Cheapest Cars to Insure for a Teenager (and they’re safer too!)


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As my daughters prepare to enter their teen years, before I know it, they’ll be driving cars. So I wondered what the cheapest car to insure for a teenager was.

Here’s what I learned in doing some research:

On average, insurance rates for a family adding a 3rd car and teen driver to their policy can expect rates to increase by 62%. However, the cheapest cars to insure for a teen include the Fiat 500, Hyundai i10, Nissan Rogue, and the Mazda 6.  

It’s a proud day for parents when we see our young ones graduating from high school.

That is traditionally the beginning of a new chapter of their lives. This of course also means that they are ready to drive their very own cars.

Thus, as a parent, you want to make sure that your kids are safe and sound while keeping your expenses as low as possible!

In this article, we’re exploring the world of teen drivers and insurance costs.

We’ll examine average costs, how much policies go up adding teens, and some crucial steps you can take to minimize the increased costs.

Specifically, we’re looking at the cheapest car to insure for a teenager, so you can get them a car they’ll love with insurance costs that won’t break the bank!

Co-authored with Michelle Joe, car expert over at WeBuyCarsToday

Why is auto insurance more expensive for teens?

But, according to the CDC, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

But even if just looking at injuries, over 230,000 teens get in serious car accidents every year. Since your teenager may not have started working yet, you will likely be the one paying for all the damages.

If you’re adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance, the rates will be going up. It’s the perfect time to review your coverage and compare rates with multiple companies.

If you’re considering a used vehicle, use the #1 Carfax alternative Vin Check Pro (click to check a vin now on their site) to accurately check the vehicle’s history for a fraction of the price of other VIN checkers.

How can a 17-year-old reduce car insurance?

In some ways, expensive auto insurance for teens just goes with the territory. 

Parents and teens have been dealing with this since the invention of the automobile. After all, as I mentioned above, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and every year, teens get in over 230,000 car accidents.

Ultimately it’s the insurance company that has to pay out damages, medical bills and lawsuits resulting from those things. So they offset those losses by making assumptions about all teens and driving.

Unfortunately, that assumption is that teens don’t drive well, aren’t very safe, engage in risky behavior, and are more likely to cause an accident. All of that adds up to higher costs of insurance.

However, it’s not all bad news and there ARE some things you can do to cut the cost of insurance for a 17-year-old or any teenage driver, such as:

  • Take a defensive driving course – I’m used to doing this for speeding tickets, but generally, your insurance company will give a discount for taking this course. Just check with them first as they may require certain providers. Many classes these days are done online which your teen will appreciate
  • Keep the grades up – Yup, most insurance companies reward drives under age 25 if they have a B average (in high school) or a GPA of 3.0 (in college). They figure if they’re crackin’ the books, they’re not crackin’ the beers!
  • Keep driving safe – It goes without saying for all of us that the longer we go without an accident or claim, the cheaper our insurance will get. So keep driving safe and don’t file minor, more frivolous claims
  • Rethink the frat parties – It might surprise you, but some companies such as Geico, actually give discounts for college students who are members of certain fraternities and sororities
  • Don’t drive a flashy car – It makes sense, but if you buy your 17-year-old a red Corvette, you can bet the insurance company is going to charge you more than if you bought them a late-model baby blue Hyundai. 
  • Buy a beater and only get liability coverage – It (hopefully) goes without saying that your child’s first car doesn’t need to be a Lamborgini. In fact, my first car was a 1971 Toyota Corolla. That kind of car doesn’t really need comprehensive and collision coverage as you’ll likely spend more in a year than the car is worth. So buy an inexpensive used car and just get liability coverage to save a ton!

How much does insurance cost for a 17-year-old male?

The national average is currently $1,323 a year to insure a vehicle for an adult.

But for teens, you can expect to pay a whopping $5,403 per year for the very same coverage. Specifically, that’s for teens between ages 16-19.

The good news is that insurance costs do start going down at age 19 ($4,074/year) and then down again at age 21 ($3,440). By the time your child turns 25, they’ll still be a lot higher than what it costs parents, but still gradually improving, coming in at $2,904.

I have daughters so the good news for me is that female teens generally see an average of 12% better rates than teen boys. AND when they turn 19, they will be saving about 45% over what parents with teen boys are paying.

The reason, of course, is that statistically speaking, girls are much safer drivers than boys.

