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Key TakeAways

  • When you get your driver's license and buy your car, you'll need insurance.
  • The cheapest way for a teen to get car insurance is to be added to their policy.
  • If you need car insurance but only have a learner's permit, you won't have many options, and the policy will probably be expensive.


Spoiler Alert: First, you must learn to drive before applying for a license. A learner's permit does not exclude anyone from having car insurance coverage.

The first significant step toward adulthood and the independence that comes with it is obtaining a learner's permit. A learner's permit holder is usually protected by their car insurance coverage.

So, can you get full coverage car insurance if you have a learner's permit? Yes, that's correct. In fact, a learner's permit holder MUST have an insurance policy to their name.

But along with this independence comes the complicated, pricey, and even tiresome duty of having and comprehending your auto insurance. Getting your learner's permit has consequences for car insurance, even if you don't own a car.

We'll talk about whether you need auto insurance, whether your parents' policy needs to include you, and where new drivers may find affordable car insurance.

It's critical, though, to have a firm grasp of the mechanics involved. We've done the legwork, so you don't have to worry about being uninsured or underinsured as a permit driver.

What is a learner's permit?

As a first-time driver, a learner's permit lets you get behind the wheel and practice before you acquire your full license. Before legally driving a car, you usually have to get a driver's license. Driver's permits, learner's licenses, temporary licenses, and minor permits are just a few of the various titles given to these licenses.

You can drive on certain conditions with a permit if you're accompanied by an adult driver with a valid driver's license. Once you've passed your written and practical tests, you'll likely qualify for an intermediate license.

A full driver's license is what you may expect once you've completed your learner's permit. A learner's permit can generally be obtained at the age of 15. However, this varies from state to state.

How does a learner's permit work?

The requirements for obtaining a driver's license vary depending on your state, age, and domicile.

In general, if you are over the age of 18 and a legal resident of the United States, you would go to your local DMV (if you are not a US citizen, you may need to go to a different office), pay a fee that varies by state, show your identification to an official, take a written test, and a road test.

In most states, if you are under 18, you must attend a driving course through your school or a registered driving school, your parents must grant you formal permission to get a license and sign financial responsibility, and you must then apply and be tested.

The standards for a certain state should be available on the state's website. A student driver's permit can be obtained after passing the state's criteria, including a written test and proof of identification, birth certificate, and domicile.

Anyone under 21 with a learner's permit is often restricted to riding a shotgun with a qualified driver. Keep up-to-date with your state's regulations for moving infractions and renewals if necessary.

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If you have a learner's permit, do you require auto insurance?

Even if you only have your learner's permit, you must have auto insurance coverage. However, getting learner driver insurance is different from getting your policy.

The owner's insurance normally covers you if you're learning to drive in someone else's car. But unfortunately, getting auto insurance with a learner's permit is impossible if you're 18.

The parental policy usually provides coverage for teenagers who live at home and operate their parent's insured car. However, you should check with your auto insurance provider to make sure.

There are few exceptions to the rule that their parents' insurance shouldn't cover teen drivers until they receive their license.

Some car insurance companies will automatically renew learner's permit holders' coverage. However, other auto insurance providers demand that all household members who are at least old enough to drive be added to the policy as included drivers.

You should check to see whether you can be added to your parent's policy if you are a recently licensed minor and they already have coverage. This will not only be simpler, but it can also save you money because young driver auto insurance is highly pricey.

Although being added to your parent's insurance policy is still expensive, it is typically less expensive than purchasing your own.

How may someone with a learner's permit purchase auto insurance?

Drivers with a learner's permit who wish to get auto insurance are free to do so like other motorists. The insurance coverage of a family member should cover you as long as you are traveling in their car with a licensed adult.

Whenever you shop for auto insurance, the most crucial step is to compare quotes to ensure you're getting the best deal.

However, if you have your car, it becomes complicated—and pricey. Because an auto policy is a legally binding contract that you can't enter into until you're an adult, auto insurance companies normally won't insure adolescents younger than the state's age of maturity.

And if you do decide to purchase your policy, expect to pay expensive premiums; the typical cost of a full-coverage policy for a 16-year-old driver is $3570 annually.

What are insurance options available to persons who hold a learner's permit?

Some auto insurance providers can obtain coverage with just a learner's permit. However, this differs from business to business. Check with auto insurance companies to understand their policies so that you are aware of the rules.

