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September 10, 2019
If you are the CEO of your family, your newly licensed teen driver is the intern, learning new skills through on-the-job training. Parents have three primary concerns when their children become drivers — keeping them safe, controlling the sometimes surprising insurance costs, and helping new drivers become experienced, responsible ones.
One of the most important safety factors is the auto itself. While your teen may want a high horsepower sports car or a cute small car, your best choice is a midsize or large auto, SUV, or pickup truck. It should have electronic stability control (for wet roads and curves) and a good safety rating. Keep these considerations in mind when deciding which family car the teen will drive. If you are purchasing a used car for your new driver, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can help with their recommended autos for teens, which are listed by year, make, and model: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicles-for-teens.
Parents are often unprepared for the sticker shock that comes with adding a new teen driver to their insurance. There are several things that you can do to help mitigate the cost. First, driver assignment and use can affect premium. A teen who drives a newer, higher valued auto to school every day will be more expensive than one who is assigned to an older car and only drives occasionally. Credits are available for youthful operators who have completed a driver training course or are good students (B or better GPA). Insurers also give a credit when your young driver goes away to school (over 100 miles) without an auto. And finally, a clean driving record—no tickets or accidents—will help avoid premium increases at renewal time.
Parents play an essential role, from being a role model to setting clear expectations and keeping communication lines open. Many families create a teen driving agreement as a means of setting standards and expectations.
The Private Client Group at Parker, Smith & Feek offers an informational class for parents and their new (or soon-to-be) teen drivers. We include important safety information, valuable tips, sample teen driving agreements, and helpful handouts. The 1-hour class is informal, with time for discussion and questions. It is complimentary (no sales agenda) to PTOs and other parent/family-focused organizations. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in scheduling a class for your group.
The views and opinions expressed within are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Parker, Smith & Feek. While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept liability for any inaccuracies or changed circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it.