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Teenagers usually pay the most expensive rates for car insurance. In fact, an 18-year-old driver could pay more than $7,000 a year for coverage. But there are cheaper rates available. USAA, for instance, offers these teen policies at about $3,800 a year.

Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have a higher risk of accidents than any other age group. According to the CDC, the crash rate per mile driven is roughly 1.5 times higher for 16-year-olds than for 18- and 19-year-old drivers. 

Our recommendation for cheap insurance for 18-year-olds

Teen drivers pay the highest car insurance rates on average compared to any other age group. Because 18-year-old drivers lack experience behind the wheel, car insurance providers charge much higher rates.

While many 18-year-olds can legally purchase their car insurance policy, staying insured on a parent’s policy is more cost-effective. There are also many ways for 18-year-olds to lower their insurance costs, including shopping around to find the best deal.

Although teens can’t avoid expensive car insurance premiums, we suggest insurance shoppers look into various ways to lower insurance costs. Most insurance providers offer discounts for young drivers, including savings for being a good student or taking a driver’s education course. Shopping around and comparing quotes from several insurance companies can help teens find the most affordable policy. 

Key Takeaways

  • The average car insurance rate for 18-year-old males is $461 per month and $412 per month for females.
  • USAA offers the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-old drivers.
  • Car insurance rates are the highest in Louisiana for 18-year-olds.

What is the cheapest insurance for an 18-year-old?

To help you better understand how much car insurance is for an 18-year-old, we collected quotes from some of the top insurance companies. Based on our analysis, we found that USAA is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-olds.

The average rate from USAA is $3,790 per year or $316 per month, which is well below the average of all providers we collected rates from. However, USAA only sells car insurance to military families. If you can’t get insurance through USAA, American Family has comparable rates and no eligibility restrictions. 

While most 18-year-olds can purchase their own car insurance policy, car insurance companies will only sell insurance to drivers who have reached the age of majority in their state. If the age of majority in your state is older than 18, young drivers must be insured on a parent’s policy. 

In the table below, you can see which insurance companies offer the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds.

Company Average annual premium Average monthly premium
American Family$4,047$337
State Farm$5,053$421

Best companies for cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds

Most car insurance companies will insure 18-year-old drivers, either on their own insurance policy or on a parent’s insurance policy. However, not all car insurance providers are created equal. Before purchasing car insurance, reviewing several providers based on features like cost, discounts and coverage options is important.

Insure’s best companies for teens are based upon the 2024 Best Auto Insurance Companies ranking. See the table below for the best auto insurance companies for 18-year-olds.

CompanyBest forAM Best ratingAverage annual premium
USAABest military discountsA++$3,790
American FamilyBest for young drivers and teensA$4,047
TravelersBest for customer satisfactionA++$4,196
GeicoOne of the best for cheapest ratesA++$4,644
State FarmMost trustworthyA++$5,053
NationwideOne of the best for cheapest ratesA+$5,173
AllstateBest for high-risk driversA+$6,871
ProgressiveBest for drivers with ticketsA+$7,035
FarmersBest for discountsA$7,903

How much is car insurance for 18-year-old males vs. 18-year-old females?

One of the rating factors that car insurance companies use to calculate insurance premiums is gender. Young males generally pay slightly higher rates for car insurance than females of the same age. However, the average cost also depends on the insurance company. 

The table below shows the average car insurance cost for an 18-year-old male on a parent’s car insurance policy.

CompanyAverage annual premium for male drivers 
American Family$4,165
State Farm$5,516

Here is the average car insurance cost for an 18-year-old female.

CompanyAverage annual premium for female drivers 
American Family$3,930
State Farm$4,590

How much does car insurance cost for an 18-year-old per month?

Car insurance for 18-year-old males costs $461 per month; the same full coverage policy costs $412 per month for females.

Average car insurance rates for 18-year-olds on a parent’s policy

Although 18-year-olds can purchase their own car insurance policy in most states, they can save money by staying insured on a parent’s policy. In the table below, you can see the average annual cost of car insurance for an 18-year-old on their own policy and a parent’s policy.

State  Teen-only policy  Teen and parent policy 
Washington D.C.$6,079$3,304
North Carolina$3,777$2,490
North Dakota$5,109$1,917
New Hampshire$3,917$1,833
New Jersey$6,149$4,355
New Mexico$5,728$3,151
New York$5,153$3,661
Rhode Island$6,776$3,376
South Carolina$5,861$3,305
South Dakota$6,113$2,405
West Virginia$5,928$3,069

Is car insurance expensive for 18-year-olds?

Because 18-year-old drivers lack experience behind the wheel and have higher accident rates than any other age group, insurance companies charge higher rates for coverage. However, car insurance rates decrease as drivers age, assuming they maintain a good driving record and have a clean claim history.

