The cost of insuring teens gets a little cheaper after teens have had a year of driving under the belt. but car insurance costs remain high compared to older drivers.
The average auto insurance rate for a 17-year-old with their own policy is $6,272 a year with full coverage: $523 a month. That fee is more than $4,500 higher than the national average of $1,682 for drivers age 40+.
Car insurance companies charge 17-year-old drivers higher rates because these drivers pose a greater risk to insurers than more experienced drivers, says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
“It is not only that teen drivers are inexperienced behind the wheel, but they are also more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as driving while distracted or drunk, speeding, and not wearing seat belts,” says walker.
In fact, the risk of car accidents is higher among teens ages 16 to 19 than any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control & prevention. and per mile traveled, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers age 20 and older.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower the cost of auto insurance for your new driver.
Teen car insurance: what is the average cost for a 17 year old?
Of course, what you pay to insure your teen driver will vary. The insurer you choose can make a big difference in terms of what you’ll pay. Other factors, ranging from the state you live in to the car you drive, play a role in what you’ll pay.
To give you an idea of what you should expect to pay for young driver auto insurance, we’ve provided average annual rates by state in the charts below. You’ll notice that adding a teen to your own policy is much less expensive than having your teen buy their own policy, which teens can only do if they are emancipated adults or have reached the age of majority in their state.
car insurance cost for a 17 year old woman
The national average cost of insurance for a 17-year-old woman is $5,576. 17-year-old teen drivers pay $696 less than men their age.
Below, you’ll see the average insurance costs by state for a 17-year-old woman and how it compares to the price of a parent’s policy with the child added.
car insurance cost for a 17 year old male
17-year-old men pay, on average, $6,272 for their own full-coverage policy. That’s about $696 more than their female counterparts. You can compare the rates for a 17 year old with his own policy with that of being added to his parents.
how much you save by adding a 17 year old to your insurance compared to the teen’s own policy
You’ll see in the chart below how much it costs to add a teen driver to a parent policy and how much you save by doing so:
cheapest car insurance for 17 year olds
Below you’ll see how the major airlines compare rates when you add a 17-year-old teen driver to your coverage. For this scenario, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, New Jersey Manufacturers, National, and Erie were the cheapest insurance companies we surveyed for adding a woman.
parental policy with a 17-year-old woman
parental policy with a 17-year-old man
island, nc farm bureau, new jersey manufacturers, nationwide and united states were cheapest to add 17 year old male motorists.
what is the average annual car insurance rate for a self-insured 17 year old driver?
If your teen is shopping for her own policy, Island, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Erie Insurance and Mapfre came up with the lowest female rates for full coverage.
You can also sort the columns for the state’s minimum and mid-level liability policies in the table below.
average annual auto insurance rates for a 17 year old female
average annual auto insurance rates for a 17 year old male
for male drivers, ages 17 and older with their own policies, island, north carolina farm bureau, erie insurance, usaa, and mapfre are among the national companies with the lowest auto insurance rates.
what are the rules for a 17 year old driver?
Most states have laws that restrict where and when 17-year-olds can drive. These provisions are generally called Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws and apply to drivers under the age of 18.
gdl laws vary by state; some states have very strict laws and others have very lenient laws. over time, you “graduate” from a provisional or restricted license you got as a teenager to a standard unrestricted license.
gdl laws usually include provisions on the following:
- limit driving time to daylight hours.
- require a passenger over a certain age to ride in the car.
- Do not allow passengers under a certain age to travel in the car.
- prohibit the use of mobile phones for both calls and text messages.
- limit destinations to work and school.
- good student: having at least a 3.0 or “b” average can mean a discount of up to 16.
- Parent-Teen Driving Contract: Some insurers offer teenagers a 5% discount if young drivers are willing to sign a contract with their parents that sets out the driving rules they commit to to follow.
- Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt (young drivers) to test the limits, according to the iihs.
- Get Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which helps maintain control through curves and slippery roads.
- Consider cars with top safety reviews from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more details on GDL laws and why they’re important, see The Most and Least Dangerous States for Teen Drivers.
teenage driver safety
The reason car insurance for a 17-year-old is so expensive is that new drivers are more likely to get into accidents. accidents lead to claims, increasing costs for insurance companies.
States have different levels of graduated driver’s license (GDL) laws. These include a learner’s permit, minimum supervised driving hours, and restrictions on passengers and the hours a teen can drive. there are also bans on texting and using a cell phone.
when a driver turns 17, they will no longer comply with some gdl laws. however, many states still restrict drivers until they are 18 or 21 years old. for 17-year-olds, restrictions include passenger and night limits on unattended driving. gdl laws vary by state, so it’s best to check your state’s gdl laws.
adding a teen to a parent’s insurance policy is the cheapest
Parents often opt for the less expensive approach of including a teen on their current policy. It’s usually cheaper than getting a separate policy because the cost of a policy takes into account the policyholder’s experience and driving record.
