Car Insurance for Teens

If you are just beginning to drive, prepare to dig deep to pay for car insurance.

The average car insurance rate for 16 year olds on their own policy is $7,625 a year for full coverage. That rate is nearly $6,000 higher than the annual average of $1,682 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 in 2022.

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.

Auto insurance companies view 16-year-old drivers as a high risk to insure and, consequently, charge them much higher rates.

In fact, 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 smart ways to save while still ensuring you have sufficient coverage. We’ll explain how.

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

Tip iconAverage Car Insurance Rates for Teens: 16 Year Old

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

What you pay for car insurance for a 16-year-old driver will vary on many factors such as whether the teen is added to your policy, which state you live in, the type of car they drive and coverage limits. 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.

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

How much is 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 the 16-year-old 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 insurance costs 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.

Car insurance cost per state for a 16-year-old female
State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parent’s Policy with Teen Added
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 policy per year. That’s $843 more than their female counterparts. But if a teen boy is added to his parent’s policy, the annual rate drops to $4,462 per year – a savings of $3,163 per year. You can compare rates for a male 16 year old with his own policy to that of being added to a parent’s policy below.

Car insurance cost per state for a 16-year-old male
State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parent’s Policy with Teen Added
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 can you save by adding a 16 year old to your insurance vs. a teen’s policy?

When it comes to 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 policy
GenderTeen PolicyParent’s Policy with Teen AddedSaving

Which car insurance companies are the cheapest 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.

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

Cheapest car insurance companies for a 16 year old female

Insurance cost for a parent policy with female, age 16
Company Parent’s Policy with Teen Added
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

Cheapest car insurance companies for a 16 year old male

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

Insurance cost for a parent policy with a male, age 16
Company Parent’s Policy with Teen Added
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

What are the average annual car insurance rates for a 16-year-old drivers?

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

Insurance cost 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.

Insurance cost 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, there are ways to 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.

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 a 17 year old, 18 year old and 19 year old 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: Average car insurance for 16-year-olds

Why are teen car insurance rates higher?

Car insurance companies base rates on risk. They take into account 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 who hasn’t filed 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 have to have 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 on 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. A teen driver faces 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 a 16 year old driver?

Most states have laws that restrict where and when 16 year olds can drive. These stipulations are usually called Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws and apply just to drivers younger than 18. GDL laws vary by state, with some states having stringent GLD laws and others having very lenient ones. Over time, you “graduate” from a provisional or restricted license you get 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 a car and car insurance in their name?

A teen can usually get car insurance, but as a minor, a parent or guardian will be required to co-sign the policy, so a teen’s parents are financially responsible for the policy. In most states, a teen cannot buy or insure a car on their own.

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 will have to cosign on a loan for a car as well as 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. But 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 safety reviews from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Final thoughts on car insurance for a 16 year old

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 it is tempting to get them their own policy.

Make sure you are displaying good driving behavior and that teens are following GDL laws. Additionally, shop for car insurance at each renewal to make sure you’re getting the best deal, which will help your teen understand the importance of driving safely.

Resources & Methodology


  1. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts.” Accessed June 2022.
  2. Governors Highway Safety Association. “Teen and Novice Drivers.” Accessed June 2022.
  3. 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.