First Time Drivers and Auto Insurance
Written by Michael Browne
When you're a newly licensed driver it doesn't matter if you are in your teens or in your thirties - your inexperience behind the wheel is going to cost you money. While the rates for adults who are first time drivers are not as high as those for the younger set, they're still higher than they would be for an adult with the same car and same credit score who has five years, ten years or more of driving.
How, then, should the adult first-time driver minimize the cost of the auto insurance they have to have? A few suggestions are:
- Choose your car wisely. That sedate sedan is going to cost less to insure than the rag-top with the raw, powerful engine.
- Keep your driving record clean. The last thing you need as a new driver is to get cocky and then get caught. Obey speed limits and traffic signals, and err on the side of caution when it comes to driving with the prevailing speed of traffic.
- Consider a class. In many states, if you're over eighteen when you get your first driver's license, you don't have to sit through classroom hours. You just have to pass the tests. A defensive driving class, then, will benefit you first by adding to your knowledge - good classes teach you how to handle any number of challenging road conditions - and second by saving you money. Those three-year discounts can reduce your premium by five to ten percent.
- Keep your mileage to a minimum. Even if your chosen insurance company doesn't offer a pay-as-you-drive program, you can save money by driving fewer than 14,000 miles a year.
- Raise that deductible. As an adult, chances are that you have a job and can afford to pay for some repairs if you have to. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium, but we don't recommend a deductible over $1,000 for new drivers of any age.
In addition to the above advice for minimizing what you pay for insurance, we think it's important that new drivers, even if they're not driving a brand new car, consider full coverage. After all, less experience handling a car means a greater likelihood of an accident.