Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

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siamond
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Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by siamond » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:15 am

I am pondering to get a permit for my younger kid to start driving with me before he's 18.

I'll be clear, I have some qualms about putting a minor on the road, I am not fully convinced this is wise. When I was young (been a while! in another country!), nobody would put a kid on the road before they turned 18, and many parents would wait until the youngsters turn 21. But then public transportation infrastructure was much more developed than in the US, so I can accept the fact that things are different here. Plus my son is quite responsible and mature at the young age of 17.

Irrespective of such aptitude (or lack thereof) views, is there a financial incentive of doing so? Do car insurances provide some kind of discount if a teenager starts to drive before 18, and goes through the whole process (drivers ed course, 50 hours of driving with a parent, etc)?

Let me qualify the context:
1. this is for Massachusetts. In an area where not driving for another year is not particularly limitative for a teenager.
2. if posters could please focus on the financial aspects of my question (as opposed to the broader topic), this would be appreciated.
Last edited by siamond on Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:24 am

Exactly the opposite.

My first son could not wait to get his permit and get his license. He got his permit the first day allowed by law, and went to driving training school, then got his license at an RMV that's an hour away because that was the soonest driving test appointment available.

Once he was licensed (16 1/2 age), my Wrangler insurance went from $700 a year to $2700 a year. It made sense, however because he ended up totaling that thing when it was 9 months old. $32k loss.

In our state, someone can only get a license before 18 if they take driver training (cost around $1k). Otherwise, they can wait till they're 18. If they do that, insurance skyrockets (instead of $2700 for that Wrangler, it would be $4000 a year).

Every state is different. In New Hampshire, any 15 year old can drive with no training, no license, no permit by driving with their parent.

So no....there is NO incentive to start them early.

I would recommend looking into one of the driver courses for permitted teen drivers. Road and Track teamed with BMW CCA at one point to hold these courses on weekends. Some insurance companies will offer a discount and they teach actual skills, which is much more than traditional courses teach.
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mak1277
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by mak1277 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am

I got my license at 16 and got my first job almost immediately thereafter so that I could pay for gas money. My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school. I was happy to have limited freedom and the job was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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munemaker
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:29 am

siamond wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:15 am
I am pondering to get a permit for my younger kid to start driving with me before he's 18.

I'll be honest, I have some qualms about putting a minor on the road, I am not fully convinced this is wise. When I was young (been a while! in another country!), nobody would put a kid on the road before they turned 18, and many parents would wait until the youngsters turn 21. But then public transportation infrastructure was much more developed than in the US, so I can accept the fact that things are different here. Plus my son is quite responsible and mature at the young age of 17.

Irrespective of such aptitude (or lack thereof) views, is there a financial incentive of doing so? Do car insurances provide some kind of discount if a teenager starts to drive before 18, and goes through the whole process (drivers ed course, 50 hours of driving with a parent, etc)?
There is a financial penalty for insuring younger drivers, not a discount. That's because they have more accidents. There may be a small discount for drivers' training. Some people buy an older car for the kid to drive, keeping rates lower. Posters on this forum are very safety conscious and will be quick to say older cars do not have all the safety features as newer cars, so you should buy the kid a new car.

Around these parts (rural PA), it is the norm for kids to become licensed drivers at age 16.

quantAndHold
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:29 am

The main incentive is if you’re currently driving them everywhere, once they have their license, you won’t have to do that.

Also, if your kid is the responsible one, it’s probably better to have him doing the driving rather than him getting rides from his friends all the time.

Other than that, no. Expect the kid to completely destroy at least one car. Either in bits as they bang into things at low speed, or all at once. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning a new skill.

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munemaker
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 am

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school.
Around here, they have these yellow vehicles called "school buses" that transport kids to and from school. They look like this:

Image

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TinyElvis
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by TinyElvis » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:35 am

Permit at 15, driving at 16.

Driving = freedom and freedom = learning responsibility. There's a good incentive right there.

Let your son become a man.

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dm200
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:36 am

When I was young (man decades ago), I got a learners permit at 16 and a drivers licemse soon after. Could not drive at night until 19 (or at 17 with drivers education in High school). I was the youngest in my high school class - so classmates were driving and at night much before me.

Driving was a big deal back then for teens.

