Car insurance for college students

Find coverage you can afford when you’re in college.

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Car insurance providers typically treat college students like any young driver, charging higher rates to cover the cost of potential risk that comes with inexperience. The good news is that you can take measures to bring those costs down.

  • Pay by miles driven
  • Low base rates
  • Drive less, pay less

Students can save with: Metromile

Only pay for how much you drive with the Metromile app. Get rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile.

  • Rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile
  • Low-mileage drivers could save $611/year
  • All miles over 250 a day are free
  • Easy app and online claims plus 24/7 support

Compare car insurance for college students

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
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Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Only pay for how much you drive with the Metromile app. Get rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile.
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save.
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It's quick and easy to get an online quote with Geico, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.
All states except AK, HI, LA, MI, RI
Enjoy special benefits including rate lock, no-drop policies and accident recovery. Exclusively for drivers 50+.
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Enjoy premium perks like better car replacement and accident forgiveness plus local agent support.
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Get free quotes from top insurers for the exact coverage you need in minutes.
A new company with a minimalist approach to insurance. Find basic coverage, low rates and online-based service.

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How much is car insurance for a college student?

Car insurance rates vary based on your age, location, car and other factors. For example, college students in California pay an average of $1,314 for liability only car insurance.

Car insurance rates for college students

Company Cheapest annual rate
Mercury $665
USAA $750
Progressive $969
Esurance $1,097
Capital $1,189
Grange $1,371
AAA $1,389
Geico $1,559
Kemper $1,763
Liberty Mutual $1,766
Average $1,252

What factors affect my car insurance rates?

While age and driving experience definitely play a part, plenty of other factors can affect your rate.

  • Your age or driving experience. Young drivers are considered riskier customers, and are statistically involved in more accidents than experienced drivers. To cover this perceived risk, insurers nearly always apply higher premiums to drivers who are 25 or younger.
  • Your credit score. Only California, Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit insurance companies from using your credit score to assess your risk. Providing yet another reason you may want to start building your credit score in college.
  • Where you live. Rural drivers typically pay less for their car insurance than urban drivers. City driving comes with a higher risk of vandalism, theft and crashes. Climate can also play into how a provider assesses your rates — so consider the potential for natural disasters and inclimate weather where you’re driving.
  • Your driving record. The longer you go without an accident, the better your rates can be. If you have any recent accidents or tickets, consider a defensive driving course. Depending on your provider, completing a class might bring your rate down by as much as 10%.
  • The vehicle you drive. Generally, the car you drive affects how much you’ll pay for car insurance. Older cars, convertibles, high-performance vehicles and luxury cars are among those you might pay more for.
  • Your job. If you end up working at your college, you could qualify for a discount of up to 15%. If you’re on your parent’s insurance, their occupation benefit could trickle down to you as well.

5 ways a college student can save on car insurance

You can’t magically age yourself out of the college student demographic. And it’s not a good idea to lie on your application.

So how can you play your cards right and still pay a reasonable amount? Start by following these five tips:

  1. Partner with your parents. A top way to save is by staying on your parents’ car insurance for as long as possible. You can establish an insurance history until it’s time to get your own policy, and your rates are more affordable in the meantime.
  2. Keep up your grades. If you’re able to keep your GPA at 3.0 or better, your insurer might reward you with a good student discount.
  3. Drive less frequently. The fewer miles you drive annually, the lower your rates could be. Consolidate grocery trips and other errands when possible, and carpool with others offering to drive. You can even try telematics insurance that bases your rates on how well and how much you drive.
  4. Drive safely. A spotless driving record nearly always gets you more favorable insurance rates. But even if you’ve had accidents or tickets, completing safe driving courses might bring your rates down, and may even remove points from your driving record.
  5. Shop around. By taking the time to compare providers and policies, you can find the best rates you’re eligible for.

Ask an expert: What’s the best way for students to save on car insurance?

Signature Insurance

Zaid Zato

Signature Insurance agent

You don’t have to take a part-time job to afford car insurance; there are actually many ways for students to cut costs. Ask your parents if you can add them as another driver to your vehicle. Many car insurance companies offer bulk deals on multiple drivers.

Taking a defensive driving course in your free time will also slash high costs because insurance companies will see you as a safe and competent driver. Other things to consider are to drive smaller cars, improve your credit rating or search for companies that offer pay-as-you-go insurance.

Is leaving the car at home worth the discount?

The short answer: probably not. While you could save upward of 80% on your car insurance while away at school, the car would have to be parked and unused the entire time you’re away.

Not only is this impractical — for instance, a parent or sibling could make use of the car — but it’s also hard on a vehicle to park it for months at a time without driving it, even if it’s in a climate-controlled garage or storage facility.

What about temporary insurance?

If you’re a college student who’s only planning to drive three or four months out of the year, there’s a chance temporary insurance is the right choice for you. You could save over the cost of a traditional 6 month or annual policy by only getting temporary coverage during the periods when you’re home and would be driving your vehicle.

Temporary insurance can usually be bought for the length of time you need it, but isn’t always available from standard providers. You can also save by letting a parent or sibling take over the vehicle and its insurance costs while you’re away at school.

Bottom line

Older drivers usually get better car insurance rates than college students, teenagers and other potentially inexperienced drivers. But you can make your car insurance more affordable with good grades, by driving less frequently or staying on your parents’ car insurance for as long as possible.

To find the best rates you’re eligible for, weigh your needs and priorities against what’s offered by all the different car insurance providers out there.

Get the cheapest quotes

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