Finding the cheapest car insurance for college students doesn’t have to be as hard as your linguistics course.
The best car insurance for college students provides comprehensive coverage and benefits like roadside assistance, offers numerous discounts to help students save money, and grants customers access to tools that help make car insurance more accessible to younger generations.
Our research team has scoured the internet to find the best car insurance for college students based on financial ratings, customer service reputation, coverage options, and discounts.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend entering your zip code in our tool below or giving our team a call (855) 518-0148 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:
In this article:
- Best Car Insurance For College Students
- Car Insurance For College Students: What Do You Need?
- Best Car Insurance For College Students: Cost
- Best Car Insurance For College Students: Final Thoughts
- FAQ About The Best Car Insurance For College Students
Best Car Insurance For College Students
We looked into several of the top 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.
See a breakdown of how some major auto insurers ranked in our research below:
|Best Car Insurance For College Students||Our Overall Rating||
|Good Student Discount||Student Away at School Discount|
2. Auto-Owners Insurance
Up to 46.7%
Up to 35%
*You may notice that some car 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: Best 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 the best car insurance for college students because of its affordable rates, discounts, and comprehensive coverage.
See below for details about the State Farm discounts that make it the best car insurance for college students by making plans affordable:
- State Farm’s Steer Clear® program: A driving refresher course that is available to drivers younger than 25.
- Drive Safe & Save™: This is State Farm’s usage-based savings program.
Student Away At School Discount: If you’re a driver younger than 25 years old living away at school, you could be eligible for this discount if you only use the insured car when you’re home.
- Good student discount: Save up to 25 percent for getting good grades in college.
- Driver training discount: Students under the age of 21 who complete an approved driver education course qualify for this discount.
State Farm has technology that makes this car insurance the best for college students like the Steer Clear online driving education program and the Drive Safe and Save app that grants you discounts and access to your policy at your fingers.
#2 Auto-Owners Insurance: Best Coverage for College Students
Auto-Owners Insurance comes in second best car insurance for college students because of its good student, money-saving discounts and add-on coverage purchases that make this an especially appealing car insurance provider for college students.
Auto-Owners Insurance discounts for college students include:
- Good student discount: College students who maintain a B or better grade-point average could save up to 20 percent on Auto-Owners car insurance.
- 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 a GPS permanently installed in your vehicle, you could qualify for additional savings.
Along with standard auto insurance coverage options like liability insurance collision, comprehensive, and guaranteed asset protection insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance offers the following unique coverage options that could be especially useful for less-experienced drivers:
- Road trouble service: If you’re stranded out of gas, locked out of your car, with a flat tire, or other 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 Auto Insurance: Best-Ratings for College Student Car Insurance
Geico has affordable rates, competitive discounts, and high satisfaction and reliability ratings that make Geico one of the top three best car insurance for college students.
Geico’s online reputation is largely positive. See a breakdown of Geico’s ratings from industry experts below:
|Industry Expert||Expert Rating||What This Means|
|AM Best Financial Stability||A++||
Geico is financially capable of paying out customer claims.
|Better Business Bureau||A+||Geico practices sound business ethics and has a longstanding history of positive consumer interactions.|
|J.D. Power 2020 US Auto Insurance Shopping StudySM||867/900||Geico ranked number one in purchase experience customer satisfaction index rating for large insurers, meaning customers are highly satisfied with Geico car insurance.|
When it comes to policies, Geico customers can choose their liability limits and can purchase additional coverages like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. Some of the discounts and additional insurance products that make this provider especially favorable 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®, Geico’s usage-based safe driving discount that functions through the app. It monitors your safe driving habits to qualify you for discounts.
From convenient technology and additional coverages that could unlock peace of mind on the road, to money-saving discounts, Geico could be the right provider for you.
#4 Safeco: Best Comprehensive Student Discounts
The Teen Safety Rewards Program by Safeco involves a number of discounts available to young drivers, not just teens (despite its name) making this provider a strong option for college students. These 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 benefits including medical reimbursement coverage, accident forgiveness, and a diminishing deductible. See a breakdown of these offers below:
- Reimbursement for first aid: This first aid reimbursement provides up to $10,000 in refunds for first aid that was 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 with a maximum of 5 years ($500).
