This is not an article to discuss the popular movie of the same name or give advice on hormone replacement. It’s a review of what women want when they are looking for an auto repair facility.
I know what I want from an auto repair shop, but I’ve been in the auto industry most of my career as well as being exposed to dealership repair departments and local mom and pop tire centers. My brother owned a repair shop in Roslyn, New York and my Two for the Road radio partner, Bill, owned one in Arizona.
One thing I’ve observed no matter the gender is that we all want to be treated equally, whether it’s in corporate America, the grocery store or buying a car. So when it comes to fixing our cars, replacing tires or an oil and lube, we want to be able to trust the facility where we bring our business and establish a relationship.
Over the years I’ve been asked by women in particular, how do I find a repair shop that I can trust, what do I look for, and the all-important concern, “please don’t let me be ripped off.”
The best way to start on your search is to ask a friend, family member or even a coworker where they bring their car. Decide ahead of time if you want to be close to your office or your home? Once you have a few names, give them all a call and better yet, visit the location in person.
Your vehicle is one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime and it serves you and your family well to keep it safe and in tip top condition.
You wouldn’t go to just any doctor to repair your heart, without checking him or her out, nor should you when it comes to the maintenance of your car.
When you do go to visit the shops recommended, here are some things to look for and ask:
• When you walk in, are you greeted with a “hello” or “I’ll be right with you?” Do you feel comfortable in your immediate surroundings?
• Is the waiting room clean and equipped with comfortable seating? Are there magazines to read and do they have signs indicating WiFi is available?
• Are their awards and certificates on the wall from circa 1972 or more recent? Do they work with nonprofits; do they give back to the community?
• Are there photos of the owners and the technicians with their certifications; such as ASE? Is the repair facility approved by any reputable company such as AAA, NARPRO, Garagefly, Better Business Bureau or Repairpal?
• Are the folks behind the counter courteous and does he or she answer your questions with respect and clarity? Women don’t want to be spoken down to, but more often than not, provided with more detail.
• Ask what their warranty policy is on work and parts. Make sure they call you before doing additional work without your approval. If the shops have the approval of credible organizations, you can feel confident the techs themselves are qualified to do the work.
• Find out what the turnover is in shop. There are shops that have employees for 25 and 30 years. Women want to establish a rapport with employees and feel confident they will be there the next time they bring in their car.
• Don’t hesitate to ask if you can walk in to the bay area to see how clean the floors, the tools and the technicians are. Be aware that there are safety rules about customers is work areas, so don’t be turned off it they seem cautions or reluctant, but they should be able to take you far enough so you will get the idea. Do they have a FREE pick up and deliver policy to your home or office?
• Many women bring their children with them while they wait for a repair or estimate. Is there a play area for the children? Is there a television?
• Does the waiting room serve beverages? Some repair shops go all out with latte machines and fancy creamers, but a nice cup of coffee or tea served in a mug, not a Styrofoam cup, is a welcomed perk.
Don’t feel that all these added conveniences will raise the price of your repairs, it will not. Repair facilities should welcome you in to their “home,” treat folks the way they want their wife, mother, sister or daughter to be treated. Women want to enjoy the experience.
I am not saying your repair facility has to be like a Ritz Carlton spa, but there are some easy and inexpensive touches that can make a woman feel more comfortable.
Last but not least… and, to me, the most important for women:
• A clean restroom, and I mean clean. No woman likes to go in to a public restroom that has not been maintained, supplies replaced or has an unpleasant odor.
There is a facility in Phoenix, Arizona that took a clean restroom one step further. At Community Tire and Repair the owners wife said, “we can increase our business and maintain our loyal customers if we show our largest audience that our facility is female friendly,” and that she did. Everything was addressed from the customized baby changing table to the Tuscan sink and vanity.
There are foam soap and paper towels, but you will also find a note in a frame on the vanity that states … feminine products provided and they are always maintained. The biggest surprise was a stack of infant size diapers with “Wet Ones” under the sink. It is like going to grandmas and not having to open your diaper bag.
Women are brand loyal and will tell other women about their experiences. We don’t need a special room painted in pink, or photos of women in a mechanic’s jumpsuit at the door. We want to be treated with respect and have you understand what’s important to us. Just like this article, woman know what they want, now can the businesses deliver?
Here are some statistics that repair facilities should know as well as any other retail or service businesses in America. This is a compilation of statistics from the Harvard Business Journal, Forbes and Nielsen Ratings:
• Women own 40% of all American private businesses.
