How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

Auto insurance for a 16-year-old can be expensive, but affordable auto insurance doesn't have to be hard to find. The average auto insurance rates for a 16-year-old is $216/mo or $2,593 per year if they are on their own policy. You can lower the auto insurance rate for a 16-year-old by adding them to a parent's existing policy, which can drop rates down to $79/mo or $954 annually. To find cheap auto insurance quotes for 16-year-olds, comparison shop with us by entering your ZIP code below.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Auto insurance for a 16-year-old costs an average of $216 per month or $2,593 annually, which is higher than the national average rate of $84 per month or $1,004 annually. 
  • On average, 66 percent of highway accidents are caused by teenagers, making them a higher risk group of drivers to insure.
  • The cheapest auto insurance companies for 16-year-old drivers are usually USAA and GEICO. The most expensive providers are usually Travelers and Liberty Mutual.

Teenagers are one of the riskiest groups of drivers to insure. That means auto insurance for a 16-year-old can be very expensive. In fact, most teenagers find it’s more economical to be placed on their parents’ policy to keep rates low.

How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

On average, teenagers pay around $216 per month or $2,593 annually for auto insurance. Read through our guide to learn everything you need to know about the price of auto insurance for teenagers. We’ll show how finding auto insurance quotes online and taking advantage of discounts can help young drivers save money.

Are you ready to buy auto insurance for a 16-year-old? To find the best auto insurance rates for 16-year-olds in your area, enter your ZIP code in our free tool above.

What is the average cost of auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

Turning 16 often means also getting your license and gaining the freedom to drive for the first time. However, due to their limited driving experience and tendency to drive recklessly, teens often pay much more than average for auto insurance. 

How much would auto insurance be for a 16-year-old in the USA?

The average 16-year-old driver in the United States pays around $216 per month or $2,593 annually for auto insurance. These rates are based on 16-year-olds who purchase their own insurance policy separate from their parents’ and who purchase their state’s legal minimum coverage requirements.

In the table below, check out the average auto insurance rates by age and gender for teenage drivers. 

Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age and Gender for Younger Drivers
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old Male
USAA$4,807.54$5,385.61
Geico$5,653.55$6,278.96
Nationwide$5,756.37$7,175.31
State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34
American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50
Farmers$8,521.97$9,144.04
Progressive$8,689.95$9,625.49
Allstate$9,282.19$10,642.53
Travelers$9,307.32$12,850.91
Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69
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As you can see, 16-year-old auto insurance rates vary widely by company. By comparison, the national average cost of auto insurance is only $84 per month or $1,004 per year. 

Experts suggest all drivers be covered by 50/100/50 liability coverage limits, however, most states require drivers to purchase much less coverage. If a 16-year-old purchases the recommended amount of liability coverage, their average premium will cost around $246 per month or $2,957 annually. 

For teens who want full coverage auto insurance, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage, 16-year-olds can expect to pay close to $583 per month, which is a grand total of $7,000 annually. 

These are some high numbers, but fortunately, we have tips to help you lower your annual costs to make auto insurance for your 16-year-old more reasonable. Keep reading.

Why is auto insurance for 16-year-olds so expensive?

Average insurance rates for a 16-year-old are higher because teenagers lack driving experience. How important is driving experience for insurance rates? Very important. 

Insurance companies always rely on statistics to set insurance rates. Unfortunately for 16-year-old drivers, statistics show that teenagers are more likely to get into an accident than someone with 5, 10, or 20 years of driving experience.

Insurance companies look at national accident statistics like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies that show a clear correlation between teenage drivers and accidents. According to the CDC, car accidents are the second leading cause of teenage deaths. 

In the United States, more than two-thirds of all car accidents on highways are caused by teenage drivers every year. This statistic has remained surprisingly consistent.

Ultimately, a 16-year-old doesn’t have the same amount of experience as an older driver. Some 16-year-old drivers will go their entire lives without being in an accident. Others will cause five severe accidents before they turn 20. 

Regardless, teens are starting out at a disadvantage because of the lack of driving experience. By proving you are a safe, reliable driver, you’ll be rewarded with lower rates as you get older. 

Does gender affect auto insurance rates for 16-year-olds?

Unless you live in a state where it is illegal to consider gender when calculating auto insurance costs, expect auto insurance for a 16-year-old male driver to cost more than auto insurance for a 16-year-old female driver. 

Like all insurance plans, insurance companies set rates based on current statistics. Besides proving the teens are reckless on the roads, statistics also show that teenage males cause more accidents than teenage females. Young males even drive faster and more aggressively on the road than young female drivers.

This means the average auto insurance rate for a 16-year-old boy is usually more expensive than the average auto insurance rate for a 16-year-old girl.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t get affordable auto insurance as a 16-year-old male. But it does mean you should always practice safe driving techniques.

An annual rate of $2,593 can double or triple if you get into an auto accident or get ticketed for a traffic violation.

With insurance rates for 16-years-olds already astronomically high, it is imperative to maintain a good driving history. It’s even more critical to maintain safe driving habits.

