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Car insurance for a 18-year-old driver is nearly $5,190, on average, for a year of full coverage on their own policy. That’s more than $3,430 over the national average ($1,758) for drivers age 30. Newly licensed drivers are expensive to insure. They are inexperienced, naturally, and have a high rate of accidents. Auto insurance companies view that as risky. So, they charge new, teen drivers much higher rates. Here we will provide average car insurance rates for 18-year-old males and females by state, as well as by coverage level, and show how a parent's rates are affected when you add a teen to your policy. You'll also get expert advice on how much coverage to buy and discounts for young drivers.

How much is car insurance a month for an 18-year-old?

On average, teen drivers age 18 will pay about $430 a month for car insurance for a full coverage policy.  If you buy just enough insurance to drive legally in your state, it’s about $160 a month. Below are car insurance costs per month for common coverage levels:

  • State minimum policy: $158
  • Full coverage, 100/300/100 liability with comprehensive and collision: $432
Age 18Monthly State MinimumMonthly Full Coverage
Female$147$398
Male$169$467
Average$158$432

Car insurance cost for an 18-year-old female

The average cost for insurance for an 18-year-old female is $4,772. That’s for a policy of her own that includes comprehensive and collision coverage, with liability limits of 100/300/100. Teen female drivers age 18 pay about $830 less than males their age. Below you’ll see average insurance costs by state for an 18-year-old woman, and how that compares to the price of a parent policy with the teen driver added. You'll see that adding a teen is much less expensive. That's because when teens get their own policy, they qualify for few discounts compared to their parents. Also, teens are commonly listed as a secondary driver on parents' policies.

Car insurance for an 18-year-old woman

State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parents' Policy with Teen
Alaska$4,181$1,318$2,718
Alabama$5,264$1,479$2,591
Arkansas$5,736$1,550$2,834
Arizona$5,005$1,533$3,015
California$5,823$2,018$3,589
Colorado$5,818$1,733$3,016
Connecticut$6,642$1,914$4,041
DC$5,338$1,690$3,058
Delaware$5,552$1,736$2,885
Florida$6,483$2,502$4,199
Georgia$5,277$1,638$3,016
Hawaii$1,411$1,287$1,364
Iowa$3,122$1,054$1,999
Idaho$4,168$1,105$2,047
Illinois$4,148$1,208$2,393
Indiana$3,915$1,237$2,226
Kansas$4,332$1,408$2,326
Kentucky$6,084$1,682$3,019
Louisiana$8,030$2,547$4,560
Massachusetts$4,876$1,469$3,211
Maryland$4,484$1,615$2,681
Maine$3,381$879$1,572
Michigan$9,417$2,900$5,096
Minnesota$3,930$1,233$2,362
Missouri$4,126$1,350$2,165
Mississippi$4,546$1,400$2,305
Montana$4,723$1,530$2,117
North Carolina$2,399$1,150$1,933
North Dakota$3,878$1,155$1,944
Nebraska$3,718$1,230$1,887
New Hampshire$4,796$1,159$2,371
New Jersey$4,683$1,595$3,150
New Mexico$5,315$1,387$2,566
Nevada$6,076$1,905$3,805
New York$4,204$1,777$3,256
Ohio$3,911$997$1,680
Oklahoma$5,745$1,812$3,237
Oregon$5,306$1,504$2,680
Pennsylvania$4,381$1,503$2,831
Rhode Island$7,190$1,939$4,032
South Carolina$4,559$1,653$2,897
South Dakota$4,288$1,226$1,976
Tennessee$4,853$1,214$2,456
Texas$5,210$1,618$3,048
Utah$4,520$1,267$2,264
Virginia$3,098$929$1,669
Vermont$3,519$1,004$2,145
Washington$4,179$1,269$2,335
Wisconsin$4,335$1,148$2,046
West Virginia$4,310$1,351$2,378
Wyoming$3,099$1,384$2,050

Car insurance price for an 18-year-old male

Men age 18 pay, on average, $5,605 for their own full coverage policy. That’s $833 more than their female counterparts. You can compare rates for a male 18-year-old with his own policy to that of being added to his parents’ coverage.

