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Getting Cheaper Rates for Teen Drivers & 5 Newer Vehicles Which Help with Savings Over the Long Run

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You’ve waited your whole life to get your license, and you’ve been spent hours upon hours daydreaming about the kind of car you’ll drive.

While the majority of newer drivers likely imagined themselves driving a fast or luxurious vehicle, the reality is that those are the worst choices when it comes to car insurance.

Finding a Vehicle & Doesn’t Cost a Ton for an Auto Premium

Not only will a fast or luxurious vehicle cost more to purchase or lease, but they will cost even more when it comes time to pay for a car premium.

Those kind of cars are usually more expensive to repair or replace, and with the assumption that most first time drivers engage in riskier behavior than experienced drivers, it is only logical that carriers charge more to insure them.

If you are looking to buy a used a new or used vehicle I have selected a list of five vehicles all rated by Edmunds and CarMD’s Vehicle Health Index for dependability, lower rates, and great cars for new drivers.

Keep in mind, that any of the used versions are just as good.

5 Top Cars to Choose From

Chevy Malibu

2018 Chevy Malibu

Image Credit: Chevrolet.com

This is the most affordable midsize car which gets great gas mileage.

The Chevy has a redesign which has rave reviews from Car and Driver, USA Today, Edmonds, and Cars.com

Specifications & Features
Chevy MalibuLT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Combined MPG3026
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)27 / 36 mpg22 / 33 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity13 gal.15.8 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)351.0/468.0 mi.347.6/521.4 mi.
Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic9-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty3 yr. / 36000 mi.3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgas
Total Seating55
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size1.5 L2.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Horsepower160 hp @ 5700 rpm250 hp @ 5300 rpm
Torque184 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm260 ft-lbs. @ 5300 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable

Honda Civic

Image Credit: Honda.com

This vehicle may cost a little more, but you may be able to get it at a bargain price being 4 years old.

When the Honda came out critics where amazed at its performance and safety rating.

Specifications & Features

Honda CivicLX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)EX-T 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
Combined MPG3436
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)31 / 40 mpg32 / 42 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity12.4 gal.12.4 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)384.4 / 496.0 mi.396.8 / 520.8 mi.
Transmissioncontinuously variable automaticcontinuously variable automatic
Basic Warranty3 yr. / 36000 mi.3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgas
Total Seating55
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.0 L2.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Horsepower158 hp @ 6500 rpm174 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque138 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm162 ft-lbs. @ 1700 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable

Volkswagen Jetta

Image Credit: VW.com

Some critics claim the Jetta not to be as reliable, however you should be able to get this vehicle at relatively low price plus it gets over 32 mile per gallon on the freeway.

If you can find one with a diesel engine the MPG is over 42!

Sure the price of diesel may be higher, but that is pretty good gas mileage!

Specifications & Features
Volkswagen Jetta1.4T SE 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)1.4T S 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)1.8T Sport 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Combined MPG323232
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)28/38 mpg28/38 mpg28/38 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity14.5 gal.14.5 gal.14.5 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleadedpremium unleaded (recommended)
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)406.0/551.0 mi.406.0/551.0 mi.406.0/551.0 mi.
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty3 yr./ 36000 mi.3 yr./ 36000 mi.3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgasgas
Total Seating555
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size1.4 L1.4 L1.8 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4inline 4
Horsepower150 hp @ 5000 rpm150 hp @ 5000 rpm170 hp @ 4800 rpm
Torque184 ft-lbs. @ 1400 rpm184 ft-lbs. @ 1400 rpm184 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariableVariable

Hyundai Sonata

Image Credit: Consumerreports.org

This vehicle is a great choice since it has a bolder look and if you can find one with 40,000 miles or more you can get it for a steal. High mileage?

Don’t worry about since the maker claims as long as the vehicle is taken care of it will last for 200,000 miles.

Specifications & Features
Hyundai SonataSport 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)SEL SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Combined MPG2828
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)25/35 mpg25/35 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity18.5 gal.18.5 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)462.5/647.5 mi.462.5/647.5 mi.
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty5 yr./ 60000 mi.5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgas
Total Seating55
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.4 L2.4 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Horsepower185 hp @ 6000 rpm185 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable

Toyota Camry

This is definitely worth a test drive even if it may cost a little more.

If you like comfort, technology, and a little power check it out.

Even Motortrend has claimed, “It can arguably be the best in it class in 20 years”.

Specifications & Features
Toyota CamryL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 8A)SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 8A)
Combined MPG3432
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)29 / 41 mpg28 / 39 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity14.5 gal.16 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)420.5 / 594.5 mi.448.0 / 624.0 mi.
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic8-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty3 yr. / 36000 mi.3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgas
Total Seating55
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.5 L2.5 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Horsepower203 hp @ 6600 rpm203 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque184 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm184 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable

By opting to drive a reliable, older used car, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your premium.

It is often assumed that young drivers will pay significantly more in a premium.

While that is frequently the case, it doesn’t have to be.

By knowing what options are available, and how to make the right choices, new drivers will be able to find the best deals out there for them and get the plan that they want at a decent price.

Benefits of a Family Policy & How it Lowers Costs

One of the easiest and most commonly seen ways for newby drivers to get an affordable premium is to become part of a collective or family policy.

Cost of a Premium for teen with parent and without.

Note: The numbers above are averages. A teen driver added to a parent’s policy can save thousands of dollars. However, a parent adding a teen to the policy will increase the price significantly. Ultimately the goal would be to have the teen on the parent’s policy and not their own. Which would be extremely expensive.

With this type of scenario, the policy holder is usually the head of the household, though they don’t necessarily have to be.

Additionally, the owner of a collective or family policy is usually an experienced driver.

