1. Girl vs. Boy
Adding a girl to your insurance policy will be cheaper, not by a lot, but cheaper none the less. Statistically, boys drive faster, take more risks, and are more likely to be involved in an accident or get ticketed for speeding. Thus, insurance companies consider young male drivers a higher risk than females the same age.
2. Defensive Driving Course
A defensive driving course is one of the best ways to reduce premiums for new drivers. If you plan on adding a young male to your policy, a defensive driving course is strongly recommended. These courses are reasonably inexpensive and only take about one day. In some states you can actually take a defensive driving course on the Internet! That is the easiest and most convenient way to get lower insurance premiums. A passing score can reduce your policy premiums by about 10-15%.
3. Good Grades
You are always after your teen to get better grades. Adding the incentive of lower premiums might give them the extra drive to study harder. Most insurance companies offer a good student discount to young drivers. To qualify, the program usually requires a B average or better. You will have to provide proof of grades, such as copies of report cards, or a note from your principal. Good grades demonstrate maturity and a responsible attitude. A good student discount usually ranges between 10-20%.
4. Old Car
Your teen might winch and whine about the old clunker you just bought for them, but there is logic behind your decision. Old cars usually incur cheaper repairs and the insurance premiums are cheaper as well. High end, luxury cars are more expensive to insure no matter who is driving these.
5. Keep a Clean Record
New drivers don't have a driving record. It is extremely important for your young driver to develop and maintain good driving habits. Over time, this will result in a good, clean driving record and your rates will go down. Age is also a factor. Typically, insurance companies have 'thresholds' or 'milestones'. Turning 21 will usually reduce rates and you can expect another reduction at age 25. Getting married may also reduce premiums, as this shows responsibility and maturity. On the other hand, repeated offenses such as speeding or accidents will make your rates skyrocket.
Mike McTigue is an Automotive Journalist and former Car Dealer with a unique insight into the auto financing industry, and special financing.