Teens driving and having fun

The cost of insuring teens gets a little cheaper after teens have had a year of driving under their belts. But the auto insurance expense is still high compared with that of older drivers.

The average car insurance rate for a 17-year-old on their own policy is $6,272 a year for full coverage – $523 per month. That rate is more than $4,500 higher than the national average of $1,682 for 40-year-old drivers.

Auto insurance companies charge 17-year-old drivers higher rates because these drivers pose a higher risk to insurers than more experienced drivers do, says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

"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.

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

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the cost of car insurance for your new driver.

Key Highlights
  • For a full coverage policy in 2022, a 17-year-old teen driver pays about $523 a month 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 were among those with 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?

Tip iconAverage Car Insurance Rates for Teens: 17 Year Old

The average car insurance rate for a 17-year-old who has their own policy 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 terms of what you will 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.

Car insurance cost for a 17-year-old female

The nationwide average cost for insurance for a 17-year-old female is $5,576. Teen female drivers age 17 pay $696 less than males their age.

Below you’ll see average insurance costs by state for a 17-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 17 year old female
StateTeen PolicyParent PolicyParent's Policy with Teen Added
Alaska$4,110$1,236$2,480
Alabama$5,674$1,522$2,949
Arkansas$5,782$1,587$3,280
Arizona$6,145$1,649$3,689
California$5,747$2,043$4,587
Colorado$6,626$2,166$3,998
Connecticut$6,853$1,436$2,777
Washington D.C.$5,932$1,877$3,319
Delaware$7,994$1,707$2,962
Florida$9,427$3,015$5,919
Georgia$5,803$1,638$3,321
Hawaii$1,421$1,282$1,338
Iowa$3,676$1,156$2,093
Idaho$4,289$1,012$2,065
Illinois$5,417$1,474$3,213
Indiana$4,059$1,283$2,472
Kansas$4,938$1,477$2,749
Kentucky$7,193$1,944$4,196
Louisiana$8,862$2,969$6,575
Massachusetts$6,115$1,741$3,498
Maryland$5,105$2,076$4,081
Maine$3,710$988$2,323
Michigan$7,189$3,945$7,405
Minnesota$3,805$1,667$3,111
Missouri$6,667$2,374$4,638
Mississippi$5,769$1,448$3,116
Montana$5,890$1,670$3,177
North Carolina$3,144$1,417$2,689
North Dakota$4,746$1,258$2,339
Nebraska$5,661$1,845$3,269
New Hampshire$4,767$982$2,114
New Jersey$7,303$2,199$4,357
New Mexico$4,705$1,649$3,240
Nevada$7,228$2,327$4,481
New York$5,691$1,832$3,697
Ohio$3,738$1,082$2,172
Oklahoma$6,208$1,954$3,766
Oregon$4,713$1,440$2,862
Pennsylvania$6,113$1,418$3,139
Rhode Island$7,175$1,786$4,040
South Carolina$5,729$1,671$3,600
South Dakota$4,589$1,523$2,421
Tennessee$5,321$1,250$2,613
Texas$6,342$1,880$4,039
Utah$5,749$1,824$3,806
Virginia$4,393$1,210$2,887
Vermont$3,411$1,074$2,222
Washington$4,807$1,462$3,231
Wisconsin$5,206$1,712$3,897
West Virginia$5,329$1,417$3,228
Wyoming$4,683$1,730$3,161

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Car insurance cost for a 17-year-old male

Males age 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 male 17-year-old with his own policy to that of being added to his parents.

