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Learner’s Permit Insurance (Guide + Money-Saving Tips)

Here's what you need to know...

  • If you’re a minor or an adult who lives in the same household as their parents or adult siblings, the best option for getting insurance is to be added to the policy that your household family member is currently carrying
  • Many auto insurance companies will cover a teen with a provisional learner’s permit for free

So, you’ve got your learner’s permit and you’re ready to hit the road with your licsensed passenger. But, before you do, you want to make sure that you and your ride are covered in your auto insurance policy. Generally, as a rule of thumb, insurance follows the car.

There are several types of auto insurance coverage, but young driver’s may already be covered under their parents’ policy.

This all-in-one guide shows you how to stay covered when driving wiith a learner’s permit. We’ll hit common coverage types, some of the biggest mistakes young drivers make, and what insurance wiill best suit your driving situation.

If you are a new driver and are ready to start comparing quotes on learner’s perimt auto insurance, you can enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool and get started now.

Table of Contents

Can you buy a car with a learner’s permit?

A learner’s permit is often seen as a rite of passage, your first step into adulthood. Unfortunately, this newfound freedom of the road comes with new responsibilities, as well.

Learning how to drive doesn’t just mean learning the rules of the road. You will also have to learn the rules of auto insurance.

Even if you haven’t yet purchased your first car, you will need auto insurance coverage of some kind. You might be asking, “Can I buy insurance with a permit?” Or “What is learner’s permit insurance?”

Do you need insurance with a learner’s permit?

Do you need insurance with a provisional driver’s license? What insurance companies accept learner’s permits? Do student drivers need auto insurance? In most cases, if you have a learner permit and live at home, you will be covered on your parent’s auto insurance policy as a permissive driver. This is not always the case, however, and will vary by company.

While many insurance companies will automatically cover learner drivers, others will not. It is always best to check with your insurance company first to make sure claims are not denied.

Some insurers require that anyone in the household of driving age be listed on the policy as a named driver or an excluded driver.

A named driver is any driver who is specifically listed on the policy as a listed driver. An excluded driver is someone who is specifically excluded from your auto insurance policy and therefore is not covered under the terms of the policy.

Keep scrolling to learn more about insurance for learner drivers.

What is a learner’s permit?

All states require minors who want to earn their license to hold a permit first. Some states will issue permits to teens who are 15 1/2 years old and others require applicants to be 16.

You can look at the table below to see at what age you can get a provisional drivers license in each state. The table also shows each state’s age requirement for a full license.

Graduated Driver's License Program Minimum Age Requirements by State
StatesMinimum Age for Learner's PermitMinimum Age for Restricted LicenseMinimum Age for Full License
Washington, DC1616.518
New Hampshire15.51617.1
New Jersey161718
New Mexico1515.516.5
New York1616.517 with classes; 18 without
North Carolina151616.5
North Dakota141516
Pennsylvania1616.517 with classes; 18 without
Rhode Island1616.517.5
South Carolina1515.516.5
South Dakota1414.516
West Virginia151617
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Most states are now compliant with the REAL ID system, as well, so make sure to check to make sure if you have any concerns. REAL IDs are needed to access government buildings, board an airplane flight, or enter a military base.

You can get more information on REAL IDs on the website for The Department of Homeland Security.

Adult learners may also be eligible for a permit if they’ve never been licensed to drive. An adult learner is someone who is 21 years of age or older.

With the permit, the learner can drive to and from work without being supervised by a driver who is 25 or older. Some states don’t issue adult provisional driver’s licenses and will set up a driving test to cut down on processing costs.

What are things to consider with drivers permit insurance?

Can you get insurance with a provisional driver’s license? The short answer is yes, but you may not have to.

Do you need insurance with a learners permit in Texas? Do you need insurance with a learner’s permit in Florida? Is there Massachusetts learner’s permit insurance?

It’s important to understand your state laws and the minimum liability auto insurance required. See our map below for the latter.

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If you are a teenager still living with your parents, you may already be covered under their policy. It is also possible that you may be able to be added to their policy, if necessary.

Can my parents add me to their policy?

This is usually cheaper than purchasing your own policy as a new driver. Teenagers are the type of drivers who need high-risk auto insurance coverage at most insurance companies, and learner’s permit auto insurance rates can be fairly expensive.

If you’re living on your own and you have a provisional driver’s license, getting insurance can be a bit more challenging.

While it can be hard to find an insurer with lenient underwriting learner’s provisional driver’s license insurance requirements, it’s not impossible.

