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How Much is Car Insurance for a 16 Year Old?

16 year old black male in car holding car keys

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Elizabeth Rivelli
Updated November 6, 2022
4 Min Read

Car insurance is expensive for most 16-year-old drivers. Newly licensed teens lack experience behind the wheel and have a higher probability of accidents. For parents, adding a teen driver to their car insurance policy will also result in a significant rate increase.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways for teen drivers and parents of teen drivers to get a more affordable car insurance rate. In this article, we’ll go over the average cost of car insurance for 16-year-old drivers and provide a few tips for getting a cheaper premium.

Average cost of car insurance for a 16-year-old

The average car insurance premium for a 16-year-old driver is $4,156 per year for a full coverage policy, which accounts for both male and female drivers. When you look at the cost of car insurance for 16-year-old drivers for each gender individually, however, the data indicates that males pay higher rates than females.

The data found that male 16-year-old drivers pay an average rate of $4,408 per year for full coverage, whereas 16-year-old female drivers pay $3,905, a difference of just over $500. However, there are many other factors that impact car insurance rates besides gender and age, such as location, policy coverage limits and the applicant’s driving record.

Comparing the cost of car insurance between 16-year-olds and other ages

While 16-year-old drivers often pay the highest car insurance rates, teens across the board are often subject to expensive premiums. This is because insurance companies charge young drivers higher rates to offset their risk of a potential claim.

However, car insurance rates do steadily decrease with age. For example, the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old is $3,875 for a full coverage policy. By the time a driver turns 20, the average cost of car insurance dips slightly lower to $3,782 per year.

It’s not until drivers reach their early- to mid-20’s that car insurance rates start decreasing more significantly. For example, according to Bankrate, the average car insurance premium for a 25-year-old driver is $2,108 for full coverage, which is more comparable to the national average rate of $1,674 for all drivers, across all age groups.

How much does it cost to add a 16-year-old to your car insurance?

In most cases, 16-year-old drivers are not allowed to purchase their own car insurance. If the teen wants to get behind the wheel, their parents must add them to an existing auto insurance policy, which will likely result in a big rate hike.

For example, it costs a parent anywhere from $1,200 to $2,400 to add a teen driver to their car insurance policy. As the teen gets older and gains experience, the parent’s car insurance rate will decrease and will return to normal levels once the teen is removed and has their own policy.

Why is the cost of car insurance for a 16-year-old so high?

Car insurance premiums for 16-year-old drivers are expensive because newly licensed teens lack experience on the road. Between getting a learner’s permit and a full driver’s license, most teens have been driving for less than one year.

Statistically, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are more likely to get into accidents than any other age group, which is risky for insurance companies. To offset the potential for future claims, insurers charge 16-year-olds higher rates, and decrease rates overtime as teens become more experienced drivers.

Cheapest car insurance companies for 16-year-old drivers

Every car insurance company uses a different system to weigh rating factors, like age and gender. Therefore, every insurance carrier charges 16-year-old drivers a different rate, and some companies are cheaper than others. Here are some of the cheapest car insurance carriers for parents adding a 16-year-old driver to their policy.

Insurance companyAverage premium increase after adding a 16-year-old driver

Cheapest car insurance for teens by state

In almost every state (except Hawaii and Massachusetts), car insurance companies use age as a rating factor to calculate premiums. The cost of car insurance for teen drivers can vary dramatically depending on location, based on factors like the number of uninsured drivers in the state, accident rates, weather-related risks, and more.

The cheapest states for teen car insurance are:

  1. Maine ($1,389)
  2. North Dakota ($1,507)
  3. South Dakota ($1,535)
  4. Iowa ($1,537)
  5. Nebraska ($1,627)

In the table below, you can see the average car insurance premium increase in all 50 states for parents that add a 16-year-old driver to their policy:

StateAverage premium increase after adding a 16-year-old driver
No increase based on age
No increase based on age
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia

How to get save on car insurance for a 16-year-old

Even though 16-year-old drivers pay some of the highest car insurance rates, there are ways to get a more affordable premium. Here are some tips for saving money on car insurance as a 16-year-old driver, or a parent of a 16-year-old driver:

  • Look for student discounts: Many car insurance companies offer discounts aimed at young drivers, like student discounts. You can often find savings for getting good grades in school or maintaining a minimum GPA.
  • Take a defensive driving course: Some insurance carriers give teens a lower rate for completing an approved defensive driving or driver’s education program. Usually, this course must be completed in addition to the regular driver’s education course required for a license.
  • Maintain a clean driving record: For all drivers, regardless of age, driving record has a notable impact on car insurance rates. Teen drivers should avoid tickets, accidents, and other traffic violations to avoid a rate increase.
  • Shop around for new quotes: Once per year, it’s a good idea to shop around for new car insurance quotes. You might find that a different provider can offer a lower rate for the same type and amount of coverage.