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Car insurance rates by age

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    What you pay in insurance premiums is a reflection of your risk as a driver. While many different factors go into this equation, age is a major contributor. Insurers use accident reports and claim data to predict the likelihood that you’ll file a claim, and the numbers show that age is strongly correlated with your chance of getting in an accident. By understanding changes in average car insurance rates by age and gender, you’ll be in a better position to get the best price and discounts for your age group.

    Average car insurance by age

    When you first start driving, you can expect to pay extremely high premiums that slowly decline until the age of 30. Costs generally remain steady for about four decades until the age of 65, when they may begin to increase slightly again.

    Here are the average rates younger drivers can expect to pay at specific ages:

    Why do younger and older drivers pay more for car insurance?

    Statistically, drivers under 25 and over 65 pay more for car insurance than middle-aged adults. The cause: teenagers are three times as likely as drivers age 20 and older to get in a crash, giving them the highest premiums of any age group. Seniors also represent an increased risk, which can cause premiums to climb again later in life, although not nearly as high as younger drivers.

    Car insurance rates for teens

    Teenagers have the highest driving risk of any age group and are therefore the most expensive to insure. Most teenagers are added to a parent’s auto insurance plan, which is often significantly less expensive than the teen purchasing a separate policy. However, adding coverage for a teenager will make the family’s premiums increase by 130% on average, which is still costly.

    130%

    Adding coverage for a teenager will make the family’s premiums increase by

    Average annual insurance premiums for teens on parents’ plan

    The average cost with a 16-year-old male on a family’s policy is $4,048 per year. A 16-year-old female on the family policy will cost around $3,819 annually.

    How to save money on car insurance as a teen

    You may not be able to escape teenage insurance rates entirely, but there are plenty of ways to offset the cost of adding a teenager to your policy. Ask your insurance company about these teenager-friendly discounts:

    • Good student discount
    • Safe driving program
    • Monitoring app or device
    • Multi-car discount

    Car insurance rates for college students

    College students usually attend school between the ages of 18 to 21, which happens to coincide with some of the most expensive years for car insurance. In addition to seeing higher rates for their age, many young drivers make the transition from their parents’ policy and purchase their own coverage during this time, which typically costs even more.

    Average annual insurance premiums for college students on own policy

    The college student premiums listed below are an average of male and female rates with their own policy. Rates decline rapidly within this car insurance age bracket; between the ages of 18 and 22, students can expect their premiums to be cut in half if they maintain a good driving record.

    How to save money on car insurance as a college student

    Paying more than $5,000 per year for car insurance is a steep ask on a student budget. To make coverage more affordable, look into these discounts:

    • Good student discount
    • Away from home discount
    • Safe driving program
    • Monitoring app or device
    • Multi-car discount
    • Safety equipment discount
    • Autopay discount

    Car insurance rates for young adults in their 20s

    As young drivers enter their 20s, auto insurance rates continue to fall. Due to a combination of maturity and more practice behind the wheel, the risk of causing a crash goes down with every year that passes. The most notable change occurs between the early- and mid-20s, as is clearly illustrated by comparing average rates for drivers aged 22 and 25.

    Average annual insurance premiums for drivers in their 20s

    If you’re still paying high insurance premiums in your early 20s, rest assured that your rates are likely to drop significantly by the time you reach 25. The gender gap also diminishes during this period; while 22-year-old males pay around $300 more per year than their female peers, this drops to an $84 difference by the age of 25.

    How to save money on car insurance in your 20s

    Once you leave college, you’ll no longer be eligible for the student discounts you might have earned since your teenage years. But even as your premiums go down, you can continue to save with additional discount programs offered by many insurers. Here are some other ways to save:

    • Autopay discount
    • Pay-in-full discount
    • Safety equipment discount
    • Low mileage discount
    • Safe driving program
    • Monitoring app or device
    • Improve your credit score
    • Choose a higher deductible
    • Shop around for coverage

    Car insurance rates for drivers in their 30s

    Drivers in their 30s are typically used as a benchmark for average car insurance rates by age and gender. This age group pays fairly consistent rates across the nation. Most insurers consider them a low risk based on claim and accident report data.

