Car Insurance Costs for 20-Year-Old Males and Females

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Car insurance for 20-year-olds costs an average of $5,333. This is much cheaper than the average rates for a student just starting college (18 years old, $7,179) but still far more expensive than a young adult in their mid-20s (25 years old, $3,207). The higher rates reflect the fact that younger people tend to be riskier drivers than their older peers.

For 20-year-olds looking for the most affordable option, we suggest starting with Erie, the company we found to offer the cheapest full coverage car insurance for 20-year-olds. However, different insurers will charge a variety of rates depending on your profile, so it's always worth shopping around.

We looked into 20-year-old auto insurance rates by a variety of factors: age, gender, company and location. Below, you can use our quotes as a general guide for how much car insurance will cost and what factors can affect the cost. However, to get the cheapest rate, you should shop around for quotes yourself — or use the quote box above to obtain one — as rates will vary greatly from person to person.

How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old?

Car insurance for a 22-year-old costs $5,333 per year on average, or $444 per month.

Young drivers, particularly those 25 and under, tend to have particularly high car insurance rates. But even within that age group rates can vary widely by age. Average rates for a 21-year-old — just a year older — drop by almost $900. Conversely, average rates for a 20-year-old are almost $2,000 cheaper than for 18-year-olds.

AgeAverage annual premium
18$7,179
19$6,021
20$5,333
21$4,453
22$4,128
23$3,840
24$3,597
25$3,207

These numbers are for a full coverage policy for a 20-year-old, including liability insurance, comprehensive and collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, as detailed in our methodology.

Among 20-year-olds, men pay more for car insurance than women

Young males tend to pay more than young females for car insurance. Twenty-year-old men pay $5,590 per year on average, which is 10% higher than equivalent females ($5,076).

The difference in average rates for males and females tends to diminish with age, but dynamics for the ages surrounding 20-year-olds are quite similar. In our sample, 19-year-old males also pay 10% more than their female counterparts, while 21-year-old males pay 9% more.

AgeAnnual premium - maleAnnual premium - femalePercent difference
19$6,311$5,73210%
20$5,590$5,07610%
21$4,647$4,2589%

Keep in mind that certain states have banned the use of gender as a pricing variable. If you live in:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (in certain areas)
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

… you'll pay the same rates for auto insurance whether you're male or female, provided all other factors used in pricing remain the same.

Twenty-year-olds will have different car insurance costs with every insurance company

At 20 years of age — and at all other ages — insurers calculate rates using a variety of factors beyond age. As a result, rates for any given age can vary greatly by company, and young drivers can benefit by shopping around.

From our sample, Erie Insurance, available in 12 states and Washington D.C., had the cheapest rates for 20-year-olds at $2,513 per year. USAA, available to military members and their families, was the second most affordable. Among widely available insurance companies, GEICO ranked as the most affordable for 20-year-olds, with average rates of $3,304 per year.

InsurerAnnual premium
Erie$2,513
USAA$2,520
GEICO$3,304
Nationwide$4,398
State Farm$4,733
Progressive$4,744
Allstate$7,857

In this example, Allstate rates as particularly expensive, with premiums nearly twice as expensive as the next priciest competitor, Progressive. If you're a young driver looking for cheap car insurance, always be sure to shop across multiple insurance companies and compare prices for equivalent coverage.

Our choices for the best car insurance for 20-year-olds by state

Car insurance prices can change a lot state to state, so we looked at auto insurance premiums for 20-year-olds in the 10 biggest states in the country (by population) to see how rates differ.

Michigan is the most expensive state for car insurance for young drivers by far. At over $15,000, it more than doubles the rates of the second most expensive state, Florida.

Conversely, North Carolina is the cheapest auto insurer for young drivers. The average rate for our 20-year-old was $1,996 per year, and it was the only state with rates below $3,000.

StateAverage 20-year-old annual rates
North Carolina$1,996
Pennsylvania$3,546
Ohio$3,661
California$3,694
Texas$4,285
Illinois$4,348
New York$4,699
Georgia$5,327
Florida$6,200
Michigan$15,573

Even within cheaper states, young drivers may be able to find savings by shopping around. Our sample 20-year old North Carolinian would pay…

  • $733 with GEICO or
  • $4,538 with Allstate

To help your shopping process, we've included a list of the cheapest average insurance company for 20-year-olds in our sample states. But these are just averages for a specific driver — the best way to find a cheap rate for you is to shop around.

