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Car insurance for an 18-year-old


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

An 18-year-old driver will pay an average of $5,115 per year for car insurance. That's if you have your own policy and buy liability car insurance limits of 100/300/100 as shown below. Your particular rate will depend on many factors; chief among them is your residence, your driving record and your coverage limit. To give you an idea of what to expect to pay for coverage, we provide average annual rates by state in the charts below.

We based the rates for a separate teen policy on having the following coverage limits on a 2017 Honda Accord, along with any other state required coverages, and a deductible of $500. We also show the rate for a parents’ policy in that state, and how much the parents’ policy costs with the 18-year-old driver added:

  • $100,000 for injury liability for one person
  • $300,000 for all injuries in one accident
  • $100,000 for property damage

Car insurance for an 18-year-old woman

StateTeen policyParent policyParents' 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 for an 18-year-old man

StateTeen policyParent policyParents' 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

Cheap car insurance for an 18-year-old

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.

Cheap car insurance for an 18-year-old woman

StateTeen policyParent policyParents' 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

Cheap car insurance for an 18-year-old man

StateTeen policyParent policyParents' 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.)

 

Teen driver safety

Teen drivers usually have the highest car insurance rates. That's because they're novice drivers. They're more prone to get into accidents. Insurance companies charge more to insure a teen to protect against expensive claims.

Teen-driver safety has improved over the years. Driving safety experts point to Graduated Driving License (GDL) laws as the reason.

GDL laws vary by state. They include learner's permit, minimum hours of supervised driving and restrictions on passengers and hours a teen can operate a vehicle. States also ban teens from texting and using a cell phone while driving.

As teens age, they age out of GDL laws. For instance, an 18-year-old driver may no longer have nighttime driving and passenger restrictions. However, even 18-year-old, and in some states 21-year-old, drivers face restrictions. GDL laws vary by state. Check your state's GDL laws.

Teen fatality driving statistics are better than three decades ago. However, more recent numbers show a sobering trend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said there were 2,082 teen-involved fatal accidents in 2016, which was an increase over 1,886 in 2015.

Plus, car crashes are the number one killer of U.S. teens. Teen drivers also have the highest crash risk of any age group. Also, teens are three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to get into a fatal accident.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reported in 2017 that fatal crashes among older teens are higher than 16- and 17-year-olds. The GHSA reviewed fatal crash data between 2005 and 2015 involving drivers 15-20 years old.

The report found overall teen driver involvement in fatal crashes dropped by 48%. However, the report found older teens make up most of the teen drivers killed.

One possible reason is the limits on GDL provisions. As teens age, they ease out of restrictions until they have full driving privileges, most by the time they turn 18.

So, older teens have fewer driving restrictions. Additionally, teens waiting until they're 18 or 19 to get their license complicates GDL laws and allows drivers to bypass restrictions.

The GHSA is pushing for states to strengthen GDL laws and follow New Jersey's lead by extending GDL regulations until the age of 21.

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-olds

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.

 


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