Do auto insurance rates drop as drivers get older?

Generally speaking, if you’re currently 16, your insurance rates will drop substantially with age, but not until you turn 20. However, it takes until you turn 25 before you are no longer considered a high-risk young driver and start to receive the average auto insurance costs. 

Sometimes insurance rates will actually rise when you turn 18. This is because you’re more likely to drive more often. Not only is 18 a typical age for a child to move out of the house, but you may also have a work or school commute. 

Despite the two extra years of driving experience, 18-year-olds statistically still drive more recklessly and cause more accidents than older drivers. 

As you get older and enter your 20s, you may eventually decide to move off your parents’ policy. There is no legal age limit for how long you can stay on your parents’ policy, it is more of a personal choice. For some families, this happens when you leave the house or graduate college. 

When this occurs, your individual rates might be a little higher than what you paid when on your parents’ policy because you will not qualify for the same discounts on your own that your family policy received. 

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How can 16-year-old drivers save money on auto insurance?

How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old? In general, 16-year-old drivers will pay higher auto insurance rates than older, more experienced drivers. However, we have a few tips to help make teenager insurance costs more manageable. 

First, teen drivers should take the time to compare auto insurance quotes from multiple providers. Choose the company that offers the most competitive rates without compromising the coverage you require. 

For truly affordable 16-year-old auto insurance, you should also seek out a company that provides you with the most discounts. 

To get the best auto insurance rates for a 16-year-old, you’ll probably want to stay on your parents’ policy as long as possible. How long can you stay on your parents’ auto insurance? Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no age limit for how long you can stay on your parents’ policy. 

In the next final few sections, we’ll dive into these tips in greater detail, and even provide you with actual discounts offered by major companies. Read on.

What auto insurance discounts are available to 16-year-olds?

You already know that 16-year-old auto insurance quotes can be intimidatingly high, but fortunately, there are ways you can lower teenage auto insurance premiums. 

Before you buy a 16-year-old auto insurance, you’ll want to find the company that will provide you with the most opportunities for your teen to qualify for discounts and savings. 

Discounts that are particularly easy for teenagers to qualify for include safe driver or driver’s education discounts, good student discounts, and savings due to safety features installed in the vehicle being driven.  

But what companies offer the most for your 16-year-old? In the following table, we compiled relevant driver-based discounts by companies that 16-year-old drivers can potentially qualify for. If the percentage of savings is available, it’s included below.

16-Year-Old Auto Insurance Discounts Offered by Company
CompaniesDefensive Driver Discount OfferedDriver's Ed Discount OfferedGood Student Discount OfferedNewly Licensed Discount OfferedOn Time Payments Discount OfferedSafe Driver Discount OfferedSeat Belt Use Discount OfferedYoung Driver Discount Offered
21st CenturyYes- 5%YesYesNoNoYesNoYes
AAAYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNo
AllstateYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 20%NoYes - 5%Yes - 45%NoNo
American FamilyYes - 10%YesYesNoNoYesNoNo
AmeripriseYesNoYesNoNoYesNoNo
AmicaYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 10%NoNoYesNoNo
Country FinancialYes - 5%Yes - 10%Yes - 25%NoNoNoNoYes - 10%
EsuranceYes - 10%YesYes - 10%NoNoYes - 40%NoNo
FarmersYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNo
GEICOYesYesYes - 15%NoNoYes - 15%Yes - 15%No
Liberty MutualYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 23%Yes - 5%NoNoNoYes
MetLifeYes - 7%Yes - 10%Yes - 15%NoNoYes - 12%NoNo
NationwideYes - 5%NoYes - 10%NoNoYes - 35%NoNo
ProgressiveYes - 10%Yes - 10%YesNoNoYes - 31%NoYes
Safe AutoYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 10%NoYesYes - 10%NoNo
SafecoYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 15%NoNoYes - 20%NoYes
State FarmYes - 5%Yes - 15%Yes - 25%NoNoYes - 15%NoNo
The GeneralYes - 8%Yes - 8%Yes - 8%NoNoYesNoNo
The HanoverYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 5%NoNoNoNoNo
The HartfordYes - 10%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%NoYesYesNoNo
TravelersYes - 10%Yes - 8%Yes - 8%NoYes - 15%Yes - 23%NoNo
USAAYes - 3%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%NoNoYes - 12%NoYes - 75%
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As you can see, every provider on our list offers a defensive driver discount and a good student discount of some kind. Similarly, every company besides Nationwide and Ameriprise give discounts just for completing an approved driver’s education course. 

Only Liberty Mutual offers a savings opportunity for newly-licensed drivers. But USAA and Country Financial will take a percentage off simply for being a younger driver, with USAA providing the largest discount at 75 percent.

However, only active or retired military personnel and their families are eligible to use USAA.

There are other discounts that you can earn just for having certain safety features installed in the vehicle you drive.

Take a look at the table below to see the offerings by company, with specific savings rates included where available. 

