Car Insurance for New Drivers

Car insurance for new drivers can be expensive. But there are ways to lower your rates when it's your first time behind the wheel. Here's how you can pay less for the coverage you need.
New drivers out on the road

Car insurance for a new driver can be expensive. In most cases, this person will be a teen who’s just getting their license. But they could also be an adult who’s just getting their start behind the wheel. Either way, you might run into some roadblocks while buying car insurance if you’re a first-time driver.

Novice motorists pay more for coverage because they’re prone to tickets and accidents. Those younger than 25 may also see higher rates because of their lack of driving experience. Luckily, relatively cheap car insurance for new drivers is possible if you know where to look.

This article will define what new drivers are and explain why their policies are the most expensive. It’ll also provide tips for acquiring coverage for the lowest price if you’re in this group. Finally, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about new driver car insurance.

New Driver Basics

When most people here the words “new driver” they probably think of a teenager or or younger person. While most learner drivers are in high school or college, this category often includes older individuals. What defines this segment of motorist is the amount of hands-on driving experience. Even senior citizens fit into this category if they’ve just started to drive.

Insurance companies will consider you a new driver if you fit into any of the categories below:

  • Teens. This group immediately comes to mind when discussing new drivers. Teens have no driving experience and no record. They are just beginning their driving career and are still learning how to drive. Their rates are high because of their age and inexperience.
  • Inexperienced adults. An adult at any age who has little to no experience behind the wheel is also a new driver, still learning the ropes. Insurers will still view you as a risk and raise your rates accordingly in this situation.
  • Drivers with a gap in their record. This is usually someone who has driven but took a long break. This creates a lapse in coverage. Companies will likely consider you “new” because they don’t have any recent info on you.
  • Immigrants. Immigrants will see higher premiums because they have no driving or insurance record. They might not be beginner drivers, but insurers and the state have no way of knowing otherwise.

Why Coverage for New Drivers Is So Expensive

New drivers pay more for auto insurance coverage because they have no track record or history. In addition, statistics indicate that these motorists, in general, have more incidents behind the wheel than their experienced counterparts. You could be the safest driver in the world, destined to never receive a ticket or get into an accident. But until you begin to establish a driving history, your provider will consider you a risk and price your premium accordingly.

To lower your coverage costs, you’ll need to prove, over time, that you aren’t a risk to your provider’s bottom line. You can do this by gaining driving experience over time without reporting any any tickets or at-fault accidents to your insurance company. Another way you can inject trust into your relationship with your insurer is by installing a telematics device. At some point, your insurer won’t think of you as a newcomer to driving and your premium will become more affordable.

Carriers might also start you off with high rates because you don’t have recent insurance history. They want to know that you’ll make your payments on time and show them loyalty. Staying with a company for years can lower your costs.

Insurance for teens can cost even more because learning drivers lack driving experience. Expect to pay higher rates until your 25th birthday This is just the unfortunate reality of being a young.

How Much New Driver Car Insurance Costs

There isn’t a set insurance rate for all new drivers. Each novice driver’s premium will be determined by many factors, driving experience being just one of them. Remember that insurers use many personal details to determine the price of a policy including:

In general, new drivers should expect to pay more for their insurance than those with driving experience. Providers believe that beginners behind the wheel carry a higher risk. Also, those who don’t have a credit history might see higher premiums. This is because they haven’t shown that they can make consistent payments.

How New Drivers Can Lower Rates

Newer drivers usually pay high rates, but there are ways to lower them. Insurers offer many solutions to make coverage more affordable. Below is an outline of the most effective ways to make you or your teen’s insurance more affordable:

Get Discounts

One of the best ways to lower your rates is to take advantage of auto insurance discounts. These can lower your premium quite a bit. Each discount can knock a percentage off your rates. There are plenty of different perks that insurers offer. Here are the most common discounts that you could qualify for if you’re a new driver:

Note that these aren’t the only discounts available. These are some of the best and most common ones for people with little to no driving experience. Not all insurance carriers and states offer the same discounts. Be sure to check with your agent to see which specific discounts you can qualify for.

Insurance Companies with New Driver Discounts

Everyone knows how outrageous premiums are for people with newly minted licenses. Some insurance providers offer savings for fledgling motorists to make their coverage more affordable. Here’s a partial list of major companies that offer a new driver insurance discount:

Make Good Choices

You can lower your coverage costs if you make good choices in your daily life. The first step to lowering your rates is to be safe and avoid tickets and accidents as much as you can. Never drink and drive!

You should also try and maintain a good credit score to get cheaper premiums. In many states, insurers use a driver’s credit score to select their rates. Paying off your credit card each month and making consistent payments on time can help raise your credit and lower your premiums.

If you’re a teen, there are specific ways you can lower your coverage costs by making smart choices. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), here are the best ways for teens to lower their rates:

  • Get a good student discount by maintaining a “B” average in school (this also works for college students)
  • College students at least 100 miles from home but who don’t bring their car to campus can lower their rates
  • Taking a recognized driver course can help lower premiums

Find the Best Insurer for You

Rates will probably be cheaper if everyone in your household is on the same policy. Having multiple persons on a policy is a common discount that people take advantage of. Plus, your parents’ or your policy may be cheaper if it has a home and auto bundle. Having everyone on the same policy will most likely be more affordable than going out and getting one with another company.

If you’re looking for a policy, we ranked the best auto insurers for new drivers. This should help you find the coverage you need.

Consider Raising Your Deductible

Another common way new drivers can lower costs is by raising their deductible. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a deductible is what you pay before your insurance covers your expenses in an accident. Raising your deductible can lower your rates, but it’ll mean you’ll pay more if you get into an accident. Only raise your deductible if you’re able to pay it.

Drive a Safe Car

Your car’s make and model affects your rates. New drivers should try to find a safe vehicle that will get cheaper insurance prices. The best way to do this is to compare rates for the car that you’re looking to buy. By doing this, you should have an idea of whether you’ll want to purchase it or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need coverage if I have a learner’s permit?

This can vary and depends on your provider. Some insurers will require those with learner’s permits to have their own policy. If the person with the permit is operating someone else’s car, they might need to be part of the owner’s insurance policy. Or, at the very least, the owner might need to notify their insurer. Drivers with a permit who own a vehicle will need a separate policy.

Why is car insurance so expensive for new drivers?

Insurance can be expensive for new drivers for a couple of reasons. The first is that companies use age as a determining factor for rates. Most first-time motorists are under 25 and typically pay more for coverage because they tend to have more accidents than older motorists.

The second reason new drivers pay more for coverage is that they’re novices with unproven skill. Insurers default on the notion that inexperienced motorists are risky and more likely to cause an accident. Insurance companies reflect this perceived risk by setting higher rates for these policyholders.

A third reason new drivers pay more is that many are single, and insurers consider your marital status when determining your rates. Unmarried policyholders pay slightly more for coverage. The reason is that single motorists get into more incidents and file more insurance claims.

Is it better for a new driver to be on their own policy?

It’s usually cheaper for a teen or new driver if they’re on someone else’s policy. This is because having a multi-vehicle policy will typically get cheaper rates. Be sure to talk with your insurer to see what the effect would be if you add a beginner to your policy.


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