January 20th, 2012
As every American teenager (and parent) knows, there are minimum limits dictating when you can get a full driver's license for the first time. Each state has set its own minimum age with varying restrictions; the only broad federal restriction is that drivers can not get licensed to operate a commercial vehicle for interstate transit until the age of 21.
When arriving at insurance quotes, car insurance carriers factor in how long you’ve been driving. That’s why the CoverHound form asks how old you were when you started driving. Hence minimum driving ages can indirectly help or hurt your car insurance rate a bit, because people living in states with lower minimum driving ages will have been driving for longer, perhaps saving them a few dollars a month.
Here are some helpful factoids concerning states and their minimum driving ages:
The mode minimum driving is 16, which is the limit for a restricted license in in 31 of the 51 States (including the District of Columbia).
New Jersey is the state with the highest limit -- 17.
The youngest legal drivers in America live in South Dakota, where someone who is 14 years and three months old can get behind the wheel.
Various politicians and safety commissions have long lobbied to raise minimum driving ages across the board, to the nodding approvals of nervous parents. There is a sufficient body of data showing that the younger the driver, the more accidents he or she will be involved in. This is supported by the fact that car insurance rates are greater for younger drivers, and don’t regress toward the mean until the age of 25.