Getting a driver’s license is a key milestone in the life of any young person, but what comes next is decidedly less fun. Once you have that driver’s license in your wallet and the car keys in your hand, you need to make sure you – and your vehicle – are properly protected.
No matter what your age, being a responsible driver means having sufficient car insurance in place. Before you pull out of the driveway for your first solo drive, you need to find a great policy. Here are 10 tips to get you started.
Start with your parents’ policy. It is generally much cheaper for new drivers to get coverage on their parents’ policy, so start from there. If you plan to pay for your own coverage, just calculate the difference between what your folks are paying now and how much the policy will cost with you onboard.
Seek out new driver discounts. Many insurance companies offer special discounts for teen drivers, including discounts for good grades and responsible driving pledges. These discounts could provide real savings, so ask your agent about them.
Invest in a Safe-driving course
Take an accredited driving course. Having your parents teach you to drive may be a great bonding experience, but learning from a pro could save you money on car insurance. Have your parents ask their agent about driver education discounts and how to qualify.
Safety Is Key
Choose your car with care. Some vehicles are more costly to insure than others, so shop wisely. That fancy sports car might look great in the driveway, but it could significantly increase the cost of your new driver policy.
Look at different payment options. You may be able to save money by paying your annual car insurance premium in full instead of in installments. Ask your agent about various payment options and how they could save you money.
Use the law as a starting point. States set minimum coverage levels to protect their residents and other drivers, but that minimum coverage may not be enough. Check the minimum car insurance coverage amounts, but keep in mind you may need much more protection.
A higher deductible can mean a lower premium. Whenever you buy insurance, the deducible and premiums will move in different directions. Raising the deductible is perhaps the most effective way to lower your premium, so think about how much you could afford to pay and set your deductible accordingly.
Drive safely. The surest way to lower your car insurance premium is to drive safely. Staying accident free, staying within the speed limit and stopping at all stop signs all demonstrate your responsibility behind the wheel – and that responsibility will be rewarded over time.
The bottom line is, car insurance can be expensive for new drivers, but knowing what to look for can help you get the most for your money. Once you have a few years, and more than a few miles, under your belt, your good driving habits and responsibility behind the wheel can lower your costs and enhance your protection even more.