(BPT) - It seems like just yesterday you were watching your child's first steps, and today she is asking for the keys to the car. While your teen may be excited about the prospect of driving, you probably have mixed emotions — and a lot of questions.
Learning to drive is a big milestone for both parent and child, and being prepared with the right information can help ensure everyone is happy and safe. Go over this guide to teen driving with your child, making time to check each item off your to-do list. For more information, visit AutoInsurance.com/Teens.
1. Research permit/license requirements
Getting a learner’s permit is the first step toward a regular driver’s license. Teens need to meet their state’s minimum requirements, which usually fall under the categories of ages, fees and documents. Depending on where you live, the minimum ages allowed to apply for a driving permit vary from 14 to 16.
2. Understand teen driver laws
Even after applying for and receiving a learner's permit, teens will have restrictions that people with regular licenses don’t face. These restrictions often include curfews, supervision, passengers and harsher penalties for violations like driving under the influence (DUIs).
3. Research teen driver insurance
Shop around for insurance that helps protect you financially, which is especially important for new drivers. Because teens don't have experience behind the wheel, car insurance typically costs more. Car insurance for teens costs an average of $3,751.02 — 45% higher than the national average annual auto insurance cost of $2,070.62, according to AutoInsurance.com.
4. Ask about insurance discounts
To save money on teen auto insurance, ask about discounts. Research car insurance discounts for teens that may include things like driving training course completion, good driving record, good grades and agreement to install a driver monitoring device in their car.
5. Budget and discuss costs
Car insurance isn't the only cost associated with teen driving. Some people decide to purchase a vehicle while others borrow the family car. No matter the vehicle you drive, consider the cost of fuel as well as maintenance. Discuss ongoing costs of driving with your teen and decide how you are going to split these costs and budget appropriately.
6. Help your teen be a better driver
Driving is a big responsibility and safety is a top priority. To help your teen be a better driver, consider creating a parent-teen driving contract with restrictions on speed, curfew, passengers, supervision, etc. You should also have them turn off text notifications when driving. If you haven't already, research teen defensive driving or driver training courses. And remember, set a positive example by following driving laws yourself.
From creating a parent-teen contract to understanding the most appropriate coverage for a teen driver, learn more at AutoInsurance.com/Teens. When your teen gets their permit and gets behind the wheel for the first time, it’s a milestone moment. Take pictures and be proud, just like when they took their first steps.