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siamond
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by siamond » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:36 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:24 am
Every state is different. In New Hampshire, any 15 year old can drive with no training, no license, no permit by driving with their parent.
I didn't realize this was dependent on the state. Yeah, makes sense now that you mention it.

So let me qualify, this is for Massachusetts. In an area where not driving for another year is not particularly limitative for a teenager.

If posters could please focus on the financial aspects of my question (as opposed to the broader topic), this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Will edit the 1st post to clarify...

rooms222
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by rooms222 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:41 am

Mass. is fortunate to have this driver's training program for new drivers by a non-profit that I have thought of attending with my daughter, even though I am far from your area. Most insurers give a discount if your child takes this class which uses cars on a test track to show how to handle skids, loss of control, etc. I particularly would like to take the winter driving class with my child.

http://www.driveincontrol.org/testimonials/

Spirit Rider
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:41 am

Yes, there is typically a discount for driver's education and with some companies, a discount for acedemic achievement.

When you are a new driver, your rates are partially based on the length of time you have had your license. So by making your child wait, they are likely to have higher rates as a young adult.

A driver's license is a right of passage in the US. However, there is no reason that once they get their license, you have to give them unrestricted use of your vehicle.

I did not have independent use of a family car. I could drive my mother (didn't drive) and/or younger sister around, but that was it.

My father's belief was that if you wanted to drive. You could earn the money to buy one and pay all expenses when you turned 18 and where an adult. I didn't have a car to drive until I graduated from high school.

Some Bogleheads think you should buy your children a new expensive car on there 16th birthday. I am not in that camp, but I did buy my girls a modestly priced 6-8 year old car when they received their driver's license.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by OnTrack2020 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:50 am

There are two sides to this.

If they are driving before age 18, they will be able to then drive to a part-time job. That is a financial benefit to you. They will have their own spending money, gas money, etc. If your child is a good student, the insurance company will want a record of their grades so you can get a discount on the premium. Also, if they take a driver's ed course, the insurance company will want a copy that the child went through driver's education. Around here it is not uncommon to see kids with their school permits at age 14.

On the flip side, yes your rates are going to go up dramatically with a teen driver. We have heard stories where it is cheaper to have the child use UBER or some other form of transportation as it is cheaper than getting them insurance. Also, people, more likely in the center of the country, NEED transportation that is simply not in place. Our school system does not provide bussing. The infrastructure is lacking, so mom or dad or an older sibling will have to drive the child around a few extra years if the child does not obtain their license. I find it somewhat preposterous that I have to pay close to $400 for my kid to take a driver's ed course. For our youngest driver, I sat down with her, spent 24 hours that a certified driver's ed instructor would spend with her going through the driving rules and regulations, etc., spent 50 driving hours with her that is required by our state, to teach her to drive. Oh, and somewhere along the line you will need to get a car.

quantAndHold
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:54 am

Financially it’s a huge loss. There’s not really any way around that.

For other than financial reasons, though, we taught ours to drive as teenagers. It’s much easier for them to learn and practice when they’re living in a home that has people available to be teachers and a car to practice with. It’s a skill that adults generally need, that gets difficult and expensive to learn as an adult living away from home.

We never bought cars for our kids. They had use of the family car in controlled conditions that became less restrictive as they became better drivers.

health teacher
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by health teacher » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:56 am

Back in 2001, I got my permit at 15 and license at 16. I also got my first job at McDonald's at 16 and paid for everything, literally. Taxes, gas, insurance, little stupid neon lights I put under the seat that I thought was cool. I worked hard for $5.15 an hour through high school while balancing everything that comes with adolescence.

Do I regret it? No, it's a big reason why I ended up on this site to make this post. Priceless financial incentive.

P.S. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. Emphatically encourage safe driving practices, especially refraining from electronic device usage. Six times more likely to be involved in an accident due to distracted driving than drunk driving. Also, something that surprised me when I heard it from my students, a huge distraction in the car comes from teenage bickering amongst each other. Don't forget to talk to your teens about respecting the driver and the driver asking for respect when in conversation/arguments.
Last edited by health teacher on Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

objectivefunction
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by objectivefunction » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:56 am

I think (as mentioned already) you'll find there is a financial disincentive for getting a license earlier (because younger drivers are riskier).

