When your teenager first gets their driver’s license, it’s an exciting time for you both. But with that new freedom comes associated costs, a topic you should sit down and discuss with them before they go anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a heavy conversation, though, and it can even be an easy one as you discuss ways you can both keep costs down. If you’re wondering how to save money when your teen starts driving, here are few tips to reduce the overall costs for a new driver.
Look For Ways To Reduce Their Insurance Costs
Teen drivers are a high-risk group for car accidents. Their insurance rates will skyrocket during that first year, but there are ways to knock off a few bucks. Talk to your insurance agent about discounts for kids with higher grade point averages. Discounts are also available for teens who complete and do well in driving instruction courses. Add them to your own policy rather than getting separate insurance. Finally, insure them for the cheapest car you own, and avoid sports cars and the like that can encourage hazardous driving and raise rates.
Teach Them To Take Care Of the Car
If your teen knows how your car works and how they can improve its performance, they’ll appreciate driving more. If you’re pretty good under the hood—or at least know the basics of car maintenance—take them on a tour of the vehicle. Show them the dipsticks and caps for the different fluids and check levels and cleanliness. Teach your teen to use a tire gauge to check the air pressure and to note any sounds or sensations while driving that might indicate a bigger problem. You’ll keep costs down by teaching them to be conscientious car owners.
Encourage (and Model) Safe Driving
The more your teenager drives without incidents—including moving violations and accidents—the better they look to the insurance companies. Figuratively speaking, you’ve been giving them driving lessons since you first strapped them into their first car seat. Continue to demonstrate good habits by obeying traffic laws and driving courteously. Tag along on their first few trips and errands, and, in a non-nagging way, point out ways they can improve their skillset. Praise good behavior too!
Teach Them About Fuel Efficiency
Here’s another way to save money when your teen starts driving: Make buying gas their responsibility. Whether they get an allowance or earn a check at a part-time job, they’ll appreciate the cost of keeping a car running if they’re the ones paying for fuel. But don’t leave them in the dark. Provide or teach them to pick a car that isn’t a gas guzzler, and explain ways they can save on fuel costs by checking the car’s mileage and planning trips according to how much gas they can afford.