One of your best options is to get temporary auto insurance through a specialty carrier. These policies offer the following term lengths:

  • Day
  • Week
  • Month

Temporary auto insurance can get expensive, but it’s the only option if you own a car that’s registered in your name.

If you don’t own a vehicle, you may be able to qualify for a nonowner’s insurance policy. This pays for liability claims that you make when you’re borrowing a car. Some of these policies are only sold to adult drivers.

Having a learner’s provisional driver’s license can present unique problems when you’re trying to buy insurance. Driving without coverage will leave you vulnerable to lawsuits and financial losses.

If you can’t get coverage with your parents or your roommate, get learner’s permit auto insurance quotes by using an online quote comparison tool and find temporary coverage that will cover you until you are licensed.

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Can you drive a car as a learner without insurance?

Driving without insurance is almost always illegal and can carry some heavy penalties. However, as a learner driver, if you are driving the vehicle of a licensed and insured adult, you may be covered under their auto insurance policy.

In general, auto insurance follows the car, not the driver. This means that if your parents have an auto insurance policy and you drive their vehicle, you will be covered as a permissive driver. This is not always the case, however.

As mentioned above, some insurance companies will require all household members of driving age to be listed on the policy. Some companies consider that age to be 16 while others consider it to be whatever age a driver can get a provisional learners driver’s license in their state.

The table below shows the possible penalties for driving without a license by state.

Penalties For Driving Without Auto Insurance by State
StatesFine AmountPossible Jail TimeRegistration SuspensionLicense Suspension
AlabamaUp to $500NoneYesNo
Alaska$500 to $1,00090 daysNoYes
Arizona$500 minimumNoneYesYes
Arkansas$500 minimumNoneYesNo
California$100 to $200NoneNoNo
Colorado$500 minimumCommunity ServiceNoYes
Connecticut$100 to $1,00090 daysYesYes
Delaware$1,500 to $2,000NoneYesYes
D.C.Up to $500 fine90 daysYesNo
Florida$30 fineNoneYesYes
Georgia$200 to $1,0001 yearYesYes
Illinois$500 to $1,000NoneYesYes
IndianaUp to $1,000NoneNoYes
Kansas$300 to $1,0006 monthsYesYes
Kentucky$500 to $1,00090 daysYesYes
Louisiana$17530 daysNoNo
Maine$100 to $500NoneYesYes
MarylandUp to $1,0006 monthsYesNo
Massachusetts$5001 yearNoYes
Michigan$200 to $5001 yearNoYes
Minnesota$200 to $1,00090 daysYesYes
Missouri$30015 daysYesYes
Montana$250 to $50010 daysNoNo
NebraskaUp to $1,0006 monthsYesYes
Nevada$600 to $1,000NoneYesYes
New HampshireInsurance not normally requiredNoneYesYes
New Jersey$300 to $1,000Community ServiceNoYes
New MexicoUp to $300NoneYesNo
New York$150 to $1,50015 daysYesYes
North CarolinaUp to $1,000NoneYesYes
North Dakota$150 minimumNoneYesYes
OklahomaUp to $25030 daysNoYes
Oregon$130 to $1,000NoneYesYes
Rhode Island$100 to $500NoneYesYes
South Carolina$445 currentlyNoneYesYes
South Dakota$50030 daysNoYes
Texas$175 to $350NoneNoNo
Vermont$47 to $622NoneNoNo
WashingtonUp to $250NoneNoYes
West Virginia$200 to $5,00015 days to 1 yearYesYes
WisconsinUp to $500NoneYesYes
WyomingUp to $7506 monthsYesYes
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Take a look at your state to get an idea of the possible consequences of being caught driving without insurance.

Can I add a learner driver to my auto insurance?

Yes, you can. If someone in your household is a learner driver, adding them to your insurance policy is always an option.

If the learner driver is a teenager, you may not need to add them to the policy at all. If you already have your own auto insurance policy, many insurers will automatically insure a teen driver with a provisional driver’s license.

Be sure to check with your auto insurance provider to see if this applies to you.

If the learner driver is an adult, you will most likely be required to add them to your policy. As a parent, you may be asking, “Can a learner driver drive my car with no insurance?” If they are only going to drive your car every now and then, they may be automatically covered as a permissive driver.

However, if they will be driving your car regularly, you will need to add them to the policy.

