Cheap Car Insurance for College Students

Surviving as a college student is about living cheaply, saving money everywhere you can, and fleecing as much money from your parents as humanly possible. But at times, this is easier said than done, especially when it feels like the world is against you and you’re being charged the highest prices even though you have the least money.

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Car insurance is a perfect example of this. College students are hardly known for having a lot of disposal income, yet car insurance companies quote them significantly higher rates than any other demographic. So, what can you do, how can you save?

Average Cost of Car Insurance by Age

Your insurance rates are determined by a multitude of factors, all of which are used by the underwriters to predict the likelihood that you will make a claim. The more likely you are according to the statistics at the underwriter’s disposal, the higher your insurance premiums will be.

Students are at a disadvantage from the outset, as young drivers and first-time drivers will pay considerably more than drivers with age and experience on their side. According to the national averages, you can expect to pay approximately the following amounts for each age:

  • Age 17: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $2,200; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $5,800.
  • Age 18: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,900; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $5,100.
  • Age 19: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,300; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $3,500.
  • Age 20: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,100; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $3,200.
  • Age 21: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $900; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,500.
  • Age 22: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $800; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,300.
  • Age 23: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $750; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,100.
  • Age 24: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $700; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,000.
  • Age 25: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $600; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $1,750.

For comparison sake, the average cost for all car insurance policies in the United States is just over $1,000. This gives you an idea of just how much more money young drivers are expected to pay.

Main Car Insurance Discounts for Students

There are two types of car insurance discounts aimed specifically at students.

The first, and the best known, is the good student discount. Offering an average saving of 25%, this discount applies to all student drivers who maintain good grades throughout the life of their policy. Generally, those grades need to be at least a B average, but the specifics will depend on your state and insurer.

The second is known as a student away or full-time student discount. This can go much higher, often to between 40% and 50%, but it is only available to students who live on campus and, therefore, spend very little time at home and behind the wheel.

Other Discounts Offered to Students

Many of the driver discounts offered to adults and experienced drivers are also available to student drivers and are a great way to bring those rates down. These discounts include:

  • Multi-Policy and Multi-Car Discount: A multi-car discount is provided to policyholders who add multiple cars to the same policy. If you’re buying an auto insurance policy for your child, consider adding them to your policy and you can benefit from this discount. Adding a child to a parents’ policy will generally cost a lot less than getting them their own policy.
  • Good Driver Discount: A student doesn’t have a driving record until they get their driver’s license and climb behind the wheel for the first time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t work towards the goal of getting a clean and safe driving record. This will allow them to make bigger savings in the future.
  • Driving Training Discount: Driver safety courses and defensive driving courses are a great way for drivers of all ages to secure cheaper car insurance quotes. It’s proof that you’re a good driver, have the skills needed to stay safe, and are committed to improving yourself.
  • Mileage Discount: Some insurers will give you a discount if you allow them to track your driving habits and use the information gathered to tweak your rates. You can also get insurance coverage that charges by the mile.

The Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies for Students

The more policies you compare, the more likely you are to get the best car insurance cover and the lowest possible cost. Most insurers will cover you as a student, but some are better than others and to help you get started, we have listed some of the very best:

State Farm

Based on the number of policyholders and combined claims, State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the United States. It also spans all fifty states and along with a 25% good student discount, it offers teen driving programs and driver safety training.

Allstate

Allstate has a higher good student discount than most, offering a saving of 35% to all qualifying applicants. Its student car insurance rates are reduced further by the addition of a 5% student away discount, as well as generally low rates.

GEICO

GEICO is consistently ranked as one of the cheapest and best car insurance companies in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. GEICO’s good driver discount may be capped at 15%, but when the base rates are already low, big discounts aren’t necessary. 

In our research on national averages, GEICO consistently came out on top for the cheapest car insurance premiums when looking at minimum liability coverage and fully comprehensive coverage.

Progressive

Students going through Progressive can save up to 20% more on their car insurance, with 10% for maintaining good grades and 10% for studying away. It also offers driver course discounts and other unique ways to save.

Bottom Line

In the list above, we covered just a handful of the cheapest providers for students. You should also look into the likes of Liberty Mutual, American Family, and, if you qualify, the USAA. These insurance providers may offer you cheaper rates, they may not, but the differences from state to state and user to user can be huge, so you won’t know until you try them and get those quotes.

Metromile and other usage-based car insurers also offer very cheap car insurance, but only if you barely use your car.