Car Insurance for TeensIf you are beginning to drive, prepare to dig deep to pay for car insurance.

Newly licensed drivers are expensive to insure, says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

“New, young drivers pay the highest rates for car insurance because as a group, they are statistically more likely to cause a crash than older, more experienced drivers,” Walker says.

The risk of car crashes is highest among teens aged 16 to 19 than in any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. And per mile driven, teen drivers 16 to 19 are almost three times as likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers 20 or older.

It is safe to say that car insurance for your new driver will not be cheap. But there are still some intelligent ways to save while ensuring you have sufficient coverage.

Key Highlights
  • The average car insurance rate for a 16-year-old on their own policy is $7,625 a year for full coverage.
  • Teens younger than 18 must be listed on a parent’s policy unless they are emancipated adults.
  • Car insurance for a teen is way cheaper on a parent’s policy than on their own.
Written by:
Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher
Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.
Edited by:
Laura Longero
Executive Editor
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.
Reviewed by:
Matthew R. Auer
reviewer icon
Industry Expert
Dr. Auer, an expert on how climate change challenges the way insurers model risk, is arch professor of public and international affairs and full professor of public administration and policy at University of Georgia. His research focuses on the politics of decision-making in the arenas of environmental protection, energy policy, and forest policy. His recent research considers social media as a space for influencing users’ perspectives of environmental risks.

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?

Tip iconAverage car insurance rates for teens: 16-year-olds

Here’s the average annual car insurance rate for a 16-year-old who has their own policy:

  • State minimum coverage: $2,511
  • Liability limits of 50/100/50: $3,008
  • Full coverage: $7,625

The average car insurance rate for a 16-year-old on their own policy is $7,625 a year for full coverage. That rate is nearly $6,000 higher than the $1,682 average for a 40-year-old driver with full coverage.

Island, Erie, Mapfre, North Carolina Farm Bureau and State Farm had the cheapest car insurance for 16-year-olds among carriers surveyed by

The cost of car insurance for a 16-year-old driver will vary based upon factors like your coverage limits, state and car make/model. Although adding a teen to a parent’s policy is cheaper than having a separate policy, the cost of adding a teen driver can still be hundreds of dollars.

Teenagers can only get their own insurance policies if they’re emancipated adults or have reached the age of majority. Otherwise, they’ll have to be insured under a parent’s policy.

Check out our detailed guide on the average car insurance rates by age.

How much does car insurance cost for a 16-year-old female in each state?

The nationwide average cost for insurance for a 16-year-old female is $6,782 with her own policy. However, if a 16-year-old female is added to a parent’s policy, the annual rate is $4,144 – an annual savings of $2,638.

Teen female drivers who are 16 pay $843 less than males their age for their own policies. Below, you’ll see the average cost of car insurance in each state for a 16-year-old female and how that compares to the price of a parent policy with the child added on.

Annual car insurance rates for a 16-year-old female
State Teen female policy Parent policy Parent’s policy with a 16-year-old female
Washington, D.C.$6,910$1,877$3,540
North Carolina$3,894$1,417$3,404
North Dakota$6,606$1,258$2,459
New Hampshire$5,418$982$2,260
New Jersey$8,999$2,199$4,595
New Mexico$5,993$1,649$3,364
New York$6,147$1,832$3,849
Rhode Island$10,114$1,786$4,303
South Carolina$6,527$1,671$3,873
South Dakota$5,751$1,523$2,638
West Virginia$6,569$1,417$3,405

How much does car insurance cost for a 16-year-old male in each state?

Males aged 16 pay, on average, $7,625 for their own full coverage policies per year. That’s $843 more than their female counterparts.

But if a 16-year-old male is added to a parent’s policy, the annual rate drops to $4,462 annually – a savings of $3,163 annually. You can compare rates for male 16-year-olds with their own policies to that of being added to a parent’s policy below.

Annual car insurance rates for a 16-year-old male
State 16-year-old male policy Parent policy Parent’s policy with a teen male
Washington, D.C.$8,683$1,877$4,028
North Carolina$3,894$1,417$3,404
North Dakota$7,685$1,258$2,722
New Hampshire$6,229$982$2,470
New Jersey$10,241$2,199$5,125
New Mexico$6,598$1,649$3,647
New York$7,397$1,832$4,378
Rhode Island$12,135$1,786$4,839
South Carolina$7,274$1,671$4,030
South Dakota$6,674$1,523$2,959
West Virginia$7,561$1,417$3,854

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old vs. a parent and teen policy?

Regarding car insurance for young drivers, most parents take the cheaper approach of adding a teen to their policy. Insurers base premiums on several factors, including the experience and driving record of the policyholder. A 16-year-old won’t have much experience, which translates to higher rates.

