If your teen is ready to get behind the wheel, it's time to start shopping for cars and selecting auto insurance. New drivers can often face higher insurance rates and may not know what to look for in their first car. Here's a guide to help you and your teen find the perfect vehicle and coverage when you head to the car dealer.

What Factors Should You Consider When Car Shopping?

Car shopping can be stressful, so knowing what to look for can help ease the process. Keep these points in mind:

  • Reliability: Invest in a car that’s dependable. Car maintenance is inevitable, but some types require more repairs than others. Check that the car is in good condition, especially if it’s older or used, by having the car dealer look up its history report. 
  • Safety Features: Make sure the car has an anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control. These help the driver maintain control under challenging driving conditions, like bad weather. Besides driver and passenger seat airbags, consider a car that also includes side-curtain airbags for added protection.    
  • New or Used: New vehicles are more expensive but come with the latest safety features, fewer maintenance issues, and a warranty. A used car, on the other hand, can be more affordable and, depending on the make and model, may still come equipped with the essential functions you need. You might make a list of your top priority features to help you narrow down potential options.

Should You Add Them to Your Insurance?

Once your teen starts driving, they'll need coverage to keep them protected on the road. You can either add them to an existing policy or purchase a separate one for them. Accident rates are higher among young drivers, which raises the risk for insurers, so you can expect to pay more when adding your teen to your insurance. However, it's still typically less expensive to add them than to buy a separate policy. You can talk to an insurance agent and request quotes to find the best policy for your family.    

How Can You Save on Insurance?

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Your teenager may increase the family's insurance costs, but they're also eligible for a variety of discounts:

Good Student Discount: Some insurance companies offer a lower rate if your teen earns good grades in school and maintains a certain GPA.  

Driving Courses: Get a lower rate when your child takes a driver’s education course. Even if your state doesn’t require this, when they complete classes, some auto insurers will reduce your insurance premium. 

Coverage Suspension: If your child is away and not driving the car, you don't have to pay the extra costs of them being on the policy until they return.


If you're looking for a dependable car for your teen, contact Pat Kaiser’s Christiansen Motors Inc. in Audubon, IA. This car dealer can help you find a reliable vehicle for your young driver and will follow up to make sure you're satisfied with your purchase. In addition to new vehicles, they also offer a selection of certified pre-owned cars that have been tested for safety and performance. Call (712) 563-4241 or visit their website to learn more about their inventory.