Your first car is your first taste of freedom. With keys in hand, the world is your oyster. No longer are you tied by your parents' schedule and whims. Instead, you can go where you need -- with your parents' permission of course. But car ownership come with responsibilities including buying your own gas and car insurance. Buying your own car insurance largely depends on your age but involves other considerations as well.
Car insurance policies are legal contracts. You must be at least age 18 to enter into a legal contract. As a teenager under 18, you are stuck on your parents’ auto insurance policy until you reach the age of majority. Once you reach 18, you may purchase your own policy in your name if you desire. Don’t rush into it, though. There are many pros and cons of buying your own insurance.
Buy Your Own
Buying your own auto insurance puts you in charge of it all. You get to choose your insurance provider, coverage limits and make the payments. You don’t get stuck with coverage you don’t need just because your parents choose it. You also may lower the amount you pay if your parents drive an expensive vehicle which ups the annual premium.
But unless your parents are insisting on getting your own coverage, you may want to remain on their policy. Going solo often comes with a higher bill. Insurance providers offer multi-car discounts to policyholders. Without your parents' car on the policy, you pay more. Auto insurance costs are also credit based. As you are just starting out in life, you probably have a lower credit score due to limited credit history; this will increase your premium.
Lower Your Bill
If you were quoted a high premium, look into ways to lower your bill. Auto insurance providers offer discounts based on several factors. Students maintaining a high GPA may be eligible for a good driver discount. You are also eligible for a discount if you complete a defensive driver course. Keep in mind the type of car you insure affects costs also. Sports cars cost more to insure than older sedans, for example.
Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.