The Best Car Insurance for College Students (2024)

Students should shop around and compare companies to find the best policy at the best price.

Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli
  • 5+ years writing insurance and personal finance topics

  • Auto, home, health, and life insurance expertise

Elizabeth has extensive insurance industry experience, having written for Insureon, Rate Retriever, and Insurify. She’s also finance and insurance editor for Car and Driver.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated May 23, 2024

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Cheapest recent rates

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $35/mo for liability only and $45/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Depending on where you attend college, you might need to bring a car to campus. You’ll need to carry at least a minimum amount of car insurance, even if you drive your car infrequently. College students — or their parents — tend to face high premiums for car insurance due to their age. Shopping around and comparing rates will help you find affordable coverage.

Based on company reviews, coverage options, available discounts, and rate data, Elephant, Liberty Mutual, and Mercury offer some of the best car insurance for college students.

Quick Facts
  • Anchor has the cheapest liability-only coverage for college students.

  • Many auto insurers offer savings to college students who get good grades.

  • Comparing rates can help college students find the lowest premium.

Best car insurance companies for college students

No single car insurance company provides perfect coverage for all college students. The best insurer will vary for every person based on their coverage needs, budget, vehicle, location, and other factors.

Some companies, including the ones below, stand out due to their Insurify Quality (IQ) Scores, coverage options, and more. Elephant offers the cheapest average full-coverage quote, at $332 per month, followed by Mercury, at $387 per month.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Liberty Mutual$5753.8
Elephant$3323.6
Mercury$3873.6
National General$4783.5
The General$6423.4
Direct Auto$4643.2
Bristol West$6942.2
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Our editorial team spent 350 hours developing the Insurify Quality (IQ) Score and scoring insurance companies. The IQ Score objectively analyzes and calculates a score for insurers using more than 15 crucial criteria. Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings.

    We rate each company on a 1 to 5 scale based on five categories: financial ratings, customer satisfaction, affordability, customer support and transparency, and availability. We update ratings once a year or as more recent information becomes available.

    • Third-party financial ratings: We use data from AM Best, S&P, Moody's, and more to compare insurance companies’ credit and ability to pay out future claims.
    • Customer satisfaction: To calculate this score, Insurify analyzed more than 20,000 customer reviews across 155 car insurance companies. We also considered third-party ratings from J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Trustpilot.
    • Affordability: Our data scientists analyzed more than 90 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partners across the United States, as well as available discounts, to calculate an affordability score.
    • Customer support and transparency: This measures coverage options, ease of claims filing, and the insurer's transparency surrounding discounts, coverages, and claims process.
    • Availability and reach: Insurify identified the number of states in which insurers offer coverage and company size by market share to score availability and reach.

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Liberty Mutual

One of the largest car insurance companies on the market, Liberty Mutual offers lots of unique coverage options, like new car and better car replacement coverage, original parts coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, and lifetime guaranteed car repairs after a claim.[1]

Liberty Mutual also offers great discounts, including savings for good students and students away at school. In addition to common discounts for bundling, having no recent claims, and buying a policy online, Liberty Mutual also has a safe driver rewards program.

The telematics-based program, called RightTrack, tracks your driving habits while you drive and rewards you with a lower rate when you drive safely. You can save 10% for enrolling and up to 30% when you practice safe driving habits.

Pros
  • Several available discounts for college students

  • Good selection of endorsements

  • Telematics-based safe driver rewards program

Cons
  • Below-average claims satisfaction rating from J.D. Power[2]

  • Availability of some coverages and discounts vary by state

  • Very high number of company complaints

Learn More: How Does a Clean Driving Record Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Learn More: How Does a Clean Driving Record Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Elephant

Elephant, a digital insurance company founded in 2009, stands out for its wide selection of car insurance endorsements. The company offers gap insurance, rental car insurance, custom parts and equipment coverage, and upgraded accident forgiveness. You can also use Elephant’s Coverage Wizard tool to get a recommendation for the type and amount of coverage you might need.