Car insurance for an 18-year-old man

State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parents' Policy with Teen
Alaska$5,027$1,318$3,021
Alabama$6,034$1,479$2,778
Arkansas$6,758$1,550$3,036
Arizona$5,892$1,533$3,468
California$7,007$2,018$4,224
Colorado$6,615$1,733$3,240
Connecticut$8,075$1,914$4,695
DC$6,713$1,690$3,519
Delaware$6,812$1,736$3,257
Florida$7,778$2,502$4,721
Georgia$6,478$1,638$3,501
Hawaii$1,411$1,287$1,364
Iowa$3,729$1,054$2,252
Idaho$5,035$1,105$2,338
Illinois$4,887$1,208$2,654
Indiana$4,816$1,237$2,503
Kansas$5,152$1,408$2,563
Kentucky$7,178$1,682$3,332
Louisiana$9,501$2,547$5,047
Massachusetts$4,876$1,469$3,211
Maryland$5,587$1,615$3,073
Maine$4,053$879$2,042
Michigan$9,560$2,900$5,164
Minnesota$4,819$1,233$2,569
Missouri$4,863$1,350$2,465
Mississippi$5,167$1,400$2,506
Montana$4,723$1,530$2,117
North Carolina$2,399$1,150$1,933
North Dakota$4,783$1,155$2,206
Nebraska$4,372$1,230$2,151
New Hampshire$5,648$1,159$2,676
New Jersey$5,304$1,595$3,538
New Mexico$6,252$1,387$2,879
Nevada$7,042$1,905$4,314
New York$5,617$1,777$3,947
Ohio$4,553$997$1,877
Oklahoma$6,777$1,812$3,786
Oregon$5,885$1,504$2,916
Pennsylvania$4,335$1,503$2,831
Rhode Island$8,524$1,939$4,702
South Carolina$5,612$1,653$3,314
South Dakota$5,388$1,226$2,297
Tennessee$5,726$1,214$2,776
Texas$6,159$1,618$3,419
Utah$5,304$1,267$2,565
Virginia$3,778$929$1,877
Vermont$4,301$1,004$2,438
Washington$4,773$1,269$2,515
Wisconsin$5,270$1,148$2,370
West Virginia$5,213$1,351$2,727
Wyoming$4,335$1,384$2,422

What’s the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds?

Below you’ll see how auto insurance companies rank in price for a 18-year-old driver buying his or her own full coverage policy. Concord, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Geico, Erie, Travelers, State Farm, Progressive and Nationwide are the national carriers that have the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds, among companies surveyed by CarInsurance.com. Those insurers, along with other regional companies, all came in well below the national average rate for drivers age 18.

Company Average Rate Full Coverage Average Rate Full Coverage
Concord$1,739
USAA$2,035
Liberty Mutual$2,082
Geico$2,273
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,322
Erie$2,781
Mississippi Farm Bureau$2,858
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,927
Texas Farm Bureau$3,003
Owners Insurance$3,192
Travelers$3,476
New York Central$3,508
State Farm$3,563
MMG Insurance$3,681
Progressive$4,036
Depositors$4,211
AAA Texas County$4,423
Nationwide$4,495
Arbella$5,184
Allied$5,256
Kentucky Farm Bureau$5,404
Safeco$5,463
United Financial$5,513
Colonial County$5,660
Allstate$5,691
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$5,694
Louisiana Farm Bureau$5,754
Safety$6,110
Farmers$6,432
Metropolitan$6,921
Victoria$7,119
Safeway$7,278
Mid Century$7,635
Foremost$8,618
Amica$8,968

How much does it cost to add an 18-year-old to car insurance?

Though adding a teen to a parent policy is cheaper than the teen having his or her own separate policy, the cost of adding a teen driver can still be pricey. Below are the average annual costs to add an 18-year-old man or woman to your coverage.

