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What You Need to Know if You Have a New Teen Driver in Your House

At What Age Can Teens Drive?

In New York State, drivers become eligible for a learner’s permit at age 16. After 50 hours of supervised driving and six months of driving with a learner’s permit, they can take a driving test to receive a junior license, which comes with restrictions on curfew and passenger limits.

At age 17 if the driver has completed a training course, or age at 18 without a course, they can apply for a senior license, which removes all the restrictions.

What about Insurance?

While your teen has just a permit, they do not need insurance. Once they get their full license, if they are going to be driving then they will need to be covered by an insurance policy, whether it is part of your policy or their own plan.

If you haven’t already looked into the cost of adding a new driver to your insurance, brace yourself for the high cost of insuring teen drivers. This is because teens are involved in a disproportionate amount of car accidents. In fact, automobile accident are the leading cause of death among Americans ages 15 to 19.

How to Save Money on Your Teen Driver's Insurance

Insurance companies charge teens the highest rates, but there are ways to reduce the cost. These include:

  • Have them take a driving course: Insurance companies give sizable discounts to those that complete a driver training program.
  • Good student discounts: Good grades can add up to sizeable savings. Full-time students with a B average, dean's list or similar honors could qualify for as much as a 15 percent discount.
  • Drive safely: Traffic offenses will nullify any student discount. Teens should be taught the seriousness of driving and how dangerous it can be to fool around or drink and drive. They also need to gain experience and should not have unlimited access to vehicles until they have become more experienced behind the wheel.
  • Student away discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount for students who are away at college or living away from home during high school. The rules vary by company, but usually the student must be living at least 100-150 miles away from home without a car.
  • Choose a safe vehicle: A car with high safety ratings and safty features will get better rates. Many safety features, like antilock breaks and airbags, are standard in most new cars.
  • Get a quote before you buy: Shop around. Rates can vary greatly between different companies.
  • Raise your deductible: This applies to all drivers, not just young teen drivers. Increasing deductibles can reduce your rates enough to make it worthwhile. 
  • Drop some coverage: Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage for an older car, because they only cover the current value of the car.

Safety first. The best way to cut teen auto insurance costs is to teach young drivers to drive safely and become experienced gradually. 

The Auto Accident Guide: The Essential Car Companion

Accidents can happen. The most important thing is to have your teen know what to do and be prepared. Our free download can help ensure you and your teen know exactly what to do if you find your self involved in a car accident. The Auto Accident Guide: The Essential Car Companion provides step-by-step instructions on what you need to do as well as forms to fill out and collect the necessary information.

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