The best car insurance for college students provides comprehensive coverage and benefits, offers numerous discounts, and grants drivers access to tools that help make car insurance more accessible to younger generations.
Our research team performed an industry-wide review – taking into account financial ratings, customer service reputation, coverage, and discounts – to find the cheapest car insurance for college students. Read on to learn more about our top picks.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting multiple car insurance quotes so you can compare coverage and cost side by side.
In this article:
- Best Car Insurance Providers For College Students
- Car Insurance Coverages For College Students
- How Expensive Is Car Insurance For College Students?
- How To Purchase Car Insurance For College Students
- FAQ: Car Insurance For College Students
Best Car Insurance Providers For College Students
We looked into the best insurance providers in the nation, ranking the top seven based on price, coverage, and discounts available to college students. In this analysis, we found that State Farm has the best car insurance for college students overall.
|Best Car Insurance |
for College Students
|Our Overall Rating||Affordability |
|Good Student Discount||Student Away at School Discount|
|1. State Farm Auto Insurance||4.6||4.5||4.5||25%||Varies|
|2. Auto-Owners Insurance||4.4||4.9||4.3||20%||Varies|
|3. Geico Auto Insurance||4.6||4.7||4.3||15%||N/A|
|4. Safeco Auto Insurance||4.1||4.0||4.0||Varies||Varies|
|5. AAA Car Insurance||4.1||3.5||4.3||14%||Up to 46.7%|
|6. Esurance Auto Insurance||4.0||3.6||4.3||10%||N/A|
|7. Allstate Auto Insurance||4.2||3.3||4.5||Varies||Up to 35%|
*You may notice that some auto insurance companies are listed above those with higher star ratings. This is because our ratings take into account nationwide factors, while our ranking for this article looks specifically at what insurance providers are best for car insurance for college students.
#1 State Farm: Cheapest Car Insurance For College Students
State Farm is a leading provider of many insurance products including home, life, auto, and renters insurance. This company offers great car insurance for college students because of its affordable rates, accessible insurance agents, and comprehensive coverage.
Here are some of the State Farm discounts that make car insurance for college students affordable:
- Steer Clear®: A driving refresher course that is available to drivers younger than 25
- Drive Safe & Save™: State Farm’s usage-based savings program
Student away at school discount: For drivers younger than 25 years old living away at school that only use an insured car while at home
- Good student discount: Up to 25 percent off for getting good grades in college
- Driver training discount: For students under the age of 21 who complete an approved driver education course
Programs like Steer Clear in particular are what make State Farm our first choice for car insurance for college students. Learn more about the provider in our complete State Farm insurance review.
#2 Auto-Owners Insurance: Best Coverage For Students
Auto-Owners Insurance has discounts for good students and add-on coverage that is especially appealing to younger drivers. Some discounts for college students include:
- Good student discount: Drivers who maintain a B or better grade-point average could save up to 20 percent on car insurance for college students.
- Student away at school discount: Students who attend school more than 100 miles away from home without the insured vehicle receive additional discounts.
- Teen driver monitoring discount: If you have GPS permanently installed in your vehicle, you could qualify for additional savings.
Along with standard coverage like liability auto insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance has the following unique coverage options that could be especially useful for less-experienced drivers. Consider these add-ons for car insurance for college students:
- Road trouble service: If you’re stranded without gas, locked out of your car, have a flat tire, or experience another mechanical malfunction like a dead battery, someone will meet you where you are to get you moving again.
- Additional expense: After an accident that immobilizes your vehicle, expenses can add up fast. This helps pay for a rental car and trip interruption reimbursement.
- Personal automobile plus package: This is a package of over 10 additional coverages at one rate to protect you from identity theft, rekeying locks, replacing your cell phone, and more.
#3 Geico: High Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Geico has affordable rates, competitive discounts, and high satisfaction and reliability ratings that make it one of our top choices for car insurance for college students.
Geico’s reputation is largely positive. See a breakdown of Geico’s ratings from industry experts below:
|Source||Expert Rating||What It Means|
|AM Best Financial Strength||A++||Geico is financially capable of paying out customer claims.|
|Better Business Bureau (BBB)||A+||Geico has sound business practices and a longstanding history of positive consumer interactions.|
|J.D. Power 2021 US Auto Insurance Shopping StudySM||869/1000||Geico ranked first in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction study for the shopping experience with large insurers, meaning customers are highly satisfied with Geico car insurance.|
When it comes to policies, Geico customers can choose liability limits and purchase additional coverage like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. Some of the discounts and additional insurance products that make this provider especially favorable for car insurance for college students include:
- Driver’s education discount: This savings opportunity is available to young drivers who have completed an approved driving education course.
