If you are a teenager preparing to drive, you might have your eyes on a shiny new or used vehicle. You and your parents might be able to strike a good deal on the lot, but the cost of driving goes far beyond the sticker price on the vehicle. Today, we here at Tagge Insurance would like to welcome the youngest – and newest – drivers in our community and offer a guide to the actual cost of getting a car and driver’s license.
Getting your License
Getting your driver’s license is an exciting and rewarding experience – especially with all of the studying and hands-on instruction required before you get the green light to drive alone. However, this process is not without its costs. While not a lot of money, the instructional permit and intermediate driver’s license cost $7.50, and the standard class F license costs $10 to renew every 3 years. This is in addition to the expense of any driver’s education course you may need to prepare for your driver’s test. These classes vary in price, but classroom and on-the-road training courses can easily cost several hundred dollars.
Gas is probably the most frequent expense a driver faces. Many factors go into how much it will cost you to keep your gas tank topped off including:
- Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency
- How much you drive
- The cost of fuel at any given time
Bear in mind that fuel prices can fluctuate tremendously from year to year and even month to month. In June of 2008, the average price of gas was $4.10 per gallon. By January 2009 – just 7 months later – the cost was just $1.84. Those types of fluctuations can mean the difference in paying $33 or $73 to fill up an 18-gallon gas tank.
Car Insurance for Teens
Car insurance can be one of the biggest expenses for new teen drivers due to the higher risk of being in an accident. Mile for mile, teenagers are much more likely to be involved in an accident than older, more experienced drivers. Car insurance rates reflect that risk, increasing the average cost of your parents’ policy premiums by an average of 79 percent.
The biggest risk to new drivers is during the first two years of driving. However, you may be able to offset some of the costs by keeping a B average or above in school. Good student discounts from some insurers can reduce a teen’s premiums by 15 percent or more. It also pays to start getting to know your independent agent. As you get older and become more independent, Tagge Insurance will assist you with finding a policy that best fits your needs.
Maintenance is a necessary part of car ownership. From oil changes and tire rotations to major repairs and parts replacement, the costs can add up quickly. According to Bankrate, the average driver in Missouri should plan to spend $353 for vehicle repairs every year. Add in $200 for annual oil changes, and it is reasonable to suggest setting aside at least $50 per month for car maintenance expenses.
In addition to your personal vehicle costs, there are also state taxes levied on your vehicle use, as well as other financial requirements. You may be surprised to find that the State of Missouri will require you to register your vehicle every year by paying a tax on your vehicle’s horsepower. In addition, you will need to submit to a safety inspection to ensure your vehicle meets the standards for safe driving. These two costs alone including processing fees can easily exceed $50 per year.