Coffee Or Car Insurance? Cost Is About The Same

Life is expensive.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a college graduate will earn $2.1 million over a lifetime. Most of us leave very little behind because groceries, cars, daycare and the mortgage consume nearly every penny.

A lot of those pennies go to car insurance.

Over a lifetime of driving -- age 16 to 78 -- the average person will spend about $94,000 on insurance, according to data gathered by CarInsurance.com. The analysis of nearly 200,000 car insurance quotes sorted customers by age, then added up average costs for 62 years on the road. Drivers with all kinds of claims, driving and credit histories were included.

If that seems like a lot -- nearly two years of income for an average household -- compare it to a lifetime of other expenses:

·     A child. The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion puts the cost of raising a child to the age of 17 at $235,000. College increases the cost significantly. (See “ What a teenager does to your car insurance rates.”)

·     An iPhone. Using a 32GB iPhone from age 21 to 75, buying a new phone every six years, will run you about $72,000. Compulsive upgraders and heavy data users would pay even more.

·     A caffeine habit. Hitting Starbucks every morning for a $4 latte will cost $88,000 over 60 years. Making your coffee at home will almost cover car insurance for life.

·     A nicotine habit. Smoking a $5.25 pack a day for 60 years totals $115,000, not to mention the thousands of dollars more you'll pay for life and health insurance.

Average car insurance quotes by age

Age Average quote Age Average quote Age Average quote

16

$4,075

24

$1,749

60-64

$1,159

17

$3,564

25-29

$1,573

65-69

$1,138

18

$3,165

30-34

$1,519

70-74

$1,161

19

$2,502

35-39

$1,484

75-79

$1,218

20

$2,381

40-44

$1,384

80-84

$1,381

21

$2,124

45-49

$1,324

85-89

$1,370

22

$1,964

50-54

$1,252

90-94

$1,640

23

$1,823

55-59

$1,182

95-plus

$1,955

Some things you can't control

Some costs are baked into your lifetime of car insurance. You will pay more when you are young. You will pay more if you continue to drive when you are very old. (If you drive to the ripe old age of 102, your lifetime of car insurance will cost you $131,000.)

Surprisingly, being a woman doesn't pay a huge dividend over a lifetime when it comes to car insurance. Women paid about $1,000 less, according to the analysis.