Below, see how much it costs to add a teen driver to a parent’s policy and how much you can save on car insurance for a 16-year-old.

Costs to add a teen driver to a parent’s policy
GenderAnnual teen policyAnnual parent’s policy with a 16-year-old Savings

Cheapest car insurance companies for 16-year-olds

In 2022, Island, New Jersey Manufacturers, Mapfre, Nationwide and Erie were the cheapest among insurance companies we surveyed for adding a female.

However, consumers must compare what coverages they get at different price points. Consider, for example, that an inexpensive policy may have high deductibles associated with collision coverage. And in fact, collision might not be included in a bare bones policy, yet is well worth purchasing.

Below, see how major carriers compare when you add a 16-year-old to your coverage.

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old female, by company?

Insurance cost for a parent policy with a female, age 16
Company Parent’s policy with a 16-year-old female
American Family$3,372
Auto Club$4,697
Automobile Club MI$4,623
Chubb Ltd$3,569
CSAA Insurance$7,854
Erie Insurance$2,684
Farmers Insurance$6,039
The Hartford$3,864
Iowa Farm Bureau$3,576
Island Insurance$1,713
Kemper Insurance$6,618
Kentucky Farm Bureau$5,218
Mapfre Insurance$2,496
Mercury Insurance$5,113
National General Insurance$6,894
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,332
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,897
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$6,636
Shelter Insurance$3,660
State Farm$3,244

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old male, by company?

Island, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and Mapfre were the cheapest for adding 16-year-old male drivers.

Annual insurance rates for a parent policy with a male, age 16
Company Parent’s policy with a 16-year-old male
American Family$3,615
Auto Club$4,691
Automobile Club MI$5,014
Chubb Ltd$4,087
CSAA Insurance$7,973
Erie Insurance$3,107
Farmers Insurance$6,387
The Hartford$3,989
Iowa Farm Bureau$3,597
Island Insurance$1,713
Kemper Insurance$7,244
Kentucky Farm Bureau$4,925
Mapfre Insurance$2,744
Mercury Insurance$5,977
National General Insurance$7,237
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,558
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,897
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$10,407
Shelter Insurance$5,411
State Farm$3,560

How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old annually?

If your teen is buying her own policy, Island, Erie, Mapfre, North Carolina Farm Bureau and State Farm offer the lowest rates for a 16-year-old female on her own policy.

Cheapest car insurance companies for a 16-year-old female with her own policy

Annual insurance rates for a teen policy for a female, age 16
Company Teen policy
American Family$4,653
Auto Club$12,594
Automobile Club MI$8,220
Chubb Ltd$4,299
CSAA Insurance$9,351
Erie Insurance$3,224
Farmers Insurance$11,531
The Hartford$7,028
Iowa Farm Bureau$5,865
Island Insurance$1,668
Kemper Insurance$8,355
Kentucky Farm Bureau$6,157
Mapfre Insurance$3,407
Mercury Insurance$10,287
National General Insurance$5,671
New Jersey Manufacturers$4,536
North Carolina Farm Bureau$3,490
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$5,917
Shelter Insurance$4,768
State Farm$4,098

Cheapest car insurance companies for a 16-year-old male with his own policy

For 16-year-old male drivers on their own policy, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Mapfre, Erie and Auto-Owners are among the national carriers with the cheapest car insurance rates.

Annual insurance rates for a teen policy for a male, age 16
Company Teen policy
American Family$5,040
Auto Club$15,819
Automobile Club MI$10,336
Chubb Ltd$8,242
CSAA Insurance$9,543
Erie Insurance$4,156
Farmers Insurance$12,466
The Hartford$7,302
Iowa Farm Bureau$6,030
Island Insurance$1,668
Kemper Insurance$9,431
Kentucky Farm Bureau$7,967
Mapfre Insurance$4,035
Mercury Insurance$12,148
National General Insurance$5,913
New Jersey Manufacturers$4,996
North Carolina Farm Bureau$3,490
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$9,278
Shelter Insurance$6,312
State Farm$4,950

How do you get cheaper insurance for 16-year-olds?

Despite the high rates you pay for young drivers, you can trim costs by asking your insurance company about discounts, shopping around and safe driving.

Car insurance discounts for 16-year-olds

Here are some discounts that teen drivers can work toward earning:

  • Good student discount: Drivers who maintain a 3.0 or “B” average may get a discount of up to 16%.
  • Parent-teen driving contract: Teens who sign a contract with their parents that outlines rules to follow when driving – for instance, limited hours and numbers of passengers – may get up to a 5% discount.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Do you believe that the gender of a 16-year-old should affect their insurance rates?

Shop around for insurance for 16-year-olds

Adding a teen to your auto insurance policy will make your premiums skyrocket. Your teen might be the best driver around, but until he or she proves that with years of accident-free driving, you can expect to pay more for insurance.