Elephant also offers discounts for good students and students away at school, as well as for savings for paying in full, getting a quote online, and buying a policy early.

Perhaps due to its small size as a company, Elephant hasn’t been rated by organizations like J.D. Power or A.M. Best.

Pros
  • Provides a good selection of discounts

  • Many add-on coverages available

  • Coverage Wizard tool for coverage recommendations

Cons
  • Customers can’t use mobile app to file a claim

  • Coverage available in only eight states

  • Not rated by financial strength organizations in the industry

Mercury

A Los Angeles-based insurance company, Mercury sells auto insurance in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

The company stands out for its customer service, with a 24/7 claims hotline and guaranteed vehicle repairs when you choose an authorized repair shop. Mercury also offers a big selection of discounts, including savings for good students, safe drivers, paying in full, buying a policy online, and enrolling in automatic payments.

Mercury offers fewer endorsements than some other insurance companies, so you may want to find a different insurer if you want to customize your coverage. Besides standard optional policies like medical payments coverage and personal injury protection (PIP), Mercury only offers endorsements like roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and rideshare insurance.

Pros
  • Great financial strength rating from A.M. Best

  • Offers a large selection of discounts

  • Helpful online resources, like safe driving tips

Cons
  • Coverage available in only 11 states

  • Offers fewer add-on coverages than other insurers

  • Below-average claims satisfaction rating from J.D. Power

Keep Reading: Why Do Car Insurance Companies Deny Claims?

Keep Reading: Why Do Car Insurance Companies Deny Claims?

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Average car insurance costs for college students

Car insurance premiums for college students depend on personal factors.

“There are a variety of factors that may affect a college student’s car insurance cost, such as location, age, and how much they drive,” says Matthew Roberts, chief operating officer and co-founder of My Choice Financial. The student’s driving record, claims history, gender, and vehicle type can also affect their auto insurance rate.

Based on an analysis of recent rate data, the average liability-only car insurance premium for college students ranges between $138 and $700 per month. For full-coverage car insurance, the average premium falls between $311 and $837 per month.

The cheapest car insurance rates for college students

College students — especially students still in their teens — often pay high car insurance rates due to their age and lack of driving experience.[3] However, you can still find cheap car insurance as a young driver. By purchasing your state’s minimum insurance requirements, you’ll receive more affordable premiums.

Quotes for liability-only coverage start as low as $138 per month with Anchor but go up to $512 with AAA.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Liability Only
Anchor$138
Apparent$174
National General$209
Kemper$215
Elephant$249
Safeco$253
Progressive$254
Commonwealth Casualty$254
Midvale Home & Auto$281
Mercury$292
Clearcover$293
Dairyland$314
Liberty Mutual$422
AAA$512
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheap car insurance companies for college students by state

Car insurance premiums can vary based on location due to factors like population density, crime rates, claims filing, and more. For example, states with a high number of uninsured drivers or a high accident rate might have more expensive premiums.

You can see which companies have the cheapest car insurance for college students in select states below. Quotes start as low as $138 per month, but actual premiums will vary based on each person.

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Check Out: Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State

Check Out: Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State

How can college students reduce their car insurance costs?

College students can lower the cost of their auto insurance policy in a number of ways. Below are a few ways to get cheaper car insurance:

  • Look for discounts. Most car insurance companies offer discounts that may reduce your insurance costs. Some insurers also offer special savings aimed at college students, like a good student discount.

  • Stay on your parents’ policy. If possible, staying on your parents’ car insurance policy can help you get more affordable car insurance. You’ll usually earn cheaper premiums when insured on your parents’ policy rather than your own policy.

  • Choose higher deductibles. If you purchase policies that have a deductible, like comprehensive insurance, select a deductible of $500 or more. Selecting a higher deductible will result in lower monthly premiums.

