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Car insurance for teenagers

Insuring a teenage driver is infamously expensive, with the average cost of adding a teen to a parent’s policy sitting around $1,500. With such a big investment, you want to be sure you’re getting the best coverage for the cost. 

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about car insurance for teens. We’ll also answer some common questions, like how much is car insurance for teens, what’s the best car insurance for teens and how to find the most affordable car insurance for teens.


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Written by Elizabeth Rivelli

Reviewed by Alyssa DiCrasto

Last updated: January 24, 2023

The best car insurance for teenagers

For many teenagers, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage. But for parents of teens, adding a newly licensed driver to your car insurance policy can be a big expense. While it is possible for teenage drivers to get their own car insurance policy, it will often be much cheaper if they are added to a parent’s policy.

Based on a 17-year-old teen and 45-year-old parent with a 2022 RAV4

What are the different types of car insurance for teens?

To legally get behind the wheel, teen drivers must have car insurance that meets the minimum requirements in their state. The most common way for newly licensed drivers to get insurance is through their parents. When you add a teen driver to your current policy, the teen gets the exact same coverage you already have.

In most states, teen drivers must carry personal liability insurance, which includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage if they cause an accident. So, for example, if your teen hits another driver which results in injuries or vehicle damages, your personal liability insurance would pay for the other driver’s losses. 

In addition to liability insurance, many teen drivers can benefit from add-on coverages. Here are some other types of car insurance that you might consider adding to protect you and the young drivers on your policy:

  • Collision insurance: Collision insurance helps cover the cost for repairing your own vehicle if your teen causes an accident or hits a stationary object. It usually provides a payout based on the car’s actual cash value (ACV), minus a deductible.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive coverage pays for your vehicle’s repairs after a non-collision incident, such as theft, vandalism, weather-related damage, a fire or a flood. Like collision insurance, you’re generally compensated based on your car’s ACV, less a deductible.
  • Medical payments insurance: If your teen gets in an accident and gets injured, or if one of their passengers gets hurt, medical payments insurance provides extra coverage for their medical bills.
  • New car replacement coverage: If your car gets totaled in a covered claim, new car replacement coverage will compensate you for the cost of a new car, of a similar make and model to your old car.
  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance covers the cost of basic roadside repairs, like flat tire changes, a new battery, fuel delivery and extrication. It also covers the cost of towing up to a certain mileage if the car can’t be easily fixed.

What is the cheapest insurance company for a teenager?

The cheapest car insurance company depends on several factors beyond age including where you live, what kind of car you drive, and what discounts you qualify for. However, here are the average rates for a 17-year-old from some national car insurance companies.

Company Average Annual Premium
State Farm 4,973
Auto-Owners Insurance 4,976
Nationwide 5,218
Geico 5,442
Travelers 6,051
Allstate 7,654
Progressive 8,915
Farmers 11,609
Safeco Insurance 12,650

As you can see, even rates from the most popular car insurance companies in the nation can get expensive for a teenager. In order to find the cheapest car insurance for you, it’s important to compare rates from several insurance companies, including local companies that might be able to provide better rates than larger national companies. 

What is the best insurance for a teenager?

Every family has different car insurance needs, so the best car insurance for a teenager depends on multiple factors. Many parents are searching for the cheapest car insurance for teens, but others are looking for companies with the best customer service, the best discounts or the best additional coverages.

Find the best insurance company for teens by taking our quick start quiz. Based on your responses, you’ll get matched with the providers in your area that fit your unique coverage needs. You’ll be able to compare rates and discounts and connect with the company you choose.

For a deeper look into car insurance for teens, visit one of the guides below to see data, insights, and recommendations specific to the age you’re most interested in:

Average cost of car insurance for teens

The national average cost of car insurance for a teenager is more than $3000, but the cost you will pay will depend on your state and if your teen is the primary driver on the policy.

Below is the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old male driving a 2022 RAV4 in each state. These rate assume the teen is the sole policyholder.