I got my license at 16 as that was the limit at the time, but I also had a job and paid for my own gas and insurance. I'm not sure if my parents charged me exactly for what cost I added to their insurance, or if they just had me chip in.

N10sive
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by N10sive » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:57 am

I received my license at 15.5 yrs old I believe in which I could only drive my sister/family until I was 16 or something like that. I got my first job at 16. Although it cost more to have me on my parents insurance, I drove my sister to school and back, had a job, learned valuable life skills from that job, learned how to manage money(not all that well) from that job, learned my taxes, etc. By my senior year in high school I was going to school at 7am and leaving at 11am so I had the luxury to go to work or get in a bunch of ski days on the mountain.

There is no financial incentive however there is life experience, a bit of freedom that is allowed with a drivers license along with responsibility.

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dm200
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:57 am

I didn't realize this was dependent on the state. Yeah, makes sense now that you mention it.
Yes - lots of variations by state.

I grew up in NY State - (long way from NY City) and I recall that (at that time) I believe you had to be 18 to drive in NY City. Different rules for different parts of the same state.

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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:01 am

Waiting until 18 does not sound like a good plan. Experience (at any age) is the key to becoming a good driver. Starting out at 18 or 15, they will still be a new driver with no experience of all the situations/scenarios that can happen out there.

In our state (ND) kids can get their permit at 14 and restricted license at 15. Full license at 16. Our middle kid will get her restricted license this summer.

We limit her driving and who can ride with the kids for the first year or so. But, driving themselves to school and the myriad of school activities and sports practices is a great benefit of them getting their license. In town, low speed driving. Get used to driving in weather, traffic, distractions. Experience. Priceless.

You can control how much they drive, if they get the use of a car or their own car. Help them become experienced, defensive drivers. Waiting until 18 would not accomplish that.

Financially, you should never let your kids drive, get them a car or insurance. It costs real money to add another car, insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc. Can you do things like get them a lower value "liability only" car? Yes. Driving is expensive.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:23 am

The sooner the better. Especially with supervision. As in many other areas of life, the more you do something (and the earlier in life), the better you become at it.

Practice, practice, practice.

Disclaimer: I got my license on my 15th birthday. No permit ever. Most of my friends got their licenses very soon after they turned 15; few ever had permits. And many of us had been driving motorcycles on city streets long before we got a DL. And many had experience driving cars with parental supervision on rural roads before they got their license. (I fell into both of those groups.) Not that I would even think of recommending either today!

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Watty
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Watty » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:25 am

One advantage is that the kid may be able to be insured under their parents car insurance and umbrella policy while they are learning to drive while they are driving your car. That can still be expensive but it is likely a lot lower than having an older kid that is closer to 20 with their own car try to buy their own million dollar+ insurance policy.

Many state minimum insurance requirements are laughly low when you consider the lawsuit situation in the US. It likely a very bad idea to let your kid drive with the minimum insurance.

There is also the question of if they do not learn to drive when they are in high school, then when will they learn to drive?

Many high school kids will leave home for college so that is not a good time to be learning to drive. In addition to the various jobs that people mentioned in some college study programs having good internships is often a very important career step and those would be hard to do without being able to drive and having a car.

Learning to drive in high school also has the advantage that at first you can not allow them to drive at night or when the weather is bad while they get more experience.

My son was in no hurry to get his driver's license, which is not uncommon with millennials, and I had to pretty much insist that he get it when he was 17.

One thing that has not been mentioned is that where you live can also make a difference. Learning to drive in a rural or suburban area is a lot different than if you are living in a very urban area. A woman I worked with was raised in the China Town section of San Francisco and she had learned to drive in downtown San Francisco. When a group of us went out to lunch and she drove that was a white knuckle experience!

It would also be good to plan on them learning how to drive both a clutch and an automatic. I know of a situation where someone was in a bind and had to drive someone's car that had a clutch. She had never driven a clutch before and was in a bad accident.

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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:34 am

No financial incentive other than reducing the amount of time you'll have to spend driving your high school graduate son around to his buddy's houses. Your car insurance premiums will increase until he leaves your household or is on his own auto insurance plan.