If you’re an underage driver with your permit or you’re a young adult who still lives in your parents’ home, your best option is to get added as a driver under your parents’ policy.

Your parents must have an existing personal auto policy.

If they don’t own a car or have standard insurance, you have to consider other options.

One requirement to be covered under your parents’ policy is to be living under the same roof as them.

As long as you’re a household member and you’re the named insured’s child by blood or adoption, you’ll qualify for coverage that’s much more affordable than it would be if you were getting insurance on your own.

There are a few times where you can get coverage under your parents’ policy without living in the home. One of the only scenarios where you can is when you qualify as a student away from home.

If you meet the student away at school criteria, coverage will extend to you when you have your permit just like it does when you live at home.

If you’re 25 or younger and you are going to school, you’re still seen as a dependent.

This is only true when your primary residence is your parents’ home. When you have an accident, the insurer will ask for proof of residency. If you have your own home and you’re not a dependent, you’ll have to consider other options to get insurance. If you don’t live with your parents but you do live with an adult driver, you may be able to get coverage under their policy.

In some cases, you may have to be rated under the policy.

You should have your roommate, partner, or sibling call their company to ask what can be done to add an inexperienced driver.

How do you insure a learner driver on your own car?

Once you have decided that it is necessary to add someone to your auto insurance policy, the process of doing so is fairly simple.

All you need to do is contact your insurance provider with the proper information about the new driver to add them to the policy. The insurance company will ask for all the same information for the new driver just like when you signed up for the policy. This information includes driver’s license number, age, driving record details, etc.

Once you have submitted the proper information, your insurance provider will let you know what your new insurance rates will be and when the policy becomes effective.

Once the policy is in effect, anyone that you added to the policy as a listed driver will have the same auto insurance coverage that you carry while they are driving the vehicle listed on the policy.

Do you have to insure a teenager with a permit?

If your teenager has a learning permit, in most cases they will be covered by your insurance policy. The same applies to a teenage driver with a regular driver’s license unless they have a vehicle and auto insurance policy of their own.

In many cases, though, you are required to add a teenage driver to your policy if they plan to drive any of your vehicles on a regular basis. The only alternative to this would be for the teenager to purchase their own policy.

It is always best to check with your auto insurance provider to see what applies to you. They can let you know if your teen driver is already covered under your policy or if they will need to be added as a named driver.

What insurance companies accept learner’s permits?

Most auto insurance providers will provide policies for drivers with a learner’s permit. The problem is finding the right rates and coverage for you.

As mentioned above, if you are a learner driver living with your parents, you may already be covered under their policy. This means you do not need to purchase a separate policy or be added to your parent’s policy until you get your regular license.

You can take a look at the table below to get an idea of the cheapest annual rates available for young drivers.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for Young Drivers by Age
CompaniesRates for Single
25-Year-Old Female
Rates for Single
25-Year-Old Male
Rates for Single
17-Year-Old Female
Rates for Single
17-Year-Old Male
Annual Rates
American Family$2,288.65$2,694.72$5,996.50$8,130.50$4,777.59
State Farm$2,335.96$2,554.56$5,953.88$7,324.34$4,542.18
Grand Total$2,728.82$2,897.33$7,490.91$8,816.41$5,483.37
Liberty Mutual$3,959.67$4,503.13$11,621.01$13,718.69$8,450.62
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It is important to remember that these prices are only guidelines. The actual cost of your auto insurance policy will depend on a number of different factors, ranging from types of coverage and the driver’s driving record among other things.

How to save money on insurance for learner drivers?

If you’re not already covered under your parents’ policy and you need to purchase your own policy, there are a few things to consider.

First of all, if you are able to be added to a more experienced driver’s policy, you should consider this a second option. This is often much cheaper than purchasing your own policy.

You may also consider looking into what discounts are offered specifically to young drivers such as good student discounts. Having a high-grade point average (GPA) can save you a lot of money on your policy.

As you can see, the options for learner drivers can be pretty limited when it comes to auto insurance. This is especially true if the learner driver is not covered under their parent’s policy or is unable to be added to a licensed driver’s policy.

Keep reading to learn more about getting an auto insurance policy as a learner driver.

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What specifics vary based  on providers?

The cost of insuring a learner driver really depends on your situation. If you are a teenager living at home, it is very likely that you are already covered under their policy and would not need to buy a separate policy at all.

The average teen driver pays $189 a month for liability coverage.

If for some reason, you are not automatically covered, you can be added to your parents’ policy, as well. This is usually much cheaper than purchasing your own auto insurance policy.

