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When your teen turns 16 or 17, the topic of driving often comes up in conversation. It won’t be long before they’re taking driver’s education courses in high school to earn their learner’s permit. While teen drivers’ safety and ability to be responsible drivers is likely your main focus right now, that’s not all you need to consider. There’s also the fact that once they get the permit, your budget will take a hit.
Not to discourage you from allowing your teen to take the written test, but the associated costs of having a teen driver aren’t something you want to overlook. If you’re going to be prepared to allow your child to enjoy this newfound privilege, you need to be prepared. That starts with understanding what those costs are.
Reading to Learn More About Costs Of A Teen Driver
Although you’re an experienced driver, teaching your teen how to operate a vehicle may not be ideal. For starters, you’ve developed driving habits that may not comply with updated laws. For example, you might place your hands on 10 and 2, but these days 9 and 3 are considered the proper hand positions on the steering wheel. Another reason you may not be able to teach your teen driver how to drive is your busy schedule, as it takes a lot to prepare for the road test. Depending on where you live, sending your teen driver to driving school could cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per lesson.
Whether you plan to purchase a vehicle for your teen or allow them to use your car, you’ll have to add them to your insurance. While there are great deals like bundling, safe driver incentives, and name your own price insurance, teens are considered high risk. As they’re more likely to be involved in an accident, chances are you’re going to have to pay more for coverage than adding another adult driver. Adding a male teen driver could cost upwards of $4,000 a year, while a female driver is more than $3,500.
New Or Used Car
If you plan on surprising your teen driver with a car, you’re going to have to pay quite a bit. Currently, the average cost of a used car is $23,000, while a new car can set you back $40,000. You can consider options like passing down a vehicle, looking for a car sold by the owner, or taking advantage of dealership offers and promotions to keep the costs down. Another way to save money is by working with tax preparation companies. You can see the money you can get back on taxes by donating your old vehicles which can then be put towards another purchase.
Gas, Maintenance, And Repairs
No matter what car your teen drives, the cost of gas, maintenance, and repairs will increase. Depending on where you live, a gallon of gas costs an average of $3 to $5. Maintenance can cost approximately $1,000 a year. The amount you pay for repairs will ultimately depend on the type, age, and condition of the vehicle.
Everyone makes mistakes behind the wheel that can result in a traffic ticket. As your teen driver is new to the road, the chances of them getting a ticket are high. Whether they park in the wrong spot, forget to put their seatbelt on, speed, or get caught using their cell phone while driving, it’s money you’ll have to pay. Depending on where you live and the severity of the ticket, it could be as little as $20 and as much as $1,000 or more.
Though you hope your teen driver never gets in an accident, you need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Whether they’re at fault or not, an accident can cost several hundred or even thousand dollars. Not to mention your insurance rates will increase.
When your teen nears driving age, you begin to get concerned about their safety. Although this should be a priority, it’s not the only thing parents need to evaluate. You also need to identify and save for the associated costs like those listed above. Develop a plan now to ensure that you have the cash to resolve the issue right away if anything goes wrong. If you don’t have money saved, in the event of an emergency, a loan may be the answer for you.