August 5, 2010

How Waiting To Get A License Increases Rates For Teens

For most young teens, the day after their 16th birthday passes, they are in line at the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) waiting for their chance to take the driving exam. For some parents, however, this day represents a nightmare. Caregivers have visions of high auto insurance quotes for their children, and even a larger auto insurance quote for themselves should their newly minted driver do something dangerous or illegal. For this reason, many parents refuse to allow a child to drive immediately after their license is obtained, or wisely make the young person pay for their own car or insurance. This, in turn, leads some young people to delay getting their license since they cannot afford either the cost of an auto insurance quote or a vehicle; but this can be a bad choice, as delaying getting a license may result in higher auto insurance quotes in the long run.

Why? Experience. One of the major factors an auto insurance provider will take into account when quoting a teen driver is driver’s experience. The longer they have held a license that carries no speeding tickets or other moving infractions, the safer the company will judge them to be. The 16 year old that waits until they are19 to get their license will likely pay more for insurance than the 16 year old who obtained their license immediately, and then simply drove their parents’ car, even if all trips were with a parent present. The greater amount of experience, based on the time the license was issued, will make an insurance company more likely to give a lower quote.

The young driver who chooses to wait does themselves no favors because even if their license is used only for ID, it will be listed on the MVD system and will not show any demerits or other infractions, such as traffic tickets or auto accidents. Even a young driver that has several speeding tickets will likely fare better than one that chooses to wait, as again, the difference in their experience speaks volumes. Even waiting until the mid-20s can be dangerous, since although the person is much older and more responsible at that time, statistics, not individuals, are what insurance companies base their polices on.

For any young teen drivers looking to lower their auto insurance quotes, obtaining a license as soon as possible is a good idea. As long as they drive safely and avoid traffic tickets, even if it is with parents or in a limited capacity, it will help lower the cost of insurance.