Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2021

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New Driver Car Insurance Summary Data
New Driver Insurance DetailsFrom the Experts
USAA and GEICO typically offer the most affordable rates for new driversQuadrant Information Services
New drivers can pay up to 300% more for coverage than more experienced driversQuadrant Information Services
The leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
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How much does insurance cost for first-time drivers?

Auto insurance rates for a new driver can vary widely depending on several individual factors which include the type of vehicle to be insured, to the types of insurance you’re looking into. If you’re new to this country or have a newly licensed teen, you may be wondering how much the average car insurance rate is going to be for you.

Average car insurance costs for first-time drivers are going to be quite a bit higher than for drivers who have been on the road for a while. The reason being experienced drivers are less likely to get into an accident or cause any damage or injuries while on the road. Your auto insurance company is going to see you as a bit of a risk, and will want to charge you accordingly. A quick review of how car insurance rates are determined may help you understand the basics of how your car insurance rate is calculated.

But whether you’re a new or old driver, there are a few of the same factors which are taken into account when an insurer decides how much you should pay for coverage. In this article, we will explore and explain insurance topics like those factors and prepare you as best as possible to seek out the best auto insurance policy for you.

Looking to compare car insurance quotes for a new driver? Enter your ZIP code in our comparison tool to get great car insurance rates for a new driver now, and see how much new driver insurance costs.

How much is car insurance for first-time drivers?

Generally speaking, if you are new to the world of coverage, you can expect to pay more for coverage than someone who has had consistent, uninterrupted car insurance coverage. There are even discounts for drivers who have been consistently insured. New driver insurance prices are generally higher than average.

How are car insurance rates determined? Rates are based on the person (or persons) driving the car and the car itself. New drivers are usually more of a risk for an insurer because they have no previous driving history to judge you on. Insurers look at your driving history, specifically your motor vehicle record and C.L.U.E. report, to determine your rate.

You are automatically considered a higher risk if you don’t have a driving history for the insurer to review. It’s kind of like getting a mortgage with no credit; your rate will be higher — if you’re approved at all.

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How long are you considered a new driver?

Generally, people who have been driving less than three years are considered new drivers. However it’s up to each company to make that decision themselves, and so the cost of auto insurance can vary depending on what auto insurance providers you’re looking into. The bright side being, if you’re not happy with the prices you’re being given, you can always look elsewhere.

Additionally, there is often a surcharge for people with an ‘unverifiable driving history’.  It can vary widely but may be in the 10-20 percent range. All other things being equal, you’ll likely pay more as a new driver. How much should car insurance cost for a new driver? There’s not one specific, easy answer to that question. Keep reading to learn more.

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What is the cheapest car insurance for a new driver?

When looking for the cheapest car insurance for a new driver, you’ll need to shop around and find the best new driver coverage for your needs. As we’ll discuss later, there are a number of factors that can affect your rates, and how much those factors affect your rates varies from company to company.

To give you a baseline, we’ve collected first-time driver insurance average costs at age 17 compared to more experienced drivers at ages 25 and 35. Take a look to get an idea of the average cost of insurance for a new driver.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 17-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Single 25-Year-Old MaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a Married 35-Year-Old Male
USAA$4,807.54$5,385.61$1,988.52$2,126.14$1,551.43$1,540.32
GEICO
$5,653.55$6,278.96$2,378.89$2,262.87$2,302.89$2,312.38
Nationwide$5,756.37$7,175.31$2,686.48$2,889.04$2,360.49$2,387.43
State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34$2,335.96$2,554.56$2,081.72$2,081.72
American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50$2,288.65$2,694.72$2,202.70$2,224.31
Farmers$8,521.97$9,144.04$2,946.80$3,041.44$2,556.98$2,557.75
Progressive$8,689.95$9,625.49$2,697.73$2,758.66$2,296.90$2,175.27
Allstate$9,282.19$10,642.53$3,424.87$3,570.93$3,156.09$3,123.01
Travelers$9,307.32$12,850.91$2,325.25$2,491.21$2,178.66$2,199.51
Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69$3,959.67$4,503.13$3,802.77$3,856.84
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You can see that average insurance costs for new drivers are much higher than that of more experienced drivers.

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance for new drivers under 21, your best bet may be GEICO or USAA, based on the data in the table.

Car insurance for new drivers over 21 will vary, but the same rate information suggests both USAA and GEICO are good options. This also holds true when looking to insure drivers under the age of 25.