    Average annual insurance premiums for drivers in their 30s

    There isn’t much of a change in auto insurance premiums for drivers as they progress through their 30s. The figures below are an average of rates for male and female drivers and assume the individual is unmarried with their own auto insurance policy.

    • 30-year-old: $1,555
    • 35-year-old: $1,532

    Car insurance rates for drivers in their 40s

    Once drivers reach their 40s, most have two to three decades of experience on the road and have a tendency to exhibit safer habits than their younger counterparts. This is the age bracket where car insurance rates typically bottom out before curving back upwards as insurers take new age-related concerns into consideration.  

    Average annual insurance premiums for drivers in their 40s

    Policyholders in their 40s tend to share a policy with a spouse, which most insurance companies reward with lower rates. Not only do drivers pay less on a shared policy than they would separately, insurers also consider married drivers to practice safer habits than those who remain single. The averages below are based on the cost of coverage for a married couple within this age range.

    • 40-year-old: $1,821
    • 45-year-old: $1,802

    Car insurance rates for drivers in their 50s and 60s

    Drivers in their 50s and 60s may worry about rising insurance rates due to their age. The good news is that most insurance companies start offering senior discounts to drivers beginning at age 50. These discounts increase periodically up to the age of 65. Drivers won’t typically see their premiums increase significantly due to age-related risks until even later in life.

    Average annual insurance premiums for 50-60 year olds

    Just like those in the 40-year car insurance age bracket, many drivers in their 50s and 60s are typically on the same policy with their spouse. As drivers enter their 60s, they may see rates start to slowly climb, although nowhere near as high as the premiums they paid in their teenage years. Below, we’ve listed the average car insurance rates by two ages for a married couple.

    • 55-year-old: $1,707
    • 65-year-old: $1,739

    How to save money on car insurance from ages 30-60

    Even as you enjoy the low auto insurance premiums that typically come with middle-age adulthood, you can still make coverage even more affordable. Every insurance company offers a different set of discounts, but these are a few of the most common savings opportunities:

    • Purchase a safe, reliable car
    • Improve your credit score
    • Choose a higher deductible
    • Shop around for coverage
    • Multi-car discount (for married couples and families)
    • Senior discounts (age 50 and up)
    • Autopay or pay-in-full discount
    • Low mileage discount
    • Monitoring app or device

    The takeaway

    • Auto insurance rates are highest for teenagers, but drop sharply during the first few years a driver spends on the road. Rates continue to decline as the individual progresses through their 20s.
    • Middle-age adults between the ages of 30 and 60 enjoy the lowest rates that remain relatively stable, provided the driver maintains a clean accident-free record.
    • Senior drivers may see their rates slowly climb again after they reach their 60s due to risks associated with advanced age. However, they rarely come close to matching rates for young drivers.

    There are dozens of potential factors that can affect the cost of car insurance, but age is one of the biggest contributors. Young drivers who have just received their license should budget for high insurance costs, although these rates won’t last for too long. Coverage becomes much more affordable once the driver gets through their mid 20s and enters middle-age adulthood. Whether you’re a young driver purchasing your first policy or an older adult with a family of your own, there are many different discounts that can help mitigate the cost of coverage.

    Methodology

    Coverage utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states including Washington D.C.

    Quoted rates for 18-35 year old drivers are based on the profiles of both male and females on their own policy, each with a clean record driving a 2016 Honda Civic. For 16 and 17 year old rates, quotes were based on the profile of a middle-aged married couple with a clean driving record that adds the teen driver to their insurance policy who were licensed at age 16. The family drives their Toyota Camry 12,000 miles a year. For ages 40-60, rates were calculated based off of a married couple with a clean driving record.

    Drivers ages 18 – 25 had the following coverage details:

    • $50k bodily injury liability per person
    • $100k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $50k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Drivers ages 30+ (including with teens added to plan) had the following coverage details:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but note that your actual rates will differ.

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