If neither of these is an option for you, you may have to purchase your own policy. Rates for young drivers are usually not cheap, however. Make sure to shop around to get the best options for you.

Are there any cheap companies for young drivers?

You can take a look at the table below to get an idea of what you might pay for car insurance as a beginning driver. The table shows average six-month policy rates for young drivers through the major auto insurance companies.

Average Six-Month Auto Insurance Rates for Young Drivers by Age
CompaniesRates for Single 25-Year-Old FemaleRates for Single 25-Year-Old MaleRates for Single 17-Year-Old FemaleRates for Single 17-Year-Old MaleAverage Six-Month Rates
American Family$1,144.33$1,347.36$2,998.25$4,065.25$2,388.80
State Farm$1,167.98$1,277.28$2,976.94$3,662.17$2,271.09
Liberty Mutual$1,979,35$2,251.57$5,810.51$6,859.35$4,225.31
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As you can see, insurance for young drivers isn’t cheap. Most of the time, you can save a few bucks by paying your insurance premiums in advance. For instance, you may pay for 6 months or a year instead of paying your premiums every month.

The table below shows the average monthly insurance rates for young drivers.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates for Young Drivers by Age
CompaniesRates for Single 25-Year-Old FemaleRates for Single 25-Year-Old MaleRates for Single 17-Year-Old FemaleRates for Single 17-Year-Old MaleAverage Monthly Rates
American Family$190.72$224.56$499.71$677.54$398.13
State Farm$194.66$212.88$496.16$610.36$379.52
Grand Total$227.41$241.44$624.24$734.70$455.95
Liberty Mutual$329.97$375.26$968.42$1,143.23$704.22
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Unfortunately, paying a year’s insurance premiums in advance isn’t usually an option for a  young, beginning driver . It’s especially difficult when those prices are also extremely expensive.

Because of this, it is always best to add yourself to your parents’ policy or another experienced, licensed driver’s policy if possible.

How much does your insurance go up after adding a teenager?

Unfortunately, adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy is likely to raise your rates significantly. Drivers under the age of 25 pay a lot more for auto insurance than other age brackets.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), younger drivers pay higher insurance prices because they are considered more likely to take risks while driving. They are also considered more likely to drive recklessly or file claims.

Auto insurance rates for young men are even higher than those for young women. Men younger than 20 pay an average of 14 percent more per year for auto insurance than do women in the same age bracket. Between the ages of 20 and 24, male drivers pay 8 percent more than their female counterparts.

What is the cheapest way to insure a learner driver?

What’s more affordable than free? Believe it or not, a majority of companies don’t charge extra premiums to policyholders who have a teen with a learner’s permit in the home.

Some companies see things differently, so it’s always best to check with the individual insurer. For example, with Farmer’s Insurance a learner’s permit driver would be required to be a listed driver on their parents’ policy or purchase their own. Car insurance for a learner’s permit with Geico, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, or USAA is similar.

The same applies to learner’s permits and State Farm. The company recommends adding the learner driver to a licensed driver’s policy. Similarly, Travelers Insurance learner’s permit drivers are recommended to do the same to protect themselves in the event of an automobile accident.

Since a teen with a provisional license, according to the Insurance Information Institute, must drive with an adult who can take the wheel, most companies don’t see the need to change the policy rating until the teen has a license.

However, this is not the case with all insurance companies and some will require that the teen be added to another driver’s policy or purchase their own.

There are a couple of ways you can save money on your car insurance policy if you have to add a teenage driver. First of all, make sure to check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for any discounts such as student discounts for good students.

The table below shows some common discounts offered by auto insurance providers. It can give you an idea of how much each can save you, as well.

Standard Auto Insurance Discounts Offered by Major Companies
Discounts OfferedAverage Percentage
of Savings
Auto Insurance Companies Offering
Low mileage/Low usage discountUp to 20%State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive
Defensive driving discount10%–15%State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive, Farmers
Safe driver discount10%State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive, Liberty Mutual
Military and federal employee discount8%–15%GEICO, Esurance, USAA
Good student discount5%–25%State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive, Liberty Mutual
Senior/Mature driver discount 5%–10%GEICO, Allstate, Liberty Mutual
Homeowner discount3% State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Progressive, Farmers
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As you can see, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see what types of discounts you may qualify for, as they can save you a lot of money on your auto insurance.

What is the cheapest car to insure for a learner driver?

