Age is one of the primary factors that insurance companies consider when coming up with a car insurance quote. To an auto insurance company, a driver’s age is a general measure of driving experience and accident risk. Based on insurers’ statistics and past experience insuring other drivers, the more years behind the wheel that a driver has, the less likely he or she is to get into an accident and submit a claim for reimbursement. This typically means that he or she will cost less to insure, which means a cheaper quote.
Average Car Insurance by Age
We took a look at quotes across more than twenty companies, and here are the average costs of car insurance by age:
Generally speaking, novice drivers tend to get expensive quotes, while experienced drivers will see more moderate quotes. That’s because statistics show that teenagers and beginner drivers are more likely to get into car crashes and accidents than other age groups. 15 to 20 year olds make up approximately 6% of licensed drivers, but nearly 11% of fatal crashes – they've yet to solidify the skills, reflexes, and judgment necessary to best react to road conditions. This makes them riskier to insure than a mature driver. Mature drivers in their mid-thirties to forties have greater driving skills and road maturity, which typically means lower accident rates. Once drivers enter their 60s, however, the trend begins to reverse as aging and slower reflexes begin to impact driving.
Quotes for teenagers are 3.5x as expensive than quotes for a driver in their mid-thirties, and cost nearly 4x the rate for an experienced driver in their mid-fifties. Once teenagers gain more experience under their belt and hit 25, their car insurance costs drop about 60%. Costs continue to generally decline with each birthday, with drivers in their 50s seeing the best rates. Around 60, however, auto insurance costs reverse their trend and begin to increase slightly, although rates comparable to what drivers in their 40s see.
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Ways to Lower Costs: Cheap Car Insurance Companies
Even though beginner drivers and senior drivers tend to pay more, there are ways to reduce auto insurance costs for these two age groups in addition to middle-aged drivers.
We found, for example, that the cheapest auto insurance companies were generally USAA, GEICO, and State Farm. On average, teenage drivers can pay annual rates of about $3,681 with these companies, which is about half the cost of the average quotes for that age group. The average cost for our 65 and 70 year old drivers is $2,044, but the average at these three companies is $1,138 a year - that's a 44% reduction. $1,939 is the mean annual cost across drivers aged 30 - 60, but going with the three companies would result in a lower cost of $1,125 (savings of 42%). Bear in mind that there may be some regional variations depending on a driver’s specific circumstances and the insurers’ claims experience in the location. Also note that USAA only insures members of the armed forces and their families.
Additionally, there are steps drivers can take to get discounts on their auto insurance. Maintaining good grades (for young drivers still in school), and taking defensive driving or other driver re-education courses can save drivers up to 10% on their car insurance costs.