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How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

Things to Remember

  • Auto insurance is higher for teenagers because they lack experience driving
  • Female teens typically pay cheaper rates than male teenagers because statistically they are safer
  • Keeping a teenager on their parents’ insurance policy can help to keep 16-year-old auto insurance rates low

How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old? Are rates higher for young drivers?

If you’re a parent of a teen driver, this is an important question for you to answer, because driving without insurance could cost you significantly more than the often high insurance rates for teen drivers.

Sixteen-year-olds have an advantage over their older teenage counterparts in that auto insurance companies assume they are still full-time high school students who are not driving all that frequently.

Additionally, auto insurance discounts are often available for good students or students enrolled in defensive driving courses. Although it might be difficult to find cheap auto insurance rates for 16-year-old drivers, discounts can help bring down those rates.

Read this article to learn more about the average auto insurance costs for a 16-year-old, average auto insurance costs for 16-year-old females, average insurance rates for 16-year-old males, and more.

To get the best rates, parents should shop around. Enter your ZIP code in our free tool to compare auto insurance rates for a 16-year-olds  from multiple companies. Which auto insurance company for a 16-year-old is best for you? Find out now.

Table of Contents

Auto Insurance for a 16-Year-Old

It’s natural for parents to worry that they won’t be able to afford auto insurance when their teen finally does get their license.

Since auto insurance companies consider teenagers to be a different driver type than the average driver, teenage auto insurance costs are higher on average.

Fortunately, there is affordable auto insurance for 16-year-olds available if you know what to look for.

While it’s true that auto insurance for a 16-year-old female driver, for example, will be a little more for expensive than their parents, it’s still manageable under most circumstances, though different factors will affect those rates.

What if my 16-year-old drives a Corvette or a Camaro or a Porsche? Will that increase the cost of 16-year-old auto insurance rates? Short answer: YES. What about auto insurance for a 16-year-old boy versus a girl of the same age?

Keep reading to learn more about auto insurance for 16-year-old males and females.

How much does it cost to add a 16-year-old to your auto insurance policy?

This table summarizes how much you may pay when adding a teen driver to your insurance policy.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate Increase When Adding a Child by State
StatesAverage Annual Rates for Adult OnlyAverage Annual Rates with a Teen AddedPercent Rate Increase
North Dakota$1,123$2,688139%
New Hampshire$1,156$3,406195%
North Carolina$1,170$2,608123%
New York$1,214$3,347176%
South Dakota$1,250$2,776122%
South Carolina$1,353$4,230213%
New Jersey$1,419$4,590223%
West Virginia$1,467$3,766157%
New Mexico$1,498$3,991166%
Rhode Island$2,011$5,829190%
National Average$1,447$3,775161%
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As you can see, the average cost of adding a 16-year-old driver to your auto insurance policy can vary dramatically by state, but in nearly every case, rates more than double when adding a teen driver.

Read on to learn more about why auto insurance is so expensive for teen drivers, the difference in rates based on gender, and more.

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How much can I expect to pay for auto insurance for a 16-year-old female vs. male?

How much should insurance cost for a 16-year-old female? How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old boy? How do I find the cheapest auto insurance for 16-year-old?

Take a look at the following rate data in which we note the 10 cheapest states for teen drivers (the data focuses on 17-year-old drivers since we don’t have data for 16-year-olds specifically):

10 Cheapest States for Teen Auto Insurance Rates
StatesAverage Annual RatesCheapest Company for 17-Year-Old Males Cheapest Company's Average Annual Rates for 17-Year-Old MalesCheapest Company for 17-Year-Old Females Cheapest Company's Average Annual Rates for 17-Year-Old Females
Hawaii $2,696.83State Farm$1,040.28State Farm$1,040.28
North Carolina$5,371.26Liberty Mutual$3,197.53Liberty Mutual$3,197.53
Alaska$5,553.69USAA$5,168.23State Farm$4,158.62
Wyoming$5,828.93Liberty Mutual$4,046.51Liberty Mutual$3,605.13
Massachusetts$6,016.14State Farm$2,583.99State Farm$2,583.99
Montana$6,092.26Liberty Mutual$2,064.28Liberty Mutual$2,064.28
Wisconsin$6,206.76American Family$3,134.61American Family$2,844.04
Idaho$6,306.32USAA $4,046.57USAA$3,611.65
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It’s interesting to note that countrywide, the company with the most affordable auto insurance rates for 16-year-old drivers is Nationwide.

