How to Get Car Insurance for a First Time Driver

Getting car insurance for new drivers is a fairly straightforward process. A newly licensed teen or adult driver or an individual who has never had a U.S. license before can easily shop for insurance online. Rates for new drivers tend to be quite high but steps can be taken to reduce your insurance payments. New drivers should compare quotes from multiple insurance companies, not buy an excessive amount of unnecessary coverage, and take advantage of every qualifying discount.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • Young or new inexperienced drivers tend to face higher rates than older drivers
  • Most major insurance companies offer discounts aimed at teen drivers
  • You can shop online to find cheaper insurance coverage

Car insurance for new drivers is relatively easy to obtain, but be aware that freshly licensed drivers, no matter their age, can expect to pay quite high insurance rates when they first purchase a policy. Insurance companies generally view more experienced drivers as less of a risk to insure because these drivers are usually more at ease behind the wheel and have had years of practice when it comes to avoiding accidents and staying safe on the road.

Insuring a new driver who still has not had much of a chance to prove their ability to follow traffic laws and learn how to reduce the chances of getting into an accident is a much more risky affair. Now it needs to be stated that new drivers can still find great coverage and decent rates. You just need to know where to look.

Keep reading to learn where you can find cheap car insurance for new drivers and discover the best insurance companies for young drivers.

If you are looking for car insurance for new drivers,  you can enter your ZIP code to get free insurance quotes and start comparing policies right away.

Who is considered a new driver?

Anyone who does not have a driving history in the United States is considered to be a new driver. This can include a teenager, an adult who waited to get their license, or drivers who have never had a U.S. license even if they were licensed in their country of origin.

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How can a new driver get an auto insurance policy?

If you have succeeded in passing your driver’s test and have obtained a shiny, new driver’s license — congratulations, the hard part is over. All you need to do next to get out on the road is to obtain an insurance policy. New driver insurance is available through almost every insurance company, but when you begin shopping online, you will need to share the following information on your quotes:

  • Your date of birth
  • The age you got your license
  • Your car’s make and model
  • The amount of coverage you want
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your occupation

Now, what factors affect the cost of car insurance?

Well, all of the above and then some. Insurance companies use information captured on quotes to learn more about you as a driver in order to appropriately assign you a risk level and a rate to match.

Your risk level is determined through a number of factors. For example, if you live in a bustling city that has a high rate of car theft and accidents, you could pay more for your insurance than a driver who lives out in the countryside. Even your credit score plays a role in the calculation of your rates. If you have poor credit, an insurance company may assume that you would have a habit of missing payments on your policy and raise your rates because of it.

Now, you must be aware that even if you live in an area with very little traffic and have excellent credit, car insurance for first-time drivers can be quite expensive.

How much is auto insurance for a new driver?

You already know that there is a difference between the rates of a new and experienced driver, but just how important is driving experience for insurance rates? As it turns out, very important. If you were to get your license when you turned 16 years old, you can see just how much more you could pay rather than someone in their 60s who would have been driving for years:

Average Annual Liability Auto Insurance Rates by Age
Driver Age GroupsAverage Annual Liability Rates
16-19 years old$2,999.00
20-24 years old$2,040.00
25-29 years old$1,707.00
30-34 years old$1,591.00
35-39 years old$1,610.00
40-44 years old$1,603.00
45-49 years old$1,478.00
50-54 years old$1,284.00
55-59 years old$1,214.00
60-64 years old$1,169.00
65-69 years old$1,244.00
70-74 years old$1,187.00
75 years old and up$1,203.00
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Now, it is not just teenagers who could pay a lot for their insurance. If you had previously been living in an area that had a lot of public transit, you may have never needed car insurance. This inexperience behind the wheel could force you to pay close to the same rates a teenager is typically offered if you were to get your license and purchase a policy for the first time.

How to Find Cheap Insurance for New Drivers

If you have just gotten your license and are concerned that your insurance rates may be too expensive, there are steps you can take to try and secure cheaper insurance.

When you start your search for the best insurance policy for you, be sure to collect at least five insurance quotes from different insurance companies. Doing so will enable you to compare the amounts of coverage available through each policy, and more importantly, discover which one can get you the most coverage at the lowest rate.

