Claire Smith Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Home / Blog / Auto Insurance / An Overview Of 18 Years Old Car Insurance

Find Out How to Get the Best Car Insurance For 18 Year Old

16 year old

It’s a wonderful time to be a parent! Your kids are nearly adults, and are more and more independent each month. Perhaps they’re even off to college soon, with a car of their own? Hold on, Mom and Dad. You’re not totally finished with the responsibilities on their behalf: you still need to ensure they have adequate car insurance.

We have created this short read to help demystify car insurance for an 18 year old, so that you and/or your kid can pay as little as possible and still be covered in case of damage or collision.

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What Is the Average Cost of the Monthly Premiums?

There are several factors that can dramatically affect price (read on!), but there is enough data available to give you a ballpark. Full coverage will set your 18-year-old back about $450 per month. Don’t shoot the messenger, but in some states (Michigan!) fees can be up to $780 per month. These figures are for a full coverage policy of their own that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. But wait, do you need full coverage?

Full Coverage vs. State Minimum Coverage

If the car your kid is driving is leased or financed, most insurance companies will insist on full coverage auto insurance. If your child (or you) own the car they are driving outright, you can get away with paying the state minimum coverage. This is the bare minimum needed to legally drive the vehicle.  It is risky to buy just the state-mandated coverage, however. If an accident occurs, the insurance policy will only cover the other driver’s injuries and car damage, not for your kid’s injuries or car repairs.  For the best protection you will want the full suite of coverage: 
  • $100,000 for injury liability for one person 
  • $300,000 for all injuries in one accident if the accident is deemed your kid’s fault
  • $100,000 for property damage your kid caused, which includes damage to another’s car
  • Collision insurance, to pay for damage to the car regardless of who was at fault
  • Comprehensive, to pay for damage to your car due to circumstances out of your control, like theft, flooding, hail, ding and run, etc.
It is enormous peace of mind to move up from state minimum to full coverage, and on average, you’re only talking about an extra $150 per month in monthly payments.

18 Year Old Girl vs. 18 Year Old Boy

The stats here simply don’t lie: boys tend to drive a bit more recklessly than girls. 18 year old male drivers have almost double the number of accidents annually than 18 year old female drivers. What this means in dollar amounts is approximately $830 per year, depending on what state you live in. In some states—California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—it is illegal for insurance companies to take gender into account.

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Own Coverage vs. Covered by Parent’s Insurance

Finally, if your 18 year old still lives with you, it is advisable to put them on your own auto insurance plan as a second driver. On average, this will result in paying 50% lower monthly premiums! However, it will raise your own monthly premium by about 26%, especially if they have traffic violations or an accident on their record. In fact, if there have been a few incidents in your 18 year old’s past, you may not actually be saving anything by including them in your policy.

Strategies to Reduce Premiums

It’s not all bad news! Here are some factors that are taken into account when insurance brokers are assessing your 18-year old’s insurance premiums:
  • Grades! Believe it or not, if your child is a B student or better, they could pay up to 15% less per month!
  • Driving lessons, if completed at an accredited school, can reduce premiums by 5%.
  • A driving contract is a signed document created with Mom and Dad, wherein the teenager agrees to not driving past a certain hour at night, for example, or limiting passengers in the vehicle. This can also reduce premiums by 5%.
  • The type of car. This is a huge one, and of course something you’ve considered. Sedans and small SUVs are going to be less expensive to ensure, especially if they are relatively well maintained. Sports cars and luxury vehicles will of course set you (or the teenager) back more per month. Savings vary greatly here, depending.
So if you have an 18-year-old at home who really, really wants a car of their own, share some of these insights with them. It might convince them to study harder and come home earlier at night, who knows!

Claire Smith Claire is a creative entrepreneur with a variety of marketing and content creation skills, including blog and web copy writing, research, and strategy. She has a Masters in Cultural Studies from Queen's University and is known for thinking laterally about marketing, based on her deep knowledge of people and behavior.

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