Car Insurance for College Students: What You Need to Know


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 02, 2022 | 2 MIN READ

Between tuition and textbooks, college isn’t exactly easy on the wallet. Unsurprisingly, dealing with car insurance for your teen isn’t always on the top of the to-do list. But it is important. So let’s review what you need to know to secure the cheapest car insurance for college students.

Car Insurance For College Students: Quicklinks

The Basics of Car Insurance for College Students

New to having a college kid on your car insurance policy? Don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as you may think. College students are added to your policy in one of two ways – either with their car stored at home or school. 

If your college student needs a car with them at school, the address where the car is housed needs to be your child’s house. If your college student doesn’t need a car at school, you can keep the car at your house and take the coverage down to comprehensive coverage only to save money – as long as no one is driving the vehicle.

What does car insurance for college students cover?

Car insurance for college students covers the same things as your car insurance.

You can add additional coverage to get the most from your auto insurance plan, like roadside assistance or loan/lease gap insurance. 

  • Roadside assistance provides peace of mind knowing your busy college student won’t be stranded due to unexpected car issues. 
  • Loan/lease gap insurance helps protect you from insuring a brand new car financed or leased. In the event of an accident, if your car is totaled (deemed a total loss), this coverage pays the difference between the actual cash value of the car and the unpaid balance of the lease or loan. 

What To Consider

Before shopping around for car insurance, it’s best to determine how your college student will use your vehicle. Are they planning to live at home and commute, or are they staying on campus?

Whose name is on the car title?

If the vehicle’s title is in your college student’s name,  you need to purchase a separate car insurance policy. If the car is titled in your name, you can leave the car on your policy. This is also true if the car title is in both your and your car student’s name.

Where will the car be located? 

College students residing at their parent’s houses still have access to their vehicles, so the insurance rates won’t change. However, if your student is going away to college and not taking their car, you should qualify for a student away discount. 

Does your college student have a driver’s license or permit?

College students with driver’s licenses can keep a car at school. However, if your college student only has a driver’s permit and can’t drive without a licensed driver, the car must remain stored at your house. But you still have car insurance with only a driver’s permit.

Do You Have to List Your College Student on Your Car Insurance While They’re Away at School?

Having a college student on an auto insurance policy is expensive, so it’s not surprising that many parents may want to make some adjustments to their policy once their student has left the nest. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of removing them from a policy.

When a student should remain on the policy

If students plan to bring their car to college or commute to a nearby school, they should remain on the policy. 

There are additional scenarios to consider before removing them:

  • Coverage when they’re home and driving
  • Coverage when driving a friend’s vehicle
  • An emergency that requires them to drive
  • An accident involving another person’s vehicle (whether the student is a passenger, on foot, or on a bike
  • Losing family premium deductions, such as good student discounts
  • Potentially breaking a record of uninterrupted coverage

When a student should be removed from the policy

As long as your child’s primary residence is your home, they must be listed on your car insurance policy. You can remove your child once they’ve moved out of your home permanently. 

If your child has a vehicle titled in their name and insurance policy, you can exclude them from your policy to save money. However, if your child drives one of your vehicles, they aren’t covered by your insurance policy.

Can College Students Get Discounts on Car Insurance?

Yes. While car insurance for young drivers is expensive, many companies will offer tons of discounts to lessen the sting. If you’re shopping for the cheapest car insurance for your college student, ask about the discounts available.

  • Good grade discount: many insurance companies offer this discount for unmarried, full-time students (up to the age of 25)
  • Anti-theft discount: take extra steps (like installing a car alarm) to keep the car safe from theft and vandalism
  • Resident student discount: if your student’s school is at least 100 miles away (50 miles away for some insurance companies) and your student doesn’t have a car at school, they may be eligible for this discount as you’re not driving as frequently 
  • Multiple policy discount: bundle your auto insurance with your home or renters insurance for additional savings
  • Defensive driver’s course: Your whole family can take a defensive driver’s course to get a discount on your car insurance policy.

FAQs

What car insurance discounts are available for college students?

College students are eligible for a good discount if they are in school full time and maintain a 3.0 grade-point average. If your college student doesn’t have their vehicle at school and the school is at least 50 miles (100 miles for some insurance companies) away, you could also get a student-=away discount.

How do you get car insurance discounts for college students?

Contact your insurer to see what specific discounts are available for college students. Your provider can also tell you what proof to send to the company so the discount can be added. 

How much is the average car insurance for college students?

The average car insurance rates for students range from $5,190 (for age 18) to $2,737 (for age 21). Remember: the lower the age, the higher your premium. 

What is the cheapest car insurance for college students?

Remember, individual premiums depend on your age, location, vehicle, and other factors. Get quotes from multiple companies to find the cheapest car insurance for college students. 

Is it better to put student or employed on your car insurance?

If you’re a full-time student (regardless of whether or not you’re working), it’s best to declare ‘student’ as your occupation so insurers can gauge your premium. While it may be more expensive, it also opens the door to exclusive student discounts. 

A Review

Understanding car insurance for college students may sound stressful, but knowing the factors to consider and familiarizing yourself with discount options can make it easier to mark off your to-do list. And when you get car insurance rates from several companies, you know you’re getting the best deal.