Vehicle Safety-Feature Auto Insurance Discounts Offered by Company
CompaniesAdaptive Cruise Control Discount OfferedAdaptive Headlights Discount OfferedAnti-lock Brakes Discount OfferedAnti-Theft Discount OfferedDaytime Running Lights Discount OfferedElectronic Stability Control Discount OfferedVehicle Recovery Discount OfferedVIN Etching Discount Offered
21st CenturyNoNoYesYesYesNoYesNo
AAANoNoYesYesYesNoYesNo
AllstateNoNoYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 2%Yes - 2%Yes - 10%No
American FamilyNoNoYesYesYesYesYesNo
AmeripriseNoNoYes - 3%Yes - 3%YesNoYes - 5%No
AmicaNoYesYes - 5%Yes - 25%NoYes - 5%Yes - 10%No
Country FinancialNoYesYesYes - 10%YesYesNoNo
EsuranceNoNoYes - 5%Yes - 25%YesNoYes - 25%Yes
FarmersNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
GEICONoNoYes - 5%Yes - 25%Yes - 1%NoYes - 25%No
Liberty MutualYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 20%Yes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 35%Yes - 5%
MetLifeYesYesYes - 5%Yes - 10%Yes - 5%YesYes - 10%Yes - 10%
NationwideYesYes0.050.250.05Yes0.25Yes
ProgressiveYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Safe AutoNoNoYes - 5%YesYes - 5%NoYesYes
SafecoNoNoYesYesNoNoYesYes
State FarmNoNoYes - 5%Yes - 15%NoNoYes - 5%No
The GeneralNoNoYes - 8%Yes - 8%NoNoYes - 8%No
The HanoverNoNoYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 5%NoYesNo
The HartfordNoYes - 3%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%NoYes - 3%No
TravelersNoNoYesYesYesNoYesYes
USAANoNoYesYesYesNoYesYes
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If your 16-year-old’s vehicle comes equipped with any of the safety features listed above, inform your provider. While usually these discounts get applied automatically, your agent is still only human and may occasionally miss something.

Be aware that the discounts and rates may be subject to change based on where you live, as auto insurance laws and requirements vary by state. 

How much can I save if I stay on my parents’ auto insurance policy?

The best way for a 16-year-old to save money on auto insurance is by staying on a family policy. If you’re on your parents’ auto insurance policy, you might pay just $954 per year to be added to their insurance, compared to around $2500 for minimum coverage on your own policy. That’s only $79 per month.

If you absolutely need to have your own insurance policy, then consider driving an older car and dropping collision and comprehensive coverage. 

By maintaining liability coverage, you can legally drive on the road while avoiding high insurance costs. You should also take advantage of as many discounts as possible to help reduce rates.

Which company offers the cheapest auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

Picking a company with cheaper rates for teenagers is one way to save on auto insurance. Some companies specifically market more towards teens and families with younger drivers.

The best 16-year-old auto insurance company is generally either USAA or GEICO, as both companies often have the cheapest auto insurance rates for teenagers. But remember, only active or retired military personnel and their families are eligible to purchase insurance through USAA. 

Companies like Liberty Mutual and Travelers, on the other hand, almost always provide unrealistically high rates for teen drivers. 

What cars are cheap to insure for 16-year-olds?

The type of vehicle you drive, especially at the age of 16, can impact your auto insurance rates. Typically, older vehicles are usually cheaper to insure than newer vehicles. However, it is also important to check vehicle safety ratings and features.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), specific used vehicle make and model years are safer and more affordable for teenage drivers, including the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime or newer and the 2016 Kia Sorento or newer. 

Insurers often offer discounts for cars that have good safety and crash test ratings from the IIHS or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). So doing a little research before buying a teenager a car can genuinely lead to great savings. Good crash test ratings also mean teens will be better protected in an accident.

Buying a car with safety features like backup cameras or lane departure warning can also help reduce insurance costs while keeping teenagers safe. Sometimes it is worth splurging for a more expensive vehicle if it means teens will be safer and insurance rates will drop.

If you’re a teenager, you’ll likely pay a lot of money for insurance if you’re trying to insure a brand new, pricy SUV. However, on an older car, you might be able to significantly lower insurance costs and potentially drop comprehensive and collision insurance. 

Overall, auto insurance for a 16-year-old is more expensive than many other types of auto insurance – but it’s still a manageable expense. As long as you spend time shopping for the best deal, you’ll have no trouble finding an auto insurance policy that meets your unique needs.

Always practice safe driving, not only can it lead to discounts, but traffic violations for teenage drivers can lead to major rate spikes and potentially loss of coverage. Consider signing your 16-year-old up for a defensive driver course or ask if your teenager’s driver’s education course qualifies them for any other available discounts. 

Whether you’re looking for Progressive auto insurance for 16-year-olds, or quotes from another company, comparing rates is the most effective way to get the best policy. This is an important step in determining which auto insurance company is right for you and your teen.

To find the cheapest auto insurance for a 16-year-old in your area, enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool below and start comparison shopping for rates right now.

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