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How to Get Cheap Car Insurance for Students

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    Car insurance for students is the most expensive when you look at averages across age ranges. Simply put, college students often pay thousands of dollars more than anyone else. Therefore, finding cheap car insurance for students can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. 

    There are some companies that offer affordable student car insurance that is not only cheap but worthwhile to have. Companies such as Erie, Geico, Travelers and Progressive offer affordable premiums and the type of car insurance that builds customer loyalty for years to come.

    To select the best car insurance for students, we considered factors such as: 

    • Financial strength
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Amount of discounts
    • Average amount of yearly/monthly premiums

    Finding affordable auto insurance for college students can be challenging, so it’s also important to know which companies offer the best deals

    The 6 Best Car Insurance for College Students

    Compare the Top Auto Insurance for Students

    Average Price for 19 Year Olds Average Student Discount Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin Erie$2,106N/A4/5A+848/1,000
    Pin USAA$2,712Varies4.4/5A++891/1,000
    Pin Geico$3,383Up to 15%4.6/5A++843/1,000
    Pin AAA$3,858Up to 14%N/A*A+N/A*
    Pin Travelers$3,877Up to 8%4.2/5A++824/1,000
    Pin Progressive$4,055Varies4.4/5A+829/1,000

    Information accurate as of: 11/20/2020

    Data provided by Coverage.com

    *AAA uses different third-party providers to underwrite its policies, so scores may vary per location.

    Erie

    Hands down one of the cheapest insurance providers for college students.

    ERIE Insurance

    Best for Cheapest Premiums

    Why we chose it

    So affordable, you don’t need discounts.
    • 4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $2,106 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 848* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    So affordable, you don’t need discounts.

    Pros

    • Cheapest provider for college students
    • Not yet available nationwide
    • Fewer complaints than would be expected with a company of its size

    Cons

    • Doesn’t offer as many discounts
    • No smartphone app
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Personal item coverage
    • Pet coverage
    • Travel expense coverage

    Discounts Available

    • Pay in full
    • Driver training course
    • Vehicle storage
    • Bundling
    • Multiple vehicles

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study average rating. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com:

    USAA

    While USAA only serves military families, it provides some of the best customer service year after year.

    USAA

    Best for Customer Service

    Why we chose it

    Continuously ranks as one of the best companies to file a claim with.
    • 4.4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $2,712 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 891* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Continuously ranks as one of the best companies to file a claim with.

    Pros

    • Awesome customer service
    • Financially strong
    • Great online resources

    Cons

    • Not the cheapest in the business
    • Not as many discounts
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Military Uniform Coverage
    • Replacement Cost Coverage
    • Identity Theft Coverage

    Discounts Available

    • Multiple Policies
    • Claims Free

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study average rating. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com:

    Geico

    Offers a wide range of discounts to help you get an affordable premium.

    Geico

    Best for Discounts

    Why we chose it

    You may not qualify for every discount, but Geico goes above and beyond with the amount of discounts it offers to its customers.
    • 4.6 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $3,383 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 843* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    You may not qualify for every discount, but Geico goes above and beyond with the amount of discounts it offers to its customers.

    Pros

    • Large array of discounts
    • Great mobile app
    • Cheap even without discounts

    Cons

    • Average customer support rating
    • May be difficult to find a local agent
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Ridesharing insurance
    • Mechanical breakdown insurance

    Discounts Available

    • Accident free
    • Federal employee
    • Multiple vehicles
    • Safety equipment
    • Defensive driving
    • Good student
    • U.S. military

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study average rating. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com

    AAA

    Never worry about getting stranded with AAA’s emergency roadside assistance.

    AAA

    Best for Emergency Roadside Assistance

    Why we chose it

    If you’re driving back home a lot while in college, you need a company with solid roadside assistance.
    • N/A* Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $3,858 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • N/A* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    If you’re driving back home a lot while in college, you need a company with solid roadside assistance.

