Save money on your car insurance by brushing up on behind-the-wheel skills.
Whether you’re a new driver or have decades of experience behind the wheel, if you’re safe and attentive on the road, it will play a large role in determining your auto insurance premium. Some providers even offer a driving school insurance discount if you complete a professionally led course.
In this article, we’ll discuss driving school discounts offered by the best auto insurance companies on the market. We’ll also discuss different kinds of driving schools, common costs, and other benefits of completing a course.
It’s always smart to get a few quotes when determining the best car insurance provider for you, especially when looking for certain discounts. You can start getting free, personalized insurance quotes from some of our top recommended providers below.
In this article:
- Driving School Overview
- Does Driver’s Ed Lower Insurance Rates?
- Do Defensive Driving Courses Lower Insurance Rates?
- Extra Benefits Of Driver Safety Courses
- Other Ways To Save On Car Insurance
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
Driving School Overview
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), different states have different driving school requirements for new drivers. While some require behind-the-wheel training and a strict curriculum, others leave it up to teens to determine their training preferences.
However, driving school insurance discounts aren’t just offered for new drivers. You’ll spot the majority of adult driving school options labeled as “defensive driving” courses. These classes teach a series of skills and tactics to handle difficult situations on the road, as well as educate drivers on state traffic laws.
Defensive driving courses typically range from four to eight hours and may cover crash prevention techniques, dealing with harsh conditions like traffic or bad weather, right-of-way laws, keeping a safe distance from other drivers, and how to manage psychological factors that come into play on the road.
Many organizations, like AAA, also offer safe driving courses for seniors. These can help lower your car insurance rate if age is impacting your premium. Similar to defensive driving courses, these classes cover how to handle stressors on the road. They may also cover driving while taking certain medications, managing physical and visibility changes, and generally lengthening your time as a driver.
Do All Insurance Companies Offer A Driving School Insurance Discount?
Most insurance companies offer a driving school insurance discount that ranges between five and ten percent off your premium. These discounts can be especially helpful to teen and senior drivers who may expect higher premium costs.
Final driving course discounts often depend on your state’s laws. For example, drivers in New Jersey who choose Geico can receive a five-percent driving school insurance discount if they complete a course from an approved school. State Farm is another company that publicly advertises a defensive driving course discount, though the number also depends on your state’s limits.
Even if your provider does not list driving school insurance discounts on its website, it's worth asking your agent about your options.
How Much Do Driving Courses Cost?
The standard defensive driving course ranges anywhere from between $15 to $100, which many find is well worth the price in the long term. Seniors can complete an AARP Safe Driving Course for $25 to $30, depending on membership status.
Teen driver’s ed courses are another story. Because these driving classes include a lengthy classroom element and required one-on-one mentoring, costs can range anywhere from $200 to $800.
Does Driver’s Ed Lower Insurance Rates?
The average drop in car insurance rates for driver’s ed courses is about 10 percent. This can add up to significant savings if you’re a teen driver dealing with a high overall insurance cost, especially when paired with other discounts. Many insurance providers offer teens money-saving opportunities for things such as:
- Being a good student
- Taking an extra defensive driving course
- Leaving your car at home when you go to college
- Being a member of the military
In other words, driver’s ed courses are just one way to reduce rates for new drivers.
Driver’s ed courses may also pay off financially in the long run. The NHTSA highly recommends driver’s education for reducing the common distractions linked to teen driving. In states that implement the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, which requires driver’s ed, the NHTSA says teenage car accidents decrease by 50 percent. This leads to safer driving and lower premium costs in the long run.
Do Defensive Driving Courses Lower Insurance Rates?
Safe driving is one of the most common categories for car insurance discounts, but each company handles this its own way. Some offer a driving school insurance discount, and others offer their own safe driving program through a motor vehicle tracker or mobile app. Using these tools, demonstrating good driving habits over time could decrease your premium.
Even if your insurer offers this new technology, taking a course can be a great way to remove points from your driving record after a traffic violation. An insurance underwriter looks at your driving record each time your insurance renews, so a defensive driving course could demonstrate responsible habits that could lower your rate.
Senior drivers may also be eligible for driving school insurance discounts. Nationwide advertises a defensive driving course discount for drivers over 55 with no accidents in the past 35 months. Farmers Insurance offers a similar premium reduction for drivers either over 55 or 65 – depending on the state – with a provided certificate of completion.
No matter your age, if you’re interested in receiving a driving school insurance discount, it’s important to double-check that the course you choose is approved by both your state and your insurance provider.
Extra Benefits Of Driver Safety Courses
Many drivers end up pursuing driver education courses to remove points from their driving records. You may get points on your license after a moving violation, and the number of points varies based on how severe an infraction you commit. For example, if you cause an accident, you will likely receive more points.
Having points on your driving record can increase your car insurance premium and even lead you to be fined at the end of the year. It’s in your best interest to take a course to remove the points instead of paying the fine. Depending on your state, a driver safety course can remove an average of four points from your record.
There are a few other main reasons adults and seniors take driver’s education or defensive courses, including:
- To receive a discount on their insurance premium
- To renew their driver’s license if too much time has passed after its expiration
- To change driver’s license certifications
- To feel more comfortable on the road
- To learn state laws after moving
Other Ways To Save On Car Insurance
Driving school insurance discounts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving money on auto policies. Most insurance companies offer discount opportunities for things including:
- Good driving: Many companies offer lower rates to drivers who prove good driving habits or hold a clean driving record when signing up for a policy. Driving school insurance discounts may also fall into this category.
- Safe vehicles: If your vehicle has specific safety features and is affordable to repair, you could receive a lower car insurance rate or specific discounts.
- Bundled policies: The more coverage you purchase from one insurance agency, the more you can save. Drivers can often cut costs by insuring multiple vehicles or bundling home and auto insurance.
- Good grades: Teens who get good grades or leave their cars at home when they go away to college can receive insurance discounts.
- Payment discounts: Car insurance companies often reward dependable customers. You can typically get a discount for setting up automatic payments, paying your premium in full, paying your bills on time, and even enrolling in paperless billing.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
As mentioned, Geico and State Farm are two quality providers that offer driving school insurance discounts. Both companies earned high marks in our 2020 survey of the industry’s best insurers, and you can learn more about them below.
Driving school insurance discounts are just one of the benefits of continuing your behind-the-wheel education. Being a more confident and comfortable driver protects your wallet and your passengers on the road. To start searching for free auto insurance quotes and discounts, use the tool below.
Geico: 4.5 Stars
In addition to being one of the highest-ranked companies in our study, Geico very clearly lays out how to receive a driving school insurance discount. The company’s website clarifies that discounts come down to your state laws, typically ranging between five and ten percent off your premium.
Geico’s other discount opportunities include:
- Good student discount
- Good driver discount
- Safety feature discounts
- Anti-theft device discount
- Multiple policy discount
- Military discount
- Federal employee discount
Geico is a financially stable company that is highly respected in the industry. Plans are offered in all 50 states with in-person locations and remote communication options. Learn more about this provider in our full Geico review.
State Farm: 4.5 Stars
State Farm was rated the best provider for students in our 2020 study. This is because the company offers multiple discounts and programs for teens including its Steer Clear® program, which teaches and rewards good habits for drivers under the age of 25.
In addition to state-specific driving school insurance discounts, State Farm offers the following money-saving opportunities:
- Vehicle safety and anti-theft discounts
- Good student discount
- Student away at school discount
- Military discount
- Accident-free discount
- Safe driving discounts
- Multiple vehicle discount
- Multiple policy discount
- Vehicle safety discounts
To find out more about coverage with State Farm, read our complete State Farm insurance review.