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Teenagers often can’t wait to start driving and gaining independence. The only thing that could improve this experience is a car that keeps them safe and costs less to insure. Many factors affect the price of car insurance, including the driver’s age and location, and a young driver typically costs more to insure. Thankfully, you can reduce the cost by looking at the best car for teenage insurance policies.
Why Are Teenagers More Expensive To Insure?
Insurance companies typically use statistics to determine how much to charge a customer. As a whole, teenagers are more likely to cause or be involved in an accident. They don’t have as much experience as older drivers, so they might make mistakes or lack the knowledge to react to another driver’s reckless behavior properly. Also, teenagers have a higher likelihood of engaging in dangerous driving habits themselves, such as distracted driving.
In addition, teenagers don’t have a driving record for insurance companies to reference. An older driver has proof of the number of accidents they’ve caused, how many speeding tickets they have, and how long they’ve maintained insurance. Insurance companies have less individual data to examine for young drivers, so they must look at averages to decide what to charge. Your insurance company might offer discounts for teenage drivers, however, such as maintaining a high GPA, completing a defensive driving class, or using a driving device or app to track their driving habits.
Why Are Insurance Rates Higher for Some Cars?
Insurance companies review several factors when determining how much a car might cost them in the event of an accident. They consider:
- The car’s safety rating and whether it will protect the driver and passengers inside
- The cost of replacing the car’s parts
- Whether the car, particularly if it’s a sports car, is statistically involved in more accidents
- The car’s MSRP and how much it will cost to replace if totaled
- The vehicle’s horsepower, as faster cars are more likely to be involved in accidents or speeding violations
- The car’s rate of theft
Generally, midsize cars with low horsepower and parts you can replace at a low cost will be cheaper to insure. These factors might depend on your area, so ask your insurance company for recommendations.
How To Decide on a Car for a Teenage Driver
Many factors can affect your decision when choosing a car for a teenage driver. Some of the most important ones include cost, safety, and longevity.
Young drivers might not have much money to pay for a car, even with a loan. They might also prefer a vehicle with inexpensive parts in case something breaks, such as a side mirror. While this might not be the most important factor, you should set a budget early on and look for a car you can afford.
Consider looking at the cost differences between a new and used car. New cars might be more expensive to purchase and insure because they’ll cost more to replace. On the other hand, they might be more reliable because their technology is newer, and they have up-to-date safety features. Old cars might be more expensive to maintain if they require frequent repairs. Conversely, they can cost less to buy, and you might be able to locate parts more easily and inexpensively than if you buy a new car.
Teenage drivers, on average, have more car accidents than older drivers, making a safe car more important than ever. You can look at vehicle ratings by independent organizations, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for this information. You can also research car makers to see if they have a history of producing safe vehicles. Be sure the car you choose has airbags and seat belts that will protect its occupants in the event of a crash.
If you buy a car for a young driver, you’ll likely want one that’s going to last. After all, a teenage driver is going to be driving for a long time. Look for cars that tend to be reliable years after they’re purchased. Every teenage driver is going to need a new car eventually, but the right car can last a long time.
Beyond these important factors, consider which vehicle features are most important for you. Some young drivers care more about the audio equipment than the size of the trunk. Other drivers might value a car with high gas efficiency, such as a hybrid. Once you finish your list of must-haves and your budget, you can start doing research.
Best Cars for Teenage Insurance Policies
Now that you know which vehicle characteristics you want to consider, keep in mind which cars are the least expensive to insure. These include:
- Honda Civic (four-door): This compact car has plenty of safety features and high safety ratings from the IIHS every year since 2006.
- Toyota Prius: This car is not only safe, but it’s also a hybrid, which means better fuel economy and a lower carbon footprint.
- Mazda 6: Another car with plenty of safety features, the Mazda 6 is especially great for teenage drivers who could use its blind-spot monitoring.
- Nissan Rogue: This SUV has plenty of airbags, a rollover sensor, and front seats designed to keep proper blood flow and minimize fatigue during long trips.
- Ford Fusion: You might consider this midsize vehicle for its fuel economy or the MyKey feature that allows parents to limit the speed a driver can reach in the vehicle and the volume of the stereo system.
When you’re looking for the best car for teenage insurance policies, you have a lot to consider. Decide which factors are most important, set a budget, and look at cars that cost less to insure. While you’re researching your options, look at discounts your insurance company might offer, as well. The right car can save you money and keep your teenager safe for years to come.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.