New and young drivers are typically charged higher car insurance rates than older and more experienced drivers. That’s because young drivers with less experience are more likely to get into an accident and file a car insurance claim.
Luckily, students can get discounts on their car insurance premiums. Discounts are offered directly by the car insurance company to students who can demonstrate that they pose less risk. These car insurance discounts can reduce your premiums and help make your car insurance more affordable. The best way to find your biggest discounts is to compare companies before buying a policy.
Educational discounts for students
Most insurance companies offer policy discounts to students based on education. For example, you might get a discount for getting good grades in high school or college, or passing a driver's education course. With many insurance companies, in order to qualify for discounts as a college student you must be a full-time student, not part-time.
Good student discount
Every major car insurance company offers a good student discount. This discount is for around 10% to 15% off your premiums, and is given to student drivers who can demonstrate that they do well in school. Both high schoolers and full-time college students below age 25 are eligible.
You’ll need to show proof of your achievements to get the discount. Car insurance companies may consider you a good student if you can show one of the following:
Good grades: Depending on your insurance company, you may need a grade average of B or a GPA of 3.0
Good standardized test scores: You’ll have to show your insurance company your test scores on the SAT, ACT, or PSAT
A letter signed by an administrator testifying to your academic achievements
Have a class ranking in the top 20% of your class
Dean’s list or honor roll
Driver’s education and training programs discount
Completing a driver’s education class can help reduce premiums for new and teenage drivers. Check with your high school or other participating organizations to see how to sign up for classes. You may also be able to get a discount for completing additional driver’s education, like a defensive driving course.
Many insurers, like State Farm and GEICO, offer their own driver training programs for young drivers. State Farm’s is called “Steer Clear” and is offered to students under age 25 — it tracks your driving, includes informational quizzes and videos, and offers a discount upon completion.
Distant college student discount
This isn’t actually a discount for a student, but a discount for the parents or guardians of that student. If you attend college that is significantly distant from your parents’ home, like if you go to school out of state, your parents can get a discount on their car insurance.
This is called the distant college student discount or the student away at school discount. It applies when you’re attending and living at a college or university away from home and you don't have your own vehicle, meaning you’re only likely to drive your family car when you’re at your parents’ home over school breaks. Your parents can only qualify for this discount if you are away at college and do not have a car with you.
Whether your parents can claim the distant college student discount may also depend on your age. Progressive, for example, limits the discount to students aged 22 and younger, but other insurance companies may be more lenient.
Affiliation discounts for students
Many students are affiliated with other groups or organizations. Depending on your insurance company, your group affiliations may result in car insurance discounts.
Sorority, fraternity, and honors society discounts
Some insurers, like GEICO, offer discounts to members of certain fraternities, sororities, and honors societies. GEICO lists dozens of such organizations as eligible for the discount. Check with your carrier to see if they also offer a discount, and your respective frat or sorority may have additional information.
University and alumni discounts
In addition to discounts for belonging to a sorority, fraternity, or honors society, you may get a discount simply for going to certain universities or for being an alumni of one. Not every university participates in this program, so you should check with your insurance company or university administrative office for more information.
Some insurance providers offer discounts to active and reserve members of the military. Many members of the armed forces enroll in college or university after serving, and you may be eligible for car insurance discounts once you come back from deployment. If you’re deployed now, you may be able to get lower rates simply because you’re not driving your usual car.
If your car is in long-term storage, you can ask your insurance company to reduce your coverage to comprehensive coverage only, which will protect your car from theft, vandalism, and the elements. That said, you cannot legally drive in all but two states with only comprehensive coverage, so you will need to reinstate your auto policy before getting on the road again.
Policy and vehicle discounts for students
Insurance companies also offer policy-based discounts, like if you bundle your auto policy with your homeowners or renters insurance. You can also get discounts based on your vehicle, like if your car has extra safety features installed. These discounts aren’t specific to students, but young drivers can take advantage of them too.
Safety equipment discount
Car insurance discounts for students are available to those whose cars have certain safety features. You can get a discount simply for having one of the following:
Anti-theft systems discount
Tracking device discount
Safety tech discounts, like electronic stability control
Depending on the insurance company, if you bundle your policy with another insurance policy you can get a discount on your premiums. For example, if your parents bundle their homeowners insurance with their auto policy the insurance company likely offers a discount on both.
Your parents can also combine this discount with the good student discount for additional savings. If you're a college student with your own policy and you live off campus, you can bundle your auto and renters insurance for savings on both.
How students can lower their car insurance premiums
Discounts are not available in every case or from every insurance company. If you’re a student, be prepared for higher rates than the average adult until you get more driving experience. Car insurance rates stay high until around age 25, after which they level out.
But there are still ways for young drivers to save on car insurance beyond getting every available student discount.
Practice safe driving while you’re young: You should practice driving within the speed limit and always wear a seat belt, which could net you a discount in itself.
Avoid driving an expensive car when you’re young: You’ll want to show the car insurance company that you’re a safe, responsible driver, and expensive cars are often pricier and more difficult to insure.
Shop around: Getting quotes from other insurers will let you know if there are cheaper options out there, you may be able to get the exact same coverage for less than you’re paying now.