• Senior Women, age 50 plus, have a combined net worth of $19 trillion.
• 1.3 million women earn over $100,000 annually.
• Women spend over 58% of all retail dollars spent in the U.S.
• 68% of new car purchase decisions are made by women.
• 65% of requested service at dealers are made by women.
• Women spend over $200 billion on new cars and mechanical servicing of vehicles in the US each year.
• 78% of women identify themselves as the primary household shopper.
• Over the course of a family’s life, 90% of all married women will control its wealth.
For more about women, and what they want, go to www.twofortheroadusa.com.
Review of the 2013 Buick Enclave.
Buick is the new 30.
Remember when the word Buick evoked visions of our grandparents; complete with white hair and practical shoes, moving slowly towards their large vanilla looking car? Well that has all changed; Buick is cool, young and comes in many flavors.
The 2013 Buick Enclave has been ranked the #1 affordable midsize SUV by both consumers and automotive journalists. After test-driving the Enclave myself, I wished it were an option when I was car-pooling my kids to baseball, soccer, violin lessons and work. In my thirties, the suburban or a station wagon was the most practical option, or unattractive alternative.
The 2013 Buick Enclave makes total sense for the young, affluent buyers with growing families or empty-nesters with grandparent ties and road trip vacations. The other group of potential owners for the Enclave would be shoppers of the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or Volvo SC90.
The Buick Enclave delivers the goods for the money in terms of amenities, space, styling and efficiency. They kept the price reasonable to the point where it’s thousands less than others in its class and offers that luxury experience any generation wants and demands.
It also delivers room for seven adults, not five grownups and two kindergarteners. Buick did it right with the slide and fold captain’s chairs for the second row of seating, which is easily operated with one hand, clearing a wide path to the third row of seats. Bench seats are also available.
Behind that, the cargo space is enough to accommodate luggage, camping equipment or strollers.
There have been some nice cosmetic improvements. There is a new good-looking instrument panel with a stylish face and easy to access intellilink touchscreen display. It has remote keyless entry, rear child security door lock, rear vision camera system, side blind zone alert with rear cross traffic alert, tri-zone air conditioning and a leather wrap steering wheel with audio controls and XM radio.
It might as well pull itself in and out of the garage and have my coffee placed in one of the ten cup holders each morning.
The 2013 version of the Enclave has laminated glass and ample sound deadening material to create a passenger space that is whisper quiet at highway speeds. I tested this on the local freeway, but I could still hear three-year-old Sofia singing, “Old McDonald Had A Farm” very clearly and very off tune.
The basic shape of the Enclave remains, but a new front fascia and hood, LED enhanced headlamps and new signature “waterfall” grille gives the 2013 a fresh rejuvenated look, much like a day at the spa.
The standard Enclave has all the comforts and convinces any gender desires including its award-winning safety features. There are 3rd row side curtain bags that stay inflated longer in the event of a rollover, and a new INDUSTRY FIRST center side airbag in the center console that protects driver and front seat passenger from opposite side impacts. The Enclave starts at $39, 270. The one I tested was $51,000.
If you want to know what’s under the hood to move this incredible machine, you will find a 3.6 liter V6, 288 horsepower engine with EPA statistics of 17 City and 24 highway.
All in all, the 2013 Buick Enclave lives up to its #1 ranking in the midsize SUV category and evokes new visions of Buick owners, and one of them could be you!
For more reviews go to www.twofortheroadusa.com
Review of the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium
Have you driven a Ford lately?
I have! I own a 2002 Ford Thunderbird convertible and my latest test drive vehicle was the new 2013 Ford Escape Titanium model. This redesigned, 4-wheel-drive, five seat crossover has a turbocharged 2.0 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine which satisfied the speed in my blood and the practicality in my DNA.
The Ford escape is exactly that, an escape into the future; which includes a remote start capability, which enables one to heat or cool their seat before getting in the vehicle, and a slick parking technology package.
The optional parking technology package will cost an additional $995, but who wouldn’t want to have someone else parallel park for you? With the active park assist you can saunter along looking for a parallel parking space and the Escape’s sensors will detect a spot that will fit this five-seat SUV. This is a much better scenario than my husband yelling, “look there’s another spot you drove by!”
So, ignoring him completely, the chime alerted me to an empty spot, whereby I lined the Escape up and then let go of the steering wheel (difficult for control freaks).
