If you’re a student commuting to school, choosing the best car insurance is one of the many life choices you’ll make. Price is important, but monthly premiums shouldn’t be your only consideration. In fact, premiums can vary dramatically depending on your driving history, credit and which coverage options you choose.
We gathered quotes using insurify.com for an 18-year-old female student living in Arizona. In this case, the car is a 2015 Ford Taurus. Because the car is newer, we chose full coverage, which protects the vehicle against most types of damage. Our student has good grades, good credit and also works part-time.
We chose a $1,000 deductible for collision and $250 for comprehensive coverage. We also chose minimum liability limits. Consider buying more liability coverage if you can afford to do so.
Car insurance rates can vary based on many factors, so your premiums might be different than those for your friends or other students. The best way to take the guesswork out of premiums is to get some quotes and compare them. First, consider these tips to lower insurance costs.
Best Car Insurance for Students:
- Best Overall for Students: Liberty Mutual
- Cheapest for Students: Motion Auto
- Best for Less-Than-Perfect Drivers: The General
- Best for Payment Options: SafeAuto Insurance
- Best for Local Agents: Mercury Insurance
Tips for Lowering Car Insurance for Students
Students often have less experience behind the wheel, which is 1 reason rates are higher for younger drivers. Cheap car insurance seems more affordable when you’re on a tight budget, but don’t just look at price when you shop. There are some ways you can reduce insurance costs and bring higher quotes back down to earth.
- Improve your credit. Your credit score can play a big role in auto insurance. Be sure you’re making all the right financial moves and keep an eye on your credit score.
- Drive safely. Accidents and moving violations affect auto insurance rates. Safer drivers get better rates. Tickets for speeding or other violations can cost you money in a lot of ways.
- Take a defensive driving course. Many car insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who complete an approved safe driving course. Because the discount is a percentage, student drivers with higher rates save more with this discount.
- Keep those grades up. Insurers are looking at your grades as well. Many providers offer an extra discount if you show you get good grades.
- Get quotes before choosing your car. The car you choose can make a big difference in insurance rates. If possible, get some quotes before you commit to a new car. The difference in the cost of insurance might guide your decision on which car to buy.
- Bundle your coverage. If you have more than 1 type of policy, consider buying your policies through the same insurer. For example, many insurers offer a discount if you buy home or renters insurance along with your auto insurance. Life insurance policies purchased through the same insurer can often earn a discount on your auto policy as well.
- Assign the young driver to the right car. If your household has 2 late model BMWs and a 10-year-old Toyota Camry, the young driver should be assigned to the Toyota. Vehicle assignment can make a big difference in overall insurance costs.
Parents Policy vs. Own Policy
Whether you’re on your parent’s policy or your own policy is driven by who owns the car. If you own your car, you should have your own policy. The named insured should match the registration. Consider this when deciding how to title your car. If you’re living at home, it may make sense to use a car that’s registered to your parents.
Insurers assign rates based on the primary driver of the vehicle (and the percentage of use). However, they also consider many other factors. In most cases, you’ll pay less overall if you’re able to tag along on your parent’s policy for a while. Many insurers give a break to younger drivers once they turn 25. Until then, if you’re living at home, chances are good that you’ll have lower rates if you stay on your parent’s policy.
If you’re able to stay on your parent’s policy, you’ll also benefit from some of the discounts they’ve earned. For example, if your parents have good credit and you have a thin credit history (or none at all), you’ll probably save more money by staying on your parent’s policy.
Insurers consider thousands of variables as rating factors, so be sure to shop around and compare quotes. A money-saving strategy that worked for a friend might not apply in your case. But you might qualify for a different discount or preferred rate.
Best Car Insurance for Student Drivers
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best car insurance, especially if you’re a student. Not all insurers offer insurance in all states. Some are national, while others are regional. Use the quote tool on this page to get quotes for leading companies that offer insurance in your state.
Here are our picks.
1. Best Overall: Liberty Mutual
With nationwide coverage and discounts that help students, Liberty Mutual deserves a place on your insurance shopping list. Students with a GPA of B or higher can save with Liberty Mutual’s good student discount. Liberty Mutual also offers a discount for students away at school.
If you’re living on your own and buying your own policy, be sure to take a look at Liberty Mutual’s discounts for bundling policies. The company offers extra discounts for bundling your renters or home insurance policy with your auto policy.
With strong ratings for financial strength and over 100 years of customer service, there’s a lot to like about Liberty Mutual.
2. Cheapest: Motion Auto
It seems like there’s an app for everything these days. Motion Auto is among a new breed of forward-thinking companies that provide app-based coverage based on your actual driving. Motion Auto is also affordable. Eligible young drivers can save hundreds of dollars per year compared to competitor quotes.
A newer company, Motion Auto only offers coverage in Arizona but expects to expand to other states rapidly. By using data collected by a mobile app, the company charges rates based on how you drive and how much you drive. If you’re a safe driver and don’t put many miles on your car, take a closer look at Motion Auto.
You can get coverage in just a few minutes and your ZIP code and credit score won’t affect your rates.
If Motion Auto isn’t available in your state, consider MetroMile, another usage-based insurer.
3. Best for Less-Than-Perfect Drivers: The General
If you’ve had some driving mishaps but still need coverage, consider getting a policy through The General. While The General insures good drivers as well, the company is known for providing coverage when other insurers politely decline.
The General also offers a good student discount to help offset the higher cost of insurance that comes with a less-than-perfect driving record. You can also earn a discount for completing an approved driver training course or a defensive driving course.
Other discounts available through The General parallel those you’ll find with broad market insurers. You can save based on safety features of your car, multiple policies and good credit. Even if your driving record is on the mend, there are plenty of ways to reduce your insurance costs with The General.
4. Best for Payment Options: SafeAuto Insurance
Paying your bill can be unexpectedly challenging with some insurers. SafeAuto prides itself on making insurance easy, including paying your bill. Not only can you pay using standard methods like credit cards, debit cards or through your checking account, you can also pay by money order or cashier’s check. The company even offers a convenient quick-pay option so you won’t have to remember where you put your account password.
SafeAuto also offers a discount for switching. “Welcome discounts” don’t last forever but a penny saved is a penny earned. As with other insurers, good students can earn a discount with SafeAuto. Safe drivers also earn extra discounts.
5. Best for Local Agents: Mercury Insurance
Online insurance providers are great but sometimes you want to sit down and discuss your coverage with an expert. With thousands of agents throughout its coverage area, Mercury Insurance combines low rates with personalized service.
Mercury offers discounts for safe drivers as well as discounts that can benefit students. The company rewards students who have good grades and if you’re on your parent’s policy, you can take advantage of a multi-car discount. With Mercury’s RealDrive program, you can save even more. RealDrive measures the miles you really drive and adjusts your premiums through discounts if you drive less.
Choose the Best Student Car Insurance
There’s a lot to consider when choosing an insurer. You may want to learn more about car insurance before making your choice.
Also, consider your coverage options carefully. Many times, insurers offer the lowest-cost options for liability coverage or deductibles when giving a quote. As with many things, the lowest cost option may or may not be the best fit when it comes to insurance.