If you’re looking for coverage for new drivers over 25, you may want to consider USAA, American Family, or GEICO, based on available rate data.

However, keep in mind that this data is not specifically focused on new drivers but, as we already noted, includes rates for more experienced drivers.

How do I find the best insurance for a new driver?

Once again, there’s not an easy, specific answer to this question. It’s a little more complicated than just looking at rates, which we did above. There are a lot of factors that affect coverage and rates for you specifically, which we’ll discuss later, but there are some actions you can take to save when looking for an affordable auto policy. 

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Should you shop around? 

As a new driver, it’s in your best interest to shop around extensively. There are companies that have more of a risk appetite for new drivers. Be sure to look at online quotes; you’ll be able to see the most competitive rates if you compare them. It’s the best way to end up with an annual cost of your auto coverage that you’ll be able to afford.

You may also want to stay away from insurance companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their products on TV. Ultimately in cases like these, your dollars are spent on attracting new clients rather than providing less expensive coverage to existing clients.

Is it possible to get some kind of insurance discount? 

With most things that a consumer can purchase, there is a variety of discounts one can find when getting auto insurance quotes, depending on what coverage options you’re looking into. You can also look for discounts you can take advantage of as a new driver. These can include:

New Driver Discounts Offered by Car Insurance Companies
Insurance CompaniesDistant StudentDriver's EdFurther EducationGood CreditGood StudentNew GraduateNewly LicensedStudentsYoung Driver
21st CenturyxxAlumnix
AAAxxx
Allstatexxx
American Familyxxx
Ameriprisexxxx
Amicaxxx
Country Financialxxxx
Esurancexxx
Farmersxxxx
GEICOxxxx
Liberty Mutualxxxxxxx
MetLifexxx
Nationwidexxxxx
Progressivexxxxxx
Safe Autoxx
Safecoxxxxxx
State Farmxxxx
The Generalxx
The Hanoverxxxx
The Hartfordxxx
Travelersxxxx
USAAxxxx
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If you stay on your parent’s car insurance policy, you can get added discounts like multi-car or multi-policy discounts.

Speak to a licensed insurance agent to find out which discounts are available (what we’ve included in the table is not a complete list; not every discount is available in every state, etc.) and what you qualify for.

Factors That Affect First Time Driver Insurance Cost

Now let’s look at the factors that make up the rate you can expect to pay as a new driver. The possible combination of these factors is almost infinite, so we can’t give you an exact number, but we can tell you what insurers will be looking at.

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Why are you considered a new driver?

This is the first question we need to answer. Why are you new? If you’re newly licensed as a teenager, especially a male, you can expect to pay quite a bit for a new policy. Teen drivers are notoriously expensive to insure, and males are statistically shown to be riskier drivers.

Recall the table we looked at earlier that showed rate data for 17-year-old drivers compared to drivers at ages 25 and 35.

Average car insurance for a new driver rate for a 17-year-old male is generally 196 percent higher than a more experienced 25-year-old male driver, and rates for a 17-year-old female are about 103 percent higher than for 25-year-old female drivers.

The cost to insure a first time driver who is at least 25 years old is much less expensive, as a 25-year-old is considered to be a less risky driver than a teenager with the same level of experience. However, it will still be more than what it would cost if you had previous insurance history. Insurance claims can become expensive, and this is one way an insurer can turn a profit.

What kind of coverage do you plan to purchase?

There is a wide range of options out there so you need to figure out what particular type of coverage you want. Are you shopping for liability-only car insurance or full coverage, including comprehensive and collision? The type of coverage you’re looking into is going to affect what you pay. 

