Cheap student car insurance
We understand that students need to save cash wherever they can – including on car insurance. So we've analysed your options for getting cheaper premiums.
Young drivers tend to pay more for car insurance than older drivers, but that doesn’t mean finding affordable cover is impossible. There are several ways you can shave money off your premiums – most importantly by shopping around for the best quote. Even if you want to stay with your current insurer, you can use quotes for haggling.
How much does car insurance cost for students?
Car insurance costs more for drivers aged under 25. Statistically, you’re a lot more likely to be involved in an accident. UK figures show that almost a quarter (23%) of 18-24 year olds crash within two years of passing their driving test.
This is the latest available (2016) annual data showing premiums and claims for different age groups, from the Association of British Insurers.
Average car insurance premiums by age group
Average premiums and claims
However, if you’re a good driver, you stand to pay less. And even if you’re not (yet) the world’s best driver, there are still ways to save. It helps to understand the factors that affect your premium.
What affects the cost of car insurance for students?
Where you live, the type of car you drive and your age are all key factors for insurers calculating your premium.
Other factors that affect how much your car insurance costs include:
- Where you live. If you live in an area with a higher crime rate, you’ll find that your premiums will be more expensive on average.
- Your driving record. If you’ve got a history of poor driving, expect to pay more. But if you’re a good driver, many insurers will reward this.
- Where your car is parked. Keep it in a secure garage and you’re likely to have cheaper premiums than if you were to park it on the street.
- Your payment frequency. Some insurers will charge you extra if you choose to pay monthly as opposed to annually.
- Your chosen excess. If you opt for a higher excess, you can benefit from cheaper premiums. Just make sure you can afford it if you do need to make a claim.
What are my car insurance options as a student?
There are a few different insurance options available that may be more suited to students. These include:
- Telematics car insurance. Having a black box policy can help you save on your car insurance. A telematics box or black box is fitted into your car and measures how well you drive. This information is then sent back to your insurance company who then assesses your premiums, taking into account your driving habits. This policy is a popular
choice for young drivers, facing expensive premiums. However, be warned, a black box will monitor how well you drive as well as how badly. Therefore, if your driving is sketchy, your premiums could, in fact, go up.
- Temporary car insurance. It is possible to get car insurance cover for a short period of time, usually between 1 and 28 days. This may suit you while you’re at home from university or if you’re visiting friends or family and need to borrow their car.
- Add yourself to your parents’ policy. You could be added as a named driver onto your parents’ policy, as long as you’re not the main driver of a car. However, be aware that if you’re added as a named driver when you’re actually the main driver, this is known as “fronting” and is illegal in the UK.
- Add a parent to your policy. If you’re the owner of your car, adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy such as your mum or dad could help to lower the premium.
What cover levels are available to students?
No matter how old you are, there are three different types of car insurance available.
To be on UK roads, all drivers are legally required to have at least third party car insurance.
- Third party (TP). This is the most basic cover level and will cover you if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property, or injure them while driving. However, it won’t cover any damage to your car.
- Third party, fire and theft (TPFT). If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be protected for damage to other people’s vehicles or property, or if they are injured. You’ll also have protection against any fire damage or theft of your car.
- Comprehensive. This is the highest level of cover and will provide the same protection as TPFT as well as insuring your vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. It’s always worth checking the cost of comprehensive cover as it can be cheaper than third party or TPFT. The cover levels available to young drivers will also vary between insurance providers so check your policy carefully to ensure you have the right level of cover.
How can I pay less for student car insurance?
While car insurance for inexperienced drivers aged under 25 can be more expensive than it is for experienced, older drivers, there are ways you can reduce the cost of your premiums as a young driver. These include:
- Buying a smaller, less expensive car, rather than a sports model or highly modified vehicle. If finding the cheapest car insurance is your number one priority, then this is your number one tip.
- Resist the urge to make claims just because you can. It might save you money in the short term, but it will wipe out any no claims bonus you may have and mark you as a risky driver, which increases your premiums.
- Consider increasing your excess to reduce your premium, but make sure you can afford it if you have to make a claim.
- Restrict the number of people who can drive your car, and preferably limit it to those who are over 25, with the exception of yourself.
- Park in a garage, not on the street, and add security such as an alarm, tracking device or antitheft device for lower premiums.
- If you don’t plan to drive a lot, look for a pay as you drive insurance policy.
- If you’re a safe driver, consider a telematics insurance policy, where a black box device fitted to your car monitors your driving habits and calculates your premiums accordingly.
Dos and don’ts for student drivers
- Do tell your insurer if your circumstances change, or the insurer might use this as a reason to refuse to pay a claim later on.
- Do add a second responsible driver to your policy if you can, as this may help reduce your premium. But don’t nominate an older driver as the main driver if you’re actually the one who drives the car the most. This is known as “fronting” and is illegal in the UK.
- Do drive safely at all times. A consistently safe driving record will help your no-claims discount and potentially lower your premiums.
While students typically pay more for car insurance, you could still save on cover by comparing your cover options to find the best deal.