The Cheapest Cars to Insure for Young Drivers
The cheapest cars to insure for young drivers tend to be used minivans, SUVs, and sedans with higher safety ratings than average. Sports cars, luxury vehicles, electric cars, and hybrids are more expensive to insure than other cars.
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UPDATED: Jun 22, 2022
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Whether you’re a young driver buying your first car or are looking for insurance for a younger member of your household, you’ll quickly find that young driver car insurance can seem unreasonably expensive. While you can absolutely take advantage of discounts certain insurance companies offer to young drivers, one of the best ways to save on car insurance is to have a car that’s cheaper to insure.
The cheapest cars to insure for young drivers are typically less expensive, safer to drive, cheaper to repair, and less likely to be stolen than an average vehicle. With this article, we’ll show you what to look for when trying to find a car that can help a young driver keep their insurance rates low. We’ll also provide some other tips that young drivers can use to save on car insurance and how to find cheap insurance for your car.
What are the cheapest cars to insure for young drivers?
Here’s an overview of the factors that tend to make a car cheaper to insure:
- Since older cars and used cars are less expensive to repair or replace, they’re also cheaper to insure.
- Minivans, SUVs, and sedans are cheaper to insure than most trucks or sports cars.
- Cars with high safety ratings (like those from Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Volvo, Hyundai, and Toyota) are less expensive to insure than cars with average or poor safety ratings since they’re less likely to be involved in an accident.
- Cars with added technology or safety features (other than anti-theft devices) cost more to insure because they’re more expensive to replace.
- Cars that are commonly targeted by thieves are more expensive to insure since theft is covered by comprehensive coverage.
- For young drivers, in particular, luxury and sports cars are significantly more expensive to insure than other types of vehicles because young drivers with luxury or sports cars are viewed as high risk by insurance companies.
Overall, young drivers looking to keep their car insurance rates low should look for an older or used car with a high safety rating and minimal upgrades. Generally, a minivan or sedan will be the cheapest car with insurance.
If you’re looking for a vehicle with a high safety rating, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website is a great place to start.
What types of cars are the most expensive to insure?
The most expensive cars to insure tend to be sports cars and luxury vehicles. Whether used or new, car insurance companies usually view these as higher risks than SUVs, minivans, sedans, or other mass-market cars. In terms of dollar amounts, insurance for a safer minivan or SUV model from the last few years costs about $1,000-$2,000 annually for an average driver, while insuring a sports or luxury car costs closer to $3,500-$5,000 per year.
Hybrid cars and electric vehicles also cost more to insure when compared to their gas counterparts. While drivers may see savings in other areas, it’s typical for insurance for an electric vehicle to be about 20% higher than the same coverage for a similar gas model. The main reason behind this is the cost to repair or replace electric and hybrid vehicles, largely due to the expensive batteries.
What makes car insurance more expensive for young drivers?
In most cases, the cost of car insurance is at its highest when a driver is in their teenage years. As a teen driver moves into their 20s the cost of insurance decreases steadily until it levels out when a driver is in their 30s.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, your driving record, your location, and how frequently you use your car are some of the factors that go into determining the final cost of your insurance policy.
There are a few reasons why insurance companies charge young drivers more than more experienced drivers:
- Studies have shown that young drivers are more likely to be distracted on the road or engage in reckless driving behavior (speeding, tailgating, etc.).
- Since younger drivers have less experience on the road, insurance companies assume that they’re less likely to make the right decision if something unexpected happens on the road (like another driver cutting into their lane).
- Since younger drivers don’t have as much history on their driving records, insurance companies tend to assume that younger drivers without accidents on their record are still high-risk drivers.
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How can young drivers save on car insurance?
Even if they drive an extremely safe used minivan, a young driver will still likely be paying much more on car insurance than your average 35-year-old driver. This is where knowing other ways to save can be a great help. Aside from driving a more affordable car with a great safety rating, here are some options that young drivers have for saving on car insurance:
- Ask about insurance discounts: Many insurance companies offer “good student discounts” for student drivers with a B average grade. Likewise, many insurance companies have safe driver discount programs where you can save by demonstrating your safe driving habits.
- Bundle different types of insurance: If you need home or renters insurance, your insurance company may be able to help you bundle one of these with your car insurance policy, saving you on both.
- Choose a higher deductible: If you’re able to afford to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident, you should choose a higher deductible on your insurance policy. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly rates.
How much car insurance should young drivers have?
The amount of car insurance a young driver needs depends on the value of their car and how much they’re willing to pay for coverage. Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which covers an injured person’s medical expenses and property damage if a driver causes an accident.
In addition to liability coverage, many drivers also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. Together, these forms of coverage help pay for repairs or replacement costs if a driver’s vehicle is damaged, totaled, or lost due to a collision or another event — like theft, fire, or flooding.
If you drive an inexpensive used car, it may make sense to only have liability coverage and, therefore, pay for a minimal amount of insurance. That said, most young drivers will benefit from having liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance, which is sometimes referred to as “full coverage.”
What to Remember About the Cheapest Cars to Insure for Young Drivers
- Young drivers can save on car insurance by driving a used minivan, SUV, or sedan with a high safety rating. They’ll save even more on insurance if the vehicle isn’t hybrid or electric.
- The cost of insurance for young drivers is at its highest in their teen years, declines steadily in their 20s, and plateaus around age 35.
- Other than by driving a safe and affordable car, young drivers can save on car insurance by bundling different types of insurance, asking about insurance discounts, and choosing a higher deductible.
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