    Pros

    • Great roadside assistance
    • Joining AAA comes with multiple benefits outside of insurance
    • Financially strong

    Cons

    • Offerings depend on what state you’re in
    • Must join AAA to access auto insurance
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Pet coverage
    • Gap insurance
    • Custom equipment coverage

    Discounts Available

    • Safe driver
    • Multiple car
    • Multiple policy
    • Paid in full
    • Accident free
    • Safety features

    *AAA uses third-party providers to underwrite its policies and score may vary per location.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com:

    Travelers

    One of the strongest companies when it comes to processing claims.

    Travelers

    Best for Claims Processing

    Why we chose it

    You likely won’t be calling Travelers to check the status of a claim.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $3,877 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 824* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    You likely won’t be calling Travelers to check the status of a claim.

    Pros

    • Fast processing of claims
    • Easy to get a quote online
    • Many discounts

    Cons

    • Rideshare insurance not available in every state
    • Customer satisfaction rates could be higher
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Gap insurance
    • Rideshare insurance
    • New car replacement
    • Responsible driver

    Discounts Available

    • Multi-car
    • Multi-policy
    • Safe driver
    • Paid in full
    • Good student
    • Defensive driving course
    • New car

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study average rating. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com

    Progressive

    Allows you to fully customize your insurance package.

    Progressive

    Best for Customized Coverage

    Why we chose it

    Customize your insurance policy with Progressive.
    • 4.4 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $4,055 Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 829* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Customize your insurance policy with Progressive.

    Pros

    • Truly customizable insurance policies
    • Strong online and mobile tools
    • Few amount of complaints for a company of its size

    Cons

    • Average customer satisfaction
    • Could be financially stronger
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Rideshare
    • Gap insurance
    • Pet injury
    • Custom parts

    Discounts Available

    • Automatic payments
    • Paperless 
    • Multi-policy
    • Multi-car
    • Good student
    • Distant student
    • Online quote

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study average rating. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Reviews.com

    Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for College Students

    Car insurance rates are influenced by a variety of factors, including: 

    • Credit score
    • State
    • Age of car
    • Type of car
    • Driving history
    • Insurance history
    • Type of coverage

    Companies may quote you an annual premium that is more or less than the following averages. Nevertheless, the companies below offer some of the cheapest car insurance plans for college students: 

    CompanyAverage Annual Premium
    Erie$2,106
    USAA$2,712
    Geico$3,383

    Auto Insurance Discounts for Students

    Some of the best car insurance student discounts include:

    • Good Student Discount: Maintain a 3.0 GPA and your insurance company will likely give you a discount because teenagers with good grades are statistically more likely to be safer drivers than students with lower GPAs.
    • Driver’s Education/Defensive Driving Discount: Further your driver’s education and most companies will reward you with savings. Double check with your state’s requirements, but many teenage drivers can qualify for this discount by taking a course online. 
    • Military Discount: Serve your country and reap the awards. People who join the military often qualify for savings with their insurance provider. Plus, they qualify for USAA insurance, which is one of the best insurance providers in the country. 
    • Distant College Student Discount: If you’re away from your car and not driving that much while at a school, many insurance providers offer savings to reflect the amount of time you’re actually driving. 

    Top 5 States with the Cheapest Car Insurance for Good Students

    StateAverage annual premium for 19-year-olds with discountAverage annual premium for 19-year-olds without discountSavings
    Wyoming$2,667$3,19120%
    Minnesota$2,811$3,30518%
    Vermont$1,494$1,73816%
    Maine$2,142$2,45915%
    Illinois$2,572$2,89112%

    Should You Take Your Car to College?

    If you take your car to college, you won’t be stuck limiting your grocery shopping to what you can carry back home. Plus, having a car makes it easier to get a job off campus. 

