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Learning how to drive is an exciting milestone. But you may be wondering if you can get car insurance at this stage. The answer is yes — you can buy a car insurance policy with a learner’s permit. In fact, you might be required to buy a policy when you’re learning to drive, because most states require drivers to carry auto insurance.

Here’s what you need to know about getting car insurance with a learner’s permit:

Do I need car insurance with a learner’s permit?

You need to be insured whenever you drive a car. When you have your learner’s permit, you don’t need your own car insurance policy if you’re using your parent’s, guardian’s, or spouse’s car for your driving lessons. In those cases, your parent, legal guardian, or spouse can add you to their policy. You would then be a covered driver.

However, there are situations where you might need to get your own auto insurance policy when you’re learning to drive with a permit, such as:

  • Your parent, guardian, or spouse doesn’t have auto insurance.
  • You don’t live with your parent, guardian, or spouse (and you’re not a student).
  • You’re an adult.
  • You have your own car, with a title in your name alone.

How to get auto insurance with a learner’s permit

If you can be added to an existing policy, it’s a good idea to exercise that option. But if you can’t, you can buy your own auto insurance policy with only a learner’s permit. Not all car insurance providers offer insurance to drivers with a learner’s permit, but some do.

Either way, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance carriers to find one that works best for you and offers the coverage you need. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying car insurance with a learner’s permit:

  • Teen drivers tend to be more expensive to insure, since they lack driving experience.
  • If you’re younger than 18 (or under the legal adult age for your state), you might be required to have a parent or guardian cosign the insurance policy.
  • After you get your driver’s license and establish yourself as a safe driver, your insurance premium should go down. For example, auto insurance rates for Progressive customers drop an average of 9% after a driver turns 25.
  • You may be able to take advantage of discounts as a young driver, such as a good student discount for maintaining good grades.

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How to add a new driver to an existing car insurance policy

It’s usually easy for a parent, guardian, or spouse to add you to their existing policy. The process typically requires the policy holder to call their auto insurance provider and request to add you to their policy. The policy premium will increase, but this cost is generally less expensive than it would be for you to get your own policy with a learner’s permit.

Plus, if you’re added to someone’s current policy when you get your learner’s permit, you can stay on that policy after you get your driver’s license if the policyholder wishes.

Check Out: How to Get Car Insurance Without a License

Can I buy and register a new car with a learner’s permit?

You can buy a car with a learner’s permit, and depending on your state’s laws can likely register it as well. You may be required to show some other proof of residence since you don’t have a driver’s license yet.

But because you can’t legally drive an unregistered car, it’s important to research the rules in your state. Typically, you can’t even get a license plate on your car until it’s registered. In this case, a parent, guardian, or spouse may need to register the car in their name.

How much does insurance cost for a new driver?

How much you’ll pay for auto insurance depends on various factors, including your age, ZIP code, the type of vehicle you’ll drive, and the type of coverage you select.

Teens who get their own insurance typically pay more for car insurance since they’re new drivers with little driving experience. For example, on average, 18-year-olds with their own Progressive insurance policy pay $230 a month for car insurance, according to recent data from the insurer. That rate drops to $203 for 19- and 20-year-olds, $176 for 21- and 22-year-olds, and $153 for 23- and 24-year-olds.

Keep in mind: While adding a teen with a learner’s permit to an existing policy will raise the rate on that policy, these car insurance rates are generally more affordable than those on policies that teens purchase on their own.

Whether you’re buying your own insurance policy or being added to an existing policy, it’s important to compare quotes from different insurers and choose the best option for you. Comparison shopping gives you the best chance of finding coverage at the right price.


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  • Data privacy — We don’t sell your information to third parties, and you won’t receive any spam phone calls from us.

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Disclaimer: All insurance-related services are offered through Young Alfred.

About the author
Laura Agadoni
Laura Agadoni

Laura Agadoni, author of “New Home Journal: Record All the Repairs, Upgrades and Home Improvements During Your Years at…,” is a real estate writer, landlord, and REALTOR®.

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