What’s the first thing you want to do when you turn 16?
Of course, there’s the party. You’re now an adult and, theoretically speaking, above adult or parental supervision. Most essentially, you can qualify for a driver’s license and own a car.
As a teen driver, though, the roads can be brutal. Every day in the United States, about 9 teens (ages 13 to 19) are killed in road crashes. Let’s call a spade a spade: teens and cars are a dangerous mix.
This, though, shouldn’t discourage you from getting licensed and owning a car. Millions of adults have had accident-free lives as teen drivers, and so can you. To help you have an easy time owning and driving a car, we’re sharing veteran car ownership tips and insights.
Buckle up and read on!
1. Don’t Get Behind the Wheel Before Getting Professional Training
It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle on public roads with a driver’s license, but this hasn’t stopped thousands of teens from driving even when they haven’t reached the legal age.
It’s understandable that your parents or elder siblings can teach you to drive a car at home. However, this kind of training isn’t a substitute for professional training. Until you have received training in a certified driving school, you can’t say you’re a competent driver.
There’s a lot that goes into being a competent driver than just knowing how to push the pedals or steer a car. You need a fine grasp of traffic rules as well. Without professional training, you’ll be lacking in some areas.
This is why any experienced driver will tell you not to get behind the wheel if you haven’t had professional training. If you violate this, you’ll not only be committing a crime but also endangering your life and the lives of other road users.
2. Choose Your First Car Wisely
Whether you’re saving for your first car or your parents will buy it for you as a gift, that vehicle will have a special place in your life. It can build or ruin your character as a car owner and driver.
This is why it’s super important to choose your first car wisely. Even if you’ll wake up one morning and find a new car wrapped in balloons, you have the power to have it exchanged if it isn’t what you’d like to have as a first car.
So, then, what makes an ideal first car for a teen like you?
To be honest, assessing tens of cars and zeroing in one is a difficult task. They don’t lie when they say there’s a model at every need and price range.
Generally, though, you need a car that has a good safety and reliability rating. As a new teen driver, you’re more likely to get into accidents. You don’t want a luxury or sports car that’s going to cost a lot of money to repair.
Also, while the temptation to buy a speedy car (cars with high horsepower) will always be strong, strive to beat it. As a teen, there’s no doubt you’ll slam on the gas pedal. A car that’s built for road performance will respond in earnest and go hard on the road.
Speeding tickets. Road crashes. License suspension.
You’ll be a driver for most of your adult life, so you don’t want to start out this journey with a bad record.
3. Know What Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates
Your car must be insured at all times.
If you’re anything like most teens in America, you’re on a tight budget. If you’re responsible for insuring your ride, you’ll quickly learn that the cost can get out of hand.
First, your age alone works against you. Most insurance companies will increase the auto insurance premiums for teen drivers because they’re more prone to road accidents.
You’ve little control over this factor, but there are many other factors within your control. For instance, the make and model of your car has a direct impact on your insurance rates. If you’re driving a fuel-guzzling sports car that costs top dollar, expect higher than average premiums.
Your driving record counts. The more points you accumulate on your driver’s license, the higher your premiums will rise.
When finding an auto insurance company, don’t go with the first one you find. It might not be offering the best deal.
Do extensive research and try to use an independent insurance agency.
Check here for more info: https://www.lopriore.com/car-insurance-massachusetts/
4. Stay on Top of Maintenance
It’s not uncommon for first-time car owners to forget about their car’s maintenance until something breaks down. Don’t be like these people.
If you want to get the most out of your car, avoid the embarrassment of having a faulty car stall in the middle of a busy highway, and stay away from hefty repair bills, stay on top of your car’s maintenance. Don’t wait until something breaks down to fix or replace it.
5. Avoid Distracted Driving at All Costs
Distracted driving kills. Drivers know this, but some still get behind the wheel and then start fiddling with their phones.
If you want to arrive alive, don’t drive while distracted. That phone call can wait. So can that text message.
It only takes a blink of an eye for an accident to occur. Take your eyes off the road for a second and you could be dead the next second.
Be an Excellent Teen Driver
Owning a car is one of the first things you’ll do as soon as you become an adult. Unfortunately, teen drivers aren’t known to be the best drivers. You don’t have to be among such drivers. You’re starting out on a clean slate, and with these tips, you’re in a good position to become an excellent driver and car owner.
All the best and keep tabs on our blog for more driving and car ownership tips.