Your Guide to Comparing Student Car Insurance
Between studying and partying, student life is busy. It’s also a time when you’ll want to save as much money as possible. If you’re taking your car with you to university it’s important to understand the ins and outs of car insurance, so you can find a policy to suit your needs and your budget.
Do students get a discount on car insurance?
Car insurance providers don't typically offer discounted car insurance for students. However, there are several ways that students could save on their car insurance. These include paying the yearly premium in one lump sum, installing a telematics device and comparing car insurance quotes with us to find a good deal.
Find out more in our guide to student car insurance.
Frequently asked questions
Why is car insurance for students so expensive?
Whether you’re already a uni student, or a 17-year-old driver, running a car is going to be expensive.
On average, 17-24-year-olds spend £2,381.55^ per year to run a car. Over half of that is spent on car insurance. The reasons it’s so expensive include:
- Age – insurance providers know that young drivers, the group students are most likely to belong to, are more likely to have accidents, so the cost of premiums in the first few years is going to reflect that risk.
- Lack of no claims discount – as a young driver, you won’t have had time to build up a no claims discount. Once you do, it can help reduce your car insurance premiums.
- Where you live can also affect your insurance premium. If you live in a big town or city, leave your car parked overnight on the street, or you live in an area where car crime rates are high, the risk of something happening to your car is higher, so your premium probably will be too.
^Based on Compare the Market data from the Young Drivers Report February 2018
What should I say is my address on my car insurance?
For insurance purposes, your address should be the place where your car is kept for most of the year. So if you take your car to university with you, and you spend more time there than at home, then your university accommodation must be stated as your new address. If you don’t inform your insurance provider of your student address, it may invalidate your policy if you need to make a claim.
What if I decide to leave my car at home?
If you decide not to take your car with you to university, there are a few options when it comes to your car insurance:
- Maintain your insurance Keep your policy running and let your insurance provider know that you won’t be using the car very much. Let them know the annual mileage. You may benefit from a lower premium and it could help build up your no claims discount.
- Register your car as off the road Even if your car is sitting on your parents’ drive unused, you’ll still have to tax and insure it. Otherwise, you need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Your tax will automatically be cancelled and you’ll receive a refund for any remaining months. Remember to cancel your insurance as well. Once you’ve made a SORN, you can’t drive or park your car on a public road until you tax and insure it again. The only exception is if you’re driving your car to or from a pre-booked MoT. If you drive or park it on a public road for any other reason, you could face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.
You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of taking your car with you, or leaving it at home. Bear in mind, many universities actively discourage students from bringing their cars, and in large cities it makes far more sense to use public transport anyway. If you’re unsure, our handy guide to taking your car to university provides more information to help you decide what to do.
What are the different types of car insurance?
There are three types of cover to choose from:
- Third party insurance is the most basic cover you need to drive legally. It covers you for damage you may cause to another vehicle or if someone is injured and it’s your fault (including passengers in your car).
- Third party fire and theft insurance offers the same as third party, but you’re also covered if your car is stolen or is damaged by fire.
- Fully comprehensive insurance offers the same cover as above, but will also protect you as a driver and will pay out for damage to your car.
How can I reduce the cost of student car insurance?
Car insurance is often costly, but the good news is, there are ways you can make it more affordable.
- Pay your premium in one go It’s typically cheaper to pay your yearly insurance in one lump sum. A monthly payment plan will most probably have interest charges on top of the instalments.
- Shop around Simply shopping around and comparing a number of quotes with our comparison service can save you money. 50% of 17-24-year-olds could save up to £280^^ on their car insurance based on Compare the Market data from the Young Drivers Report in February 2018.
^^The average saving is based on the difference between the cheapest click-through price presented and the mean average of the top five cheapest prices presented to a customer, where a consumer has clicked through to buy.
Check different levels of cover Most of us assume that third party is the cheapest cover and comprehensive the most expensive, but that’s not always the case. If price is a priority, check a range of cover types to see if a cheaper premium could suit your needs.
- Increase your voluntary exces Car insurance excess is the amount you’ll have to pay when you make a claim before your insurance kicks in. If you’re under 25, some insurance providers may also require you to pay an additional young driver excess, as they consider you high risk.
Increasing your voluntary excess could mean a cheaper monthly premium. Just make sure you can afford the compulsory excess set by your insurance provider, your voluntary excess and any young driver excess if you need to make a claim.
- Improve security
Fitting additional security, such as an industry approved alarm or immobiliser, to your car could help reduce your premiums (if your car doesn’t already have either of these). You need to assess the one-off costs against any insurance savings you might make, so check with your insurance provider first about any discount.
- Add an experienced driver
If you can add an experienced driver who also uses the car (such as a parent or older sibling) to your policy, it could save you money. Even an occasional experienced extra driver with a good driving record could make a difference. Just remember, they should actually drive the car every now and again. But don’t put them forward as the main driver if this isn’t the case. This is known as car insurance fronting and is illegal.
- Limit your mileage
Your insurance provider will need to know how many miles you think you’ll drive in a year. If you’re only likely to use your car during holidays or at weekends, then declaring a low annual mileage estimation could cut the cost of your premium.
What is a black box policy?
A black box, or telematics policy refers to a small device placed in your car, or an app you can download to your phone. It monitors how you’re driving then sends the information to your insurance provider. If you drive well, they may reward you with a lower premium. It’s an incentive for drivers to drive more safely.
If you’ve just passed your test, you could also consider taking a Pass Plus qualification in the first year. It’s a bit more advanced than standard driving lessons and will give you practical experience of dealing with different situations. Some insurance providers will take this into consideration and may offer a discount on your car insurance.
How do modifications impact my insurance price?
You need to be very careful with any modifications you do to your car, even if it’s just a new stereo system or spoiler. Insurance providers consider them a target for thieves, so they may bump up your premiums. Some insurance providers may even refuse to insure a car that’s been modified.
Where can I find cheaper student car insurance?
With our price comparison service, you can compare 118 trusted insurance providers and get an overview of the deals available on the market. Remember, we’re here to help you get the right cover at a price you can afford.
Compare student car insurance in just a few minutes, and see if you can start saving.