  • Shop around and compare quotes. Every college student pays a different car insurance premium. Compare quotes from a few different insurers to help you find the cheapest policy for your situation.

Car insurance discounts for college students

If you need a car insurance policy, research insurance companies that offer discounts.

“There are plenty of student discounts that college students can take advantage of,” says Roberts.

Some of the most common car insurance discounts that college students often qualify for include:

  • Smart student: If you get good grades or maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA), many insurance companies will give you a discount. To claim this discount, you may need to show an official transcript from your school. Some discounts may only be available to full-time students.

  • Student away at school: If you attend college far from home and don’t bring your vehicle to campus, some insurers will give you a discount. Even if you can’t drive the car, you still need to maintain a minimum amount of insurance to avoid a lapse in coverage.

  • Policy bundling: Many companies offer savings if you purchase two insurance policies from them. So, if you live in an off-campus apartment, you could save money by purchasing car insurance with renters insurance.

  • Low mileage: If you have a car on campus but drive infrequently, look for insurers that offer low-mileage discounts or pay-per-mile auto insurance policies.

How to buy cheap auto insurance for college students

As a college student, having a good auto insurance policy is important. However, you also want to find the most affordable coverage.

Here are a few tips for buying cheap auto insurance:

  • Determine what coverages you need. Before you purchase car insurance, figure out what types of coverage you really need. For example, if you only drive between classes and your dorm, you might not need coverage endorsements like roadside assistance or accident forgiveness. To keep your premium low, only buy the coverage you find necessary.

  • Research insurance companies. Each car insurance company on the market varies. Spend time researching various insurers and comparing them based on important features like coverage options, discounts, online policy-management tools, mobile app ratings, and customer reviews.

  • Ask for recommendations. When shopping for car insurance, it can be helpful to ask friends or classmates what car insurance companies they work with. Consider looking into these insurers to see if they might also meet your needs.

  • Use an online quote-comparison tool. To find the cheapest coverage, use an online quote-comparison tool to save you time. You’ll only need to enter your ZIP code and other information once to get matched with multiple insurance companies in your area.

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Car insurance for college students FAQs

If you need to purchase car insurance for the first time, you might still have questions about getting good car insurance as a college student. Here is some more information that might be helpful.

  • Do college students need car insurance?

    College students need car insurance if they own a vehicle. Legally, you must carry a minimum amount of coverage in accordance with your state’s laws.

    Even if you leave your vehicle at home, you should maintain your policy to avoid a lapse in coverage that can lead to higher rates in the future.

  • Is car insurance more expensive for college students?

    Typically. Car insurance premiums generally cost more for college students than for older adults. Auto insurers view teenagers and drivers younger than 25 as higher-risk drivers because of a lack of driving experience. Rates tend to decrease with age, assuming you maintain a good driving record.

  • How can you add a college student to a family policy?

    You can either call your insurer and ask it to add a new driver, or you can add them yourself through the online policy-management system. You may need to provide information like their driver’s license number, date of birth, and driving history.

  • How long can you stay on your parents’ insurance policy?

    “There’s no maximum age limit to be on a parents’ car insurance policy,” says Roberts. Most car insurance companies allow children to stay on their parents’ policy indefinitely as long as they have the same permanent address and register their vehicle at that address.

  • Can you stay on your parents’ car insurance if you move out?

    No. You can only stay on your parents’ policy if you maintain the same address. 

    For example, if your off-campus apartment becomes your primary address, you’d likely need to get your own car insurance policy.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. NAIC. "Property and Casaulty Insurance Industry 2022: Top 25 Groups and Companies By Countrywide Premium."
  2. J.D. Power. "Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Finds."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance for teen drivers."
Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer covering insurance and personal finance. She has extensive knowledge of various insurance lines, including property and casualty, health, and life insurance. Her byline has been featured in dozens of publications, including Investopedia, Forbes, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, and Insurance.com

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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