Ah. This could be the $64,000 question. Literally.
My customers ask this question often. So, I figured you might want to know the answer.
So in answer to the question “what car should I buy for my teenage driver?” the answer is one that needs liability only
If this doesn’t make sense at first, stick with me for a minute and I promise it will. First, we need a quick review of three terms crucial to this discussion- liability, comprehensive (sometimes referred to as “other than collision”) and collision.
- Liability- covers the other guy for bodily injury and property damage. Example- you hit another car. The liability pays to fix the car and pays medical bills for the other driver.
- Comprehensive- covers damage to YOUR car. Examples include: glass breakage, animal hits, vandalism, theft, fire, falling objects.
- Collision- covers damage to your car for other “stuff” that can happen to your car that isn’t covered under comprehensive. Examples include: hitting a tree or another vehicle.
Most important: the premium for the comprehensive and collision coverage is specific to a vehicle (meaning what you buy has a huge impact on your premium). It follows that the more expensive the vehicle, the more it will cost to insure.
If you can’t do a liability only vehicle, here’s the best kind of cars to shop for:
Sometimes liability only is not an option. You get a loan to buy a car, the bank requires comprehensive and collision so they get some of their money back when the car is wiped out in an accident. Once you have to insure the car itself (and not just if you hit and hurt someone else), it’s time to get a lot more specific. So here’s the options we recommend to our customers:
- Small pickup trucks
- 4 door sedans- midsize- think Chevy Malibu, Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, entry level Honda Civic
- Small SUV- Ford Escape, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Jeep Liberty
There are plenty of models to choose from within these 4 categories- I’ve just given you a very small sample. But do note the absence of fast high-powered sports cars. If you buy your 16 year old son a Porsche, do NOT say I didn’t warn you. That premium would be god awful to see. And not only that, your son will probably wrap that vehicle around a tree 🙁 My agency, Alan Galvez Insurance, takes our commitment to teenage drivers seriously. We’re proactive in educating them about driving (you can read more about that here). But we’re also very passionate about helping ease the burden on parents of teenage drivers- both financially and by providing information to help them make good choices. That peace of mind is invaluable when your “babies” start driving.
Any questions or comments about my list? Any additions? Do you find this kind of information helpful? Any questions about your own teenage driver?