Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

At a Glance

  • Auto insurance for teens and young adults costs more than for other drivers because insurance companies consider inexperienced drivers a risk
  • Students can save money on their own policies by taking advantage of student discounts that most companies offer
  • If their primary residency is still with a parent or guardian and they leave their car home, college students can remain on a shared policy

Starting college is the first real step into the world as an independent adult for many kids, and there’s a lot for them to figure out. From taxes and student loans to cooking and doing their own laundry, college is a time of learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Car insurance is something that many college students don’t realize they need until they’re on their own. With so many options for car insurance rates, college students can definitely use help finding the best rates to save them as much money as possible. Luckily, insurance companies offer great discounts for students.

If you’re interested in finding the best auto insurance companies for students, shopping around for quotes is the best place to begin. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to start seeing what quotes might look like for you.

What are the best auto insurance companies for students?

While insurance companies are happy to get new customers, they typically look at students as risks.

The biggest insurance companies in America all offer a student discount of some kind — many offer more than one. The key to finding which works best for your needs is to shop around. The cheapest student car insurance for you will be based on several factors.

However, you can get an idea of where to start by looking at the national average price of insurance for students. Keep in mind that insurance companies like AAA and USAA require memberships.

CompanyAverage monthly cost for studentsNumber of discounts available
State Farm$26413
Liberty Mutual$20117
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As you can see, there are a lot of options at about the same price for student drivers. However, that price can change depending on the number of discounts you’re eligible for as well as several other factors.

Why is insurance for students so expensive?

Insurance companies take several factors into account when deciding if they want to insure you or not. One of the key deciding factors is your age. Most companies consider young, inexperienced drivers more likely to file a claim than the average adult.

One of the biggest reasons young drivers are considered high risk is that they don’t have the experience to recognize dangerous situations. This can lead to them being overconfident or completely unaware during times when they should be cautious.

Another risk factor for young drivers is driving with friends. When a teen or young adult drives with someone the same age, they tend to be more distracted. High school and college students spend more time with friends compared to older adults, adding to the chance of distracted driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), male drivers aged 16-19 are involved in twice as many fatal accidents as females of the same age. Because of this, men typically pay higher rates for insurance than women.

Other risk factors for young drivers include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Not using seatbelts
  • Driving at night
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

You can take defensive driving classes that will help you learn to avoid these risks. As an additional benefit, defensive driving classes usually earn you a discount on your insurance.

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Discounts on Car Insurance

One of the best ways to save on insurance is to take advantage of the discounts your company offers.

The most common discounts reward drivers for good driving, safety precautions like anti-theft devices, paying in full, and bundling policies. College students can also find discounts meant exclusively for them, but what insurance companies offer good student discounts?

Good Student Discount

A good student discount rewards students for their grades. While each company that offers this discount will have its own requirements, you’re typically eligible if you maintain a B average, have high standardized scores, or are on the honor roll/dean’s list.

There is an age restriction on this discount (usually about 25), so older students won’t be eligible. To get this discount, you’ll need to provide your insurance company with a copy of your grades or test scores.

Insurance companies that offer this discount include GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, State Farm, USAA, Travelers, Nationwide, Farmers, American Family, and Progressive.

Away From Home Discount

This discount is for students that have moved away from their home residences for college. Usually, the distance has to be 100 miles or more.

To receive this discount, you agree to leave your car at home and drive only when you return. While this discount won’t work for everyone, it can save you money if you aren’t planning on driving at school.

You can get this discount from Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Travelers, American Family, Progressive, and Allstate.

Safe Driver Discount

Everyone is eligible for this discount, not just students. You need to prove to the company that you’re a safe driver before you earn this discount. However, you’ll save money if you can make it for about three years while avoiding violations and accidents.

GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, Progressive, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, and Allstate offer this discount.

Other Student Discounts

While most companies offer the same standard discounts, you can find more unique ones by asking your company.

For example, GEICO offers a sorority/fraternity discount if you join an eligible organization. Additionally, GEICO gives discounts if you join a student or alumni organization.

GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and USAA offer a discount for students in an ROTC program. Additionally, American Family has a discount for students who complete a specific number of volunteer hours.

As you can see, there are plenty of discount options for you. If you already have a policy, you can contact your company and see if there are any discounts you might be eligible for.

How to Save Money on Auto Insurance as a Student

No matter the discounts you’re eligible for, insurance for younger drivers is still going to be pricier than it will be when you’re older.

AgeFull coverage
Full Coverage
Minimum Coverage
Minimum Coverage
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Parents and guardians can take steps to encourage safe driving habits for teens and help reduce the cost of insurance, however.

You can also save money on your insurance by staying on a parent or guardian’s insurance. Most companies will allow an adult child to stay on a policy, even if they attend college out of state.

If you can stay on a parent or guardian’s insurance, they should contact their agent to let the company know where you’ll be living. Your new zip code might change their rate.

If this isn’t an option, you can consider usage-based insurance. Usage-based insurance charges you for the miles you drive. Some usage-based policies cap the number of miles per day you can be charged for so that you can take day trips without worry.

Usage-based insurance is an excellent option for college students who don’t plan on driving very much.

What auto insurance is right for you?

There are a lot of options out there for your driving needs, and it can be challenging to determine which is the best for you.

First, you should consider how much you plan to drive. If you only drive a parent’s car once in a while, you might be able to skip insurance altogether. The insurance they have on their vehicle will cover you if you don’t drive very often.

However, if you borrow a car to drive to work or school multiple times a week, you should be added to the insurance policy.

If you have your own car, your parent or guardian can add you to their policy, which would likely save you money. If someone on the family plan has a history of bad driving, however, they can actually bring your rates up. In that case, it might be better to get your own policy.

If you live on campus and don’t need your car, consider leaving your vehicle at home to use only when you visit your family. Usage-based insurance is also a great option for students living on campus.

It’s important to remember that if you leave home and bring your car, you more than likely need a separate insurance policy.

When you don’t live at home or on campus, you probably need your own policy. You can only stay on a family plan if your primary residence is the family home. Living in your own primary residence means you need your own insurance.

As stated before, you can also check out a usage-based insurance policy. If you usually drive infrequently or short distances, you can save money even if you have to get your own policy.

Should students consider non-owner insurance?

One final option for coverage is non-owner insurance.

When you borrow someone else’s car, you’re covered under their insurance. However, if you frequently borrow a car, their insurance might not cover you if you’re in an accident.

Non-owner insurance covers you in a car that you drive but don’t own. Coverage is usually liability only, but non-owner will keep you legal.

If you share a car with your roommate and they don’t want to list you on their policy, a non-owner plan might be the right option for you. As a bonus, non-owner insurance is typically cheaper than standard insurance.

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Find the Best Student Car Insurance

The best auto insurance companies for college students offer multiple discounts you can take advantage of. Or, if you don’t want your own policy, you can stay on a parent or guardian’s policy.

When you’re ready to see rates from the best auto insurance companies for students, shopping around for quotes is your best bet. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.