UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020
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Young people are classified as some of the riskiest drivers on the roads, and insurance companies treat them accordingly. The plain truth about car insurance for an 18 year old is that the coverage will cost you a lot more than it would an experienced driver when all other aspects are the same. That does not mean you are locked into paying high rates, though, because there are also options and discounts available that bring the premiums down to something more affordable.
The Lowest Rates
If you still live at home or attend college full time, the best rates come from simply being added to your parent’s policy. According to federal law, children can remain on the car insurance of their parents until the age of 26 as long as they meet the other qualifications. By doing so, you could have the cost of your insurance mitigated by the longer driving history of one or both parents.
Male vs. Female
All other things being equal, a female driver is less risky to insure than her male counterpart. The reason for this is buried in human sociology, but the facts are that males, especially young males between 16 and 25, are more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior while driving. This could mean speeding, squealing the tires, running a stop sign, or just riding around with the top down and no seatbelts. Girls, on the other hand, tend to be more responsible, obeying the rules of the road.
Reducing Costs through Higher Grades
One way that car insurance for 18 year olds can be reduced is to keep their grades up. Whether attending the local high school or taking classes at the university level, students who maintain a 3.0 grade average or better are eligible for a car insurance discount. Furthermore, once you have a degree, it will be worth an insurance discount as well. If you are not attending college courses, many occupations provide for insurance discounts as well, including emergency services, the military, and most government careers.
Design the Policy You Need
One of the most effective ways to keep car insurance for an 18 year old at a manageable level is to only get the policy you need. Dropping unnecessary coverage, adjusting your deductibles, and reducing the miles you drive are possible ways to reduce your premiums. For example, drop your collision coverage, raise your deductible from $250 to $500, and ask your insurance company about low mileage insurance.
Insurance and the Car You Drive
Driving an older car is going to cost you less for insurance, and driving a large car with 4 doors is even cheaper to insure than a sporty car. Additionally, look for safety features, and choose a vehicle that has scored well on highway safety tests. The less risk your car poses to the insurance company, the lower your premiums will be.