Of course, your rates will be a little different since the cost of car insurance depends on several personal factors. Most teens don’t have an established credit history or traffic violations on their record, so some of the things that will impact their premium include:

  • Location
  • Desired policy types
  • Policy limits
  • Insurance company
  • Discounts available

Despite all these factors, good car insurance for teens can still be expensive. Newly licensed drivers under age 20 lack experience on the road and are viewed as high-risk from an insurer’s perspective. To offset the increased likelihood of an accident or another claim, insurance companies usually charge teens much higher premiums than older drivers.

The cost of adding a teenager to your policy

Teen drivers can’t always get their own policy, and instead need to be added to their parent’s existing policy. 

Parents who add a teen to their car insurance will see their premium increase, but it’s usually far less expensive to add a teen driver to your existing policy than it is for the teen to purchase a policy of their own. 

Below are the average annual rates in each state for a 17-year-old on their own policy, a single 45-year-old parent on their own policy, and then the policies combined, with the parent as the primary driver.

wdt_ID State Teen's policy Parent's policy Combined
1 Alabama 4,465 1,318 3,283
2 Alaska 4,420 1,271 3,208
3 Arizona 4,584 1,317 3,061
4 Arkansas 4,184 1,248 2,836
5 California 4,368 1,566 3,272
6 Colorado 3,500 1,257 2,236
7 Connecticut 5,818 1,568 3,248
8 Delaware 6,420 1,403 4,164
9 Florida 6,886 2,043 4,257
10 Georgia 4,154 1,377 3,408

As you can see, parents may see their premium more than double when they add their teenage driver. However, assuming the teen maintains a good driving record and avoids accidents and tickets, parents should see their premium start to slowly decrease as their teen driver gets older. 

Cheap car insurance for teenagers

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How to get affordable car insurance for teenagers

To get more affordable car insurance for teens, it’s a good idea to see what discounts are available from your insurance company. For example, many car insurance companies offer savings for teen drivers who get good grades in school or maintain a minimum GPA. There are also discounts for teens who attend school or college more than 100 miles away from home and don’t bring a car to campus.

As a parent, you should also ask your insurance company about other ways to get cheap car insurance for teens. For instance, you can usually get a lower premium by bundling your policies, paying your annual premium in full, taking a defensive driver course, raising your deductibles and improving your credit score. 

Common types of car insurance discounts for teens include:

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Car insurance companies often provide a discount when you insure multiple vehicles with the same policy.

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Some car insurance providers have special discounts when you bundle multiple types of insurance policies, such as a homeowners insurance policy with an auto insurance policy.

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For families with teenagers and young adults, good student discounts can help lower the cost of your premiums if your student has good grades, has completed a Driver’s Education course, or goes to college out of state. 

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Some car insurance companies offer Safe Driver Discounts, also known as Good Driver Discounts. These discounts are based on a driver’s record and are typically granted when a driver doesn’t have significant at-fault accidents, claims, or points.

Car insurance FAQs for teenagers

When do I have to add my teen to my car insurance?

Ideally, parents should add a teen to their car insurance policy when the teen gets their learner’s permit. If you are planning to purchase a car for your teenager once they get their driver’s license, keep in mind that you might have to buy a separate policy for the teen only. In most cases, a teen can stay on their parent’s policy for as long as they are living in their household and driving a shared vehicle. 

Why shop for car insurance once your teenager starts to drive?

Once your teen has their driver’s license, you should think about shopping around for car insurance. You will probably see your car insurance premium increase significantly after adding a young driver, so getting new quotes from different companies may help you find a more affordable policy. If you are able to get a better rate from a different provider, you can cancel your current policy and switch insurers at any time, even before your policy is up for renewal. 

How to get cheap car insurance for teenagers?

There are a few things teenagers can do to get cheaper car insurance. One is to stay on their parent’s policy if they are eligible. Another is to shop around and compare rates from different companies. Lastly, practicing safe driving and taking advantage of available discounts is also a good idea. 

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The rates on this page are estimated based on the rating plans insurance carriers have submitted to each state’s department of insurance. An insurance carrier’s rating plan details how the company uses certain characteristics to assign different rates to different people. We use the same data sources to power our comparison tools.

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 2022 RAV4. We adjusted this profile by age to determine the rates you see on this page. 

These rates should only be used for comparative purposes. Your rates can vary significantly based on your unique driver profile. 

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