A 17-year-old doesn’t have a proven track record on the road, which means higher rates when an insurer crunches the numbers.
Beyond that, a 17-year-old won’t get the same auto insurance discounts his parents did, including discounts for multiple vehicles, multiple policies, and loyalty. But even with those discounts, adding a 17-year-old driver to a policy still means a significant increase in rates.
Another benefit of sharing a policy is that the teen is covered if they borrow their car from time to time, and the parents are covered if they drive the teen’s car.
Check out our detailed guide for parents on the best and cheapest way to insure teen drivers
car insurance discounts for 17 year olds
Discounts can help you reduce the high cost of insuring a young driver. There are several discounts available that young drivers can use to lower their bill. vary by state and insurer, but may include:
comparing can reduce the cost of adding a teen
While adding a teen to your auto insurance policy is expensive, you can cut costs by shopping around and comparing quotes to find the best auto insurance rates.
Car insurance rates should decrease once the teen gains a few years of driving experience and maintains a clean driving record. at age 26, costs should drop significantly.
See also: Where can i get insurance for my dog
carinsurance.com has car insurance guides for 16, 18 and 19 year olds that break down teen car insurance rates.
other ways to save on car insurance for your teen
clean driving record
If you’re looking for ways to lower auto insurance costs, maintaining a clean driving record is hard to beat. Insurance companies tend to reward drivers of all ages who avoid speeding, accidents, reckless driving, and distracted driving.
think twice before filing a claim
If your teen has a minor accident that you were at fault for, it may not make sense to file a claim. Before you call your insurance company, have a clear understanding of how much your insurance rates could increase if you file a claim for an at-fault accident.
In some cases, paying out of pocket makes more financial sense in the long run.
recommendations and frequently asked questions to insure drivers of 17 years old
can a 17 year old have a car in his name and insure it?
A 17-year-old can own and insure a car in most states, but only if a parent or legal guardian co-signs both the vehicle title and insurance coverages.
Are the state minimum requirements sufficient for my teen driver?
Liability protection is the first step when insuring a 17-year-old. state minimums are usually not enough. Medical bills and costs related to property damage can start to run high and add up quickly, depending on the injuries of the people involved.
If you are financing your vehicle, comprehensive insurance and collision coverage is required. If you own your car outright, you can opt out if you want, but that means you’re not covered for theft, damage to your vehicle from an accident, or from hail, fire, flood, and vandalism.
why are teen car insurance rates higher?
Car insurance companies base their rates on risk. They consider a person’s driving experience, claims history, location, vehicle type, and other factors.
A driver with a hazardous (or limited) driving history will pay more than a motorist who hasn’t filed a claim in a decade.
does a 17 year old have to have full coverage?
There is no law that requires teen drivers to have full coverage. however, if the car you drive is leased or financed, the lender will require that you have comprehensive coverage, including comprehensive and collision insurance.
To drive legally, you only need minimum state liability insurance, which pays for damages and injuries to others in accidents you cause. does not cover your own car.
however, because teens are inexperienced, it’s wise to have full coverage on the car your teen drives.
Do you need insurance to drive with a learner’s permit?
Most states require you to have at least minimal liability insurance to drive. Liability insurance is what covers the damage a driver may cause to people or property in an accident. this also applies to a 17 year old, who must show that their owner’s policy currently covers the vehicle.
what are the best cars for 17 year olds?
In addition to protecting your teen, your insurance company can show appreciation for buying a superior teen car by lowering your rate.
the insurance institute for highway safety (iihs) offers some basics when looking for a vehicle:
summary: car insurance for a 17 year old
Being a parent of a teen driver is stressful and costly. It can be tempting to get them their own policy to teach them independence, but adding your teen to your auto insurance policy is a great way to save money.
Be sure to lead by example. In other words, don’t text and drive and then tell them it’s not safe for them to do the same. Provide exemplary driving behavior, make sure your kids follow gdl laws, and buy car insurance at every renewal to ensure you get the best deal.
These things will ensure your teen understands how to drive safely and keep you paying the lowest amount possible for your car insurance.
resources & methodology
- centers for disease control & prevention. “Teen Drivers: Get the Facts.” accessed June 2022.
- governors road safety association. “Teen and Novice Drivers”. accessed June 2022.
- insurance institute for highway safety, highway loss data institute. “teenagers.” accessed June 2022.
carinsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 for field rates for full auto coverage data by zip code for drivers ages 17 and 40.
– michelle megna contributed to this story.