Teenage Drivers: Choosing a Car and Insurance Policy

The combination of todays Teenage Drivers and automobiles may strike a bit of fear in the heart; insurance and young drivers can be an expensive prospect. If your teen is on track to get his license and will be getting a car of his own, here are some tips for purchasing the right car and insurance policy.

Outline Expectations

Before you begin shopping for a car, it is important to establish clear lines when it comes to finances. Will you be purchasing the car in full or does your teen need to contribute or pay you back part of the purchase price? Who will be responsible for paying insurance and fuel? What about repairs? If your teen will be taking financial responsibility for the car in any way, how will he be earning the money?

Safety Considerations

Getting the safest car you can for your teen is a good idea—young people are several times more likely to get in automobile accidents. The safer the car, the more protection you can offer your teen against the consequences of inexperience on the road. Vehicles with four-cylinder engines and average horsepower will keep speeding in check, and can also score lower insurance premiums. Check safety data on sites of organizations such as the Institute of Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Bigger is not necessarily better—a SUV, or pick-up truck for example, has a high center of gravity, which makes them less stable and more likely to rollover. A mid-size sedan is a good choice. Look for cars that were manufactured in 1997 or later—this is the year airbags and other safety features became standard. Because older cars are lacking many safety features that are more standard on newer cars, they may be more expensive to insure to boot.

Get an Idea of Insurance Rates before Car Shopping

Whether you plan on putting your teen on your policy, or getting him his own, you should get an idea of what type of rates you may be looking at for different types of cars. Costs can vary significantly depending on the type of car you end up purchasing. Contact individual insurance companies or a broker, who can provide quotes from various insurance carriers.

Saving on Car Insurance

Some insurance carriers may offer significant discounts on insurance if your teen installs a device that can track driving behavior, such as speed, time on the road, how often the brakes are applied hard and number of miles driven. A quality teen driving course can also qualify you for a discount, and research suggests they may reduce the likelihood of collisions. If your teen will be going on your policy and will be attending school far away, you may get a discount for temporarily removing her from your policy. Typically, the school must be located a minimum distance away from where the car is garaged—in many cases , at least 100 miles.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of auto topics; if you are looking for car insurance in Lethbridge brokers can be found by following the link.

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