Teen car insurance isn’t cheap. In nearly every state, you’ll pay more for auto insurance simply because your child is under the age of 25.

While it might not seem fair, there’s a reason.

New drivers are far more likely to be involved in accidents and receive traffic citations than drivers in other age brackets.

Fortunately, safe teen driving habits can help to bring the cost down, in addition to the immediate benefit of keeping your teen safe.

Here are 5 Tips for Reaping the Financial Benefits of Safe Teen Driving:

  1. Encourage your teen to keep his or her grades up. Teen car insurance companies see good grades as a sign of responsible behavior. While it’s certainly possible that a student can get good grades and still not practice safe teen driving, it’s less likely for a good student to engage in risky behavior than it is for a student who doesn’t care about his or her grades.
  2. Don’t go all out on your teen’s vehicle. Older, conservative vehicles are not as expensive to insure as newer, flashier choices. This is true of any age group, but especially for teens. Make sure that your teen’s car has all of the best safety features, but don’t spring for a brand new model.
  3. Enroll your teen in extra driving courses. Some schools offer driver’s education and some don’t. Whether your child’s school does or not, it’s still a good idea to have your teen learn as much as possible about safe teen driving. This often includes a through course in defensive driving. You’ll often find that agents are more than happy to give a discount on teen car insurance if your child is well-instructed in safe teen driving techniques.
  4. Consider maintaining your status as the primary driver. Unless your child has an after-school job or drives him/herself to school every day, there’s really no reason to list your teen as the primary driver. For teens who only borrow the car for the occasional date or weekend get-together with friends, occasional driver status is appropriate. Don’t try to save on teen car insurance this way if your teen does do most of the driving in the covered vehicle, though; you may encounter more trouble than it’s worth if there ever is an accident.
  5. Talk to your insurance agent and shop around. Most agents are not going to automatically ask you questions that could result in a lower teen car insurance premium for you—it’s less money in their pocket. Ask your agent what safe teen driving discounts are available, and be sure you provide the information and documentation required to claim those discounts. If your insurance company does not offer safe teen driving discounts, it may be worth your time to shop around for a company that does.

Finally, to encourage your child to continue safe teen driving practices, consider having him or her pay all or a portion of the insurance premium.

Explain what will make that price go up, and what can reduce it.

When the money is coming out of his or her own pocket, he or she will be more likely to make responsible decisions.