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One of the most highly anticipated moments in a teenager’s life is the day they pass their driving test. It’s a chance to finally experience the freedom and independence of being able to go wherever, whenever, and is one of the pinnacles of transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
As the saying goes, however, with great power comes great responsibility. Being legally able to drive means being legally responsible for whatever happens when you’re behind the wheel – good and bad.
One of the most important ways to protect yourself is buying car insurance. Although insurance companies see teenage drivers as high risk due to their inexperience, and thus charge higher premiums, there are plenty of ways you can get your car insurance rates reduced:
1. Start Off with an Older, Safer Car
When insurance companies calculate premiums, they consider dozens of factors including the type of car you drive. The newer and more expensive the car, the more expensive it will be to fix and the higher the risk to insurers.
That said, you don’t want to start with a clunker, either – it’s important that the car has safety features like airbags and daytime running lights. Antitheft devices and antilock brakes are valuable, too, as is a high safety rating. Insurance companies are likely to offer lower premiums if your car has protection.
Do your research before choosing your first car; the coolest option might not be the most economical in the long run.
2. Allow Insurance Companies to Use Telematics
Telematics essentially tell insurance companies how good a driver you are. They track your speed, how hard you brake, and the time of day you drive using technologies ranging from devices that plug into your car to apps on your phone. The safer you drive, the bigger the payoff, especially in terms of your premium.
3. Consider a Higher Deductible and Lower Coverage
This goes for all drivers; opting for higher deductibles and lower policy coverage could lead to big discounts. The less the insurance company is liable for, the less you’ll have to pay—just keep in mind that this could lead to higher payouts if an accident does occur.
4. Join Your Parents’ Plan
While it may seem like choosing your own policy could save you money, it’s likely to be more cost-effective to join with your parents. While their rates will go up because of the addition of a new driver, it will still be cheaper to pay for one plan instead of two. Plus, they (and you) will benefit from multivehicle discounts.
5. Ask About Low Mileage Discounts
The less you drive, the less risk there is for insurance companies. Each company has its own rules, but if you’re just starting out and aren’t traveling too far, you may qualify for low mileage discounts.
6. Take a Driver’s Education Course
Driver’s education classes teach how to handle a variety of situations you may encounter through in-class lectures and hands-on experience, and being prepared could be beneficial to you in more ways than one. Besides learning important skills, it could also help you save money. If you pass a driver’s education course, it proves to insurance companies that you have studied and understand the rules of the road, and will therefore be a safer driver.
7. Choose Paperless Billing
In today’s society, technology is advancing in leaps and bounds and the desire to protect the environment is growing. Paperless billing enables insurance companies to kill two birds with one stone; it allows them to send statements electronically instead of in the physical mail, which cuts back on paper usage, saves trees, and utilizes the ease and speed of email. This, in turn, saves car insurance companies money, making them more willing to help you save money via discounts.
With these tips in mind, it should be easier to navigate the tricky landscape that is car insurance. Don’t let it overwhelm you and ruin what should be one of the most exciting times in your life; shop around, talk to insurance agents, and see where you qualify for the most discounts. Once you find the plan that fits your needs, you’re free to explore the open road!