Car Insurance for 18-Year-Old Drivers

On average, 18-year-old drivers pay $228/month for a liability-only policy and $430/month for full coverage. But smart shopping can lower these rates.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by Amy Bobinger
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Car Insurance for 18-Year-Old Drivers

On average, 18-year-old drivers pay $228/month for a liability-only policy and $430/month for full coverage. But smart shopping can lower these rates.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by Amy Bobinger
background
The average cost of
car insurance
for 18-year-old drivers is approximately $329 per month. Teen drivers pay around 196% more than the national average for liability-only coverage and 161% more for full coverage—but you may be able to find cheaper rates by
comparing quotes
from several providers. 

Car insurance for 18-year-olds is $3,948 per year

The
average cost of car insurance
for an 18-year-old driver is around $329 per month, or $3,948 per year. This breaks down to around $228 per month for the
state minimum coverage
and $430 per month for a
full coverage option
With these averages, 18-year-olds pay approximately: 
  • 9% more than 19-year-olds
  • 19% more than 20-year-olds
  • 34% more than 21-year-olds
  • 42% more than 22-year-olds
  • 44% more than 23-year-olds
  • 41% more than 24-year-olds
  • 47% more than 25-year-olds
As drivers gain more experience behind the wheel, their car insurance premiums tend to decrease. But age isn’t the only thing that affects
teen auto insurance rates
. Other
key rating factors include
gender (in select states), driving history, location, coverage levels, and more.

Male drivers tend to pay 17% more for teen car insurance

On average, 18-year-old male drivers pay around 17% more for car insurance than 18-year-old female drivers. Generally, car insurance companies charge teenage male drivers higher rates for the following reasons:
  • Males are more likely to be involved in a collision: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, male drivers between 16 and 19 are almost twice as likely to get into a crash than female drivers of the same age1.
  • Males are more likely to drive under the influence: A recent study reported that DUIs were the result of approximately 3 million fatal accidents. Out of this 3 million, 2.3 million involved male drivers2
  • Males are more likely to speed: In 2021, almost 35% of male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in speed-related crashes compared to 21% of female drivers3
Currently,
California
, Hawaii,
Massachusetts
,
Michigan
,
Montana
,
North Carolina
, and
Pennsylvania
are the only states that don’t allow car insurance companies to use gender as a determining factor for rates. 
However, in all other states, gender can play a role in teen premiums. To help counteract this, young drivers should regularly shop for quotes with different providers to ensure they’re getting the best car insurance rates for their profile. 
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When do rates generally go down?

Drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 typically pay 36% more for car insurance than drivers 25 and up, when insurers start lowering premiums as a way to reward experience behind the wheel. Here’s a look at what different age demographics pay each month for car insurance:
Age group
Minimum coverage cost
Full coverage cost
< 18
$275
$681
18-21
$248
$542
22-25
$163
$369
26-34
$123
$274
35-44
$110
$242
45-54
$106
$230
55-64
$100
$213
65+
$106
$214
As illustrated by the table above, once drivers turn 25, their premiums tend to steadily decrease until they turn 65, when age-related factors like slower reaction times and visual impairment may lead insurers to raise car insurance costs. 
To keep rates low while they build experience, teen drivers should remain on a guardian or parent’s policy as long as possible. Another solution is to shop for
car insurance discounts
. Most auto insurance companies offer safe driving, good student, and driver education discounts to help teens save on their auto insurance policy.

Best car insurance companies for 18-year-old drivers

Finding affordable car insurance for an 18-year-old driver may seem intimidating—especially when the average annual rate for teenage drivers is 54% higher than those 25 and over. Thankfully, several providers offer lower rates for 18-year-olds, including:
Insurance company
Average coverage cost
$146
$174
$190
$191
$192
$199
$203
$208
$264
Keep in mind that these are just average rates. Your total car insurance costs will vary based on your—or your teen’s—unique driver profile. As such, it’s important to compare premium costs before making a final decision. With
Jerry
, teens and their families can get quotes from dozens of insurers in their area to help them find the best deals on car insurance, regardless of whether they share or have their own policies. 
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How much car insurance do 18-year-old drivers need?

Drivers are required by law to purchase
liability insurance
to legally drive—however, the amount of
bodily injury liability
and
property damage liability coverage
required will vary from state to state. 
Compared to a full coverage policy, the state minimum is approximately $88 cheaper per month. However, most state limits won’t supply enough coverage in the event of a higher damage car accident, meaning that without additional protection, most drivers will be left financially vulnerable.
To combat potentially higher costs in the future, most 18-year-old drivers (and even older motorists) will benefit from a full coverage policy with increased liability limits of 50/100/50 or 100/300/100. Here’s how much a typical full coverage policy with higher limits costs with some of the top providers in the nation:
Insurance company
50/100/50
100/300/100
$170
$193
$181
$194
$190
$210
$192
$198
$209
$213
$216
$229
$222
$245
$229
$246
$262
$299
In addition to higher limits, teen drivers might also consider optional insurance coverages, including
roadside assistance
, trip interruption, and
rental car reimbursement
.

