Whether you’re a young driver buying your own car insurance for the first time, or a parent looking to add a teen to your policy, you probably want to find a way to keep the costs reasonable. Car insurance for teens and young drivers tends to be expensive, so it’s important to find an insurer that offers plenty of features focused on young drivers, as well as multiple discounts that can lower your premiums.
To help you find the best insurance policy for your needs, we looked into which insurers offer special programs, discounts, and coverages that might benefit young drivers. After a detailed review, we’re confident that these are the best car insurers for teens and young drivers in 2021.
Below you'll find auto insurance offers available from our advertising partners, followed by our complete in-depth list of the best car insurance companies for teens we've found.
Best Car Insurance for Teens & Young Drivers in 2021
Best Overall : State Farm
State Farm is a well-known name in insurance that offers coverage nationwide. The State Farm service model is based on local agents who can help give you car insurance quotes, get to know you, and discuss options. When we got online quotes with State Farm, agents reached out to offer helpful suggestions on adding discounts to the policy, which did not happen with many of the other insurers on our list. However, the company has average ratings for its claims and customer service in J.D. Power surveys.
State Farm is a good choice if you want to have all your insurance in one place, since it also offers home, renters, and other types of coverage you might need. It offers several programs and discounts to help young drivers keep car insurance costs low: a 25% discount for students with good grades, a driver training discount, and a discount for young drivers away at school.
State Farm also has two opportunities to save money when young drivers enroll in their safe driver programs. The Steer Clear program gives drivers a discount upon completion, and the Drive Safe & Save program offers discounts based on driving habits. Both help young drivers learn to drive safely.
Student discount of up to 25%
Discount for parents whose students are away from home
Two safe driving discount programs
Quotes available online with service through local agents
Average customer satisfaction rankings for claims and service
Read the full review: State Farm car insurance
Some insurance companies offer programs where they formulate your rates based on metrics like your driving habits, speed, and mileage. State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save is one example. Some companies track these metrics with a special device you install in your car, while others use smartphone apps or connect with your car’s OnStar system. These programs could help you save money—if you have safe driving habits. However, some consumer advocates have expressed concerns about privacy, so it’s worth reading the fine print before you sign up.
Runner-Up, Best Overall : GEICO
GEICO is one of the nation’s largest car insurers, and its online quotes make shopping for insurance easy. If you like being able to manage your insurance online or want to be able to use an app to manage your policy and file claims, GEICO may be a good choice; it was the top insurer for customer satisfaction in digital customer experience in 2020, according to research firm J.D. Power. GEICO also ranked highly in J.D. Power’s surveys of customer service and claims experience.
GEICO offers all the basic car insurance coverages, with some extras like roadside assistance and mechanical breakdown coverage. If you have a couple of cars in your household, you could get up to a 25% multi-car discount. You also have access to group discounts for over 800 various employers and groups (you’ll have an option to check whether you qualify for a group discount when you get your quote online).
GEICO also offers a 15% Good Student Discount as well as driver education discounts. The DriveEasy program uses an app to monitor driving habits. It gives feedback that can help young drivers or teens develop safe driving habits and qualify for safe driver discounts at the same time.
We chose GEICO as the runner-up for best car insurance for teens and young drivers because it offers all the basic options and discounts you might need, plus a top-notch digital experience that makes it easy to buy car insurance, call for roadside assistance, or file claims via an app when you need to.
24/7 customer service with online and app policy management
DriveEasy program could help you save up to 25%
Guaranteed repair program
Excellent scores for customer service and claims
GEICO does not offer GAP insurance
DriveEasy is not available in all states
Guaranteed repairs not available in all areas
Read the full review: GEICO car insurance
Best Discounts : American Family Insurance
“AmFam” offers a free Teen Safe Driver program that tracks driving behavior and provides feedback. It also provides a 10% discount once a young driver has driven 3,000 miles or used the app for a full year.
AmFam makes our list as the best insurance company for teens and young drivers due to the numerous discounts it offers. Aside from the Teen Safe Driver program, AmFam gives you plenty of chances to reduce auto premiums:
- Good Student discount (ages 16-25) is also available for homeschooled young drivers
- Away-at-school student discount
- Young Volunteer discount, if you are under 25 and complete 40 hours of volunteer work per year for a nonprofit
- Generational discount if parents are insured with Amfam (not available in Wash.)
