Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Experienced drivers are drivers who have had their license for years and who have had time to develop their skill
  • In most states, auto insurance companies will classify a driver with nine years of licensing as experienced
  • Having experience doesn’t negate that you have to keep a clean driving record to keep your auto rates low
  • Some insurance companies will use the term experienced driver to refer to a senior driver who is over a certain age
  • Some states won’t allow insurers to use age as a factor and that’s when experience is the only factor considered

In life, you need to go through experiences to become an expert in anything. Not only is it impossible to develop skills without gaining experience in something, it’s impossible to prove that you’re good at a task when you can’t show a successful record in that task.

It’s so important for mid-career level job seekers to have work experience in a certain field before they can increase their earnings.

You earn less as an inexperienced employee and, conversely, you pay more when you’re an inexperienced driver.

As the years go by, your income will climb while your auto insurance rates fall. As long as drivers are able to maintain a good driving record, they will reap the benefits of having experience in the form of low premiums.

Make sure you compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the coverage you need.

Here’s a consumer guide to help you shop around efficiently:

Table of Contents

What is considered a good driver?

Your insurance premiums are influenced by the car that you drive and the level of protection that you select. They are also determinant on how much experience you have based on the current year that you’re in.

You might not think that driving experience matters when everyone has to pass the same licensing test, but that’s not how the insurer sees it.

Insurance companies have to be smart when they take on risk. Everyone who buys insurance is a risk, but some drivers are much more likely to file claims than others. Driving experience is a rating factor that helps insurers determine premiums in more ways than one.

More experienced drivers have fewer accidents than less experienced drivers do. This statistic might not pertain to you individually, but the numbers tell the truth.

Data shows that drivers in an experienced demographic are safer risks than drivers in the opposite one. An insurer can’t assess a risk when the driver has no experience or records to demonstrate they don’t have tickets and accidents in an extended time frame.

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Good Driver Discounts Come With Experience

Experience isn’t just a risk factor that’s used to determine if you can get a preferred risk or standard risk rate. It’s also something that can directly affect whether or not you’ll be eligible for sizable discounts.

Some discounts and special policy features you can’t get without having experience include:

  • Good Driver Discount
  • Accident-Free Discount
  • Claims-Free Discount
  • Mature Driver Training Discount
  • Disappearing Deductible Provision
  • Accident Forgiveness Provision

How do I get good driver discounts?

The first requirement is that you must have three to five years of verifiable driving history in the United States before you’ll get any type of good driver discounts.

You have to look at the requirements in your state to see the specific criteria, but usually, you have to be accident-free and ticket-free for the preceding years or you want to receive the savings.

When do you go from an inexperienced driver to an experienced one?

You might not think you need nine years of experience with your driver’s license to be classified as an experienced driver, but that’s what insurance companies have determined.

About nine years after your license is issued, you’ll be able to get preferred ratings as long as you have proven you’re a safe driver who obeys traffic laws.

In states where age and experience are used, drivers who get licensed right after they have satisfied the permit requirements will enjoy experienced rates at age 25.

If you consider the fact that some people only maintain their good records because they don’t drive much, it might not seem like a fair determinant. Unfortunately, insurance is based on a pool of risk and you can’t control the data.

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Age and Experience Are Often But Not Always Related

You’d think that age and experience would be two of the same rating factors. That’s not always the case. You don’t have to get your license right away when you’re a teen. In fact, many teens and young adults are waiting to get licensed because there are other options.

Since you could be licensed in your teens, your 20s, or even your 30s, there no guaranteeing that you’ll be experienced when you hit 25.

You could turn 35 and still not have much driving experience if you put off testing for years. Some states use experience and age as separate rating factors and other states use only experience and not age.

Know the Difference Between Experienced Drivers and Mature Drivers

Some insurance agents will use some clever terms to describe older and elderly drivers in hopes of not offending anyone.

Sometimes, the terms will get mixed up in a jumble of other terms that insurance companies use when they are assessing a policy.

An experienced driver could be a senior who has decades of driving experience but it could also technically be a 30-year-old mom who works from home.

It all depends on the context that’s being used. Some agents will lean towards the term “mature driver” instead of “experienced driver” to define drivers in a specific age group.

Shop Around for Low Rates

The only effective way to get low-cost insurance is to get multiple rate quotes. You should shop around at least once each year and verify that you’re getting the best deal.

Make sure that you’re doing a thorough comparison of the rates from carriers in your region or you could be overpaying each term.

If you live to be an efficient consumer, you should get all of your quotes at once. To do this, enter your information into our online comparison shopping tool and press submit.

In just minutes, you’ll have dozens of quotes that include your credits for driving experience.