Q

How long can you stay on your parents’ car insurance?

A

You can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy as long as you live with them, but once you move out and get your own car, you’ll have to get your own policy.

If you live with your parents and drive their car, then you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy as long as you’re part of their household. But that means once you move out, you’ll need to get your own insurance policy. 

You may also have to get your own car insurance policy if you own your own car, since cars typically need to be insured by their owners. However, some companies allow adult children who live with their parents but own their own cars to be listed on their parents’ policy, as long as they share an address.

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It’s often a lot cheaper to stay on your parents’ insurance if you can; new, less-experienced drivers tend to pay hundreds of dollars more for their own policies. But if adding yourself to an existing policy isn’t an option, you can save money by shopping around with multiple companies, looking for discounts, driving a safe and affordable car, or dropping comprehensive and collision coverage to lower your rates.

Key Takeaways

  • As long as you live with your parents, you can stay on their car insurance policy

  • You must purchase your own car insurance policy once you move out or buy your own car

  • If you’re a new driver, you can save hundreds of dollars on your premium by adding yourself to an existing policy instead of getting your own

How long can I stay on my parents' car insurance?

You can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy indefinitely as long as you’re living with them. If you drive a car that is garaged at their residence, you’re eligible to share an auto insurance policy with them. Even if you’re married, as long as you live with your parents and drive their car, you can stay on their insurance (your spouse can be added to their policy, too!). But if you move out of your parents’ residence and own a car, you’ll need to have your own auto insurance policy. 

Can I be on my parents’ car insurance if the car is in my name?

If your car is registered under your name, then you may need to have a separate insurance policy, even if you live at home. In general, a car must be registered and insured under the same name, although some insurance companies allow drivers who own their own cars to stay on their parents’ insurance policy, as long as they live together. 

Can I drive my parents’ car without being on their insurance?

Yes, you can drive your parents’ car without being on their insurance. Their insurance extends to cover you whenever you borrow their car, under what’s called “permissive use.” Permissive use means that if you’re given permission to drive your parents’ car, then you will be covered by their car insurance policy in the event of an accident (although the coverage may be more limited for drivers who aren’t listed on their policy). 

But if you cause damage that exceeds the limits in your parents’ policy, then you may need to involve your own insurance to help cover the costs. And if you don’t have your own insurance, then you could be on the hook for damage you cause that exceeds your parents’ limits. 

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Pros and cons of staying on your parents’ car insurance

If you’re a driver under 25 or you just got your license within the last year, then getting your own insurance policy will be costly. Young drivers don’t have the years of experience to prove their safe driving skills, so insurance companies see them as riskier to insure, and charge higher rates accordingly. 

But if you’re still living at home, you can stay on your parents’ policy. This will raise their rates, but it will still probably cost less than taking out your own car insurance policy. Once you have your own vehicle, though, you may need to have your own car insurance policy too. 

Pros

  • It's usually cheaper to stay on your parents' auto insurance policy than it is for you to get a new one

  • Every member in your household and every car garaged on your property would be covered by the same policy

Cons

  • Your parents' rates will go up because you’re adding a young, inexperienced driver

➞ Learn more about car insurance rates for new drivers

How to reduce insurance rates for teens on their parents' car insurance

Teens and young drivers are the most expensive age group to insure because they’re seen as the riskiest, but there are ways teens can save on car insurance.

1. Add yourself to your parents’ policy

You can save significantly on your premium by adding yourself to an existing policy, rather than getting one of your own. An 18-year-old driver was quoted an average rate of $4,682 per year for a full coverage policy. But when that 18-year-old was added to an adult’s policy, a 31-year-old single woman with a clean driving record, the average annual rate was $3,204 instead. That’s still pretty high, but it’s still much less than the cost for the 18-year-old on their own.

Driver DetailsAverage cost of a 1-year policy
31-year-old woman$1,416
31-year-old woman with a 16-year-old driver$3,204
18-year-old woman$4,682

2. Look for discounts

Most auto insurance companies offer discounts that can help you lower your rates. These discounts vary based on your insurer, so you should see which ones are available, but some of the most popular ones include:

  • Student discounts for full-time students who earn above a certain GPA

  • Driver’s education discounts for completing a driver’s ed or defensive driving course

  • Distant college student discount if you’re a full-time college student away at school without a car

  • Sorority, fraternity, and honors society discounts

3. Maintain a clean driving record

As a new driver, you don’t have years of driving experience under your belt to prove you’re a safe driver. But keeping a clean driving record as you get older can lower your rates over time. After a certain number of years of accident-free driving, you’ll qualify for a safe driver discount. But if you rack up accidents and violations on your record, your rates will go up. 

4. Get a safe and affordable car

The make and model of the car you drive helps determine your car insurance rates. If you drive a safe, reliable car with safety features and high crash test ratings, you’ll see lower rates, even as a new driver. 

5. Drop comprehensive and collision coverage

If you’re in the car-buying process, you might want to consider purchasing a cheaper, older car. Many teen and young drivers also inherit older cars. If the car’s value is low enough that you can afford to replace it if it’s totaled, or if the value of the car is worth less than your deductible would be, you can drop comprehensive and collision coverage. You should still purchase more than the minimum of liability coverage required in your state, but you can choose to pay for repairs out of pocket if your car is damaged in an accident. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a 26-year-old be on parents car insurance?

Yes, you can stay on your parents’ car insurance policy as a 26-year-old and even after, as long as you live with them. Your parents can keep you on their policy for as long as they want, but once you move out, you’ll have to get a policy under your own name.

Do you get kicked off your parents car insurance?

You’re eligible to remain on your parents’ car insurance policy as long as you live in the same household as them. If you drive your own car or live on your own, then you’ll need to have your own insurance policy.

Is it cheaper to stay on parents car insurance?

Young drivers tend to see higher rates because of their lack of driving experience, but you can save hundreds of dollars by adding a young driver to an existing car insurance policy rather than them getting their own. Car insurance rates tend to go down after you turn 25, so that paired with a clean driving record can lower your rates over time.