How Much Are Average Car Insurance Rates for an 18-Year-Old?

Last Updated on June 3, 2020

Car insurance is typically much more expensive for teen drivers than it is for adults. Since teen drivers are relatively inexperienced, car insurance companies charge more for their policies to offset the higher risk of filing a claim. Whether you’re an 18-year-old looking for a policy or the parent of a teen driver, it’s important to be aware of the average insurance rates before you start shopping for coverage. Here are the average car insurance rates for 18-year-olds, as well as tips for finding the right policy for you.

Average Car Insurance Rates for 18-Year-Olds

According to surveys, the average cost for an 18-year-old who gets a full coverage car insurance policy on their own is $5,115 per year. However, if they stay on their parents’ policy, the overall policy cost should only increase about $1,500, depending on where you live. Of course, the costs will vary depending on how much coverage you purchase as well.

As stated above, the average rates for an 18-year-old who gets a full coverage car insurance policy on their own is $5,115 per year. Here’s how that breaks down by state:

StateAverage Annual Premiums
North Carolina$3,093
North Dakota$5,521
New Hampshire$3,176
New Jersey$5,523
New Mexico$5,630
New York$4,825
Rhode Island$6,837
South Carolina$4,598
South Dakota$5,688
Washington, D.C.$7,077
West Virginia$5,274

Factors That Affect Your Insurance Rates

Average Car Insurance Rates for an 18-Year-OldMany factors affect your car insurance quote other than your age. Car insurance companies look at a wide variety of factors to determine your overall likelihood of filing a claim. The more likely you are to file a claim, the higher your premiums will be to compensate for the financial risk that the company is taking. Here are some of the factors that will affect the cost of your car insurance as a teen.

  • Staying on your parents’ policy vs. getting your own policy. If you get your own policy as a teenager, your premium costs will likely be hundreds or even thousands of dollars higher per year than if you add your car to your parents’ policy. If you have the option to stay on your parents’ policy, this is an ideal choice.
  • Location. Car insurance is more expensive in areas that have more traffic and a higher rate of accidents. If you live in a big city, you can expect to pay more than you would in a rural area.
  • Gender. Regardless of age, men usually have higher insurance premiums than women. This is because men are statistically more likely to get in an accident and get tickets. Men statistically tend to drive more than women as well, which increases the likelihood of getting in an accident.
  • Type of vehicle. A newer, more expensive vehicle is going to cost more to insure because they’re typically more costly to repair should you get into an accident. As a younger driver, you can save money by purchasing a car that’s a few years old instead of a brand new car.
  • Your driving record. It’s essential for teenage drivers to maintain a clean driving record. A single accident or speeding ticket can be devastating to the pocketbook of a teenage driver. An accident can increase insurance rates by up to 50%. A single speeding ticket can increase your rates by up to 20%.

Tips to Help You Save on Your Premiums

Car insurance for 18-year-olds can be very expensive, which can be difficult when you’re already on the budget of a young person. However, there are small things you can do to save money on your policy. Car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to their customers. When you sign up for a car insurance policy, it’s important to ask your agent about all the possible discounts they offer to make sure you’re not missing any options. Here are some tips to help you save money.

  • Keep your grades up. Most car insurance companies have discounts for students who keep their GPA above a certain level. These discounts usually apply to high school students as well as college students who are taking a certain number of credits. If you’re moving away from home for university, be sure to ask your car insurance provider about discounts for having a college student away from home.
  • Practice safe driving habits from the beginning. Once you start driving, do your best to drive safely and avoid accidents. Taking a defensive driving class can help with this, and many companies offer a discount for it as well. If you know you have good driving habits, consider signing up for your car insurance company’s telematics program. This will use an app to track your driving habits and reward you with a discount for driving safely.
  • Stick with your family’s policy. If you can stay on your parents’ policy, your rates are going to be dramatically lower than if you get your own policy. Car insurance companies also offer discounts for insuring multiple cars on the same policy, so you’ll all save money by staying on a policy together. Many car insurance companies also offer discounts for customers that stay with them for several years, or for children who use the same insurance company as their parents.

Best Car Insurance Companies for 18-Year-Old Drivers

There are certain insurance companies that are known for providing great rates for teenagers. If you’re unsure where to look for reliable coverage, these companies are a good place to start.

  • State Farm: This company offers some of the best student discounts out there, and generally provide great service for families.
  • GEICO: GEICO offers family pricing plans to help teens save money when they join their parents’ insurance plans. Their policies are also available entirely online, which makes them very convenient.
  • American Family Insurance: This company has a program where teenagers can earn discounts for driving safely and establish a good driving record.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide not only offers a great student discount, but they also offer accident forgiveness for teenagers, which is something that not many companies can offer.

There’s no getting around it. Car insurance for 18-year-olds is going to be expensive. By following our advice above, however, you will be able to find an auto insurance policy that won’t hurt your pocket too much.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for 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.
Back to Top