You have surely seen all the ads from car insurance companies like Farmers, State Farm, and GEICO that claim enormous savings. So drivers should just pick the company with the best ad, right?

It's just not that easy, however, as there are a whole bunch of unknown factors like how far you drive each year, if you are a homeowner, and if you need full coverage or liability-only. The information below will cover these things and educate you enough to have a good start to your coverage search.

For new drivers, one of the big factors that determine the amount you pay for auto insurance is the neighborhood you call home in Virginia. Cities with larger populations like Lake Ridge, Richmond, and Centreville tend to have more expensive car insurance rates, whereas areas with lower crime rates and fewer weather claims benefit from having to pay less for coverage.

The illustration below shows the most expensive places in Virginia for 16 year olds to purchase auto insurance in.

Virginia cities ranked by car insurance cost
Rank City Premium Per Year
1 Lake Ridge $1,042
2 Burke $1,026
3 Richmond $1,015
4 McLean $1,015
5 Centreville $1,007
6 Alexandria $1,005
7 Norfolk $1,000
8 Dale City $998
9 Arlington $983
10 Reston $983
11 Portsmouth $963
12 Newport News $958
13 Tuckahoe $957
14 Virginia Beach $948
15 Danville $940
16 Chesapeake $935
17 Hampton $934
18 Suffolk $901
19 Charlottesville $895
20 Leesburg $895
21 Ashburn $893
22 Lynchburg $877
23 Roanoke $823
24 Harrisonburg $776
25 Blacksburg $767
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Rate quotes are approximated as specific location information can alter premiums considerably.

The vehicle model requiring coverage is one of the main factors when comparison shopping for low-cost insurance for 16 year olds. Vehicles with lots of speed or power, poor safety ratings, or high incidents of liability claims will cost much more to insure than more modest models.

The information below outlines car insurance premiums for a number of the most budget-friendly automobiles to buy insurance for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for 16 Year Olds in Virginia
Vehicle Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford Escape XLT 2WD $1,831
Honda Accord LX 4-Dr Sedan $1,837
Honda CR-V LX 4WD $1,831
Volkswagen Jetta S 2.5 Station Wagon $1,960
Toyota Prius $1,976
Chevrolet Silverado LS Regular Cab 4WD $2,042
Ford F-150 STX Regular Cab 4WD $2,059
Honda Odyssey EX $2,154
Toyota Tacoma 2WD $2,164
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD $2,171
Chevrolet Equinox LT 2WD $2,176
Chevrolet Malibu LS $2,171
Toyota RAV4 4WD $2,181
Dodge Grand Caravan Crew $2,187
Ford Explorer Limited 4WD $2,196
Dodge Ram Quad Cab ST 2WD $2,242
Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4-Dr Sedan $2,282
Hyundai Elantra SE 4-Dr Sedan $2,290
Ford Edge Sport 2WD $2,282
Chevrolet Impala LTZ $2,287
Toyota Corolla XRS $2,298
Ford Fusion Sport 4-Dr Sedan $2,308
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4WD 4-Dr $2,302
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Data based on single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and Virginia minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Estimates do not factor in Virginia location which can influence premiums substantially.

Looking at the rates, vehicles like the Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Volkswagen Jetta are most likely to be some of the most affordable vehicles to insure for new drivers. The cost of a car insurance policy will tend to be more expensive anyway because of the fact that there is more liability exposure for 16 year olds, but in general those vehicles will have the cheapest car insurance rates compared to other vehicles.

Deciphering which companies offer the cheapest car insurance rates for 16 year olds in Virginia will involve more work in order to find a policy that fits your budget.

Each auto insurer uses their own method to set their prices, so to begin we'll rank the most competitive car insurance companies in Virginia.

Cheapest Insurance Rates for Teens

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Virginia car insurance ranked by cost per year
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 Travelers $673
2 USAA $716
3 Cincinnati Insurance $733
4 Penn National $740
5 Utica National $758
6 Auto-Owners $781
7 The Hartford $785
8 Erie $788
9 Virginia Farm Bureau $802
10 Donegal Mutual $886
11 Nationwide $963
12 ALFA $988
13 GEICO $1,006
14 Allied $1,012
15 National Grange Mutual $1,060
16 State Farm $1,110
17 Chubb $1,145
18 Electric $1,192
19 Progressive $1,222
20 California Casualty $1,277
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Travelers offers some of the lowest car insurance rates in Virginia at around $673 annually. USAA, Cincinnati Insurance, Penn National, and Utica National also rank well as some of the most economical Virginia auto insurance companies.

