Young drivers are the most expensive to insure, and statistics compiled by the National Safety Council shows that teen drivers are as much as three times more like to get involved in an auto accident than someone in their mid-20s. To keep the cost of insuring a teen as low as possible, choose a vehicle that has built-in safety features and look for special discounts that the teen and vehicle can qualify for.
The difference between a sports car and a sedan is the number of passenger doors on the vehicle. For teen auto insurance, the sedan is much less expensive to insure. A sports car is a higher risk for insurance companies, and that risk is passed on to the policyholder in the form of higher premiums. For instance, a two-door Chevrolet Impala may cost $100 or more to insure above the cost of insuring a four-door Impala that is otherwise identical to the coupe model.
Front seat airbags are considered lifesaving, and therefore risk-reducing, devices for insurance purposes. Vehicles that have side impact airbags get a bigger discount than cars which only have front seat airbags, and vehicles that have all-passenger airbag protection will get the largest discounts of all. A sport coupe with front and side airbags will cost less to insure than one without such protection, while a sedan with all-passenger airbags costs even less because it combines two cost-saving factors.
A 5-year-old car is much less expensive to insure than a brand new one, even when the vehicles are otherwise identical. The reason for this is that the older car has a much lower cash value than a new car, which means less risk to the insurance company. Additionally, older vehicles tend to be built out of stronger materials and thicker metals than newer cars, and that means less risk of personal injury if the teen driver is involved in an accident. If the car is paid for, the teen driver can avoid being required to carry GAP insurance that pays off the loan value if the car is totaled, effectively reducing the cost of insurance premiums by eliminating a rider policy that most dealerships will require.
Tips for Insurance Savings
In some cases, it may be better for the teen driver to be added to their parent's policy rather than purchasing an auto insurance policy of her own. Most insurance companies will allow parents to add children to their policy up until the kids have reached the age of 25 as long as they live at home or attend college full time. Staying on the parents' insurance for a few years could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in insurance premiums by taking advantage of the lower rates charged for more experienced drivers.