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Car insurance for 16-year-olds

Every teen driver needs car insurance to protect them while on the road, but with the average 16-year-old policyholder paying $4,800 a year for car insurance, it’s important to know where to look.

Whether you’re looking for yourself or someone you know, discover how to get affordable car insurance for 16-year-olds. 

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Our rates are based on public rate filings obtained by analytics company First Interpreter. While we may partner with some of the carriers you see on our site, we maintain editorial independence and it does not affect the rates you see. Read more about our rating methodology or see our rigorous editorial policy. 

Written by Alyssa DiCrasto

Reviewed by Rob Deming

Last updated: February 26th, 2024

Best car insurance for 16-year-olds

Every teenage driver should have an insurance policy that helps protect them financially in case of an accident and can cover the cost of repairs if needed.  

Car insurance is necessary for all drivers, but it can be especially expensive for 16-year-olds. Fortunately, there are a few things 16-year-olds can do to get the best car insurance rates. The first is to shop around and compare rates from different insurers. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of discounts, such as good student discounts or safe driver discounts. Another way to save on car insurance is to choose a higher deductible, which lowers your monthly premium. Finally, it’s always wise to drive safely and avoid accidents, as having a clean driving record will help keep your rates low in the future. 

Cheap car insurance for 16-year-olds

Average cost of car insurance for 16-year-olds

Having the freedom to drive is an exciting feeling, but it does come with its fair share of expenses like gas, car payments, and a big expense: car insurance. Just how much is car insurance for 16-year-old drivers?

Your cost will vary based on if you are insuring a 16-year-old male or female driver, where you live, and the type of car you drive as well as other various factors.  

Below is the average annual price of car insurance for a 16-year-old driver on their own car insurance policy in each state. 

Annual rates for a male driving a 2023 RAV4, estimated using public rate filings sourced from First Interpreter.
Rates
do not represent actual quotes. Accurate as of January 2024.
 

It’s important to note, however, that it is usually much less expensive for teenagers to be added to their parent’s insurance policy than it is for them to purchase a policy of their own.

How adding a teen affects your car insurance rates

Unique factors that attribute to cost for 16-year-olds

Car insurance costs vary for people of all ages, depending on where they live, what type of car they drive, and other demographic factors. However, 16-year-old drivers encounter additional factors that contribute to how much they pay for auto insurance. 

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Because they are new to driving and don’t have much experience, 16-year-old drivers are considered high risk drivers. In the eyes of insurance providers, inexperienced drivers are more likely to get into a car accident and file a claim. Because of this, teen drivers pay higher premiums, increasing their overall cost of car insurance. 

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16-year-old drivers can buy their own insurance policy. However, it is typically more expensive for a 16-year-old to purchase their own insurance policy rather than joining a parent’s existing policy. When possible, 16-year-olds should consider asking their parents to add them to an existing policy to save some money. 

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Some auto insurance companies offer teen driver discounts that can lower the cost for car insurance for 16-year-olds. These include discounts for being a good student and discounts for completing a driver’s education course. 

How to get affordable car insurance for 16-year-olds

Being a 16-year-old driver is both exciting and challenging. On the one hand, you finally have the freedom to hit the open road. On the other hand, car insurance rates for 16-year-old drivers are notoriously high. However, you can do a few things to find more affordable coverage.

1. Shop around and compare car insurance rates

Shopping around and comparing rates from top auto insurance companies is the best way to find affordable car insurance for 16-year-old drivers. By comparing quotes, you can choose the company that offers the best policy at the most affordable price. Start today by finding the best providers for you with Rate Retriever 

2. Ask about teen driver discounts

Some auto insurance providers may offer 16-year-old drivers discounts to lower the cost of insurance. Examples of discounts include:

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Teenagers in high school, college, or a vocational program can typically qualify for discounts if they have at least a B average in their classes.

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Teenagers attending school at least 100 miles away from their home may be able to receive a discount on auto insurance. 

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Insurance companies sometimes offer a discount if a teenager successfully completes a Driver’s Education course. 

3. Make sure you have the coverage you need

It’s essential to meet your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements and consider additional coverage for more financial protection while on the road. While car insurance for 16-year-old drivers can be expensive, a policy that protects you financially in the event of an accident is well worth it. 

Car insurance FAQs for 16-year-olds

Can a 16-year-old get car insurance on their own?

Yes, in some states a 16-year-old can get car insurance on their own. However, many insurance companies prefer drivers to be at least 18 years old before getting their own policy. Some states allow younger drivers to be the primary policyholder but may require a parent or guardian to be listed as a co-signer. It is important to research the laws in your state and speak with insurance providers to determine the best options for car insurance as a 16-year-old.