I used the accelerator and brake and put the Escape into Drive and Reverse as necessary. The system safely steered the Escape into the parking spot. I have to admit, I did it more than once, as the first time didn’t look very respectable or safe.
The exterior of the new Ford Escape has more curves on this year’s model; less of a boxy look. As a result, the front end is more aerodynamic, allowing for better fuel economy. So not only is the new body style more functional, but the new curvatures and creases give the Escape a more European look. Maybe that is what I have at my age, a more European look?
My favorite feature is also something the folks at Ford are very proud of, and that is the power liftgate. Don’t confuse the “Ford power liftgate” with the ones you can control from your fob or push a button inside the cargo area to close. The 2013 Escape has a sensor under the rear bumper, so when you kick your foot under it, the liftgate opens. That means if your arms are full with groceries, babies, sports equipment, lumber or Tiffany jewelry for me, you have no reason to drop what you have in your hands.
Now let’s venture inside the Ford Escape. As I look at all the gadgets, including the MyFord Touch, I feel I need to take a breath and not leave the driveway until I understand all the great features.
The Sync system has voice-control functions for the stereo, text-to-voice for some cellphones, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Sync support was a big help for me to understand the Sync system. The Escape has a 12-volt outlet as well as an aux jack and a USB input.
Now that I am settled in, I checked with my passengers. My 30-something daughter Julia had plenty of legroom and enjoyed the second row’s reclining seatback. The child safety seat was easy to install and had two sets of lower Latch anchors. The Escape Titanium has the electronic stability system with anti-roll control, traction control and seven airbags, including side curtains for both rows. It wins all kinds of safety awards and I can see why.
The 2013 Ford Escape base model starts at $23,365, with the top of the line Titanium, which I drove, starting at $35,130. I enjoyed the drive, the parallel-park feature and power liftgate, but I’m still waiting for the Tiffany jewelry.
If you haven’t driven a Ford lately, the 2013 Ford Escape is the one to try.
For more reviews go to www.twofortheroadusa.com
Hard to believe that twenty years ago this month Barry Bonds signed baseball’s highest single year contract ($4.7 million dollars) and Lexus introduced to the luxury car buying public the ES series of Lexus vehicles.
At first the joke was that the 2013 Lexus ES 350 was just a Camry with some extra fancy stuff on it, but the marketing folks at Lexus were planning for the future Lexus owners, by introducing them to the top-of-the line Toyota luxury car.
The new ES shares some of the new styling from the GS, including the spindle grille and LED tail lamps. You will see a few details unveil on the new luxury sedan such as it is slightly longer and wider than the model it replaces. The car’s 17-inch aluminum wheels have been pushed to the corners which helps high-speed stability.
This ES350 is powerful with a 268-horseposer V-6 engine and six speed automatic transmission. There is a dial on the center console that will allow the driver to switch between eco, normal and sport driving modes. The eco mode helps save on gas and the sport mode seemed more like driving on a race track. I liked the eco mode and my husband liked the sport with quicker steering, of course.
Lexus has their own name for their modern technology; it’s called Enform. Enform allows the driver to access apps such a Pandora, Bing, Open table and Movie Tickets using a smart phone and the car’s head unit. The new available technology for safety includes blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert and lane departure assist with intelligent high-beam headlights. Between smart phones and intelligent verbiage I better do brain exercises to keep up with this stuff. I used open table to make reservations downtown before the Suns vs. Lakers game and it was so easy.
The ES sits up to five adults comfortably. The rear legroom is roomer than before so your long-legged teens and friends fit just fine. Lexus with its keyless entry allows the driver to open the car and start the ignition without removing the key fob from purse or pocket. The mouse device on the center console controls many of the functions. If you use a mouse at your computer, this will be second nature to you. I liked the fact the screen was shielded from the bright sun of Phoenix, yet easy to focus.
The trunk was great for golf bags, luggage, sports equipment and a nice shopping spree. There are plenty of airbags for your safety and it includes factory roadside assistance and lodging if the breakdown occurs more than 100 miles from home. Now that’s a nice feature, do you think they set you up at a Ritz?
Prices start at $36,100 the one I tested was $43,605. Fuel economy is 21/31 mpg city/highway.
I have to admit, Lexus doesn’t change their look that much from year to year, but the new spindle grille is a nice exterior transformation and it’s not your daughter’s Camry.
For more reviews go to www.twofortheroadusa.com
At one time or another we have all experienced the sometimes frustrating, often aggravating, and always time consuming car buying experience. More and more businesses are moving online and the automotive industry is certainly no exception. Scion has recently taken the online car buying experience to the next level.
