Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Anyone that has a car registered in their name needs to comply with mandatory car insurance laws at all times
  • If you’re under 21, you need to get quotes for coverage before you assume you can afford to own a car
  • Newly licensed drivers are the riskiest drivers on the road until they reach 20 years of age
  • The best way to save money on your insurance is to stay on your parents’ policy for as long as you can
  • If you live in your parents’ home or you’re in college, you have the option to stay insured with your parents

Being a teenager can be overwhelming for all parties involved. As a teen, you’re trying to prove that you’re mature enough to make adult decisions.

As the parent of a teen, you’re trying to learn how to give your teen more freedom without giving them free reign to make major mistakes that could alter their future.

It’s never easy to shift from being the parent of an adolescent to being the parent of a 16-year-old who thinks they’re approaching 30. One of the biggest topics of discussion will become driving.

When driving is the topic of discussion that comes up the most, you’ll also have to discuss is auto insurance.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best rate for insuring your teen driver. Enter your zip code above to begin.

Before any driver under 21 buys car insurance, here’s a guide that they should read:

Does insurance cost a lot for drivers under 21?


It’s never really been a secret that young people are expensive to insure. It’s ingrained in your head from the moment that you’re even thinking about studying for a licensing exam that you’re going to pay a small fortune for the privilege.

It’s not because the exam costs a lot, it’s because you’ll have to be added to an insurance policy when you pass.

There’s not a single chart that will show parents and teens how much they’ll cost to insure. So many different factors can influence premiums in one direction or another.

No matter how much rates can vary, the rates for drivers who are between 16 and 19 will be higher than drivers in any other age group.

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How expensive is expensive?

You can’t make broad generalizations about just how much insurance will cost for you or your family members who are under 21. Everyone’s rates are determined by the insurer and personal factors like driving experience and driving record will play a role in cost.

A lot of different studies have been conducted to assess how much insurance costs for drivers who have little driving experience.

After surveying 1500 parents all around the nation, Nationwide concluded that the average increase to add a teen between 15 and 19 to a parent’s policy is $800 per year.

If you do the math, adding a teen driver to your plan would cost you an average $67 per month when you fall in line with average increases. Some states have much higher premiums increases than others.

In New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine, adding a teen to a family’s plan will raise the rates by more than 107 percent. Rates are dramatically higher when a young adult gets a standalone policy.

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What do the statistics say about drivers under 21?

Your teen may not have much driving experience but you’re confident that you taught him or her how to be a responsible and cautious driver.

As a parent who’s really taken the time to stress how dangerous driving can be, it’s frustrating to see that you’re going to pay as much as parents who didn’t take this milestone as seriously.

Unfortunately, insurance carriers have to look at the statistics from a huge pool of people. The company can’t just look at your teen’s record and make an exception because they seem like they are responsible.

The actions of everyone in the age group is the leading reason why rates are so high. Here are some statistics for drivers under 21:

  • Drivers between 16 and 19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than a driver over 20
  • More than 75 percent of crashes involving a teen driver are caused by speeding or being distracted while driving
  • Drivers 15 to 19 cause more than $10 billion of total costs for motor vehicle injuries per year
  • Older teens are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than younger teens
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all teens between 16 and 19

Boys Cost More to Insure Than Girls


Gender can affect all types of insurance. Your health rates and your life insurance rates are influenced by your gender, but many are surprised to learn that their car insurance premiums could be as well.

As a teen, male drivers will always pay more than their female counterparts. It has a lot to do with aggressive driving and the fact that boys at this age are competitive and impulsive. Over the years, the difference will start to balance out.

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How do you keep insurance expenses down when you’re under 21?

If you want your license and you want to drive a car regularly, you’re going to have to have insurance. The best strategy would be to stay insured with your parents for as long as you’re allowed to. When you’re insuring on a family plan you’ll get:

  • Loyalty discounts
  • Multi-car discounts
  • Credit for insurance history
  • Multi-line discounts when your parents have other insurance with the carrier
  • Rates as a secondary driver

Other Ways to Save Money On Your Insurance


You can stay insured with your parents while you’re in the home or while you’re a student. If you’re on your own, you have to buy your own insurance. Here are a few tips to save:

  • Buy a vehicle with a good safety record
  • Pay cash to avoid having to carry full coverage
  • Get good grades
  • Take driver training courses
  • Keep your commute as short as possible
  • Carpool or take public transportation to work

Claims trends would insinuate that drivers under 21 need insurance the most. You must buy coverage but have the freedom to shop around.

If you want to compare rates and find the most competitive pricing, use the Internet and get instant quotes from top-notch insurers all at once.

Compare car insurance rates today and find the best rate.