Better driving records and other factors can affect rates. For example, according to some research, the average annual rate is around $1,000 for a teen driver who meets the following criteria:

  • A 16-year-old female
  • With no accidents or violations
  • Driving her parents’ vehicle
  • On her parents’ policy

That number obviously goes up if she has her own car or has a history of accidents or violations. For a male counterpart, the average number can be even higher.

Keep in mind that these ballpark figures apply to 16-year-old high school students still living at home.

When the child turns 18 their rates will most likely go up because they’re prone to do more driving at that time.

Of course, as soon as they move out on their own, teens will be paying the full rate as applied to any independent auto insurance policy.

Is it cheaper to add a 16-year-old to the family auto insurance policy or get an individual policy?

In order to get the lowest auto insurance rates for your teenager, it’s best to keep them on your policy as long as possible (though this will, of course, increase your rates).

For example, 16-year-old boys can see up to a 50 percent reduction in rates just by being insured under their parents’ insurance policy, rather than on their own. Take a look at this table to see average savings by state.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate Savings by State for a 16-Year-Old Driver on a Family Plan vs. on an Individual Plan
StatesAverage Annual Rate for a 16-Year-Old Driver Insured AloneAverage Annual Rate for a 16-Year-Old Driver on a Family Insurance PlanAverage Savings for a 16-Year-Old Driver on a Family Plan (%)
North Carolina$2,112$1,90810.69%
New Hampshire$3,797$2,27966.61%
South Carolina$4,443$2,54374.71%
North Dakota$4,551$2,085118.27%
New York$4,696$2,83865.47%
New Mexico$4,759$2,64879.72%
South Dakota$5,200$2,206135.72%
Washington DC$5,305$3,14568.68%
New Jersey$5,686$2,99489.91%
West Virginia$5,875$3,00895.31%
Rhode Island$7,778$4,59869.16%
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As you can see, when you factor in average rates for both male and female 16-year-old drivers, the savings are even greater on a family insurance plan.

In most states, you can keep your children on a family insurance plan through age 21, provided that they are in college and still count your home as their primary residence.

There are a few states that are more generous, allowing parents to keep kids on their policy until age 26.

Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Rates for Teenagers

There are many different factors that affect auto insurance rates, and age is a big one.

Keep reading to learn how age and vehicle will affect auto insurance rates.

How does age affect auto insurance rates?

There are several reasons why auto insurance for teenagers is higher than that of their parents.

The first, and most obvious, is the fact that teenagers simply lack experience behind the wheel.

Where their parents have logged many hours of driving, a 16-year-old will usually have driven fewer than 100 hours by the time they take their road test.

100 hours seems like a long time for some activities, but for driving, it’s not even a drop in the bucket.

Another reason for higher auto insurance rates among teenagers is the assumption that they are more careless behind the wheel.

Whether or not you believe this is a justified stereotype, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2017, an average of six teenagers (between 16 and 19) died as the result of motor vehicle crashes every day.

And when looking at all motor vehicle accidents (both those that resulted in fatalities and those that did not), drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for about 8 percent of the total cost of injuries resulting from an accident.

But these teen drivers only represent about 6.5 percent of the population in the U.S., thus proving they are more dangerous drivers than the general population.

Government statistics consistently show that of all car accidents on U.S. highways each year, over two-thirds are caused by teen drivers.

Such a high number clearly indicates that teenage drivers are riskier to cover.

Does the car my 16-year-old drives affect auto insurance rates?

Twenty years ago this question may have been irrelevant because most teenagers drove their parents’ cars.

