Once drivers reach the age of 20, they typically have gained some steady experience behind the wheel and established a good driving record. That pays off in lower car insurance rates.
The average car insurance rate for a 20-year-old driver is about $3,261 per year for a full coverage policy. That rate is quite a bit higher than the national average of $1,580 for a 40-year-old driver but significantly lower than that for a 16-year-old.
At 16, a driver can expect to pay about $7,625 per year or $635 per month; at 18 years old, it drops to $5,565 per year or $464 per month.
“The newest and youngest drivers pay the highest premiums, and that’s obviously for a good reason,” says Jana Foster, owner of Nevada Insurance Agency Co., a full-service broker with offices in Carson City and Reno, Nevada. “No. 1 is the lack of experience. Carriers don’t have anything to base their driving habits on, and they don’t how they’re going to behave once a parent gets out of the car.
“It starts to change after about four to five years of driving,” Foster says. “The carrier will have a better understanding of their driving history, whether they’ve had any accidents or a record of tickets, so starting around 20, 21, you’ll see this age group begin to get assessed differently.”
Read on to learn more about car insurance for 20-year-olds.
- For a full coverage policy, a 20-year-old driver pays an average of $3,261 per year or $272 monthly for car insurance.
- Male drivers pay higher rates than females at this ageA 20-year-old male driver added to their parent’s policy will pay about $2,674 on average for a full coverage policy while a female added to a parent policy will pay about $2,459 on average.
- Car insurance for young adults: What’s the average cost for a 20-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old male?
- How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old female?
- How much is car insurance for 20-year-old drivers in each state?
- How much car insurance do 20-year-olds need?
- Car insurance discounts for 20-year-olds
- Final thoughts on car insurance for 20-year-olds
- Resources & Methodology
Car insurance for young adults: What’s the average cost for a 20-year-old?
The average annual car insurance rate for a 20-year-old who has their own policy depends on the type of coverage the driver has. Examples:
- State minimum liability coverage: $1,000
- Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $1,202
- 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $3,261
In the example above, 50/100/50 means $50,000 for injuries you cause in an accident, up to $100,000 per accident and $50,000 for property damage.
But the price a 20-year-old driver actually pays depends on many factors, ranging from the insurance company you choose to where you live and the coverage limits you want.
See the table below to see how much car insurance costs for males vs. females at various coverage levels in each state.
- State Minimum: State Minimum Liability Only
- Liability Only: 50/100/50 Liability Only
- Full Coverage: 100/300/100 is liability with comp/collision and $500 deductible.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old each month?
The table below shows how much car insurance costs for a 20-year-old per month, on average.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old male?
Let’s face it, insurance for a 20-year-old male is expensive and there’s a good reason.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 20 to 24-year-old males were involved in 2,038 fatal accidents in 2020 – a rate of about 18.5 per 100,000 male drivers.
That’s even more than the fatal accident rate of 14.8 for 16 to 19-year-old male drivers. Female drivers aged 20 to 24-year-old were involved in only 932 fatal accidents by comparison, or a rate of 8.8.
Male drivers at this age represent a higher risk to insurers and they price their premiums accordingly.
The average national full coverage insurance policy cost for a 20-year-old male with a $500 comprehensive/collision deductible is $3,495. That compares with the combined average of $3,251 for male and female drivers.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old male on a parent’s policy?
One strategy many parents use at this stage to help their young adults save money is to keep them on the family policy. But remember, it doesn’t come without risk to the parent. If your child is in an accident, your premiums will likely spike and stay that way for a while, and additional liability costs may come into play.
Full coverage insurance for a 20-year-old male added to a parent’s policy is about $2,674 on average, a savings of $821 beyond having the policy on their own.
There may be some instances when it would be wiser for a child to have their own policy, even if the parent would like to help them save money. Kevin Lynch, an assistant professor of insurance at The American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Penn., notes that if a child goes away to college in a state that has lower average insurance rates than their home state, they may be better off getting insurance there.
The average full coverage policy for a 20-year-old in Connecticut is about $4,000, for example, but in North Carolina, it’s only $1,711.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old female?
Females are still deemed riskier at 20 than older drivers but not as risky as males. For that reason, they generally pay lower premiums. That, of course, will be highly dependent on their driving record and credit score.
Yes, credit score. While it doesn’t seem to directly relate to how well someone will drive, credit scores play a significant factor in how insurance companies calculate premiums – except in the state where it’s illegal to use credit as a rating factor.
“Carriers have been able to show, to the satisfaction of various courts, that a person’s credit rating is indicative of their driving tendencies,” says Lynch. “The (poorer) the credit rating, the higher the calculated risk.”
So having a good credit rating will lead to lower insurance costs for both females and males. See below for rates for 20-year-old females on their own policies.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old female added to a parent’s policy?
The average national cost of a full coverage policy for a 20-year-old female with a $500 comprehensive/collision deductible is $2,459, a $569 savings over what they would pay on their own policies.
As with males, adding a 20-year-old to a parent’s policy can help. A 20-year-old female will pay an average of $2,459 per year if added to their parent’s policy, or about $205 monthly.
How much is car insurance for 20-year-old drivers in each state?
The cost of car insurance varies a great deal depending on your location. The table below shows each state’s annual average car insurance rates for 20-year-old males and females.
This are the average annual rates for full coverage policies with the limits of 100/300/100 with a $500 deductible.
How much car insurance do 20-year-olds need?
Young drivers in most states must carry liability car insurance, which pays for injuries and damage they cause to others in an accident. Typically, the state-minimum coverage isn’t enough – medical costs can quickly escalate if there are significant injuries following an accident and property damages.
If you’re financing a vehicle, your lender might require comprehensive and collision coverage. If you’ve paid off your car, you can decide if you want these coverages, which cover your car following a crash and for damage due to fire, hail, vandalism and animal strikes.
Car insurance discounts for 20-year-olds
Lynch says the three most significant things a young adult can do to get the lowest insurance rates are to stay accident-free, avoid driving violations and maintain good credit scores.
After that, there are several other good strategies to employ. Some car insurance companies offer discounts to 20-year-olds with good grades in college, generally a 3.0 or better grade point average.
Other university discounts also might be available, such as student-away discounts and special rates for students and alumni.
Even if you’re not attending school, see what other discounts the carrier might offer, such as a discount for paperless billing or paying your premium upfront. If you have rental insurance on an apartment or condo, you will likely get a discount if you bundle your rental and car insurance with the same carrier.
Beyond discounts, Lynch said to be mindful of the type of car you buy.
“I always tell parents, if you’re going to buy your kid a car, buy them one with a very favorable insurance rating,” he says. “Don’t be buying them a sports car, or an expensive car that has high repair costs.”
Another resource is CarInsurance.com, which provides guidance, including a rundown of the top cars for teens and young drivers that cost less than $15,000 with high safety ratings.
Final thoughts on car insurance for 20-year-olds
As you gain more experience driving, your auto insurance rates should fall. The even better news is it will continue to get cheaper as you advance towards 30.
The average full coverage insurance rate for a 30-year-old is $1,673, around half what you can expect to pay at 20.
Also, shop around and compare rates with several different insurers. This should help you get an excellent policy at the best price. You can easily do that with an online calculator, or as Foster with Nevada Insurance Agency notes, work with an independent insurance broker.
Car Insurance for Teens:
- How much is car insurance for a 16-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 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 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
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. “Fatality Facts 2020, Males and Females.” Accessed April 2023.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2023 to field rates for auto insurance for 20-year-olds at various coverage levels and for males and females by gender in each state.