You can get standalone insurance coverage if you have a learner's permit. But it'll probably be more difficult to find and pricey. In addition, until you have your license, the auto insurance provider may, in some circumstances, require you to begin the coverage with a driver who has a valid license.

Whether you can start your auto insurance policy with merely a learner's permit depends, in part, on your age. Since you are still a juvenile and a car insurance policy is a legal contract, many car insurance companies will demand that you have a parent or guardian sign the policy if you are under 18.

Most states stipulate that the signer must be at least 18 years old for a signature to be legally binding. Additionally, most auto insurance providers have underwriting guidelines stating that the named insured cannot be younger than 18.

What are the requirements for car insurance with a learner's permit?

Even if you don't have a driver's license, you must have insurance for your driving car. The mere fact that the driver lacks a license impacts the required level of insurance. Therefore, the car must at the very least be covered by the minimum level of insurance mandated by your state's regulations.

Also, remember that you will suffer the same penalties as a licensed driver if you damage a car while you have a learner's permit. Drivers with learner's permits must therefore continue to carry sufficient insurance to be properly compensated for any losses they sustain.

What kind of car insurance do new drivers need?

You don't need additional coverage. However, as an alternative, you should choose the sorts of coverage you want:

  • Liability Insurance : Protects your young driver from harm caused by an accident that they caused.
  • Collision Insurance : Provides coverage for the price of car repair or replacement if your new driver is involved in an accident.
  • Comprehensive Insurance : Provides defense against any harm aside from collisions, such as theft, vandalism, and weather damage.
  • Personal Injury Protection: Provides coverage for post-accident injuries and, in some situations, lost wages.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage : Covers the cost of repairs if an underinsured or uninsured motorist damages your car.
  • Roadside Assistance : Covers breakdown towing and roadside assistance. Consider adding this coverage until your new driver has mastered changing a flat tire or if they drive an older car.
  • Accident Forgiveness: Prevents rates from increasing following an accident in which the insured was at fault. Consider free or individual accident forgiveness if your new driver is involved in a minor collision.

Cheap Companies for Young Drivers

As previously said, the company and particular circumstances will determine if you need to be added to your parents' or significant other's policy.

Providing car insurance rates to businesses is challenging. As a result, the following stage of your driving career was bypassed, and we built a user profile (described here) that included a licensed teen being added to their parent's policy.

Here, we can observe that Liberty Mutual and Progressive were the most affordable insurance providers for families with new drivers, all other metrics equal.

Car Insurance Provider 6-month premium
State Farm $3012
Allstate $2310
Progressive $1245
Liberty Mutual $1689

When can a learning driver upgrade to a full license?

State Learner's permit Restricted license Full license
Alabama 15 16 17
Alaska 14 16 16.5
Arizona 15.5 16 16.5
Arkansas 14 16 16.5
California 15.5 16 17
Colorado 15 16 17
Connecticut 16 16.3 18
Delaware 16 16.5 18
Florida 15 16 18
Georgia 15 16 18
Hawaii 15.5 16 17
Idaho 14.5 15 16
Illinois 15 16 18
Indiana 15 16.5 18
Iowa 14 16 17
Kansas 14 16 16.5
Kentucky 16 16.5 17
Louisiana 15 16 17
Maine 15 16 16.5
Maryland 15.75 16.5 18
Massachusetts 16 16.5 18
Michigan 14.75 16 17
Minnesota 15 16 16.5
Mississippi 15 16 16.5
Missouri 15 16 18
Montana 14.5 15 16
Nebraska 15 16 17
Nevada 15.5 16 18
New Hampshire 15.5 16 17.1
New Jersey 16 17 18
New Mexico 15 15.5 16.5
New York 16 16.5 17 with classes; 18 without
North Carolina 15 16 16.5
North Dakota 14 15 16
Ohio 15.5 16 18
Oklahoma 15.5 16 16.5
Oregon 15 16 17
Pennsylvania 16 16.5 17 with classes; 18 without
Rhode Island 16 16.5 17.5
South Carolina 15 15.5 16.5
South Dakota 14 14.5 16
Tennessee 15 16 17
Texas 15 16 18
Utah 15 16 17
Vermont 15 16 16.5
Virginia 15.5 16.25 18
Washington 15 16 17
West Virginia 15 16 17
Wisconsin 15.5 16 16.75
Wyoming 15 16 16.5

Discounts for Young Drivers

While rates for young drivers may be higher overall, there are strategies to reduce the cost of your insurance coverage. Look into the following special discounts that can lower your insurance costs:

  • Discount for good students : Having good grades as a student frequently results in lower prices. This is frequently imposed at a B average or higher.
  • Discount for safe drivers: You may frequently save money by driving safely and maintaining a spotless driving record.
  • Enroll in a driving school: In many situations, taking a course like a driver's ed can reduce your auto insurance costs.
  • Buy insurance online: Online and not offline will get you the best prices for your car. In addition, some insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy your insurance online.
  • Safety devices: Put safety features in your car, like seatbelt and extra airbags, to save money on your rates.
  • Devices against Theft: If your car has alarms or other things that make it less likely to be stolen, you might be able to get a discount.
  • Low Mileage : Rates could go down for people who drive less often. Or, you could get car insurance based on how much you drive and how much it costs.
  • Multi cars : Most insurance companies will give discounts if you put more than one car on the same policy.
  • Telematics : Telematics devices that track your driving habits to lower your rates are being used by more and more providers.

See what you could save on auto insurance

Can my parents add me to their policy?

Do you need a learner's permit to purchase auto insurance? Yes, in a nutshell. You don't even need a driver's license to purchase auto insurance, which may seem unusual. In addition, you can register a car and buy one with merely a learner's permit.

However, there are some situations where you might not require car insurance because you might already be protected by your parent's or significant other's coverage. A young teen driver living with their parents is the most frequent scenario for someone with a learner's permit.

Considering this situation, the insurance company's policies will determine whether or not you need to be joined to their auto insurance company. Some auto insurance providers include coverage for drivers with learner's permits in their policies.

Other auto insurance providers, on the other hand, demand that anyone of legal driving age (even if they lack a license or learner's permit) be included in the policy as an excluded or included driver.

Never make any assumptions about your insurance provider. So, if you or your teen has just received your learner's permit, discuss your circumstances with your insurance provider.

You risk rejecting a claim if you presume they are covered when they are not.

Any other person you may be living with, such as a spouse or a significant other, is also subject to the same restriction. Therefore, it would be best if you discussed the ramifications of your driving status with the insurance provider of the person you live with full-time.

Drivers' Permit Insurance Considerations

Consider our data as a guideline rather than a rigid law. Each business will regard you differently and charge you differently as a result. So, if you want cheap auto insurance, you should do as much comparison shopping as possible.

Tell them beforehand if you or your child has a learner's permit.

However, purchasing auto insurance while obtaining your learner's license could be expensive. In addition, the driving age and years of experience used by auto insurance companies as primary rating variables may reduce your chances of maintaining a cheap rate.

Again, looking at as many businesses as possible is the greatest mitigation approach.

Most auto insurance providers let newly licensed drivers be added to a parent's or significant other's coverage. But the costs will probably increase if they get their driver's license. So whether you have permission to drive or a full license, regularly comparing auto insurance quotes is a good idea. can assist you in finding a car insurance plan that meets your and your family's requirements.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with


Are drivers with learner's permits automatically covered under their parents' policies?

Learner's permit holders are typically teenagers living with their parents. Therefore, when they get their learner's permit, these young drivers are often protected by their parent's policy and do not need to purchase it.

Can a driver with a learner's permit get insurance for their own cars?

Yes, you may obtain car insurance with only a driver's license. If you're still learning to drive, you might not need to be added to a policy. If you practice driving in a family member's car, you're most likely protected by their policy and won't need your own.

Should I call my insurer after my learner driver gets a full license?

Yes, you should get in touch with your car insurance company after you get your full license. In some cases, certain car insurance companies will get in touch with you.

Are my rates affected if a learner driver has an accident in my car?

If the learner driver has been added to your policy then your rates will be affected.

Should I keep a learner driver on my policy even after they get an intermediate or full license?

No, you can't keep your learner driver on your policy.

Can you buy and register a car with a learner's permit?

Yes, you can buy a car with any license, but only fully licensed drivers can register a car and obtain their insurance policy.

Do drivers with a permit need insurance in California?

Yes. This is the simplest and often cheapest way to obtain coverage if you are a minor. You may be protected under your parents' insurance policy if you are over 18 and still living at home. You need to get your insurance if you are over 18 and do not live at home.

Who can be in the car with a driver on a learner's permit?

Be accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old and has maintained a valid driver's license for at least three years.

Can you have a minor in the car with a permit driver?

No passenger under 21 is permitted in the car for the first six months after acquiring a driver's license unless they are immediate family members. For the following six months, only one passenger under 21 is permitted.

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