Best Cheap Car Insurance for College Students

Best Cheap Car Insurance for College Students

College students can save hundreds of dollars on car insurance by comparing rates.

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Finding car insurance for college students can be difficult, given high rates for young drivers and unique student needs. To simplify the process, we've put together a list of the best student car insurance companies across several criteria, including price, available discounts and more. Read more below to learn how college students can save more on car insurance.


Cheapest overall

GEICO logo
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Best discounts

State Farm logo
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Best for infrequent drivers

Metromile logo
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Best mobile apps

Allstate logo
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Cheapest for College Students: GEICO

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When compared to other national insurance companies, GEICO routinely offers cheap auto insurance for college students.


  • Average 6-month premium: $2,326
  • ValuePenguin rating: 4/5
  • JD Power rating: 3/5
  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
  • Read our full GEICO review

GEICO's low rates and abundance of discounts make it what we consider the best cheap car insurance for college students. While quotes vary depending on where you live, we found that GEICO consistently offers college-aged drivers low auto insurance rates.

GEICO also offers discounts to members of college-centered groups, like alumni associations, fraternities and sororities. So, if you're a college student involved on campus, chances are you can receive good, discounted auto insurance rates. Get a quote online by clicking above or speak with an insurance agent to see if you qualify.

The Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for College Students
The Top 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for College Students

Below, we list sample six-month full coverage quotes for college-aged drivers provided by a few major insurers.

Insurer6-month premium
GEICO$2,326
Nationwide$2,868
Progressive$3,537
State Farm$3,168
Allstate$5,234

Best for Discounts: State Farm

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State Farm offers all of its customers access to a long list of auto insurance discounts, but some of its best ones are reserved for student drivers.


State Farm's good-student discount offers up to 25% in annual auto insurance savings to eligible college students. The eligibility requirements vary by state, but typically the driver must be a full-time student and have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0). Fortunately the discount lasts until drivers turn 25 years old, even if they graduate from college before then.

State Farm's student away at school discount is great for college students who live on a campus where a car isn't necessary. It offers savings to drivers who live more than 100 miles from home and keep their car there. To be eligible for the discount, college students may only drive their car while they're home on vacation or during a holiday.

State Farm's Steer Clear program offers all drivers under the age of 25 the opportunity to save money on their auto insurance. The program allows drivers to review and improve their driving skills through educational materials and by self-logging significant events that occur during their trips. If no violations or accidents occur during their trips, then they become eligible for a discount.

Best for Infrequent Drivers: Metromile

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Metromile is a great insurance company for college students who drive infrequently but still want the convenience of having their car while at school.


  • Average 6-month premium: Depends on mileage
  • ValuePenguin rating: 4/5
  • JD Power rating: Not rated
  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A-
  • Read our full Metromile review

Metromile's quoting system allows drivers to enter their current auto insurance premiums so they can compare and see if switching companies makes sense. Your monthly premium will consist of a base cost plus a per-mile fee, which means less driving equals lower insurance costs. Metromile claims that if you drive fewer than 12,000 miles per year, which is the national average, you will save money with its insurance.

Metromile doesn't charge policyholders for driving more than 250 miles per day, depending on the state. College students or new drivers can think of this as a cap on the amount they can be charged, should they choose to drive home or go on a road trip. In New Jersey, Metromile won't charge drivers for more than 150 miles per day.

The company's biggest drawback is its limited availability.

Currently, Metromile is only available in eight states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. If Metromile isn't available where you live, ask your insurance company about a low-mileage discount, which is offered by most car insurance companies.

Best Mobile Apps: Allstate

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College students are often on the move and need an insurer with robust mobile apps. Allstate offers drivers two: Allstate Mobile and QuickTrip.


  • Average 6-month premium: $5,234
  • ValuePenguin editor's rating: 3/5
  • JD Power rating: 3/5
  • A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • Read our full Allstate review

Allstate Mobile allows users to access their plan information, manage claims and instantly connect to an insurance agent. You can file a claim right from the app, which we consider the best part. This saves you from long phone calls during what is usually a stressful time.

