Getting a driver’s license was once a rite of passage. When you turned 16, you commemorated the occasion by obtaining your license. However, the tradition is diminishing as many teens are no longer becoming drivers. According to a study by the University of Michigan Transport Research Institute, the percentage of teenagers with driver’s licenses drastically decreased by 47 percent between 1983 and 2014. The average number of miles driven by young people between the ages of 16 and 34 have also decreased by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009.
So why are there fewer teenage drivers on the road?
Driving Is Becoming Expensive
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety looked at some of the most common reasons why teens were not getting licenses and every issue cited had to do with cost. The most common reason was because it was too expensive to buy a car, while other respondents listed other vehicle costs such as high gasoline prices and the cost of auto insurance and car maintenance. Ultimately, the cost of owning and maintaining a car has become so expensive that teens no longer feel that driving provides a benefit to them.
Tips to Affording the Costs of Driving
If you’re a millennial in need of transportation, it’s time to take back your rite of passage. Here are some tips on how to afford the costs of driving.
- Buy the Right Car: It is important that you buy the right car from the start. You will want a lighter car as this will save you on other future costs such as fuel. A cheaper and safer car will also save money on insurance. Also, be sure that you get the best deal for your car by doing your research. Buying from dealer stock may also be an option to get a good deal on a car.
- Increase Your Gas Mileage: You can get more for your money by increasing your gas mileage. Be sure that your car tires are set to the proper inflation as this can reduce fuel consumption by 3 percent. You can also select the narrowest tires as possible for your car as this also reduces the amount of gas your car uses. Also, add synthetic oil additive when getting your oil change to increase your mileage by 15 percent, use cruise control when possible, try to drive under 65 mph, and avoid using the AC in stop-and-go traffic.
- Get Affordable Insurance: Insurers will offer discounts if you use their company for multiple policies, so if you rent an apartment use the same insurance you would as your renter’s insurance. Also, be sure that you ask the insurance company about discounts for good students as getting good grades can lower your car insurance. If your parents are willing, it may also be cheaper for you to be added under their policy rather than starting your own. You can pay them your portion rather than paying directly to the insurance provider.
Driving has become expensive over the past couple of years, but there are many things that you can do to reduce your costs. With these tips, you can help reduce the amount of money you spend on your car, gas, and insurance.