When shopping for the cheapest car to insure for a teenager, you should consider several factors as well as the type of vehicle. Some of these factors include the teenager’s age, state of residence, and gender.
Cheapest Cars to Insure for Teenagers
These are the top 10 cheapest cars to insure for teenagers, including the average annual car insurance cost:
- Mazda MX-5 Miata: $2640.
- Subaru Outback: $2735.
- Volkswagen Golf GTI: $2740.
- Mini Countryman: $2766.
- Volkswagen Routan: $2769.
- Smart Fortwo: $2776.
- Fiat 500L 19: $2786.
- Honda Odyssey: $2788.
- Subaru Legacy: $2792.
- Mini Paceman: $2807.
These breakdowns come from Value Penguin and are based on the 2021 models.
What Are the Average Insurance Rates for Teens?
CarInsurance.com states that the national average to insure a 17-year-old for car insurance is $5925. This number is 237 percent more than what adults over the age of 30 pay.
Although the car insurance cost for teenage drivers varies depending on the state, NerdWallet has a list of the average annual costs for full and minimum coverage listed by age:
- 16-year-old drivers: Minimum coverage is $2733, and full coverage is $6613.
- 17-year-old drivers: Minimum coverage is $2206, and full coverage is $5373.
- 18-year-old drivers: Minimum coverage is $1938, and full coverage is $4837.
- 19-year-old drivers: Minimum coverage is $1541, and full coverage is $3716.
Drivers 16 years of age are the most expensive to insure because they have the least amount of experience.
Which States Are the Cheapest and Most Expensive?
As mentioned, the price for car insurance coverage for teenagers varies depending on the state. The cheapest state for annual minimum and full coverage for 16-year-old drivers is Hawaii because the state doesn’t use age when determining car insurance cost.
Other than Hawaii, North Carolina has one of the lowest average rates for a full-coverage annual policy. Those who are 17 years of age should pay a little less than $2660. In Iowa, the cheapest minimum-coverage rate averages about $930 annually.
Compare that price to the rates in Louisiana, which is the most expensive for full-coverage annual policies for 16-year-old drivers. Expect to pay more than $11,500 for a full-coverage annual policy.
A 17-year-old driver won’t pay as much as a 16-year-old, but the car insurance cost will still be pricy. A 17-year-old driver should pay about $5370 annually for full coverage and $2206 annually for minimum coverage.
These 17-year-old drivers pay the most in Louisiana, as its full-coverage rates top $9255 annually. Michigan is the most expensive for minimum coverage at a little less than $4070 annually.
An 18-year-old driver pays annually on average a little more than $4830 for full coverage, and the average annual minimum-coverage rate is $1940.
Putting Hawaii aside, North Carolina has one of the cheapest average annual full-coverage rates at $2398, while Iowa is the cheapest for minimum coverage at about $812 annually.
The cheapest teenagers to insure are 19-year-old drivers, because they usually have their license longer and have spent more time behind the wheel. For them, the average price for a full-coverage policy is about $3717 annually, while a minimum-coverage rate averages $1451 annually.
Aside from Hawaii, North Carolina is the cheapest for drivers this age. The average full-coverage annual policy is $1490, and for a minimum-coverage rate, it’s $550. The most costly for full coverage is Louisiana at $6240 annually. Michigan tops the list for a minimum-coverage policy at $2890 annually.
Does Gender Play a Role in Car Insurance Costs for Teenagers?
Although car insurance for teenage women is expensive compared to women in their 20s, teenage men usually have high car insurance rates, even if they have spotless driving records. One of the reasons is they lack experience, and car insurers can’t set their rates because they don’t have driving records.
When companies can’t refer to a driving record to estimate the likelihood of filing a claim, they use statistics to determine overall risks and set prices.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), compared to other groups, male teenagers typically cause crashes at higher rates. The IIHS also states that teens ages 16 to 19 are responsible for almost three times as many fatal accidents compared to adults 20 years of age and older.
Ways to Lower Insurance for Teenagers
Typically, auto insurance rates are higher for teens so companies can cover the increased losses teenagers are more likely to incur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto accidents are the second-leading cause of death for teens, with almost 2500 teenagers losing their lives in car crashes in 2018.
However, teenagers can take several steps to reduce their auto insurance rates:
- Take a defensive driving course. The insurance company might give your teen a discount for taking the course. Check with the company first, as it might require you to use specific providers. Many classes can be completed online.
- Get good grades. Most insurance companies reward drivers under the age of 25 if they carry a B average in high school or a GPA of at least 3.0 in college.
- Drive a sensible vehicle. Teenagers who drive a sports car will pay more in insurance than those who have a late-model sedan. Another option is for the teenager to drive a beater and only carry liability insurance. Older, more run-down vehicles don’t need comprehensive or collision coverage, as you’ll likely spend more on insurance for the year than the vehicle is worth.
- Go longer between moving violation tickets and incidents. It makes sense that the longer you go without filing a claim or having an accident, the cheaper the insurance becomes. Have your teen continue driving safely, and avoid submitting minor claims.
- Look into discounts. Teenagers attending college on-campus and not near home, for instance, might qualify for a discount.
When shopping for the cheapest car to insure for your teenager, keep in mind that there are other ways to save money on car insurance. By doing a little research, reaching out directly to your insurance company, and having your teen practicing safe driving habits, your teenager’s insurance rates can drop dramatically.
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