It seems to almost be a rite of passage that when a teen gets their driver's license, they start to talk to their parents about getting a car, and many parents, glad to be out of the role of chauffeur, are willing to oblige them. But the majority of those parents are not being smart about the kind of car they choose for their teen driver. |
If you go to the car dealership, which is a very likely place to start shopping, they are obviously concerned with the cost of the car. This is natural, but when shopping for a car when your teen will be the primary driver of it, there are more considerations than just the cost, where cost almost becomes secondary.
For example, you can get a good late model used car in good condition for say $17k-$18k, one that does not need a lot of repairs, gets good gas mileage, and will not be constantly in the auto shop being fixed for something or other. But any astute car sales person is going to point out that for only a few thousand dollars more, you could easily get a brand new car, not a used one, and hey the financing from the manufacturer is better because it is a new car, listing every reason in the book why the new car is a much better overall value than any used car.
Consider their motivation. The sales person's motivation is to move cars and point out value to you, and the more money they can extract from your wallet, the better they are doing their job. There is nothing wrong with that, because that is what the dealership is paying them for. But is it the best option for your teen driver?
Typically, no. Especially for a teen driver, you need to look at other factors first, usually two of them which should even come before price. First is the safety rating for that particular model of car, which goes into the specifics of the model, the engine (4 cylinder versus 6 or even 8 cylinder) and many other factors. What is the crash safety rating for this vehicle? You can call your car insurance company to find out, and may be surprised to learn that one make and model costing $5000 more has twice the crash safety rating as the one you are looking at. No amount of money can replace your teen if they are killed in a car accident, so examine the crash safety rating for the specific car you are considering.
You also need to consider the cost of insurance, which to a great extent is tied to the crash safety rating of a car. What you will find may open your eyes. A car that is considered to be sporty and fast (something your teen may want) may have a cost of insurance that is twice that of another car or even more, where that other car does not have the "sporty and fast" look to it.
The fact remains that teenage drivers are a greater risk for a car insurance company. Teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 4 times more likely to have an accident than older drivers. Regardless of how safe and responsible you believe your teen to be, the statistics don't lie and this point is driven home year after year.
When shopping for a car for your teen, look first at the safety rating for the vehicle you are considering, then look at the amount of safety equipment installed on the car, such as side air bags, anti-lock brakes, seat belt reminder buzzers on the dashboard, and other safety related items. Then look at the price. The cost of the car for your teen cannot be the primary decision maker.
When you have determined the right car for your teen and taken the safety rating and safety equipment into account, you will almost certainly find that the car insurance rate you are paying is quite reasonable for your teen, or at least much more reasonable than it would be if you had not put those other considerations first. For more insights and additional information about Teen Car Insurance Rates as well as to get a free online quote, please visit our web site at http://www.tips-for-car-insurance.com
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