The War on Teen Drivers

Did you know the average cost of car insurance for a 16-year-old is almost $3,000 annually? This assumes assuming no tickets, no accidents and a good scholastic record. Yes, they actually check the kid’s grades and use that as a metric for determining his “risk profile,” just as adult drivers are dunned by the insurance mafia if their credit score isn’t top-shelf, regardless of their driving record.

So, a $250 per month cost-of-entry before the car even leaves the driveway. Before the kid puts gas in the thing.

Before the kid even has a car to put gas into.

How is he supposed to get a car – or afford gas – when he is obliged to pony up $250 each month to the insurance mafia?

Most adults with full-time jobs would have serious troubling dealing with a $250/month nut for insurance. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $25.00 (as of 12:10 EST - Details)

How is a teenage kid working a minimum wage/part-time gig supposed to deal with it?

Faced with this extortion – and that’s exactly the right word; there’s no choice about paying the $250 per month, if the kid wants to drive legally – many simply opt out. A record-high percentage of 16-25-year-olds haven’t even got a driver’s license and forget the car. They stay home instead, game and text. When they need to get somewhere, they ride share or Uber or something that doesn’t require them to spend a minimum of 20-25 hours working at minimum wage (currently $10.50 er hour) gig hauling pizzas or some such just to tithe the mafia.

More and more of them just don’t care about cars – or driving.

Mission accomplished.

One way to get people out of cars – an agenda that has existed since at least the early ’70s in furtive “urban planning” circles but which has become aggressively obvious in recent years –  is to make sure they never get into them. And the easiest way to do that is to make driving prohibitively and unavoidably expensive for new drivers especially. If they never learn to drive, they’ll never miss not driving. (See my article on the Proletarianization of Transportation for more on this.)

A kid doesn’t have to buy a new car or even a $3,000 used car. He can buy any car that rolls under its own power or even not – to be fixed up and made capable of rolling as the kid’s means permit.

This latter being part of the bonding experience with cars generations of teen drivers experienced growing up. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $25.00 (as of 03:45 EST - Details)

One of my high school buddies owned a palsied chocolate brown ’77 Datsun B210 with no reverse. Well, it had a reverse. Said so, right there on the shifter. It just didn’t work. When it was time to back out of the 7-11 parking lot, we’d simultaneously open the doors and push the car back with our feet, Fred Flintstone-style.

That car – in which we had numerous adventures – cost my friend less than $300 and the insurance was nowhere near $3,000.

Which is why my friend – all my friends – had a car, however decrepit. And were able to drive them. On our own part-time/minimum-wage nickel.

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