Paying for car insurance is never too easy on the old wallet.

But for families with children leaving high school for college, this expense can be even more daunting. Public university tuition has become three times more expensive since the 1970s, while private university tuition has increased by a factor of four. Median family incomes, on the other hand, have only increased by a fraction of that. This leaves less money on the table for remaining expenses, such as food, rent, and—you guessed it—insurance.

Considering that most traditional college students are young drivers with a shorter driving record and an increased likelihood of getting into accidents, insurance providers tend to hike up their rates. Fortunately, many auto insurance providers offer policy discounts specifically for full-time students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher (commonly known as a Good Student Discount), those who don’t have a car with them on campus (known as the Student Away at School Discount), and those who have completed the TeenSmart driving program.

Insurify researched insurance companies that provided a variety of student discounts to help you find the best car insurance for college students. For each carrier, Insurify assessed whether it provides a Good Student Discount, a Student Away at School Discount, a TeenSmart Discount, and a Driving Training Discount, and how big of a cut these discounts can provide.

If you’re not a college driver but looking to save on your own car insurance premiums, check out our list of the best car insurance companies of the year and our rundown of how to unlock car insurance discounts. Using an insurance quote comparison website like Insurify is an easy way to compare rates and find the best car insurance policy for you.

Cheapest Car Insurance for College Students

Before we get to the official list, let’s get an overview of where you might find the best savings. 

Insurify crunched the numbers and determined the cheapest and most expensive companies for college students. See which carriers have the lowest and highest generic quotes for student drivers:

Cheapest Companies

Insurance CompanyLowest Rate
National General$32/month
Dairyland$36/month
Workmens$49/month
Mercury$54/month
MetLife$55/month

Most Expensive Companies

Insurance CompanyLowest Rate
Arrowhead$269/month
Aggressive$167/month
Metromile$157/month
First Chicago$123/month
Safeco$121/month

Best Car Insurance for College Students

AAA

Also known as the American Automobile Association, AAA has been around since 1902 and has 58 million members in the United States and Canada. In addition to providing car insurance, AAA members receive 24/7 roadside assistance and some pretty significant discounts for college students.

  • Driver Training Discount: 5%
  • Good Student Discount: 14%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 46%

The less common Driver Training Discount applies to members who have taken the relevant AAA-approved driver education and training program.

American Family

As of 2015, American Family had approximately two percent of the car insurance market share, making it one of the largest providers in the United States. Though they only provide two student driver discount options, these discounts can cut off a hefty percentage from your premium.

  • Good Student Discount: 25%
  • TeenSmart Discount: 10%

Allstate

Allstate covers 10 percent of the car insurance market share, making it the third largest auto insurance company in the United States. Perhaps due in part to the size of its consumer base, Allstate provides some significant discounts for student drivers.

  • Good Student Discount: 35%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 5%

Auto-Owners

With 6,200 agencies in the United States and over 100 years in business, Auto-Owners Insurance is one of the largest and longest-standing car insurance providers in the country. All this time in the industry must have shown them that students with good grades and without a car on campus deserve cheap car insurance rates! Auto-Owners’ student discounts are some of the biggest around. Unfortunately, they only underwrite car insurance policies in 26 states.

  • Good Student Discount: 20%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 25%

GEICO

GEICO does more than put a talking lizard on TV—they actually provide auto insurance, and with a pretty good student discount to boot. Of the five largest car insurance providers in the country (State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, and Farmers), GEICO also provides the cheapest rates, on average. So, although they only provide one type of student discount, their cheaper rates might make GEICO the right option for you.

  • Good Student Discount: 15%

MetLife

Founded in 1868, MetLife has been around for 150 years. It has 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Metlife’s home and auto branch offers insurance policies in all 50 states. This extensive history and expansive reach likely contribute to the variety and size of discounts they can provide to college students.

  • Good Student Discount: 15%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 10%
  • TeenSmart Discount: 7%

State Farm

According to the Insurance Information InstituteState Farm had 18.3 percent of the market share as of 2015, making it the top car insurance provider by that metric. Because of its size and geographic representation (State Farm is available in all 50 states), they are able to provide sizeable student discounts. Additionally, as with many other large insurance providers, you can get even bigger discounts by bundling multiple types of policies, such as home and life.

  • Good Student Discount: 25%
  • TeenSmart Discount: 15%

Safeco

Though Safeco offers many types of insurance, they lack some common technological services. For example, online filing for auto claims is currently available in only some states. Many other insurance companies (i.e. their competition) provide online claim filing and have for a while. Additionally, though not the most expensive, Safeco also is not the cheapest. However, they do provide a variety of student discounts. Especially if bundled with a home insurance policy, these discounts could make a buying through Safeco worth it.

