Life as a student can be great fun, but tuition fees and living costs (and your love of partying, but we won’t mention that) can sometimes mean that money is tight for other things in life. If you’ve got a car, the cost of insuring it can be a bit of a shock.
How is it calculated?
The reason for that is, as a very broad generalisation (which is how providers have to look at things), students are more likely to make a claim on their insurance than older drivers. This could be for a number of reasons. Students are generally younger and have less experience on the road, so might be more likely to have some kind of bump. They also tend to live in areas that offer cheaper rent, with no locking garages or off road parking, so car thefts and other forms of damage happen more often.
If someone hasn’t been driving long or have had previous accidents, they may be more likely to claim, so insurance companies will make them pay more for their policy. So unfortunately car insurance for students could often be pretty costly.
But it’s not all bad news. By shopping around you could save some money on your car insurance.
Getting a quote
The best way of getting a view of the kinds of policy available and what they cost is to use comparethemarket.com to compare car insurance. Just click ‘Start a new quote’ and enter your details, it only takes a few minutes. We’ll then get you a list of car insurance quotes, and list them in price order with the cheapest car insurance at the top of the page. Note that which address you put down, needs to be the main address wherever the car is kept most.
Don’t just choose the cheapest policy without looking at it properly though, it’s really important that you choose a policy that’s right for you.
There are a few things you might like to think about when you’re doing your car insurance comparison.
Our page of insurance quotes shows you whether four optional extras are included in each policy. These are windscreen cover, courtesy car, breakdown cover and motor legal protection. Cheap car insurance may not include these options as standard, so think about whether any or all of these would be valuable to you.
Windscreen cover means your provider will arrange to repair or replace your windscreen if it gets chipped or cracked (depending on the size of the crack/chip). There is usually an agreed excess for repair or replacement. If a courtesy car is included in your policy, then you will get a replacement vehicle if your car is out of action because of damage or an accident. How this works can vary among the car insurance companies, so check details carefully.
Breakdown cover gives you support if your car suffers a mechanical breakdown. Again this can vary between providers. You might prefer to buy breakdown cover separately instead, so that you can choose all the details to suit you. The good news is that you can compare breakdown cover with comparethemarket.com too.
Motor legal protection could help cover the costs to claim compensation for any injury or losses that are caused in an accident that isn’t your fault. For all of the above cover, make sure to check your details in full, so you understand any additional terms and conditions.
Something else that is worth looking at is your voluntary excess. If you increase this limit, it means that you are happy to pay more if you do need to make a claim. In exchange for this, your policy could become cheaper. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you decide whether you would rather have a cheaper insurance premium, by taking the chance of paying a larger sum if you do need to claim.
Saving a bit more
Other ways you could save a bit of money on your students’ insurance premium is to reduce the mileage you do in your car each year. If you drive a lot – say more than 10,000 miles per year, your policy could be more expensive. Driving around 5,000 miles a year might bring the cost down. You could also buy an approved steering wheel lock, which may deter potential car thieves and reduce your premium a little.
Third party, fire and theft policies could be cheaper than fully comprehensive policies, but remember, they only cover the cost of damage to other people and property, not your own car. This is more appealing if your own car isn't worth very much, but if the difference this covers and comprehensive insurance is small, you could get better protection with fully comp.
Something that a lot of young people and students choose is black box insurance (or sometimes called telematics). With this kind of policy, you agree for a provider to put a special kind of tracker in your car that measures your speed, how often you drive and sometimes what times of day you drive. If you drive safely, not too often and at safer times of the day, you’re rewarded with cheaper monthly premiums.
A final thing to note is that while paying for your insurance on a monthly basis is convenient and breaks the payment up into smaller amounts, you will end up paying more in total that if you pay for the policy with a lump sum up front. The quote page shows you the total costs to help you decide what to do.
Once you’ve chosen the most suitable students’ insurance, click ‘Go to provider’ to buy the policy online, or call them to discuss it in more detail. Do make sure you understand all the details of the insurance before you buy it so that you have the right cover in place for you.