Going to college is a great experience - and it can definitely be an expensive one. From tuition and textbooks to pizza and personal expenses, the costs add up quickly.
If you’re one of the lucky students on campus that has a car, you’ll need to budget for the extra expenses such as gas, maintenance and auto insurance. Here’s how you can save a few dollars on your car insurance bill.
Whether you have your own auto insurance policy or are on a parent’s policy, there are ways to lower your premium. Of course, while getting a rate you can afford is important, you also want to be sure you have the right coverage for your situation.
Whose name is on the car title?
Will you live at home while in college?
If you live on-campus, how far away from home is it?
How often are you driving?
Having the answers to these questions will help you determine the exact coverage you need as well as the different types of discounts you could be eligible for.
Don't pass on these student discounts
Most insurance companies offer discounts for students. The requirements are typically that you are a full-time student and unmarried. In addition, most insurers have an age limit to be eligible for a student discount.
Allstate offers a student discount to those under 25, and Progressive’s Good Student discount limits it to those under age 23. Be sure to check with your insurer on specific requirements.
Whether you or a parent is paying the auto insurance bill, saving money is always welcome. Be sure to talk to an agent about your specific college situation, including class schedule and activities, living arrangements and transportation.
Keep up the good grades
In addition to being a full-time student, keeping your grades up could earn you a car insurance discount. In most cases, if you have a B average or higher, you could be eligible. Did you make the Dean’s list, Honor Roll or rank in the top 20% of your class? Be sure to tell your insurer about any academic achievements so they can seek out the most discounts for you.
Savings for renters
Living off-campus in your own apartment is a great experience. If you have renters insurance to protect your belongings, you could be eligible for a multi-policy discount by combining your renters insurance and auto insurance.
Greek life and honor societies
Kappa Sigma. Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Delta Gamma. Belonging to a sorority or fraternity could help you shave a few bucks off your auto insurance. These are known as affiliation discounts. A discount could also apply if you’re a member of your school’s honor society.
Some insurers will offer you a discount just because of the college or university you go to. For instance, a discount like this could also apply if you’re a member of your school’s dental or medical student association. You could also earn a discount as a result of who you have a checking or savings account with.
Moving away to college
If you own a car and are heading to college in a new town, you may decide not to take it to college with you. If you do leave your car at home and attend a college that’s 100 miles or more away, tell your agent. Only using the car while at home during vacations and holidays means you’re spending less time behind the wheel, and there are fewer miles being put on the insured vehicle.
If you decide to take your car with you to college but it spends most of the time parked on the campus lot, a low-mileage discount could be your ticket to car insurance savings. You might also consider a usage-based program such as Progressive’s Snapshot or Safeco’s RightTrack. However, keep in mind that usage-based programs also take into consideration when you are driving and how. If late-night food runs are your thing, this might not be your best bet.
Best car insurance discounts for students
Every auto insurance company offers their own set of discounts. Here are some of the best student discounts from the top insurers.
You’re in good hands with Allstate if you are a student that is under the age of 25 and not married. In addition, to be eligible for Allstate’s student discount you must be able to prove a B- or above average, or a GAP of 2.7 or higher. If you are attending school away from where your insured car (at least 100 miles) resides, you could receive a discount.
Progressive offers two main discounts to college students. To qualify for any student discount, you must be enrolled in college full-time and under the age of 23. The good student discount is eligible to those who have a B average or better. Progressive also offers a discount if you are enrolled in a college or university that is over 100 miles from your home.
To qualify for either Progressive discount, you can’t be the primary named insurer on the auto insurance policy or the spouse of the primary.
For full-time college students, USAA offers a discount if you have at least a 3.0 GPA. You may also qualify for their good student discount if you made the Dean’s List or Honor Roll, or if you’re in the top 20% of your class.
Students attending college more than 100 miles away are eligible for a car insurance discount from Safeco. Maintaining a 3.0 GPA or better can save you even more. For college students who are on a Safeco policy with a parent, you can also earn a discount if you decide to purchase your own Safeco auto insurance policy.
State Farm offers a couple discounts for any students under the age of 25. One discount is for those who are moving away for school and have a car but aren’t taking it with them. In other words, your car is only getting used when you’re home for school vacations and holidays. State Farm also offers a discount up to 25% if you can prove good grades.
Earn a 7% discount if you are going away to a college that is at least 100 miles from home and you aren’t taking your car with you. Maintain at least a B average and be eligible for an 8% discount.