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Best car insurance for college student

Car insurance isn’t always cheap for younger drivers. In fact, the younger you are, the more expensive your car insurance tends to be. The national average annual premium for 18-year old college students is $5,190. That’s more than $3,430 higher than the national average for 30-year-old drivers.

But young people are excited to drive and not deterred by those high rates. The good news is that some car insurance providers offer discounts for college students. Maintaining a high GPA and attending school far away are among the most common ways to take advantage of discounted rates.

We’ve identified some of the best companies for various college students based on the rates, discounts and other perks they offer.

  • Cheapest car insurance for college students: Concord
  • Best college car insurance for discounts: State Farm
  • Best for good drivers: State Farm
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The typical college student pays at least $1,000 more than the national average for car insurance.
  • College students who maintain good grades may be eligible for discounts of up to 23% on their monthly premiums.
  • Students can also save on car insurance by being on their parents’ auto insurance if the insurer permits it.

How much is car insurance for college students?

As you might expect, when it comes to college students, car insurance is at its most expensive for 18-year-olds who are just starting college. It gets progressively less expensive each year, but even college seniors will find themselves paying nearly $1,000 more per year than the national average.

Here’s a quick look at how the average annual cost of car insurance for each age:

  • 18-year-old student: $5,190. Yes, insuring an 18-year-old is costly. In fact, it’s more than over $3,430 more than the average premium for a 30-year-old.
  • 19-year-old student: $3,560. 19-year-old students pay $1,630 less, on average than 18-year-olds. Still, they pay over $1,800 more than the national average.
  • 20-year-old student: $3,500. Only a slight decrease compared to 19-year-olds and over $1,740 more than the national average.
  • 21-year-old student: $2,737. Slightly larger than the previous decrease. Still, 21-year-old students pay over $979 more than the national average.

Is car insurance for college students cheaper when added to a parent’s policy?

The answer to this question is yes, teens will most likely save money by being on their parents’ auto insurance policy.

Given that car insurance is so expensive for college students, it makes sense to wonder if adding them to a parent’s policy reduces the cost. This can be the case when having a parent co-sign a loan for a young person with no credit, so what about car insurance?

On average, the total household savings when combining policies is $7,265 compared to the student having their own policy. The cost of the parent policy will increase, but by much less than the two would be when separate.

Which companies offer cheap car insurance for college students?

While combining policies can save money overall, it’s not the way to go in all cases. For example, if the student is moving to another state for college, the parents’ auto insurance company may not allow them to keep the student on their policy.

In these cases, you will want to be aware of the companies that have the lowest rates for students. Among national auto insurance providers, USAA, Liberty Mutual, and Geico have the cheapest rates for students.

Concord is the cheapest overall, but it is only available in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Best Car Insurance Companies for College Student
CompanyAverage Rate Full Coverage
Concord$1,739
USAA$2,035
Liberty Mutual$2,082
Geico$2,273
North Carolina Farm Bureau$2,322
Erie$2,781
Mississippi Farm Bureau$2,858
New Jersey Manufacturers$2,927
Texas Farm Bureau$3,003
Owners Insurance$3,192
Travelers$3,476
New York Central$3,508
State Farm$3,563
MMG Insurance$3,681
Progressive$4,036
Depositors$4,211
AAA Texas County$4,423
Nationwide$4,495
Arbella$5,184
Allied$5,256
Kentucky Farm Bureau$5,404
Safeco$5,463
United Financial$5,513
Colonial County$5,660
Allstate$5,691
Oklahoma Farm Bureau$5,694
Louisiana Farm Bureau$5,754
Safety$6,110
Farmers$6,432
Metropolitan$6,921
Victoria$7,119
Safeway$7,278
Mid Century$7,635
Foremost$8,618
Amica$8,968

Common car insurance discounts for college students

Another way to identify the best car insurance for college students is to do some research on which insurance companies offer the best student discounts.

The average car insurance rate for college students isn’t exactly cheap. However, some car insurance companies offer multiple discounts that can help students save money. Here are some common types of discounts to ask insurance companies about.

Good student discount

Students who maintain a certain academic standard, such as a 3.0 GPA, are often eligible for a discount. The average good student discount is 16% although Progressive's discount may be up to 23%.

Student away discount

College students who are attending school more than 100 miles away from home may be eligible for this discount. The average student away discount is 18% though Geico's discount may be up to 51%.

Safe driving discount

This discount is available to students who maintain a safe driving record. The average safe driving discount is 27% but can be as high as 30%, according to our analysis.

Driver’s education discount

Taking a driver's training course can improve your driving skills and encourage safer driving habits. Available to students who complete a safe driving course. The average driver's training course discount is 8%.

What are the best car insurance companies for college student discounts?

Those are the most common discounts available for college students, but every insurance provider is different. No insurer that we could find offers all of these discounts, so you’ll need to find which one offers the discounts that work best for you.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the discounts offered by major car insurance companies.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty mutual offers plenty of ways to cut down on your car insurance bill. While it has plenty of discounts available, such as for veterans and electric vehicles, it also has student-specific discounts.

