Says Parents Can Put Brakes on High Auto Insurance Rates for Teens

August 9, 2005

Car insurance rates for a teen driver are a great concern of many parents, so it’s important to shop around for the best insurance quote when your teen starts to drive, according to folks at

Auto insurance quotes take your teen’s driving record and type of vehicle into account. In the long run, a safe car and no tickets are the best ways to keep down the cost of having your teen on the road.

Before you contact an insurance company and compare quotes with your current policy or get a new auto insurance policy, do your homework on steps that can keep your insurance rates — and your claims — down. Auto insurance for teens will vary by type of vehicle and the car’s safety features, and whether your state has enacted a graduated driver’s licensing program that phases in teen driving privileges.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety advises parents to choose a car for their teen by safety, not by image. Small cars, for example, don’t offer the best protection in an accident, and some trucks and SUVs are more prone to roll over. Those safety factors can mean the difference between an affordable auto insurance policy and car insurance rates that break the bank.

Sporty cars might encourage speeding, and SUVs with roll-over possibilities are choices that will drive up car insurance rates, because insurance companies rate these vehicles by statistics on speeding tickets or accidents. Even careful teens don’t have much experience with different road conditions, and may make an abrupt steering move that can cause an accident.

Because teenagers are much more likely to get in car accidents, look for cars with good crash protection. It’s no coincidence that a car with airbags, strong bumpers and a solid construction will get better ratings — and rates — from an insurance company.

Be diligent about making sure your teen wears the seat belt. In some states, police can issue tickets for not wearing a seat belt, even if a driver does not commit any other infraction.

Many other factors contribute to your teen being a safe new driver. Use of a cell phone or eating while driving are distractions that can lead to accidents. Parents must have zero tolerance for teens using alcohol. They should consider restricting night driving and whether their teen can have other teen passengers.

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