You can buy a car with a learner’s permit, but you can’t register it without a valid driver’s license. As for auto insurance, permit holders don’t need to be listed on a car insurance policy until they become a licensed driver.
No matter if you’re a teenager learning to drive, college student, or an adult, your credit plays an important role in determining your auto financing approval odds. If you’re learning to drive and have no credit history, it’s best you start working toward building a solid credit history now. This way, you can buy a vehicle with some credit backing you up when you do get your license.
Car Insurance and Permit Holders
You need a learner’s permit in order to practice driving before taking your driver’s test to get a license. As a teenager, there are typically three phases a permit holder goes through:
- Learner’s permit (strict driving restrictions)
- Intermediate license (limited driving restrictions, depending on the state you live in; you don't need one of these if you’re a legal adult)
- Driver’s license (no driving restrictions)
Depending on the state you live in, you could apply for a permit as young as 14, or as old as 16. The hours needed to complete the behind-the-wheel experience and classes taken also vary by state. Check with your local DMV or Secretary of State to brush up on your driving laws and insurance requirements if your teen is getting ready to learn how to drive.
Once someone gets their learner’s permit, they don’t typically need auto insurance on their own. Car insurance companies often extend the parent or guardian’s policy to include the permitted driver. If someone’s over 18, make sure the vehicle they plan on learning to drive in is insured and someone can informally add the permitted driver to their policy.
Once the permitted driver passes the driving test, gets their license, and buys a car, they need auto insurance. If the new driver is a teenager, the parents can contact their insurance provider and formally add the new vehicle to their policy. If the new driver is over 18, and their parents don’t want to add them to their insurance policy, they need to purchase insurance on their own before they can drive the car.
Saving Money on Auto Insurance
Insurance companies base a driver’s insurance rate on multiple things, one of those being how old the driver is. The younger the driver, the more expensive their insurance is going to be. But, there are ways you can help your teen driver save money on auto insurance. Some options include:
- Enrolling them in a driver’s education course (if not already required by your state)
- Student discounts for young drivers with excellent grades
- Discounts for insuring multiple vehicles
- Increase deductibles
The Bottom Line
No matter where you’re at in your driving history, any car you drive needs to be covered by auto insurance. Permitted drivers don’t need to be listed on a policy until they get their driver’s license, but the provider needs to be aware of the new driver.
If you want to help your new driver get a car loan, but don’t know which lenders to work with, Auto Credit Express can help. We match consumers to local dealerships that know how to help people in unique credit situations. Start the process today by completing our auto loan request form online, and we'll get to work for you.