Cheap Car Insurance For Young Drivers
Young drivers pay more for auto insurance than their older counterparts, but there are some things they can do to lower their rates.
Teenage drivers should consider adding themselves to their parents’ policies if possible and then shop around to find the best rates. This will usually cost less than getting a stand-alone policy.
Buying the Right Car
As a parent, you want to help your teen stay safe while behind the wheel. That means picking the right car, getting insurance for your teen, and taking driver training.
When choosing a vehicle, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends larger vehicles that provide extra protection for young drivers in a crash. Smaller cars are more affordable and easier to drive, but they don’t score as well in safety crash tests.
Rather than buying a new car, consider purchasing a used one that has most of the safety features your teen needs at an affordable price. Also, look for a vehicle with a good reputation for reliability.
To help you choose the best vehicle for your teen, Consumer Reports and the IIHS have teamed up to create an annual list of recommended used vehicles with safety, reliability and pricing in mind. Our recommendations cover two tiers of used cars, and starting prices range from about $6,000 to nearly $20,000.
Getting a Good Student Discount
Teenagers and young adults are known to pay the highest car insurance rates, but there is some relief available. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for good students who meet certain qualifications.
In general, to qualify for a good student discount, you must be a high school or college student with at least a B average. Some insurance companies also require that you be in the top 20% of your class scholastically.
A good student discount can save you an average of 10% on your car insurance premium. However, the amount of savings varies by company and state.
Getting a good student discount is easy, though it may require documentation to verify your enrollment status and academic grades. Most insurance companies will need to see a copy of your recent report card or a transcript from your school.
Taking a Defensive Driving Course
In many states, taking a defensive driving course can help save you money on your insurance. It varies by insurer, but discounts can be up to 10%.
A defensive driving course teaches drivers how to avoid accidents and respond quickly to unexpected road hazards. It can also teach drivers about road conditions and weather.
Usually, these courses are six hours long and can be taken in person or online. They’re usually quite affordable, and the savings you can get from them should make it well worth the investment.
Defensive driving courses often focus on psychological factors that can affect your ability to drive safely. They can address things like stress, fatigue and road rage.
In addition, a defensive driving course may help you keep a traffic ticket from impacting your insurance rate. It also helps to mask a traffic violation from your driving record, which can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Keeping a Clean Record
Teens who have a clean record and good grades are typically rewarded with lower car insurance premiums. They may also qualify for discounts if they take a driver’s education course or take a defensive driving course.
Getting cheap car insurance for young drivers isn’t always easy. You’ll need to do your homework and compare quotes from multiple insurance companies.
When shopping for coverage, keep in mind that carriers can vary by state and level of customer service satisfaction — even when selling identical coverage.
One way to save money on car insurance is to consolidate your policies with one company. For example, if you have auto and renters or homeowners insurance with the same company, you might be eligible for a multi-policy discount.
You can also save by installing a telematics device that monitors your driving habits and awards you discounts when you stay accident-free. Nationwide’s SmartRide program, for instance, awards up to 40 percent discounts based on your driving habits.