I learned to drive when I was 15, like most American kids, with a full driver's license as soon as I turned 16. Many of my classmates had driver's permits at age 14, allowed by the state because they were farm kids helping out on the farm. In 2001, I got my own used vehicle for $3,000, a 1989 Pontiac 6000, and paid my own gas, learned to change the oil on it, maintain it, and chipped in on insurance cost.

Please give your kid this opportunity to learn to be responsible and gain life experience to be independent. You want to do it before he leaves the household and goes off to college. The more driving experience gained while they're still in your household, the better.

mak1277
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by mak1277 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:22 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 am
mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school.
Around here, they have these yellow vehicles called "school buses" that transport kids to and from school. They look like this:

Image
Well where I went to school we didn't bus. You either walked or got a ride.

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celia
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by celia » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:56 pm

I acknowledge I'm in the minority here, but FINANCIALLY we couldn't afford to add any cars or insurance for teenagers while they attended church-sponsored high schools (paying tuition). These schools are not within walking distance here, but they were on the path that DH and I used to drive to work so we would drop them off and pick them up except for days they took the bus home. We also car-pooled, which is great since you hear about what they and their friends are doing and what is happening at school.

By sending our kids to quality high schools, they all were able to get college scholarships for the university of their choice. None of their colleges allowed students to have cars on campus since there wasn't room for them, but public transportation was often part of the student body fees.

It never made financial sense to me to have a teenager have a part-time job to pay for his gas/insurance just so he could commute to the job. This income and the expenses can basically cancel each other out. I told our kids that their "job" was to be the best student possible. It makes more sense to spend those working hours studying for AP classes, even their self-taught AP subjects (and extra-curricular activities) so they can cut a semester or two off of college and save money that way. In practice, many AP courses are prerequisites to getting into the best colleges where they then learn more advanced topics than in their AP classes.

At least, that's how I look at it financially.

rooms222
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by rooms222 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:06 pm

In my state, the parents have control about when the child can take the test for a full license until they turn 18. In my state, there is no insurance cost for those on learner's permits. If desired, one can make the child keep the permit all the way until just before they turn 18 with no insurance cost.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:14 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 am
mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school.
Around here, they have these yellow vehicles called "school buses" that transport kids to and from school. They look like this:

Image
When I was a kid, high school students drove these things. How times change.

Re: insurance. When DS got his permit, our insurance rates were unaffected. When he got his DL, there was a slight bump in our rates. When we added a third car and had to designate him as the primary driver on one of them, the rate for that vehicle jumped like mad. But for us, the expense was just part of the cost of raising a child here. A bit of a sting, but very tolerable and nothing we would change. YMMV.

dcabler
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by dcabler » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:16 pm

Hi Siamond - The main financial issue I see is the cost of insurance, but that inflection point is usually at age 25. For myself, that was a pretty big drop in my expenses starting on my 25th birthday.

Beyond that, I hear ya. My 16 year old daughter is currently taking the classroom portion of drivers ed online, but she's moving so slowly, I wonder how bad she really wants this.

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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:18 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:56 pm
I acknowledge I'm in the minority here, but FINANCIALLY we couldn't afford to add any cars or insurance for teenagers while they attended church-sponsored high schools (paying tuition). These schools are not within walking distance here, but they were on the path that DH and I used to drive to work so we would drop them off and pick them up except for days they took the bus home. We also car-pooled, which is great since you hear about what they and their friends are doing and what is happening at school.

By sending our kids to quality high schools, they all were able to get college scholarships for the university of their choice. None of their colleges allowed students to have cars on campus since there wasn't room for them, but public transportation was often part of the student body fees.

It never made financial sense to me to have a teenager have a part-time job to pay for his gas/insurance just so he could commute to the job. This income and the expenses can basically cancel each other out. I told our kids that their "job" was to be the best student possible. It makes more sense to spend those working hours studying for AP classes, even their self-taught AP subjects (and extra-curricular activities) so they can cut a semester or two off of college and save money that way. In practice, many AP courses are prerequisites to getting into the best colleges where they then learn more advanced topics than in their AP classes.

At least, that's how I look at it financially.
Did your kids get their licenses? What ages? Did they pop out of college with virtually no driving experience? Or did they just use the family car?

Can't tell if you are saying "Don't bother with driving until out of college.." or just they didn't get their own cars.

