Insurance companies consider first time drivers to be high risk customers, regardless of personal circumstances. Male drivers under 25, and especially teenagers, are generally charged the highest insurance premiums when they purchase first time driver insurance. Teenagers are charged unusually high rates because accident statistics are highest for them, mostly due to their inexperience.
Inexperienced new adult drivers over 25 years of age are also charged higher insurance premiums, but most insurance companies will re-issue standard policies with much lower rates after they complete their “learners” driving phase – which is from 6 months to 1 year depending on the state of residence.
Money Saving Tips for New Driver Car Insurance
Even though insurance rates for first time drivers are expensive, there are some things you can do to save money:
1. Older first time drivers who don’t yet own a car may be eligible to purchase only liability insurance. This can decrease the cost of first time driver insurance quite a bit. If insuring a car for the first time, choose an “insurance-friendly” automobile as described below.
2. Generally, less expensive cars are cheaper to insure. Typically, domestic 4 door automobiles with smaller motors are the least expensive – such as minivans, which are not large enough to cause huge amounts of damage in an accident, are cheaper to repair, and aren’t stolen as often. Smaller, lighter cars are efficient to drive, but tend to always have the highest death rates in crashes. These are factors insurance companies use in determining rates for first time driver insurance. The mid-sized, heavier automobile is usually the best selection, especially for young drivers who are more accident prone – even if the style isn’t cool. For the new driver, it would be smart to avoid luxury vehicles, sports cars, vehicles with high performance engines. Large SUVs should also be avoided – not only are they more difficult for the first time driver to maneuver, safety experts say they’re more prone to rolling over as teens tend to over-correct the steering while under stress.
3. Parents of young first time drivers may want to have an older paid off car (where coverage limits can be reduced for comprehensive and collision coverage, saving money) for assignment as a first vehicle – this should be able to reduce insurance premiums versus insuring expensive late model cars.
4. The best thing drivers can do is maintain an excellent driving record. If a family policy is used, insurance savings can be achieved if all drivers avoid accidents and are violation-free. Parents of teens just starting to drive should set a good example, and also spend time and train them to be smart, attentive drivers. Parent-teen driving contracts are used more and more to build responsibility and accountability.
5. Defensive driving courses are recommended for new drivers, and many insurance companies offer premium discounts for completing this training.
6. Cheaper auto insurance for first time drivers is possible if policy discounts are taken advantage For young drivers, the most common discount available is for maintaining good grades, usually a “B” average or above can earn a Good Student Discount of 10% or more. The high cost of first time driver insurance can also be reduced by taking advantage of multiple-car discounts and multiple-policy discounts with the same insurance company.
In summary, the bad news is that first time driver insurance will be expensive. There is good news – the options mentioned above can help increase safety and reduce premium costs.