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Auto insurance rates are based on a variety of factors, with age being one of the biggest. Young drivers are largely inexperienced and more prone to accidents – and, as such, a higher risk to insurance providers.

Car insurance for adults 18 to 25 years old is usually quite high.

The average cost of car insurance for a 21-year-old is $3,026 a year – 41% more than the $1,798 rate a 30-year-old pays, according to a 2022 Insurance.com analysis. As high as that is, it’s a lot less expensive than the $5,242 average annual rate an 18-year-old driver pays.

But those are just averages. Some insurance companies provide more affordable car insurance rates to young drivers. And, for 21-year-old drivers, there are options.

American National Insurance, for instance, has the cheapest average car insurance rates for this age group, at about $115 per month, or around $1,382 a year, based on Insurance.com’s analysis.

To help educate 21-year-old drivers on what insurance costs, Insurance.com analyzed price quotes from multiple carriers and put together this guide to help them find quality car insurance at affordable rates.

How much is car insurance for 21-year-olds?

The average cost of car insurance for a 21-year-old driver, as mentioned above, is $3,026 a year. That’s $1,344 more than the auto insurance national average of $1,682 for a 40-year-old driver.

But rates may vary based on young drivers’ personal profiles, such as their credit score, high school or college class, driving history and location.

To get the best possible car insurance rates, 21-year-olds should shop around and compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

Cheap car insurance companies for 21-year-olds

While American National offers the cheapest car insurance rate for 21-year-olds, Geico offers the second cheapest premium for young drivers at about $1,986 a year, according to Insurance.com’s research.

Below is a list of insurance companies that offer cheap car insurance for 21-year-old drivers.

CompanyAverage Annual PremiumAverage Monthly Premium
American National Insurance$ 1,382$ 115
Geico$ 1,986$ 166
Nationwide$ 2,016$ 168
Erie Insurance$ 2,207$ 184
American Family$ 2,247$ 187
Travelers$ 2,304$ 192
Vermont$ 2,398$ 200
Mercury$ 2,427$ 202
State Farm$ 2,438$ 203
Auto Owners$ 2,476$ 206
Western National Mutual$ 2,785$ 232
Farmers$ 2,912$ 243
Progressive$ 2,916$ 243
Allstate$ 3,209$ 267
National General Insurance$ 3,215$ 268
Country Financial$ 3,401$ 283
Shelter Insurance$ 3,568$ 297
Hartford$ 3,641$ 303
Mapfre Insurance$ 3,721$ 310
Auto Club$ 3,752$ 313
Chubb Ltd$ 3,793$ 316
CSAA Insurance Exchange$ 3,988$ 332
Westfield Insurance$ 4,300$ 358
Mercury Insurance$ 4,484$ 374
Safeway Insurance group$ 4,759$ 397

Cheapest car insurance for 21-year-old: Male vs. Female

Some states forbid car insurance companies to use gender to calculate insurance rates. However, young male drivers across the country still end up paying slightly higher insurance premiums than females.

For example, Insurance.com found that American National offers car insurance to 21-year-old female drivers for $1,236 per year, whereas 21-year-old male drivers pay $1,528 a year for the same coverage.

Male drivers across all age groups have higher death rates than female drivers, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. In 2020, nearly 2,038 male drivers aged 20-24 were killed per 100,000 people by age and sex in the United States. And 7,327 male drivers aged 20-29 were involved in fatal crashes per 100 miles traveled, according to IIHS.

The table below can be used to compare car insurance rates for 21-year-old males and females.