Based on safety tests and other ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute team, the following are considered the cheapest vehicles to insure for a learner driver:

  • Honda Civic 4-Door
  • Mazda 3
  • Toyota Prius
  • Honda Accord
  • Mazda 6
  • Ford Fusion
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Outlook
  • Subaru Forester

Auto insurance companies take many factors into account when determining auto insurance prices. Along with age, the type of vehicle you drive also factors in.

The reason for this is that certain types of vehicles cost more to insure than others. This is partly because of the price to replace or repair them and partly based on how safe they are perceived to be. The vehicles listed above are both affordable and rank high in safety tests.

Can you own a car with a permit?

This is a bit of a difficult question to answer. Technically, you can purchase a vehicle with a learner’s permit since buying a car does not require a driver’s license. However, most states do require proof of insurance or financial responsibility in order to register the vehicle.

As you can see, the only issue with purchasing a car as a learner driver is whether or not your state will require that you show proof of insurance in order to register the vehicle. In most cases, they will.

It may be easier to register the car in your parent’s name, if possible. That way you would either be covered automatically under their policy or could add yourself to their policy for a lower rate.

Keep reading to learn more about registering a vehicle as a learner driver.

Can you register a car with a learner’s permit?

If you are a young person looking to purchase a car, you may be wondering, can you register and insure a car with a learner’s permit? Whether or not a learner driver can register a car depends on several factors.

First of all, it is important to note that driver registration laws vary greatly by state. Almost all states require drivers to be of a certain age in order to register a vehicle. Other states also require the driver to have a driver’s license and proof of auto insurance.

For example, neither Texas nor North Carolina have age requirements for registering and owning a vehicle. However, both states do require proof of minimum liability insurance in order to register a vehicle.

This means that the learner driver would need to purchase their own policy or register the vehicle in someone else’s name. If the car is registered in their parent’s name, then they could be covered under their parent’s policy or be added to it.

Can you test drive a car with a permit?

Unfortunately, you most likely cannot test drive a car with a learner’s permit.

While the rules usually depend on the dealership itself, many dealerships require that a person be at least 18 years old to take a car for a test drive. You must also have a valid driver’s license.

Some dealerships may allow a learner driver to take a car for a test drive if they are driving with a parent or licensed driver. However, you shouldn’t count on this being the case.

Does a learner’s permit count as a driver’s license?

A learner’s permit is not the same thing as a driver’s license. A learner’s permit is sometimes referred to as a provisional license. It is issued to new drivers who need to get experience behind the wheel.

Unlike with a regular driver’s license, drivers with a learner’s permit must adhere to certain rules. These rules vary by state, but almost all states require that a learner driver be accompanied by an adult licensed driver at all times.

This is just one example of the restrictions placed upon drivers with learner’s permits. Most states also set curfews for learner drivers, as well.

For example, in Arizona, learner drivers cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 am unless they are with a parent or driving to or from work or school.

According to NOLO, 37 states and Washington D.C. ban learner drivers from using cellphones for any purpose while behind the wheel.

Can I drive with a permit by myself?

You can’t legally operate a vehicle when you don’t have a driver’s license. Since driving is a skill that requires a lot of practice, states issue a provisional license to people who need to get behind-the-wheel experience. The provisional license is often referred to as a learner’s permit.

When you have a permit, you must be aware of the restrictions that exist. You can only drive during reasonable hours under the supervision of an adult driver.

You can visit the website for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to get more information on permit restrictions by state.

The restrictions for adults with a learner’s permit tend to be more lenient.

What happens if you crash with a learner’s permit?

In the event that you are driving with a permit, whether or not you will be covered by an insurance policy depends on a few factors.

First of all, you must be driving legally based on the rules of the state in which you are driving.

For example, do permit drivers need insurance in Missouri? Missouri state laws say no. The permitted driver should be covered under the insurance of the accompanying licensed and insured driver.

One more example, do you need insurance with a learner’s permit in Florida? Florida state laws say no for the very same reason.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know all you need to know about getting insurance as a learner driver, we hope you will feel more confident when purchasing your auto insurance.

Do you need to add a driver with a learner’s permit to your insurance but want to shop around? Before you buy auto insurance for a driver with a learner’s permit, shop around.

You can get started comparison shopping for auto insurance right now by entering your ZIP code into our free quote tool. We’ll help you find an affordable learner’s permit auto insurance company near you.


  1. https://www.iihs.org/topics/teenagers

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