- Steer Into Savings discount for leaving a competitor to join AmFam
- Loyalty discount
- Early bird (for switching to Amfam at least seven days before your policy due date)
- Good Driving discounts
- KnowYourDrive discount up to 20%
- Bundle home and car insurance to save up to 29%
However, its customer service scores are below average, so your experience may be lackluster.
Long list of teen and young driver discounts
Emergency road service
Option to reduce your deductible over time
Below average rankings for customer service, except for customers in the Southwest
Best Policy Perks : Nationwide
Nationwide provides all the basic car insurance coverages, plus a number of additional options and discounts. Some of the highlights include a vanishing deductible option and SmartMiles, a program that bases rates on the number of miles you drive each month, which could be a great option for younger drivers who live close to school or work. Nationwide also offers accident forgiveness and guaranteed repairs.
The insurer offers another usage-based program called SmartRide, which monitors your driving and offers feedback to help you become a safer driver—potentially a useful tool for younger or newer drivers who are keen to build their skills. Signing up for SmartRide earns you a 10% discount, and you could save up to 40% overall once the app has tracked your driving for a while.
Another key benefit for younger drivers is the student discount. We also liked the On Your Side Review service, in which an agent answers questions about your policy and helps you choose the coverages that best fit your situation. Nationwide’s numerous discounts and coverage features make it our choice for policy perks. However, its J.D. Power scores for overall customer satisfaction and claims experience are below average and average, respectively.
On Your Side Review helps optimize your coverage
SmartRide program gives up to a 40% discount for good driving habits
Roadside assistance and guaranteed repairs
Below average overall customer satisfaction rankings
Average customer satisfaction for claims
Read the full review: Nationwide car insurance
Best for Price Options : Progressive
Progressive online quotes are easy to get, and you can customize coverage options as well as apply for discounts. Comparison shopping is easy with Progressive’s comparison tool, which lets you see coverage costs with other insurance companies when you get your quote. The insurer’s Snapshot program allows you to qualify you for discounts based on safe driving habits, and Progressive says it helps customers save about $145 per year. Another feature Progressive has that we didn’t see elsewhere was the “Name Your Price” option that lets you request a quote based on how much you are willing to pay, which could be a benefit for young drivers on tight budgets.
Progressive offers a discount for teen drivers, another for students who have good grades, and a discount for parents whose students are away from home. We chose Progressive as the best car insurance for teens and young drivers for price options because of the various ways it helps you compare options and prices online. However, be aware that J.D. Power rated its claim satisfaction as below average.
Good grades, teen driver, and away-from-home student discounts
Snapshot safe-driver program
Name Your Price tool
GAP coverage is available
Rates may differ depending on how you get quotes (website/phone/app/broker)
Below-average customer satisfaction for claims handling
Read the full review: Progressive car insurance
Best Safety-Focused Options : Allstate
Allstate is the fourth largest car insurance company in the U.S. It’s well-known for the slogan “You're in good hands,” which we found to be true when it comes to the advantages the insurer offers teen drivers.
Aside from all the usual car insurance coverages, Allstate offers a 24-hour roadside assistance endorsement, which could be a good option for young drivers who work late or spend a lot of time on the road. Allstate’s Drivewise telematics app provides driving feedback to help young drivers develop safe habits that can lead to discounts. In addition, Allstate offers a teenSmart driver education program to help young drivers qualify for additional discounts. It also has a discount for every six months that you drive accident-free, as well as $100 off your collision deductible for each year without an accident.
But customer satisfaction appears to be average to below average, according to J.D. Power studies, so your “mileage” may vary.
teenSmart driver education program
Good student and student away-at-school discounts
Deductible rewards and safe driving bonuses
Drivewise app rewards safe driving habits
Limited discount details on Drivewise page
Customer service and claims satisfaction rankings are average to below average
Read the full review: Allstate Car Insurance
Best for Long-Term Loyalty : Amica
Amica focuses many of its discounts on family referrals and loyalty. The company offers a loyalty discount to customers who have been with any insurer for more than two years, as well as a legacy discount for drivers under age 30 whose parents have been Amica policyholders for five or more years. Amica also offers more standard discounts, such as for e-billing, paying your premium in full, being a good student, or taking a driver training course. Plus, parents of students away at school can save on their policies.