Depending where you are at, you might come out financially just saying "take a Uber/Lyft" for all distances you cannot walk or bike.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

dcabler
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by dcabler » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:29 pm

siamond wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:36 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:24 am
Every state is different. In New Hampshire, any 15 year old can drive with no training, no license, no permit by driving with their parent.
I didn't realize this was dependent on the state. Yeah, makes sense now that you mention it.

So let me qualify, this is for Massachusetts. In an area where not driving for another year is not particularly limitative for a teenager.

If posters could please focus on the financial aspects of my question (as opposed to the broader topic), this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Will edit the 1st post to clarify...
Yep, the rules are state by state here in the US. I also hold a German driver's license. There, as in other parts of Europe, it's done at the country level. It was quite expensive for me to get the German license and I'm very glad my company paid for it. But I'm a better driver for it - after all, if you're going to be allowed to drive on the autobahn, you'd better know what you're doing. :D

Here in TX you must complete classroom training of 32 hours then a practical driving class with so many hours behind the wheel and so many hours driving with an instructor (a parent can be the instructor with the correct paperwork). Then 30 more hours of practical driving, 10 of which must be at night, all of which must be with a licensed driver - pretty much always the parent. And you must hold your learner's permit for 6 months before applying for the actual license - which has some restrictions until you're 18 years old. At any rate, the classroom and driving portions, if not done by the parent, can run $300-$400 or so here. A good deal less, if done by the parents.

quantAndHold
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:55 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:56 pm
I acknowledge I'm in the minority here, but FINANCIALLY we couldn't afford to add any cars or insurance for teenagers while they attended church-sponsored high schools (paying tuition). These schools are not within walking distance here, but they were on the path that DH and I used to drive to work so we would drop them off and pick them up except for days they took the bus home. We also car-pooled, which is great since you hear about what they and their friends are doing and what is happening at school.

By sending our kids to quality high schools, they all were able to get college scholarships for the university of their choice. None of their colleges allowed students to have cars on campus since there wasn't room for them, but public transportation was often part of the student body fees.

It never made financial sense to me to have a teenager have a part-time job to pay for his gas/insurance just so he could commute to the job. This income and the expenses can basically cancel each other out. I told our kids that their "job" was to be the best student possible. It makes more sense to spend those working hours studying for AP classes, even their self-taught AP subjects (and extra-curricular activities) so they can cut a semester or two off of college and save money that way. In practice, many AP courses are prerequisites to getting into the best colleges where they then learn more advanced topics than in their AP classes.

At least, that's how I look at it financially.
Did your kids ever learn to drive? Or did you just stick them with the cost and difficulty of being an adult and trying to hold down a job in America with no drivers license?

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:59 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:41 am
Some Bogleheads think you should buy your children a new expensive car on there 16th birthday. I am not in that camp, but I did buy my girls a modestly priced 6-8 year old car when they received their driver's license.
lol, I'm not even in that camp. I won't even buy a car as new as 6-8 years old for myself. :happy
siamond wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:15 am
I am pondering to get a permit for my younger kid to start driving with me before he's 18.

Is there a financial incentive of doing so? Do car insurances provide some kind of discount if a teenager starts to drive before 18, and goes through the whole process (drivers ed course, 50 hours of driving with a parent, etc)?
Nope, the earlier they start driving, the more expensive it's going to be. When I was in high school in the late 90s, I did a thing called "ride a bicycle." When I left for college at age 17, I still had no driver's license and I used a trick I called "walking to class." :wink: Didn't get a driver's license until I was 21, which is about the age that most of my siblings did. I mean, sure, I had a learner's permit in my teens, but I would mostly only drive around an empty parking lot with my dad, with a little bit of on-street driving. I'm pretty sure I drove on the freeway for the first time during my driver's test. I'm the one who showed my younger brother how to drive a couple years ago, when he was 23, by letting him drive himself to work (with me in the passenger seat) instead of taking the bus. As soon as he passed his driver's test, he bought himself a brand-new 2016 model car in cash.

