You’re considered a new driver if you’re:
- A teenage who just passed your driver’s license exams.
- An adult who’s just decided it’s time to start driving, or who just moved to the country and is exchanging your foreign driver’s license for a new one.
Either way, if you fall into one of these categories you can expect to pay a higher car insurance rate than other, more experienced drivers — at first. Fortunately, you can combat these notoriously expensive car insurance rates by shopping with providers that offer the most affordable premiums as well as asking about discounts for bundling policies, taking a driving class, maintaining good grades, and more.
You can save time (and money!) when you arm yourself with an idea of which companies provide the cheapest quotes on average — and which ones don’t.
- Best Car Insurance Rates for New Teen Drivers
- Best Car Insurance Rates for New Adult Drivers
- Tips for New Drivers to Save Money On Car Insurance
- Why Are New Drivers Expensive to Insure?
- How Insurance Companies Set Auto Rates
Best Car Insurance Rates for New Teen Drivers
Although teen drivers notoriously are one of the most expensive driving demographics to insure, some companies offer surprisingly affordable rates.
|Auto Insurance Provider||Average Annual Rates||Average Monthly Rates|
|Auto Club (AAA)||$10,051||$838|
*USAA is available to military members, veterans, and their families only.
Best Car Insurance Rates for New Adult Drivers
Often, new adult drivers without an insurance history will pay slightly cheaper annual rates than teen drivers.
|Auto Insurance Provider||Average Annual Rates||Average Monthly Rates||% cheaper than teen new drivers|
*USAA is available to military members, veterans, and their families only.
Tips for New Drivers to Save Money On Car Insurance
Just because new drivers generally are more expensive to insure than experienced drivers doesn’t mean the premiums have to break the bank. There are several effective ways to save money on new driver car insurance if you’re a new driver.
- Get a discount for bundling! This could mean:
- Staying on your parents’ or your spouse’s car insurance policy until you gain more driving experience (multi-driver and multi-car discounts).
- Purchasing car insurance from the same provider that handles your homeowner, life, and/or health insurance policies (multi-line discounts).
- Complete driver education or a defensive driving course. Ask your insurance company first, because some providers even offer their own courses for discounts.
- Ask about good student discounts. Many car insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who are still in school and who maintain excellent grades, generally a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA).
- Keep a clean driving record. Avoiding traffic violations, driving record points, and car accidents could qualify you for a good driver discount and possibly, down the road, an accident forgiveness reward.
- Drive a reasonable vehicle. You can’t easily change this if you already own a car (and, you probably don’t want to), but if you’re still in the market for a vehicle consider a practical one with lots of safety features.
- Consider buying only the minimum requirements. Sure, skipping collision and comprehensive coverage might not make sense for new drivers — as they’re more likely to get in accidents — but if your car is paid off and no one requires you to carry full coverage, you can technically save money by purchasing only your state’s required liability insurance.
Why Are New Drivers Expensive to Insure?
Your first auto insurance policy will most likely be your most expensive policy. That’s because, regardless of age, new drivers just don’t have enough driving experience to prove they’re good drivers. So, while insurance providers will protect you with a policy, they’ll also protect themselves with higher rates.
However, you shouldn’t take it personally. They’re not targeting you as much as they’re targeting your demographic. Auto coverage providers pull data that shows them statistics about every variety of driver, and generally this data shows them new drivers are statistically more likely to not wear their seatbelts, speed, tailgate other vehicles, text while driving, and get into accidents.
They even get data about specific categories of new drivers. For example, in March 2012 the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported female teen drivers were twice as likely as male teen drivers to use cell phones while driving.
There’s good news, though! Car insurance rates tend to decrease the older you get, or the more experience you have under your seatbelt. So, while there’s an element of “waiting it out,” you still can productively use that time to drive safely, avoid accident and other traffic violations, and build your credit score to ensure the most affordable rates in the future.
How Insurance Companies Set Auto Rates
As a new driver you probably don’t have much, if any, experience with car insurance — which means you probably aren’t familiar with how coverage providers set auto rates. Let’s take a look at what companies consider as they’re setting rates so you’ll know what to expect as well as how to navigate
As they’re setting your car insurance rates, auto coverage providers look at:
- Some personal details: Be prepared to provide your age, gender, profession and/or student status, and even whether you’re married or own a home.
- Your driving record: New drivers don’t have much of a driving record, so now’s the best time to work on keeping it clean! Drivers who have violations and points on their records usually have higher insurance rates. Plus, if you keep your record clean you can qualify for “good driver” and “accident forgiveness” discounts later on.
- Where you live and drive: Your agent will consider your area’s population, accident rates, crime statistics, and general climate and weather when setting your insurance rates.
- General driving habits: You’re more likely to get into an accident, the more often, and longer the distances, you drive.
- Your car’s year, make, and model: New, expensive cars cost more to insure than older, less expensive cars. You’re not being punished for driving a nice ride; their repair costs are just higher.
- Your credit score: Having a good credit score can lower your premiums; having a poor credit score might make you look like an even higher risk to insure.
- How much coverage you need: The more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates will be. This is true for drivers of all ages and experience levels. You must purchase your state’s minimum liability insurance requirements, but unless your bank or auto lender requires it, you don’t have to go all out with comprehensive and collision coverage.
Obviously, you can’t rush getting older or change where you live just to get lower car insurance rates! However, now is the time start working on your credit score, a clean driving history, and maintaining good grades.
Whether you’re a teenager who just earned your driver’s license or an adult who got a later start on the road, you can expect to pay higher car insurance rates than other drivers. That’s because statistics tell insurance companies you’re a higher risk than other drivers. You can’t blink your eyes and become an older, more experienced driver, but you can shop with the best insurance companies for new drivers as well as lower your premium by taking advantage of the numerous discounts out there.