Driver age 18Cost to add to state minimum parent policyCost to add to full coverage parent policy
Female$479$1,193
Male$4,583$1,509

Every situation is different, but to get an idea of what you can expect to pay, CarInsurance.com compared rates in 10 ZIP codes in each state. The family profile we used owned a 2018 Honda Accord driven by a 45-year old man buying full coverage. Then we added an 18-year old teen to the policy. Here's what happened:

  • The average household's car insurance bill rose by about 90% to add a teen age 18.
  • An 18-year-old male son was more expensive. The average bill rose 101%, compared with 80% for women age 18.

How much you save by adding an 18-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:

Driver age 18Teen policyParent policy with teenSavings between teen policy and adding to parent policy
Female$4,772$2,687$2,085
Male$5,606$3,003$2,603

When it comes to car insurance for young drivers, most parents take the easier, and far more common, approach of adding a teen to their policy. For one thing, it's likely to be cheaper.

Insurers base premiums on several factors, including the experience and driving record of the policyholder. An 18-year-old won't have that, which means higher rates.

Also, as CarInsurance.com Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner points out, the teen won't be eligible for rate reductions the parent may qualify for, including multi-vehicle, multi-policy and loyalty discounts. Still, adding an 18-year-old driver to your policy means a significant hike in your rates.

Car insurance for 18-year old: State minimum coverage

The cheapest car insurance you can get is a policy that meets just your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. Typically, buying just the state mandated coverage to legally drive means your insurance will pay for others’ injuries and car damage, but not for your own injuries or car repairs. You’ll see in the charts below how much minimum coverage costs, on average, per year in each state, for a teen buying his or her own policy.

Average car insurance for 18-year-old Female

State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parents' Policy with Teen
Alaska$1,234$353$823
Alabama$1,817$465$889
Arkansas$1,907$483$973
Arizona$1,751$489$1,063
California$1,635$557$982
Colorado$1,933$529$950
Connecticut$3,101$866$1,856
DC$2,301$676$1,274
Delaware$2,482$830$1,408
Florida$2,492$1,030$1,717
Georgia$1,859$578$1,164
Hawaii$467$420$440
Iowa$1,042$329$702
Idaho$1,510$389$781
Illinois$1,730$460$983
Indiana$1,438$442$829
Kansas$1,506$441$810
Kentucky$2,010$489$1,004
Louisiana$2,508$729$1,485
Massachusetts$1,816$556$1,218
Maryland$2,111$772$1,284
Maine$1,301$351$651
Michigan$4,252$1,557$2,471
Minnesota$1,931$555$1,102
Missouri$1,454$428$756
Mississippi$1,573$417$781
Montana$1,358$367$573
North Carolina$1,050$491$842
North Dakota$1,189$342$598
Nebraska$1,360$390$650
New Hampshire$2,085$497$1,029
New Jersey$2,127$791$1,503
New Mexico$1,830$443$881
Nevada$1,998$544$1,259
New York$1,824$764$1,482
Ohio$1,519$382$649
Oklahoma$1,727$462$947
Oregon$2,684$785$1,431
Pennsylvania$1,433$479$917
Rhode Island$2,955$745$1,668
South Carolina$1,576$491$970
South Dakota$1,061$279$503
Tennessee$1,793$436$955
Texas$1,863$563$1,143
Utah$1,893$518$962
Virginia$1,177$355$647
Vermont$1,140$325$702
Washington$1,648$448$951
Wisconsin$1,462$378$706
West Virginia$1,618$538$932
Wyoming$713$320$476

