18years old, an international student

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Hello my name is Frank Rho.
I just moved into KS.
I am 18 years old and I am an international student who has a studying permit visa.
I am planning to get a driving license before this upcoming summer. But I got some questions about car insurance. First one is that, I heard that it is more expensive for the first year from the day I got the license. Is it true? if it is, how much expensive is it? And if I wait for the first year AND get a car and get an insurance, I do not have to pay that high amount do I?
Second of all, I also heard that it is more expensive before I turn into 25. Again, I would like to know how expensive it will be.. I am not sure which car I will purchase yet, but there will probably be one of the cars following: Toyota-corolla, Nissan-Altima Coupe, Mitsubishi-eclipse, Mitsubishi-Lancer, Volkswagen-GTI, Hyundai-Elantra, Hyundai-Sonata. I would like to know how much the cost will be for those cars. I am sorry but I have not decided on the exact model. For instance, I do not know which eclipse model to choose between GS/GS Sport and GT.. I believe the exact type of a model will cost different.. if so, may I know the differences please?
Last but not least, is there any difference in price for a new car and used one? How much different is that? I am really sorry that I am asking too much information.. Thank you and have a wonderful week.

Our Answer

Welcome to America! We hope Kansas is treating you well.

Wow, you have a lot of questions! We’re glad you’re doing your research. A lot of people just pick the first car insurance company that comes along. I can see you’re smarter than that. We’re happy you came prepared.

Let’s go through your questions one by one.

Does car insurance cost more for the first year? Does it cost more when you’re under 25?

car insurance for 18 year old international studentCar insurance companies charge higher premiums based on risk. A new, inexperienced driver is much riskier to insure than an older, more experienced driver. You might be a great driver – but the insurance company has limited evidence to prove that.

Here’s the bad news: as an 18-year-old male with no driving history, you’re going to pay some of the highest car insurance premiums in the United States. Young male drivers pay more for car insurance than virtually any other type of driver in America. They’re the riskiest drivers to insure because they have the highest claims rate.

As you mentioned, there is a cut-off once you hit 25. Young males tend to pay high insurance prices throughout their teens and early 20s. By the time you hit 25, however, insurance premiums should start dropping significantly.

Generally, insurance gets cheaper every year you drive (assuming you keep a safe driving record). Yes, you’re going to pay high insurance premiums at 18 – but those premiums will keep dropping every year.

You also asked if there’s a big drop-off in insurance premiums if you wait one year. Insurance prices will drop slightly each year you get older in your teens and early 20s, although they won’t drop significantly in price until you’re around 24 or 25.

Use car insurance quote comparison websites to help decide which car to buy

You don’t have to own a vehicle to compare car insurance quotes online. Use a form like our own to input your ZIP code, then add basic information about yourself and one of the vehicles you’re thinking of buying.

As a young, male driver, it’s important to consider the costs of car insurance when buying a vehicle. A new Mitsubishi Lancer, for example, is going to cost more to insure than a 10-year old Hyundai.

Some drivers have bought a nice new car, only to realize that they can no longer afford car insurance.

Be smarter than these drivers. Compare insurance quotes online today. You can easily input all of the cars you’re considering buying.

Do different car models have different insurance premiums?

Different car models will absolutely have higher insurance premiums. The ‘sport’ edition of a vehicle, for example, typically has high-performance parts inside. These high-performance parts – not to mention the sporty trim – are often more expensive to repair. The car insurance company will pass these higher repair costs onto you.

Again, compare insurance quotes online today to find out how much you can expect to pay for your make and model of vehicle. Car insurance comparison forms will have fields where you can input make, model, trim, year, mileage, and other information, making it easy to get a customized quote.

Do you qualify for good grade discounts and other discounts?

You’re going to pay high prices for car insurance as an 18-year old male with limited driving history. Fortunately, you may qualify for certain discounts, including:

Good Grade Discounts: Do you have a B+ or higher average at school? If so, you may qualify for a good grades discount. Insurance companies are willing to offer cheaper insurance premiums to drivers who maintain good grades in high school or college.

Defensive Driving Class Discounts: You haven’t mentioned if you had a license in your home country. If you’re getting your license for the first time in the United States, then you may want to take a defensive driving course. Not only will this course teach you how to drive, but you may also receive a discount on your car insurance.

Used Car and Cheap Car Discounts: You mentioned that you were considering buying a used vehicle. That’s a great way to save money on car insurance as a young male driver. If you buy an older, cheaper vehicle, then you can cut insurance premiums by 50% or more by dropping collision and comprehensive coverage. Just maintain the basic liability coverage required by Kansas state law, and you can legally drive without issue.

Good luck Frank! It looks like you’ve already done plenty of research. With a little bit more hard work, you’ll get your license, get a good car, and get a good price on car insurance.

Other Answers

Answer 1

Hi Frank,

Unfortunately, some of these questions seem like things that only your insurance agent can answer.  Why not give them a call?

Fortunately, we have a new article on our site addressing many of your concerns. Please take a look – auto insurance for international students

Good luck!

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