When a driver is added to a collective or family policy, they are typically listed as a driver of one of the cars that is insured. The insurance is not in their name, but rather in that of the policy holder.

Average cost of a premium for young drivers aged 16 to 20.

Note: The cost of insuring a young driver is very expensive. The figures illustrated are averages. Your policy price is going to be determined by location, gender, and other factors. As noted, even at a young age, female drivers are less to insurer than their male counterparts.

The advantage of being as a secondary driver on an account is that you’ll end up paying less to be covered than you would have if you had gotten a policy of your own.

Driver Incentive Plans for Lower Premiums

Carriers are very well aware that new premium holders could be potential long-term customers.

While insurers have to assume some risks by insuring a teen driver, they also need to give some kind of incentive to convince a new driver to become a customer.

Best discounts for teen drivers by percentage.

Note: Typically a teen driver going to school with good grades would discount the cost to insure them by 10%. Adding a teen to the parent’s policy is another strategy. As illustrated, one of the most effective ways to lower a teens part of the policy is taking a driver training course.

That is why many carriers are offering first time driver incentive plans to help new drivers get a lower premium. These incentive plans may include:

  • Discounts for good grades

  • Discounts for completing a driver’s education course

  • Discounts for hitting milestones (6 months with no accidents or infractions)

When you contact carriers to sign up for a plan, be sure to inquire as to whether or not they offer some kind of incentive plan for new drivers.

Choosing the Correct Plan for Savings & Optimum Coverage

The cost of your premium largely depends on how much coverage you decide that you need. If you over-insure yourself, you are going to pay more for a premium.

By becoming an informed consumer as to what each type of coverage entails, you’ll be able to choose the perfect amount of coverage for your needs.

Below is a table of the cheapest carriers for young drivers.

StateFirst Cheapest PremiumSecond Cheapest Premium
ArkansasColumbia$1,348Southern Farm Bureau$1,420
ColoradoColorado Farm Bureau$1,588Grange $1,670
FloridaFarm Bureau$1,87621st Century $1,932
GeorgiaCountry Financial$1,732Allstate$1,793
IdahoGrange  $890GEICO$915
IllinoisErie$1,388The Cincinnati$1,432
IndianaErie$1,344The Cincinnati$1,400
IowaPekin $811Progressive$840
KansasGEICO$1,257Farm Bureau$1,326
KentuckyThe Cincinnati$1,634Kentucky Farm Bureau$1,688
LouisianaSouthern Farm Bureau$1,980Allstate$2,087
MainePatriot$800Vermont Mutual$823
MarylandErie$1,328Penn National$1,452
MassachusettsPlymouth Rock$1,390GEICO$1,455
MichiganChubb$2,455Hastings Mutual$2,530
MinnesotaFarm Bureau Mutual$1,410Western National$1,532
NebraskaAmerican Family$1,029GEICO$1,086
NevadaAllied$1,788Oregon Mutual$1,790
New HampshireCommerce $1,056Nationwide$1,095
New JerseyPenn National$1,467NJM$1,487
New MexicoGEICO$1,235Allied$1,362
New YorkErie$1,550GEICO$1,575
North CarolinaNationwide$980GEICO$1,010
North DakotaAllied$1,231North Star$1,276
OhioErie$893Grange $915
OklahomaOklahoma Farm Bureau $1,400Shelter$1,455
Rhode IslandEsurance$1,655Grange $1,700
South CarolinaSouthern Farm Bureau$1,233Nationwide$1,276
South DakotaUnitrin$1,365Farmers$1,414
TennesseeErie$1,203Utica National$1,259
TexasTexas Farm Bureau$1,555Esurance$1,598
West VirginiaPekin$1,076Western National$1,122

Strategies to Avoid Risks and Keep Your Costs Low

There’s a reason why drivers have to pay more for a premium. The reason why is that many teenage drivers take unnecessary risks while driving, be it using their cell phone, speeding, or failing to recognize traffic signs and symbols.

Percentage premium increase by moving violation.

Note: The graph illustrates moving violations and percentage increase in premium costs. Reckless driving would increase a premium by 22% or more. While a DUI would increase it by 19%, driving without a license would increase a premium by 18%. These are averages for first time offenders.

It is important for drivers to be incredibly mindful on the road, and to drive the speed limit. While peer pressure can be tough to overcome, doing so can help neophyte drivers get the best rate possible.

Price of a premium before and after by traffic violation.

Note: The chart above illustrates the cost of an auto premium for a teen before and after a moving violation. For example, the cost of a teens policy is $2,650 then $5,980 if convicted for reckless driving. The chart is for illustrative purposes to show the effect of “one” traffic violation committed by a young driver.

Occasionally Shop Around for a Possible Better Deal

Once you’ve evaluated each of the aforementioned factors, the last, and most important thing to do to get lower insurance for any drivers is to shop around.

By shopping around, you’ll be able to get the cheapest rate available for the exact amount of coverage you need.

Final Thoughts

So how can you go about finding the cheapest rates for first time drivers?

It’s actually easier than you think.

Once you have a vehicle in mind be sure to compare rates for each.

It may surprise you that older vehicles at times can cost more to insure than new ones.

It should be noted that the lowest policy isn’t always the best and you may want to check out this article to keep your rates low.

It is always important to follow up with a few insurers before making a decision.

Doing that will guarantee that you get maximum coverage for the lowest price possible.






Penny Adams

Penny Adams

Penny Adams has written for the auto industry for 10 years. Articles written are original, highly researched, and complete with sources listed. When not writing or telephone fund raising for non-profit organizations, I enjoy spending time with my daughter and granddaughter, growing food, and exploring the great outdoors in Michigan.

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