Getting the Right Car Insurance for New Drivers

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New drivers—teens, immigrants, or people with gaps in their driving record—often pay the highest car insurance rates of any group. Proper auto insurance for new drivers includes state-required liability coverage and additional coverage to protect your vehicle.
If you’re not sure where to start when looking for your first car insurance policy, just use Jerry. A top-rated car insurance shopping app and licensed broker, Jerry browses quotes from over 50 top providers and delivers the most competitive quotes straight to your phone. 
Here, Jerry reviews how to find the best car insurance for new drivers—including some tips for finding great savings.   

Who should buy new driver insurance?

For insurance purposes, “new drivers” include:
  • Young drivers (teenagers)
  • People who are new to the US
  • People with lapses in their insurance coverage
If you don’t have an established US driving record, insurance companies can’t assess your risk of getting in an accident and therefore must assume your risk is high. That’s why new drivers, regardless of age, pay higher insurance rates than most other groups.
Insurance companies don’t offer special “new driver insurance” packages. Luckily, it’s not difficult to find out what coverage you need.

Check your state’s insurance laws

All but two states require minimum amounts of liability insurance, which pays for damage you cause to other people and property with your car.  

Look at uninsured motorist coverage and PIP

Many states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This kicks in to cover damage to your vehicle if the other person is at-fault and doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. 
No-fault states and a few others require personal injury protection (PIP), which pays for your party’s medical bills and lost income no matter who caused the accident. 

Consider add-ons

After you purchase your state’s required insurance, you can choose to add optional coverages to your policy. These are always a good idea since they help cover damages to your car if you cause an accident. 
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Car insurance for young drivers

If you’re just getting your license, congratulations! This is an exciting time—just be prepared for high car insurance rates. 
Here are a few things to consider:
  • For many teens, it will be cheaper to stay on a parent’s or family policy—and this may be required if your permanent address is the same as your parents’
  • f you have a different permanent address from your parents and own the car yourself, you may be required to purchase your own policy
  • An old car that could easily be totaled (meaning the cost of repairs after an accident is higher than the actual value of your car) may not require collision insurance or comprehensive coverage
Young drivers are eligible for some hefty discounts, including the good student discount and driver training discount. You can apply these discounts whether you’re on a family policy or your own. 

Car insurance for immigrants and foreign nationals

Even if you’ve driven in another country for many years, if you have no driving record in the US, you’ll be considered a new driver for insurance purposes. 
You’ll usually find that you get more favorable rates if you have a US driver’s license, although this is not always necessary to get some type of coverage. If you are undocumented, certain states will still furnish a license for you. 
New US drivers of any age can take advantage of driver training and defensive driving course discounts to secure more affordable policies.

Car insurance for people with insurance lapses

Just moved from a big city to a suburb? Getting your first car after relying on public transit for much of your life? You’ll also be considered a new—and therefore high-risk—driver. 
Additionally, drivers who have been away for long periods of time and allowed their insurance policies to lapse will face higher rates when reinstating coverage. (If you were deployed in the military, there are often exceptions.)
If you’re still relying on public transit some of the time or are commuting infrequently, consider a low-mileage or PAYD (pay-as-you-drive) plan to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need. 

What affects the price of auto insurance for new drivers? 

Here are some of the main determinants of your insurance prices:
  • Age—If you’re younger than 25, you can expect your prices to decrease once you pass that age.
  • Credit score—If you have a subpar credit score, insurers will see you as less trustworthy or responsible overall and assign you higher rates.
  • Vehicle—If your car is a luxury model, has a high value, or is newer, it will cost more to insure than older and cheaper models. 
  • Driving record—If you get into an at-fault accident, get speeding tickets, or (especially) commit a major offense like a DUI, you can expect your rates to increase drastically. 
  • Coverage—the more coverage you want, the more your insurance prices will cost. Full coverage is always more expensive than a liability-only policy. 
You can decrease your monthly rates by agreeing to a higher deductible. This is the amount you’ll contribute toward repairs before your insurance will kick in. 
Pro Tip If you know a new driver or are adding one to your policy, you can help them reduce their rates by encouraging them to buy a budget-friendly car, keep a clean driving record, and apply for insurance discounts.  

Finding the best car insurance for new drivers

Whether you’re buying car insurance for the first time or looking for a more affordable rate, Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find savings on a policy that meets your needs. 
As a licensed broker and top-rated car insurance shopping app, Jerry’s mission is to make owning a car more affordable. That starts with comparing quotes to make sure you’re not overpaying for your coverage.
Some companies offer better rates for young or inexperienced drivers than others, and Jerry can help you identify them (we partner with over 50 insurance companies, after all!). And once you sign up for a policy, Jerry monitors your rates to ensure you’re always getting the best price. 
“I was worried that adding my 16-year-old daughter would spike my insurance rates. I called and spoke to Tim, who was pleasant to work with and got me new rate savings. Jerry really helped me save thousands.” —Marshall D.
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