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Car insurance after graduation

How life after school changes your car insurance rates.


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Your next steps might mean getting your own policy, or at least new rates. But upgrading your car insurance depends on how much your life changes after graduation — from getting a new address or car to earning a better credit score.

How does car insurance change after graduation?

Graduation affects car insurance the most if you’ve been under your parent’s policy throughout your time in school. But even if you’ve had your own insurance for a while, you could see different rates.

Thoughts to consider when getting insured after graduation:

  • Getting your own policy. Going from paying next to nothing to shouldering insurance alone is a huge change, but it’s all part of the transition.
  • Sharing a policy. If you’re a high school grad making your way to college or simply living at home to get on your feet, you might cut costs by staying on your parent’s policy. This is generally only recommended if you still share the car with family and drive it occasionally.
  • College degrees mean slightly lower rates. You’ll probably have cheaper car insurance after graduating college. You might also see cheaper car insurance based on your job if you land one after graduating.
  • Gaining driving experience. Drivers tend to see drops in insurance prices once they hit age 21 as well, and then again at 25 as they get even more driving experience. Regardless of your degree, expect to see lower car insurance rates based on your age alone.

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How much does graduation affect car insurance rates?

Graduation itself doesn’t influence car insurance as much as the life changes that surround it. Factors insurance companies use that might affect you:

  • Location. Getting your own place means your premium could fluctuate based on that address. In general, rural and country areas drive lower rates than city-bound driving.
  • Age. Expect a lower rate as you mature in life and in driving experience, especially when aging out of teen years.
  • Driving record. Score high points with insurance companies for keeping your driving record clean.
  • Type of car. Steer away from sports cars, convertibles and high-powered engines if you’re looking to save. These cars could encourage high-speed driving and include less protection during an accident.
  • Credit history. Your credit tells insurance companies what to expect with financial and even accident risk. Keep your credit score up with timely loan payments and a healthy debt-to-income ratio. Note that some states don’t legally allow insurers to factor in your credit score when setting your rate.
  • Continuing student. Moving from high school to college means you could continue to qualify for student discounts and low-mileage rates. Plus, you could offset your own risk with your parent’s driving experience by staying on their policy. But after graduation, you’ll lose your good student discount.

5 steps to get cheap car insurance after graduation

The new world of solo or upgraded car insurance includes a few savvy ways to save on your premium:

  1. Shop around. Get quotes from several insurance companies that offer friendly rates and benefits for a younger crowd.
  2. Bundle everything. Also need life, home or renters insurance? Get a package deal.
  3. Discover new discounts. Look for discounts you might now qualify for, such as homeowner, claims-free or car safety feature discounts.
  4. Get student discounts. If you’re college-bound, you could still be eligible for student discounts for maintaining high grades or not driving while at school.
  5. Nix unnecessary coverage. Consider whether you need certain coverage, like better car replacement or medical payments if you have adequate healthcare insurance.

How do I get my own car insurance after graduation?

Follow a few steps when graduating to your own car insurance policy:

  • Get multiple quotes from insurance companies and consider coverage needs.
  • Choose a provider and, if needed, start an application.
  • Provide personal, vehicle and coverage information.
  • Finalize details, enter payment information and start your new policy.

If you’re keeping your policy, you may simply need to contact your insurer for updates to your address or coverage. Often, you can do this by calling a representative or making changes through an online account.

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Bottom line

Graduation could mean big changes for your car insurance—like branching out to your own policy or updating coverage needs. If going off to higher education, you could save by sticking with your parent’s policy.

Either way, compare multiple providers for the best option for your situation.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance after graduation

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