While drivers with a learner's permit can buy car insurance, you usually cannot register a car without a driver's license. Additionally, many auto insurance providers only sell policies to drivers with a learner's permit if the policyholder gets their driver's license within a set time frame after the purchase of auto insurance.

In this article:

Do you need car insurance if you have a learner's permit?

If you're driving, you need some form of auto insurance. However, you don't need to have your own policy if you're driving with a learner's permit. The car that the permit driver is using needs to be insured, with the car insurance policy covering the permit driver as well. After you move from a learner's permit to a driver's license, you will probably need to get your own car insurance policy.

Another common way to acquire car insurance coverage while driving with a learner's permit is to have a parent or a spouse add you to their policy as an included or covered driver.

How do I get car insurance with a permit?

To get car insurance coverage with a learner's permit, you have to either be added to another driver's auto insurance policy or buy your own policy.

New drivers can often pay much higher rates than other drivers due to their inexperience behind the wheel. This is why it's important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. This gives you the best chance of finding the best coverage at your best price.

When looking for a car insurance policy while you have a learner's permit, there are some important points to remember:

  • If you're an adult driver with a learner's permit, you will probably pay above-average rates for car insurance compared to other drivers your age. Once you've established yourself as a safe driver, you should see your rates become more in line with the average cost for your age.
  • Permit drivers under the age of 20 pay the most for car insurance. This is because teen drivers pay the highest rates for car insurance of any age due to their high level of inexperience behind the wheel.
  • Some auto insurance providers require policyholders with a learner's permit to acquire their driver's license shortly after they purchase car insurance. A common time frame is within 30 to 45 days.
  • Some car insurance companies require permit drivers under 18 years of age to have a parent or legal guardian either sign their policy for them, or at least co-sign.

How to add a driver with a learner’s permit to a car insurance policy

The good news is that it's quite simple to add a driver with a learner's permit to an existing car insurance policy.

The policyholder just needs to contact their auto insurance provider and request to add a new driver to the policy. There are many car insurance companies that automatically cover provisional drivers, so check with your insurer first.

Keep in mind that when you add a teen driver on a learner's permit to your car insurance, it will raise your policy rates. However, it will still be much cheaper than if the teen had their own policy.

Can you buy and register a car with a permit?

Yes and no. You can purchase a car with just a permit, but many states require you to have a driver's license in order to register a car in your name. So, yes, you can purchase a car with just a permit, but you may not be able to drive the car legally.

How much does it cost to insure a driver with a learner's permit?

Our most recent research shows that a 16-year-old driver will pay an average of $428 a month for their own car insurance policy. However, adding that same teen to a parent's car insurance only adds an additional $235 a month. As the teen gets older and more experienced behind the wheel, either of these premiums should decrease.

How much drivers can expect to pay for auto insurance with a learner's permit depends on different factors including the driver’s age, type of car, and whether or not the driver is getting their own policy. or being added to their parents or guardian’s policy.

Ways for drivers with a learner’s permit to lower their insurance costs

Drivers with a learner’s permit can take advantage of auto insurance companies that offer discounts.

Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who get good grades or volunteer in the community. These can be helpful to young drivers or drivers with a permit to take advantage of because teen drivers typically pay more for insurance than adult drivers.

Discounts that may be available to drivers with a learner’s permit
Discount Companies offering the discount
Good student American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Young volunteer American Family
Telematics device discounts Nationwide, Allstate, USAA, American Family, Travelers, State Farm, GEICO, Farmers, Progressive
Accident-free American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Away at school American Family, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, State Farm

The bottom line

If you're looking to get the best, cheapest car insurance with a learner's permit, your best bet is to get a parent, guardian or spouse to add you on their auto insurance policy. If that isn't an option, make sure to compare quotes from different insurers in order to get the lowest rate.


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