StateInsurerAverage yearly rate
CaliforniaState Farm$2,708
FloridaGEICO$4,460
GeorgiaGeorgia Farm Bureau$2,832
IllinoisState Farm$2,605
MichiganProgressive$5,787
New YorkNYCM$3,595
North CarolinaGEICO$733
OhioGEICO$2,362
PennsylvaniaErie$2,876
TexasState Farm$3,261
We did not include USAA in these recommendations, as its policies only serve current or former military members and their families. If USAA were included, it would offer the cheapest auto insurance for 20-year-olds in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The best way for 20-year-olds to find cheap car insurance

The quotes we've collected are just averages, and the truth is that every car insurance quote will be unique to your own driver profile. But there are several proven ways 20-year-olds can save on auto insurance:

  • Stay on your parents' policy
  • Shop around between insurers
  • Utilize insurer discounts
  • Lower your coverage limits

Below, we provide guidance on taking each of these steps so you can get all the savings available to you.

Stay on your parents' car insurance policy

If they let you, your parents keeping you on their policy will almost certainly be the cheapest way to get auto insurance coverage. If your parents keep you on their policy:

  • Their policy will cost more, given the need to cover an additional driver …
  • … but the increase in their premium is likely to be lower than the cost of your own policy.

On balance, being covered on your family's policy will almost certainly cost less — in total — than two separate policies, provided your parents are willing to name you on the plan.

Shop around between insurers

As our data above shows, the exact same 20-year-old could see a difference of hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars in costs between different insurers despite requesting similar coverage.

In California, for example, our sample 20-year-old driver paid $2,708 per year with State Farm versus $5,885 with Farmers, on average. That's an extreme difference, but even the difference between State Farm, the cheapest insurer, and AAA, the third cheapest, was hundreds of dollars.

It's easier than ever to get a fast car insurance quote. If you're a 20-year-old, shop for quotes online while keeping coverage levels consistent across insurers. Start with our recommendations for the cheapest in your state, but also expand your search to other insurers, as you never know who may provide the cheapest rate.

Qualify for discounts

If you can convince your insurance company you're a lowerrisk, it'll likely charge you a lower rate. Many insurance companies offer discounts for:

  • Good students (in other words, your grades are above a certain cutoff)
  • Drivers who take a defensive driving course
  • People with good credit scores

Insurers have found that these characteristics are correlated with lower-risk driving. If you think you qualify, be sure to bring up the possibility to an insurance agent to see if you can get savings on your quote.

Lower your coverage limits

We always recommend purchasing enough insurance to cover you for potential liabilities and also damage to your own car. That's why we recommend a full coverage policy, which covers the cost of damage or injury to others for which you're liable and also the cost of damage to your own vehicle.

However, at a certain point you may be purchasing too much coverage, and you could save on your premiums by lowering your limits.

You should purchase liability coverage limits equivalent to your net worth to ensure your wealth is covered in the event you are liable for a seriously damaging and costly accident. Beyond that, you may be paying more in premiums for protection beyond what you need.

You should buy comprehensive and collision coverage, part of a full coverage policy, if your car still has real value. If you're paying hundreds of dollars more for comprehensive and collision coverage, but your car isn't worth much more than a few thousand dollars, you may end up paying more money to protect your car than it's actually worth.

All 20-year-olds buying car insurance for the first time should balance increased protection of higher limits and coverages with the increased cost of obtaining those protections.

Methodology

We collected quotes in the 10 most populous states in the country and across thousands of their zip codes. For our sample driver, we used 20-year-old males and females driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. All factors affecting rates, except those discussed in this study, were kept consistent to make a fair comparison.

Coverage levels in the full coverage policy were as follows, which are slightly more than what is required for any state's minimum coverage:

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily liability$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Comprehensive & collision$500 deductible
Personal injury protectionMin. when required by state

Twenty-three insurance companies were included in the analysis, though insurer rates were only included in our list of average prices and recommendations if their policies were available in at least three of the 10 states.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.