Average car insurance for 18-year-old Male

State Teen Policy Parent Policy Parents' Policy with Teen
Alaska$1,411$353$900
Alabama$2,092$465$962
Arkansas$2,230$483$1,033
Arizona$2,079$489$1,223
California$1,926$557$1,147
Colorado$2,246$529$1,044
Connecticut$3,715$866$2,134
DC$2,768$676$1,447
Delaware$2,973$830$1,592
Florida$2,813$1,030$1,844
Georgia$2,223$578$1,341
Hawaii$467$420$440
Iowa$1,213$329$781
Idaho$1,781$389$871
Illinois$1,967$460$1,076
Indiana$1,751$442$923
Kansas$1,696$441$873
Kentucky$2,344$489$1,108
Louisiana$2,991$729$1,664
Massachusetts$1,816$556$1,218
Maryland$2,553$772$1,442
Maine$1,472$351$813
Michigan$4,234$1,557$2,471
Minnesota$2,168$555$1,142
Missouri$1,683$428$846
Mississippi$1,767$417$847
Montana$1,358$367$573
North Carolina$1,050$491$842
North Dakota$1,362$342$648
Nebraska$1,571$390$735
New Hampshire$2,399$497$1,142
New Jersey$2,271$791$1,650
New Mexico$2,129$443$984
Nevada$2,338$544$1,453
New York$2,297$764$1,685
Ohio$1,743$382$718
Oklahoma$2,051$462$1,138
Oregon$2,897$785$1,527
Pennsylvania$1,420$479$917
Rhode Island$3,439$745$1,926
South Carolina$1,852$491$1,041
South Dakota$1,282$279$572
Tennessee$2,099$436$1,083
Texas$2,177$563$1,246
Utah$2,209$518$1,088
Virginia$1,413$355$717
Vermont$1,329$325$777
Washington$1,897$448$1,052
Wisconsin$1,685$378$777
West Virginia$1,919$538$1,045
Wyoming$952$320$545

*CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2017 Honda Accord LX for 10 ZIP codes in each state using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where one of the insurers doesn't return a rate, another major carrier in that state is substituted.)

Does an 18-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, which includes comprehensive and collision insurance.

To drive legally, you only need state required 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, and as a demographic have more accidents than experienced drivers, it’s wise to have full coverage on the car your teen drives.

Insurance applies to the car, not the driver. That means the coverage on the car that the teen is driving will apply to accidents and damage caused by the teen.

Gusner recommends a full coverage policy of the following:

  • $100,000 for injury liability for one person, to pay for medical bills for those injured in an accident you cause
  • $300,000 for all injuries in one accident that’s your fault
  • $100,000 for property damage you cause, for instance, to repair a car you hit
  • Collision insurance, to pay for damage to your car regardless of fault in an accident
  • Comprehensive, to pay for damage to your car from hail, flooding, fire, vandalism, animal strikes, and to replace it if stolen

It really is worth the extra money to be fully protected during the time your teen is driving your car. Otherwise, you can be on the hook to pay out of your own pocket for even minor accidents that can exceed a bare-bones policy. The cost to jump from state minimum to full coverage with an 18-year-old daughter on your policy is about $1,672, but that’s just $139 a month for peace of mind. For an 18-year-old son, the extra cost to buy full coverage with him on your policy instead of state minimum is $1,884, or $157 a month.

When should you add a teen to a parent's policy?

Most states consider 18-year-olds adults. They can buy their own insurance. That might not be a good idea though.

Teens often want to break away from their parents, but it's often wise to add a teen to the family policy. That is usually a cheaper alternative than having a teen get a separate policy.

Teens are a higher risk. That means a separate policy will likely cost much more than being added to a family policy.

Also, Penny Gusner, the consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com, says an 18-year-old won't get the same rate breaks a parent receives. Parents may be eligible for multi-vehicle, multi-policy and loyalty discounts. However, even with these benefits, adding an 18-year-old driver to a parent's policy will likely come with a premium hike.

Still, you can snag the most affordable rate by comparing prices. Car insurance companies each use their own method for calculating how much you pay. That means the quote for the same policy for the same driver can vary significantly among insurance companies. If you don't comparison shop, you won't know how much you can save by getting the policy at the most affordable price.

When buying insurance for an 18-year-old, here are a few scenarios that may affect you:

The 18-year-old lives with parents and has a clean driving record

Gusner says that teens living at home with no major traffic violations or accidents should definitely be on the parent's policy.

"It's typically less expensive to stay on the parent's policy for as long as possible," she says.

The 18-year-old can actually help lower a parent's premiums by maintaining a good driving record for every year on the policy.

