationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)89Annual Premium$3,725
AlaskaCompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)90Annual Premium$3,740
ArizonaCompanyTravelersMG Best Score (out of 100)91Annual Premium$3,448
ArkansasCompanyNationwideMG Best Score (out of 100)89Annual Premium$3,742
CaliforniaCompanyCapital Insurance GroupMG Best Score (out of 100)91Annual Premium$3,307
ColoradoCompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)88Annual Premium$7,501
ConnecticutCompanyGEICOMG Best Score (out of 100)90Annual Premium$9,381
DelawareCompanyState FarmMG Best Score (out of 100)90Annual Premium$3,848

Where you live also plays a role in car insurance costs for young drivers. Different areas have different risks and rules. For example, there might be more accidents in busy cities, so insurance will likely cost more. Insurance might also be higher in places with higher rates of theft. Local laws can affect costs, too. Some areas require more insurance coverage than others. Plus, repair costs and medical fees can vary by location.

It's wise to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers in your area. Ask about discounts for good grades, safe driving or taking a driver's education course. Working with an insurance agent who knows your local area can also help you find the best coverage at the right price.

Remember, the best insurance option for young drivers isn't always the cheapest one; it's the one that offers the right protection for your unique needs and budget.

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Best Car Insurance for Adding Young Drivers

Young drivers often have two options when getting car insurance: being added to their family’s policy or having an individual policy.

Being added to a family policy is often the simplest and most affordable way for young drivers to get car insurance. While this will still increase the primary policyholder’s insurance cost, it’s often cheaper than getting an individual policy — especially if it’s coupled with discounts. In addition, teens under 18 cannot legally get their own policy unless a parent or guardian acts as a co-signer.

Use the table below to find the best insurer for adding a young drivers to a family policy by age and desired coverage level.

Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Age:
Age:16
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
Auto-Owners Insurance CoAnnual Premium$2,886Monthly Premium$240MG Best Score (out of 100)$87
GEICOAnnual Premium$2,936Monthly Premium$245MG Best Score (out of 100)$84
State FarmAnnual Premium$3,055Monthly Premium$255MG Best Score (out of 100)$84
NationwideAnnual Premium$2,718Monthly Premium$226MG Best Score (out of 100)$84
TravelersAnnual Premium$3,436Monthly Premium$286MG Best Score (out of 100)$83
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$3,454Monthly Premium$288MG Best Score (out of 100)$82
AllstateAnnual Premium$3,292Monthly Premium$274MG Best Score (out of 100)$81
FarmersAnnual Premium$3,562Monthly Premium$297MG Best Score (out of 100)$81
KemperAnnual Premium$4,619Monthly Premium$385MG Best Score (out of 100)$68

Best Affordable Cars to Insure for Young Drivers

Aside from your driving history and profile, insurers also look at the car you drive when determining rates — the car's year, make, model and value all play a role in the cost of premiums.

MoneyGeek reviewed the affordability of common car models to find the cheapest car to insure and the best insurance provider by model. Our study found that the best affordable car to insure for young drivers is the Jeep Patriot — new or used. For this model, State Farm is the best insurer.

Factors Affecting Auto Insurance Rates for Young Drivers?

Insurers use a variety of factors to determine car insurance premiums — which is why the average cost of car insurance can vary. Generally, insurers base policy costs on your personal information, vehicle details and the coverage you want.

The personal information insurers consider includes your:

  • Age: Younger drivers often face higher premiums due to lack of experience.
  • Gender: Some insurers may use gender as a factor, although this practice is controversial and banned in some states.
  • Location: Where you live can affect the likelihood of accidents, theft or vandalism.
  • Credit Score: In some states, a higher credit score may lead to lower premiums.
  • - Driving Record: A clean driving record can significantly reduce your premiums.
  • Driving Frequency: How often you drive can also impact your risk level and, consequently, your premiums.

In terms of vehicle information, insurers look at:

  • Model: Luxury or high-performance cars may cost more to insure.
  • Make: Some brands might be more expensive to repair, leading to higher premiums.
  • Year: Newer cars might have higher repair costs, affecting insurance rates.

Combined, these details help insurers assess your level of risk as a driver. Some factors may be more important than others, depending on the insurer's specific criteria.

Since different insurers might weigh these factors differently, it's wise to compare quotes, especially if you're looking for the cheapest car insurance for new drivers. Shopping around and understanding what affects your premiums can help you find the most affordable option that meets your needs.

