If you’d like your teens to get their driver’s licenses and become more independent, you may also worry about the cost of getting them out on the roads. If so, here are a few tips to get your kids driving themselves around town for less money.
Pit insurance companies against each other
Adding a young adult driver will inevitably make your family’s auto insurance rates go up, but the degree of the increase may vary between companies. Most people seem content to stick with the same insurance company for years, but it’s worthwhile to shop around when adding another driver. Nearly all companies offer free quotes, and experts say that you may be able to use those free quotes as bargaining chips with your current company. Your company may want your business so badly that they’d be willing to match a competitor’s rates.
Encourage studious behavior
It’s assumed that students with better grades can make better decisions on the road and may spend more time studying and less time driving around town. For these reasons, most insurance companies offer between a 15% and 25% discount for students whose report cards show good grades. Even older students off at college can enjoy these benefits. Perhaps you could split the savings with your teens as an added incentive.
Buy used instead of new
New cars depreciate in value the minute you drive them off the lot. One study estimates that in just one minute, your car depreciates in value by 9%. This may seem ridiculous, but being able to label a car as new versus used makes a significant difference for the seller.
To the driver, however, a used car these days is not really that different from a new car in terms of features and safety. There are many reputable dealers who sell used cars that have been thoroughly checked out and maintained by a certified mechanic. Some of these dealers specialize exclusively in used cars and have an extensive inventory.
If you do insist on buying new, consider buying a car in high-demand, as these tend to depreciate less. These include sporty cars, compact cars, and the basic models of cars versus higher end cars. In other words, save the large SUV with leather seats for your teens to buy themselves when they can afford it independently.
Getting a driver’s license and a vehicle are big steps in independence, and they free parents up from having to drive their kids around town each afternoon. The tips described above can make that process of getting your teen out on the road a bit cheaper.