Being able to drive is one of the biggest steps towards their independence – a very expensive step.
Beyond the cost of a new or used vehicle, gas and maintenance, there is the cost of insurance. If you’re a teenage driver, you have probably already discovered that young people face the highest vehicle insurance premiums of all drivers on the road.
The reason for this is clear given the sobering statistics. The Alberta Ministry of Transportation says that between 2008 and 2013, more than 200 young drivers aged 14 to 24 were killed and 13,116 were injured in crashes.
The unfortunate reality is that young drivers stand a very strong chance of being in a car accident. In fact, one in five drivers will have an accident in the first year of driving.
For young drivers, high insurance rates are simply the cost of having the privilege to drive. But there are a few things that you can consider to reduce them – at least a little.
- Take a defensive driving course or driver’s ed. Not only will your insurance rates drop, but you’ll also be a much safer and smarter driver on the road.
- If you’re a college or university student or graduate under 25 years of age, you can get additional savings on your insurance
- Shop around and compare to get the best insurance rates
- Young drivers can be on their parents’ car insurance policy at significantly reduced rates. However, if the young driver is in an accident, chances are the premiums will increase on the parents’ policy.
- Drive an older vehicle – insurance is less expensive on older models.
- Don’t modify your car. Modifying your car in any way that affects the engine, bodywork or wheels may do two things: boost your insurance rates, or affect the performance of your car in such a way that it may void your insurance policy in the event of an accident.
- Add security features such as alarms or an anti-theft device to reduce the risk of theft.
- Start working on building a great driver history. Good drivers with no claims over a certain number of years are rewarded with lower premiums.
Getting the keys is an exciting moment in every young driver’s life. It’s also an opportunity to take a giant step towards adulthood. Careful consideration around driving choices and behaviour on the road will help to lower your premiums, and take you that much farther in life.