Adding a teen to your current policy

Although teen drivers can purchase their own car insurance policy, it might be more worthwhile (and affordable) for them to share a policy with either a parent or guardian. On average, it costs around $313 per month to add an 18-year-old driver to a full coverage car insurance policy. 
Teen drivers can usually remain on their parent’s policy while they’re away at school—but it’s important to remember that once your teen permanently moves out, they’ll be required to buy their own insurance policy. 
Adding a young driver to your policy can benefit both you and your teen. While teens will enjoy lower rates, parents might also get extra perks, including:
  • Qualifying for new discounts: With a teen on your policy, you’ll gain access to distant student, good student, and driver education program discounts. And if your teen has their own vehicle, you can put them all under one policy and qualify for multi-vehicle savings.
  • Streamlined account management: Including your teen on your policy makes payment processing, claims processing, and overall policy management easier. With everything under one account, you only need to keep track of one policy, rather than multiple at a time.

How to continue to save on car insurance for 18-year-old drivers

Regardless of age, car insurance can be expensive. However, there are several tips and tricks to help teens save on premiums while still getting the coverage they need.
  • Look into telematics programs:
    Telematics programs
    are a great way to help maintain a
    clean driving record
    while also earning savings and rewards for good driving. It also allows parents to track their teen’s driving with alerts for unsafe behaviors behind the wheel.
  • Search for
    car insurance discounts
    : Most providers offer distant student, drivers education, and good student discounts. But these aren’t the only options available. If you have your own policy, you may also qualify for safe driver, new car, paid in full, and other discounts.
  • Raise your deductible: Parents or guardians who share a policy with a teen driver can
    increase their deductible
    to help lower the cost of car insurance. Remember when choosing this option that you should only ever increase your deductible to a limit you can realistically afford out of pocket.
  • Continuously shop for car insurance: Even after you get a policy, the hunt for car insurance doesn’t stop. To stay on top of the best deals, continue to shop for quotes every six months—especially if you’ve experienced any life changes, such as moving away from home or purchasing a new vehicle.
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FAQ

What is the best car insurance for an 18-year-old?

The best car insurance for an 18-year-old is a
full coverage policy
with higher liability limits and add-on insurance options. For example, a full coverage policy with limits of 50/100/50 and optional coverages, such as
roadside assistance
and
rental reimbursement
might prove beneficial for 18-year-old drivers who have their own vehicle. 

Should my 18-year-old have her own car insurance?

Your 18-year-old driver can purchase their own car insurance policy—however, it may be more affordable for them to remain on a shared policy with a parent or guardian if they still live at home.

Why is insurance for 18-year-olds so expensive?

Car insurance for 18-year-old drivers is expensive because of the lack of experience most teens have behind the wheel. Most insurance providers view teens as high-risk, resulting in higher premiums. But as drivers age and gain more experience, their rates tend to decrease.

What factors affect the cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds?

Factors including driving record, gender (in states where applicable), vehicle type, and location can all impact car insurance rates for 18-year-olds. 

Can a teenager get their own car insurance policy?

Teen drivers 18 and older can get their own car insurance policy. While it is a freeing experience to hold your own car insurance policy, it may be more beneficial to share a policy with a parent or guardian if you still live at home to lower your overall costs.

How can I find the best car insurance for my age and gender?

18-year-old drivers (and teen drivers in general) can find cheap car insurance for their age and gender by comparing car insurance quotes from at least 2-3 providers. With the
Jerry
app, teens can create a profile and compare customized rates from dozens of insurers in their area. 

Meet our experts

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Kianna Walpole
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Expert Insurance Writer & Editor
Kianna Walpole is an insurance writer and editor with a comprehensive background in consumer behavior and online publishing. With experience in car insurance, maintenance, and repair, she is dedicated to building informative content that helps customers reduce costs while achieving the best service. Prior to joining the Jerry editorial team, Kianna worked as a junior editor in the content marketing industry, using consumer data and key insights to create and edit content for an array of large-scale clients in the real estate, cybersecurity, and healthcare industries.
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Amy Bobinger
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.
The cheapest insurance for 18-year-olds is a parent’s policy. Always compare car insurance quotes from at least three different providers when adding a new driver to your policy. 
Jerry is a licensed insurance broker app that compares real quotes from over 55 of the nation’s best car insurance companies in under a minute, saving families time and money.
Car insurance rates typically go down by an average of 12% at age 18, but they’ll stay higher than the national average for a few more years. 
The average cost to insure a Ford Mustang is $3,104 per year—but for 18-year-olds, you can expect the cost to be considerably higher: around $5,000 or more. 
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