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Car insurance for 18-year-olds

Every teen driver needs car insurance to protect them while on the road.

Knowing how much car insurance costs and how 18-year-olds can get their own insurance will help you choose the best insurance for 18-year-old drivers.

18 yo with rates

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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 18-year-olds

Accidents can happen to anyone, regardless of age or experience. That’s why car insurance for 18-year-old drivers is so important: it can help cover the costs of repairs or medical treatment in case of an accident. 

The cost of car insurance for 18-year-old drivers can be high. However, you can find good car insurance at a price that works for you by selecting a policy with a higher deductible, taking advantage of discounts, and comparing rates before choosing a policy. 

Cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds

Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds

18-year-olds are part of the most expensive age group to insure: teenagers. As a new driver with little driving experience, you are considered high-risk and will pay more for auto insurance than older drivers. This price can vary depending on where you live and what car you drive. 

Below are the average annual rates for an 18-year-old policyholder 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 usually costs much less for the teenage driver to be added to their parent’s policy rather than purchase a policy themselves. So if it’s possible, it will be much more affordable to join a parent’s existing policy. 

How adding a teen affects your car insurance rates

Unique factors that contribute to cost for 18-year-olds

Car insurance costs vary for people of all ages, depending on where they live, their gender, and their car make, model, and age. However, additional factors contribute to the price 18-year-olds pay for car insurance.  

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A combination of lack of driving experience, immaturity, and a tendency to take more risks make all teenagers high-risk drivers. This is one reason insurance for teenagers is so expensive. 

Additionally, alcohol becomes a more significant factor at this age, as 60% of 18-year-olds report they have had a drink in the past month. This increases the likelihood of driving under the influence, getting into an accident, and needing to file a claim. 

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It is typically more expensive for 18-year-olds to purchase their own insurance policy instead of their parents adding the teen to an existing policy. While some parents choose to have their 18-year-olds on their insurance policy, not every teen driver can take advantage of this.  

If possible, we recommend parents add their teens to a family insurance policy to keep the cost of car insurance as low as possible for the 18-year-old.

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Some auto insurance companies offer teen driver discounts that lower the average car insurance for 18-year-old drivers. Common discounts among this age group include good student discounts and away-from-home discounts.

How to get affordable car insurance for 18-year-olds

At 18-years-old, you are responsible for having the proper auto insurance coverage to legally operate a motor vehicle in your state. Although the average car insurance cost for 18-year-old drivers is notoriously high, you can get affordable coverage by taking these three steps.

1. Shop around and compare car insurance rates

Shopping around and comparing rates from top auto insurance companies is how to find the best car insurance rates for 18-year-old drivers. Consider what the policy includes and the deductible cost.  

Start today by finding the best car insurance providers for you with Rate Retriever.

2. Ask about teen driver discounts

Some auto insurance providers offer 18-year-old drivers discounts to lower the cost of insurance, including:

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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 college 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 goes through a Driver’s Education course. 

3. Make sure you have the coverage you need

Some 18-year-olds consider a state-minimum policy if they’re driving an older car and getting their own policy. However, if your vehicle would cost more to repair than you could afford out-of-pocket, you may want additional coverage which could increase your monthly premium. 

Car insurance FAQs for 18-year-olds

Should an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?

Many wonder, “Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?” Yes, they can. However, it’s a personal decision. Some parents feel more comfortable with their child being on their policy while others would rather the child get their own. Typically, it will cost more for the 18-year-old to own their own policy. 

It’s ultimately up to the 18-year-old and their parents to decide what’s best for them. 

How to lower car insurance for 18-year-olds?

Once you know the answer to the question, “How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old?” then your next question is probably how to lower that cost. While car insurance for 18-year-old drivers is expensive, you can get a better price by taking advantage of discounts, comparing car insurance quotes, and practicing safe driving. 

Compare how much insurance costs at the top insurance companies near you

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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.