Best car insurance for 18-year-olds

Of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S., Erie Insurance has the cheapest average rate for 18-year-old drivers, at $2,663 a year.

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By

Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in home and auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

Published November 9, 2021|2 min read

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Teens are riskier to insure because of their lack of driving experience, so insurance companies charge higher rates to reflect that risk. However, it's still possible for young drivers to get an affordable policy — the key is comparing rates from multiple companies to make sure you’re seeing the best options.

Our analysis found that, out of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S., Erie Insurance has the cheapest average rate for 18-year-old drivers, at $2,663 a year.

Key Takeaways

  • Out of 10 major car insurance companies, Erie Insurance has the cheapest average rate for 18-year-old drivers, at $2,663 a year

  • Teenage drivers may be able to find even cheaper rates through smaller, regional insurance companies

  • Young drivers can save on car insurance by taking advantage of  good student and driver’s education discounts

10 cheapest car insurance companies for 18-year-old drivers

Car insurance companies consider inexperienced teen drivers a risk to insure, so full coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old can cost thousands of dollars a year. But you can still get an affordable policy by shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple companies.

Here’s what the 10 largest companies charge for full coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old driver:

Car insurance companyCost for 18-year-old driver
Erie$2,663
State Farm$3,022
American Family$3,190
GEICO$3,046
USAA$2,759
Nationwide$4,878
Travelers$4,087
Allstate$5,465
Progressive$7,540
Farmers$7,919

Compare rates for 18-year-old drivers

As we’ve mentioned before, car insurance for teens can be pricey because not having much experience behind the wheel means a higher chance of accidents. But as young drivers age, car insurance rates start to become cheaper, until they level out around the age of 25. 

AgeGenderAverage annual cost
16Female$6,351
Male$7,207
18Female$4,594
Male$5,268
21Female$2,548
Male$2,867
25Female$1,875
Male$1,983

How to save money on car insurance as an 18-year-old

If you want to save on car insurance for a teen, there are a few steps you can take to lower the costs:

1. Join an existing policy

If you still live at home with your parents or other family, you can save on car insurance by joining their policy rather than getting your own coverage. Their premiums will still go up, but it will be cheaper than if you bought a separate policy.

2. Take advantage of discounts for teen drivers

Discounts can help you lower your rates, and teen drivers who are also full time students can typically earn a discount for maintaining above a certain GPA, or for taking a driver’s education course. Some companies also offer special programs designed for teen drivers that can earn you even more savings. 

3. Compare quotes from multiple companies

Getting quotes from multiple companies can help you find the coverage you need at the cheapest price. You may be able to spend a lot less at one company than another and still get the same coverage.

4. Drop comprehensive and collision

You can consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage if the car your teen is driving wouldn’t be worth repairing or replacing in the event of an accident. You can keep comp and collision coverage on other cars on your policy, but dropping those coverage for one car can earn you significant savings.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can drive your parents car without being under their policy through what’s called “permissive use.” When you have permission from them to drive their car, your damages are covered if you get into an accident.

If your friend borrows your car and gets into an accident, they’ll be covered under your car insurance. In general, your financial protection extends to anyone who is given permission to drive your car.

Our analysis shows that 18-year-old drivers pay an average of $3,046 a year with GEICO. But your car insurance rates can be higher or lower, depending on other factors like where you live and the coverage limits and deductibles you set.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.