The addition of a new driver to your household can be accompanied by a roller coaster of emotions. A proud sense of accomplishment and excitement for freedom and independence are warranted for the young driver. So are concerns for safety, responsibility, and increased costs for parents.
It’s important for parents and the new driver to understand the law and responsibilities that come with this milestone.
Make sure you are familiar with the Massachusetts’ Teen Driver Laws, for example:
- A teen driver must be at least sixteen years of age to obtain a learner’s permit.
- New drivers under the age of 18 must take a driver’s training course
- Restricted licenses require that the teen driver operate the vehicle with no passengers under the age of 18 unless immediate family, and may not drive between 12:30am and 5:00am unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- If this is new information to you—read up on your state teen driver laws before your young driver ventures onto the road!
Insurance coverage is another big consideration for families with new drivers. Having auto insurance is required by law in Massachusetts and is very important in protecting yourself and your child financially if there is an accident. You’ll quickly find that adding a teen driver to your policy may significantly increase the cost of auto insurance premiums, so it’s smart to check with your insurance agent to ensure you have the best coverage at the right price for you.
Learner’s Permit: Teens with permits may be covered under their parent or guardian’s policy. Double check that your policy is covering your teen before they hit the road with their permit!
JOL: As an effort to help minimize the risks associated with new teen drivers, Massachusetts has implimented a graduated driver licensing program called the Junior Operator’s License (JOL) program.
How to save on insurance for young drivers:
- Good grades– many auto insurance providers offer good student discounts, typically for teen drivers with a certain grade point average
- Take additional driver training course– depending on your provider, an additional training course could help keep your young driver safe and push your premium even lower.
- Do they need a fancy first car? – Newer models and flashy cars are more expensive to insure, no matter what your age. Whether you or your teen is purchasing a vehicle, it saves money in addition to upfront costs to buy a sensible model in good condition.
- Are multiple-vehicle discounts available? – If you are also adding a car to coverage, many insurance companies offer discounts for having more than one car on the same policy.