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Insurance companies consider drivers in their teens to be high risk and price their policies for this age group accordingly. But 18-year-olds who shop around will find they can save thousands of dollars a year. American National, for instance, is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-old drivers. It offers policies at about $2,250 per year for full coverage, according to Insurance.com’s analysis of nationwide insurers.

Erie, Berkshire Hathaway, and Western National also offer good rates.

An 18-year-old driver, on average, pays $5,242 a year for a full coverage policy, according to Insurance.com’s latest data analysis. By comparison, a 40-year-old with a good credit and driving history pays on average about $1,700 a year for full coverage.

Why do 18-years-olds pay so much for car insurance?

Young drivers typically shell out more for car insurance than older drivers due to their lack of experience behind the wheel. According to the most up-to-date Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures, in 2019 nearly 2,400 teens aged 13–19 were killed in the United States, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in a car crash. The CDC also says that, in 2018, motor vehicle crash deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds resulted in some $4.8 billion in medical and work loss costs.

In this guide, you can find cheap car insurance rates for 18-year-olds by state, the companies offering the cheapest insurance, and tips to save on auto insurance rates.

How much is car insurance for 18-year-olds?

While the average 18-year-old driver pays $5,242 a year, or about $437 per month, for a full coverage policy, teens also can opt for state minimum, liability-only, and other coverage types.

Below are average annual car insurance costs for common coverage levels for 18-year-old male drivers:

  • State minimum coverage: $1,786 per year
  • Liability-only coverage (50/100/50): $2,149 per year 
  • Full Coverage: $5,565 per year

For a full coverage auto insurance policy, the coverage limit is 100/300/100, where $100,000 is for bodily injury per person, $300,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $100,000 for property damage.

Cheapest car insurance companies for 18-year-old drivers

American National has the cheapest car insurance rates for 18-year-old drivers, but other insurers offer below-average prices.

Erie, Berkshire Hathaway and Western National are among those that offer cheap car insurance for 18-year-old drivers. USAA also provides cheap insurance for teens, but it only provides its services to veterans, military members and their families.

The table below shows how insurance companies rank in terms of price for 18-year-old drivers buying full coverage policy.

CompanyAverage Annual Rate
American National$2,259
Erie$3,151
USAA$3,243
Geico$3,369
Western National$3,519
American Family$3,558
State Farm$3,629
Auto Owners$3,645
Travelers$3,798
Vermont Mutual$3,938

Cheapest car insurance for 18-year-old: male vs female

American National is the cheapest car insurance provider for both 18-year-old male and female drivers. However, car insurance from American National is cheaper for female drivers than for 18-year-old male drivers. Female drivers pay $2,022 per year, whereas 18-year-old male drivers pay $2,497 annually for the same coverage.

According to the CDC, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers aged 16–19 is twice that of female drivers of the same age. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that two out of every three teenagers who die in car accidents are males, thereby making male drivers a high risk to insure.

CompanySingle 18-year-old FemaleSingle 18-year-old Male
American National$2,022$2,497
USAA$3,124$3,362
Erie$2,788$3,514
Geico$3,190$3,547
American Family$3,434$3,681
Western National$3,291$3,747
Auto Owners$3,354$3,935
State Farm$3,303$3,954
Mapfre Ins$3,407$4,035
Travelers$3,549$4,047
Vermont Mutual$3,498$4,378

Note: USAA auto insurance is available only to military members, veterans, and their families.

Average car insurance for 18-year-old males and females

When it comes to car insurance, 18-year-old male drivers pay $5,565 per year on average, whereas 18-year-old female drivers pay $4,918 annually. That’s a difference of $647 based on gender.

Some states, including California and Michigan, do not allow insurance companies to charge different rates for teen adults based on their gender. However, in many places in the United States, insurance companies take gender into account when determining auto insurance rates.

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

Hawaii is the cheapest state for 18-year-old drivers to get car insurance at about $1,414 per year. It’s $3,828 cheaper than the national average of $5,242 for 18-year-olds. 

The below table shows the cheapest to most expensive states for car insurance rates for 18-year-old drivers.

StateAvg Annual Premium
Hawaii$1,414
North Carolina$2,854
Vermont$3,406
Iowa$3,410
Ohio$3,459
Maine$3,616
Indiana$3,650
Minnesota$3,761
Alaska$3,879
Idaho$4,039
Oregon$4,153
Virginia$4,178
New Mexico$4,420
New Hampshire$4,470
South Dakota$4,478
Washington$4,497
North Dakota$4,546
Kansas$4,705
Wyoming$4,831
Wisconsin$4,917
Tennessee$4,989
Pennsylvania$5,169
Montana$5,185
West Virginia$5,194
Alabama$5,246
Illinois$5,275
Maryland$5,280
Mississippi$5,316
Utah$5,326
South Carolina$5,346
Nebraska$5,353
California$5,438
Arkansas$5,449
Georgia$5,583
New York$5,597
Arizona$5,713
District of Columbia$5,802
Massachusetts$5,854
Oklahoma$5,950
Colorado$5,993
Missouri$6,030
Texas$6,218
Connecticut$6,379
Michigan$6,481
Kentucky$6,620
Nevada$6,712
New Jersey$6,734
Rhode Island$6,972
Delaware$7,660
Louisiana$8,571
Florida$8,918

How can 18-year-olds save on car insurance?

For young drivers, car insurance can be a major expense. But there are ways to save. Here are some tips for 18-year-olds looking to get the best deal on car insurance.

  • Compare quotes: Car insurance rates vary from company to company. This is because insurers use different parameters -- such as your driving record, age, gender, type of car you own, and where you live -- to determine your insurance premiums. So, 18-year-olds should consider comparing quotes from multiple companies to get the best deal on car insurance.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Most insurance companies offer discounts for teen drivers, such as good student discounts and discounts upon completing a driving course.
  • Drive a cheaper or affordable car: The cost of repairing an expensive vehicle is often greater than the price of fixing a less costly model. This means drivers pay more in monthly insurance premiums for an expensive car model.
  • Reconsider your coverage needs: Most insurance carriers recommend that you have a full-coverage policy for 18-year-olds, as they are more likely to get into accidents. However, if your car is old and the repairs would be more expensive than the car is worth, you might be able to get away with a minimum-coverage policy.

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