- Good student discount: Full-time students between the ages of 16 and 24 are eligible for up to 15 percent in savings for maintaining a B average or higher.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): Mechanical breakdown insurance provides protection for certain mechanical car components in the event of a breakdown. It can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs. We found customers online who reported paying $72 to $120 per year for Geico MBI.
Plus Geico has some discounts that could help young drivers save money, like DriveEasy®, a usage-based safe driver discount that functions through an app. It monitors safe driving habits to qualify students for discounts.
Read our full Geico review to learn more about coverage.
#4 Safeco: Comprehensive Student Discounts
The Teen Safety Rewards Program by Safeco encompasses a number of discounts for young drivers, not just teens, making this provider a strong option for college students. Some of the discounts include:
- Good student discount: This is available to any full-time student with at least a GPA of 3.0 (B).
- Driver training program: Complete an approved driver education course to get this discount.
- Distant student discount: If you go to school more than 100 miles away from home and don’t bring the car, you’ll get discounted rates on your car insurance.
Safeco also offers drivers some noteworthy perks, including medical reimbursement coverage, accident forgiveness, and a diminishing deductible. These types of coverage can make a strong car insurance policy for college students:
- Reimbursement for first aid: This provides up to $10,000 in refunds for first aid administered to you or your passengers after an accident.
- Accident forgiveness: Good drivers won’t see a major increase in rates after their first at-fault claim.
- Diminishing deductible: For every year a driver goes claim-free with Safeco, customer deductibles decrease by $100 per day over a maximum of five years ($500).
Safeco also provides valuable coverage for rideshare insurance, which could help college students who work for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft save money. Learn more about coverage in our full Safeco car insurance review.
#5 AAA: Best Roadside Assistance For College Students
AAA is most widely known for its top-rated roadside assistance program, which could be useful for college students with less driving experience. But it also has competitive offerings for student car insurance.
In addition to standard coverage, these optional “plan enhancements” can be purchased:
- Essential: Guarantees your plan won’t increase in cost due to small claims (under $250 in value if at-fault, up to $750 in value if not at-fault)
- Advantage: Full claim forgiveness if you’ve been insured with AAA claim-free for five years
- Ultimate: One claim forgiven from the start of your plan and up to a $50 credit upon renewal each policy term
AAA also offers the AAADrive/AAA OnBoard Discount as a usage-based safe driving discount program. To find out more about car insurance for college students through AAA, read our complete AAA insurance review.
#6 Esurance: Best Tech For College Students
Esurance is known for being a high-tech alternative to traditional car insurance providers, which could be especially appealing to college students. Keep in mind though that Esurance is not available in every state.
The provider offers basic liability car insurance coverage, as well as extras like rental car reimbursement, loan/lease gap coverage, and roadside assistance.
Esurance is backed by Allstate, but the two are not the same company. Esurance began in 1999 and was bought by Allstate in 2011. Financially, being backed by Allstate is a good thing for Esurance because Allstate has an A+ financial stability rating from AM Best.
Some discounts that could help college students save money include:
- Fast 5 discount: Save 5 percent on your policy by starting an online quote.
- Renters plus discount: If you own an Esurance renters policy, save on Esurance auto insurance.
- Good student discount: Save up to 10 percent as a full-time student under the age of 25 who maintains a B average.
- Defensive driver discount: Complete an approved defensive driving course and save up to 10 percent on your monthly cost.
Finally, Esurance offers several online services and apps that make it very accessible to student drivers, including:
- Coverage counselor: This online service helps you choose what coverage you need based on a short quiz. It shows you plan options before you submit a quote.
- Esurance mobile app: Submit claims, manage your policy remotely, view your insurance card, and more with the Esurance app.
- DriveSense® app: This app collects data about safe driving habits to qualify student drivers for savings.
- Fuelcaster online tool: This tool can help drivers find cheap gas nearby. It’s free and available to use for anyone.
- E-Star facilities: Esurance endorses 1,400 repair facilities across the nation called E-Star facilities. Take your car to an E-Star facility for a repair, and these repairs will be guaranteed for the amount of time that you own the car.
Read more about car insurance for college students in our full Esurance insurance review.
#7 Allstate: Best Local Service
Allstate stands out for its many local representatives that can help you in person or over the phone if you have a question about your policy. The provider tends to be more expensive than others on our list, but it has comprehensive coverage and great discounts, including:
- Smart student discount: Full-time college students under the age of 25 who maintain an average of B- or higher, complete the teenSMART™ program, or attend school more than 100 miles from home qualify for this discount.
