Car Insurance for Students

Learn how to save on auto insurance as a student, whether you're in high school, undergrad, or post-grad.

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Cheap car insurance for students

Drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 pay more than any other age group for car insurance. Car insurance companies see young drivers as more likely to drive recklessly, commit moving violations and file insurance claims. If you’re a student, this can make finding affordable car insurance difficult. Let’s outline the cheapest car insurance providers for students and some other ways to save.

Table of contents:

  1. Car insurance for college students
  2. Car insurance for high school students
  3. Car insurance for graduate students
  4. Telematics car insurance for students
  5. Student discounts by insurance company
  6. Temporary car insurance for students
  7. Other ways to save as a student

 

*Note: This guide was written by one of The Zebra's licensed insurance experts. All data comes from The Zebra's industry-leading annual study of auto insurance rates

 


 

Car insurance for college students

Obtaining insurance coverage as a college student can be expensive. 

Below are rates from some of the best car insurance companies for college-aged drivers.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage 6-Month Premium
Allstate$1,944
Farmers$1,887
GEICO$1,106
Liberty Mutual$1,752
Nationwide$1,556
Progressive$1,950
State Farm$1,266
USAA$1,865

With all other metrics constant, GEICO is the cheapest auto insurance company for college students. However, GEICO might not be the perfect match for you. You should always compare auto insurance quotes from as many companies as possible. Consider our information as a reference point when starting your search for college student auto insurance.

 

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As a college student, do you need your own insurance policy or can you stay on your parents' insurance?

Whether or not you need your own car insurance policy as a college student is a straightforward decision:

You need your own policy when:

You’re living away from your parents' house and driving a car full-time. If your insurance company discovers you’re living outside of your parents' home with a vehicle, you risk having your coverage or claim denied. Furthermore, if you are living on your own it's likely that you will need renters insurance. Combining your car and renters insurance can also lead to lower insurance premiums.

You do not need your own policy when:

You’re not driving away from your parents' residence but want to remain insured for when you come home. If you’re going to a college within the same city, or if you’re away at college but are not driving, you can stay on your parents' policy.

Staying on your family's policy — especially if you’re not driving — will help you avoid a lapse in coverage, which can cause your insurance payments to rise when you buy insurance in the future. If you have your own policy but come home for the holidays, you might still be covered under your family's auto insurance policy if it has a permissive use clause. Permissive use gives infrequent drivers coverage if they use the vehicle fewer than 12 times a year. 

Helpful hint! If you're going to be living more than 100 miles away at college and won't be driving, your parents can receive a “student away from home” discount if they decide to keep you on their policy. This discount, which varies by company, will require proof that you’re living away from the residence. Proof can be as simple as a utility bill. Learn more about car insurance discounts for students.

 


 

Car insurance as a high school student

Buying car insurance as a high school student raises some important considerations — namely, when a student should be added to the family policy, and how much it will cost. Car insurance companies use your driving record as a rating factor when determining rates. On average, adding a teen driver to a car insurance policy will increase the premium by more than $100 per month. Given their lack of driving experience and tendency to take risks behind the wheel, teen drivers are seen as very risky — and expensive — insurance clients.

When should a high school driver be added to their parents' policy?

While this may vary by state and by insurance company, a teen driver needs to be added to their parents' insurance policy once they’re licensed and using a vehicle. Some states require teens to be added to their family’s car insurance policy if:

 

Cheap car insurance options for high school students

The next — and probably more prevalent — concern for car insurance for high schoolers is cost. Because of their lack of driving experience, teenagers are the most expensive age group to insure. We determined that USAA will be the cheapest for a family — again with all other metrics constant. If you’re looking for affordable car insurance for your high school-aged driver, start with USAA. If you don't qualify for USAA coverage, consider Nationwide.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage 6-Month Premium
Allstate$1,641
Farmers$1,455
GEICO$1,267
Liberty Mutual$1,269
Nationwide$1,062
Progressive$1,427
State Farm$1,221
USAA$822

 

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Additional discounts for teen student drivers

You should also consider a Defensive Driver Discount and a Good Student Discount. These discounts can save parents an average of $305 when combined!

Good student discount:If you have a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better, you could be eligible for this discount. Insurance companies see teen drivers with good grades as less likely to take risks while driving, which they reward with lower premiums. Insurance companies usually require proof — such as a transcript — every six months in order to qualify for a good student discount.

GOOD STUDENT/GOOD DRIVER SAVINGS
AgeAverage Savings
16$344
17$303
18$267


Defensive driver discount:This discount requires you to complete an insurance company-approved course on defensive driving. Make sure you consult your insurance company or insurance agent prior to taking a course, just to confirm it offers this discount.