  • Good student discount: For students earning a B grade average or better
  • Student away from home discount: For parents whose child is away at school and only occasionally drives their car

Allstate

“Are you in good hands?” Such is the case for students with Allstate insurance as discounted rates are available. Allstate also has slightly lower academic requirements for its good student discounts, which often require a B grade or 3.0 GPA.

  • Teen driver discount: For drivers under 25 who are unmarried and qualifies for one of the following:
  • They’re a full-time student getting good grades (at least B- or 2.7 GPA)
  • They successfully complete the teenSMART® driver education program
  • They attend school at least 100 miles away from where your car is garaged
  • Good student discount: For students earning a B grade average or better
  • teenSMART® driver education program

State Farm

State Farm, the largest car insurance company, has no shortage of discounts for students and younger drivers. In fact, its discounts are some of the most generous around. Good students who meet academic requirements may get up to 25% off their monthly premiums.

  • Steer Clear Safe Driver discount: Online course that lets you earn 15% off premiums once completed. Must be under 25 to qualify.
  • Good Student discount: College students who meet certain minimum grade requirements while in school are eligible for up to 25% off their rate.
  • Driver training discount: Available if all of the operators of a vehicle are under 21.
  • Student away at school discount: For those who are under 25 and move away to school, only using their vehicle during holidays and vacations.

Farmers Insurance

Farmers has the typical set of student discounts, including a good student discount and a student away discount. Students must be under 25 to qualify for a good student discount.

  • Good Student discount: Full-time students under 25 can qualify if they maintain a high GPA. Must provide documentation to show you meet the minimum criteria.
  • Student away from home discount: For students more than 100 miles from home

Progressive

Progressive also offers a good student discount and a student away discount. It also has a teen driver discount, but it only applies to those 18 or younger. Thus, in most cases, only first-year college students will be eligible.

  • Good student discount: Applies to students who maintain a B average or better under the age of 23.
  • Student away from home discount: If the student is 100 miles or more away without a vehicle at school and is 22 years old or younger, they can get a discount on the car parked at home.
  • Teen driver discount: Only applies to drivers 18 and younger.

Travelers Insurance

Travelers has discounts with rates slightly lower than some of the others on this list. Still, it helps that there is a driver training discount which could help offset the difference.

  • Student away from home discount: Students who live 100 miles away or more may be eligible for up to a discount of up to 7%.
  • Driver training discount: Up to 8% off for young drivers who take a qualified training course.
  • Good student discount: Up to 8% off for students who maintain a B average or better.

Other car insurance companies that offer college student discounts

Those aren't the only insurance companies that offer student discounts to help college students and their parents save on car insurance costs. Here are some others:

  • AAA
  • American Family
  • Auto-Owners
  • Geico
  • MetLife
  • Nationwide
  • Safeco
  • The General
  • USAA

How to save money on auto insurance for college students?

Insuring a younger driver is likely to be costly no matter what you do. However, there are several steps you can take that will make it less expensive.

  • Add them to a parent’s policy (or keep them on). This will increase the cost of the parent’s policy, but the combined plan will be much cheaper overall.
  • Take advantage of discounts.
  • Teach and require safe driving habits.
  • New car/safety features. Some insurers offer discounts for new cars. Of course, this often overlaps with cars that have a lot of safety features.
  • Avoid filing unnecessary claims.
  • Raise your deductible. If you can afford a higher deductible out-of-pocket if a claim is filed, increasing your deductible can save you money on your annual premium.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance for college students

How can college students get a discount on car insurance?

There are many ways for college students to get a discount on car insurance. Some of the best ways include being on their parent’s policy and meeting the requirements for a good student discount. Ask your insurance agent about discounts they offer.

Is switching car insurance worth it to save money on car insurance?

Yes, it can be worth it to switch. Car insurance is complex, and every insurance company uses different formulas that can produce very different rates. And because younger drivers have high premiums in general, there is more room to save.

How much should I expect to pay for car insurance as a college student?

The amount you pay can vary based on a number of factors including where you live and your driving history. However, the national average for 18-year-old students is $5,190. For 21-year-old students, the national average premium is $2,737 per year.

Can college students stay on their parent’s car insurance?

In general, college students can stay on their parents’ car insurance. However, there may be cases where this isn’t possible, such as when a student moves several states away for college; the parents’ insurer may not allow the student to stay on.

What insurance company is best for college students that live away from home?

There are several insurance companies that have student away from home discounts. Some of the best insurers, in this case, are USAA, Concord, and State Farm. The first two have low average rates and offer student-away discounts.

But not all students will be able to sign up for USAA or Concord. In that case, State Farm is a good option. In addition to having a student away discount, it also offers a good student discount of up to 25%. Ultimately, the best car insurance for you as a college student or for your college student children will depend on your location, your insurance needs and which company can bring the most value to you at the best cost.

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