Now, you should also make sure that you are not buying too much coverage as that will result in an unnecessarily high monthly payment. In order to get an adequate amount of coverage, you will need to consider a few things. First, how much is your car worth? You will need to be sure that you have enough coverage to replace it if you suffered a total loss.

Here is a good tip for shopping for insurance if you drive an older car: If you own a vehicle that is more than 10 years old, you may not need to purchase full coverage. For a car that old, it is typically advisable to only purchase liability insurance, unless it is a high-quality vintage car.

Another strategy you can employ in order to reduce your rates is to raise your deductibles. Raising your deductibles can actually lower your insurance rates, although you should avoid raising your deductibles to an amount that you can not afford. If you need to file a collision or comprehensive claim, you will need to pay your deductible before you can access your insurance coverage.

How much liability insurance coverage does a new driver need?

It is vital to remember that even if your rates are high, you should never skimp on your liability coverage. This coverage protects you from being sued if you were to damage another driver’s car or hurt someone in an accident. It is a good rule of thumb to set your liability limits at 100/300/100.

The Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers Younger than 25

If you are a new driver who is still in high school, the best insurance companies for you will be ones that not only offers great coverage, but excellent discount opportunities as well. Below you can see which insurance companies offer discounts for young drivers and how much each discount could help you potentially save on your insurance rates:

16-Year-Old Auto Insurance Discounts Offered by Company
CompaniesDefensive Driver Discount OfferedDriver's Ed Discount OfferedGood Student Discount OfferedNewly Licensed Discount OfferedOn Time Payments Discount OfferedSafe Driver Discount OfferedSeat Belt Use Discount OfferedYoung Driver Discount Offered
21st CenturyYes- 5%YesYesNoNoYesNoYes
AllstateYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 20%NoYes - 5%Yes - 45%NoNo
American FamilyYes - 10%YesYesNoNoYesNoNo
AmicaYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 10%NoNoYesNoNo
Country FinancialYes - 5%Yes - 10%Yes - 25%NoNoNoNoYes - 10%
EsuranceYes - 10%YesYes - 10%NoNoYes - 40%NoNo
GEICOYesYesYes - 15%NoNoYes - 15%Yes - 15%No
Liberty MutualYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 23%Yes - 5%NoNoNoYes
MetLifeYes - 7%Yes - 10%Yes - 15%NoNoYes - 12%NoNo
NationwideYes - 5%NoYes - 10%NoNoYes - 35%NoNo
ProgressiveYes - 10%Yes - 10%YesNoNoYes - 31%NoYes
Safe AutoYes - 10%Yes - 10%Yes - 10%NoYesYes - 10%NoNo
SafecoYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 15%NoNoYes - 20%NoYes
State FarmYes - 5%Yes - 15%Yes - 25%NoNoYes - 15%NoNo
The GeneralYes - 8%Yes - 8%Yes - 8%NoNoYesNoNo
The HanoverYes - 5%Yes - 5%Yes - 5%NoNoNoNoNo
The HartfordYes - 10%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%NoYesYesNoNo
TravelersYes - 10%Yes - 8%Yes - 8%NoYes - 15%Yes - 23%NoNo
USAAYes - 3%Yes - 3%Yes - 3%NoNoYes - 12%NoYes - 75%
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Taking advantage of insurance company discounts is also a smart strategy that older drivers who just procured their license can utilize as well. If you are not older than 25 years old, you may have a high chance of finding an insurance company that offers discounts like a multi-policy discount, a VIN-etching discount, an anti-theft discount, and more.

What You Need to Know About Getting Auto Insurance for the First Time

There are quite a few factors that can influence your rates as a first-time driver like your age and length of time driving. If you have just gotten your license or have just obtained a United State driver’s license, you can expect to pay quite a lot for your first policy.

Now, you can reduce your rates by shopping around for insurance, purchasing no more coverage than you need, and taking defensive driving courses.

Enter your ZIP code to get free insurance quotes and discover the best car insurance for new drivers today.

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