 


 

Car insurance for graduate students

There are some differences between getting car insurance as a graduate student versus a college student. As a graduate student who has completed a bachelor's degree, you can expect some insurance savings. A driver with more education is seen as more financially stable and more likely to practice safe driving, reducing the amount of risk — and potential cost — the client presents. This leads to lower car insurance rates for graduate students.

The next part of your savings comes from your age. While there is no standard age for graduate students, they’re typically older than undergraduate students. To an insurance company, an older motorist is a more experienced driver and a better client.

 

Cheap car insurance for graduate students

In order to find the cheapest car insurance companies for graduate students, we created a general profile (drivers between the ages of 22 and 29) and compared rates from popular insurance companies. Below are the results.

Car Insurance ProviderAverage 6-Month Premium
Allstate$1,177
Farmers$949
GEICO$690
Liberty Mutual$946
Nationwide$852
Progressive$969
State Farm$777
USAA$613

GEICO is the cheapest insurance provider for this age group if you don't qualify for USAA. Consider this data as a beginning point of reference when it comes to your personal policy. Every company will respond differently to you and your needs so it’s best to shop around as often as possible in order to find what suits you.

 

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Telematics car insurance for students

Another insurance savings option for students is known as telematics. Telematics is a technology that analyzes your driving habits and reports them back to your insurer. This can be used to determine your rates or possibly lead to discounts for being a safe driver.

Telematics employs either a smartphone app or a plug-in device that monitors behaviors like your speed and hard braking as well as your overall mileage. Usage-based car insurance plans consider the overall amount of miles that you drive when setting your rates. This means that the less you drive, the more you stand to save. 

Companies that offer telematics include many of the major carriers such as Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive, as well as newer insure-tech companies like Root and Metromile.

 


 

Auto insurance discounts for students by insurance company

See discounts specific to younger drivers or students, along with usage-based telematics programs on offer from some top insurance companies below. 

Car Insurance CompanyStudent DiscountsTelematics Programs
AllstateGood student, safe driving program, student away from homeDrivewise
FarmersGood studentSignal
GEICOGood student, driver education courseDriveEasy
Liberty MutualGood student, student away at schoolRightTrack, ByMile
NationwideGood studentSmartRide
ProgressiveGood studentSnapshot
State FarmGood student, driver training, student away at schoolSteer Clear, Safe & Save
USAAGood student, driver trainingSafePilot

 

 


 

Temporary car insurance: how to pause your policy

There isn't a way to simply pause your insurance. If you're planning on relocating temporarily for a summer internship or study-abroad program and aren't sure what to do with your car insurance, read on for tips.

 

Storage coverage

Let's say you're taking a summer internship in San Francisco and leaving your vehicle behind. While you want the car to be protected, you don't want to pay the full premium for the three months you'll be gone. If your insurance company allows it, you might consider storage coverageorstorage protection.This coverage reduces your insurance to comprehensive coverage only. This protects your vehicle against theft, vandalism, and weather-related claims. This coverage falls short of state-required liability insurance, meaning no one can use the vehicle during this period. However, your premium will be reduced significantly.

You should be aware of whether your state monitors ongoing vehicle registration or if your registration will be up for renewal during this process. Most states require vehicles to be fully insured with liability coverage or have registration suspended and tags turned in. Because storage coverage insurance falls into a grey area, you should be careful. Storage coverage can be a good solution if you need to suspend coverage for a bit. Just be aware of your state's registration laws first.

 


 

Additional resources: car insurance for students

It's important to remember that car insurance changes as you progress through life phases. Graduating from school or celebrating a birthday presents an opportunity to save on auto insurance. It's important to shop for car insurance every six months to get the best possible rate.

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Recent Questions:

Car Insurance for Students

If I move to Florida from Virginia for college, would I have to change my plates and get Florida auto insurance?

Florida law states that if you are in the state for over six months of the year, you need to register and tag the vehicle there. To do so, you will require PIP (as Florida is a no-fault state) and liability insurance.

How do I get insurance if I'm a Canadian student moving to NY?

You can still find car insurance without a social security number, but it may be more difficult without a US driver's license. Many insurers will not offer policies for non-licensed drivers.

Is there a temporary non-owners car insurance for foreign drivers?

As an international student, you do have some options. The Zebra can offer Non-Owner's policies for drivers with a foreign license. We can't quote that online because a car is required, but you can give us a call at 888-807-3823.

What is the average cost for an 18 year old female with a sports car in Arizona?

There's a couple of things to consider regarding the average cost of car insurance for you. First, your age will definitely impact your premium.

Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.