As expected, the more additional coverages you ask for, the more expensive the policy. Take a look at this table to see average rates for various types of coverage to get an idea of costs.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
StatesAverage Annual Liability Insurance RatesAverage Annual Collision Insurance RatesAverage Annual Comprehensive Insurance RatesAverage Annual Full Coverage Insurance Rates
Alabama$372.57$317.96$156.31$868.48
Alaska$547.34$350.81$137.26$1,027.75
Arizona$488.59$277.96$186.12$972.85
Arkansas$381.14$321.80$190.41$906.34
California$462.95$396.55$100.54$986.75
Colorado$477.10$287.00$174.61$981.64
Connecticut$633.95$368.51$131.62$1,151.07
District of Columbia$628.09$468.67$233.24$1,330.73
Delaware$776.50$318.77$122.49$1,240.57
Florida$845.05$331.83$159.18$1,048.40
Georgia$490.64$313.17$101.56$873.28
Hawaii$458.49$219.05$116.55$679.89
Idaho$337.17$309.71$128.13$884.56
Illinois$430.54$250.29$122.06$755.03
Indiana$372.44$219.75$183.53$702.46
Iowa$293.34$263.33$267.91$862.93
Kansas$342.33$267.91$141.39$938.51
Kentucky$518.91$414.36$215.17$1,405.36
Louisiana$727.15$259.98$104.98$703.82
Maine$333.92$353.99$152.72$1,116.45
Maryland$599.48$388.28$134.96$1,129.29
Massachusetts$587.75$413.83$154.85$1,364.00
Michigan$722.04$234.40$184.27$875.49
Minnesota$439.58$323.22$210.33$994.05
Mississippi$437.38$275.28$181.27$872.43
Missouri$399.41$265.32$211.91$863.52
Montana$387.77$237.13$229.25$831.02
Nebraska$349.07$303.86$117.63$1,103.05
Nevada$647.07$307.42$110.77$818.75
New Hampshire$393.24$381.86$131.35$1,382.79
New Jersey$865.55$276.98$172.57$937.59
New Mexico$462.21$385.02$171.12$1,360.66
New York$784.98$293.59$136.08$789.09
North Carolina$357.59$244.09$231.04$773.30
North Dakota$282.55$269.84$121.61$788.56
Ohio$376.16$318.47$225.84$1,005.32
Oklahoma$441.57$226.83$93.87$904.83
Oregon$553.43$327.24$144.21$970.51
Pennsylvania$495.02$411.51$132.19$1,303.50
Rhode Island$720.06$265.07$180.94$973.10
South Carolina$497.50$208.58$258.11$766.91
South Dakota$289.04$282.96$116.53$1,257.13
Tennessee$397.73$309.07$148.45$871.43
Texas$498.44$374.49$206.42$1,109.66
Utah$471.26$265.90$109.50$872.93
Vermont$340.98$295.42$125.48$764.02
Virginia$413.12$280.52$136.54$842.67
Washington$568.92$265.74$106.38$968.80
West Virginia$501.44$329.67$204.28$1,025.78
Wisconsin$359.84$226.00$136.81$737.18
Wyoming$323.38$278.83$247.57$847.44
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The more coverage you have, the higher your insurance rates will be. However, the more coverage you have, the less you will have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident.

What kind of vehicle do you drive?

What type of car are you insuring? Not surprisingly, depending on the car you have, you may end up having a coverage minimum set in place by your provider. For example, the cost to insure a 1990 Honda Civic will cost substantially less than coverage for a 2012 Ford Mustang GT convertible. We have a few examples of how what you drive can affect your rates in this table.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Vehicle Type
Insurance Companies2015 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V62015 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT2015 Toyota RAV4: XLE2018 Ford F-150: Lariat SuperCab with 2WD 6.5 foot bed and 2.7L V62018 Honda Civic Sedan: LX with 2.0L 4cyl and CVT2018 Toyota RAV4: XLE
USAA$2,551.56$2,409.67$2,454.58$2,855.69$2,422.66$2,529.63
GEICO$3,092.11$3,092.58$3,090.89$3,338.40$3,338.87$3,337.18
State Farm$3,204.23$3,024.24$3,226.02$3,497.17$3,189.99$3,418.33
American Family$3,447.30$3,178.82$3,326.18$3,487.91$3,721.32$3,496.99
Nationwide$3,571.01$3,547.84$3,517.03$3,373.64$3,361.93$3,328.57
Progressive$3,914.05$4,429.56$3,647.22$3,962.58$4,528.90$3,730.78
Farmers$4,093.50$4,405.21$3,728.22$4,390.19$4,779.51$3,769.00
Travelers$4,023.47$4,420.37$4,383.78$4,412.42$4,661.22$4,708.19
Allstate$4,429.74$4,753.69$4,324.99$5,491.12$5,380.28$4,947.90
Liberty Mutual$5,830.16$5,869.32$5,825.33$5,988.85$6,682.63$6,244.44
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The newer and more expensive your vehicle, the more money it’s going to take to insure it. Most new vehicles are suggested by providers to have both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, though you can typically decline. 

