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CAR INSURANCE INSIGHTS

The average cost of a full coverage auto insurance policy for an 18-year-old driver is about $5,190 per year

Car Insurance for an 18 year old

Car insurance for 18-year-olds isn’t cheap; they (or their parents) tend to pay quite a bit more than older drivers. Getting added to a parent’s policy can help, but there are additional ways to save on car insurance as an 18-year-old who needs their own policy, too.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The average cost of a full coverage auto insurance policy for an 18-year-old driver is about $5,190 per year, on average.
  • Gender affects auto insurance rates; 18-year-old women with their own full coverage policies will pay around $4,772 per year, on average, while an 18-year old male will pay $5,605 per year.
  • Though it’s possible for an 18-year-old driver to get their own car insurance policy, it can save quite a bit of money to be added to a parent’s existing policy.

Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds

A full year of auto insurance coverage for an 18-year-old driver with their own policy is about $5,190, on average. That’s quite a bit more than the national average of $1,758 for a driver who’s 30 years old.

One option that 18-year-olds have if they drive a family car is to get added to a parent’s policy. Though it’s still expensive to add a young driver to an existing policy, and the premium will increase, it can be cheaper than taking out a separate policy on your own. If you have your own car that isn’t driven by other members of your family, you may be able to get a separate policy through your parents’ insurer, though the rate will be different (and most likely, higher).

Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old male vs female

Your gender will also have a fairly large impact on your insurance rates. And bad news for the guys: car insurance for male drivers tends to be more expensive. An 18-year-old female with her own comprehensive policy and liability limits of 100/300/100 can expect to pay $4,772 per year, on average. A male driver of the same age and with the same policy can expect to pay $5,605 per year, on average -- $833 more.

Below is a closer look at the cost of auto insurance for 18-year-old females vs. males by state for their own policies.

Auto Insurance for 18-year-old Females
StateTeen Policy
Alaska$4,181
Alabama$5,264
Arkansas$5,736
Arizona$5,005
California$5,823
Colorado$5,818
Connecticut$6,642
DC$5,338
Delaware$5,552
Florida$6,483
Georgia$5,277
Hawaii$1,411
Iowa$3,122
Idaho$4,168
Illinois$4,148
Indiana$3,915
Kansas$4,332
Kentucky$6,084
Louisiana$8,030
Massachusetts$4,876
Maryland$4,484
Maine$3,381
Michigan$9,417
Minnesota$3,930
Missouri$4,126
Mississippi$4,546
Montana$4,723
North Carolina$2,399
North Dakota$3,878
Nebraska$3,718
New Hampshire$4,796
New Jersey$4,683
New Mexico$5,315
Nevada$6,076
New York$4,204
Ohio$3,911
Oklahoma$5,745
Oregon$5,306
Pennsylvania$4,381
Rhode Island$7,190
South Carolina$4,559
South Dakota$4,288
Tennessee$4,853
Texas$5,210
Utah$4,520
Virginia$3,098
Vermont$3,519
Washington$4,179
Wisconsin$4,335
West Virginia$4,310
Wyoming$3,099
Auto Insurance for 18-year-old Male
StateTeen Policy
Alaska$5,027
Alabama$6,034
Arkansas$6,758
Arizona$5,892
California$7,007
Colorado$6,615
Connecticut$8,075
DC$6,713
Delaware$6,812
Florida$7,778
Georgia$6,478
Hawaii$1,411
Iowa$3,729
Idaho$5,035
Illinois$4,887
Indiana$4,816
Kansas$5,152
Kentucky$7,178
Louisiana$9,501
Massachusetts$4,876
Maryland$5,587
Maine$4,053
Michigan$9,560
Minnesota$4,819
Missouri$4,863
Mississippi$5,167
Montana$4,723
North Carolina$2,399
North Dakota$4,783
Nebraska$4,372
New Hampshire$5,648
New Jersey$5,304
New Mexico$6,252
Nevada$7,042
New York$5,617
Ohio$4,553
Oklahoma$6,777
Oregon$5,885
Pennsylvania$4,335
Rhode Island$8,524
South Carolina$5,612
South Dakota$5,388
Tennessee$5,726
Texas$6,159
Utah$5,304
Virginia$3,778
Vermont$4,301
Washington$4,773
Wisconsin$5,270
West Virginia$5,213
Wyoming$4,335

State minimum coverage for an 18-year-old

The amount of insurance coverage you legally need to carry varies by state but is the same regardless of your age. In almost every state, you have to at least have liability coverage, which applies in situations where you are at fault for an accident.