Most people know that they can do upfront research on their cars prior to purchasing, however Scion is transforming the traditional car buying experience into a more transparent, efficient and hassle free experience.
Scion is excited to roll out a new pilot program called Scion Pure Process. Scion Pure Process Plus is a streamlined approach designed to improve the overall purchase experience. Scion has a Pure Price philosophy. The price you see is the price you pay. No haggle, no hassle.
Scion’s Pure Process Plus Pilot goes beyond pure price helping to create a worry free buying experience. A large portion of your transaction can be completed from the comfort and convenience of your home or office. Scion Pure Process Plus is where the traditional and often time consuming car buying process is transformed to become a more transparent, more efficient purchase experience.
Online tools are provided to help guide you through much of the purchase process; helping reduce the time you spend buying a new Scion. In addition, videos provide detailed information on financing and lease options, service and protection plans, military rebates and other Scion promotions.
All of this is provided to save you time and make your new car purchase experience simpler.
In addition Scion would like to reward you for your participation. If you purchase or lease a brand new Scion using Scion Pure Process Plus from a participating Scion dealership. And after completing a brief online survey you’ll receive a $150.00 Gift Card. If you apply for credit and lease or finance your new Scion through Toyota Financial Services and complete the online survey you can receive an additional $100.00 gift card for a grand total of $250.00.
Simply click yes to participate in the Scion Pure Process Plus promotion and you’re on your way.
To learn more about the new program see us on ABC15 Sonoran Living Live or just watch the video below.
The annual Barrett-Jackson auto show in Scottsdale hosted its opening night gala Monday evening.
Last night’s event had something for everyone even if you aren’t a car buff, although I confess that I still love American muscle cars after all these years. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend a Barrett-Jackson event you know that aside from the amazing collection of automobiles, the people-watching is amazing.
The official Gala invitation suggested “cocktail attire” so it’s always interesting to see the variety of clothing is which is second only to the variety of antique and custom cars. It was extremely cold last night so there were many elegant women clad in furs and stylish coats. Diamonds and furs were a theme throughout the night with both the attendees and the runway models of the fashion show presented by Saks.
The cars, as always, were the centerpieces of the night and I find I still have the same love for the old Ford Mustangs, which are prevalent at Barrett-Jackson this week. Looking at the cars took me down memory lane. There was the original Batmobile from the TV series with Adam West and cars that my father and uncles had when I was growing up.
I have had the opportunity to go to Barrett-Jackson many times over the years but last night’s event was special as they paid tribute to one of my heroes and an American icon in the automotive industry, Carroll Shelby, who passed away last May. Carroll Shelby had been a racecar driver and also has helped to inspire and design some of the most beloved American muscle cars ever manufactured. Carroll has been a part of Barrett-Jackson for years and it was touching to see his amazing life highlighted.
The cars may have gone more high tech over the years but these cars are classics and are able to transport you back in time. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the show, it’s worth the trip this week.
The Gala itself was an amazing night with fine food served by local restaurants and an open bar with admission. As the night wore on, the dance floor livened up and the band drew the crowd in. I always look forward to the Barrett-Jackson auto show coming to Scottsdale and with the announcement of a permanent facility to be built for next year’s show, we can be assured of many years to look forward to.
In an effort to better educate consumers about their auto insurance coverage, the Perimeter Group has put together a list of items everyone should know with regard to auto insurance here in Arizona. By knowing this information you should be able to avoid some of the pitfalls a lot of people have with their auto insurance, especially when you need to make a claim or shop for a better rate.
Purchasing state minimum coverage could result in financial ruin if you are involved in an at-fault accident. Your wages could be garnished and you could become a party of a major lawsuit and lose the ability to obtain credit for future major purchases. The cost to raise limits is relatively small in comparison.
Excellent credit means better premiums
Most insurance carriers give significant premium discounts for clients who have excellent credit and apply surcharges to those not having good credit. If you have good credit, get quotes from those carriers who give the best discounts and if you have bad credit make sure you receive quotes from those carriers that do not penalize as much for having a low credit score.
The vehicle you drive affects your premium
Before you purchase your next car call your agent to find out what it would cost to insure it. Besides the age of the vehicle, the accident history of the vehicle as well as the cost of the replacement parts have a major influence on the cost of insurance.
Many carriers now provide an excellent discount to clients who choose to pay their premium in full or automatically from a checking account or credit card. In addition, some give an additional discount for increasing the term of their policy from six months to a year.
