There isn't much that's as frightening as letting your teenager out of the house and behind the wheel of a car for the first time. But opening up the first car insurance bill after you add your teen driver to the policy could be nearly as frightening. It's no secret that insuring a teenage driver isn't cheap. Teenagers are three times more likely than drivers over 20 to be in a fatal car accident, making them a much riskier group to insure than any other age group. However, the insurance bill may not have to be as bad as you might anticipate. Check out a few tips for reducing the cost of insuring a teenage driver.

Choose Your Teen's Car Carefully

The kind of car that your teenager drives matters. Obviously, you want a car that's safe for your teenager's sake, but a car that has higher safety ratings will also be less expensive to insure, so go shopping for a vehicle with that in mind. You should also consider buying a pre-owned car instead of a new car, and staying away from sports cars and SUVs. These factors can all help keep your teen's insurance rates down.

It's not enough just to buy a car that's inexpensive to insure, though – you also need to make sure that it's assigned to the right person. If you don't let your insurance carrier know which vehicle in the house is assigned to which driver, they'll make their own assumptions, and that may mean pairing the most expensive driver – your teen – with the most expensive car to insure, regardless of whether or not that's the one they're actually driving.

Not all insurance companies assign drivers to vehicles – some offer policies that simply lump all the drivers and cars together in a family policy. If you plan to buy your teen a new, expensive car, this type of policy may be a better choice for you. Either way, it's a good idea to find out whether or not your insurance company assigns vehicles and drivers.

Look for Discounts

Teenagers don't have as many possible discounts available to them as adults do, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take advantage of any possible opportunities. Is your teen on the honor roll? If so, that can save you money (and telling your teen that you can only afford to let them drive if they get the good student discount is an effective way to encourage them to study more). Driver's education classes can also cut the car insurance bills for your teen.

If your teen volunteers or belongs to any organizations, that could result in a discount too. Some insurance companies offer discounts to teens who belong to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Volunteer work with local charities might also reduce their rates. If your teen has a job, they may be eligible for insurance discounts through certain employers – for example, large big box stores sometimes offer this type of benefit.

Monitor Your Teen's Driving Habits

Increase your own peace of mind and lower your car insurance rates at the same time by monitoring teen's driving. You can do this by installing an electronic monitoring device in your teenager's car. If the device is permanently installed, you could receive a discount anywhere from 5% to 33% on your teen's car insurance policy.

These devices can track the car's location and the speed of the car. Some will even send email or text alerts directly to you. This encourages better driving (and encourages your teen to be where they're supposed to be.) That's good news for insurers and parents – everybody wins.

It's one thing to be aware that insuring your teenager is probably going to cost more than insuring yourself, but that doesn't mean that you should pay more than you have to. By keeping an eye out for ways to lower your teen's insurance rate, you're making a smart choice that will make teen driving more affordable in your household. For more information, talk to a local auto insurance company