Spokeswoman Michelle Donati says the most common and costly mistake a student can make is allowing a friend to borrow your car. Don’t do it! Don’t fall for your buddy’s sob story! Hide the keys if you must. Car insurance follows the car, not the driver. If your teen loans his car to a friend or roommate and there’s a crash, the crash will go against whoever owns the vehicle – which is usually Mom and Dad.
By the time teens leave home, many have amassed a collection of expensive technology, entertainment equipment and other valuable items that should be insured. A renter’s insurance policy generally costs about $150 a year and can cover items in dorm rooms, apartments, and cars should they get stolen. Even if a student is covered by Mom and Dad’s homeowner insurance, making a claim on a renter’s policy will be much less expensive for everyone in the long run.
Don’t Ignore auto upkeep: Flashing red and orange lights are bad…not good. It’s important to take care of oil changes, tire rotations and other maintenance issues. Change the wiper blades once a year and make sure there’s enough tread on your tires. Students should know when these basic services are necessary to prevent costly repairs that arise as a result of a poorly maintained vehicle.
It’s crucial for students to be prepared in the event of a breakdown or other roadside emergency, as they might not be able to call home for help. Even if your teen doesn’t take a car with them to college, they can still benefit from a AAA membership, as the membership follows the member in any vehicle they are driving or riding in.