The other potentially bad news is if you live in one of the following states, which rank as the most expensive states for teenage driving insurance costs:

  • Texas (darn it, that’s where I live)
  • New York (no surprise, but if we lived in NYC we wouldn’t drive)
  • Deleware
  • Louisana
  • Michigan

Do I need insurance to drive my parent’s car?

You don’t have to have your own policy, but your parents will need to add you to their policy. 

Ultimately insurance covers a driver, not a vehicle and even if they have insurance on their cars, if you drive them without being added, you are driving without insurance.

Trust me, as someone who got a no insurance ticket in my early 20’s, you DON’T want that.

You especially don’t want it as it’s probably a whole lot more expensive of a mistake now than it was then. At the time, I thought I couldn’t afford insurance while flipping burgers at Wendy’s for $3.25/hour (which was kind of true).

BUT, in reality, the ticket and then having to file an SR-22 each year for 5 years afterward was REALLY something I couldn’t afford.

So yes, get your parents to add you to their insurance or don’t drive. It’s as simple as that.

How much does insurance go up after adding a teenager?

For a 1-car family, expect your insurance bill to go up about 44% for adding a teen to your policy.

Have 2 cars? Yup, that will cost you even more; about a 58% increase over what you’re paying now. Have 3 cars? Even more with an increase of 62%. Figures courtesy of Insurance.com.

All that being said, adding them to your policy is DEFINITELY what you want to do compared with getting them their own separate policy.

For the same coverage on the same car with their own individual policy, you or they will pay 365% MORE than if you just added them to your policy.

In short, no matter what you do, having teenage drivers is an expensive proposition, so just start budgeting now.

Can I stay on my parent’s car insurance if I move out?

The short answer is maybe. 

In most cases, insurance companies prefer the insured to live and park the car where the main policyholder lives. 

What it comes down to is an insurance term called “separate residence” and the definition of that term varies from company to company.

Staying on their policy, which is definitely cheaper up through age 25, works best if you leave home to attend college, whether you stay in college housing or rent somewhere near the university. This is often true whether you are using an in-state school or are in a different state.

But do check with your parent’s insurance company as it may vary from company to company.

Unlike health insurance, there is not a dedicated cutoff age for children being on a parent’s insurance policy.

But in most cases, once a child is done with college, unless they are living with their parents, it’s unlikely the insurance company will continue to allow them to stay on their parent’s policy.


The following cars are safer for teens, have a low price AND are among the lowest cost to get insurance on:

Cheapest Cars to Insure for a Teenager

1. Fiat 500 – $14,995

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Fiat 500 blue Middle Class Dad

One of the most trusted cars, Fiat 500 is a complete car in terms of safety, reliability as well as stylish looks.

A small car, Fiat is fully equipped with the latest tech. Featuring a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen on the dashboard, Fiat is for all those who love retro and vintage cars.

Not only does it look super adorable, but it also drives very smoothly without giving any hitches. The best part? It is extremely economical and at under $15,000, it’s one of the least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers.

If you’re considering a used vehicle, use the #1 Carfax alternative Vin Check Pro (click to check a vin now on their site) to accurately check the vehicle’s history for a fraction of the price of other VIN checkers.

2. Hyundai i10 – $13,000

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Hyundai i10 red Middle Class Dad

Believed to be one of the least expensive cars on the market, Hyundai i10 comes with a 5-year warranty.

This means that if you get a second-hand model, you will at least have a year or two left of the warranty period.

This car very easy to drive, but it is also spacious and extremely safe. But at only $13,000, it is by far the # 1 of the least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers.

Wondering about safety over price? Check out the absolute Safest Automobiles (click to read on this site) so you can rest easy knowing your teen is protected!

3. Chevy Equinox – $26,645

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Chevy Equinox green Middle Class Dad

This sleek crossover SUV is perfect for your young blood.

It does not contain too many powertrains and when it comes to technology, Equinox has its limitations. However, It was one of the top picks by IIHS as a safe car.

The rearview camera allows for better visibility. Seating and airbag security are also in check. Your kid will love you for getting them this beautiful car!

For the parent who can’t quite let go of their teen, consider getting a Magnetic Real Time GPS Tracker (click to check current price on Amazon). Attach discretely to the car and monitor it’s every move and monitor on your iPhone or Android or at home on a PC or Mac.

4.5 stars on Amazon Prime and almost 200 reviews, so you know this is a quality product.

It’s waterproof too, so you’ll never be left worrying.

4. Ford Fusion – $20,795

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Ford Fusion grey Middle Class Dad

 

The great news about Ford Fusion is that it is very intelligent when it comes to saving up on the fuel, hence perfect for teenagers.

