What is a Preferred Driver?

A preferred driver is a low-risk driver that exhibits all of the signs of a responsible and safe driver on the road. You may run into car insurance companies advertising cheap rates for preferred drivers. Understand that your preferred driver status for car insurance depends on your age and credit score, not just your driving record. Enter your ZIP code below to see if you qualify for preferred driver auto insurance rates.

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UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Written By: Tonya SislerReviewed By: Brad LarsenUPDATED: Nov 17, 2020Fact Checked

As you shop for car insurance, there are many phrases you will run into that can be confusing as you compare car insurance quotes. A preferred driver is one common phrase that you may run into and one that can provide potential customers with reduced rates and discounts on their car insurance premiums. But what is it? And, how do you qualify as a preferred risk driver?

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A preferred driver is a low risk driver that exhibits all of the signs of a responsible and safe driver on the road. You may run into car insurance companies advertising cheap rates for preferred drivers, and if you have no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets or offer a clean driving record in general, then you should qualify. Here’s what to know about being a preferred driver, and how to keep your low-risk standing for the future.

A Clean Driving Record

Although shopping for a car insurance policy can be time consuming and daunting, the process is quite simple. The better you’re driving record is, the easier it will be for you to find affordable car insurance rates. Less knicks on your driving record such as little or no traffic violations and a DUI-free driving record will automatically put you in a low-risk category.  As car insurance companies look into providing you with a policy and whether or not you’ll be approved for one at all, traffic violations matter. They want to know they are insuring a responsible driver and one that poses a low risk to everyone else in the road. So, the lower risk you are, the more chance you have of qualifying for a preferred driver status.

Age Matters

As unfortunate and unfair as it is, the younger you are, the more expensive your auto insurance rate will be. This is, unless of course you are in your mid-twenties or older and can prove a stagnant and stable clean driving record history. A sixteen year old male driver who just bought his first car for example, tends to run into high auto insurance rates as a result of his inexperience on the road. Compare this scenario to a forty year old female driver with a squeaky clean driving record and drives a family style sedan. Although age isn’t the biggest factor in being a preferred driver, it certainly is one of them and can make a difference by hundreds of dollars per year. Don’t worry if you are a young, inexperienced driver as opposed to an older, experienced one. Although policy rates can fluctuate widely, by proving yourself as a responsible and defensive driver on the road, your car insurance premium can decrease over time.

Your Credit Score

Although car insurance companies can’t measure how much your policy will cost solely based on your credit score, your credit can be factored in as part of the requirements for your car insurance cost. While many refuse this requirement as a fair way to conduct business, it is the reality of many car insurance companies. If you have a low credit score but an excellent driving record, your credit shouldn’t weight heavily on the amount your premium ends up being. If it does, then shop elsewhere as not all insurance companies weight in your credit when determining your car insurance costs.  When it comes to finding the cheapest car insurance rates while getting the greatest value, every insurance company is different. As you shop around, don’t get discouraged if one company classifies you as a high risk driver or says that you don’t qualify in being a “preferred driver.” Call around and compare policies from many different insurance companies. Each company will provide a slightly different premium cost and the reason being that each insurance company bases their rates off a tier system. So, while one company may classify you as a “5”, the next may classify you as a “10”, and so on. Compare and contrast car insurance quotes so that you can find the best policy for you, with or without the “preferred driver” status.

Preferred drivers, also known as “preferred risk” drivers represent a driver that knows how to be proactive and defensive on the road. In short, this saves insurance companies money which is important, for you and them. Prove yourself as a good driver or just maintain your “preferred driver” status and you’ll have an affordable car insurance policy for years to come.  Every year as your policy is about to expire; take the time to shop around for competitive rates. After all, the longer you drive as a responsible driver, the more marketable you earn as a preferred driver, and more benefits you can enjoy.

Start your car insurance comparison search today and compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers nationwide. Just enter your Zip code above to find local providers and compare quotes today!

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Written by Tonya Sisler
Insurance Writer Tonya Sisler

Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

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