If you have a child who just got their driver’s license and is eager to get behind the wheel, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to add a teenager to your car insurance policy.

The average cost for adding a teen between the ages of 16 and 19 to your policy is $3,726, according to 2022 data. The cost of adding a teenager to your car insurance policy can increase your rate from 70% to 150%.

The good news is that parents of teen drivers can save money through discounts and comparison shopping for auto policies.

Key Highlights
  • The average cost for adding a teen ages 16 to 19 to your policy is $3,726 annually.
  • Female teen drivers cost less to insure than male drivers of the same age.
  • Parents of teen drivers can assign cars with more safety features to teens, decreasing the car insurance cost for teenagers.
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How much does adding a teenager to your car insurance policy cost?

If you add a teenager to your car insurance policy, you’ll pay an average annual rate of $4,200 for a 16-year-old, $3,877 for a 17-year-old, $3,607 for an 18-year-old and $3,219 for a 19-year-old, according to 2022 CarInsurance.com data.

“Teenage drivers are inexperienced drivers who are less aware of their surroundings and have a tendency to drive too fast and less responsibly, which makes it more likely that they will have a claim,” says Ben Galbreath, producer and independent insurance agent with Wallace & Turner Insurance in Springfield, Ohio.

The table below shows the average cost of adding a teen driver for full coverage in each state.

Average annual cost of full coverage after adding a teen driver, by state
State Average Premium Average Premium with Teens % Increase
Washington, D.C.$1,877$3,66295%
North Carolina$1,369$2,57588%
North Dakota$1,154$2,08681%
New Hampshire$923$1,979114%
New Jersey$2,208$4,633110%
New Mexico$1,695$3,29194%
New York$1,832$3,935115%
Rhode Island$1,681$3,757124%
South Carolina$1,671$3,574114%
South Dakota$1,523$2,64974%
West Virginia$1,386$3,296138%

How can parents of teenagers save money on car insurance? 

Jim Brau, Joel C. Peterson professor of finance at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business, says he had four teenagers who started driving when they were 16. He compared rates of reputable companies he had worked with.

“We worked with each agent to get the most competitive rate quote for an apples-to-apples coverage comparison. Through those teen years, we actually had to switch car insurance a couple times due to various circumstances, when one firm would be more competitive than the others,” Brau says. “In addition to these three big-name firms, we used the internet to comparison shop many more car insurance companies.”

Parents can save money by adding teenagers to their own policies. CarInsurance.com’s teen driver guides cover everything you need to know about insuring a teen, including the rates in your state for the following ages:

Does adding a male teen driver cost more than a female?

Male teen drivers usually cost more to insure than females. Why? The average cost to add a teenager to your car insurance policy comes from risk – and male teen drivers are much riskier than females.

Katie Sopko, an insurance agent/agency manager with A Plus Insurance in Greenville, South Carolina, says statistics show male motorists cause more accidents per year than women.

“Women are, simply put, more careful drivers than men, on average,” Sopko says.

How can you get a good deal on car insurance for teens?

CarInsurance.com’s guide for parents on how to best insure a teen provides more detail, but here are the top tips for getting the lowest teen driver rates.

Shop around for insurance for a teen

The more you pay for insurance, the more likely you can save money. Insurance carriers price their coverage differently, and what might be cheaper for your neighbor might not be cheaper for you. It’s a good idea to check quotes from other car insurance companies when you add a teen driver to your policy.

Buy the right car for your teenager

The best cars for teens are those with safety features and low horsepower. If the vehicle your teen is driving is old enough to get by with only liability insurance, that will also cut your insurance costs.

“Consider purchasing an older model vehicle for your team to drive. A sedan is usually best to lower your costs versus a sports car or SUV,” Galbreath says. “I recommend covering the teen for liability only until they are about 20 years old, which is the age when coverage rates tend to come down.”

Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?

