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Teenage drivers!
Old 09-30-2017, 10:39 AM   #1
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Teenage drivers!

Haven't seen this topic on this board, but thought I would look for some sage wisdom here...

My son is 16 and can't wait to drive. He's got his learner's permit and successfully completed driver's ed over the summer. I've been procrastinating the call to our insurance agent since I'm guessing my auto rates and probably my umbrella policy are going to skyrocket.

Any suggestions or strategies here or do I just hold my nose and pay up?

One thought was to have my son only insured on an old SUV that we have; but I don't know if that's even an option. I worked with him to build a really fun electric fat bike that would get him anywhere in this town - but it wasn't cool enough for him I guess .

Also, how much worse is it going to be when my 14 year old also wants in on the driving thing about 1.5 years from now?
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kite_rider View Post
Haven't seen this topic on this board, but thought I would look for some sage wisdom here...

My son is 16 and can't wait to drive. He's got his learner's permit and successfully completed driver's ed over the summer. I've been procrastinating the call to our insurance agent since I'm guessing my auto rates and probably my umbrella policy are going to skyrocket.

Any suggestions or strategies here or do I just hold my nose and pay up?

One thought was to have my son only insured on an old SUV that we have; but I don't know if that's even an option. I worked with him to build a really fun electric fat bike that would get him anywhere in this town - but it wasn't cool enough for him I guess .

Also, how much worse is it going to be when my 14 year old also wants in on the driving thing about 1.5 years from now?
Do not let him get his license. Your rates will stay low. IDK if you live in a neighborhood that allows teens to walk to where they have to go, but if it does that would be my option. Or explain to him that if he gets his license he needs to fork over $40 bucks a week for the insurance. And your not letting him drive your cars(s). I also dread the thought of teen boy drivers , Ive been to too many fatal accidents where teens were the driver. Im not even referring to them drinking. They just seem to love to speed. Even with Grandpa's 1972 dodge dart.

If he doesnt work, no problem, In his Easter, Birthday, & Christmas card, just write "hope your enjoying your drivers license", we paid the insurance for you, Love Mom and Dad.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:47 AM   #3
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Call your insurance company and see what they allow. Many do not require insurance for learners, only for licensed drivers. Some will allow a one vehicle policy, but beware if you ever have an incident when he's driving the wrong car, insurance will provide no coverage at all and then penalize or drop you as much as they can.

A second teenage driver didn't affect my rates much (some years ago) as the insurance company reasoned only one driver could be driving the car at the same time.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
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Auto insurance is State dependent so all of these may not work. IIRC, if he has his own vehicle they will rate him on that. So, vehicle selection will play a big part. Drivers Ed and good grades help lower the rate. Additionally his rates will soar for tickets and accidents. Consider letting him pay for any increases. Discuss these options and any others with your agent/insurance company. They should have some ideas.

As BCG suggested, consider not letting him drive until he is older. We let both of ours drive at 16 but it was limited to location and time. It is a very dangerous activity for teens.

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Old 09-30-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
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My daughter will be 15 at the end of the year, and she is already dreaming what kind of car she will be driving.

In Austin, typical two car comprehensive runs at 1K. With teen driver, it can easily go to 2K. My colleague got a sport car, and his rate is 4K.

I would rather my kids learn driving now, when they still have to listen to our "wisdom", instead of going by themselves later on.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:11 AM   #6
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I have a 16 year old who is also chomping on the bit to drive... but DH is against it. I haven't signed him up for drivers ed yet because DH is so against it and my son is swamped with homework and wouldn't have time, anyway.

Our plan is to have him learn this spring... and then add him as a part time driver of DH's 22 year old pickup. (Which is the truth... I'm not letting him drive my new subaru other than the teach him how to drive a stick shift... and that will be done when he has his permit - pre license).

In CA you don't get hit with higher rates till they get a license.

