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Car insurance discounts for students

Students can earn savings on car insurance by getting good grades, bundling policies, or through their university, fraternity, or sorority.

Kara McGinleyStephanie Nieves author photo

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

&Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

Updated|5 min read

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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.

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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.

Key takeaways

  • Car insurance rates are higher for young and inexperienced drivers because insurance companies consider them to be high-risk drivers.

  • That said, most insurance companies offer discounts for students who get good grades or complete driver’s education courses.

  • Students can also get car insurance discounts if they are part of certain organizations, like specific fraternities, sororities, or honors societies.

  • There are also discounts for bundling policies and for vehicle safety features.

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

  • Associate degree

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • Dean’s list or honor roll

→ Read our guide on the best car insurance for college students

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.

Military discount

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.

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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

Bundling discount

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What GPA is required to earn a good student discount on an auto insurance policy?

Good student discounts vary by insurer. At Nationwide, full-time students age 16-24 who maintain a B average or higher can qualify for the good student discount. But at Allstate, young drivers can also earn a good student discount by successfully completing the teenSMART driver education program or attending a school at least 100 miles away from where their car is stored.

Does Safeco offer student discounts?

Yes, Safeco offers a good student discount. Students who maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better, make the honor roll, or are in the top 20% of their class will be eligible for this discount. Safeco also offers a distant student discount for young drivers away at school more than 100 miles away from their home without a car.

How long does a good student discount last?

You can start seeing lower rates with discounts from the time the discount is applied until your policy is up for renewal. Some insurance companies have an age limit for good student discounts — some stop at 24 years old, others at 25 — so you’ll be eligible for this discount as a student until you reach that age or are no longer a full-time student.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

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