Car insurance for 18-year-olds costs an average of $3,186 per year if you buy the minimum amount of coverage your state requires, according to QuoteWizard research. That’s $2,142 per year more than the national average for drivers of all ages.
Why is car insurance so expensive for 18-year-old drivers? The main reason is insurers often consider 18-year-olds and other teens to be high-risk drivers due to their lack of experience on the road.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get cheap car insurance as an 18-year-old male or female. You can, but you may need to look a little harder for it than you would if you were older and had more years behind the wheel.
Where you buy your policy often has a big impact on how much you pay for it. Our data shows that if you buy minimum-coverage car insurance from State Farm as an 18-year-old driver, for instance, you’ll pay $2,203 per year, on average. That’s nearly $1,000 less than the average rate for all 18-year-olds.
In this article:
How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old?
The average cost of car insurance for an 18-year-old is $266 per month, based on our data.
This average rate is for the minimum amount of coverage your state requires. If you buy full-coverage car insurance instead, you’ll pay an average of $414 per month for it.
Also, this figure includes both male and female drivers. You will likely pay more than the average cost of $266 per month for state-minimum auto insurance if you are an 18-year-old male, and you will likely pay less than that amount if you are an 18-year-old female. This is because young men usually pay more for car insurance than young women.
What are the cheapest car insurance companies for 18-year-olds?
State Farm is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-old drivers, with an average rate of $184 per month.
If you’re 18 years old and live in one of the handful of states Mercury and Erie serve, they may be the best car insurance companies for you. Mercury’s average monthly rate for minimum-coverage car insurance is $135, while Erie’s average monthly rate for the same type of policy is $137.
USAA is likely the best car insurance company for you if you’re 18 years old and either a member of the military or closely related to someone who is. USAA offered our sample 18-year-old driver minimum-coverage car insurance for $120 per month.
GEICO and Allstate offer cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds as well, according to our research. GEICO offered our sample driver a state-minimum policy for an average rate of $256 per month, while Allstate’s average monthly rate was $263.
Get quotes from top insurance companies for 18-year-old drivers
Cheapest full-coverage rates for 18-year-old drivers
Farm Bureau offers the cheapest rates to 18-year-olds who want to buy a full-coverage policy. It offered our sample 18-year-old driver full-coverage auto insurance for $156 per month, on average.
Erie may be another good option for you as an 18-year-old driver if you live in one of the 12 states (or Washington, D.C.) it services. Its average monthly rate, based on our data is $267.
How much does it cost to add an 18-year-old to a car insurance policy?
It costs $2,250 per year to add an 18-year-old driver to a parent’s car insurance policy, on average, according to our survey data.
That may sound like a lot, but it’s far cheaper than if the 18-year-old and parent bought separate car insurance policies. Our research found that when an 18-year-old and their 50-year-old parent bought separate car insurance policies, they paid a total of $6,277 per year, on average. When that same 18-year-old and 50-year-old parent bought a car insurance policy that covered them both, though, they paid $3,577 per year. That’s a savings of $2,700 per year.
Given that, if you’re 18 years old and you have a parent who can — and is willing to — add you as a driver to their car insurance policy, take them up on the offer. It is the easiest and best way to save money on car insurance as an 18-year-old.
How can I get cheap car insurance at age 18?
Although car insurance is expensive for 18-year-olds, there are things you can do to lower your rates and save money on coverage, such as:
- Drive an older or cheap vehicle and get minimum-coverage car insurance for it.
- Stay on your parents’ car insurance policy or get added to it.
- Shop around and compare quotes from several insurance companies.
Discounts can help you get cheap car insurance as an 18-year-old, too. Here are some popular insurance discounts available to teen drivers:
- Good student discount. If you're a student at a university, college or high school and you have decent grades, you may be eligible for savings. You'll need to provide proof of good grades, though — usually a B average or better.
- Defensive driving discount. Graduating from an accredited defensive driving course can save you money, too. Why? It proves to insurers that you care about safety on the road.
- Resident student discount. Some insurance companies offer discounts to students who attend school more than 100 miles from home.
Do car insurance rates go down at age 18?
If you are 18 years old and you have been driving for a couple of years, your car insurance rates may start to go down. You can expect a more noticeable drop in car insurance rates at age 20, though, and an even bigger one at age 25.
Most drivers see their car insurance rates steadily decrease from age 16 to 25 for every year they keep their records clean.
The prices shown in this analysis reflect the average between minimum- and full-coverage car insurance rates, as shown in quotes obtained from Quadrant Information Services for the nine largest states in the U.S., by population.
The sample quotes used for this review are based on 18-year-old and 50-year-old drivers who have clean driving records and good credit. They own 2012 Honda Accord LXs and drive them 13,500 miles per year.
Unless otherwise noted, rates for teen drivers reflect the average of prices available to all teens, male and female, aged 16 to 19 years old, for minimum- and full-coverage policies.
Minimum-coverage policies meet each state’s minimum requirements for liability insurance, uninsured-motorist coverage in Illinois and New York, and personal injury protection (PIP) in New York.
Full coverage policies includes minimum levels of uninsured-motorist coverage and/or PIP, where required, plus the following coverages, limits and deductibles:
- Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $100,000
- Collision: $500 deductible
- Comprehensive: $500 deductible
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