The Average Cost of Car Insurance by Age

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Average cost of car insurance by age: man looking out from the window of his car

To determine your auto insurance rate, car insurance companies use a variety of factors ranging from your driving history to your geographic location to your credit score. While insurance providers are relatively tight-lipped about how each facet weighs into a given rate, a driver’s age has possibly the largest effect. From young drivers to senior motorists, learn more about the average cost of car insurance by age, how these average costs impact your rate, and what you can do to minimize your premiums.

Discover the Most Affordable Rates for Your Age Group

Average Cost of Car Insurance by Age — From 18 to 65

Car insurance companies consider age when calculating your rates, as your driving experience, perceived risk, and odds of being in an accident change over time. All other factors being the same, average car insurance rates tend to shrink as you age. Older drivers generally have more time behind the wheel, drive more defensively, and are less likely to file a claim, which all lead to potentially lower car insurance premiums.

Overall, the national average cost of insurance for all ages is $128/month for liability coverage (property damage and bodily injury) only and $302/month for full coverage car insurance — which includes liability, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage. Here’s a quick breakdown of the average cost of car insurance rates by age:

How Much is Car Insurance for 18-Year-Olds?

  • Liability only: $297/month
  • Full coverage: $676/month

How Much is Car Insurance for 25-Year-Olds?

  • Liability only: $109/month
  • Full coverage: $266/month

How Much is Car Insurance for 40-Year-Olds?

  • Liability only: $97/month
  • Full coverage: $232/month

How Much is Car Insurance for 65-Year-Olds?

  • Liability only: $97/month
  • Full coverage: $221/month

As you can tell from these statistics, the average cost of car insurance by age is pricey for drivers under age 25, but it levels off by the time you hit 40. From age 40 on, you shouldn’t see a sizable increase in your premiums based on age. However, the car you drive, your geographic location, your driving record, and other determinants can cause your insurance cost to increase or decrease regardless of how many times you’ve circled the sun.

Keep in mind that these figures are national averages. Rates change based on the minimum coverage limits required by state law. This can alter car insurance pricing from state to state, even if you only purchase the state minimum or other coverage options.

What Affects the Average Cost of Car Insurance by Age?

Elderly couple in a car

Auto insurance companies devote many of their resources to actuaries and statisticians who determine the risk for each age group from statistics. As a result, they can aptly create a car insurance rate that reflects a person’s risk behind the wheel and the likelihood that they’ll file a claim.

Teen Drivers — The Most Expensive Age for Car Insurance

The average cost of car insurance by age may seem disproportionately expensive for teen drivers, but it’s with good reason. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely to get into a car accident than any other age group. Moreover, 16-year-old drivers are at the highest risk, which leads to this group having the most expensive average car insurance costs.

Younger Drivers Under 25 — More Affordable, but Still Pricey

Although they have more driving experience and better driving habits on average, 20-year-old to 24-year-old drivers are still far more likely to file a claim or be involved in an at-fault accident. Nevertheless, auto insurance policy rates drop exponentially from age 16 until age 25, and finding cheaper car insurance becomes much more of a reality for drivers who maintain good credit and a clean driving record.

Motorists Aged 25 to 39 — The Price Drop-Off

Think of age 25 as the last major hurdle in the average cost of car insurance by age. Once you reach this age, you’re more likely to practice safe and defensive driving — at least in the eyes of insurance companies. While you still may have higher rates at age 25 compared to those in their late 20s or their 30s, it’s still far cheaper to insure a 25-year-old than a teen or someone in their early 20s.

Drivers in their 30s are even more experienced drivers and are no longer considered high risk, which leads to a lower cost of auto insurance. Beyond their level of driving experience, 30-year-olds are more likely to be homeowners, married, and have better credit, all of which can lead to an even more sizable drop in car insurance. If you can manage to avoid accidents, claims, and speeding tickets, you can find the best rates possible.

Drivers Aged 40 to 65 — Over the Hill of Expensive Car Insurance

When you reach age 40, you may be over the hill, but don’t take it as an insult. You’re over the hill when it comes to high car insurance rates. At age 40, you’ll notice huge decreases in your auto insurance quotes and what you pay when you choose your preferred car insurance policy from a reputable insurer.

Around age 50, you’ll usually find the lowest average cost of car insurance by age. With the cheapest car insurance of any decade, 50-somethings are more patient, less likely to drive erratically or recklessly, and often have a trio of other beneficial factors: they’re likely to be married and homeowners, and to have superb credit — perhaps more so than any of the other age ranges.

Senior Motorists — Slight Increase in Rates

Between the ages of 65 and 75, your rates will typically remain relatively unchanged from your 50s — or, to some degree, even your 40s. The only time that you may see higher car insurance quotes is when you reach age 75.

As people age, their reaction times and motor skills begin to deteriorate compared to younger drivers, which can lead to increased risk and, therefore, higher rates. Rates eventually plateau when you reach age 85, although not as many people continue to drive at this age.

Find the Best Rate for Your Age Group

What You Can Do to Lower the Cost of Your Car Insurance No Matter Your Age

The average cost of car insurance by age is surmountable to some degree. You don’t have to simply resign yourself to the fact that you will pay more just because of your birth date. Instead, follow a few of these tips to improve your chances of a lower auto insurance rate:

  • Always search for car insurance discounts. Every car insurance company, from Nationwide to Progressive, offers multiple discounts to help you save. Younger drivers should look into good student discounts, while older drivers can benefit from paid-in-full discounts, new car discounts, and many more.
  • Try the technological approach. Car insurance companies have recently rolled out telematics programs to help you reduce your rate. These mobile apps track your driving habits and may provide extra savings if you’re a safe driver.
  • Raise your deductible. If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, you also have a deductible. If you can afford a larger out-of-pocket payment in the event of an accident, keeping a higher deductible can result in lower car insurance rates.
  • Stay out of trouble. It should seem obvious, but avoiding speeding tickets, DUIs, and other moving violations can substantially lower your car insurance rates over time.
  • Shop around. Whether you have a full coverage policy or liability only, shopping around can yield great results in terms of rates.
  • Retire to a state with cheaper car insurance. OK, you probably don’t want to base your retirement decision solely on car insurance rates. But if you’re torn between two states, this might be a valid point that can save you thousands. For example, the states of Florida, Michigan, and New York have far higher rates than places like North Carolina or Vermont.

Age is Only a Number if You Shop for the Best Car Insurance Quotes

Woman happily driving a car

Regardless of your age, making a conscious effort to compare rates every six months to a year can save you a bundle of money. While your age will continue to factor into your rate, it’s likely that the more effort you put into your search, the more money you’ll have left in your bank account.

Don’t make the mistake of failing to compare rates. You can put the cash you save into things relevant to your life’s journey: a down payment on a house, funds for your retirement, or gifts for the kids or grandkids. It only takes two minutes to make a lifetime of difference in your bank account.

Keep Your Rates Low No Matter How Old You Are

Methodology: All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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