If you're looking for the financial savings, getting a driver's license later is absolutely cheaper. By a LOT.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:03 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
I got my license at 16 and got my first job almost immediately thereafter so that I could pay for gas money. My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school. I was happy to have limited freedom and the job was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Same here. Worked two gas station jobs to buy gas and squire the ladies around. Always had money in my pocket, and graduated from HS in 1971 with $3000+ in the bank. :happy

Without a car....no job, no money, no ladies! :(

Broken Man 1999

ETA: Funny thing, I was moving tractors between groves (on paved roads no less) at the early age of 12 or so. Granted, they were country roads, but today a parent would be arrested for such activities I would imagine. So by 16 I was a seasoned driver. Though, when I started driving cars, I had to account for the steering wheel being on the left,instead of the center, like a tractor.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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celia
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by celia » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:11 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:18 pm
Did your kids get their licenses? What ages? Did they pop out of college with virtually no driving experience? Or did they just use the family car?
One didn't want/get his license until after college, then continued to grad school (did college-sponsored programs in other countries during the summers instead of coming home for the whole summer), but the others got it during college while they were home for summer and winter breaks. One never did get a car since the city they went to college in (and still lives there) has excellent public transportation. The others ended up buying their own used car. So we never spent anything on their driving.

Their education costs were something else (and they each had different experiences).

JoeRetire
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm

siamond wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:15 am
is there a financial incentive of doing so? Do car insurances provide some kind of discount if a teenager starts to drive before 18, and goes through the whole process (drivers ed course, 50 hours of driving with a parent, etc)?
No. There is no "early driver" discount.

open_circuit
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by open_circuit » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 am
mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school.
Around here, they have these yellow vehicles called "school buses" that transport kids to and from school. They look like this:

Image
It appears our district does not offer school busses for high school, though they do for middle school. The schools are next door to each other, so I don't understand the logic in this. Not looking forward to this decision when my kids reach driving age.

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celia
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by celia » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:49 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm
It appears our district does not offer school busses for high school, though they do for middle school. The schools are next door to each other, so I don't understand the logic in this. Not looking forward to this decision when my kids reach driving age.
This may be a good time to get involved and change the system. It doesn't just happen without external input from parents like you. Start by finding out why they don't transport high schoolers. Maybe too few of them want to be "seen" on the bus. Or maybe they take the regular public bus to school. Many bus companies put their routes to go by public places that many people want to go to--like schools.

2cents2
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by 2cents2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:51 pm

You should check with your insurance company. We didn't incur any additional insurance expense for DS while he had a learner's permit, but we did pay more after he was licensed. Our insurance company gave discounts for good grades and they also had a program to promote safe drivers which gave a discount ( Steer Clear Safe Driver Discount program). Some companies give a discount for taking an approved drivers ed course in High School. Also, when DS went away for college (there was a minimum distance from home requirement) he received another discount. DS went to a college that didn't allow students to have cars until senior year, so it was good to get an insurance discount.

I think the phased driving approach is a good one. Young drivers are at risk until they gain experience. It is a real scary time for a parent, but I think it is good to help with the learning process and facilitate safe driving practices.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:55 pm

siamond wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:15 am
I am pondering to get a permit for my younger kid to start driving with me before he's 18.

I'll be clear, I have some qualms about putting a minor on the road, I am not fully convinced this is wise. When I was young (been a while! in another country!), nobody would put a kid on the road before they turned 18, and many parents would wait until the youngsters turn 21. But then public transportation infrastructure was much more developed than in the US, so I can accept the fact that things are different here. Plus my son is quite responsible and mature at the young age of 17.

Irrespective of such aptitude (or lack thereof) views, is there a financial incentive of doing so? Do car insurances provide some kind of discount if a teenager starts to drive before 18, and goes through the whole process (drivers ed course, 50 hours of driving with a parent, etc)?

Let me qualify the context:
1. this is for Massachusetts. In an area where not driving for another year is not particularly limitative for a teenager.
2. if posters could please focus on the financial aspects of my question (as opposed to the broader topic), this would be appreciated.
How about the value of your time running the kid and younger siblings around to their activities? That's our primary motivation.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

quantAndHold
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:56 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:33 am
mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school.
Around here, they have these yellow vehicles called "school buses" that transport kids to and from school. They look like this:

Image
It appears our district does not offer school busses for high school, though they do for middle school. The schools are next door to each other, so I don't understand the logic in this. Not looking forward to this decision when my kids reach driving age.
With ours, the middle and high schools were next door to each other, but the distance they had to live to qualify for the bus was longer for the older kids. I think it was 1 mile for elementary kids, 2 miles for middle school, and some very long distance for high school. We just barely didn’t qualify for the middle school bus, but the kids walked a couple of blocks further away from school and caught it anyway. In high school, they rode their bikes, unless they had an after school thing that they needed a car to get to. Then they carpooled with the other kids going to the same place. Sometimes my kids drove, sometimes the other kids did. They had some adventures, but nothing ever happened that couldn’t be fixed.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 pm

TinyElvis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:35 am
Permit at 15, driving at 16.

