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Q

What are the best cars for first time drivers, as related to insurance?


A

Insuring a teenage or first time driver of any age is generally pricey since, statistically, inexperienced drivers are more likely to get into accidents. This is a higher risk for the insurance company so the premium may cost more. One way to keep your auto insurance rates down is to choose a vehicle that costs less to insure.

Insurance companies vary on how they rate different cars. To try and get a lower insurance rate it may be a good idea to purchase a medium sized, 4 door, 4 cylinder sedan with a lot of safety features. While the idea is that the cheaper the car, the cheaper it is to insure also keep in mind that older cars that are cheap but without any safety features may actually cause your rates to be higher.

As a new driver you will want safety features such as air bags in the vehicle so that if you are in an accident you have more protection. Safety features that insurance companies like to see are air bags, side air bags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.

A few years ago leading car retailers did a study and found the following vehicles cost the least to insure in the first 5 years of ownership:

  • Chrysler PT Cruiser 4dr Wagon
  • GMC Safari SLE AWD 3dr Minivan
  • Dodge Caravan SE 4dr Minivan
  • Saturn ION 1 4dr Sedan
  • Pontiac Sunfire 2dr Coupe
  • Jeep Liberty Sport 4WD 4dr SUV
  • Saturn L300 1 4dr Sedan
  • Volvo S40 4dr Sedan
  • Saab 38600 Linear 2.3t 4dr Sport Wagon
  • Buick Century Special Edition 4dr Sedan

While lists like this are nice, if you do not see a car you are interested in, it does not mean that as a first time driver you cannot afford the insurance rates of a car you like. You can easily shop around to see what cars you are interested in owning and driving would be the most affordable with regards to insurance for a first time driver.

You can obtain as many quotes for as many different vehicles as you'd like at our web site. Enter your zip code and then some basic information for a quote. You can select different types of vehicles on the vehicle page to compare the differences in the rate.

Keep in mind that most safety experts caution against SUVs for teens or inexperienced drivers. Young drivers tend to overcorrect when steering out of fear and with the high center of gravity this makes a SUV more prone to roll.

When deciding on a car to drive and insure for the first time you should look for these factors:

  1. reliability
  2. safety
  3. price

Small cars, such as the Honda Civic, the Ford Focus and Saturn models are the most popular choices, but they are not always the best choice for young drivers. Lighter vehicles tend to have higher death rates. Minivans and large four-door cars have the lowest death rates. Insurers use these factors when considering your rate. The bigger and heavier car can be a smarter choice for young drivers, even if it is not seen as the cool vehicle to have.

Here are some great CarInsurance.com resources for teen drivers:

Remember with CarInsurance.com you can obtain an unlimited number of free auto insurance quotes and change factors such as the type of vehicle to see how it affects your rates.


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