Some other terrific features include traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, integrated blind spots, and optional lane departure warning.

The speed is limited to 80 mph which will keep your youngster in check when they are driving on the highway!

5. Honda Civic – $18,390

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Honda Civic black Middle Class Dad

The Honda Civic is known for its additional safety features.

This car contains reverse camera as well as features like daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, side airbags, as well as airbags for the torso and head.

One more exciting feature is that a hands-free Bluetooth phone connection is integrated into the car’s digital dashboard control. If you opt for the hybrid model, the car will also contain front crash prevention.

So it would be much more safe for your teen.

For real peace of mind, don’t forget the Always Prepared 149-Piece Roadside Assistance Emergency Kit (click to check current price on Amazon).

It’s 4.5 stars on Amazon Prime with well over 300 less-worried parent reviews. It includes jumper cables, a first aid kit, and other crucial survival items if the unexpected happens to your child.

6. Toyota Prius – $24,200

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Toyota Prius white Middle Class Dad

The incredible thing about Toyota Prius is that it is an extremely eco-friendly car, as it runs not just on fuel but battery too.

Prius features electronic stability control, side airbags, driver knee airbag and anti-lock. Since it is eco-friendly, it will allow your teen to select one of the three modes that help in improving fuel consumption.

7. Mazda 6 – $21,190

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Mazda 6 blue Middle Class Dad

Mazda 6 is not your typical family car.

It is a sports sedan that is perfect for teenagers with raging hormones. Laced with features like electronic stability control, multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes, and daytime running lights, this reliable car also contains blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert system.

This means that your young driver will be able to see at the front as well as at the back of the car!

Not wanting to buy a new car? For many, buying a late model used car makes much more financial sense. So make sure you check out the crucial steps for Buying a Used Car (click to read my steps now) while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

8. Mitsubishi Outlander – $22,995

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Mitsubishi Outlander white Middle Class Dad

Even though it is a small SUV, Mitsubishi Outlander does not lack in the safety department.

It has a driver knee airbag, rollover sensors, airbags on the front and sides, as well as electronic stability control.

It is perfect for youngsters who want an attention-grabbing SUV, as it also features 6-inch touchscreen display, a front dual-zone climate control, and a rearview camera. This car allows for seven-passenger seating.

9. Subaru Outback – $23,495

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Subaru Outback red Middle Class Dad

Given the best ranking for front crash protection, Subaru Outback is the car to opt for if you are worried about your teenager’s rash driving skills.

This beauty also features electronic stability control, side airbags, rollover sensor, and daytime running lights.

Outback has a unique feature of EyeSight Driver Assist system that has two cameras right next to the rearview mirror so that the driver may be warned of a collision before it takes place.

This system helps the driver in keeping within the lane by automatically taping on the brakes when the car swerves out of control. Not one of the least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers, but certainly one of the safest.

10. Nissan Rogue – $22,790

least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Nissan Rogue orange Middle Class Dad

Want something that isn’t simply safe but catches the eye too?

Then Nissan Rogue is the one you are looking for. The SUV features head curtain airbags for all the seats, electronic stability control, front seat-mounted torso airbags and a rollover sensor.

This car is also perfect for long drives to and back from college because its front seats are designed in a way that reduces fatigue to the back and helps in improving blood circulation.

Did we cover everything you wanted to know about the cheapest car to insure for a teenager?

In this post, we looked at the cheapest car to insure for a teenager. But we also explored safety concerns, looked at why the costs to insure a teen are so high and explored some ways you can cut those costs.

When it’s time to get your teen their first car, get them involved. Ask their opinion on which car they like best.

Also, get them involved in the financial process.

Have them save up and then match however many dollars they can raise. That’s exactly what my dad did for my first car and it was a great financial lesson that has stuck with me.  Or if you buy the car have them be responsible for insurance and maintenance.

Buying your teen can be stressful, nerve-wracking and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

How old are your kids?

Middle Class Dad least expensive cars to insure for teenage drivers Jeff Campbell bio

About the co-author of this post

Middle Class Dad least expensive cars to insure for teenage driversMichelle Joe headshotMichelle Joe is a blogger by choice and a contributor at WeBuyCarsToday. She loves to discover the world around her.

She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her

on twitter: @michellejoe524


Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.

The images used in this post were acquired from the web and are considered “fair use” under US Copyright law given this post is for the purposes of reviewing these products. That being said if the original photographer prefers us to not use their photo, we will happily swap them out upon being contacted.

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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