Carole Walker, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association executive director, says that auto insurance companies charge 17-year-olds higher because teens pose a higher risk to insurers than more experienced drivers.
“It’s not just that teen drivers are inexperienced behind the wheel, but they’re also more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as distracted and impaired driving, speeding and not wearing seatbelts,” Walker says.
But there are some things you can do to reduce the cost of car insurance for your 17-year-old.
- For a full coverage policy in 2022, a 17-year-old teen driver pays about $523 monthly for car insurance.
- Female drivers who are 17 on their own policy pay $5,576 on average, or $696 less than males their age. By contrast, 17-year-old male drivers pay about $6,272 on average for their own car insurance policy.
- Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, New Jersey Manufacturers, Mapfre, USAA, Nationwide and Erie had the cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds among carriers surveyed by CarInsurance.com.
- Car insurance for teens: What’s the average cost for a 17-year-old?
- Cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old female
- Car insurance costs for a 17-year-old male
- How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old vs. a parent policy?
- Cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds
- What’s the average annual car insurance rate for a 17-year-old driver with their own policy?
- What are the rules for a 17-year-old driver?
- Teen driver safety
- Car insurance for 17-year-olds is cheapest with a parent
- Car insurance discounts for 17-year-olds
- Shopping around can lower the cost of car insurance for 17-year-olds
- Other ways to save on car insurance for your teen
- FAQ: How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?
- Final thoughts: Car insurance for 17-year-olds
- Resources & Methodology
Car insurance for teens: What’s the average cost for a 17-year-old?
The average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old on their policy is $6,272 a year for full coverage — about $523 per month. That rate is $4,500 higher than the national average of $1,682 for 40-year-old drivers.
The average cost of car insurance for 17-year-olds on their own policies is as follows per year, according to a 2022 CarInsurance.com data analysis:
- State minimum coverage: $2,064
- Liability limits of 50/100/50: $2,474
- Liability limits of 100/300/100, with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $6,272
What you pay to insure your teen driver will vary, of course. The insurer you choose can make a big difference in what you pay. Other factors – ranging from the state where you live to the car you drive – play a big role in what you will pay.
To give you an idea of what to expect to pay for car insurance for young drivers, we provide average annual rates by state in the charts below. You will notice that adding a teen to your own policy is much less expensive than having your teen purchase their own policy, which teens can only do if they’re emancipated adults or have reached the age of majority in your state.
Cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old female
The nationwide average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old female is $5,576. Teen female drivers aged 17 pay $696 less than males their age.
Below, you’ll see average insurance costs in each state for a 17-year-old female and see how that compares to the price of a parent policy with the child added.
Car insurance costs for a 17-year-old male
Males aged 17 pay, on average, $6,272 for their own full coverage policy. That’s about $696 more than their female counterparts. You can compare rates for a 17-year-old male with his own policy to that of being added to a parent’s policy.
How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old vs. a parent policy?
You can see in the chart below how much it costs to add a teen driver to a parent policy and how much you can save by adding the 17-year-old to your policy rather than having the teen on their own policy.
Cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds
Below, you’ll see how major carriers compare when it comes to car insurance for 17-year-olds. For this scenario, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and Erie were the cheapest among insurance companies we surveyed for adding a female.
Parent’s car insurance policy with a 17-year-old female
Parent’s car insurance policy with a 17-year-old male
Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and USAA were the cheapest for adding drivers who are 17.
What’s the average annual car insurance rate for a 17-year-old driver with their own policy?
If your teen is buying her or his own policy, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Erie Insurance and Mapfre came in with the lowest female rates for full coverage.
You can also sort the columns for state minimum and mid-level liability policies in the table below.
Average annual car insurance rates for a 17-year-old female
Average annual car insurance rates for a 17-year-old male
For 17-year-old male drivers on their own policies, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Erie Insurance, USAA and Mapfre are among the national carriers with the cheapest car insurance rates.
What are the rules for a 17-year-old driver?
Most states have laws restricting where and when 17-year-olds can drive. These stipulations are usually called Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws and apply to drivers younger than 18.
GDL laws vary by state with some states having stringent laws and others having lenient ones. Over time, you “graduate” from a provisional or restricted license to a standard license with no restrictions.
GDL laws typically include provisions for the following:
- Limiting drive time to daytime hours.
- Requiring a passenger older than a certain age to be in the car.
- Not allowing passengers under a certain age to be in the car.
- Banning the use of cellphones for both calls and texting.
- Limiting destinations to work and school.
For more details on GDL laws and why they are essential, check out the most and least dangerous states for teen drivers.