In today’s culture, though, it’s becoming more and more common for parents to buy their children separate cars so the kids aren’t tying up theirs.

Keep in mind that the make and model of your child’s car impact the cost of insurance.

If you buy your 16-year-old a brand-new sports car, you’ll probably be paying significantly more in insurance than you would on a 20-year-old family sedan or similar vehicle.

Along with the actual value of the car, you also need to consider the safety record. For example, vehicles with off-road capability are automatically considered more dangerous.

Putting your 16-year-old driver behind the wheel of one of these vehicles is a virtual guarantee you’ll pay more for auto insurance than you really need to. If you’re buying your child a vehicle, try looking for the safest ones on the market.

Finally, consider the value of your own vehicles if you plan on your teenager driving one of them. You and your spouse will be the primary drivers of your respective vehicles, but when adding your teen to the policy, you should assign them to the one with the least value.

Ways to Save on Auto Insurance for 16-Year-Olds

Just like with an adult’s auto insurance policy, there are multiple ways to save on auto insurance for a 16-year-old. Keep reading to learn some tips on saving money on auto insurance.

Can 16-year-olds get discounts on auto insurance?

One way to find low-cost auto insurance for 16-year-old drivers is with discounts. We’ve summarized a few of the available auto insurance discounts your teen may qualify for in this table. Take a look.

Auto Insurance Discounts for Young Drivers
Insurance Companies Distant Student Discount OfferedDriver's Ed Discount OfferedGood Student Discount Offered
21st CenturyNoYesYes
American FamilyYesYesYes
Country FinancialNoYesYes
Liberty MutualNoYesYes
Safe AutoNoYesYes
State FarmYesYesYes
The GeneralNoYesYes
The HanoverYesYesYes
The HartfordYesYesYes
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As you can see, most of the major companies offer some kind of discount for teen drivers, which can help you manage costs when you add a teen driver to your policy.

What are other ways to save on auto insurance for 16-year-olds?

In addition to discounts, there are some other ways to save money on auto insurance for teens. Some of them are:

  • Keeping the teen’s driving record clean with no tickets or accidents.
  • Not filing a claim unless you need to. If you can pay for damages from an accident out of pocket, it will keep insurance rates low.
  • Buying a car that is cheaper to insure.
  • Carrying only the basic liability insurance required by your state.
  • Keeping your deductibles high, which in turn lowers your rates.

When your teen begins the process of getting a driver’s license, start looking around for auto insurance. Each company will charge a different rate, so compare quotes from multiple companies to get the best deal.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old?: The Bottom Line

Once your teen is licensed, they will need insurance in order to drive any vehicle you already own or choose to purchase for them.

Rates for 16-year-old drivers can be quite expensive, though shopping for the best rates and finding available discounts (good student, for example) are two ways to manage the high costs.

If your teen driver is a 16-year-old boy, you’ll find that the insurance rates you’ll pay will be an average of 17 percent higher than rates for 16-year-old girls.

Another way to save is to add your teen to your family auto insurance policy, rather than to insure them separately. This can save 50 percent or more on rates.

Are you ready to buy auto insurance for a 16-year-old? For the best auto insurance for 16-year-old, compare auto insurance quotes for a 16-year-old right now by entering your ZIP code in our free tool.

Frequently Asked Questions: How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old?

Still have questions about the cost of auto insurance for your teen driver? Read these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – What are the state minimum requirements for auto insurance for teen drivers?

Are teen drivers required to have auto insurance?

In general, the answer is yes because any driver on the road is typically required to be insured with at least the minimum coverage amount required by the state in which they reside.

However, you can check your local laws to find out for sure (often, teens still learning to drive aren’t technically required to be insured).

Regardless of what your state laws are, it’s still a good idea to insure your teen drivers, especially if they plan to get behind the wheel of one of your vehicles.

#2 – What kind of auto insurance coverage should I purchase for my 16-year-old driver?

As we noted above, at a minimum, you’ll need to make sure your teen has the legally required liability coverage in your state.

But you can also choose to add comprehensive and collision coverage, though this will increase the cost of insurance.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

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