There are two components to liability insurance: Bodily injury liability, which covers injuries to others, and property damage liability, which covers damage to someone else’s vehicle or property. It’s generally shown in a format like 20/40/10, which translates to $20,000 in coverage per person injured in an accident, a maximum of $40,000 in coverage for the whole accident, and $10,000 in coverage for any property damage.

Keep in mind that even though most states require a minimum level of coverage, that might not fully protect you in an expensive accident, and it won’t cover injuries to you or damage to your own property. Some states require additional coverage on top of liability, such as personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

Below is a look at the minimum liability coverage required in each state for 18-year-olds (and all other drivers).

Minimum liability car insurance requirements by state

StateMinimum Car Insurance Limits
AlabamaLiability: 25/50/25
AlaskaLiability: 50/100/25
ArizonaLiability: 25/50/15
ArkansasLiability: 25/50/25
CaliforniaLiability: 15/30/5
ColoradoLiability: 25/50/15
Connecticut

Liability: 25/50/25

UM/UIM BI: 20/40

Delaware

Liability: 25/50/10

PIP: 15/30

District of Columbia

Liability: 25/50/10

UM BI: 25/50

District of ColumbiaUMPD: $5,000
Florida

Liability: 10/20/10

PIP: $10,000

BI liability not required by Florida but many carriers require 10/20

GeorgiaLiability: 25/50/25
Hawaii

Liability: 20/40/10

PIP or PPO: $10,000

IdahoLiability: 25/50/15
Illinois

Liability: 25/50/20

UM BI: 25/50

IndianaLiability: 25/50/25
IowaLiability: 20/40/15
KansasLiability: 25/50/25
Kansas

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

PIP: $4,500 medical/$900 work loss

Kentucky

Liability: 25/50/25

PIP: $10,000

LouisianaLiability: 15/30/25
Maine

Liability: 50/100/25

UM/UIM BI: 50/100

Medical payments: $2,000

Maryland

Liability: 30/60/15

UM/UIM BI: 30/60

UMPD: $15,000

PIP $2,500

Massachusetts

Liability: 20/40/5

UM/UIM BI: 20/40

PIP: $8,000

Michigan

Liability: 50/100/10

PIP: 6 choices from $50,000 to unlimited medical

PPI: $1,000,000

Minnesota

Liability: 30/60/10

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

PIP: $40,000

MississippiLiability: 25/50/25
Missouri

Liability: 25/50/10

UM BI: 25/50

MontanaLiability: 25/50/20
Nebraska

Liability: 25/50/25

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

NevadaLiability: 25/50/20
New Hampshire*

Liability: 25/50/25

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

Medical payments: $1,000

Medical payments: $1,000

*Insurance not mandatory in New Hampshire

New Jersey

Liability: 15/30/5 (standard policy)

UM/UIM BI: 15/30

UMPD: $5,000

PIP: $15,000

New MexicoLiability: 25/50/10
New York

Liability: 25/50/10

UM BI: 25/50

PIP: $50,000

North CarolinaLiability: 30/60/25
North Carolina

UM BI: 30/60

UMPD: $25,000

North Dakota

Liability: 25/50/25

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

PIP: $30,000

OhioLiability: 25/50/25
OklahomaLiability: 25/50/25
Oregon

Liability: 25/50/20

UM BI: 25/50

PIP: $15,000

Pennsylvania

Liability: 15/30/5

First party benefits (PIP): $5,000

Rhode IslandLiability: 25/50/25
South Carolina

Liability: 25/50/25

UM BI: 25/50

UMPD: $25,000

South Dakota

Liability: 25/50/25

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

TennesseeLiability: 25/50/15
TexasLiability: 30/60/25
UtahLiability: 25/65/15
UtahPIP: $3,000
VermontLiability: 25/50/10
VermontUM/UIM BI: 50/100
VermontUMPD: $10,000
Virginia

Liability: 25/50/20

UM/UIM BI: 25/50

UMPD: $20,000

WashingtonLiability: 25/50/10
West Virginia

Liability: 25/50/25

UM BI: 25/50

UMPD: $25,000

Wisconsin

Liability: 25/50/10

UM BI: 25/50

WyomingLiability: 25/50/20

Why is car insurance for 18-year-olds so expensive?

Unfortunately, 18-year-olds have to pay higher car insurance premiums than older drivers. But why? Auto insurance rates are based on how much risk certain drivers present, and younger drivers (especially young, male drivers) tend to have higher accident rates, be involved in more expensive accidents, have worse driving records, etc. One particularly sobering statistic: Per mile driven, drivers aged 16-19 are almost three times as likely to be in a fatal crash as drivers aged 20 or older.