We will NOT be buying a car for his use. We will offer to continue to pay for his bus pass. Same deal my parents gave me. Upon graduation from college we'll buy a nice used car for a gift. Even my son realizes a car isn't required/needed at college - and has cited to us the stats that a freshman with a car on campus doesn't do as well, academically, as a freshman without a car. He's very focused (and this is new, YAY) on getting good grades in challenging classes and going on to academia in science or math.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:12 AM   #7
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Something weird is happening here where we live (SF Bay Area). Teens aren't driving. My son got his driver's license when he was 26 not 16. My grandson is now 20 and has no intention of driving. The next grandson is 16 and he hasn't even brought it up! We have Uber and Lyft and they seem to use that instead. Plus mass transit. I can remember when I was 16 I really wanted to drive. But living in San Francisco I held off until I was mid-twenties. Now they just don't seem to want to do it. A lot of the kids at SF State do not even have a driver's license, like my grandson. In fact his boyfriend who's a few years older and wants to go to Georgetown doesn't have his either. I like this new trend. They don't need to be putting more carbon emissions into the environment and they can also basically take uber, lyft, BART, or Metro anywhere they want to go. And bikes as a mode of transportation are becoming as popular here as in Europe

Does your son want to drive because he's simply passing 16 or is it because you don't have other options for getting around?
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:14 AM   #8
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Auto insurance is State dependent so all of these may not work. IIRC, if he has his own vehicle they will rate him on that. So, vehicle selection will play a big part. Drivers Ed and good grades help lower the rate. Additionally his rates will soar for tickets and accidents. Consider letting him pay for any increases. Discuss these options and any others with your agent/insurance company. They should have some ideas.

As BCG suggested, consider not letting him drive until he is older. We let both of ours drive at 16 but it was limited to location and time. It is a very dangerous activity for teens.

FN
+1

We had to send in copies of kids report cards to get the discount, worked well and was an incentive for them to do better in school--no good grades, no insurance, no driving!
Our kids did not have their own cars, and we limited their driving to and from school/sports at first.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:14 AM   #9
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I got my license at 16, did the drivers ed thing via school.

Good thing I did as Dad had a stroke when I was 16, so I became the driver for the family as Mom didn't drive.

Back then we didn't have cell phones, which is what I'd really worry about as kids seem addicted to looking at them.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:18 AM   #10
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Even my son realizes a car isn't required/needed at college - and has cited to us the stats that a freshman with a car on campus doesn't do as well, academically, as a freshman without a car.
I did not know this, but it makes a great deal of sense to me.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:18 AM   #11
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Years and years ago, they didn't need coverage before getting their license as they are covered under your policy. Once licensed, they need to be listed on your policy if they drive your cars. Our agent would list them as driving the cheapest car and they were covered on the others as "incidental" drivers.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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I concur that when I added my second son, the rates didn't go up much at all. They were listed with an ancient beater car that was only covered for liability. Good grades did help with discounts. If the child goes to a college, a far distance away, and does not take the car, you can get a decent reduction in rates during the college years. I was surprised that my insurance company became aware when my 2nd son got his license. I guess there must be some info sharing with the DMV. Let them know how many miles you expect your child will put on the car. The fewer, the better in terms of premiums, and stress. Good luck.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:18 PM   #13
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There are definitely pros and cons to having them drive sooner rather than later and have a car/don't have a car. DD wasn't excited about driving so I don't think she got her license until she was nearly 17, DS wanted his learner's permit on the first day he was eligible. We did have a car for them to use (my late father's Ford Focus stickshift, which was great as they both learned to drive a stick, one of my rules). The good grades discount can be significant, so you can make that a condition. We also had very strict rules about who was allowed to ride with them and where, and any violation caused loss of car privileges. Neither one wanted a car at college at first, although DD did ask for my old Accord when I got a new car and she was moving off campus.

