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Cheap Car Insurance for 16, 17, 18, and 19 Year Olds

Updated on January 4, 2013

Finding Cheap Coverage for 16, 17, 18, and 19 Year Old Drivers

Getting cheap car insurance as a young driver is somewhat like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially for those in the 16, 17, 18, and 19 year old range where most major companies tend to tack on added premiums. So you are on the right side of twenty-five (lucky you!) and you're looking for a good deal on auto insurance?

Well, perhaps it seems as if your luck may have run dry in this particular department. Finding a good deal on adequate auto coverage is difficult at times, even for older drivers with a limited claim history and a good driving record, but cheap auto policies for young drivers can at times seem next to impossible.

The very nature of the industry as a "for profit" business model creates a situation where the goals of the policy provider are at odds with the goals of the consumer. They want to charge you as much as they can possibly get away with in premiums while paying out as little as possible in claims. You on the other hand are looking for the lowest possible rates on your policy and the highest possible payouts on your claims.

At first, this may not seem like a fair fight with young drivers facing off against massive companies who know the business inside and out. The key to getting the lowest possible rates for teenage drivers is to educate yourself and understand how auto insurance works.

Keys to Getting a Cheaper Policy

Here's what you need to know to save money when you are shopping for a new policy.

  1. Start with your education. Getting educated can mean several things when it comes to shopping for a good deal. Not only is it important to understand insurance in general, it is also a must to take full advantage of your status as a student. Insurance companies often extend significant discounts to active students enrolled in high school or college. The better your educational qualifications, the better your chances of getting cheaper monthly premiums. Research has shown that people with higher educational qualifications are safer on the road and as you'd expect, providers have taken that into consideration in setting their rates. Having a good track record in school will help you even more. Many insurers will offer even deeper discounts to students who keep up at least a 3.0 GPA while enrolled in school. Don't just expect that your policy provider will offer up these discounts to you because you are a student! You need to tell your agent that you are in fact a student and ask what discounts are available to you.
  2. Keep your driving record clean. While this may sound like advice that would come from a parent, it has sound financial merit as well. It's a fact; if your record shows more than even a couple of infringements when it comes to driving related issues, your insurance premiums are likely to shoot up. Research shows that offenders will likely be repeat offenders and firms are well within their rights to use this fact to drive up premiums. The best way to lower the premium on your policy if you are a young driver is by driving safely to start with. Over the long-term, this just becomes more and more applicable. Insurance companies reward safe drivers with low premiums regardless of age. If you do get a ticket, be sure to find out if you are eligible for traffic school to prevent it from appearing on your record. Most states now have programs where you can do this once every two or three years to keep isolated incidents from damaging your rates.
  3. Ditch that flashy sports coupe. I know this little piece of advice isn't going to earn me any popularity points but my goal here is to save you money. Now, you will have a tougher time impressing your friends but your parents and your policy provider will be very happy indeed. Insurers spend most of their waking hours researching anything that could put them at a higher risk for claims and one of the inescapable conclusions that they have come up with is that cars that are speedy, flashy and in general a wee bit fast around the corners are also outstanding accident risks. Own one of those little beauties and you can expect to cough up much more in terms of monthly premiums. On the other hand, if you stick to a nice safe four door sedan, you are likely to see a noticeable reduction in your rates.
  4. Make sure your finances are in order. While you wouldn't think your spending habits and the amount of debt you incur would impact your auto policy premiums, it does. This is a fact that you will encounter in life time and time again, so you might as well get used to it right away. A credit report that isn't too impressive in terms of timeliness or defaults can lead to higher premiums because insurers have found that people with substandard financial records are more likely to file claims than those with unblemished credit. Fortunately, the opposite holds true as well. People with blue chip backgrounds will likely be perfectly safe while on the road and will thus be charged a much lower premium.
  5. Search and compare several different options. You've heard it before; everything in life that's worth anything requires some effort. If you want a cheap car insurance policy, you're going to have to spend some time searching for it. Take the time to get a rate quote from several different providers. There are many websites online that can help make this task easier. You can simply fill out an online form and get rate quotes from several different providers. Don't just jump on the first quote that comes your way. Evaluate at least three different companies before you buy a policy.

More Important Tips to Save You Money

Insuring young drivers is a decidedly tricky matter in the United States and it is even more of a challenge for those with a history of accidents or moving violations. In addition to the information above, there are several other important ways to save money on auto premiums that apply to drivers of all ages.

Take the time to review and understand each aspect of your policy that can impact your rates. The most important are your deductible, deciding between a full coverage policy and state minimum coverage, and understanding common auto insurance discounts that can save you money. If you pay heed to the tips mentioned above, you should not have too much trouble coming up with that perfect deal that fits your wallet and your requirements for coverage.


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    • profile image

      Casey 5 years ago

      Very informative, honest, and clear article. I'm sure many people have found and will find it very useful.

      I'd just like to mention to those families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with young drivers that CURE Auto Insurance is a not-for-profit insurer and can often save families with new drivers up to $2,000.

    • dainy665dane profile image

      dainy665dane 5 years ago from Land Of Promise

      Totally very good advice! always abide the rules of the road to get cheaper insurance rates.

    • cheapestinsurance profile image

      cheapestinsurance 6 years ago from California, USA

      Keeping your driving record clean is by far the most important one. No accidents or tickets will make a huge impact on keeping your rates down.

    • profile image

      Angela 7 years ago

      Soon as I finished reading this helpful & interesting information, I called my insurance company to inquire about certain discounts & in a few minutes I'll be receiving an email with an affidavit for my dealership to complete for a discount on auto theft deterrent devices. Thank you......

    • profile image 7 years ago

      Well my insurance is 327.04 a month, i am a 18 yr old drivers, any tricks to reduce this other then the ones mentioned..I have a 4 door sedan...a 1991 honda accord lx to be exact...And i still pay out the ass! As i am also the only one paying for my bills, i would use any legal trick in the book to reduce my insurace rate.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Great tips on how to save money on car insurance for teens. Many teens that I know don't have a driver's license and are not interested in getting one due to the expense.

    • preston2farrell profile image

      preston2farrell 7 years ago from White Plains

      Its a really important topic for me...appreciated...i have also plenty of insurance can follow me...thanks

    • Trinsick profile image

      Trinsick 7 years ago from Cali

      Very easy to follow and practical information. Thanks for taking the time to explain this, as I have a teenager myself.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I sent this to my grandchild! Thanks for this well research and informative hub!