Young drivers don’t have it easy. They have the dream of freedom, but the dream of freedom is a long hard road to get to. They have to pass a theory, pass a practical, then somehow they have to afford one of the most expensive things in the world at such a young age… driving. Driving costs a hell of a lot of money for us adults, but for youngsters, it is even more. Their insurance premiums are higher, they have to put in a lot of hard work to be able to afford fuel etc. and there are a lot of dangers on the road. They haven’t experience some of the reckless driving of others, and they haven’t had a taste of the reckless driving that they could do. So if you have a teenager that you know is going to try and get their license soon, here is how you can try and help them drive for less, and drive safely.

Get Them On The Road

Getting them on the road is the first step in the process. For some people, it can be a lot longer and more expensive than others. Some people just find it so easy to pick up driving. Others… well they can take a lot longer. Some people don’t have the confidence behind the wheel. They recognise all the dangers, they know what a car can do, and it can really stress some people out. The mental block is enough to make them have a million lessons before they’re even ready to pass. But you can help them with that process. First you need to get them ready for their theory test. There are test centers all over the country, such as the one found at americansafetycouncil.com/content/texas-driving-school. Help them revise a little bit each evening. When you leave it just to them, they might leave it all until the last minute and fail. These tests don’t come cheap, so it is better to pass it first time if possible. As for the practical part, if you’re willing to, you could have them insured on your car. Even if you’re not comfortable taking them out onto the main roads, you could still help them practical manoeuvres in the street. These are usually the hardest part of the test, so cracking these should mean they pass first time. If you think the theory tests are expensive, the driving tests are even more so.

Buying A Car

You might be helping them with this, you might not, but what you can do for sure is give them your old age wisdom. We know what it’s like to buy a car, and we know what to look out for. Now your teenager has a couple of options here. The first is to save up really hard and buy a ‘rubbish’ first car. We say rubbish, but they’re the best car they’ll ever have. They might not be the flashiest, they’ll definitely have a few scratches, but they’re cheap and affordable. That first rubbish car is the one you build a bond with like no other. Having an older car makes it less troublesome if they do have a couple of bumps and scrapes, which we guarantee they will. Before they buy the car make sure you’re test driving it yourself, you check all the major fault points, and you run it through a HPI checker. But it is becoming a bit of a trend now to buy brand new cars because they look better inside and out. Youngsters like to show off to their friends, so it is easy to see why this is a trend. But the issue with a brand new car is they are so perfect, and as we’ve said, knock and bumps will undoubtedly happen. They’re also a lot more money to buy, and if they go on finance, they’re a stress to make the payments each month. Young teenagers on a part time job can’t afford to run a brand new car with insurance, monthly finance payments, tax, and fuel. Try and sway them against this idea until they’ve had a little run around with an older car. If you’re paying some towards the purchase, you should definitely be putting your foot down with regards to where your money is being spent.

Finding Insurance

Everyone knows what a hard time young drivers have with insurance. This is due to the fact young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than someone who is more experienced. They’re slightly more reckless on the roads due to wanting to show off to friends, etc. So insurance companies now charge them an absolute fortune to drive. One thing you can do to try and get it down slightly is to put your name on the insurance. It is a little trick that people have been using for years. You can also convince your teenager to have a black box. This is the big reducer when it comes to insurance. It allows the companies to monitor exactly how they’re driving, and a lot of them carry penalties for speeding or harsh braking. So whilst making the insurance most likely hundreds cheaper, it is also protecting them from being tempted to drive a bit recklessly. There are also specific companies who offer insurance just for young drivers, and they’re found independently rather than on comparison websites. You might benefit from looking at these.

Running A Car

All you can do really with this is give your advice. They’re going to want to be driving about at all hours with friends, for absolutely no reason other than the fact they can. The fuel this wastes is going to be an absolute nightmare, and the miles they’ll wrack up on the clock will be even worse. As the miles go up, the car becomes more vulnerable to a break down. Try and explain the dangers of it, and try and restrict them slightly with how much they’re driving round in order to save them fuel. Or at least ask them to ask their friends for petrol money. It’ll help to keep them out of money troubles because of driving.

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Tom Brown

Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.

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