Car insurance for a 17-year-old costs $10,922 per year, on average, if they purchase their own policy. However, if instead the teen driver is added to their parents' plan, they can enjoy significant savings—more than 50% in most cases. A 17-year-old can also save on the cost of car insurance in several ways, such as eliminating unnecessary coverages, 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?
- How to Save on Auto Insurance for 17-Year-Olds
- How to Get Car Insurance for 17-Year-Olds
How Much Does Car Insurance for 17-Year-Olds Cost?
The cost of insuring a 17-year-old driver varied greatly depending on whether they secured their own policy or whether they were added to their parents' plan. For a 17-year-old to get their own policy, the average cost is $10,922. That's more than twice what it costs to add a 17-year-old to the parents' policy, which is an average of $4,994. 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.
|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|
The amount that it costs to insure a 17-year-old depends heavily on gender, as it's 22% more expensive to insure a male driver than a female driver, if they get their own policy. There's an even greater cost difference when a 17-year-old driver is added to their parents' plan, as the average rate increase for males is 41% greater than it is for females.
Why Is Car Insurance so Expensive for 17-Year-Olds?
Car insurance is so expensive for young drivers mainly 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 will also see increased auto insurance rates. However, 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
One of the best ways 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. This has a large effect on insurance costs and represents a significant opportunity to save on car insurance for 17-year-old drivers.
Insurance costs can 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.
For example, 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.
Discounts for 17-Year-Old Drivers
Most insurers offer discounts to help mitigate the high costs of auto insurance rates 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 of the commonly offered 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 that this saves varies across auto insurance companies, with some companies—such as State Farm—offering discounts up to 25%. Student drivers might also be eligible for this discount by being in the upper 20% of their class academically or by being on their school's dean's list or honor roll.
- Driver's Education Discount: A driver's education training course is one of the easiest ways to ensure lower rates for 17-year-old drivers. Often, you will receive a discount on your car insurance rate upon completion of a state-approved driver's education class. However, some insurers will offer their own driver-education or defensive-driver course, which you have to complete to qualify for the reduced premiums. These 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 and leave their cars at home can earn discounts from some insurers. These discounts can be especially valuable for parents with kids in college or at boarding school. Typically, to qualify for this discount, the student 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, then one way to save is to not purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. We typically do not recommend these coverages for vehicles that are worth less than a few thousand dollars. As these coverages can make up a large percentage of your premiums, not opting for them—when it makes sense—is a great way to save.
Cheaper or older vehicles may not qualify for as 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 in cost by not getting comprehensive and collision coverage.
How to Get Car Insurance for a 17-Year-Old
If you're a parent who wants to add a 17-year-old driver to your policy, then getting them covered is usually as simple as contacting your insurer or by 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 will allow 17-year-olds to own and insure their own vehicles. However, states will likely require a parent to sign a certificate of consent or otherwise grant permission before a minor can register a vehicle. Some insurers might not offer insurance to a 17-year-old without a parent signature as well. After getting a parent's permission, the 17-year-old should learn how to collect and compare quotes when they're obtaining an auto insurance policy. To start comparing insurance costs in your area, use our quote tool below.
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Getting Insurance With a Learner's Permit
Drivers with a learner's permits will sometimes be covered by their parents' policy, and therefore aren't necessarily required to be added as a driver. This can vary by insurer, and the best way to be sure is to contact your insurance company and let them know that someone 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.
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.