A simples guide

How to find cheaper student car insurance

For many of us, going to college or university is our first experience of living away from home. While you may be enjoying your new found freedom, you might also now need to own and insure a car.

 

We know you have better things to worry about and to spend your money on than student car insurance. But if you’re going to drive on the roads it really is unavoidable. So, with that in mind, you may as well arrange your cover as cheaply as possible.

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Why is car insurance for students so expensive?

You’d think that insurers would recognise that you don’t yet have much disposable income wouldn’t you? Well we’re afraid not. For an insurer, it’s all about assessing and pricing risk. The actuaries, that’s the guys that work out this stuff, have calculated that the student age group is statistically more likely to make a claim.

We know this isn’t necessarily your fault, but rather the result of your circumstances. You’re likely to have not been driving for long. Unfortunately limited experience, again statistically speaking, means more accidents. In addition, as you’ve not been driving long, you’ve had no opportunity to build up the no claims bonuses which will help you reduce your car insurance premiums later in life.

Another reason for higher costs as a student may be the area you live in. For many students, particularly in larger cities, the post codes they live in tend to have higher crime or vandalism rates. The area of the country will have a big impact too. Some students in London can expect to pay more than twice the amount that those in some parts of Scotland do.

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Is there anything you can do to reduce the costs of student car insurance?

Well the good news is, whilst you might never class your car insurance as cheap, there are a number of things you can do that might make it cheaper.

Shop around

It’s never been easier than it is today to shop around. Our comparison service will help you find the best deal for you. The market is also intensely competitive. Looking a little harder for a good quotation may really pay off.

The type of policy

There are three types of policy that you may be offered. Third party insurance covers you for damage to the other vehicle or injuries you cause to another person, in the event of an accident, but remember, it doesn’t cover damage to your own vehicle.Third party, fire and theft is the same as third party but you’re now covered in the event that your car is stolen or if it suffers any fire damage. Comprehensive insurance, as the name suggests, covers the damage to your vehicle and the injury or damage caused to all parties involved in the event of an accident. It also covers malicious damage and other accidental damage to your vehicle

You might be assuming that third party means cheap and fully comprehensive means expensive but that isn’t always so. It’s best to check all cover types to see which premium is the cheapest for you if price is a priority.  

Excess

Excess in insurance terms is a little less exciting than excess in other parts of life. In insurance speak it means the amount of money that you would need to pay in the event of a claim before your insurance policy kicks in.

There are various types of excess. Compulsory excess is set by the insurer but voluntary excess is the amount you choose to pay on top of compulsory. If you set the voluntary at zero, you would only have to pay the compulsory excess in the event of a claim but your premium may be higher. There are also other types of excess such as a young driver excess that is charged to drivers under 25 so make sure you read all of the T&Cs so you know what you’re paying for.

Now, you might think that this is a number that you want to keep as small as possible in your policy. Think again. There is a trade-off to be had here. Increasing your excess from the minimum amount to one that you can still afford, could make a difference to your premium.

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Security

We acknowledged already the challenges students often face with regards to the physical security of their vehicle. Increasing that security on your vehicle though, might help to reduce your premium.

Even fitting an industry-approved steering wheel lock may make a difference. If your budget is larger, investing in an immobiliser might be an option. You need to assess the one off costs against the premiums that you’ll save.

Coverage with other drivers or policies

If you’re still living at home, it might be possible to piggyback on a policy already in place at the family home by extending the number of vehicles covered. Catch your parents on a good day for this one.

Alternatively if you’ve a more experienced driver who may also use the car, adding a second driver might save you money. Even an occasional experienced extra driver with a good driving record could make a difference.

An extremely important word of caution here though. You must never put forward the other person as the main driver if that is not actually the case. This is known as ‘fronting’. It is a recognised type of fraud and, at the very least, could invalidate your policy in the event of you being caught.

Pimping your car

In short, don’t.

 

Insurers dislike changes to factory specifications and whilst you might think it looks great, they won’t. Some insurers may refuse to even quote you a price and those that will may charge you more.

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Restrict how much you drive

If you’re only likely to drive in holidays or at weekends restrict the mileage limit in your policy. Limiting the amount of time you’re on the road obviously reduces your risk and with it, your premium. But make sure you give an accurate mileage estimate for the year as if you decide to underestimate and then make a claim, your policy could be voided.

Drive well 

Yes we know, terribly boring, but the consequences of driving well will, over time, lead to lower premiums. If you start racking up the penalty points you will start ratcheting up those premiums too. If you do incur some points you do need to tell the insurer. They may affect your premium, and failure to tell them might have consequences for your cover.

If you’re confident in your abilities you may want to investigate getting a black box insurance policy. The black box refers to a gadget placed in the car that relays details of how you’re driving to your insurer and some insurers have an app for your phone that does the same job. They will reward your good behaviour behind the wheel with lower premiums.

So, if you’re looking for cheaper car insurance, start comparing today. You might be glad you looked.

 

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