The biggest problems we had were around car maintenance or lack thereof, so I wish we had been stricter about that.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:20 PM   #14
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Something weird is happening here where we live (SF Bay Area). Teens aren't driving.
That seems to be happening to some degree in our area as well. Hard to know exactly why but the shine definitely seems to be off the car. It may have something to do with Uber or with insurance rates that the young have to pay or fading of the car culture. Might even have to do with less DIY potential for keeping newer cars on the road or less mechanically inclined youth. We had 4 teens over 16 at one point and none were that keen to get their licenses and in fact DW had to push a couple of them to get their full license. We always made it clear to them that we would not be providing them with cars but they all could have afforded them (although insurance would have been a strain). Elder dear son got a motorcycle and he is the only one who has a vehicle of his own. With all of them working in the summer we got an extra car which they shared but now that everyone is back in school it mainly sits in the driveway.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:26 PM   #15
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Also for us: No change in cost if teenage driver only had a learner's permit. So with said learner's permit, whenever my kids were in the car with me or my wife, they were driving and getting the experience. To this day, I never drive if my kids are in the car. I make them drive unless they are drunk, but usually its me that is drunk.

Our insurance rates didn't seem to go up much because we didn't get another vehicle just because we had 4 drivers in the family.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:43 PM   #16
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One of the ways to address the driver responsibility issue is to do what my father did. He bought a junkyard car for $50 and Walt had to put the replacement manual transmission ($5) in it before it could be driven. Those are late 1965 prices. I used a scissors jack and the deck from the lawn mower to move the transmission around. (Now that would be called child abuse because of the dangers - if the transmission had fallen off the jack I'd still have the scars, if I lived.) The safety issue with modern equipment wasn't an issue then since a 1956 model car was pretty much the same as a 1966 model car when it came to safety gear.

My parents didn't plan ahead and paid the insurance premium for my older sister when she turned 16 since it wasn't much, thus setting a precedent. Then when I was about to turn 16 they had a wake-up call. The solution they came up with was that I paid the difference between my rates and my older sister's rates. That meant I had to get a job, no way occasional lawn mowing gigs were gonna pay for that!

Re the maintenance, not only on that car but on all of them, I did almost all of the maintenance so the lesson sunk in early, "you break it you fix it". That lesson sinks in real good when the outside temperature is 10 F. I still remember that.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:05 PM   #17
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Walt, we must have had the same father. My junkyard car at 16 was a non-running 1951 Chevrolet. I had to get it running on my own to get to drive it (and I did). Plus, the nose was from a 1949 Chev and it had a broken windshield. It got the job done and I didn't have to rely on anyone to get me anywhere.

But, unfortunately, today's children are kept away from things like having to learn some auto basics. I suspect most parents don't feel the need is there. Plus, they are usually glued to video games and not interested in working with mechanical things and leaning anything in that direction.

I have a 19 year old step-grandson (stepdaughter's son) that doesn't drive nor does he want to as long as he is chauffeured around by someone. He also doesn't want to go to college, which is his choice. What a waste. I suggested he go in the military and that would make him into a man, but got the cross look from DW and that was that.

Both my daughter's drove at 16 as I was raising them without a mother being present. That was out of necessity as I worked full time and traveled a lot on business. I remember that insurance rates for females were way less than for males at that time. Both girls did OK but they drove old Toyota Camry's that cost $2,000 - $3,000 and had well over 150 K miles on them. Rock solid cars that are ideal for a first time driver.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:17 PM   #18
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My father knew nothing about motors and engines, and he taught me everything he knew. The rest of my auto-knowledge on cars I inherited from DM, who knows even less. Not all of us are AKG (auto knowledge gifted) or MLE (mechanically literate & enabled).

When I turned 16 DF brought me the insurance bill and "invited" me to pay it. The rate for school grades B average or better was almost a quarter less, and for the first time, I got a B average. Talk about motivation.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:39 PM   #19
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My father knew nothing about motors and engines, and he taught me everything he knew. The rest of my auto-knowledge on cars I inherited from DM, who knows even less. Not all of us are AKG (auto knowledge gifted) or MLE (mechanically literate & enabled).
For some of us, necessity was the mother of invention. (My father had a 3rd grade education, but I never saw his report card.)
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:47 PM   #20
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For some of us, necessity was the mother of invention. (My father had a 3rd grade education, but I never saw his report card.)
+1 My father claimed he got 95 + in all his high school report cards. Years later my mother said he only finished the 6th grade. It was his method to make us study harder or be relegated to a life of fisticuffs.
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