Best Car Insurance for Teens

Teen car insurance is expensive, but you could save money on coverage if you get it from the right company.

teenager learning to drive

If you're a teen driver looking to buy cheap car insurance for yourself, start by getting quotes from Erie, GEICO and Liberty Mutual.

According to QuoteWizard research, you might be able to get teen car insurance from these companies for less than $200 per month. That's a lot cheaper than the $438 per month your average teen driver pays for an individual policy.

What if you're a parent looking to add a teen driver to your policy? Get quotes from Progressive, GEICO and Erie.

Our data shows these companies provide the best car insurance for teens in this situation. In fact, the quotes we got from GEICO and Progressive here were less than $100 per month. Although that's more than twice what our sample parent drivers would pay on their own, it's a fourth of what the average parent pays — about $450 per month — after adding a young driver to their policy.

Keep reading to learn more about how much these and other companies charge for teen car insurance. You'll also learn about the:

Cheapest car insurance for teen drivers

Our research found that Erie offers the cheapest car insurance for teens who buy their own policies, at $121 per month. And Progressive offers the cheapest car insurance for parents who add a teen driver to their policies, at just $84 per month.

monthly car insurance rates for teen drivers

As the graph above should make clear, though, Erie isn't the only option for young drivers looking for the best teen car insurance rates. GEICO, Liberty Mutual and Progressive quoted our sample teen driver rates below $200 per month, while State Farm's quote was just $1 over that amount.

Parents looking to add a teen driver to their policies have options beyond Progressive, too. The rate GEICO quoted us — $90 per month — was only $6 more than the rate quote we got from Progressive. Erie, Allstate and Liberty Mutual also offered relatively cheap teen car insurance to our sample driver.

monthly car insurance rates for parents adding teen driver

Keep in mind that the rates highlighted here are for average teen and parent drivers in Wisconsin. Where you live plays a role in what you pay for car insurance, as does the coverage you buy, the vehicle you drive and several other factors, so your rates may vary.

Where and how you buy coverage determines the cost of car insurance for teens, as well. For example, parents adding a teen driver to their policy usually pay less than teens pay for their own policies. Some companies bucked this trend in our survey, though, like Esurance and State Farm. With State Farm, our sample teen driver's rate quote was $201 a month. Our sample parents, on the other hand, got a quote of $348 to add a teen driver to their policy. That's $267 more than the quote they got for themselves, and $66 more than their teen would pay for his own policy.

Monthly car insurance rates for teen drivers and their parents
Company Teen driver Parents with no teen driver Parents plus teen driver Additional cost for teen driver
Allstate $377 $85 $125 $40
American Family $313 $101 $281 $180
Erie $121 $69 $106 $37
Esurance $279 $142 $515 $373
GEICO $142 $43 $90 $47
Liberty Mutual $191 $52 $129 $77
Nationwide $259 $80 $160 $80
Progressive $199 $36 $84 $48
State Farm $201 $81 $348 $267

The rates above also don't reflect any of the discounts available to teen drivers — or to the parents of teen drivers. These discounts can save you a lot of money. A case in point: when we added a "Smart Student" discount to the rate quote our sample teen driver got from Allstate, it dropped from $377 a month to $303 a month. That's a difference of $74 a month or $888 a year.

The impact of this discount won't always be so dramatic, however. Adding a good student discount to the quote we got from GEICO only dropped our teen driver's rate from $142 a month to $130 a month.

That's just one of the discounts teen drivers or their parents might qualify for when buying car insurance, too. Some others provide cheaper rates to safe drivers, those who complete driver's education or defensive driving courses, students away at school and more.

Best car insurance for teen drivers

Here are the best car insurance companies for teens in a number of areas, based on our research.

Erie: best value for teens

If you're a teen driver and you don't think you will qualify for a car insurance discount, or if you don't care whether you qualify for a discount, get your coverage from Erie. Erie's rates for teens who buy their own policies were the cheapest of the nine insurers we surveyed, at $121 per month or $1,452 per year.

That said, you may well qualify for one or more discounts as a teen driver when using Erie. And if you do, you'll get even cheaper car insurance from this Pennsylvania-based provider.

Some of the discounts Erie offers to teen drivers include:

  • The Driving Training Discount, which is for unmarried drivers who are under the age of 21 and who have completed an accredited driver training course.
  • The Youthful Driver Discount, for unmarried, under-21 drivers who live with their parents.
  • The Youthful Longevity Discount, for unmarried young drivers who have been covered by an Erie auto insurance policy for consecutive years.

Progressive: best value for parents of teen drivers

If you're a parent looking to add a teen driver to your car insurance policy, make sure Progressive is among the first companies you approach for a quote. Progressive offered our sample driver the lowest rates of the nine providers we surveyed, at $84 per month or $1,008 per year.

Progressive's quoted rate went even lower — from $84 per month to $76 — when we added a good student discount to it.

Progressive offers other teen car insurance discounts to parents, too, like ones for students who live away from home and for policyholders who have multiple vehicles.

GEICO: runner-up for cheapest rates

Progressive and Erie might have offered our sample parent and teen drivers the lowest rates of the many insurance companies we surveyed, but GEICO's quoted rates were right behind them.

The quote GEICO sent our teen driver was $142 a month — just $21 more than Erie's quote. And the rate GEICO sent our sample parents (looking to add a teen driver to their policy) was $90 a month, or $6 more than Progressive's rate.

If you or your child qualify for one or more of the discounts GEICO offers to young drivers and their parents, you might pay even less than those amounts. In particular, GEICO offers good student, good driver, driver's education and defensive driving discounts. It also offers discounts to fraternity, sorority and honor society members.

State Farm: best for good students

Most of the insurance companies we researched offer good student discounts. State Farm's is the best of the bunch. Not only can parents save up to 25% on their car insurance policies if their young driver gets good grades, but they may continue to benefit from those savings until their child turns 25.

Combine that with the savings you could see from State Farm's other teen-focused discounts, such as for students away at school and those who complete a driver training course, and you might pay a lot less than the quote of $348 per month the insurer sent our sample parents.

Esurance: best for safe teen drivers

Esurance offers a number of money-saving discounts to teens who are safe drivers. One example: If you sign up for the company's DriveSense program, which keeps tabs on your driving habits, you could save 8% just for enrolling.

Also, you could save as much as 40% if you qualify for Esurance's good driver discount. To do that, you must hold a valid driver's license for at least three years and have no more than one point on your record.

Nationwide: best usage-based program for teen drivers

Nationwide was in the middle of the pack in terms of the rates it sent to our sample drivers, but you could make up for some of it by participating in SmartRide. You'll earn a 10% discount on your policy when you sign up for this usage-based insurance program and up to a 40% discount if you drive safely afterward.

If you'd like to get even cheaper teen car insurance from Nationwide, see if you're eligible for any of the company's other discounts. Full-time students who maintain a B average can earn a discount, as can young drivers who take an approved defensive driving course.

Methodology

The sample teen driver we used for our survey is an 18-year-old boy who lives in Wisconsin. He has no tickets or accidents on his driving record. He drives a 2012 Honda Accord that his 45-year-old parents own. His car insurance policy has 100/300/50 coverage limits, with 50/100 uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and a $1,000 deductible.

The sample parents we used for our survey are 45-year-olds who live in Wisconsin. They have no tickets or accidents on their driving records. The teen driver they added to their car insurance policy is an 18-year-old son who also has a clean driving record. He drives a 2012 Honda Accord that his parents own. The coverage limits on their policy are 100/300/50, with 50/100 uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and a $1,000 deductible.

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