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Driving for the first time can be an exciting time for teenagers, and they're likely less interested in learning about the finer points of auto insurance and more concerned with taking your vehicle out for a spin. But as a parent, you need to make sure you've sat down with your teen driver and gone over the important auto insurance basics every young motorist should learn. Here are 10 things they should know about car insurance.

1. Driver's education courses can save money
Some states either mandate or strongly encourage teen drivers take these types of courses before even getting their license, but they're also a good idea for saving money on auto insurance. Many auto insurance companies consider drivers who have passed these courses to be better prepared to handle the rigors of the open road and will provide discounts off auto insurance premiums as a result.

2. Avoid aggressive driving
Statistics show teen drivers are more likely to get into auto accidents, so it's important that a first-time motorist exercise care when heading out onto the road. The best way for teen drivers to keep their auto insurance premiums low is by driving safe and maintaining a clean record, according to Edmunds.com. Getting your teen driver into good habits early on can help them be a better driver in the long run.

3. Good grades can lead to discounts
Many auto insurance companies are rewarding students who keep good grades with lower auto insurance premiums. If you're the one paying the auto insurance and your teen is on the policy, Edmunds suggests you find out just how much your teen's good grades are saving you and give them that money. This way, they get to reap the benefits of their own hard work.

4. Safer vehicles can result in fewer accidents
Some parents like to lavish their young driver with the sports car of their dreams, but you'll be doing them a bigger favor by buying them a safer vehicle with a better claims history. Let your teen driver know these kinds of cars not only keep them safer, but also reduce their auto insurance premium. And Edmunds reports they'll also be less likely to speed in a sedan than if they were in a sports car.

5. Talk to them about drugs and alcohol
It's important to address this issue even if you don't think your teen is involved in drugs or alcohol. Teens also aren't always willing to sit down and discuss the issue with their parents, but for their own safety they need to know the dangers of driving while influenced. These matters extend well beyond car insurance - their life could be on the line.

6. Traffic school might be a smart idea
If your teen does manage to get a speeding ticket, advise them to consider traffic school. In some states, the courses can help negative marks on their record go away quicker and can reduce a violation's impact on their auto insurance premium, according to Edmunds.

7. Distracted driving is always a bad idea
Statistics show drivers who are distracted are more likely to get into accidents, and many states have now placed restrictions on young drivers texting or using their cell phone behind the wheel. Find out the laws in your state and let your teen know, while advising them of the dangers of distracted driving.

8. Teach them the basics of auto insurance
Not all parents get a separate auto insurance policy for their teen driver, but some prefer giving them the responsibility of paying their own premium. Even if you choose to keep them on your policy, go over the basic auto insurance terms and requirements. It can be good preparation for adult life.

9. Check your tire pressure
Encouraging your teen to keep an eye on their tire pressure - and teaching them how to do so - helps foster a sense of responsibility and creates a safer driving environment. Of course, safer driving can lead to auto insurance discounts.

10. Teach them basic auto maintenance
Walk them through the different auto fluids - engine oil, transmission fluid and others. Again, teens might take their driving experience more seriously if they're asked to take care of their car, and safer driving can lead to more affordable auto insurance. If you don't know how to check these fluids yourself, it might be a good opportunity for both of you to learn.
 
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