Stolen or damaged personal items are not covered by most auto insurance policies
Items not considered part of the vehicle are not covered unless added through an endorsement. However, you can receive coverage through your homeowner’s policy.
Bad drivers will pay a lot more
Expect to pay 25 to 40 percent more in increased premium for an at-fault accident. Likewise, minor and major moving violations will add more premium on top of any accident. Carriers include these events from three to five years in rating potential clients.
You will pay for loaning your vehicle to a friend or non-household member
If a person who you loaned your car to gets into an accident that is deemed to be at fault, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company and pay any deductible. Insurance follows the car first then the driver. While the accident is not your fault you will still lose your claim free discount for future premiums for at least three years.
The value of your totaled car might surprise you
Insurance companies do not use the Kelly Blue Book to determine value at the time of an accident. They have their own software programs to determine a car’s value that takes into account mileage and pre-existing condition. If you have a loan or lease get gap insurance to cover the difference of what you owe versus what you will get from the insurance company based on depreciation. Keep good maintenance records and let the insurance company know of recent part repairs and tire replacement.
Check into diminished value claim compensation
If you in an accident where the other driver is at fault ask to receive diminished value compensation that takes into account what your vehicle’s resale value will be versus what it would have been without being involved in an accident. Some carriers will provide, some will resist.
After market items need to be endorsed on policy
If you upgrade wheel rims, suspensions or body paint as well as add electronic equipment that is not part of an auto manufacturer package or after you purchase your vehicle from the dealer you need to inform your agent to add these additional items to your coverage.
Ask about sales tax compensation in your claim
Remember to add licensed teenage drivers to your policy
You are not required to add a teenage driver until they obtain their license. However, it should be done immediately after they get licensed. If an accident occurs and they are not listed on the policy, it could cause major problems such as back premiums, lack of coverage and loss of preferred status.
You must officially cancel your policy in writing when switching policies
If you don’t provide a written cancellation and ignore bills from the previous carrier it could impact your credit score and ability to get credit.
Your car repairs do not necessarily include OEM parts
Most carriers only use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts to repair a vehicle for the first two years of a car’s life. If this is important to you ask your agent to include this coverage in your policy. It does come at an additional cost with most carriers. However, non-OEM parts used in a vehicle’s repair are warrantied for the as long as you own your vehicle.
Get timing commitments upfront from the repair facility. If the repair takes longer than promised get an extension on “rental car reimbursement”. You have more leverage if you use a repair facility recommended by the carrier. If you use another facility get commitment on price, timing and warranty in writing.
Take pictures of the accident scene with your cellphone camera
If you are involved in an accident take pictures of all the vehicles involved. Make sure the picture includes the license plate number and driver if possible. Try and obtain the insurance information from the driver or police officer. As a back-up, keep a disposable camera in the glove box.
Hopefully, this knowledge will assist you in obtaining the coverage you need along with getting fairly compensated for an auto claim.
Previously enjoyed luxury vehicles.
Consider the Advantages of Pre-Owned Vehicles
Today late-model pre-owned vehicles are not only a safe buy but they make good financial sense. Buying a pre-owned car or truck can save you money because a new car experiences its greatest loss in value within the first 12 to 18 months. Rather than watching value decrease significantly in just the first year consider buying a pre-owned car or truck. A pre-owned vehicle can have a lower purchase price with lower monthly payments and an extended warranty is usually still available. Buying a pre-owned vehicle allows you to upgrade to the newer make and model you want and add more optional features.
When you buy pre-owned you avoid the greatest amount of depreciation. A new BMW 335 Convertible will cost you around $60,000. Buy the same three year old BMW 335 with 36,000 miles and you’ll pay about $25,000 less.
More car for the same money
A nicely equipped new Mercedes-Benz E350 will cost you around $55,000. But what if you want something bigger? For the same amount of money you could buy a three-year-old 36,000 mile Mercedes-Benz S550 or a three-year-old 36,000 mile BMW 750, their flagship sedans. Planning on growing your family? You’ll find plenty of three-year-old Sport Utility Vehicles in the new C class price range.
You can also move up in prestige. A new Toyota Camry XLE V6 with all the bells and whistles is a nice ride at $30,000 – it had better be. But for the same price (or even a couple grand less) you could be driving a two-year-old Lexus ES350, Audi A6 or BMW 325i.
Cars sold as certified pre-owned (CPO) bridge the gap between new and used. They are subject to a rigorous inspection and repair process. CPO cars will usually cost a bit more than a privately sold used vehicle but the added warranty and peace of mind makes them a good value.
