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Finding the Best Cheap Car Insurance for Teenagers: 2019 Rates

When your child turns 16, he or she becomes legally able to drive if he possesses a license.  This means that your teenager needs car insurance. Teenagers, however, are one of the most expensive groups to insure.  Car insurance is notoriously expensive for this age group because teenagers are at a higher risk for accidents, even serious and fatal accidents, than adult drivers who tend to have more experience.

Car insurance is about covering for risk and teenager drivers are at higher risk of accidents. Factors that add to risk which insurance companies adjust their rates for include age of teen, gender, location, and the type of car.  The type of car is the only one of these risk factors which you can control.

How Much Does Car Insurance for Teens Cost?

Automobile insurance companies charge very high premiums for teenage drivers.  In our quote analysis of the top 18 car insurance companies, we found that the cheapest rates for teens are offered by Erie ($2,193 for annual premium), followed by USAA ($2,897), and Mercury ($3,349). Geico offers the cheapest rate for teens among the biggest car insurance companies in the country, at $3,438 for its annual premium.

The most expensive rate is offered by Infinity, at $15,965 for annual premium.

 Avg. Annual Premiums for Teens
State Farm$5,704
21st Century$5,128
American Family$3,734
Auto Club (AAA)$10,051
Liberty Mutual$6,428

Car insurance rates for teens also vary significantly by the age of teens. Below is the average annual car insurance premium for teens of different ages:

  • 16-year-old: $6,491
  • 17-year-old: $5,403
  • 18-year-old: $3,413
  • 19-year-old: $3,386

Furthermore, because male teens are more likely to be involved in accidents, it costs more to insure a male teen driver than a female.  Males pay approximately $200 more a year for auto insurance.

Location can also make a significant difference in how much you pay for car insurance for your teen.  States with more drivers or higher rates of bodily injury claims charge more for insuring a teen driver.  For example, an annual premium for a 16-year-old in Louisiana can cost approximately $12,433. Michigan and Texas are right behind that at approximately $10,000.   Additionally, it costs almost $7,000 to insure a teen in New York.

How To Get The Best Rate On Car Insurance For Your Teenager?

Buying individual insurance for your teenager is expensive.  You’ll pay less by adding your teenager to your preexisting car insurance than you will by getting your teenager his own auto insurance policy.   Car insurance companies charge approximately $900 more a year for your teen to have his or her own policy. Furthermore, in addition to car insurance companies offering you a lower rate for adding your teen then getting a separate policy, you will probably qualify for a customer loyalty discount for having multiple car insured by the company as well.

Additionally, car insurance companies base the premium rate on the type of car the teenager will be driving. Giving your teen a less expensive car can cut down on the car insurance rates. However, you should make sure this car has safety features which may both get you a vehicle safety discount and protect your child in case of an accident.

Car Insurance Discounts Your Teenager May Qualify For

Auto insurance companies offer discounts to teenagers who have good grades.  Most car insurance companies offer a discount to teenager drivers who maintain a B average in school.  The amount you can save on a car insurance premium for a good student discount ranges from a little over $400 for a 16-year-old to a little under $300 for 19-year-old.  

Furthermore, if your teenager takes a recognized driver training course, most car insurance companies are willing to lower the rate for insurance for this youngster. Additionally, you can get a discount of the insurance rate for your teen if he or she goes away to a college that is more than 100 miles away without taking the car.

Why Are Teens So Expensive to Insure?

Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers?  In 2016, 1,908 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were killed in motor vehicle accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Teenager drivers are not as skilled and experienced as their adult counterparts causing them to be in serious accident at higher rates. Furthermore, teenager drivers are more likely to be distracted drivers which escalates the chance of an accident.  Adding teen passengers to the car increases the risk of accidents. Moreover, teenagers have a high rate of driving while intoxicated. Approximately one fourth of teenage drivers killed in car accidents consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Here are some (2016) statistics on teen drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • In 2016, there were 12,002,717 drivers between 16 and 20 on the nation’s roadways.
  • This figure is 5.4% of the drivers on America’s roads.
  • 4,412 of these drivers were involved in fatal crashes.
  • This means teen drivers were involved in approximately 37% of all fatal crashes.
  • In approximately 1,908 of these accidents the teen driver was killed.
  • In 1018 of these accidents a teen passenger was killed.

Thus, teens pose a much greater risk for car insurance companies who charge much higher rates to cover for this risk.

Final Thoughts

Car insurance for your teen is expensive due to the fact that they are at higher risk for accidents. Car insurance companies base premiums for teen drivers on their age, gender, location, and type of vehicle.  Age can make the biggest difference in the rate with 16-year-olds paying the most for car insurance and rates dropping from there. Gender also impacts the rate with males paying, on average, $200 more than females.

To get good rates for your teen driver, keep him or her on your policy.  Also check to see what discounts your teen qualifies for. And remember to shop around and compare car insurance quotes of your teen drivers.  Car insurance companies such as GEICO and Progressive are known to offer much better rates for teen drivers than State Farm.

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