Having been raised by a child of the Depression, I feel safe in saying the full effects of this recession will take a long time to make themselves fully felt. One consequence, however, is that 66 percent of parents are delaying allowing their children to drive because it just costs too much. From insurance premiums to fuel, adding a driver to the family can have a huge economic impact.
According to a study by Nationwide, 40 percent of parents surveyed said if they let their teenager drive, entertainment expenses for the family would have to be cut. Thirty-eight percent said eating out would be . . .well . . . out. And 35 percent said they’d have to eliminate or cutback on vacations.
Larry Thursby, vice president of auto product and pricing at Nationwide, said, in a report for Bloomberg, “Our survey found that households with teen drivers shell out an average of nearly $3,100 each year to allow their teens to drive. After analyzing Nationwide’s four million auto policies, we found nearly a half percentage decrease in policies with teen drivers, from 5.8 in 2008 to 5.4 in 2011. While other factors are involved, the cost of having a teen driver is a major one.”
If you have a teen driver and it’s time to turn them loose, do your homework before you make the decision to say no. Innovative programs that allow parents to monitor their teen drivers can go a long way toward controlling insurance expenses as can other standard tricks like having multiple policies with one insurer. Get multiple quotes online and see if additional driver education for your teen could help reduce the premiums. You may have no choice but to say no, but there are options for cheaper auto insurance, even for teen drivers.