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Making It in San Diego: Financial preparations for your teen driver

teen driver making it in san diego
Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 21:57:38-04

(KGTV) - Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage when a teen turns 16 years old. Parents need to be financially prepared for everything that comes with the new driver.

We know raising kids is expensive and as part of our coverage of making it in San Diego, we’re committed to finding solutions.

“I got my permit in July so a little under a year I’ve been driving and practicing,” said Isabel Breton, one of the newest drivers in San Diego.

Breton will be sharing a vehicle with family members while she saves up for a car of her own.

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“So every time I work, get my paycheck, put about 50 to 75 percent of my paycheck toward my savings for the car.”

Breton keeps her grades high so her insurance stays lower, a strategy Auto Club of Southern California spokesperson Doug Shupe recommends.

“Really encourage your teens, not just on being a good driver behind the wheel but being a good student in the classroom; it can save you some money,” said Shupe.

Shupe said you should add your teen to your policy when he or she gets a provisional license.

“Ask about any discounts that are available, whether it be a defensive driving course or driver education courses,” said Shupe.

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A higher deductible insurance plan means you’ll pay more if there’s a crash, but if the teen avoids any accidents it can save on the premium costs.

Parents can also save money by having the teen share a family vehicle instead of getting their own car. If the teen needs his or her own vehicle, Shupe has advice.

“The Auto Club recommends a sedan that would be large enough to provide protection in the event of a crash. A four cylinder vehicle will limit how much get up and go that car has when the teen starts driving,” Shupe said.

Should you want to buy a car for your teen, it's important to know your rights. If a car deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. Also check for counterfeit DMV documents, odometer fraud, and identity theft.

The DMV has information for teen drivers including FAQ about insurance and car buying.