State laws vary, so make sure to notify your car insurance company that you have a young driver, but there are a few general guidelines:

  • All licensed drivers in a household need to be added to your insurance policy. If not, your insurer may not cover an accident or other claim.
  • Some states allow car insurance companies to require you to list teens with driving permits – even those not yet licensed – on your insurance policy: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Most states will not allow teens younger than the age of majority – when states grant young people the rights and responsibilities of an adult – to title a car in their names.
  • Even if your state has no age restrictions on car titling, teen drivers younger than 18 are unlikely to find insurance independently. It’s a contract, and teens are not old enough to sign one. You must also sign the teen liability insurance policy if your child is younger than 18.

What discounts are available to teen drivers?

You can save a lot on your car insurance premiums if you qualify for specific discounts. Fortunately, most carriers provide a range of discounts to policyholders with teenage drivers, including the following:

Good student discounts

Statistics show that student drivers who maintain better grades are less likely to make mistakes behind the wheel. If your child maintains a good grade point average, many insurance companies offer a good student discount, which averages 8%-20%.

“If your child is currently in college or taking college classes, most carriers will offer a student discount. And if your child took a defensive course before getting their license, most companies will offer a discount for this as well,” Sopko says.

Low mileage discounts

The more time a teen drives a vehicle, the greater their chances of being involved in an auto accident or moving violation. Adolescents who drive fewer annual miles may be entitled to a discount.

Telematics discounts

Insurance providers often offer telematics programs, which reward safe driving practices with a discount based on a driving score determined by a smartphone app or plug-in device.

Student-away discounts

Young drivers who live on campus for college or attend school in another state and leave their car parked at the family home may be eligible for a distant student discount, says Justin Yoshizawa, director of product management at Mercury Insurance in Brea, California.

“Many insurers provide discounts for students who live 100 miles away or more. Combined with a good student discount, this could provide substantial savings for families when it comes to car insurance,” he says.

How do you decide which vehicle to attach to your teen for your insurance policy?

Take the time to carefully consider which vehicle your teen should be assigned to drive and which vehicles are off-limits. But remember that most auto insurance policies will allow the teen to drive any car in the household.

“Newer cars come with the most recent and sophisticated safety technology to keep your teen safe behind the wheel,” Yoshizawa says. “But used cars that are well maintained and function properly will still offer standard safety equipment and be a cost-effective way for many families to get their teens on the road.”

Learn more about do divorced parents both cover a teen driver

FAQ: Cost to add a teenager to your car insurance

Does adding a second teen to a policy increase car insurance premiums?

Yes, adding another teen driver will increase your car insurance rates.If you add a teenager to your car insurance policy, you’ll pay an average annual rate of $4,200 for a 16-year-old, $3,877 for a 17-year-old, $3,607 for an 18-year-old and $3,219 for a 19-year-old.

How do you decide which parent covers a teen after a divorce?

If your teenager is split relatively evenly between two houses regarding living and driving, both parents’ vehicle insurance policies should include their child. Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, so the teen should be listed on any policy that includes a car the teen will drive. 

Can you add a stepchild to your auto insurance?

Stepchildren can be added to your auto insurance policy: Most insurers allow you to add anyone who lives in your household as a driver to your auto policy.

Can a grandparent add a teen to their car insurance?

If your grandchildren live with you and regularly drive your vehicle, they can be added to your policy. If your grandchild only uses your car occasionally, they may be covered as a permissive user, covering anyone you allow to drive your car now and then.

If your grandchild uses your car but has their own auto insurance policy, their auto insurance coverage will be secondary, and you will be the first one held liable for claims.

Final thoughts: Car insurance cost for a teenager

Adding a teenager to your car insurance will increase your cost, but there are some things you can do to make it less painful: Shop around, ask about discounts and teach your teen about good driving habits.

“As always, buyer beware, and insuring teens may be quite different for parents than what they’ve experienced insuring themselves before the kids could drive,” Brau says.

Resources & Methodology


Insurance Information Institute. “Students.” Accessed February 2024.


CarInsurance.com editors collected rates from Quadrant Information Services for a teen (age 16-19) and a 40-year-old male driving a Honda Accord LX with good insurance scores and no violations for full coverage insurance with 100/300/100 limits and $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. We analyzed 694,408 records, 1,467 ZIP codes and 73 insurance companies nationwide.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

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Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

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John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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