Car Insurance for New Drivers

Insurance can be expensive for new drivers. But there are ways to lower your rates. Here's how you can pay less as a new driver.
New drivers out on a drive

Buying insurance for a new driver can be tough and expensive. In most cases, this new driver will be a teen who’s just getting their license. But a new driver could also be an adult who’s just getting their start behind the wheel. Either way, you might run into some roadblocks while trying to buy car insurance for yourself or a new driver.

Insurers see new drivers as a risk because they’re normally more prone to tickets and accidents. Insurance is expensive for new drivers because of this. Drivers who are younger than 25 may also see higher rates because of their inexperience. Luckily, there are ways that new drivers can make their insurance more affordable.

This article will explain what a new driver is and why their rates are usually so high. It’ll also tell you about how to get insurance for new drivers. This includes an explanation of how to lower insurance costs as much as possible for new drivers. Finally, there will be answers to some of the most common questions about insurance for new drivers and teens.

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What Is a New Driver?

Many people can fit into the new driver category. Most people will probably think of teens when they think of new drivers. But there are plenty of other types of people who are new drivers and will likely have high insurance rates. Insurers will view you as a new driver if you fit into any of the categories below:

  • Teens. Probably the most obvious type. Teens have no driving experience and no record. Their rates are high because of their age and inexperience.
  • Inexperienced adults. This could be an adult at any age who has little to no driving experience. 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. Insurance companies will likely consider you a new driver because they don’t any recent info on you.
  • Immigrants. Immigrants will see higher premiums because they have no driving or insurance record.

Why Does Insurance for New Drivers Cost So Much?

This is a common question that new drivers ask when they try to buy insurance. The answer is that insurance companies just don’t know you or your teen that well. This makes new drivers a risk.

Insurance companies calculate monthly rates using a variety of different factors. These factors include your driving record, age, and insurance history.  

When you’re a new driver, providers don’t know whether you’re a risk for tickets and accidents. This is because you don’t have a driving record that proves you’re safe behind the wheel. More accident claims mean more money that your insurer will need to pay. To lower your costs, you’ll need to prove that you aren’t a risk. You can do this by driving safely and adding years of experience.

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 an insurance company for years can lower your rates.

Insurance for teens can cost even more because they lack driving experience and are young. Being under the age of 25 can mean higher insurance rates. This is just the unfortunate reality of being young.

How Much Does New Driver Insurance Cost?

There isn’t a set rate for all new drivers. Your insurance costs are going to be different from everyone else. Remember that insurers use several factors to determine your premiums. These factors are:

  • Age (younger or older than the age of 25)
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Driving record
  • Insurance history
  • Credit score
  • Car mileage
  • Where you live
  • Type of car you drive

In general, new drivers should expect to pay more for their insurance than those with experience. Insurance companies believe that inexperienced drivers 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 to Lower Your Rates as a New Driver

New drivers usually end up paying high insurance 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 discounts that providers offer. Discounts add up and can bring down your costs by a large percentage. Each discount can knock a percentage off your rates. There are plenty of different discounts 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 that new drivers can take advantage of. Not all insurance companies 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

Here’s a partial list of major auto insurance companies that offer some kind of discount for new drivers:

Make Good Choices

You can lower your coverage costs if you make good choices in your daily life. The first step to lowering your insurance costs is to drive safely 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 insurance rates.

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

  • 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 Insurance Company for You

You shouldn’t settle for the first provider that you see. Each insurer will likely offer you a slightly different rate. It’s smart to shop around and find the best price. You can do this by gathering insurance quotes and comparing them to find the cheapest deal.

Rates will probably be cheaper if everyone in your household is on the same policy. Having multiple people on 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 car insurance companies for new drivers. This should help you find the coverage you need.

Consider Raising Your Deductible

Another common way to lower your insurance costs is by raising your 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 insurance rates, but it’ll mean that 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

The car that you drive can have an impact on your insurance rates. New drivers should try to find a safe car that will get cheaper insurance rates. The best way to do this is to compare insurance prices for the car that you’re looking to buy or drive. By doing this, you should have an idea of whether you’ll want to drive it or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need insurance if I have a learner’s permit?

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

Q: Why is car insurance so high for young drivers?

A: Insurance can be expensive for young drivers for a couple of reasons. The first is that insurance companies use age as a determining factor for rates. Drivers under the age of 25 typically pay more for their insurance because they tend to have more accidents than older people.

The second reason that a young driver can see higher rates is that they’re new behind the wheel. New drivers are unproven to insurers. Because of this, insurers view them as a higher risk for getting tickets and accidents. Providers reflect this risk by setting higher rates for new drivers.

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

A: It’s usually cheaper for a new or teen 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 someone to your policy.

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