- Drivewise®: Allstate’s safe driving program monitors driving habits through the Allstate Drivewise app. The data gathered from this app can never be used against you to increase your rates, it can only qualify you for savings on car insurance for college students.
- EZ pay plan discount: Set up automatic withdrawals to make your car insurance payments and save.
- Claim satisfaction guarantee: This promises a fast, fair, hassle-free process, or you get your money back.
- Allstate accident forgiveness: Your first at-fault accident won’t result in an increase in your monthly car insurance premiums.
Allstate also offers roadside assistance programs and a mobile app that gives you quick and easy remote access to your auto insurance policy. Read our Allstate insurance review to learn more.
Car Insurance Coverages For College Students
When searching for student insurance, your state will have minimum insurance requirements that all drivers need to meet, but it’s usually a good idea to go beyond those. For example, no state requires collision or comprehensive insurance, but if you don't have these types of coverage, you may find yourself in a bind financially if your car is damaged.
Here’s are the basic car insurance options:
- Bodily injury liability: This covers medical bills for other drivers and their passengers in accidents you cause. It is available in per person and per accident limits.
- Property damage liability: This covers repair costs for other vehicles in accidents you cause. Liability coverages are grouped together on insurance quotes. Coverage of 25/50/25 would give you $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability.
- Collision: This pays for repairs to your car after an accident, no matter who was at fault.
- Comprehensive car insurance: This pays to repair your car after other events like falling branches or floods.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: This covers you and your car if someone without enough insurance hits your car.
- Medical payments (MedPay)/personal injury protection (PIP): MedPay covers your medical bills after an accident, no matter who was at fault. PIP also covers your medical bills plus lost wages and death benefits.
- Gap insurance: This covers the difference between your car’s value and what you have left to pay on the loan.
If you drive a car, you need decent coverage that will give you enough protection in the event of an accident. And if you’re a college student, it’s no different.
Students not bringing a vehicle to school might consider staying on their parents’ car insurance policy. But whether you have your own car insurance policy or not, you’ll want to have full coverage when you buy car insurance for college students to protect yourself from financial catastrophes.
How Expensive Is Car Insurance For College Students?
There are many factors to consider when looking for the best car insurance companies for college students. Along with the amount of coverage, one of the most important things to college students is cost. Let’s take a closer look at some of the insurance costs associated with younger drivers.
What’s the average cost of car insurance for college students?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, adding a young driver to a policy can lead to a 50- to 100-percent increase in plan cost.
Why is car insurance for college students more expensive?
There are several factors that determine the cost of car insurance for college students including inexperience compared to older drivers and lower miles on the odometer. Similarly, college students tend to speed or have unsafe habits such as not wearing a seatbelt or texting while driving – and in the worst cases, driving under the influence.
Due to these behaviors, finding cheap car insurance for college students can be difficult. After all, insurers will recommend more coverage than what is offered to adults. Other factors that affect your premium include your zip code, driving history, and the type of car you have.
Ways To Make Car Insurance For College Students More Affordable
You may be glad to know that car insurance rates drop once you have more experience behind the wheel. After the age of 20, you should see your average rates for car insurance start to decline, and by the time you reach 25, your premium should be much more affordable. But what about the few teenage years spent in college?
Here are a few recommendations for ways to make car insurance more affordable for younger drivers, too:
- Stay on your parent's policy: As a driver listed as one of multiple on policy, your driving record will be added with others, so your parents' safe driving habits could help you save money on your premium.
- Try pay-per-mile insurance: This option is best for college students who don't drive much. With a company like Metromile, customers pay a monthly rate plus a few cents per mile driven. Metromile rates start at $29 per month. This company is one of the few providers that offer this type of car insurance.
- Ask about discounts: Finally, be sure to ask your current provider if there are any discounts you could qualify for that you haven't capitalized on yet. If all else fails, don't be afraid to switch auto insurance providers to find the cheapest car insurance for college students. This could help you better protect your personal finances and save money.
How To Purchase Car Insurance For College Students
Chances are, the best car insurance for college students is the most affordable. As a freshman in college, the cheapest answer could be staying on your parents’ policy, but if you feel it's time to get your own, be sure to look for discounts and bonus coverage that could save you money down the line.
Average car insurance rates drop throughout your early 20s, so you might find that the best car insurance for college students changes as you age through college and beyond. The best way to find out which provider will give you good student insurance is to compare personalized quotes from various car insurance companies.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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