SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's WHYGUY question from Richard Lahm who asks...

"GEICO told me that California Insurance law changed this year that when you insure your teen, now they have to rate on the new vehicle instead of older vehicle they'll be driving. Why?"

I made contact with GEICO corporate headquarters twice and heard no response. So, let's drive this in a direction that helps all those insuring a teenage driver.

First of all, good luck. 

What are safe vehicles for teens to drive? According to Edmunds, the insurance institute for highway safety, a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. And the best way to get a lower rate, if there is such a thing for your teen, is to get him or her an old beater that's still rated safe.

To save money, consider having your teen on their own insurance policy with liability only and no collision coverage. And, if you really don't trust your son or daughter, Chevrolet has a new feature called "teen driver" which employs parental control settings including speed alerts and even radio volume control.

There are other ways to get a discount for your teen driver:

  • Defensive Driving Course could get up to 10 perfect off on insurance.
  • Safety Course/Driver Training could offer a break on your premium. 
  • Good Student Discount could get teen drivers up to 25 percent off for students with a B-average or better.

And all insurance carriers recommend you do NOT get your new driver a high performance car. Start them slowly with limited driving because first six months are the most dangerous. 

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