Budget now for teen-driver costs

Budgeting for a new teen driverYou might be a teenager who can’t wait to get your driver’s license.
   Or you might be a parent, thrilled to stop playing chauffeur, but dreading the worry that accompanies letting your kid drive solo.
   Either way, there’s lots to consider and plan for. Teen driving brings change, not the least of which impacts your finances.
   Parents and drivers-to-be should get together to discuss, acknowledge, and prepare for the changes that lie ahead.
   Who will pay for car insurance, gas, maintenance, license tabs? Who pays for a ticket, or a fender-bender?
   Which car will you drive? Teens and parents often lean toward older, smaller cars – they’re less costly to buy, and smaller cars often get better mileage, which saves gas money. But older, smaller cars lack safety features that can protect beginning drivers from harm. Don’t sacrifice cost for safety.
   Do you need an umbrella policy? Umbrella policies provide an overarching layer of protection over your existing auto or home policy limits, typically giving you an additional $1 million to $3 million of coverage. You might need that liability protection while teens hone their driving skills. Umbrella policies are fairly affordable … but again, who will pay?
   What’s covered on campus? When a teen leaves for college, you might not realize what their personal belongings are worth. Simple stuff like clothes, furniture, electronics, and sporting goods can total well into the thousands. Check your policy to see what’s covered, and consider renter insurance. It’s downright cheap for the coverage you get.

Learn more about best used cars for teens.

by  Jon Osterberg

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