For more information contact one of SmartFem’s Experts at Certified Benz and Beemer.
Typically when we look at any damage to our vehicle’s paint work we don’t think about there being two types of damage that your vehicle could have, however knowing the difference between structural and cosmetic damage to your vehicle could save you a lot of money on repair costs.
When we refer to structural damage we are referring to damage that has occurred to areas of the vehicle that will result in replacement of metal panels or even worse that the structure of the vehicle has been misaligned to a point that special equipment and heavier force is required to realign the vehicle.
Cosmetic damage on the other hand refers to damage that has had no structural impact on the vehicle. This covers damage from the simple rock chip/scratch to bumper scrapes/dents and in some cases minor scrapes and dents in panels.
By nature cosmetic repairs are cheaper and easier to repair and structural damage is more expensive and more difficult to repair. Therefore knowing the difference will help you ascertain the best place to go for your repair. Structural repairs are better suited to a body shop where they have larger equipment to repair such damage. Cosmetic repairs are well suited to mobile service providers, like Touch Up Guys, who are well equipped to repair cosmetic damage.
So why is cosmetic damage cheaper to repair with a mobile service provider as opposed to going to a traditional body shop? Well as a mobile provider you have much lower overheads than a body shop, therefore the repairs can be offered at a lower price. Does this affect quality? No, so long as you do your research on your mobile provider and make sure you are getting a quality service and repair.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you try to determine if your vehicle has cosmetic damage or structural damage:
- Are the panels misaligned? Look at the gaps between the panels, they should be even.
- Are there major dents to the metal panels or is the panel creased severely?
- Does the car handle differently? If it does make sure to cease driving it as soon as possible.
- Do the doors, hoods and trunks shut as they used to?
Interesting fact that you may not know?
The painted panel that wraps around the front and rear of your car (below the head lamps and tail lamps) is made out of a very flexible and easily repaired plastic.
After prepping for 16 years your teenage son or daughter has finally reached the “right of passage” by getting a driver’s license. Now comes the harsh reality of paying substantially higher premiums for their auto insurance. Here are a few ways to bring down the cost to insure them.
• Encourage your children to get good grades. Most carriers provide a 10-20% discount on premiums for students with a “B” or better GPA.
• Have your teenager enroll in a driver’s education course. Some carriers provide an additional discount for students completing a Driver Safety Course.
• Insure your teen on your policy. This is a much less expensive option than having them get their own policy. Adding your child’s vehicle to your policy provides discounts for this vehicle not eligible in a monoline policy. Your child’s vehicle will receive the multi-car policy discount as well as the homeowner’s insurance discount you currently receive on your auto policy.
• If you are adding another vehicle for your teen driver make sure you get a vehicle deemed “safe” by the insurance industry. This usually means a somewhat older, four-door vehicle with normal power, i.e. not turbo-charged. These vehicles have a much lower rate for your teen driver. Consult your agent to get “what if” quotes to see if the vehicle you are thinking of buying is one that is considered “safe” and is also within your insurance budget.
• Consider raising the deductible on your vehicles or have your child contribute toward maintaining lower deductible amounts.
• If the vehicle is an older model, usually over ten years old, consider eliminating collision and comprehensive coverage.
• See if your teen can be listed as an “occasional”, “pleasure-only” or the primary driver on the least expensive vehicle on your policy to get a lower premium.
• If your teen is going away to college, ask for the “away at school” discount on your policy. The student usually needs to be 75 miles away from the primary residence to qualify.
• Comparison shop to find the best rate. Not all carriers have the same discounts or rates for teen drivers. Have your agent shop your auto insurance with different carriers to see if there might be substantial savings available with another carrier.
• Encourage your teenager to keep a safe driving record. Traffic tickets and accidents usually have a more severe impact on your premium if it involves an under 25 driver.
• Do not allow your teen to let a friend drive one of your vehicles. Remember in Arizona insurance follows the vehicle. So, if there is an accident involving your vehicle your policy will pay the claim and impact your insurance premium for a minimum of three years.
Following these suggestions should help lessen the impact on your auto insurance premiums. At the same time look to your insurance agent as a good resource to get the right coverage for your teenager and to best protect your financial well-being.
Also remember in the state of Arizona drivers do not need to be added to an insurance policy until they become a “licensed” driver. Once your child becomes a licensed driver notify your agent immediately to add them to your policy.