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Best Car Insurance For Teen Drivers

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Most teens can't wait for the freedom and independence of the day they get their driver's license. What is less fun to think about is car insurance. Unfortunately for new and teen drivers, car insurance can be quite costly. That doesn't mean you can't still get a good deal though. Here we break down which car insurance companies are the cheapest for new drivers. We also examine the cost of being added on to your parent's car insurance plan, and the cost for an adult new to driving. 

Table of Contents 

Which Car Insurance Company is Cheapest For New and Teen Drivers? 

We looked at over 200 cities and 103 companies to see which one was the most affordable for young drivers based on a sample 17 year old male driver. Like in our findings for the overall cheapest company, the cheapest for young drivers was also Erie Insurance. We found Erie on average to be about 3.2x less expensive than the national average. 

Graph showing the cheapest auto insurance companies for new and young driver

Interestingly, none of the "Big Five" car insurance companies, State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers are in the top five. Overall we found these companies to not be the most economical option for a young driver to pick as their first car insurer. Of the five above, Nationwide is the largest, being available in nearly every state with the exception of a small few. In the table below you can see the 15 cheapest insurance companies for young drivers, and their rates for our sample driver.

RankCompany Yearly Rate 
1 Erie $2,411
2 The Cincinnati $2,969
3 Chubb $3,607
4 Grange Insurance Association $3,673
5 Nationwide $4,059
6 Country $4,316
7 State Farm $4,661
8 Grange Insurance $5,207
9 GEICO $5,208
10 Allied $5,265
11 Motorists Mutual  $5,672
12 Unitrin $5,991
13 Progressive $7,017
14 21st Century  $7,520
15 Safe Auto  $7,529

Some Notable Companies by Region 

Unfortunately, not every cheap company is available in every state. Some car insurance providers are more prominent in certain parts of the country, where they may be most affordable. Other companies may actually be more expensive in certain areas and should be avoided. 

Best for Teenagers in the North East and Near Mid-West: Erie

Erie is the overall cheapest insurer for teen drivers. In every state we found Erie, it always beat the state average, and was frequently the first or second most affordable company overall. In Ohio and New York for example, the average price for Erie was nearly 3x under those states' average.The main issue with Erie however, is that it is only located in nine states (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). If you live in any of those states though, Erie should be your first choice for affordable insurance.

Best Auto Insurance for Teens in the West: Grange Insurance Association

For those in the West, Grange Insurance Association (not to be confused with Grange Insurance which operates in the south and mid-west), is a great alternative to Erie, The Cincinnati and Chubb which are all located in the east. Grange operates in California, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. In Oregon, rates from Grange were about 75% less expensive than the state average. For those looking for car insurance in California, Unitrin is also another cheap alternative. 

Best Insurers for Teens Nationally: Nationwide & State Farm

In many states, State Farm beat the cost average, and in some cases like Utah, by as much as 2x. The ubiquity of State Farm makes its a viable option for people in an area not served by the more affordable companies we show above. Another benefit of State Farm is its highly touted customer service track record. Backed by one of the largest agent networks in the country, State Farm is regarded as the best for customer service amongst the large insurers. As we discuss here, forming a bond with an agent, especially at a young age, can actually end up saving you a good deal of money in the long run. 

Nationwide is one of the most affordable large companies we found, being available in 46 of the 50 states, making it just a tad short of the "Big Five" in terms of availability. In states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Nationwide turned out to be the most affordable provider, even beating out the overall cheapest in Erie. There are several other states where Nationwide was the second or third least expensive provider as well. 

Most Affordable Auto Insurers for Teens in Each State 

The cheapest insurance in your state may not actually reflect the cheapest overall insurers we list above. While Erie and The Cincinnati are usually the first or second least expensive in the states they are available, there are also states like Arizona where the cheapest company is Ameriprise--a company that does not even appear in the top fifteen cheapest overall. Take a look below to see what is the best option in your state. 