In other words, 18-year old drivers – and young, inexperienced drivers in general – are statistically much riskier to insure. So premiums reflect that risk.

How to get cheap car insurance at 18-years-old?

Even though 18-year-olds pay higher car insurance rates, there are some ways you can ensure you pay the lowest rate possible. Here are some ideas for getting cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds.

Get added to your parents’ policy

Though your parents might not be thrilled about having their premiums go up, getting added to their policy is less expensive than taking out your own, separate policy.

Maintain good grades

If you’re finishing up high school or starting college, a solid report card can help lower your car insurance rates. Many insurers offer good student discounts to drivers who maintain at least a B average, which can lower your premium by up to 25%.

Ask about “away” discounts

If you’re in school but not actually driving, you may get a rate reduction for leaving your car at home while you’re away on campus. This could knock off anywhere from 5% to 30% of your rate.

Drive safe

Young drivers are notorious for racking up tickets and getting into accidents, so keeping a clean driving record will go a long way toward keeping your car insurance premiums down.

Take a defensive driving course

As an added measure, attending a course on safe or defensive driving (which are separate from general driver’s education courses) could score you an added car insurance discount of around 10% to 15%. Sometimes, these classes can even be taken online for added convenience.

Choose your vehicle wisely

If you’re looking to keep your insurance costs low, cruising around in your family’s beat-up minivan is a better choice than a Mustang or brand new Lexus. Fast and/or pricey vehicles already come with high insurance rates, and your young age will only compound the cost.

Best cheap car insurance companies for 18-year-olds

Getting specific about the cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds is tough since so many factors are at play. Not only does the driver’s age, gender, vehicle, location, level of coverage, and more impact the cost, but every insurance company has its own algorithm for setting premiums.

That said, it is possible to get a general idea of what different car insurance companies charge on the national level. In the chart below, you’ll see how various insurers compare when it comes to their average rates for full coverage policies for 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest Car Insurance for 18 Year Olds
Company Average Rates Full CoverageAverage Rates Full Coverage
Concord$1,739
USAA$2,035
Liberty Mutual$2,082
Geico$2,273
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,322
Erie$2,781
Mississippi Farm Bureau$2,858
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,927
Texas Farm Bureau$3,003
Owners Insurance$3,192
Travelers$3,476
New York Central$3,508
State Farm$3,563
MMG Insurance$3,681
Progressive$4,036
Depositors$4,211
AAA Texas County$4,423
Nationwide$4,495
Arbella$5,184
Allied$5,256
Kentucky Farm Bureau$5,404
Safeco$5,463
United Financial$5,513
Colonial County$5,660
Allstate$5,691
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$5,694
Louisiana Farm Bureau$5,754
Safety$6,110
Farmers$6,432
Metropolitan$6,921
Victoria$7,119
Safeway$7,278
Mid Century$7,635
Foremost$8,618
Amica$8,968

Frequently asked questions

Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?

The short answer is: Yes, an 18-year-old can get their own car insurance policy. In fact, there are companies that will sell policies to teens younger than 18, but state laws dictate whether minors can sign for their own policies. So in some cases, a parent may need to co-sign. But as an 18-year-old, you’re an adult and can buy your own policy.

 Though you may like the idea of having a policy separate from your parents, it is important to consider the cost. It’s generally more expensive to get your own insurance instead of getting added to an existing policy. Still, if you are more concerned about establishing your financial independence (or have no interest in driving the family car), a policy of your own may make the most sense.

How does car insurance for an 18-year-old compare to other ages?

Sure, car insurance for 18-year-olds is expensive, but they don’t have it the worst. In general, the younger you are, the more expensive your car insurance premiums will be. Sixteen-year-olds, for instance, are faced with the highest auto insurance rates since they crash twice as often as 18- and 19-year-olds.  And, as you might have guessed, drivers over the age of 18 enjoy slightly lower rates, on average. Here’s a closer look at how much annual car insurance premiums are for different age groups:

  • 16-year-old - $3,989
  • 17-year-old - $3,522
  • 18-year-old - $3,148
  • 19-year-old - $2,178
  • 20-year-old - $1,945

Do car insurance rates go down after age 18?

Ok, you get it: car insurance for 18-year-olds is expensive. So when can you expect rates to significantly decrease? Twenty-five is usually the magic number since drivers this age or older are statistically less like to cause an accident and file a claim. As a result, insurance premiums tend to be cheaper.

How much does it cost to add an 18-year-old to car insurance by state?

Being added to a parent’s car insurance policy can help you save money on the overall cost of your premiums. Even so, it’s not cheap to add a teen to an existing policy. You can expect the premium to increase by 130%, on average, when adding an 18-year-old. Below, you can see how the cost of adding an 18-year-old to car insurance varies by state.

