What Is the Optimal Age for Low Auto Insurance Rates?

Last Updated on August 17, 2020

Auto insurance prices vary with age. Generally speaking, auto insurance prices drop as you get older. Teenage drivers are high-risk drivers, while older drivers have more experience.

However, drivers will eventually reach an age when insurance rates start to rise. As drivers move into their elderly years, they move into a higher risk group. Their reflexes aren’t as good. They aren’t as mobile. Some have developed bad driving habits. Others lose their eyesight or hearing.

What’s the optimal age for insurance rates? How old do you have to be to get the best prices on car insurance? At what age do insurance rates start to rise? Today, we’re answering all of these questions.

Drivers Between Ages 30 and 65 Pay the Cheapest Car Insurance Rates

What Is the Optimal Age for Low Auto Insurance RatesGenerally speaking, drivers between ages 30 and 65 pay the cheapest car insurance rates. These drivers have enough experience to drive safely. They also tend to be physically competent. In the eyes of car insurance companies, drivers between ages 30 and 65 are low-risk drivers. They’re significantly less likely to make a claim than young drivers in their teens or 20s. They also tend to be safer than drivers in their late 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.

The price you pay for car insurance at age 30 is approximately the same as the price you pay for car insurance at 55.

Our friends at ValuePenguin decided to compare insurance quotes by age to determine which age group pays the least for car insurance. Here’s what they found:

Rates By Age Group

  • Drivers in their teens, as you might expect, pay the highest rates for car insurance; the average 16-year-old pays $6,777 per year for car insurance, dropping to $4,163 per year by the time you’re 19
  • Insurance rates continue to drop throughout your 20s; a 21-year-old driver pays about $3,057 per year for car insurance, on average, and the average 22-year old pays $2,500. By the time you hit 25, however, rates drop to $2,184 per year, on average
  • Once you hit 30, your insurance is fairly close to the cheapest rates you can possibly pay; a 30-year-old driver pays $1,922 per year for car insurance on average
  • Rates hardly change throughout your 30s; between 30 and 35, your insurance rates will drop just $15, on average, to a rate of $1,907
  • Rates continue remaining fairly stable in your 40s; a 40-year-old driver pays $1,863 for car insurance, on average, while a 45-year-old driver pays $1,816
  • The next major drop is when you’re 55: a 55-year-old driver pays $1,690 per year for car insurance, on average, which is the lowest average annual insurance price in the study
  • By the time drivers hit 65, their rates have risen to $1,737 per year, on average, and by 75, drivers are paying $2,037
  • At 85 and older, drivers are paying $2,416 per year on average, with rates continuing to rise throughout your 90s

55 is the Optimal Age for Cheap Car Insurance

When you crunch all of the numbers above, you can reasonably conclude that 55 years old is the optimal age for drivers. At age 55, drivers make fewer claims, on average, than any other age group. Insurance companies charge 55-year old drivers less for car insurance than any other age group. In some cases, 55-year old drivers are paying one third or one-quarter of what a teenage driver is paying.

Obviously, the specific age varies between insurance companies. Generally speaking, however, a driver between ages 52 and 59 will pay the lowest rates for car insurance, all other things being equal.

55-Year-Old Men Pay Less than 55-Year-Old Women

Gender also affects the price you pay for car insurance. The same study linked above found that male drivers pay $1,679 per year when they’re 55, for example, while females in the same age group pay $1,702.

This is different from younger drivers. Younger females are cheaper to insure than younger males, but this trend flips as drivers age.

There’s No Perfect Age, So Compare as Many Quotes as Possible

Different insurance companies calculate insurance prices in different ways. That means each insurance company has its own “optimal age”.

A 55-year-old driver might be the safest driver at GEICO, for example, while a 59-year-old is the ideal driver at Progressive.

Compare as many quotes as possible to ensure you’re paying the best rates for car insurance at any age group.

Conclusion – Best Age for Cheap Auto Insurance Rates

Drivers in their mid-50s pay the lowest rates for car insurance because they have the lowest claim rates. Drivers in their mid-50s drive more safely than any other age group. They get in fewer accidents. They make fewer claims. That’s why, generally speaking, a 55-year old driver will pay less for car insurance than anyone else in the United States.

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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