The Best Car Insurance Companies for 18 Year Olds
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Teen drivers need quality auto insurance coverage. While you’ve likely been on a road for a few years by the time you’re 18, you’re still in a high risk age group. Unfortunately, rates are higher than you’ll pay when you get older, but the good thing is you can still secure quality coverage. The key is to find the best car insurance for drivers your age.
We’ve highlighted five top car insurance companies that offer some of the best car insurance for 18-year-olds to help you get started.
- To find the best car insurance company you want to look at their coverage options, discounts, pricing, and more
- The best auto insurance company for you will vary, but you want to look at customer reviews, coverage options, price, discounts, and more to find the right choice for you
- While insurance can be costly at 18, there are various ways you can save
The Best Car Insurance Companies for 18 Year Old Drivers
As you start your hunt for quality auto insurance, be sure to take a look at these five companies. Not only do they have excellent reputations, but they also offer coverage options and discounts that are ideal for teens.
BBB Rating: A+
WalletHub Rating: 3.6/5
Discounts: A wide assortment of discounts includes multi-car, safe driver, auto-pay, young driver training, student away at school, and good student discounts
Amica has offered insurance coverage for over a century, and today the company provides auto, renter’s, condo, life insurance, and more. Available car insurance coverages include liability, medical payments, personal injury protection, property damage, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, collision, and comprehensive coverage. You can also customize your policy with premium options to ensure you have the peace of mind you want.
Amica offers several discounts ideal for 18-year-olds. Defensive driver training and accident-free driving for three years keep costs down. Drivers under 30 whose parents have been with Amica for five years may qualify for a legacy loyalty discount. Good student discounts and young driver training discounts for those under 21 can help you save even more.
BBB Rating: A-
WalletHub Rating: 3.8
Availability: 43 states
Discounts: 12 discounts include responsible payer, new car, and more
Founded in 1999, Esurance is part of Allstate Insurance. Esurance is delivered entirely online, which helps keep rates lower. In addition to car insurance, it offers renter’s coverage, and SmartShare coverage designed for Uber and Lyft drivers. These options make Esurance an excellent choice for many 18-year-olds.
Bundling policies can save you money, and safe drivers can save even more with the DriveSense discount. Esurance offers a powerful mobile app you can use to pay your bills or make a claim. You’ll also have many coverage options, including collision, comprehensive, loan or lease gap, rental car, and emergency roadside assistance coverage.
BBB Rating: A+
WalletHub Rating: 3.8
Availability: 47 states and Washington, D.C.
Discounts: More than 10 discounts include safe driver, defensive driving, good student, automatic payments discounts, and more
One of the largest insurance companies in the world, Nationwide offers not only car insurance but also pet, renter’s, flood, identity theft, and wedding insurance, making it a one-stop shop for your insurance needs. The company offers a comprehensive selection of standard and optional insurance coverages, including personal injury protection, bodily injury and property damage liability, collision, rental car expense, and more.
With Nationwide, you can choose extra coverages like accident forgiveness or roadside assistance to prepare for those unexpected moments. Nationwide’s vanishing deductible gradually reduces your deductible after three years of safe driving. Using the SmartRide program gives you feedback to help improve your driving safety, and can help you earn additional discounts.
BBB Rating: A+
WalletHub Rating: 3.0
Discounts: More than 15 discounts include teen driver, good student, online quote discounts, and more
Founded in 1937, Progressive has grown to become one of the largest insurance companies in America. Progressive offers a wide selection of insurance products, including auto, home, renter’s, and condo policies. Support is available 24/7/365, so you can get answers to your questions whenever you need help.
Progressive allows you to customize your car insurance policy, choosing from coverage options such as liability, comprehensive and collision, roadside assistance, and more. Progressive offers several different accident forgiveness options that can help you to save money after an accident. There are also independent insurance agents located in many communities to provide more personalized help. Discounts like the Snapshot program rewards safe drivers with lower rates, and the Name Your Price Tool lets you choose how much you want to pay and makes it easier to find coverage within your budget.
BBB Rating: A+
WalletHub Rating: 2.8
Discounts: More than 15 discounts include good driver, good student, and student-away-at-school discounts
Liberty Mutual has offered insurance products for more than a century. In addition to car insurance, the company provides renter’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Liberty Mutual customers can customize policies and only pay for coverage they need in order to save money. Country-wide licensed agents and officers provide personalized help as well.
Existing Liberty Mutual customers can easily add a teen to their policies, or teens can start their own policies. Liberty Mutual offers a variety of tools, including the mobile app that allows you to manage your policy 24/7. The RightTrack tool rewards good drivers with discounts up to 30%, and good drivers can get a discount for maintaining a violation-free driving record.
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Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates for 18-Year-Old Drivers
The cost of car insurance for 18-year-olds depends on many different factors. Here are some of the most common factors insurers use to determine premiums.
- Driving History: While teens are already considered high-risk drivers, a driving history that includes an at-fault accident or traffic violation can increase those premium prices even further.
- Location: Drivers living in urban areas with a high population density or large amounts of crime will pay more because of the increased risk of having to file a claim. In contrast, teens who live in rural areas with lower crime rates are less likely to get into an accident or have their car stolen or vandalized so they will pay lower premiums.
- Gender: Car insurance is more expensive for males. That’s because male drivers put more miles on the road and are likely to participate in riskier driving behavior.
- Credit Score: Some car insurance companies even consider a driver’s credit score when determining how risky the driver is to insure. While many 18-year-olds won’t have strong credit established yet, a low credit score can increase their rates.
