I’m lucky; I have a few years to think (worry) about my kids driving. However, I know soon enough the time will come when they will want their own car, want to start driving themselves to school, and head out on the road alone.
Besides being a source of great dread for parents, having a teenage driver can also have a serious impact on parents’ budgets. Of course there is the obvious expense of buying that first car (hopefully a nice used one), but there are other significant expenses such as gas, maintenance, and most of all, insurance.
Car insurance for teenagers is often a deal breaker in many families. I remember when I started driving, my mom’s premiums went up significantly when she added me to her policy. Not because I was a fast-driving, irresponsible 16 year-old, but because I was a 16 year-old boy, and statistically, I was more likely to have a major accident.
We offset some of the costs because my first car was not necessarily a sexy choice – it was a 1985 Buick Century with silver faded paint. But, it had been my grandmother’s car and driven very little. It also had a big engine, and drove like a muscle car.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to save on car insurance for teenagers.
1. Buy a safe, reliable car not for looks, but for function. So many teens expect to see a brand new red sports car sitting in their driveway the morning they turn they 16. For most families, that is simply not realistic. What teens should hope for is a safe, reliable way to get from point A to point B. Besides, those shiny red sports cars often cost the most to insure.
2. Consider raising deductibles to offset an increase in premiums. There’s a big IF attached to this advice. Only increase deductibles IF you have an adequate emergency fund saved to easily cover the out-of-pocket expense of major repairs. If you are still paying off debt, or have yet to save a fully-funded emergency fund, it’s probably better to keep the deductible low and continue working towards your financial goals.
3. Sign up for a safe-driving course. Many insurers offer discounts to those who’ve successfully completed a safe-driving, or defensive-driving, course.
4. Keep your grades up. Many insurers also offer discounts for students who achieve and maintain a high grade point average.
5. Consider insuring your home, automobiles, and any other valuables with the same insurer. Insurance companies can often cover your home, your autos, and any other type of insurance required. Consumers can usually leverage some type of “multi-line” discount for having more than one type of insurance with the same company.
6. Add teens to your roadside assistance program. You will sleep better when kids head off to college, or off on a long road trip for their senior get away, if you know they have a quality roadside insurance plan. I’m partial to Allstate’s plan because you don’t have to have Allstate insurance to sign up, and you only pay for it when you use it. You can also register up to 5 drivers on your account (perfect for families with teen drivers).
You can sign up directly using the widget below if interested:
$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Now for the fun stuff. Allstate/Good Hands Roadside has donated one $50 Amazon gift card for me to give away to one lucky reader.
To enter, tell me what your first car was and feel free to share any memories of that first car. Leave the answer below in the comments section as your first, mandatory entry.
Bonus entries for extra chances to win:
- Register for the program and comment that you registered (you may register directly using the widget above)
- Download the mobile app and comment that you downloaded it
- Tweet about the giveaway and comment that you tweeted the following message, “Just entered the Allstate #ghrgiftcardgiveaway via @FrugalDad. Could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Your turn!”
- Share post to Facebook (through widget or copy and paste link) and comment that you shared it
No purchase necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are not increased by a purchase.
Giveaway ends Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm EST, and is open to US only. All entries must be properly recorded in the comments to count (i.e. Link to tweets, Facebook page, etc). Winner will be selected on August 31st, 2011. Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen and notified.
Disclosure: Allstate is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Allstate or its affiliates, but solely by me.