Ok, this can be a touchy subject – especially if you are letting the teen make the decision.
The best way to go with a new driver – a teen driver – is to get them (or have them save for) a “beater” car – like a 2000 Honda Accord or a 1995 Honda Accord – you know – a beater.
Then have them get just Liability insurance – including Part 5 – just to get it on the road. We always recommend higher limits of Liability like 50/100 or 100/300 – but with times being tight – not everyone can afford this when they start out.
In addition, have them get a quote for Part 9 Comprehensive – this covers for stolen, vandalism, fire and glass – this coverage is great to have – just one glass claim pays for it for the year.
So that is the angle I would take. Car insurance for a new driver or teen driver is very expensive in Springfield – a bit less in the surrounding towns – but you are looking at $2000 – $2500 for the year.
Have your teen take the approved Drivers Education course while they have their permit – this course is expensive – it costs about $700 but you get that money back in the form of a discount over the first three years they are driving. Something like a $240 discount per year for the first three years.
After your teen has been driving for 3 years – their price will drop.
Massachusetts changes pricing after 3 years of driving and after 6 years of driving.
Should a teen get their own policy? Or be put on their parent’s policy? I have always felt it is best to keep the policies separate. If the kid is on your policy and they have an accident causing bodily injury to others – you don’t want the insurance company to be able to go after you, your home and your insurance policy.
This is why it is best to have the kid have their own insurance – then in an accident situation – the insurance company will only be dealing with the teen’s policy and not the parents.
Ask your agent about all the discounts available including – ask if there is a “good student” discount available for your teen. Any good agent will automatically give you every discount available – but be sure to ask anyway.
be sure to discuss the rules of the road with your teen. Absolutely NO SPEEDING! This is what causes all the other problems.
In addition – no texting while driving – not only is it very dangerous but in Massachusetts it is also against the law.
Bottom line? You call the shots. Tell your teen the best way to go.
I see it all the time – teens wanting a real nice car right away – getting Full Coverage – insurance is $3500 – $4000 for the year – then they can’t afford both the car and the insurance – they effect their credit rating and on it goes.
Tell your teen the best way – and in the long run they will be happy you did!
Call my office with any questions 413-543-3800