“Adding a teen to a family’s auto insurance policy can be very expensive due to their inexperience behind the wheel and higher propensity to be involved in an at-fault accident than other demographic groups,” says Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute. 

Which states are the most expensive for 18-year-olds?

Car insurance rates vary by location. Factors like weather risks, vehicle theft rates, and the cost of vehicle repairs can all impact insurance premiums in one area. According to the rate data we analyzed, Louisiana is the most expensive state for car insurance for 18-year-olds.

Below are the 10 most expensive states for full coverage insurance for 18-year-olds.

State Average annual premium
Rhode Island$6,776

Which states have the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds?

Some states have cheaper car insurance rates than others. We found that 18-year-old drivers in Hawaii pay the lowest rates for coverage, with an average full coverage premium of $1,628 per year. Other states with below-average insurance rates include North Carolina, Iowa and Maine

Here are the 10 cheapest states for full coverage car insurance for 18-year-olds.

StateAverage annual premium 
North Carolina$3,777
New Hampshire$3,917

How to get cheap car insurance rates for 18-year-old drivers

There are many ways for 18-year-olds to reduce their car insurance premiums. Here are some tips for saving money:

  • Look for discounts: Car insurance discounts can help you get a cheaper premium. Some insurers offer discounts aimed specifically at teen drivers.
  • Bundle your policies: Purchasing two or more insurance products from the same insurer, like auto and renters insurance, could help you save money with a bundling discount.
  • Choose higher deductibles: For car insurance policies that require a deductible, such as collision insurance and comprehensive insurance, selecting a higher deductible will result in a lower monthly premium. Ensure you can afford a higher deductible.
  • Compare quotes from multiple providers: The cost of car insurance can vary between insurance companies, even for the same type and amount of coverage. Compare personalized rate quotes from several insurers to find the most affordable policy. 

Which discounts are available for 18-year-olds?

Eighteen-year-olds can often qualify for car insurance discounts which can reduce their premium. Here are some of the most common discounts car insurance companies offer to 18-year-old drivers:

  • Good student discount: If you’re looking for affordable car insurance for 18-year-old college students, consider a good student discount. Full-time high school and college students can qualify for a good student discount if they maintain a good GPA.
  • Driver training course discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount to young drivers who complete an approved driver training course or driver’s education course.
  • Student away at school discount: Students who attend school at least 100 miles away from home and leave their vehicle behind can qualify for this discount. Oftentimes, it only applies to collision and/or comprehensive insurance.  
  • Telematics program discount: Most car insurance companies offer a telematics-based driver rewards program. Your smartphone or device in your car tracks your driving habits, like brake force and speed. Drivers who demonstrate safe habits behind the wheel can earn a discount on their premium. 

Which cars are the cheapest to insure for 18-year-old drivers?

Getting insurance quotes is a good idea before purchasing a car for an 18-year-old. The cost of car insurance can vary significantly depending on your vehicle. In most cases, brand-new cars are more expensive to insure than used cars that have already depreciated. 

Based on our research, these are the 10 cheapest cars for 18-year-old drivers to insure on a parent’s policy:

Make/model Average annual premium Average monthly premium
Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van XL$6,074$506
Subaru Forester$6,076$506
Subaru Outback$6,245$520
Chrysler Pacifica Touring$6,362$530
Ford Maverick XL$6,583$549
Subaru Legacy$6,613$551
Mini Convertible Cooper$6,659$555
Kia Soul LX$6,708$559
Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid$6,774$565
Hyundai Kona Electric Limited$6,913$576
Acura RDX$6,987$582
Hyundai Kona N$7,120$593
Chevrolet Camaro 2LT$8,100$675
Acura Integra$8,155$680

What our expert says

Q. Why is teen car insurance so high?

Mark FriedlanderDirector of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute.
“Adding a teen to a family’s auto insurance policy can be very expensive due to their inexperience behind the wheel and higher propensity to be involved in an at-fault accident than other demographic groups.”

Resources & Methodology


Methodology editors in 2024 collected rates from Quadrant Information Services for 18-year-old drivers with a full coverage insurance policy with limits 100/300/100 and $500 comprehensive and collision deductible on a Honda Accord LX. We analyzed 53,409,632 quotes, 34,588 ZIP codes and 170 insurance companies nationwide.

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Elizabeth Rivelli
Contributing Researcher


Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer who covers various insurance topics. Her areas of expertise are life insurance, car insurance, property insurance and health insurance. Elizabeth’s byline has appeared in dozens of online publications, including Investopedia, CNET and Bankrate. She has also written for several insurance carriers.