If you are just beginning to drive, prepare to dig deep to pay for car insurance.
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 CarInsurance.com 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.
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 ensuring you have sufficient coverage. We’ll explain how.
- How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?
- How much does car insurance cost for a 16-year-old female in each state?
- How much does car insurance cost for a 16-year-old male in each state?
- How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old vs. a parent and teen policy?
- Cheapest car insurance companies for 16-year-olds
- How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old annually?
- How do you get cheaper insurance for 16-year-olds?
- FAQs: How much is insurance for 16-year-olds?
- Final thoughts: Car insurance for 16-year-olds
- Resources & Methodology
How much is car insurance for a 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
How much car insurance costs 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.
Remember that 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.
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.
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 per year – a savings of $3,163 per year. You can compare rates for male 16-year-olds with their own policies to that of being added to a parent’s policy below.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
CarInsurance.com 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: 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 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 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 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. 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 very 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 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. In most states, a teen cannot buy or insure a car independently.
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. 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: 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 it is tempting to get them their own policy.
Ensure you are displaying good driving behavior and that teens follow GDL laws. Additionally, shop for car insurance at each renewal to ensure you’re getting 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.
CarInsurance.com 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.