Car Insurance Discounts for Young Drivers

Car insurance providers offer young drivers several ways to save on insurance through discounts. Stacking discounts can help young drivers get the cheapest full coverage car insurance.

Some of the most common discounts include:

Discount
Eligibility

Driver's Education Discount

Complete a state-approved driver's education course

Defensive Driving Discount

Finish a defensive driving course approved by your insurer

Good Student Discount

Maintain a B average or higher if you're a full-time student aged 16 to 25

Distant Student Discount

If you're a student studying away from home without a car, you may qualify

Multi-Car Discount

Insure more than one vehicle with the same provider

Home and Auto Bundle

Combine your auto insurance with homeowners or renters insurance with the same company

Safe Vehicle Discount

Drive a car with safety features like anti-lock brakes or passive restraint systems

Low Mileage Discount

Drive fewer miles than the average, often below 7,500 miles per year

Professional or Alumni Association Discount

Belong to certain professional organizations or alumni associations partnered with the insurer

Automatic Payment Discount

Set up automatic payments for your premiums

Paperless Discount

Opt for electronic statements and policy information

Continuously Insured Discount

Maintain continuous coverage without any gaps or cancellations

Early Sign-Up Discounts

Renew your policy early, often before the renewal notice is sent

New Vehicle Discount

Insure a new vehicle, typically less than three years old

Monitoring and Honing Device Discounts

Participate in a telematics program that monitors driving habits, or install anti-theft devices in your vehicle

These are just some of the most common insurance discounts that young drivers can take advantage of. The best part is that most major insurance providers allow you to stack discounts, meaning you can combine multiple discounts for even greater savings.

Many of these discounts are within easy reach. Options like opting for paperless billing or setting up automatic payments are simple changes you can make right now to save on insurance costs. By being proactive and exploring these opportunities, young drivers can significantly reduce their auto insurance premiums without sacrificing essential coverage.

How to Get the Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers

You can purchase insurance online or through an agent. Here are steps to getting the best car insurance for young drivers:

1
Choose the right car

The year, make and model of your car plays a role in the cost of insurance. MoneyGeek found that the Jeep Patriot is the cheapest model to insure.

Keep in mind that sports cars are often more expensive given their high horsepower, so it might be better to opt for a car that’s reliable, has anti-theft systems and modest horsepower.

2
Understand your coverage needs

Young drivers have a higher likelihood of getting into an accident, which means it might be best to have a full coverage policy. MoneyGeek recommends getting full coverage insurance with 100/300/100 liability limits so the financial consequences may be reduced even if you get into an accident.

3
Compare quotes

To find the best insurer, it’s smart to compare quotes. Insurers weigh your details differently, which means no two quotes are alike. Comparing quotes lets you find the cheapest and best offer.

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Jun 13, 2024

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FAQ About the Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers

MoneyGeek answered common questions you might have about finding and securing the best car insurance for young drivers aged 16 to 25.

What is the cheapest car insurance for young drivers?
Does being 25 make insurance cheaper?
What is the best temporary car insurance for young drivers?

Expert Advice on the Best Car Insurance for Young Drivers

  1. Adding a young driver to an existing car insurance policy with an experienced driver is cheaper. If a young driver doesn't have that option, what are some ways to ensure they get the best rates?
  2. A liability-only policy is attractive for many young drivers because of the lower price. How do you explain the difference between liability and full coverage policies to these individuals?
  3. What common discounts do insurers offer to make policies cheaper for young drivers?
  4. Are telematics policies especially attractive or unattractive for young drivers?
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Steven GattusoAssistant Professor of Economics & Finance at Canisius College
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Joe Roberts, Ph.D.Director, Center for Innovation and Professional Development at Webster University
Bob G. Wood, Ph.D.
Bob G. Wood, Ph.D.Professor of Finance at University of South Alabama
Wayne Miller
Wayne MillerAdjunct Professor, Wayne Law at Wayne State University and COO, Miller & Tischler P.C.
Brandon Gregg
Brandon GreggMarket President and Financial Advisor at BBK Wealth Management
Kendall Phillip Goodrich, Ph.D.
Kendall Phillip Goodrich, Ph.D.Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Wright State University
Yibing Du, Ph.D.
Yibing Du, Ph.D.Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington
Jie Ying
Jie YingAssistant Professor of Finance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Leo Chan, Ph.D.
Leo Chan, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Finance at Utah Valley University

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.


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