StateFirst Cheapest Yearly Rate Second Cheapest Yearly Rate Third CheapestYearly Rate 
Alaska Umialik $1,164 Allstate $1,284 State Farm $1,764
Alabama ALFA $1,272 Nationwide $2,433 The Cincinnati $2,673
Arkansas Columbia Insurance $2,980 Southern Farm Bureau $3,184 Shelter $4,092
Arizona Ameriprise $4,220 Progressive $4,394 Allied $4,490
California GEICO $2,564 Unitrin $3,329 Grange $4,086
Colorado Colorado Farm Bureau $2,840 Grange Insurance Association $3,176 American Family $3,820
Connecticut Unitrin $5,208 Middlesex $6,375 GEICO $8,325
Delaware GEICO $4,590 Grange $5,748 Nationwide $5,994
Florida Electric $4,131 21st Century  $5,345 Mercury $6,221
Georgia Country $1,092 State Farm $1,495 Encompass $5,947
Iowa Pekin Insurance  $927 Progressive $1,326 Farm Bureau $1,539
Idaho Grange Insurance Association  $2,634 GEICO $2,790 Mutual Enumclaw $2,952
Illinois Erie $3,158 The Cincinnati $3,210 Hastings $3,504
Indiana Erie $2,400 The Cincinnati $2,745 GEICO $2,916
Kansas GEICO $3,204 Farm Bureau $3,612 Allied $3,720
Kentucky The Cincinnati $3,234 Kentucky Farm Bureau $3,744 Motorists Mutual $4,749
Louisiana Southern Farm Bureau $2,778 State Farm $6,672 Allstate $10,106
Massachusetts Plymouth Rock $2,247 GEICO $2,811 Commerce Insurance $3,267
Maryland Erie $3,039 Penn National $4,320 State Farm $5,079
Maine Concord $2,460 Countryway $2,856 GEICO $3,384
Michigan Chubb $3,299 Hastings $3,345 Miller $3,668
Minnesota Farm Bureau Mutual $3,225 Western National $4,158 Allied $4,308
Mississippi ALFA $1,553 Unitrin $2,472 Mississippi Farm Bureau $2,599
Montana Progressive $2,680 State Farm $3,244 Farmers $3,980
North Carolina Nationwide $1,452 GEICO $1,884 Titan $2,424
North Dakota Allied $3,180 North Star $4,056 State Farm $4,488
Nebraska American Family $3,282 GEICO $4,032 State Farm $4,110
New Hampshire Commerce Insurance $1,056 Nationwide $2,124 Concord $2,664
New Jersey Penn National $5,390 State Farm $5,661 Allstate $10,479
New Mexico GEICO $3,144 Allied $4,536 State Farm $4,746
Nevada Allied $2,352 Oregon Mutual $3,462 GEICO $3,630
New York Erie $1,967 GEICO $3,713 Central Insurance  $4,885
Ohio Erie $812 Grange Insurance $1,320 Nationwide $1,488
Oklahoma Oklahoma Farm Bureau  $3,396 Shelter $4,152 State Farm $4,752
Oregon Grange Insurance Association $4,300 State Farm $4,728 GEICO $5,072
Pennsylvania Nationwide $1,944 Erie $3,304 Chubb $3,958
Rhode Island State Farm $4,020 Grange Insurance $4,188 Quincy Mutual $5,784
South Carolina Southern Farm Bureau $2,666 Nationwide $5,686 GEICO $7,572
South Dakota Unitrin $2,760 Farmers $2,784 Western National $3,216
Tennessee Erie $1,160 Utica National $2,456 The Cincinnati $2,907
Texas Texas Farm Bureau $2,873 State Farm $4,054 GEICO $6,893
Utah State Farm $2,414 GEICO $2,645 Farm Bureau $4,404
Virginia Chubb $1,332 Nationwide $1,752 ALFA $1,986
Vermont GEICO $2,394 Concord $2,604 Grange $2,952
Washington Capital $2,882 Grange $3,110 PEMCO $3,823
West Virginia Pekin Insurance $1,076 Western National $3,026 GEICO $3,192
Wisconsin Erie $3,348 State Farm $4,732 GEICO $5,308
Wyoming Progressive $2,160 State Farm $3,888 Grange Insurance Association $3,888