Safeco also provides valuable coverage for rideshare insurance which could help college students save money on car insurance for those that also work for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.
#5 AAA Car Insurance: Best for Students Away at School
AAA has competitive car insurance even though the company is most widely known for its comprehensive, top-rated roadside assistance program that could be useful for college students with less driving experience.
AAA car insurance offers option “plan enhancements” that could be purchased in addition to basic car insurance coverage:
- Essential: Guarantees your plan won’t increase in cost due to small claims under $250 in value if you were at-fault, up to $750 in value if you were not at-fault.
- Advantage: Full claim forgiveness is guaranteed if you’ve been insured with AAA claim-free for five years.
- Ultimate: Get 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 that functions as AAA’s usage-based safe driving discount program.
#6 Esurance Auto Insurance: Best High-Tech Insurance for College Students
Esurance is known for being a higher-tech alternative to traditional car insurance providers, which could be especially appealing to college students but is not available to drivers in the following states:
- New Hampshire
Esurance provides basic liability car insurance coverage as well as benefits 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, indicating that this provider is financially capable of paying out customer claims.
Some discounts that could help college students save money with Esurance include:
- Fast 5 discount: Save five 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 ten percent as a full-time student under the age of 25 years old who maintains a B average.
- Defensive driver discount: Complete an approved defensive driving course and save up to ten percent on your monthly cost.
Finally, Esurance offers several apps that make it one of the best car insurance for college students including:
- Coverage counselor: This online service helps you choose what coverage you need based on a short quiz and 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 your safe driving habits to qualify you for savings.
- Fuelcaster online tool: This online 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.
#7 Allstate Auto Insurance: Best Local Service
Allstate auto insurance has two competitive discounts that make it slightly better than other providers in the competition to be the best car insurance for college students:
- Smart student discount: Full-time 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 that monitors safe 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 your auto insurance rates.
- EZ pay plan discount: Set up automatic withdrawals to make your car insurance payments and save.
- Claim satisfaction guarantee: Promises a fast, fair, hassle-free process or get your money back.
- Allstate accident forgiveness: Your first at-fault accident won’t result in an increase in your monthly premiums.
Allstate also offers roadside assistance programs and a mobile app that gives you quick and easy remote access to your car insurance policy.
Car Insurance For College Students: What Do You Need?
When searching for car insurance for college students, your state will have minimum car insurance requirements that all drivers will need to meet, but it’s usually a good idea to go beyond that. Also, no state requires collision or comprehensive insurance. Here’s what the basic car insurance options look like:
- 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 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability.
- Collision: This pays for repairs to your car after an accident, no matter who was at fault.
- Comprehensive: 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.
If you aren’t bringing your car to school, you might consider staying on your parents’ policy. They could get a big discount when you leave your car behind, and hopefully, they would pass those savings onto you. But whether you have your own policy or not, you’ll want to have full coverage to protect yourself from financial catastrophes.
Best Car Insurance For College Students: Cost
There are many factors to consider when looking for the best car insurance 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 costs associated with auto insurance.
What’s the average cost of car insurance for college students?
Car insurance for a 20-year-old costs $1,989 a year on average according to a 2020 study by The Zebra. 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 the cheapest 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 had more experience behind the wheel. After the age of 20, you should see your car insurance rates 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.
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 best car insurance for college students. This could help you better protect your personal finances and save money.
Best Car Insurance For College Students: Final Thoughts
Chances are, the best car insurance for college students is the cheapest. 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 twenties, 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 the best car insurance is to compare quotes using the tool below or calling our auto insurance team at (855) 518-0148.
FAQ About The Best Car Insurance For College Students
Is car insurance cheaper if you are a student?
Yes, car insurance is usually cheaper if you’re a student – but you have to be a good student. If you aren’t a student, or if you have bad grades, you can’t qualify for good student discounts.
How much is car insurance for a 20-year-old?
A 20-year-old driver can expect to pay about $3,000 on average per year for car insurance. However, every situation is unique, and you might find a higher or lower price.
Can I take my college student off my car insurance?
Yes, you can, but it will still be seen as a break in coverage for your college student. When they buy insurance, later their rates will be higher.
What GPA do you need for a good student discount?
To get a good student discount, you usually need to have a B average (3.0 or higher). Some companies may vary the student discount according to your GPA.
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