Teen driver safety
Car insurance for a 17-year-old is expensive because newer drivers are more likely to get into accidents. Accidents lead to claims, which increases costs for insurance companies.
States have varying levels of Graduated Driving License (GDL) laws. These include a learner’s permit, minimum hours of supervised driving and restrictions on passengers and hours a teen can drive. There are also bans on texting and using a cell phone.
When a driver turns 17, he or she will age out of some GDL laws. However, many states still restrict drivers until they’re 18 or 21. For 17-year-old olds, restrictions include passenger and nighttime limits for unsupervised driving. GDL laws vary by state, so it’s best to check your state’s GDL laws.
Car insurance for 17-year-olds is cheapest with a parent
Parents frequently take the less costly approach of putting a teen on their existing policy. It’s usually cheaper than getting a separate policy because the cost of a policy takes into account the experience and driving record of the policyholder.
A 17-year-old doesn’t have a proven track record on the highway, which means higher rates when an insurer crunches the numbers.
Beyond that, a 17-year-old won’t get the same car insurance discounts as a parent, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy and loyalty discounts. But even with those discounts, adding a 17-year-old driver to a policy still means a significant rate hike.
Another benefit of sharing a policy is that the teen is covered if he borrows your car occasionally, and the parents are covered if they drive the teen’s car.
Car insurance discounts for 17-year-olds
Discounts can help you cut the high cost of insuring a young driver. Several discounts are available that young drivers can use to reduce their car insurance bills. They vary by state and insurer but may include:
- Good student: Holding at least a 3.0 or “B” average might nab you a discount of up to 16.
- Parent-teen driving contract: Some insurers will give teens a 5% discount if the young drivers are willing to sign a contract with their parents that states the driving rules they pledge to follow.
Shopping around can lower the cost of car insurance for 17-year-olds
While adding a teen to your auto insurance policy is expensive, you can cut costs by shopping around and comparing quotes to find the best auto insurance rates.
Car insurance rates should drop once a teen gains a few years of driving experience and keeps a clean driving record. By age 26, costs should decline significantly.
CarInsurance.com has guides for car insurance for 16-year-olds, 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds that break down rates for car insurance for teens.
Other ways to save on car insurance for your teen
And, if your teen is in a minor at-fault accident, filing a claim might not make sense. Before you call your insurance company, clearly understand how much your insurance rates might increase if you file a claim for an at-fault accident. Sometimes, paying out of pocket makes more financial sense over the long haul.
FAQ: How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?
Can a 17-year-old have a car in their own name and insure it?
In most states, a 17-year-old can own and insure a car, but only if a parent or legal guardian co-signs for the vehicle’s title and insurance coverages.
Are the state minimum requirements enough for my teen driver?
Liability protection is the first step when you insure a 17-year-old but minimums are insufficient. Medical bills and costs tied to property damage can start high and quickly increase, depending on the injuries to those involved. If you’re financing your vehicle, comprehensive and collision coverage are required.
Is a 17-year-old required to have full coverage car 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.
You only need state-minimum liability insurance to drive legally, which pays for damage and injuries to others in accidents you cause. Since teens are inexperienced, it’s wise to have full coverage for the car your teen drives.
Do you need car insurance to drive with a learner’s permit?
Most states require that you have at least minimum liability insurance to drive. Liability insurance covers damages a driver may cause to people or property in an accident. This also applies to a 17-year-old, who must show that their owner’s policy covers the vehicle.
What are the best cars for 17-year-olds?
Besides protecting your teen, your insurance company may show its appreciation for buying a top car for teens by trimming your rate.
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), which 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 17-year-olds
Being the parent of a teen driver is stressful and expensive. Getting their own policy to teach them independence may be tempting, but adding your teen to your auto insurance policy is a great way to save money.
Make sure you are leading by example. In other words, please don’t text and drive and then tell them it’s unsafe for them to do the same thing. Provide exemplary driving behavior, assure that your children are following GDL laws and shop for car insurance at each renewal to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
These things will ensure your teen understands how to drive safely and result in you paying the least amount possible for their car insurance.
Car Insurance for Teens:
- How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 19-year-old?
Car Insurance for Young Adults:
- How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 22-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 23-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 24-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 25-year-old?
Car Insurance for Adults:
- How much is car insurance for a 30-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 40-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 50-year-old?
Car Insurance for Seniors:
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 full coverage auto coverage data by ZIP code for 17-year-old and 40-year-old drivers.
– Michelle Megna contributed to this story.