The 18-year-old has a good record but doesn't live with parents

Gusner says it's usually a good idea to get teens a separate insurance policy if they have a car and don't live at home.

They should also have coverage if they don't own a car but drive another vehicle. For instance, a roommate's vehicle.

In that case, she says a good option is a non-owner car insurance policy, which will provide protection and also continual coverage, resulting in lower premiums over time. "Or, if the 18-year-old has a roommate and uses that person's vehicle regularly, he should be added to the owner's car insurance policy," Gusner adds.

The 18-year-old lives with parents but has a bad driving record

Much will depend on the teen's driving record. That includes the number and frequency of moving violations and accidents.

Gusner advises parents and teens to shop around and compare how much it would be to keep the 18-year-old on the family policy versus a separate policy for the teen. "Normally, it's still cheaper for the 18-year-old to be on the parent's policy and take advantage of discounts the parents have that trickle down to the kid, such as multi-car, multi-policy and others," she says.

The 18-year-old has a bad record and doesn't live with parents

Gusner says parents should remove a teen with a poor driving record from the family policy if he or she no longer lives with them. The teen should, instead, get his or her own policy.

"The parent's rates should go down if (the teen) is taken off," she says.

What's the best insurance for teenage drivers?

You'll likely look for ways to offset the high costs of insuring a teen driver. Don't skimp though.

One part of car insurance is liability protection. That pays for damages a teen may cause to people or property in an accident. States require minimum coverage for liability. That's usually not enough.

Medical bills and property damage can add up quickly. You don't want to be liable for out-of-pocket payments. Make sure your basic liability coverage protects your assets. Besides raising your liability amount, Gusner suggests purchasing an umbrella policy, which increases liability protection after you reach basic limits. An umbrella with $1 million or more of protection may be reasonable.

If you're financing the vehicle, comprehensive insurance and collision coverage is required. However, you decide if you want these optional protections if the car is already paid off. If you opt for comprehensive and collision, consider higher deductibles to lower your rate.

Of course, you'd then have to pay for minor repairs following an accident. Typically comprehensive and collision insurance aren't total budget busters. The average yearly rate for comprehensive is $139, and collision costs $297, for an annual total of $436, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Car insurance discounts for 18-year-old

Rather than skimping on coverage, a better idea is to maximize discounts. Discounts vary by company and state. Here are typical car insurance discounts for teens:

  • Good student: A savings up to 15 percent may be available for drivers who maintain a 3.0 or "B" average in the classroom. Gusner says this applies to students in either high school or college.
  • Driver education: You may be able to get a 5 percent discount if your teenager completes a driver education course. A state may require the class as a step toward getting a license.
  • A driving contract between parents and teen: An insurer may give a discount up to 5 percent to teens who sign a contract with their parents about driving rules, such as limiting hours on the road and the number of passengers.

What are the best cars for an 18-year-old?

Sedans and small to midsize SUVs are usually cheaper to insure. Sports cars and expensive vehicles are often more costly because an insurer would need to pay more if they're damaged.

Safety is a major factor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has some advice:

  • Go with lower horsepower. "Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt (young drivers) to test the limits," says the IIHS.
  • Get Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The IIHS says this feature, which helps maintain control on curves and slippery roads, is about as good at reducing risks as safety belts.
  • Consider cars with top safety reviews from the IIHS and NHTSA.

Another resource is CarInsurance.com, which provides guidance, including a rundown of the top teen-ready cars under $15,000 with high safety ratings.

Shop around for car insurance

Adding a teen to an insurance policy or teens getting their own car insurance is costly. The best way to minimize the pain is to shop around. Compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. Each insurer uses its own method for calculating what you pay, so prices for the same policy vary.

There is some good news. Car insurance gets cheaper as you age. Average car insurance rates by age show that premiums begin to decrease significantly when drivers turn 26.

Check out the other teen driver pages on CarInsurance.com:

Expensive car insurance rates are a rite of passage just like graduating high school. There are ways to minimize the pain though. Accident- and ticket-free driving, comparison shopping and maximizing discounts will all help you get the cheapest car insurance rates for teens.