    But there are a few reasons not to take your car to college, including:

    • Parking may be extremely difficult
    • You may have to pay extra for a parking pass
    • Many colleges discourage students from taking a car, and some even make it against the rules

    And then there’s insurance to consider. If you leave your car at home, your insurance provider will likely offer extra savings. Often called “Student away at school,” this discount still allows you to drive your car when you’re home, but it expects you to leave it there when you go back to school.  

    Can You Stay on Your Parents Insurance?

    Sometimes it makes sense to stay on your parent’s insurance, especially if it saves them money. If you’re getting a lot of discounts for them, such as a good student discount, it might make sense for everyone if you stay. 

    Another reason to stay is for your insurance history. Insurance companies don’t like to see large gaps between coverage. Even though you may have a solid reason for not needing a policy, it may behoove you in the long run just to stay put. 

    However, it’s better to get your own insurance policy if:

    • You get married/you no longer plan to live at home: Though there’s no age limit on when you have to get your own policy, if you no longer live at home, most insurance companies require you to be taken off of your parents’ policy.
    • You buy a car in your name: If you own your own car, you need to get your own insurance policy.
    • Your parents have a bad driving record: It might be financially advantageous for you to have your own policy if your parents have a bad driving record. 

    Why Your Friends Can’t Drive Your Car

    There are many reasons that you shouldn’t let your friends drive your car. First and foremost, if they get into an accident, you and your insurance provider may be deemed financially responsible if your friend is found to be at fault. This means you will be the one expected to pay for any damages should they exceed your policy limits. And if the other person decides to sue, you will be the one taken to court. When this happens, even if it’s just a fender bender, you can also expect your monthly and yearly premium to go up

    There’s also overall safety to consider. Each car accelerates, turns, and brakes a little differently from one another. If your friend wants to take your car on the highway, they could be putting themselves in danger if they don’t have much driving experience.  

    What is Covered By Car Insurance

    • Bodily injury: If you injure someone else in an accident, your insurance provider will cover their medical costs up to your policy limit.
    • Property damage: Damage another car or person’s property, and your insurance provider will pay for repairs up to your policy limit.
    • Personal injury protection: Should you get into an accident, this coverage option covers you and your passengers’ medical costs up to your policy limit.
    • Uninsured/ underinsured motorist protection: This protects you in the event you get into an accident with a person who has little to no insurance protection.
    • Collision: No matter who is considered at fault, collision protection will pay for your car’s repair or replacement up to your policy limit. 
    • Comprehensive: If your car is damaged while you’re not driving it, this coverage option will pay for its repair/replacement up to your policy limit. 

    What is not covered by Car Insurance

    • Any amount that exceeds your policy limit: If you get into an accident that does more damage than your policy accepts, you will be responsible for the remaining amount. 
    • High performance cars: If you have a highly valuable car, it’s likely that a regular insurance policy won’t cover it. You will need a specialized type of insurance to make sure it is protected. 
    • Gradual wear and tear: Your insurance provider will not help you replace parts damaged from normal wear and tear, like your tires or brakes. Anything that is considered a loss due to normal usage is not covered.  
    • Ridesharing: Drive for Uber or Lyft, and you will need a specialized type of car insurance called ridesharing. This is because your car has gone from being a personal use car to a business car. 

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the best cheap car insurance for students, our editorial team compared affordability, customer support, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and online resources from each company, averaging the scores to produce our own Reviews.com score. These scores were created with our readers in mind and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which car insurance company is best for you. 

    As for average pricing, we used Coverage.com’s car insurance data, based on the profiles 

    of a 19-year-old male and female, each with a clean driving record and a 2016 Honda Civic. The drivers had the following coverage details:

    • $50k bodily injury liability per person
    • $100k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $50k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Since auto insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to compare options that fit your specific needs.

    About the Authors

    Lauren Ward

    Lauren Ward Contributing Writer

    Lauren Ward is a personal finance writer who regularly covers consumer insurance products. Her work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including Bankrate and The Simple Dollar. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Japanese.

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