Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 7, 2022

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Just the Basics

  • Most states will not allow you to drive by yourself with just a learner’s permit
  • Laws about learner’s permits vary based on where you live
  • Car insurance rates for new drivers and teen drivers can be fairly high

Getting your learner’s permit is one of the first steps to driving legally in your state and getting your actual driver’s license. In order to get your learner’s permit, you will likely have to pass a written test, though the requirements to get a permit vary from one state to the next.

If you’ve been wondering, “Can you drive by yourself with a permit?” the answer depends on where you live. While most states require someone with a learner’s permit to have a fully licensed driver in the vehicle at all times, some states allow individuals with learner’s permits to drive by themselves.

As you start your journey to becoming a fully licensed driver, it’s also a good idea to shop around for car insurance. The best way to do this is to consult a car insurance guide to help you find and compare quotes from multiple insurance companies online to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

You can use our free quote tool above to find cheap car insurance rates for new drivers in your area today.

Can I drive alone without a permit?

In most U.S. states, you cannot drive alone with a permit. Instead, you are required to have a fully licensed driver in the car with you at all times. Most of the time, the licensed driver must be at least 18 years of age. Occasionally, the individual must be at least 23 or older.

The following states allow for individuals with a learner’s permit to drive by themselves:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Vermont

If you happen to live in one of the states listed above, you should not assume this means you can drive wherever and whenever you want. Most states that allow individuals with permits to drive alone first require them to get a certain number of hours behind the wheel while accompanied by a fully licensed driver or driving instructor.

Your best option as someone with a learner’s permit is to drive while being supervised by a fully licensed driver who can help you learn the ropes and make sure you don’t get into dangerous or unfortunate situations.

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

We have established that you should have a licensed driver with you in your vehicle, but can anyone else ride with you if you’re driving with your permit?

Individual states have specific laws about this, so you’ll want to check with your state to see whether you can have friends or co-workers who are not fully licensed in the car with you while you’re driving. Some states will not allow anyone in the car aside from a fully licensed passenger in the front seat, while others do not have specific laws about passengers.

How much is insurance for a 16-year-old?

If you’ve started driving and you’re trying to find car insurance for your vehicle, figuring out how much car insurance is for a 16-year-old can be difficult. Rates for car insurance vary significantly from one company to the next, and you’ll never know how much to expect to pay for car insurance coverage until you shop around and compare quotes.

Because most insurance companies see young drivers and new drivers as more of a risk on the road, you’ll likely end up paying more for car insurance as a teen driver. The table below shows statistics for teen drivers involved in fatal accidents.

Age Group Stats for Teen Drivers
Fatal Car Crashes for Teen DriversStats
Licensed Teen Drivers in the U.S.8,816,182
Number Involved in Fatal Crashes3,400
Fatal Crashes per 100k Teen Drivers38.6
Where Over 10% of Fatal Crashes
Involved Teens
Alaska - 11.1%
S. Dakota - 13.8%
Utah - 11.2%
Three States in Which Teen Drivers
Are the Deadliest Age Group
S. Dakota - 1st
Utah - 2nd
Alaska - 3rd
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Now, check out the table below, which shows average car insurance rates for teen drivers.

Teen Driver Car Insurance Rates
Driver's AgeMalesFemales
16 year-old$351$328
17 year-old$322$304
18 year-old$260$242
19 year-old $181$189
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As you shop around for car insurance, keep in mind that you may be able to find better rates with other companies. Also, don’t hesitate to ask whether you’re eligible for certain discounts — like insurance discounts for student drivers — that might make your car insurance more affordable.

Is it easy to get a discount on car insurance?

A lot of insurance companies offer discount opportunities on their products to help clients pay less each month. When it comes to car insurance, some of the most common discounts include:

  • Multi-policy
  • Multi-car
  • Vehicle safety
  • New car
  • Anti-theft device
  • Good driver
  • Good student
  • Defensive driver
  • Paid in full

If you’re curious about any of the discounts listed above, speak with a car insurance agent to find out whether you are eligible. Most car insurance discounts can save a policyholder anywhere from five to 20% off of their monthly insurance rates.

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Can you get car insurance with a permit?

If you do not have your driver’s license yet, you may find that you cannot get insurance with a permit. Most insurance companies will not allow someone who is not fully licensed to purchase a car insurance policy. In addition, depending on your age, you may not be legally allowed to purchase car insurance in your state.

If you still have your permit, you don’t need to decide on a car insurance policy yet. But it’s never a bad idea to start shopping around to find the most affordable coverage in your area.

In fact, you can use our free quote tool below to find and compare car insurance rates for teen drivers in your state today.