Turning 21 is often seen as when a person becomes a full adult. After all, it is the age when you can legally drink alcohol in all 50 states.
But there is also one other right of passage to look forward to. At 21, drivers will generally see a sizable decline in their car insurance rates.
“Insurance carriers will really start to change how they assess drivers after about five years of driving,” says Jana Foster, owner of Nevada Insurance Agency Co., a full-service brokerage with offices in Carson City and Reno. “By this time, they’ll have a good understanding of what a driver looks like – their driving history, accidents and tickets.
“Other things also begin to change in their lives. They might have a few years of college behind them, are advancing into law or medical school, or may have become home or condo owners. The carriers look at all those things when creating a profile.”
Barring a poor driving record and a bad credit score, it all adds up to a reduction in insurance premiums for most drivers.
The average national car insurance rate for a 21-year-old driver is about $2,625 per year or $219 per month for their own full coverage policy. That rate may still be slightly higher than the national average of $1,580 for a 40-year-old driver, but it represents a $636 drop from what a driver would expect to pay at age 20.
It’s also much lower than they would have seen in their teens. At 16, a driver can expect to pay about $7,625 per year or $635 per month; at 18, it’s about $5,565 per year or $464 per month.
Read on to learn more about car insurance for 21-year-olds.
- For a full coverage policy, a 21-year-old driver pays an average of $2,625 per year or $219 monthly for car insurance.
- Male drivers are still assessed at higher rates than females at this age.
- A 21-year-old male driver added to their parent’s policy will pay about $2,516 on average for a full coverage policy, while a female added to a parent policy will pay about $2,304.
- Car insurance for young adults: What’s the average cost for a 21-year-old?
- How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old male?
- How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old female?
- What’s the best car insurance for 21-year-old drivers?
- Car insurance discounts for 21-year-olds
- Final thoughts on car insurance for 21-year-olds
- Resources & Methodology
Car insurance for young adults: What’s the average cost for a 21-year-old?
The annual average car insurance rate for a 21-year-old who has their own policy :
- State minimum liability coverage: $789
- Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $956
- 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $2,625
What you pay will vary depending on many factors, ranging from the insurance company you choose to where you live, the coverage limits you want, and the deductible you select.
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.
Check out our detailed guide on the average car insurance rates by age
How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old each month?
The table below shows how much car insurance costs for a 21-year-old per month, on average.
How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old male?
At 21, drivers are still considered a risk,- especially male drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 20 to 24-year-old males were involved in 2,038 fatal accidents in 2020 or 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.
That’s the bad news. On the positive side, male drivers at this age will noticeably see their insurance rates decreasing, especially if they have a good driving record.
The average national full coverage insurance policy cost for a 21-year-old male with a $500 comprehensive/collision deductible is $2,790. That’s a savings of $705 from the $3,495 they would have paid at age 20.
Adding a 21-year-old driver to a parent’s policy or keeping them on the policy can help save some money, but it doesn’t come without risk to the parent.
How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old male on a parent’s policy?
Parents keeping a 21-year-old driver on their policy means they accept that if their child is in an accident, they’ll see a spike in their premiums.
Full coverage insurance for a 21-year-old male added to a parent’s policy is about $2,516 on average.
There may be some instances when it would be wiser for a young adult 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 student 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 21-year-old in New York is about $3,178, for example, but in North Carolina, it’s only $1,573.
The parent also benefits from removing their young adult from their policy when they’re away at college.
How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old female?
Females are still deemed risky at 21 years old, but around this time, they will start to see a steady decline in premiums.
The amount their premiums decline will be highly dependent on their driving record and credit score.
Yes, credit score. While it doesn’t directly relate to how well someone drives, credit scores significantly influence how insurance companies calculate premiums.
Carriers have shown, to the satisfaction of various courts, that a person’s credit rating indicates their likely driving patterns. The lower the credit score, the higher the risk.
“If the credit score is too low, I’ve seen carriers say we don’t want this driver on our books,” Nevada Insurance Agency’s Foster says.
So having a good credit rating will lead to lower insurance costs for both females and males.
How much is car insurance for a 21-year-old female on a parent’s policy?
The average national cost of a full coverage insurance policy for a 21-year-old female with a $500 comprehensive/collision deductible is $2,460, a savings of about $568 from what they would have paid at age 20.
A 21-year-old female added to a parent’s policy will pay an average of $2,304 per year, or about $192 monthly.
What’s the best car insurance for 21-year-old drivers?
Start with liability car insurance, which pays for others’ injuries and damage you cause to their property 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.
If you opt for comprehensive insurance and collision coverage, consider higher deductibles to lower your rate, and remember that you’ll be responsible for the deductible.
Car insurance discounts for 21-year-olds
Lynch says the three ways young adults can get the lowest insurance rates are to stay accident-free, avoid violations on their driving records and maintain a good credit score. After that, there are several other good strategies to employ.
Some car insurance companies offer discounts to 21-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.
If you’re working in a trade, your trade association could have a discount arranged with an insurance carrier.
Beyond discounts, be mindful of the type of car you buy. A practical Toyota Corolla will carry a much lower insurance rate than a high-end European sports car. See the top teen and young adult-ready cars with high safety ratings that cost less than $15,000.
Guide: How to lower car insurance in 2023
Final thoughts on car insurance for 21-year-olds
As you gain more experience driving, your auto insurance rates will fall. The even better news is it will continue to get cheaper as you approach age 30.
The average full coverage insurance rate for a 30-year-old is $1,673, basically $1,000 less than how much you’ll pay at 21.
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 work with an independent insurance broker who does the leg work.
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 20-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 21-year-olds at various coverage levels (state minimum, 50/100/50 liability and 100/300/100 full coverage) and for males and females in each state.