Driving = freedom and freedom = learning responsibility. There's a good incentive right there.

Let your son become a man.
Amen. In AK I was given a permit at 14 and drove with my parents for two Winters. Good training.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

JBTX
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by JBTX » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:21 pm

.....
Last edited by JBTX on Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

snowman
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by snowman » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:27 pm

siamond,

you need to do a mental switch in your head, this is not Europe where teenagers hop on a bus/trolley/tram/train any time they need to go anywhere. I had similar concerns with my kids, but my wife (American) assured me this is the right thing to do.

Financially - your specific question - you will take a hit, no way around it. The sooner they get "real DL" (as they call it), the sooner insurance rates go up. They went higher for my son compared to his 3-year younger sister. I guess that makes sense - girls are safer drivers. We had to fax student report so they both got student discount.

In retrospect, it worked out great. I didn't have to be a shuttle driver anymore - they used my car to get to sports practices and other activities, they both had jobs where they could just drive themselves. The time we the parents saved was enormous!

Now I actually think the system works great for both the kids and their parents. It teaches kids responsibility, it gives them semi-freedom they need, and it saves parents time. It's a win-win all around, except for much higher insurance rates...

rob65
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by rob65 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:45 pm

In my state, there was no change to the insurance cost with the learner's permit (might vary by state), but the cost of insurance once they got a regular license was truly stunning. DD didn't get regular license until 21, but DS got his at 16. My wife works from home, so we didn't add a 3rd car; he just used his mom's car on days she didn't need it. That did help keep the costs down.

If there is no insurance charge for the learner's permit, then I don't see any financial downside to going ahead and doing that. Getting a regular license will be much more expensive, even more so if you add an additional car.

Edit: Tried to take out advice that wasn’t financially relevant.
Last edited by rob65 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:03 pm

snowman wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:27 pm
They went higher for my son compared to his 3-year younger sister. I guess that makes sense - girls are safer drivers.
I've worked in the auto insurance actuarial industry. Girls are cheaper drivers. Girls get in more accidents per mile driven than boys. But boys drive more miles and when they do get in accidents, they tend to be more spectacular (read: expensive) accidents. This trend is generally the same across all age groups.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:21 pm

OP - sorry to see so many responses that don't answer your question. (Non MA state info, opinions not related to financial aspect).
As I recall, in MA you need to notify your insurance that you have a permitted driver but I don't recall this raising rates (they certainly jump once licensed) - verify with your insurer. If this is the case you can get a driver's permit which is good for a full 2 years (with a minimum hold of 6 months) so a permit can be obtained at 16 with a license obtained at 18.

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cockersx3
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by cockersx3 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:16 pm

Following this with interest. My intention with my 14 year old is to support her getting a drivers license at 16 (min age in my state), but do not plan to allow her to drive until she can pay the gas and insurance and for the car itself. She has a good head on her shoulders, and I think she'll figure out that that getting a part-time job to pay for this is likely not worth it - as a previous poster had mentioned, the two things cancel each other out.

My reasons for doing this are twofold. First reason is financial - my recollection from that age is that insurance tends to get (marginally) less expensive based on the length of time one has a license, so it seems that having a license at 16 would help reduce costs when she leaves college and (eventually) has a car - by then she'll have 5 years with her license that would (hopefully) reduce insurance costs relative to getting a license and driving all at 21.

The other reason is simply our responsibility as parents. My wife and I feel that having a driver's license is part of being an adult in the US, so we feel that it is our responsibility to help her achieve this milestone while under our care.