Allstate's QuickTrip app is a trip optimizer, which saves time and mileage. Drivers can enter as many locations they wish to visit, and the app will find the optimal multistop route for the day. This is a great extra perk for college students, especially those with tight schedules.

While Allstate offers great mobile apps, it also has an extensive network of agents, which are available to answer your questions in person. This can be a huge benefit for college students who may be unfamiliar with the nuances of their auto insurance policies.

College students should be mindful, however, that Allstate's policies are typically among the most expensive among major insurers. As a result, student drivers should carefully consider how they prioritize balancing service quality and cost.

Allstate has approximately 12,000 exclusive agencies spread across the country, meaning there's likely one located near you. Ultimately, Allstate offers a great mobile experience and doesn't skimp on in-person support.

Car Insurance for College Students: How to Save Money

If you're a college student with a car on campus, or the parent of one, consider the methods listed below as a way to save money on student car insurance.

It's also worth recognizing that not all college students will pay the same for car insurance, as younger drivers tend to pay more than older drivers. For example, an 18-year-old college student will likely pay significantly more than a 25-year-old.

AgeSix-month premium
18$3,590
19$3,009
20$2,667
21$2,227
22$2,064
23$1,920
24$1,799
25$1,604

Keep the student on the parents' policy

Having a college student on their parents' policy should generally result in lower auto insurance costs for the family compared to buying the student a separate policy, especially if the other members of the family have good driving records. Auto policies under a parents' name tend to be lower-priced because the parents likely have a longer history with the insurance company.

The flip side, however, is that a college student who's on the family policy could raise rates for the parents if they run into trouble at the wheel. We recommend exploring pricing for an individual policy for the student and a policy for adding them to (or retaining them on) the family policy.

If students are moving far from home for college, their insurer may require them to purchase an individual policy. While some companies are more flexible for young drivers staying on their parents' policy, it's still important to be transparent. If you file for a claim on your parents policy and your insurer did not already know you had moved out, they may deny your claim or even cancel coverage. As a result, it's usually best to discuss your options with your carrier.

Explore discounts for a student who will drive less while away

If your child is attending college more than 100 miles from home without the car, the family may:

  • Qualify for an away-from-home discount
  • Or could remove the student from the family policy for the time they're away.

The student can still drive the car during spring and winter breaks, provided they don't drive for more than a certain number of days in a row, as stipulated by the insurance company. Also, with the student now driving the car less or not at all, you may be eligible for a further premium reduction based on the reduced mileage.

Be sure to confirm with your carrier what features are available for your policy.

Get a discount for good grades

Good students drive better, according to insurance companies, and this is typically reflected in auto insurance rates. Most large insurance companies will discount premiums for full-time high school or college students who meet any of the following requirements:

  • Student grades must meet or exceed a B or 3.0 GPA
  • Rank within the top 20% of their class
  • Rank within the top 20% of certain standardized test scores from the past 12 months

It's best to ask your particular insurance company about discounts they might offer college students for good grades.

Comparison shop across multiple companies to save on student car insurance

One of the best ways to save money on auto insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Auto insurance is a highly competitive industry, and in any given area there may be a multitude of competitors. So, it's best to take your time in gathering quotes to ensure you're getting a fair deal.

Consider comparing the quotes you receive to the average cost of auto insurance in your state to get a sense of the price you're paying.

Methodology

We collected car insurance quotes for thousands of ZIP codes across the 10 most populated states in the U.S. Our sample drivers were 18-year-old men and women who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX. All other parameters affecting car insurance rates were consistent; drivers were single and had a clean driving record.

Coverage levels in the full coverage policy, including liability insurance, are listed below. These coverage levels are slightly higher than any individual state's minimum coverage requirements:

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)Minimum when required by state

The analysis included 23 insurance companies, though rates were only added to our list of average prices and recommendations if their policies were available in at least three of the 10 states.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.