What Teens Should Consider When the Time Comes to Get Their Driver’s License
In most states, a teenager can get their driver’s license when they turn 16. If they can do so, they will probably borrow a vehicle from their parents and use that to take the test’s driving portion. Maybe their parents taught them to drive, or an older sibling might do it instead.
If you’re a teen who is approaching your 16th birthday, and you’re not sure about whether to get your license or not, there are many factors things to consider. Let’s go over a few of them right now.
How Confident Are You?
One thing you should realize is that just because you’re legally old enough to get your license, it does not follow that you must do so. You’re under no legal obligation to try and get your license the moment you turn 16, or at any time, for that matter.
You might be glad to hear that if you’re not the most confident in the abilities that it takes to get a license. The written portion is usually not that challenging for most people, but the driving part requires motor skills and spatial awareness that do not come easily to everybody.
Even if you feel like you have a good chance at getting your license on the first try, you may still feel nervous about driving regularly from that point forward. Teen drivers often get in accidents, and then you’ll have to consider hiring a car accident lawyer. You might injure someone or cause a lot of property damage, and you may not want that on your conscience.
Will You Have a Vehicle Available Right Away?
You might also decide to hold off on getting your driver’s license after you turn 16 if you know you’re not going to have a vehicle available from that point onward. If a parent told you they would get you a car the moment you got your license, or they’re going to pass their used vehicle down to you, that might incentivize getting the license. If you know you won’t have a car right away to drive, though, you may consider waiting.
You’ll have to talk to your parents about that. Maybe their opinion is that they’d like you to get your license even if they don’t have a car to give you, because that way, you can drive your younger siblings or yourself around occasionally. They might regard you getting your license as helping the family since there will be one more eligible driver in the house.
Are There Other Transportation Options?
You should also think carefully about where you live. Let’s say you’re about to turn 16 and you live in a big city like New York. That’s a city where there are many transportation options, like trains and buses. You might not feel like you need your license immediately for that reason.
On the other hand, if you reside somewhere way out in the country, you’ll probably want to get that license right away because it’s a way to help you get around. If you live in a fairly rural area, and you know your parents will pass a used car down to you, you’ll likely want that option over walking or riding your bike everywhere like you have always done.
Can Your Parents Afford the Insurance?
Maybe you’re also not in a huge hurry to get that license because even if your parents say you can borrow their car sometimes, they don’t feel like they want to pay the additional money to put you on their insurance. Car insurance costs more to cover teens because teens are not experienced drivers, and they often cause car wrecks.
You might be in a household where money is tight, so your parents would prefer that you wait until they can afford that higher insurance. You might be able to compromise with them, though. Perhaps you can get a part-time job and give them some money for gas and insurance, thereby pulling your weight in this regard.
The fact is that every familial situation is different when you turn 16 and you’re considering whether to get that license or not. Talk to your parents about it.
You can go over the pros and cons as a family, and you should be able to conclude whether you should go for it or wait a while. Either option might work, but try not to pressure yourself too much about this decision.