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Teen Graduation – Time to Buy a Car?

teen first car insurance


Graduation is just around the corner. And what’s tops on your teen’s wish list? You guessed it – a car! But what a daunting thought. What should you do? Should you pass down ownership of the family car? Should you shop for a used car? If yes, which ones? Coupes? SUVs? Chances are your teen has his or her heart set on a cool sports car. Who could blame them! But, a first car probably shouldn’t be a fast and sporty car. Let them get a sports car when they’re older! Following are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for that perfect first car.

Do your homework before going shopping. Think about cars you’ve seen on the road that you think would fit your teen’s needs. Then go online and research those cars. Consumer Reports is a great place to check on the safety ratings of a car. You’ll want to focus on cars that are not only rated safe, but are affordable to operate.

Consider the price. You probably don’t want to break the bank on the car purchase. Avoid top of the line models that are equipped with all the bells and whistles. They will cost you more and also provide an unwanted distraction for your teen. Plus, insurance will be more expensive on premium models.

Test-drive the car. Plan to go out and test-drive the car you are considering purchasing. Right off the bat, check for blind spots. Blind spots can be a challenge for even the most seasoned driver and can be dangerous for inexperienced drivers. Check brakes and responsive handling also.

Cell Phones. Technology exists that can disable texting and social media on cellphones while the car is in motion. Since many accidents are cell phone related, a disabling app might be a wise idea.

Insurance. Get quotes from your auto insurance agent for the car before you purchase it. The age and model of a car affect the price. There are a lot of other factors to consider also. Are you going to add the car to your family policy? Or will you insure it separately? Either way will not be cheap. Talk with your insurance agent who will have suggestions on what the best insurance plan will be. They’ll also fill you in on other ways to reduce the cost, such as:

  • Good Grades – Many insurers offer discounts for students who have had good grades
  • Driver’s Education Classes – New drivers who have taken a driver’s education class often qualify for discounts.

After graduation. Graduation has come and gone and you’ve presented your teen with their car. Initially, help keep them safe by spending time with them driving in their new car. Also, set down some rules about how many passengers they are allowed to carry, and if they are still living at home, set some curfews. Soon you’ll have the confidence that your teen is a confident and safe driver and you’ll be able to sleep at night again!

Meet The Team

Dara StefanMeet Dara Stefan, Personal Lines CSR
Dara has been with ARCW since 2009 and it’s her role to care for existing clients. She has a long loyalty for insurance as she’s been in the industry since high school. We recently interviewed Dara and learned some great things about her, including her favorite insurance savings tip.

Q: What is your favorite ice cream?
A: Frozen Yogurt – Moose Tracks

Q: What is your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas because of all my wonderful childhood memories. It’s also a great time of year to talk about Jesus Christ openly.

Q: What is the one thing you cherish that is insured?
A: My husband. ♥ I have a life insurance policy for the man that is very caring and loving in my life.

Q: You’ve been in insurance since high school. What is the one piece of money savings advice you wish all your clients knew about?
A: When it comes to home insurance there are two things you can do. The easiest is to get a wind mitigation report. Most reports cost around $79, and could potentially save you hundreds off your premium. The other thing you can do is get a new roof and replace the shingles. Most insurance carriers give credits for a new roof (2004 or newer). If your home already has a newer roof, get the wind mitigation report that shows this. I’ve personally seen one client in this situation save $760 off his $2,500 premium by simply getting the report on a roof he already had!
Dara Stephan

Dara Stefan's puppy

This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.  Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your family’s auto insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance.  We are here to help.