A rate-cut crash course
Be sure to …

See whether your insurance company has a "safe driver" program and whether your state has a graduated driver's license program, which gradually phases in driving privileges for new teen drivers.

Find out whether you are eligible for lower premiums when your teen heads to college without the car.

Compare prices and talk with your agent about a multivehicle discount, lowering your deductible and increasing liability insurance.

Talk to your teen about risky behavior and insurance costs, which will go up after one speeding ticket. Add an accident, and premiums could increase astronomically.

What might help

A safe, easy-to-drive and basic car that offers protection in event of a crash. Sports cars can turbocharge your premium, because they can encourage risky driving.

Good grades, usually at least a B average.

Graduation from an accredited drivers education program.

Putting your teen on your own policy. It generally costs more for teens to get separate policies.

Technology. Some insurers offer discounts for tracking devices that let parents monitor kids' driving and set limits on speed or distance.

Web resources

State insurance departments. Find yours at naic.org (National Association of Insurance Commissioners); click on "States & Jurisdictions" link.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov). Click on "T" in the index and then on "Teen drivers."

aaaexchange.com (has a link to teen

driving.aaa.com, which offers state-specific info).

Auto info site edmunds.com.