CompanyFemaleMale
American National Insurance$1,236$1,528
Geico$1,921$2,051
Nationwide$1,923$2,110
Erie Insurance$2,006$2,409
American Family Insurance$2,180$2,315
Travelers$2,189$2,419
Vermont$2,2412,555
State Farm$2,255$2,621
Amica Mutual Insurance$2,321$2,533
Auto-Owners$2,351$2,601
Western National Mutual2,606$2,964
Progressive$2,751$3,080
Farmers Insurance$2,784$3,040
Chubb$2,984$4,601
Allstate$3,031$3,387
National General$3,169$3,262
Shelter Insurance$3,301$3,835
Country Insurance$3,344$3,458
Mapfre Insurance$3,407$4,035
Auto Club Insurance$3,461$4,043
Hartford$3,589$3,692
Westfield Insurance$3,693$4,906
CSAA Insurance$3,937$4,039
Mercury$4,076$4,893
Safeway Insurance$4,168$5,351

Why do 21-year-olds pay so much for car insurance?

A 21-year-old driver tends to be less experienced behind the wheel and more likely to get into accidents. Younger drivers are five to ten times more likely to get injured in a road crash than drivers among the safest age group, according to PubMed Central. Thus, insurance companies consider young drivers to be risky and charge them higher insurance premiums.

How to save money on car insurance as a 21-year-old?

There are many ways for young drivers to get a better price on their auto insurance:

  • Compare quotes: You will be surprised to see how much rates can differ from company to company for the same coverage. Always compare quotes before buying a policy.
  • Maintain a clean driving record: A clean driving record is one of the most important factors insurance companies consider when calculating insurance rates. If you want to get cheaper car insurance premiums, strive to avoid accidents and traffic violations.
  • Look for a good student discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount to students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Ask about student-away discount: Insurance companies offer discounts for 21-year-olds who are still on their parent's car insurance and attend school or college more than 100 miles away.
  • Bundle with renters insurance: 21-year-olds can bundle their renters insurance with auto policy to get a bundling discount from their insurers.
  • Ask insurers about enrolling in their telematics program: Many insurance companies offer telematics programs as a way to track and assess the risk of young drivers. By understanding how young drivers interact with their vehicles, insurers can better tailor coverage and rates to each individual.
  • Low-mileage discount: Young drivers often face sky-high insurance rates, as they are considered to be high-risk. One way to help offset the insurance cost for young drivers is to take advantage of a low-mileage discount. Many insurance companies offer these discounts to drivers who drive less than 7,500 miles per year.
  • New car discount: This discount is available on a new car purchase, and it can help 21-year-olds save big on their new set of wheels.
  • Electronic payment discount: Young drivers can get an electronic payment discount from their insurance provider if they pay their insurance premiums digitally.
  • Pay in advance: If you make your insurance payment 7 to 10 days before your due date you can take advantage of pay in advance discount.
  • High-tech safety feature installation: Installing safety features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, daytime running lights, electronic stability control and automatic seat belts can help young drivers score discounts on their insurance policy.
  • Anti-theft devices on the vehicle: By Installing anti-theft devices like GPS trackers, audible alarms, etc, young drivers can make their vehicle less attractive to thieves and save money on coverage costs.
  • Become a better driver: Most companies offer discounts to young drivers for completing a defensive driving program.

Final thoughts

Insurance companies consider 21-year-old drivers risky to insure, but insurers like American National, Geico and Nationwide offer cheap insurance rates to young drivers.

A 21-year-old pays more for car insurance than older drivers. But as they get older and gain more driving experience, their rates should start to drop. Rates are cheapest for drivers in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and then increase again at age 70.

Methodology

Insurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to gather rates from multiple insurance companies across the U.S. We used full coverage rates based on the sample profile of a 21-year-old driver with a clean driving record and for the coverage limit 100/300/100, which represents $100,000 for bodily injury per person, $300,000 for bodily injury per accident and $100,000 for personal property damage.

We analyzed insurance quotes from 26 insurance companies. To qualify for our list, a company must provide insurance in a minimum of 10 states. You can use these averages to compare companies based on price, but your own insurance premiums may be different.

Sources:

Insurance.com has prepared in-depth car insurance guides for drivers of different ages. You will learn how much you expect to pay for insurance based on your age and how you can save on premiums each year. Check out the guides below: