Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gifts For "The New Driver"

There are a few gifts you can give a new driver. One is the gift of knowledge. Share with them the imporatnce of safety. Two is a defensive driving course to reduce insurance costs. The third gift is paying for the insurance. It's a new take on buying the car. Let your child learn responsibility by working and saving up for the car and you pay for the insurance. In most cases it's less than the car full price or the car payment (which i wouldn't advise you let your kids get into.)

Here is a press release that gives the gift of knowledge. It is a web release that explains how to be a cautious driver:

Nancy Pierce a regional vice president of GEICO's San Diego location, recommended these steps to help reduce the chances you and your car will be targeted:
1) Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even while driving. Close all windows and sunroofs, no matter how hot it is. (Run the AC!)
2) Never leave your keys in the car. (DUH)
3) If possible, park in busy, well-lit areas. Thieves prefer to work in the dark. Leave your car in park or in gear with the wheels turned toward the curb or some other obstruction, so thieves won't be able to tow it easily. (Beware of indoor parking)
4) Avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them. (I think that's common sense...)
5) Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle if it doesn't have one. A mechanism that locks onto the steering wheel can be a very visible sign that you've taken steps to protect your vehicle. Ignition cut-off systems prevent a car from being started. Some new cars come with passive alarms that activate automatically when the key is removed from the ignition. One system emits a signal that can be tracked by the police. Thieves are reluctant to steal vehicles that can be tracked and recovered quickly. Many insurers offer discounts for these types of systems. (That's an incentive to get one!)
6) Beware of the "bump-and-rob" technique. Carjackers bump your car from the rear, then steal it when you get out to look for damage. When stopped at a traffic light, leave room to maneuver around the vehicle ahead if you need to. If another car bumps yours and you feel threatened, drive to a populated area. If you have a cell phone, call the police for assistance. (And make sure you followed #1)
7) Do not leave registration or title in the car. Too often a car thief is pulled over and gets away from the police because he or she can produce the auto registration. If multiple drivers use the vehicle, the best suggestion would be to hide the registration in a secret location that only the owners know. (Good one.)
8) Look around. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in garages, parking lots and gas stations. (That's a NYer's automatic reflex.)
9) Know where you're going. Avoid known high-crime areas even if the alternate route takes a little longer.
10) If confronted by a carjacker, do not resist. Cars can be replaced; you can't. (Definietly!)
11) Have your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on each of the windows. Car thieves want to get off cheap. They don't want to go to the expense of replacing all the glass. (That's a new one even for me!)

This is part of the web release and it explains the services they offer. Take advantage of a defensive driving course or driver's ed in the school to reduce auto insurance costs. This helps in the second and third gift ideas:
If you're shopping for car insurance check out They make it is easy to buy your auto insurance online and their car insurance prices are the best! In some states you could complete the process and have your proof of insurance in 15 minutes! Their site is user friendly and their goal is to show you how much you can save with their services. You can finish online or their professional call center is available to help you purchase car insurance.

This is a new spin on giving high school graduates a car. Many of my coworkers practiced this and though it was because their kids' colleges were all far I thought differently. I think that letting them learn the value of money by working for their car helps them be more responsible. The reward of paying their auto insurance is a way to say :"That was a job well done!"

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