As a parent, you know that the kids get more expensive each year. By the time they are teenagers, their clothing, electronics and hobbies become more expensive than they were during the elementary school years. Once they start driving, it may seem as though your money is running through an open faucet. Between higher auto insurance costs, gasoline and maybe even an additional car, you're spending more than ever. Check out this list of ways to save money even once your teenager starts driving.
1. Don't spring for that new car just yet.
There's probably nothing your teen would like more than a shiny new (or even a beat-up old) car to call his or her own. Even if you get a great deal on a vehicle, understand that having as many cars as you do drivers will cause your family's auto insurance policy to skyrocket. If you can work out the logistics, try just letting your teen borrow your car now and then instead of buying a new or used vehicle for his or her sole use.
2. Don't skimp on driver's education classes.
Yes, they're more expensive than teaching your child on your own. With a driving pro in the passenger seat with your fledgling driver, however, you'll save more than stress! Many auto insurance companies give a discount to teens who have taken driver's ed. Also, the wear and tear from a teen slamming on the brakes and even denting the front fender can accumulate on a driving school's car rather than your own. You can get more information by clicking here.
3. Follow the law to the letter.
Many states have graduated licenses for teen drivers. If your state is one of them, make sure you and your child understand exactly what the rules are, and that they are followed exactly. You don't want to be paying for tickets due to your child transporting a passenger who isn't supposed to be there or driving after the designated curfew in your state or town. Of course, your teen should also be driving the speed limit, coming to a full stop at stop signs and following all of the other rules of the road.
4. Don't be too loyal to your insurance company.
Once your teen has a license, you might be surprised at how much your insurance rates go up. Even if you have always used to same company, it often pays to shop around. The company that gives you, an adult with a clean driving record, the best rates might not have a high tolerance for riskier teenage drivers. Don't be afraid to call other companies and ask for quotes.
5. Remind your teen that with privilege comes responsibility.
Many parents of teenagers choose to have them get their first jobs right around the time they get their driving licenses. This makes sense for two reasons: One is that your teen now has the transportation needed to get to work. The other is that your teen can now pay for all of the gasoline he or she uses while cruising around town. Depending on how many hours your teen is working, you can ask them to contribute to the costs of maintaining and insuring the car.
Learning to drive is a milestone that your teenager will remember forever. As a parent, you may need to balance your child's excitement with what your budget can reasonably afford. Don't be afraid to postpone your teen's driving test for several months or to choose not to buy him or her a car right away if you can't afford it. It makes sense to look into ways to save money once your teen starts driving.