How much does car insurance typically cost for a 16-year-old?

Car insurance for a 16-year-old can cost a lot more than for older drivers. On average, it can range from $100 to $400 per month to add a 16-year-old to an existing policy, depending on factors like the type of car, where you live, and your driving record. Young drivers are seen as higher risk by insurance companies, so they charge more to cover potential accidents. It’s important to shop around and compare prices to find the best deal for you and your family. And remember, safe driving can help lower insurance costs over time.

How does car insurance work for a 16-year-old?

Most commonly, car insurance for a 16-year-old works by the parent adding the teen to their insurance policy. The cost of insurance is usually higher for younger drivers because they are considered to be more risky. The insurance company will look at factors like driving record, type of car, and location to determine the cost. It is important for the teen to drive safely and follow all traffic laws in order to keep their insurance rates low, but if the teen gets into an accident, the insurance company will help cover the cost of damages.

What factors influence the cost of car insurance for 16-year-olds?

The cost of car insurance for 16-year-olds is influenced by several factors. These include the teenager’s driving record, the type of car they drive, where they live, and their level of coverage. Insurance companies consider young drivers to be high-risk because they have less experience behind the wheel and are more likely to be involved in accidents. Therefore, insurance rates tend to be higher for 16-year-olds compared to older, more experienced drivers. It’s important for young drivers to drive safely, maintain good grades, and choose a car that is safe and not too expensive to insure.

Are there any discounts available for 16-year-old drivers?

Some car insurance companies offer discounts for 16-year-old drivers, such as good student discounts or safe driver discounts. These discounts can help lower the cost of insurance for young drivers. It’s best to shop around and compare rates from different insurance companies to find the best deal. Make sure to ask about any discounts that may be available for teen drivers to see if you qualify for any savings.

Do I need car insurance if I have a learner’s permit at 16?

Generally, it’s a good idea to have car insurance even if you have a learner’s permit at 16. Car insurance is required by law to protect you and others in case of an accident. Even though you are still learning to drive, insurance is important to have in case of any unexpected situations, and having car insurance can provide peace of mind and help you be prepared for any driving situation.

How does adding a 16-year-old driver affect my parents’ car insurance rates?

Adding a 16-year-old driver to your parents’ car insurance can increase their rates (by 60-70% on average) because new and young drivers are considered higher risk by insurance companies. Young drivers are more likely to get into accidents due to their lack of experience on the road. To offset this risk, insurance companies may raise premiums to cover potential expenses from any accidents or claims involving the new driver.

Are there any restrictions on the types of cars I can insure at 16?

It depends on your car insurance company, but usually there aren’t restrictions on the type of car a 16-year-old can insure. However, you should keep in mind that high-performance or luxury cars are more expensive to insure on average because they are more expensive to repair or replace, so for the most expensive age group to insure, these types of vehicle may be cost prohibitive.

Can I get car insurance for a car that’s in my parents’ name if I’m 16?

Yes, in many cases, you can be added to your parents’ existing policy as a listed driver. This will allow you to legally drive the car and be covered by the insurance in case of any accidents. It’s important to note that adding a teenage driver to an insurance policy may result in higher premiums due to the increased risk.

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Methodology

Rate Retriever rates are based on public rate filings obtained by analytics company First Interpreter. This data comes from the rating plans insurance carriers submit to each state’s department of insurance. Rating plans detail how each carrier calculates premiums using factors such as location, age, gender, and driving record, and they ensure that insurance premiums are both fair and competitive.  

For the data on this page, we made the following assumptions: a single male with a clean driving record and Good credit score, driving a 2023 RAV4. We adjusted this profile by age to determine the rates you see on this page. 

These rates are not actual quotes and should be used only for comparative purposes. Your rates can vary significantly based on your unique driver profile. 

About Rate Retriever

At Rate Retriever, our mission is to make the way you shop for insurance transparent and fair through user-friendly tools that respect your privacy and deliver reliable, comprehensive results 

So we took everything we hated about comparing insurance quotes online – the spam, the long questionnaires, the limited choices, the inaccuracy of quote prices – and threw it out the window, favoring a short form that more accurately estimates what you’ll pay at each of the top insurance providers near you. 

Rate Retriever is an independent company that is not owned by an insurance provider, nor do we provide insurance ourselves. This independence allows us to be your free and impartial insurance research tool, helping you make the best decisions for your insurance needs.  

We may earn a commission when you click one of the links or call one of the providers listed on our site; however, we do not allow our partnerships to influence which information we provide.