Safety and affordability can go together. That's what we'll consider as we try to answer this question. When choosing a first car for teen drivers there are three factors to consider:
- Initial cost of purchase. This is self-explanatory -- you must be able to afford it!
- The vehicle’s safety features. Airbags are a must, anti-lock brakes are important too. Crash test data is available online for almost any car.
- Cost to insure. Generally, the more safety features a car has, the better its crash test data, and the lower its repair cost -- the cheaper it will be to insure. Performance cars are a no-no. They will always be the most expensive for teens. Boring is good; speed kills.
And remember this: the most expensive type of auto insurance coverage in Tennessee is collision. You must have comp & collision (full coverage) if you finance a vehicle. Therefore, to save money, avoid financing your teen's vehicle if possible. Otherwise, the monthly insurance payment could equal or exceed the car payment!
Pickup trucks and minivans often rate lower for insurance purposes than cars (Not that your teen is going to want to drive a minivan).
And remember, some companies offer discounts for drivers ed course completion and good grades for full-time students. Again, boring -- but very helpful.
Here's another tip: Your insurance will always be cheaper if there are more drivers than cars in your household. If there are two adults and one teen in a household and only two cars, that's going to be cheaper than having three cars in the household. Also, if you have two teens it will be much cheaper to insure if they share a car rather than each having a car.
Choosing a first car for teen drivers can be a stressful task. However, by doing a little homework you can feel more confident in your decision. There are safe, inexpensive cars out there that you and/or your teen driver can afford to operate and insure in Tennessee.
You just have to find them. And we're always happy to do advance quotes on cars that our customers consider adding to their policies. Just call, text, or e-mail from the car lot and we can usually get you a rate in minutes. This is just one of the extra services we try to provide for our customers.
If you would like a quote for your teen driver on auto insurance call us at (865) 435-7470 or start a quote here.