The Cost of Joining Your Parents' Car Insurance Policy

If the above prices are too expensive for you to afford on your own, a cheaper alternative will be to see if you can be added to your parents' policy. The person most affected in this case is your parent, who is taking on a significant risk by adding a new, teen driver to their policy. As a result, insurance companies will increase their yearly payments. Nonetheless, the increase is still far less than the yearly price of getting insurance on your own, as you can see below. 

Graph shows differences between a teenager getting car insurance through a parent or by themself

On average, adding a 17 year old male driver to an existing policy will add about $2,600 more per year. Compared to the national average of getting coverage yourself, a seventeen year old would save about $5,100 if you would come to an agreement with your parent in which you would pay for your portion of the car insurance. Whether they'll want to add you to their policy is another question.

If your parents happen to insure their car with GEICO, you'll get one extra perk. GEICO is unique, in that if you opt to join your parents' policy, you can eventually leave to start your own, and receive a better rate due to your family being apart of GEICO. You can read more about GEICO's Family Pricing here.

More Ways to Make Your Car Insurance More Affordable

There are a several ways as a young driver to save money on your premium. The first is by qualifying for discounts. Most major insurers will give you a discount for being a good student or taking a driver's education course for example. If you go on your parent's policy as well, most large insurance companies will knock down their premium if you are away at school, and have limited access to the vehicle.

Another significant way to reduce costs is by selecting your coverage carefully. The values above for our sample 17 year old driver are for getting full coverage, as in, all components of car insurance. Full coverage insurance is significantly more expensive than the minimum required by states. The reason being when you opt for full coverage, you are also buying collision and comprehensive coverage. The cost for just your collision insurance can make up half or almost half of your entire premium. The downside to not having collision coverage however, is that your insurance company will not pay to fix your vehicle if you are the one to crash it. You can read more about collision and comprehensive insurance here. It is for this reason we would recommend you only opt for basic coverage if your car is not worth much money--less than a few thousand dollars. If you were to crash a valuable car, then the cost of fixing it will end up being more expensive than what you would have paid for full coverage. 

How Much is Car Insurance if You Are a New, Adult Driver?

This scenario is actually quite common, where a person decides to start driving well into their adulthood. While the risk-taking behavior of your teens may be gone, you are still an inexperienced driver. This makes you a riskier driver in the eyes of insurance companies. As an inexperienced adult driver, you should expect prices to be higher than what peers who have been driving for many years are paying. We looked at one GEICO quote from New York and found that an experienced adult of 30 years of age would pay $1,368 per year. In contrast, a teenager would pay nearly $10,000 per year, and an inexperienced adult of 30 years of age $4,296 per year. Overall, we expect prices for this group of driver to be less than a teenager, but significantly more than for an experienced adult. 

Profile of DriverYearly Average Rate (NY)
30 year old Adult with 14 Years Driving Experience $1,368
30 year old Adult with Less than One Year Driving Experience $4,296
Teenager With No Driving Experience $10,000

How Did We Get Our Info? 

For the cheapest insurers, we acquired quotes from over 103 companies in 200 cities across the U.S. for a sample, 17 year old male driver who drives a 2011 Toyota Camry. We specified that he previously did not have insurance, and was opting for full coverage (see limits below). We restricted the top 15 cheapest companies to ones that were found in at least 25 cities nationwide. For adding onto a parent's policy, we assumed the parent was a 45 year old male, married, with no previous accidents or incidents in their driving record.

Coverage TypeStudy Limits 
Bodily Liability  $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident
Property Damage  $50,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident 
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property  $50,000 per accident 
Comprehensive & Collision $500 Deductible 

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