NEW YORK, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting a driver's license is one of the biggest rites of passage for 16 year-olds across the country, but can American families afford the expense in 2021? Depending on the state, a teen driver can take up as much as 19% of a family's income just for car insurance costs alone, according to a new ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree report. By waiting until the age of 22 to drive, young drivers can save families an average of $33,091 on car insurance.
Adding a 16-year-old as a driver of an insured vehicle costs an average of $5,380 a year. Even with a good student discount — which only lowers insurance costs by an average of 7% across the country — adding a 16-19 year old to a family's car insurance policy costs $4,799 a year on average.
By waiting until age 22 — the age when many young Americans graduate from four-year college — young drivers can save their families an average of $33,091 over the six years they waited. Additionally, the cost of adding a new 22 year old driver to a car insurance policy drops by 37% to $3,931 a year.
Families in Michigan, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida and Kentuckywill experience the biggest financial burden if their 16 year old got a driving license. Families here will need to allocate 10.9% to 19% of their incomes to insure a teen driver. Good student discounts here reduce overall annual expenses by less than 2%.
Families in poor neighborhoods pay significantly more for car insurance when adding teen drivers to existing policies, especially in big cities. In New York, lower-income families will need to pay $4,452 more for car insurance than the wealthiest if they added a teen driver to their policy. The trend is the same in Los Angeles ($441 more) and Chicago ($2,242 more).
According to Andrew Hurst, Insurance Data analyst at ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree, "A teen driver can be a heavy financial burden for most, but that burden might be heavier to bear in a year when many American families are struggling. The data shows that the most financially at-risk families are the same who can least afford to pay the inflated premiums it takes to add a teen driver onto an existing policy." He adds, "If families are able, encouraging a teenager to wait until they've graduated could make a lot of financial sense. For those who don't have the luxury of waiting — because they need multiple vehicles for work or school, or because they live in areas with poor public transportation — the discussion is a lot more difficult."
ValuePenguin.com analysts looked at insurance rates for 16- through 22-year-old drivers across the country who did and did not qualify for good student discounts, to determine the cost of adding these drivers to an existing policy as the third driver of a vehicle. The young driver's 45-year-old parents were primary drivers of the insured vehicle. Rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only, as individual quotes may be different.
States Where Teen Drivers Represent the Biggest Financial Burden
Average Cost of Adding at Teen to A Family Car Insurance Policy
Percentage of median income
*Rates for North Carolina not featured due to unavailable data
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