How Much Is Car Insurance for a 17-Year-Old?

How Much Is Car Insurance for a 17-Year-Old?

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Car insurance for teens is notoriously expensive, but there are smart ways to save significantly. An individual policy for a 17-year-old costs an average of $10,922 per year. However, if instead the teen driver is added to their parents' plan, they may enjoy savings of more than 50%. A 17-year-old can also save on car insurance by eliminating unnecessary coverage, comparing quotes from multiple insurers, and taking full advantage of discounts commonly offered to teens.

How much does car insurance for 17-year-olds cost?

For a 17-year-old to get their own policy, the average cost is $10,922. However, the cost of insuring that teen driver depends heavily on whether they secure their own policy or are added to their parents' plan. The average cost for adding a 17-year-old to the parents' policy is $4,994, less than half the cost of their own plan.

The table below highlights the difference in annual costs between a 17-year-old driver with their own policy versus adding the teen to the parents' plan.

Profile
Progressive
State Farm
Farmers
17-Year-Old Male$9,820$10,644$15,513
17-Year-Old Female$8,664$8,280$12,611
Family Policy Increase After Adding 17-Year-Old Male$4,346$4,938$8,267
Family Policy Increase After Adding 17-Year-Old Female$3,530$3,092$5,788
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The cost to insure a 17-year-old also depends on gender, as it's 22% more expensive to insure a male driver than a female driver, if they get their own policy. The cost difference is even greater when the teen is added to their parents' plan, as the average rate increase for males is 41% greater than it is for females.

Annual Auto Insurance Premiums for a 17-Year-Old

Progressive was—overall—the cheapest auto insurance company according to the quotes we gathered, with rates 20% lower than the average. However, it was not the cheapest insurer for all locations. In Atlanta, for example, Progressive's rates were 42% more expensive than the rates provided by State Farm—the cheapest insurer for that area.

Company Comparison of Car Insurance Costs for 17-Year-Old Drivers

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Why is car insurance so expensive for 17-year-olds?

Young drivers are expensive to insure because they are statistically more likely to get in a car accident and therefore represent a greater risk for insurance companies. This may seem unfair, but 17-year-old drivers might find some solace in the fact that older, inexperienced drivers also pay increased auto insurance rates. As drivers gain experience, they become less likely to get into an accident and therefore see lowered rates, as long as they avoid traffic accidents and violations.

How to save on auto insurance for 17-year-olds

The best way to save on auto insurance for 17-year-olds is to add them to their parents' policies, rather than getting their own car insurance. Additionally, you can ensure lower rates by getting quotes from several auto insurance companies and utilizing discounts for young drivers and students. You might also consider the amount of coverage you select, as this has a large effect on premiums and represents a significant opportunity to save money.

Shopping around

Insurance costs vary greatly by location. The best way to ensure you get the lowest rates is by gathering quotes from several auto insurance providers that service your area. For 17-year-olds, we found that shopping around—as opposed to going with the first insurer you get a quote from—could save as much as $13,236 per year on auto insurance. The more insurers you get quotes from, the more likely you are to get the lowest possible rates.

Discounts for 17-year-old drivers

Most insurers offer discounts that mitigate the high cost of auto insurance for young drivers. Some insurers, such as Progressive, even offer a discount just for having a young driver—under 18 years old—on a policy. Here are some common discounts for teen drivers.

  • Good Student Discount: Most insurers will require that young drivers maintain at least a 3.0 GPA—a "B" average—to qualify for this discount. The amount saved varies across auto insurance companies, with some—such as State Farm—offering discounts up to 25%. Student drivers might also qualify for such a discount by placing in the upper 20% of their class or on the dean's list or honor roll.
  • Driver's Education Discount: A driver's education training course is one of the easiest ways to lower rates for 17-year-old drivers. Often, you receive a reduced premium upon completion of a state-approved driver's education class, though some insurers offer their own driver-education or defensive-driver courses. Discounts typically range from up to 5% to up to 15%, depending on the insurance company.
  • Distant Student Discount: Parents whose children attend school far away while leaving their cars at home can get discounts from some insurers. These discounts can be especially valuable for parents with kids in college or at boarding school. To qualify, the student typically has to be under 23 years old and attend school at least 100 miles away.

Omit comprehensive and collision coverage for cheaper cars

If you are insuring a cheaper vehicle, you can save by not purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage. We typically do not recommend this coverage for vehicles that are worth less than a few thousand dollars. As it can make up a large percentage of your premiums, not opting for it—when it makes sense—is a great way to save.

Cheaper or older vehicles may not qualify many vehicle equipment discounts, such as discounts for air bags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft alarms. However, the amount that can be saved with these discounts is usually less than the savings from skipping comprehensive and collision coverage.

How to get car insurance for a 17-year-old

If you're a parent adding a 17-year-old driver to your policy, getting them covered is usually as simple as contacting your insurer or updating your policy online. This is the cheapest option for insuring these drivers, but it will still come with a substantial increase in premiums.

Most states allow 17-year-olds to own and insure their own vehicles. However, states often require a parent to sign a certificate of consent or otherwise grant permission before a minor can register a vehicle. Some insurers won't offer insurance to a 17-year-old without a parent signature. After getting permission, the 17-year-old should learn to collect and compare quotes when they're obtaining an auto insurance policy. To start comparing car insurance costs in your area, use our quote tool above.

Getting insurance with a learner's permit

Teens with learner's permits are sometimes covered by their parents' policy, and therefore aren't required to be added as a driver. This can vary by insurer, so the best way to be sure is to contact your insurance company and let them know that a teen with a learner's permit will be driving a car covered by your policy. If your insurer says that your policy already extends to provisional drivers, then you are unlikely to see insurance rates go up.

Methodology

The quotes we gathered included coverage for a 2017 Honda Civic EX sedan and had the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage of $50,000 per accident
  • Underinsured and uninsured driver bodily injury liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage with $500 deductibles
  • The minimum for other state-mandated coverages where applicable

Bailey is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, covering insurance. He graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Bailey's analysis of the insurance industry and driver behaviors has been featured by CNBC, the Houston Chronicle and the National Transportation Bureau Safety Board.

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.