If you’re looking to lower your rates, you do not legally need to purchase full coverage unless you have a loan or lease on your new ride. Physical damage coverage is not mandatory by law, but your lender or leasing agency will certainly require this coverage. Remember, you don’t technically own the car until it’s paid off. You’ll also want to look into whether or not your insurer has a minimum coverage policy; sometimes an insurer will have a bare minimum that a client needs to purchase. Just keep in mind that the lowest rates come with the lowest amount of coverage, and if your car is new, you may want to consider protecting it a bit more. 

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What’s your credit score?

How is your credit? Nowadays, most insurers rely on your insurance score to determine how much to charge you. If you’re a new driver with a perfect credit history your rate can be as much as 35 percent less than a new driver with a less-than-perfect credit history.

For example, an 800 credit score ‘new driver’ will likely pay less than a 500 credit score seasoned driver with a speeding ticket, but not if the 800 credit score driver is a 19-year-old male (though it should be noted that in states like California and others, gender-based rates adjustments are prohibited).

Regardless, the better your credit score is, the better off you’ll be. According to Experian, the average American has a credit score of 703, which is good news for your insurance rates.

Take a look at this table to see average rates based on good, fair, and poor credit scores as a baseline (these rates include new and experienced drivers).

Average Annual Insurance Car Rates Based on Credit Score
Insurance CompaniesAverage Insurance Rates with Good CreditAverage Insurance Rates with FairAverage Insurance Drivers with Poor Credit
USAA$1,821.20$2,219.83$3,690.73
State Farm$2,174.26$2,853.00$4,951.20
GEICO$2,434.82$2,986.79$4,259.50
American Family$2,691.74$3,169.53$4,467.98
Nationwide$2,925.94$3,254.83$4,083.29
Grand Total$3,104.15$3,649.15$5,170.97
Progressive$3,628.85$3,956.31$4,737.64
Farmers$3,677.12$3,899.41$4,864.14
Allstate$3,859.66$4,581.16$6,490.65
Travelers$4,058.97$4,344.10$5,160.22
Liberty Mutual$4,388.18$5,604.24$8,802.22
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Be sure to stay on top of your credit. It’s one of the few things you can control, even if you’ve never driven a car in your life.

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What other factors affect your car insurance rates?

There are so many factors that affect your car insurance, whether you are a new driver or an older driver. As you continue your driving experience, keep these factors in mind:

  • Your driving record affects your rates: If you rack up speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs, your annual rate will skyrocket no matter where you look. In addition to fines, these tickets can stay on your driving record for three to five years, so you will be paying for these mistakes for a long time. Avoiding traffic tickets and having a clean record can save you thousands of dollars.
  • The cost of car insurance in your state and ZIP affect your rates: Car insurance is partially based on where you live. Just moving across town can drastically influence your rates. For example, if you live in an area with a high theft rate, your car insurance will increase to offset those costs. The same is true if you live in an area with a lot of traffic that can lead to an increase in accidents.

What’s the bottom line when it comes to new drivers? 

New drivers pay more for coverage because they have less experience and driving history than more seasoned drivers. The less driving history you have, the higher your rates will be. Additionally, the younger you are, the more you’ll likely pay. However you still want to play it safe. Don’t just look at the cheapest companies – compare prices across the board in order to find coverage and annual premiums that would fit into your budget.

Ready to buy car insurance for a new driver? Enter your ZIP code to get free car insurance quotes for new drivers so you can start your car insurance comparison today.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Cost of Car Insurance for a New Driver

Do you still have questions about the cost of car insurance for new drivers? Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

#1 – What is the best car insurance for teenage drivers?

As you saw in the rate data earlier we looked at earlier, USAA and GEICO offer the most affordable car insurance rates for teenage drivers.

Regardless of who you purchase insurance from, car insurance for high school students (and teenagers as a whole) will likely be high, due to age, but shopping around and finding available discounts may help offset the cost. Speak to your insurance agent to learn more.

#2 – How can I save money as a new driver?

The number-one way to save money on your rates is by shopping around and comparing rates. As we’ve already discussed, you should also look for discounts, and make sure you drive safely. Follow all posted traffic laws, manage your credit, drive an affordable vehicle, and for comparative purposes look into various providers instead of just one. 

References:

  1. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2019/release003-19.cfm
  2. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/consumer-credit-review/