Find a wallet-friendly rate when you’re on the early end of thirtysomething.
If you’re a driver who’s older than 25, you know it can spell lower insurance rates than when you first hit the road. But until you hit 35, you could still be paying more than older people behind the wheel. That’s largely because rates are up to the discretion of individual car insurance providers, who consider even those in their thirties less experienced than those in their forties and beyond.
But with so many policies priced differently across competitors, you might find a cheap rate even if you aren’t yet over the proverbial hump. Here’s how to narrow your options to find the best coverage to meet your budget when you’re not the youngest or oldest in the bunch.
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Compare and apply for a car insurance policy when you’re under 35
Car insurance quotes for drivers under 35
Your exact rate will be based on your driving history, vehicle and level of coverage. To give you an idea of how much you might pay for car insurance, compare sample quotes for drivers living in the state of New York. These rates are for a married driver with good credit wanting great coverage for a newer sedan.
|State Farm||$2,590||Read review|
I’m under 35 — what kind of coverage can I get?
No matter your age, when you’re in the market for car insurance, you can choose from among many types of coverage. Each state requires you to purchase at least a minimum amount of coverage before you can legally drive on its roads.
Among your options is liability coverage, which pays for car repairs, medical bills and other costs to replace damaged property that results from an accident you’re found at fault for. It generally extends coverage to the people you injure and property you damage in an accident.
|Type||What does it cover?||When do I need it?|
|Liability||Bodily and property damage||It’s required to legally drive in most states.|
|Personal injury||Medical services, lost income, childcare and funeral services||It’s required to legally drive in some states.|
|Uninsured motorist||Bodily and/or property damange||It’s required to legally drive in some states.|
|Comprehensive||Property damage as a result of natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and more||You might want to consider it if you live in a neighborhood prone to theft or vandalism, or if you live out in the country where hitting deer poses a threat.|
The cost of your car insurance will vary based on your age, your driving history, where you live and the vehicle you drive, among other factors. Compare quotes from multiple providers to find out how much car insurance will cost in your situation.Back to top
To find a policy that’s right for you and your budget, understand how to interpret these terms when comparing your options.
- Coverage. Refers to what your particular insurance policy covers — or provides financial compensation for after an accident or claim. For example, third-party damage policies provide for financial compensation to pay for the repairs of someone else’s property only, while a comprehensive policy pays out for both your car and those of others involved in the accident.
- Limits. The maximum amount your policy covers in a particular situation. For example, your policy might cover up to $5,000 in accidental damages — but not a penny more, leaving you to cover the rest.
- Exclusions. Conditions under which the insurance company won’t pay out a policy. For example, you might be covered for car theft with an exclusion for unlocked vehicles. This means you can make a claim if your car is stolen, but if you left it unlocked at the time of theft, your provider won’t help out.
- Premiums. The regular, ongoing amount you pay monthly, quarterly or annually to carry an active policy.
- Fees. Any combination of additional costs you pay on top of your premium, such as administration fees, cancellation fees and support fees.
- Discounts. Common discounts include multi-policy discounts that can save you 10% to 15% off premiums when you take out multiple insurance policies under the same provider, discounts of up to 20% for buying car insurance online and no-claims discounts, which gradually reduce premiums for each year you go without making a claim.
Tips for choosing a policy
After you’ve narrowed down policies that meet your needs, it’s time to compare their prices. Remember: Your goal is to find the car insurance that’s right for you — which means it might not always be the cheapest.
- Compare multiple quotes. Quotes can help establish a ballpark price range for your insurance needs. If you receive one that’s suspiciously low when compared to the other, make sure it’s not missing something important.
- Read the fine print. Your product disclosure statement includes the terms and conditions of your policy. Know what they mean — and what’s excluded from your coverage.
- Consider insurers’ reputations. Research what others are saying — including how they handle claims and customer support — on review sites and social media.
When you buy your vehicle from a dealer, the car insurance you take out depends on the value of the vehicle and the requirements of the lender. But an effective way to keep the cost of car insurance down is to drive an inexpensive vehicle.
For young adults driving cheap cars
If you purchase a secondhand vehicle from a dealer and the market value is only a few thousand dollars, you may choose to take out only third-party property insurance or third-party fire and theft.
For young adults driving expensive cars
If your vehicle is a late model with a high market value or a classic or modified car, comprehensive insurance may be worth the additional cost.
If you take out a loan to purchase the car, many lenders — including car dealer finance companies — require those under 35 to take out comprehensive car insurance as a condition of the loan. These policies can be expensive, but they can’t tell you which insurer to get it from. By shopping around, you just may find a deal.
Buying a vehicle privately requires some caution, primarily because your car likely won’t include a warranty or even a clear history of ownership or accidents.
By taking steps to research and protect the car, you can reduce the risk of ending up with a lemon:
- Do a lien history check. Use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to suss out whether the car you’re interested in has any outstanding debt against it. Lien checks are conducted through your local DMV or private organizations online.
- Get a mechanic’s eye on it. Have it inspected by a professional to fully confirm its condition, unearth any hidden problems with the body or engine and uncover tell-tale signs of previous accidents or flooding.
- Insurance up before you drive off. Whether you choose third-party damage or comprehensive coverage depends on your budget, the vehicle’s value and personal tastes — not to mention the requirements of your lender, if you’ve taken out a loan.
Insurance for those under 35 can be more expensive than for older drivers, though it won’t be as bad as car insurance for teens.
But you might find reduced premiums with an online provider and by following a few easy tips:
- If finding the cheapest car insurance is your number one priority, look to buy a smaller, less expensive car.
- Follow the letter of the law, no matter the vehicle or the insurance, to enjoy safe-driver discounts.
- Resist making claims just because you can. It might save you money in the short term, but it wipes out the potential for no-claims discounts and typically marks you as a risky driver, which increases your premiums.
- Package your insurance with one provider to take advantage of a multipolicy discount.
- Increase your deductible to reduce your premium, but make sure it’s not so high that you can’t afford a claim.
- Restrict who drives your car, preferably limiting drivers to those ages 35 or older.
- Park in a garage, rather than on the street, and add an after-market alarm, tracking device or engine immobilizer for lower premiums.
- See if your insurer extends discounts for completed safe or defensive driving courses.
- If you don’t plan to drive a lot, ask about pay-as-you-drive policies.
- Do keep your insurer updated. Call when your circumstances change, or it could refuse to pay a future claim.
- Do add responsible drivers. Adding a second responsible driver to your policy might help reduce your premium.
- Do drive safely at all times. A consistently safe driving record supports any no-claim and safe-driver bonuses, potentially decreasing your premiums.
- Don’t lie to your insurer. If you mislead your insurer to get lower premiums, it could cost you dearly in the form of voided insurance when you need it.
- Don’t lie about your car’s primary driver. Nominating anybody other than yourself for better rates is considered deceptive.
- Don’t modify your car without reporting it. Stick with modifications your insurer approves of — a sunroof, say, rather than a spoiler or sports exhaust — to avoid increased premiums. And no illegal modifications. Period.
With age comes wisdom — and often lower insurance rates. But even if you’re an experienced driver, you could pay more than older motorists until you hit age 35.
Steer away from driving the newest cars and shop around to find the lowest rates and highest coverage you’re eligible for.