Drivers who choose Amica’s Platinum Program can earn points for good driving and for referring friends. The points allow you to reduce your deductible or keep your premiums from increasing after a claim. Amica is ranked #2 out of 24 auto insurers by J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating for claims, so there’s a good chance you’ll have a positive experience when you make a claim.
In addition to traditional car insurance, Amica also offers dividend-paying policies. This type of coverage may cost more up front, but may pay you back up to 20% of your premiums at the end of the year.
Highly ranked for overall customer satisfaction with claims experience
Discounts that benefit both young drivers and parents
Loyalty and legacy discounts
Dividend policy available
No telematics program
Dividend policies not available in all states
Best for Military Members and Their Families : USAA
USAA offers insurance and other financial services to military members, veterans, and their families. If that’s you, you’ll also qualify for member benefits like help with car loans and discounts on Goodyear tires.
USAA rewards loyalty by providing preferred rates depending on how long policyholders have been insured with them, and may extend a 10% legacy discount when a young driver transitions to their own policy. It also offers young drivers discounts for maintaining good grades and taking driver training, as well as military-specific discounts like for garaging your car on base. Optional coverages include roadside assistance, rideshare insurance, and accident forgiveness, which may come in handy for younger drivers.
While J.D. Power doesn’t officially rank USAA on its surveys due to the membership requirement, the insurer’s scores are higher than nearly every competitor for both overall customer satisfaction and claims experience.
Strong consumer ratings for customer service and claims processing
Children of USAA policyholders may qualify for a 10% legacy discount
Coverages designed for military member and family needs
Exclusive to military members and their families
Read the full review: USAA Car Insurance
|Insurance Company||Why We Picked It|
|State Farm||Best Overall|
|GEICO||Runner-Up, Best Overall|
|American Family Insurance||Best Discounts|
|Nationwide||Best Policy Perks|
|Progressive||Best for Price Options|
|Allstate||Best Safety-Focused Options|
|Amica||Best for Long-Term Loyalty|
|USAA||Best for Military Members and Their Families|
Who Is Considered a Teen or Young Driver?
“Teen” is pretty straightforward as a term, but the insurance industry’s definition of “young driver” typically includes people aged 16 to 24. For each year of experience you gain as a young driver, your insurance rates may improve if you don’t have accidents or violations.
Average Cost of Car Insurance for Teens or Young Drivers
Car insurance companies base their premiums on a number of factors including location, age, gender, mileage, driving history, and vehicle safety features. Because there’s such variation in premiums between states and based on these factors, we recommend requesting quotes from multiple insurers based on your own situation.
That said, an industry study found that the average cost of car insurance with a teen or young driver on a parent’s six-month policy ranges from $1,060 to $1,207. Insurance costs for young drivers listed as the primary driver on a car will be even higher. That’s because insurers rely on statistics that show inexperienced drivers are more likely to have accidents. For example, teen drivers are nearly four times more likely as drivers aged 20 or older, per mile driven, to be in a car accident. Fortunately, as teens and young drivers gain driving experience, their car insurance rates should decrease—as long as they maintain clean driving records. The best way for young drivers to save money on car insurance is to practice safe driving habits and take advantage of safe driving programs and discounts.
How to Get Car Insurance for Your Teen or as a Young Driver
Requesting quotes from at least three different insurance companies is a good way to find a policy that offers the best value for your needs. Collecting online quotes is a good idea, but you may also want to speak with a local independent agent. These agents are familiar with multiple insurers, including smaller regional options, and they may be able to make recommendations as well as help you compare coverages so you can choose a policy that’s the best fit for you as a young driver. Remember to mention any factors that might help you qualify for discounts, like whether you’ve taken driver training, if you’re planning to attend college away from home, and if your grades are good.
When reviewing car insurance options, choose a company with a payment plan that you can manage. Being canceled for non-payment can put you in a high-risk insurance group, which will increase your premiums and can make it harder for you to buy car insurance in the future.
How We Chose the Best Car Insurance Companies for Teens and Young Drivers
To select the best car insurance companies for teens and young drivers, we reviewed coverage options, discounts, financial stability, and customer experience ratings for over two dozen regional and national insurers. Throughout our research, we looked for specific coverages or discounts that benefit young drivers and their families. Based on these factors, we narrowed down our list to these top car insurance companies for young drivers.