Car insurance cost per state for a 17 year old male
StateTeen PolicyParent PolicyParent's Policy with Teen Added
Alaska$4,797$1,236$2,716
Alabama$6,446$1,522$3,204
Arkansas$6,624$1,587$3,596
Arizona$7,074$1,649$4,126
California$5,747$2,043$4,587
Colorado$7,581$2,166$4,281
Connecticut$7,873$1,436$3,038
Washington D.C.$7,568$1,877$3,795
Delaware$9,772$1,707$3,289
Florida$10,469$3,015$6,346
Georgia$7,025$1,638$3,664
Hawaii$1,421$1,282$1,338
Iowa$4,135$1,156$2,237
Idaho$4,937$1,012$2,271
Illinois$6,440$1,474$3,693
Indiana$4,541$1,283$2,628
Kansas$5,632$1,477$2,975
Kentucky$8,310$1,944$4,528
Louisiana$10,105$2,969$7,335
Massachusetts$6,115$1,741$3,498
Maryland$6,301$2,076$4,726
Maine$4,338$988$2,642
Michigan$7,189$3,945$7,405
Minnesota$4,533$1,667$3,274
Missouri$7,700$2,374$5,231
Mississippi$6,659$1,448$3,388
Montana$5,890$1,670$3,177
North Carolina$3,144$1,417$2,689
North Dakota$5,544$1,258$2,588
Nebraska$6,666$1,845$3,554
New Hampshire$5,484$982$2,308
New Jersey$8,288$2,199$4,860
New Mexico$5,232$1,649$3,524
Nevada$8,143$2,327$4,950
New York$6,888$1,832$4,211
Ohio$4,233$1,082$2,353
Oklahoma$7,295$1,954$4,502
Oregon$5,059$1,440$3,036
Pennsylvania$6,113$1,418$3,139
Rhode Island$8,682$1,786$4,589
South Carolina$6,343$1,671$3,739
South Dakota$5,403$1,523$2,692
Tennessee$6,162$1,250$2,872
Texas$7,278$1,880$4,429
Utah$6,567$1,824$4,151
Virginia$5,191$1,210$3,268
Vermont$4,040$1,074$2,463
Washington$5,355$1,462$3,408
Wisconsin$6,032$1,712$4,381
West Virginia$6,192$1,417$3,673
Wyoming$6,065$1,730$3,766

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How much you save by adding a 17-year-old to your insurance vs. teen’s own policy

You’ll see in the chart below how much it costs to add a teen driver to a parent policy and how much you save doing so:

Costs to add a teen driver to a parent policy
GenderTeen PolicyParent's Policy with Teen AddedSaving
Female$5,576$3,861$1,715
Male$6,272$4,156$2,116

Cheapest car insurance for 17-year-olds

Below you’ll see how major carriers compare on rates when you add a teen driver age 17 to your coverage. 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 policy with female, age 17

Insurance cost for a parent policy with female, age 17
CompanyParent's Policy with Teen Added
Allstate$3,981
American Family$2,997
Auto Club$4,404
Auto-Owners$3,447
Automobile Club MI$4,569
Geico$2,571
Chubb Ltd$3,569
CSAA Insurance$6,927
Erie Insurance$2,447
Farmers Insurance$5,840
The Hartford$3,511
Iowa Farm Bureau$3,545
Island Insurance$1,713
Kemper Insurance$5,862
Kentucky Farm Bureau$5,218
Mapfre Insurance$2,496
Mercury Insurance$5,049
National General Insurance$6,230
Nationwide$2,431
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,198
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,140
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$6,141
Palisades$3,554
Progressive$4,012
Shelter Insurance$3,457
State Farm$2,964
Travelers$3,622
USAA$2,455

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Parent policy with male, age 17

Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and USAA were the cheapest for adding 17-year-old male motorists.

Insurance cost for a parent policy with male, age 17
CompanyParent's Policy with Teen Added
Allstate$4,299
American Family$3,199
Auto Club$4,388
Auto-Owners$3,440
Automobile Club MI$4,940
Geico$2,739
Chubb Ltd$4,087
CSAA Insurance$7,031
Erie Insurance$2,852
Farmers Insurance$6,178
The Hartford$3,615
Iowa Farm Bureau$3,594
Island Insurance$1,713
Kemper Insurance$6,409
Kentucky Farm Bureau$4,925
Mapfre Insurance$2,744
Mercury Insurance$5,931
National General Insurance$6,549
Nationwide$2,578
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,406
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,140
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$9,356
Palisades$3,763
Progressive$4,274
Shelter Insurance$4,922
State Farm$3,273
Travelers$4,043
USAA$2,604

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What’s the average annual car insurance rates for a 17-year-old driver with 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

Insurance cost for a teen policy for a female, age 17
CompanyTeen Policy
Allstate$6,778
American Family$3,956
Auto Club$6,412
Auto-Owners$3,636
Automobile Club MI$5,623
Geico$3,642
Chubb Ltd$4,299
CSAA Insurance$7,345
Erie Insurance$2,950
Farmers Insurance$9,226
The Hartford$6,221
Iowa Farm Bureau$4,011
Island Insurance$1,668
Kemper Insurance$7,335
Kentucky Farm Bureau$6,157
Mapfre Insurance$3,407
Mercury Insurance$8,847
National General Insurance$5,191
Nationwide$4,143
New Jersey Manufacturers$3,847
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,693
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$5,490
Palisades$7,007
Progressive$7,517
Shelter Insurance$4,472
State Farm$3,676
Travelers$4,221
USAA$3,708

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Average annual car insurance rates for a 17-year-old male

For male drivers, age 17 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.