However, there are ways to lessen the pain. One key is to shop around and compare to find the best auto insurance rates. Rates will likely fall as the teen gains more experience. has guides for car insurance for 17-year-olds, 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds that break down rates for car insurance for teens. Average car insurance rates decline when drivers hit the age of 26 significantly.

Keep a clean driving record

One of the most impactful ways to lower car insurance costs for your teen is to require that they maintain a clean driving record. Insurance companies already see teens as inexperienced, high-risk drivers, and traffic violations or accidents will not help to change that perspective. Whether it is speeding, an accident, reckless driving or distracted driving, you will see an increase in insurance rates.

FAQs: How much is insurance for 16-year-olds?

Why is car insurance for 16-year-olds more expensive?

Car insurance companies base rates on risk. They consider a person’s driving experience, claims history, location, the type of vehicle and other factors. A driver with a risky (or limited) driving record will pay more than a motorist without a claim.

In 2020, 2,738 teenagers (ages 13-19) died in the United States from crash injuries, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute.

Must a 16-year-old buy full coverage insurance?

There is no law requiring teen drivers to have full coverage. However, if the car being driven is leased or financed, the lender will mandate that you have full coverage, including comprehensive and collision insurance.

To drive legally, you need state-required liability insurance, which pays for the damage and injuries of others in accidents you cause. However, because teens are inexperienced and, as a demographic, have more accidents than experienced drivers, it’s wise to have full coverage for the car your teen drives.

Does a 16-year-old need car insurance to get a license?

If you’re driving, most states require you to have minimum liability insurance. But a 16-year-old hoping to get his first license only has to show that his vehicle’s owner already has coverage. Teen drivers face driving restrictions before and after receiving a driver’s license. States have varying levels of Graduated Driving License (GDL) laws.

What are the rules for 16-year-old drivers?

Most states have laws restricting where and when 16-year-olds can drive. These stipulations are called Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws and apply to drivers younger than 18. GDL laws vary by state, with some states having stringent GLD laws and others having lenient ones. Over time, you “graduate” from a provisional or restricted license you got as a teen, to a standard license with no restrictions.

Guide: Most and least dangerous states for teen drivers

Can a 16-year-old have their own policy?

A teen can usually get car insurance, but as a minor, a parent or guardian must co-sign the policy, so a teen’s parents are financially responsible. A teen cannot buy or insure a car in most states independently.

Can a 16-year-old own a car?

A minor typically cannot own property in most states, so the minor’s parents would own that property until the child becomes an adult. In most states, a parent must cosign on a car loan and any other financial paperwork the dealership requires. So, while a juvenile can be a party to an auto purchase, the parent will be the legal owner.

Does a teen need car insurance to drive with a learner’s permit?

A novice driver needs insurance but not under his or her own policy. Usually, the policy of the vehicle’s owner (typically the parent or guardian who accompanies the teen while he or she learns) should be enough. Parents must add teen drivers to their policies once teens are licensed.

What are the best cars for a 16-year-old?

Your insurance company may trim your rate if you buy a top car for teens.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) offers some basics when looking for a vehicle:

  • Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt (young drivers) to test the limits, according to the IIHS.
  • Get Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps maintain control on curves and slippery roads.
  • Consider cars with top IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviews.

Final thoughts: Car insurance for 16-year-olds

Being the parent of a teen driver is stressful and expensive. Adding your teen to your auto insurance policy is a great way to save money, even if getting them their own policy is tempting.

Ensure you are displaying good driving behavior and that teens follow GDL laws. Additionally, shop for car insurance at each renewal to ensure you get the best deal, which will help your teen understand the importance of driving safely.

Resources & Methodology


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts.” Accessed June 2022.

Governors Highway Safety Association. “Teen and Novice Drivers.” Accessed June 2022.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. “Teenagers.” Accessed June 2022.

Methodology commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to field rates for auto coverage data by ZIP code for 16-year-old and 40-year-old drivers.

– Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

Laura Longero

Ask the Insurance Expert

Laura Longero

Executive Editor

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

Ask the Insurance Expert

John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for, and 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

Ask the Insurance Expert

Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

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 and and managing content, now at

Nupur Gambhir

Ask the Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

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.

Please Enter Valid Question. Min 50 to max 250 characters are allowed. Only (& ? , .) charcters are allowed.
Please Enter Valid Email.
Error: Security check failed
Thank You, Your message has been received. Our team of auto insurance experts typically answers questions within five working days. Note that due to the volume of questions we receive, not all may be answered. Due to technical error, please try again later.
Compare top carriers in your area Get quotes near you!
Please enter valid zip
author image
Contributing Researcher

Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.