Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Young drivers enjoy an untarnished view of the world, and when the day comes to get a driver’s license, almost nothing compares to this feeling of independence. However, when it’s time to start shopping for car insurance. the first reality check of financial responsibility sets in.

Car insurance for young drivers is not cheap. Even those young drivers who graduated top of their defensive driving course do not qualify for any extra special honorariums when it comes to auto insurance.

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Why is car insurance for young drivers expensive?

Risk — it’s all about risk for insurance companies, and young drivers pose a much higher risk in any country.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenage drivers pose a substantially higher risk than older drivers with statistics showing such data as:

  • Drivers aged between 16 and 19 pose a risk of getting in accident four times higher than older drivers.
  • 16-year-old drivers pose a risk two times higher than drivers aged 18 and 19 years old.
  • Motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of death for people aged 13–19 years old. (2007)

While graduated driver’s licensing systems have helped improve statistics over the years, young drivers still pose a much higher risk of filing a claim than older, more experienced drivers.

Some other interesting statistics for motor vehicle accidents involving young drivers easily identify that accidents are very common in times that school is out. In 2009 for example:

  • 55 percent of motor vehicle deaths among teenagers occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • The highest number of teenage motor vehicle deaths occurred in the summer months of June and August.
  • The most frequent time of day for motor vehicle deaths of teenagers occurred between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Allstate published a report in 2010 called Shifting Teen Attitudes: The State of Teen Driving 2009, which reconfirmed some of the major concerns of insuring young drivers including:

  • 56 percent of young drivers responded they did use a cell phone to make and receive calls while operating a vehicle, although almost 1/3 of the same drivers classified this activity as extremely or very distracting.
  • 67 percent of young drivers feel safe being a passenger, but only 45 percent stated they would actually say something about it.
  • 40 percent of young drivers said that they expect to speed beyond posted limits in the next year.

What is noteworthy about the Allstate report is that 89 percent of teenage drivers noted that their parents are very influential in encouraging safe driving although it doesn’t seem like the message is getting through to many young drivers.

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How much is car insurance for young drivers?

So by now you should get the point that operating a vehicle is a serious responsibility, and as a young driver, you simply have a higher risk profile than more experienced drivers to any car insurance company. From social pressure to typical teenage egos to lack of experience, there are many reasons why young drivers as a group pose such high risk.

Eventually, you will become a preferred driver and will be able to take advantage of lower premiums. But today, you need to focus on finding affordable car insurance, and there are many things you can do. Car insurance comparison is your best way to find affordable auto insurance, but you also need to buckle up and learn about auto insurance.

What type of coverage you have will determine your financial responsibility in the event of an accident, and purchasing the wrong type of insurance can burden you with large personal liability and legal woes. Every teenage driver should take the following steps before buying car insurance.

Learn About Coverage

Understand the types of car insurance such as liability, collision, and comprehensive. One of these types provides NO coverage to damages to your own vehicle. Do you know which one?

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Understanding Car Insurance Discounts

Young drivers can earn discounts by keeping good grades, completing a defensive driving course, and more. Always learn what auto insurance discounts are available and even ask your school about any relationships they have with insurance companies — your student union is a good place to start.

Speak With your Parents

Ask your parents about car insurance. Some young drivers may be surprised how little their parents even know, and you can both read up on coverage. This can prove you are growing up and maybe even spark a twinkle in your parents eyes.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

While you may not always get a discount from a defensive driving course, you should always take one. Even mature drivers do not know everything about driving, and for the safety of everyone, it’s a good idea to learn from experts.

Hold Off on Buying a Vehicle

Getting added as an additional driver to your parent’s car is much cheaper than obtaining your own insurance policy. Although certainly not as cool, it can save you lots of money, and that is cool!

Never Buy a New Car

If your budget allows you to buy a new car, get ready for high car insurance premiums. What you can do to lower the pain is buy a used or certified used car. You will not only save money on the vehicle and have an asset worth a lot more to the purchase price, but auto insurance for older cars is always lower than brand new models.

Affordable car insurance is very possible as a young driver, but it’s important to choose a policy that provides all the protection you need. Auto insurance is not just mandatory by law, but it is also a critical tool of financial protection for you, your passengers, and your family.

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Related posts:

  1. What is a preferred risk driver?
  2. What are the types of auto insurance?