BY ALEXANDRA PASSAUR
For many of us, the day we got our driver's permit seemed like the day our lives would turn down Easy Street.
As the time got closer and you took driver's ed, though, we realized being a licensed driver is not as simple as taking a little test. There's insurance to worry about. High insurance rates for teen drivers have many resigned to thinking they'll never drive.
Don't despair, here's some good news: There are ways to save on car insurance, and not just by taking driver's education. Getting insurance shouldn't break the bank, or scare parents into hiding the keys. Here are some tips:
Shopping around is good advice before you make any major purchase. Every insurance agency has different rates, different discounts and different coverages.
Did you know if you have a 3.0 unweighted GPA your car insurance can be cheaper? You can save up to 20 percent on car insurance by having good grades. So hit the books before you hit the road, it'll help you.
Were your parents nerdy?
If your parents have college degrees, that's another discount. The cheaper the insurance is for themselves, the more money they'll have to spend on you!
Increasing the deductible you are willing to pay out of your pocket if there is an accident is risky, but it will save you a lot in premiums. Of course, if you get an in accident, you'll indeed be spending more. But if you're ready to be a licensed driver, you shouldn't be getting into accidents, right? This is one more incentive to be extra careful behind the wheel.
Own a house?
Okay, not many high school students own their own houses, but in many cases companies offer discounts if your parents own the house. Remember that later when you're out on your own.
The trick with driver's ed
Your parents and others encourage taking driver's ed to get you 10 percent off insurance, but fun fact: Not all companies provide that discount. GEICO, for instance, known for everyone's favorite commercial ("HUMP DAAYYYY"), doesn't give you a discount for taking the course, but may offer different discounts other companies don't. Educate yourself about different insurance companies' offerings.
Don't drive everywhere
As tempting as it seems, driving to school every day increases your rates. If you are a low-mileage driver you are less likely to get in an accident. So carpool with four friends, each driving one day a week. It'll also save you money on gas.
Wait to buy a car
If there are three people on your car insurance plan including you, and three cars, you are labeled a primary driver of the car, same as if you owned it. This can almost double your rates. As hard as waiting to get a car seems, sharing your mom's car is better than having to work three jobs to keep up with payments for the car and insurance.