For those that saw their insurance costs increase with teen drivers - did the costs go up just because the teen had a driver's license, or was it because he / she had a license AND was provided access with a car? If it's the first one (ie teen has license but will not be driving), methinks I don't have a very good plan.... :wink:

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Watty
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Watty » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:54 pm

Two things I thought of;

1) If they do not get a drivers license then they should get a state ID card instead. Either the drivers license or the state ID card is a defacto national ID card and there will be lots of situations that will be difficult without one of these. Getting one of these is a pretty normal process when you are a teenager but once you get to be in your 20's you will have a much harder time proving your identity for the first time especially if you don't have a current passport.

2) There was a thread probably within the last six months or so by someone who lived overseas for a while and when they returned to the US they were facing much higher car insurance rates when they returned to the US because they did not have any US driving history. I tried searching for it but I could not find it, maybe someone else can find it.

Dottie57
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:44 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:28 am
I got my license at 16 and got my first job almost immediately thereafter so that I could pay for gas money. My parents were happy to have another person in the house to run errands and drive myself to school. I was happy to have limited freedom and the job was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Me too! My parents were delighted to send me on various errands and I became my brother's chauffeur. I too got my first part time job and opened a savings account.

Did not total the car.

mak1277
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by mak1277 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:02 pm

cockersx3 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:16 pm
Following this with interest. My intention with my 14 year old is to support her getting a drivers license at 16 (min age in my state), but do not plan to allow her to drive until she can pay the gas and insurance and for the car itself. She has a good head on her shoulders, and I think she'll figure out that that getting a part-time job to pay for this is likely not worth it - as a previous poster had mentioned, the two things cancel each other out.
Curious why you don't think this is worth it. For your daughter, it might be a wash financially, but in terms of having freedom (just a little) it's a HUGE win to have a car and a job. Plus, having a job in high school can be a hugely rewarding experience...I plan on encouraging my son to get both his DL and a job at the earliest possible point.

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cockersx3
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by cockersx3 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:21 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:02 pm
cockersx3 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:16 pm
Following this with interest. My intention with my 14 year old is to support her getting a drivers license at 16 (min age in my state), but do not plan to allow her to drive until she can pay the gas and insurance and for the car itself. She has a good head on her shoulders, and I think she'll figure out that that getting a part-time job to pay for this is likely not worth it - as a previous poster had mentioned, the two things cancel each other out.
Curious why you don't think this is worth it. For your daughter, it might be a wash financially, but in terms of having freedom (just a little) it's a HUGE win to have a car and a job. Plus, having a job in high school can be a hugely rewarding experience...I plan on encouraging my son to get both his DL and a job at the earliest possible point.
I also had a job in high school to pay for the car that enabled me to get to the job, and I remember how much of a relief it was to finally get out of that never-ending circle and have my life back. I would much rather have my kids participate in extracurricular activities, spend more time on their studies, etc than go this route. Not disagreeing about the value of a part-time job for someone that age (in terms of learning the value of work, etc) but the costs (in terms of lost opportunity to do normal high-school things, safety / liability risks of teenagers driving, etc) seemed to outweigh the benefits IMO.

Regarding the freedom point....our high school is located in an area where there are many things within walking distance of the school - several stores, town library, local park, etc. We regularly allow our daughter to head to this area with friends after school rather than coming straight home (with us picking her up on our way home from work), so she seems to be happy with this kind of freedom, at least for now. I realize that this is not possible for everyone of course. We also pay her to mow the lawn and do landscaping around the house to earn spending money (no allowances in the cockersx3 house), which helps as well. I used to do this myself, but figured that this would be a great way for her to earn money I would likely have ended up giving her anyway. Also helps reinforce her work ethic. And she actually enjoys doing it too, along with saving most of her money as well. :sharebeer

focusedonwhatmatters
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Re: Driver's permit before 18 - Any financial incentive

Post by focusedonwhatmatters » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:32 pm

My son took driver's ed at 15 and had all the required hours in to obtain his license, but when it came to it he had no interest in getting a license. He does not want to be responsible for driving, does not want the financial burden of driving (car, insurance, gas, maintenance) for either himself or for me, and is perfectly content taking public transit or an occasional Uber. Several of his friends are the same way; apparently there are a whole lot of of iGeneration that have no interest in driving. I have given up trying to get him to get his license.

This has saved me/him thousands of dollars.

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