What Are the Cheapest Cars to Insure for a Teenager?

Last Updated on May 5, 2022

Teenagers pay the highest auto insurance premiums in the United States. However, some cars have cheaper car insurance than others.

By buying the right type of car, you can save thousands per year on car insurance premiums.

Keep reading to discover the cheapest cars for teenagers to insure.

Top 15 Cheapest Cars to Insure for Teenage Drivers

Some cars are cheaper to insure than others. Here are the cheapest cars for teenage drivers to insure today, along with their estimated annual premiums:

  1. Mazda MX-5 Miata: $3,004
  2. Subaru Outback: $3,019
  3. Volkswagen Golf GTI: $3,042
  4. Mini Countryman: $3,111
  5. Honda Accord: $3,112
  6. Mazda 3: $3,129
  7. Honda Odyssey: $3,132
  8. Toyota Sienna: $3,159
  9. Honda Civic: $3,162
  10. Toyota Prius: $3,179
  11. Ford Fusion: $3,201
  12. Subaru Forester: $3,210
  13. Nissan Rogue: $3,213
  14. Volkswagen Routan: $3,219
  15. Smart Fortwo: $3,335

Factors that Impact the Price of Car Insurance for Teenagers

Certain factors are outside your control – like your age. Other factors, however, can be controlled – like your coverage limits and available discounts.

Age: Insurers consider age when calculating insurance premiums. Younger drivers tend to pay more than older drivers. Very old drivers (drivers age 80 and older) pay higher rates than younger drivers. Statistically, younger drivers cause more accidents – and more serious accidents – than drivers in any other age group.

Years of Driving Experience: Did you get your driver’s license the day you turned 16? The more driving experience you have, the lower your car insurance premiums may be. Some 19-year-old drivers have three full years of driving experience, for example, making them less risky to insure than a 19-year-old who just received a license.

State Insurance Laws: Some states have strict insurance laws, high insurance coverage requirements, and other regulations that increase costs for insurers. That’s why teen drivers in some states play three times as much for car insurance as teen drivers in other states. Teen drivers in Florida and Michigan, for example, pay over $3,000 per year for car insurance, while teen drivers in Idaho and Maine may pay less than $1,500 per year.

Coverage Options: Do you want full coverage car insurance that protects your entire vehicle? Or do you want minimum liability insurance as required by state law? Full coverage car insurance can double your premiums, and it may be unnecessary for older vehicles. However, minimum liability insurance can leave you dangerously under-protected.

Insured With Yourself or With Parents: Many teen drivers save money by getting car insurance through their parents. If you still live at home, then you can be listed as a named insured on your parents’ policy. Your parents may pay hundreds of dollars more per year for car insurance, but it’s still cheaper than buying your own policy.

Vehicle Make, Model, and Value: It costs more to insure a big SUV than a small car. A big SUV causes more damage in an accident than a small car. Big SUVs also tend to cost more than small cars. Insurers consider the make, model, and value of your vehicle when calculating insurance premiums for teenagers.

ZIP Code: Does your ZIP code have high rates of accidents? Do you live in a densely-populated area or a region with high crime? Insurers consider your ZIP code when calculating car insurance rates and some ZIP codes have higher insurance premiums than others.

Average Car Insurance Prices for Teen Drivers

Whether you’re 16, 17, 18, or 19, you’ll pay more for car insurance than older drivers.

However, the older you get, and the more driving experience you get, the less you’ll pay for car insurance. By continuing to maintain a clean record, you can eventually pay close-to-average prices for car insurance – especially as you reach your early to mid-20s.

Here are the average car insurance premiums for teen drivers across the United States.

Minimum Liability Insurance

Most states require bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, collectively known as liability insurance. This insurance protects other people and property from damage you cause while driving, but it does not include protection for your own vehicle.

If you want to save money or drive an older, less-valuable car, then minimum liability insurance is a great way to save money as a teen driver.

The average minimum coverage car insurance rates for teen drivers include:

  • 16-Year Old Drivers: $3,033
  • 17-Year Old Drivers: $2,834
  • 18-Year Old Drivers: $2,749
  • 19-Year Old Drivers: $2,341

Full Coverage Car Insurance

Full coverage car insurance includes liability insurance with collision coverage (to protect your own vehicle during an accident) and comprehensive coverage (to protect you from non-accident damages).

Because full coverage car insurance fully protects your vehicle, it costs much more than liability insurance.

If you, like many teen drivers, drive an old vehicle, then full coverage car insurance may be unnecessary.

Insurance only covers damage up to the value of your vehicle, after which it’s declared a total loss. If your vehicle is only worth a few thousand dollars, then even a minor accident could cause it to be “totaled.” That’s why many teen drivers drop full coverage car insurance and save money with a minimum liability insurance plan.

The average full coverage car insurance rates for teen drivers include:

  • 16-Year Old Drivers: $6,079
  • 17-Year Old Drivers: $5,993
  • 18-Year Old Drivers: $5,441
  • 19-Year Old Drivers: $5,3398

How to Pick the Cheapest Car to Insure

Some cars are cheaper to insure than others. Picking the right car could save you thousands.

Here are the best tips for picking the cheapest car to insure as a teenage driver.

Car Value: Obviously, car value affects the price of car insurance. The more valuable your vehicle is, the more you’ll pay for full coverage car insurance. A teenager who drives a 2021 Cadillac Escalade, for example, will pay more for car insurance than one driving a 2009 Mazda 3.

Safety Rating: Some vehicles perform better in collisions than others. Insurers look at all available traffic data to calculate risk. If your vehicle has a bad safety rating, then it’s much riskier to insure. Consider checking a vehicle’s safety rating before you buy to save money on car insurance. The better a car performs in a crash, the less you’ll pay for car insurance.

Crash and Rollover Rating: Some cars perform better in crashes and rollovers than others. Some have strong rollover cages, for example, that protect the driver and passengers in an accident. The less risk of injury there is for the driver and passengers, the less you’ll pay for car insurance.

Added Safety and Security Features: Some cars have extra safety and security features built-in. All new cars, for example, are required to have backup cameras. Other cars have passenger airbags, side airbags, passive or active security systems, and other components that lower risk. The more safety and security features your car has, the cheaper it tends to be to insure.

Cost of Replacement Parts: Popular, domestic vehicles are cheaper to insure because they’re cheaper to repair. If you drive an exotic, foreign car, then it’s difficult for repair shops to find parts. That means costlier repairs and higher insurance premiums. On our list of the cheapest cars to insure for a teenager above, there are plenty of standard domestic vehicles with cheap repair costs – and for good reason.

Insurers consider all of these factors when calculating rates.

Final Word on the Cheapest Cars for Teen Drivers

The cheapest cars to insure for a teenager are domestic cars with strong safety ratings that are cheap to repair.

As a teenager, you’ll always pay more for car insurance than older, more experienced drivers – all else being equal. However, there are ways to reduce premiums – like taking advantage of discounts and buying the right car.

Check our list of the cheapest cars to insure for a teenager above to find your next vehicle.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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