Insurance cost for a teen policy for a male, age 17
CompanyTeen Policy
Allstate$7,482
American Family$4,262
Auto Club$7,647
Auto-Owners$4,322
Automobile Club MI$6,933
Geico$4,113
Chubb Ltd$8,242
CSAA Insurance$7,512
Erie Insurance$3,872
Farmers Insurance$9,983
The Hartford$6,420
Iowa Farm Bureau$4,187
Island Insurance$1,668
Kemper Insurance$8,291
Kentucky Farm Bureau$7,967
Mapfre Insurance$4,035
Mercury Insurance$10,418
National General Insurance$5,425
Nationwide$4,829
New Jersey Manufacturers$4,223
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,693
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$8,351
Palisades$7,720
Progressive$8,194
Shelter Insurance$5,817
State Farm$4,393
Travelers$4,905
USAA$4,006

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What are the rules for a 17-year-old driver?

Most states have laws that restrict 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 very strict 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.

GDL laws typically include provisions on the following:

  • Limiting drive time to daytime hours.
  • Requiring a passenger who is over 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 important, check out the most and least dangerous states for teen drivers.

Teen driver safety

The reason why car insurance for a 17-year-old is so expensive is that 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.

Adding a teen to a parent’s insurance policy is the cheapest

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 hike in rates.

Another benefit of sharing a policy is that the teen is covered if he borrows your car on occasion, and the parents are covered if they drive the teen's car.

Check out our detailed parents' guide on the best and cheapest way to insure teenage drivers

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 your bill. 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 adding a teen

While adding a teen to your auto insurance policy is expensive, you can cut costs if you shop around and compare 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 a 16-year-old, 18-year-old and 19-year-old that break down rates for car insurance for teens.

Other ways to save on car insurance for your teen

Clean driving record

If you are looking for ways to lower car insurance costs, keeping a clean driving record is tough to beat. Insurance companies tend to reward drivers of all ages who avoid speeding, accidents, reckless driving and distracted driving. 

Give a second thought to filing a claim

If your teen is in a minor at-fault accident, it might not make sense to file a claim. Before you call your insurance company, have a clear understanding of how much your insurance rates might increase if you file a claim for an at-fault accident.

In some cases, paying out of pocket makes more financial sense over the long haul.

Recommendations and FAQs for insuring 17-year-old drivers

Can a 17-year-old have a car in their name and insure it?

A 17-year-old can own a car and insure it in most states, but only if a parent or legal guardian co-signs for both 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. State minimums are usually not enough. Medical bills and costs tied to property damage can start high and quickly go higher, depending on the injuries to those involved.

 If you're financing your vehicle, comprehensive insurance and collision coverage are required. If you own your car outright, you can opt out if you want, but that means you're not covered for theft, damage to your vehicle from an accident or from hail, fire, floods and vandalism.

Why are teen car insurance rates higher?

Car insurance companies base rates on risk. They consider a person's driving experience, claims history, location, type of vehicle and other factors.

A driver with a risky (or a limited) driving record will pay more than a motorist who hasn't filed a claim in a decade.

Does a 17-year-old have to have full coverage?

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 only need state-minimum liability insurance, which pays for damage and injuries of others in accidents you cause. It doesn’t cover your own car.

However, because teens are inexperienced, it’s wise to have full coverage on the car your teen drives.

Do you need insurance to drive with a learner’s permit?

Most states require that you have at least minimum liability insurance to drive. Liability insurance is what 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 its owner's policy currently 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 safety reviews from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Summary: Car insurance for a 17-year-old

Being the parent of a teen driver is stressful and expensive. It may be tempting to get them their own policy to teach them independence, 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, 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 make sure you’re getting the best deal.

These things will ensure your teen understands how to drive safely and will result in you paying the least amount possible for their car insurance.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

  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:

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.