Top Tips for Teen Drivers
Top Tips for Teen Drivers
One minute you’re strapping a little mini-me into a car seat, and the next, you’re strapping yourself into the passenger seat, clutching the door handle while your teen takes the wheel for the first time.
How did it all happen so fast?
Whether you’re cradling a newborn or chasing a toddler, your driving teen will be standing in front of you before you know it. Here are some things that you should consider when your child reaches driving age:
There’s no rush.
If your teen isn’t ready to be out on the open road, that’s okay. There’s no rule that says your child must start driving by the age of 16—in fact, teens are driving later and later. According to the Federal Highway Administration, only about 25% of 16-year-olds get their license the year they turn 16.
Add them to your insurance policy.
When your child gets a learner’s permit, it’s best to notify your insurance provider. Most teens with learner’s permits are covered by their parents’ policy without being named on the policy. Once your young driver reaches the age of 16, however, companies require that each driver be listed by name on the auto policy.
Practice. A Lot.
The key to their safety and your peace of mind? Practice.
Give your child the role of family chauffeur. Once they’re prepared to take on the open road without you, you’ll sleep better at night knowing they’ve mastered the skill of driving and that they have put lots of hours behind the wheel.
Pro tip: your premiums likely won’t increase while junior drives with a permit, so take advantage of the time before they get a full license.
Consider the vehicle.
Some parents will have their new driver operate an older car, only securing liability coverage to offset the cost of an additional driver on their policy.
On the other hand, if you’re purchasing a car for your new driver, check with your insurance agent before buying. Some carriers offer lower premiums on cars with qualifying safety features, while the age, make, and model of the car can affect cost.
Get a discount for good grades.
Responsible drivers get better rates, and the same goes for kids. But how can they prove responsibility without a record? Through good grades.
Bring your agent a copy of your child’s latest report card to see if they qualify for discounts.
It’s true what they say: Babies don’t keep. But neither do teenagers, so enjoy those totally wonderful teen years while you can. They’ll be out of your house—and off your insurance—before you know it.
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