Car Insurance Cost for an 18 year Old Female
StateParent PolicyParent Policy with Teen
Alaska$1,318$2,718
Alabama$1,479$2,591
Arkansas$1,550$2,834
Arizona$1,533$3,015
California$2,018$3,589
Colorado$1,733$3,016
Connecticut$1,914$4,041
DC$1,690$3,058
Delaware$1,736$2,885
Florida$2,502$4,199
Georgia$1,638$3,016
Hawaii$1,287$1,364
Iowa$1,054$1,999
Idaho$1,105$2,047
Illinois$1,208$2,393
Indiana$1,237$2,226
Kansas$1,408$2,326
Kentucky$1,682$3,019
Louisiana$2,547$4,560
Massachusetts$1,469$3,211
Maryland$1,615$2,681
Maine$879$1,572
Michigan$2,900$5,096
Minnesota$1,233$2,362
Missouri$1,350$2,165
Mississippi$1,400$2,305
Montana$1,530$2,117
North Carolina$1,150$1,933
North Dakota$1,155$1,944
Nebraska$1,230$1,887
New Hampshire$1,159$2,371
New Jersey$1,595$3,150
New Mexico$1,387$2,566
Nevada$1,905$3,805
New York$1,777$3,256
Ohio$997$1,680
Oklahoma$1,812$3,237
Oregon$1,504$2,680
Pennsylvania$1,503$2,831
Rhode Island$1,939$4,032
South Carolina$1,653$2,897
South Dakota$1,226$1,976
Tennessee$1,214$2,456
Texas$1,618$3,048
Utah$1,267$2,264
Virginia$929$1,669
Vermont$1,004$2,145
Washington$1,269$2,335
Wisconsin$1,148$2,046
West Virginia$1,351$2,378
Wyoming$1,384$2,050
Car Insurance Cost for an 18 year Old Male
StateParent PolicyParent Policy with Teen
Alaska$1,318$3,021
Alabama$1,479$2,778
Arkansas$1,550$3,036
Arizona$1,533$3,468
California$2,018$4,224
Colorado$1,733$3,240
Connecticut$1,914$4,695
DC$1,690$3,519
Delaware$1,736$3,257
Florida$2,502$4,721
Georgia$1,638$3,501
Hawaii$1,287$1,364
Iowa$1,054$2,252
Idaho$1,105$2,338
Illinois$1,208$2,654
Indiana$1,237$2,503
Kansas$1,408$2,563
Kentucky$1,682$3,332
Louisiana$2,547$5,047
Massachusetts$1,469$3,211
Maryland$1,615$3,073
Maine$879$2,042
Michigan$2,900$5,164
Minnesota$1,233$2,569
Missouri$1,350$2,465
Mississippi$1,400$2,506
Montana$1,530$2,117
North Carolina$1,150$1,933
North Dakota$1,155$2,206
Nebraska$1,230$2,151
New Hampshire$1,159$2,676
New Jersey$1,595$3,538
New Mexico$1,387$2,879
Nevada$1,905$4,314
New York$1,777$3,947
Ohio$997$1,877
Oklahoma$1,812$3,786
Oregon$1,504$2,916
Pennsylvania$1,503$2,831
Rhode Island$1,939$4,702
South Carolina$1,653$3,314
South Dakota$1,226$2,297
Tennessee$1,214$2,776
Texas$1,618$3,419
Utah$1,267$2,565
Virginia$929$1,877
Vermont$1,004$2,438
Washington$1,269$2,515
Wisconsin$1,148$2,370
West Virginia$1,351$2,727
Wyoming$1,384$2,422

Does an 18-year-old have to have full coverage?

Most states dictate that you have a minimum level of insurance coverage, which protects others in case you damage their property or cause bodily harm. However, there’s no law that says any driver has to have full coverage. That said, it can be a good idea for younger drivers to get full coverage since they’re more likely to cause accidents. And liability insurance doesn’t cover your own property or medical bills if you cause an accident, which means you could end up paying a lot out of pocket in that situation. Plus, some lenders require full coverage insurance in order to lease or finance a vehicle.

How much is insurance on a sports car for an 18-year-old?

Sports cars are, in general, expensive to insure. Because they have a large amount of horsepower with the intention of driving fast, they’re a high-risk vehicle to insure. Plus, they tend to be valuable (i.e., expensive to repair). So whether you're 18 or 80, it will be more expensive to insure a sports car than a more modest daily driver. However, if you’re a young and/or inexperienced driver, it will likely cost you even more to insure that vehicle than for someone older due to the added risk.

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