- Vehicle Type: The age and type of vehicle you drive can also impact your rates. Newer, more expensive vehicles cost more to replace, so they will increase your rates. Choosing a less expensive car can help to keep costs down.
- Driver Age: Car insurance costs are higher than average for drivers under 25. The good news is that if you maintain a clean driving record, your rates will decrease as you age.
Why Is Car Insurance for 18-Year-Old Drivers So Expensive?
As you start to review your car insurance quotes, you might be surprised or even shocked by some of the prices. Car insurance for teens is costly, but there are several reasons for that high cost.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), teens are high-risk drivers who are much more likely to get into accidents than more experienced drivers. Teen drivers ages 16 to 19 years old are almost three times as likely to get into an accident as drivers 20 and up.
That increased risk means that car insurance companies are more likely to have to pay for claims related to teen driving. The CDC reports that in 2020 alone, about 2,800 teens in the United States died in motor vehicle accidents, and approximately 227,000 experienced injuries from a crash. The teen deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents resulted in about $40.7 billion in medical care costs in 2020 alone.
Given the increased chance of accidents and the high cost of fatalities that result, car insurance companies charge more to insure teens.
Several other factors contribute to why teens are such high-risk drivers. The CDC explains they’re more likely not to recognize dangerous situations and make mistakes that can lead to serious car accidents. Nighttime driving is dangerous for teen drivers, and teens often don’t wear seat belts, contributing to the fatalities resulting from car crashes. Additionally, teens regularly drive while distracted, speed and use shorter following distances increasing the chance of being in an accident.
How to Save on Car Insurance Costs
Car insurance costs may be expensive, but there are many ways to save on your premium.
Invest in a Driving Course
Many insurance companies will offer a discount if you complete a defensive driver or driver safety course. Not only can you save on insurance by taking a course, but what you learn could help you stay safer on the road and avoid accidents. If you’re planning to go this route, contact your insurance company to confirm that the course qualifies you for a discount.
Avoid Taking Out a New Policy
Rather than taking out your insurance policy, you can save money by having a parent or guardian add you to their plan. This is a wise move until your insurance costs start dropping when you’re in your twenties. Then, you can consider taking out your own policy.
Carefully Shop for a Vehicle
The value of your vehicle can also impact your car insurance costs. Expensive cars typically cost more to insure because your insurance provider would need to pay more to repair or replace the car.
If you’re planning to shop for a new car, you may want to consider a less expensive model. Choosing a car equipped with safety features like airbags and an anti-theft system may also help you get a discount on your car insurance, but you’ll need to verify that with your insurance company.
Avoid a Large Auto Loan
You might be planning to take out an auto loan to pay for a new or used vehicle, but if you have to take out a large loan, you may also need to buy gap insurance. Gap insurance is an optional coverage that helps protect you if your vehicle is ever totaled. It pays the difference between your vehicle’s current value and what you still owe on your car loan. It also helps prevent a situation where, after owning your vehicle for a few years, you total it. Your car insurance only pays the vehicle’s depreciated value, leaving you to still make payments on a loan for a car that you no longer have.
Explore Different Deductibles
Depending on the policy and car insurance provider, you can explore changing your deductible. Plans with lower deductibles typically have higher premiums, while choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium.
Keep in mind, you’ll need to pay your deductible when you file a claim before your insurance kicks in to cover expenses. That’s why it’s important to select a deductible you can comfortably pay. You may want to put enough money to cover your deductible into a savings account, so you know it’ll be available if you ever need it.
Consider a Telematics Option
Car insurance providers are increasingly using telematics to offer drivers better rates. With most telematics programs, an app on your phone or device attached to your vehicle will monitor your driving habits. It’ll track risky behaviors like swerving, hard braking, and speeding and report that information to your insurance company.
Demonstrating safe driving habits can help you to secure a lower insurance rate, but unsafe driving habits may increase your premium. If you’re a safe and careful driver, you may want to look for an insurance company with telematics-based programs.
Focus on Building Credit
Even your credit rating can impact your premium costs, as some insurance companies consider drivers with high credit ratings lower risk. You may only have a minimal credit history due to your age, but focus on building your credit. Getting your own cell phone account or credit card can be an excellent way to start doing this.
Once you have a line of credit in your name, focus on making all your payments on time. Setting up automatic payments can help with this. You can also focus on using less than 30% of your available credit to demonstrate that you can manage your finances well and not depend on credit to fund your lifestyle.
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Tips for Buying Car Insurance for 18 Year Olds
As you shop for car insurance, shopping around and comparing quotes is essential. Insurance costs can vary significantly between car insurance companies, so taking the time to shop around can pay off.
Compare.com makes that easy. Use our auto insurance comparison calculator to compare rates from 65+ insurance providers. Then you can easily compare your top options and narrow down the best insurer for you. Compare.com users save an average of $720 per year on their car insurance, which is perfect while your rates are still higher.
Is insurance cheaper when you turn 18?
Your auto insurance will remain more expensive until you turn 25 years old. However, it will slowly decrease each year leading up to then as long as you maintain a clean driving record.
At what age is car insurance cheapest?
Your age plays a key role in your car insurance costs, with premium costs dropping as you reach your thirties and gradually increasing again as you reach retirement age. Your insurance rates will be lowest when you’re in your thirties.
Is it better to add an 18-year-old driver to a family car insurance policy?
While an 18-year-old driver can get their own car insurance policy, you can also add them to a family policy. Adding an 18-year-old onto your policy will usually be less expensive than what they would pay on their own.
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