Guide to adding your child to your car insurance

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If you have a teenager, chances are they can’t wait to start driving soon.

While you prepare mentally, you will also need to prepare financially. This means determining how much it will cost to add your child to your car insurance.

Whether it’s your first child or your third, adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive. Teen drivers tend to pay the highest fares of all groups, but there are ways to save.

How much does young driver insurance cost?

Usually, when a driver is shopping for auto insurance, specific factors such as driving record, marital status, and credit history play a large role in determining how high those rates are. But a teenage driver usually doesn’t have much experience in any of these categories, so you have to consider other things.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the type of car you drive and how it is used can have a significant impact on auto insurance rates. If your teen is going to be driving a newer car, expect to pay a lot more for car insurance than you would with a cheaper used model.

Should I add my teen driver to my car insurance?

No. You are not required to add your child to your auto insurance policy. But it will be cheaper for the child to get their own policy. “You don’t have to add a teen driver to your car insurance, but it’s more cost effective to do so,” says Melanie Musson, car insurance expert for

“From the first time a learner driver gets behind the wheel, parents need to know if the child is covered by their plan or if they need to be added,” says Musson. “And if a child causes a shipwreck, the parent’s insurance company will be liable for any damages.”

When adding a teen driver to your car insurance, be clear about who owns the car. Don’t forget that if your teenager’s car is in his name, he will not be able to be registered on your policy and he will have to obtain his own.

However, if a teenager falls under a parent’s policy, they can stay on that policy as long as they live in the household and drive one of the station wagons. There may be exceptions to this in some cases, such as when a young driver is going to college and living away from home.

As with any driver, it’s always best to have the minimum insurance required by the state. Driving without any coverage is against the law and can have serious legal and financial consequences.

Insure yourself under your policy

It might make financial sense to add your teen to your insurance policy. “If you compared the increase in premiums that adding a teen driver would cause on a parent’s policy with the cost of a stand-alone policy for that same teen driver, you would see that it is cheaper to purchase to the parent’s police,” Musson said.

According to, adding a 16-year-old female driver adds an average of $1,593 per year to a parent’s comprehensive insurance policy. That’s about $651 per year to add minimum coverage for the same teenager.

Adding a male is a bit more expensive. The average bill for adding a 16-year-old male is $1,934 per year on a parent’s full coverage policy, and adds about $769 for minimum coverage.

Teenage drivers are on average 129% more expensive than a teenage girl, who was 107% more expensive. Still, adding a teenager to a parent’s policy is significantly cheaper than having the teenager get their own policy.

Teens get their own policy

The average price for full insurance for a 16-year-old driver is $6,930.

Below you can compare the average annual rates for 16, 17 and 18 year olds with their own policy.

Age Average Full Coverage Premium Average minimum cover premium
16 years old* $6,930 $2,593
17 years $5,836 $2,214
18 years old $5,189 $1,920
Source: *

Non-owner car insurance

Non-owner auto insurance is coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but use rental vehicles, ride-sharing, and borrowed cars to get around. While it may be tempting to consider non-ownership insurance for your teen, parents should be aware that insurance companies won’t write policies for drivers with access to the family car.

Discounts for teenage drivers

There are options to reduce the costs associated with teen car insurance. “While we’ve always known that good grades can lead to scholarships and other educational opportunities, having a 3.0 GPA can also lead to great student discounts,” says Lauren Fix, automotive expert for Car Coach Reports. , an automotive industry news site.

Although it varies by insurance company, good students can see savings of up to 25% on their car insurance rates.

Pro tip

The best way to save money on your teen’s car insurance is to do comparison shopping. Get multiple quotes and find the plan that works best for you.

Another often overlooked way to save money on car insurance for everyone, not just teenage drivers, is to take a safe driving course. There are local driving schools that offer defensive driving lessons, or drivers can contact the National Safety Council or AAA to find schools in their state.

Again, rates vary by insurance company, but expect to save up to 10-15% on your teen’s car insurance if they take one of these approved courses.

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