In the above rates, if you are currently insured with Cincinnati Insurance and switched to Travelers, you could realize an annual premium reduction of roughly $60. Insureds with Penn National might save as much as $67 a year, and Utica National customers might lower prices by $85 a year.

To find cheaper insurance rates for your vehicle, click here to begin a quote or quote prices from the following companies.

These policy rates are averages for all types of insureds and vehicles and do not take into consideration a price increase for 16 year olds. So the car insurance company that fits your age and vehicle best may not even be in the top 30 companies in the list above. That helps illustrate why you need to compare rates from multiple companies using your own personal information and vehicle type.

How violations and accidents impact rates

A great way to obtain the cheapest car insurance premiums in Virginia for new drivers is to be a cautious driver and not get tickets or have accidents. The diagram below shows how violations and accident claims can impact car insurance costs for different categories of driver ages. The premiums assume a single female driver, full physical damage coverage, $1,000 deductibles, and no discounts are taken into consideration.

In the previous chart, the average cost of auto insurance per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $1,039. Get two speeding tickets and the average cost surges to $1,380, an increase of $340 each year. Then include one accident along with the two speeding tickets and the yearly cost of car insurance for 16 year olds in Virginia goes up to an average of $1,727. That's an increase of $687, or $57 per month, just for not being more responsible behind the wheel!

Does full coverage make sense?

Finding cheaper car insurance should be important to the majority of drivers, and one great way to save on the cost of insurance for 16 year olds in Virginia is to not buy comprehensive and collision coverage. The example below shows the comparison of insurance costs with full coverage and liability only. The data assumes no claims or violations, $250 deductibles, single status, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

If the expense is averaged for all age categories, physical damage coverage costs an extra $1,358 per year more than insuring for liability only. That touches on the question if full coverage is worth the money. There is no exact rule of when to phase out comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a general guideline you can use. If the annual cost of coverage is more than 10% of the replacement cost minus the deductible, then you might want to consider buying only liability coverage.

Your low-price policy may be costing you money

Virginia car insurance rates are determined by lots of factors which can substantially decrease or increase your annual premium. Simply turning a year older, buying a home instead of renting, or getting a speeding ticket may prompt premium changes that can make some companies much cheaper than others. Also, insurance companies file new Virginia car insurance rates at least once a year as an adjustment for underwriting gains or losses. An unexpected high level of claims may result in higher priced premiums, while profitable underwriting can result in lower-cost Virginia car insurance rates.

To illustrate this example, the graph below shows rates for the cheapest car insurance in Virginia for a 35-year-old female driver with no prior claims, no tickets, and a good credit rating. If we look at prices based on her current rating profile, Travelers might offer the most affordable car insurance rates in Virginia at $679 a year. This is $479 less than the average price paid by Virginia drivers of $1,158. USAA, Penn National, Cincinnati Insurance, and Auto-Owners are also included in the most affordable Virginia auto insurance companies.

Now we will give the driver from the first set of rates a claim or two, a little lower credit rating, and a speeding ticket. Due to the fact that every insurance company has a proprietary formula for determining prices, comparing quotes will most likely result in a new list of affordable Virginia car insurance companies as shown below.

The Hartford now has the cheapest car insurance in Virginia with Virginia Farm Bureau, Erie, Donegal Mutual, and USAA now being in the top five. This example illustrates why consumers need to shop around with many companies when trying to get the best insurance quotes for 16 year olds. Prices are made up of many factors and can decrease or increase without notice, so the cheapest rate the last time you shopped around may now be quite expensive.

How to find more affordable car insurance for 16 year olds

Lowering your rates is not difficult, and here are some of the better money-saving solutions that can help drivers find low-cost coverage.

That last tip is especially necessary, as was stressed in this article. Prices charged by car insurance companies can change considerably based on profitability, so drivers shouldn't be reluctant to buy from a new company if a cheaper price is available.

Having a favorite company is great, but it isn't a good idea if that inflexibility results in costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Now is a great time to compare prices and find cheaper insurance for 16 year olds.