  • Good Student Discount: 16%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 20%
  • TeenSmart Discount: 15%

Westfield Insurance

Despite being one of the smaller providers in the insurance game, Westfield Insurance provides some significant student discounts. These could make Westfield a competitive option and potentially the best source of car insurance for a college student.

  • Good Student Discount: 25%
  • TeenSmart Discount: 15%

Plymouth Rock Assurance

Plymouth Rock Assurance is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to the insurance game. Founded in 1982, they are only available in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. But, for students in those states, they offer decent discounts.

  • Good Student Discount: 15%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 15%

Progressive

Progressive is not available in all states, but according to the Insurance Information Institute, they had 8.8 percent of the car insurance market share as of 2015. By offering a Good Student Discount and a Student Away at School Discount, we’re sure that the college students among their many customers appreciate the price cut they get for good grades and leaving the car at home.

  • Good Student Discount: 10%
  • Student Away at School Discount: 10%

If you or someone you know is looking to find the best car insurance for college students, whether it be themselves or their family member, insurance quote comparison sites like Insurify make it easy to find all the providers with student discounts. When using Insurify, all you have to do is indicate that you are a student in the questionnaire, and car insurance quotes with relevant discounts will be delivered to you.

College Students vs. Other Peers: Who Pays More?

You might identify with some, all, or none of these driver profiles. Regardless, these other quotes should give you an idea of the cheapest car insurance rates you could encounter in your comparison shopping journey.

Car Insurance Discounts for College Students

Here are the average rates of discount for which you might be eligible:

Finding the Best Quotes: Compare Before You Buy!

If you or someone you know is looking to find the best car insurance for college students, whether it be themselves or their family member, insurance quote comparison sites like Insurify make it easy to find all the providers with student discounts. When using Insurify, all you have to do is indicate that you are a student in the questionnaire, and car insurance quotes with relevant discounts will be delivered to you.

Let’s go, Harry!

Though every one of the companies listed provides significant discounts for college students who meet certain criteria (such as a high GPA), you should not switch providers solely because others with larger discounts exist. If your current insurer provides you with a loyalty discount or cheaper auto insurance rates for bundling auto and home, getting a new policy—even one with a student discount—might not save you money, so steer clear of easy fixes if switching policies won’t help you out in the long run. Be sure to do the math before making a switch.

More insurance saving tips for college students

Just because you’re moving to college doesn’t mean you can’t stay on your guardians’ or parents’ policy. If your primary residence will continue to be with your family, then staying on their policy will help those insured on the policy unlock multi-car discounts.

Commuting/Driving

  • If you’re staying closer to home for school and need your car in order to commute, you could end up paying out of pocket if you get into an accident and didn’t adjust your policy for the extra driving you’ve been doing. If your daily commute becomes longer, consider contacting your agent to increase your coverage limits so you’ll never have to pay outright for unforeseen expenses.
  • If you commute to campus, consider building your class schedule for a few days a week, at consecutive times. That way you won’t have to travel to and from school more often throughout the week. You’ll keep your mileage and your premium low.

Living Situation

  • If you’re leaving your car home because your campus is over 100 miles away, you may qualify for a resident student discount. You could save your family as much as 30 percent off their monthly car insurance bill.
  • If you can’t decide whether or not to bring your car to college with you, be aware of where your campus is located. When setting your premiums, insurance providers consider your location’s crime and traffic rates. If your campus is in an area with high rates of both, you may want to add on security or collision coverages that will cover you in the event of theft or damage. You can even unlock a discount if you buy an anti-theft device for your car.
  • If you live on or off-campus with roommates, consider setting up a carpooling system. While it may be difficult to find schedules compatible with yours, you might be able to leave your car at home and simply chip in for gas.

Buying a Car

  • Consider buying a vehicle with up-to-date safety features. Cars that include full-front airbags and restraint devices can qualify you for safe driving discounts.
  • Along with shopping for a car with safety features, remember that reliable vehicles such as family sedans are usually cheaper to insure, especially if they’re used. Convertibles are cool, but higher premiums aren’t.

If you have a child heading off to college or are a college student yourself, we hope this information helps you select the best car insurance policy possible.

Browse, Compare, Discover with Insurify today!

Sabrina Perry is a writer with experience in data journalism and a passion for translating complex topics into insightful and engaging stories. She has a degree in neuroscience from University of California, Santa Barbara and can often be found reading books about behavioral economics, decision-making, and personal finance.