While you can buy a car with a learner’s permit, you can’t register it. Your teen can buy a vehicle with their own money, but until they get their driver’s license, they can’t register it in their name and legally drive it. When it comes to making sure your teen is insured on the road, you don’t need to worry about it until they’ve received their license.
Teen Drivers and Car Insurance
Getting your license is exciting as a teenager – you finally get the freedom you want, plus the responsibility of taking care of a large purchase if you’re buying your first car. In order to get your driver’s license, you need to go through three permit holder phases:
- Learner’s permit (strict driving restrictions)
- Intermediate license (often comes with limited driving restrictions, such as a curfew, depending on the state you live in)
- Driver’s license (no restrictions)
How young you can be to apply for a learner’s permit depends on the state you live in. In states such as Alaska and Kansas, you can get your learner’s permit starting at 14 years old, while in states such as Pennsylvania and Kentucky, you can get your learner’s permit at 16.
When it comes to the needed hours behind the wheel with your learner's permit, this also varies by state. Check with your local DMV or Secretary of State to see what your teen can and can’t do with a learner’s permit, as well as how many driving hours they need to log.
Auto Insurance for Your Teen
If your teen is learning to drive, they don’t need to be listed on your auto insurance policy until they’re officially a licensed driver. Car insurance companies generally offer to include permitted drivers in the parent's or guardian's policy after this.
Teens need to be added onto the insurance policy if they get their license and their own vehicle. If they’re over 18, you can either add them to your policy or they can apply for insurance on their own.
When you add your teen to your insurance policy, you’re going to notice that it increases. Teens are seen as being riskier drivers, and insurance companies offset the potential risk by raising your insurance premium.
Luckily, there are many ways you can save money on auto insurance, which can include:
- Discounts for insuring multiple cars
- Discounts for bundled different types of insurance
- Increase your deductible
- Student discounts
- Joining a driver's education course, if one isn't already required by your state
The Bottom Line
Your teen driver needs auto insurance if they want to legally drive on the road once they get their driver’s license. Car insurance isn’t cheap for new drivers, but you can save money by checking ahead of time into potential discounts that can lower the overall cost of insurance.
If your new driver has bad credit or no credit, and you want to help them get their first vehicle, we can help. At The Car Connection, we connect consumers to local dealerships that know how to help people in unique credit situations. Complete our auto loan request form to get the process started today.