How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes 2024
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Best Car Insurance for College Students

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

With tuition and other college fees, the cost of car insurance can quickly increase your monthly expenses. We looked at quotes from some of the largest and local insurance companies to help you find the best rate for car insurance as a college student.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Best auto insurance companies for college students

State Farm, Progressive, Erie and Amica are the best car insurance companies for college students, based on our research. We evaluated these companies on cost, coverage, availability and customer satisfaction.

Cheapest among national companies: State Farm

  Annual rate for full coverage: $4,078

Among national insurance companies, State Farm has the cheapest full-coverage rate at $4,078 a year. State Farm is also a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable insurance company: It received an A.M. Best financial strength rating of A++, the highest rating a company can get.

State Farm offers a few discounts to help drive down costs, too. This includes a good student discount for teens with solid grades, which can save you up to 25%. The savings could last until you turn 25.

Some other discounts State Farm offers:

  • Steer clear discount: If you’re under 25 years of age and have no at-fault accidents or moving violations within the past three years, you could save as much as 15%.
  • Student away at school discount: If you’re a student under the age of 25 who’s moves away to school and only uses the car while at home, you may qualify for a discount

Another reason State Farm is a good choice for college students is its smooth claims process. State Farm scored an above-average rating in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with an 882 out of 1,000 points.

Pros:

  Cheap full-coverage costs

  Dependable customer service

Cons:

  Premiums increase by $450, on average, after an accident for a minimum policy

Best for discounts: Progressive

  Annual rate for full coverage: $8,187

Progressive offers discounts for students who have good grades, go to school away from home or are under 18 years of age.

  • Good student discount: You can qualify for a discount if you’re a full-time student with a B average or better. In most states, the average discount is 10%.
  • Distant student discount: If you’re 22 years old or younger and attend a college that is 100 miles or more from your home, you can qualify for a distant student discount. To qualify for this discount, you can’t have a car on campus.
  • Teen driver discount: If you’re 18 years old or younger, you can qualify for a discount.

Although it offers numerous discounts for teens and young adults, Progressive has a high average rate of $8,187 a year for full-coverage car insurance. Progressive also scored a below-average rating of 861 out of 1,000 points in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Pros:

  Great for discounts among college students

Cons:

  Average full-coverage rate is higher than national rate of $5,214

  Below average customer satisfaction for claims

Best for a speeding ticket among national companies: Amica

  Annual rate for full coverage: $9,052

If you have a speeding ticket, your car insurance rates may go up by about 17%, on average. However, the average rate increase from Amica after a ticket is just 2%. Amica also earned the highest score in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, 903 out of 1,000 points.

If you’re looking for premium coverage, Amica offers some great optional coverages, which include:

  • Glass repair or replacement
  • A credit monitoring service
  • A new car if your car is totaled in an accident (the car that’s totaled must be less than one year old and have fewer than 15,000 miles to qualify)
  • A rental car after a covered car acciden

Pros:

  Great for rates after a speeding ticket

  Great for customer satisfaction for claims

Cons:

  Premiums increase by $954 per year, on average, after an accident for a minimum policy

  Average full-coverage rate is higher than national rate

Best after an accident among national companies: Erie

  Annual rate for full coverage: $3,129

If you’ve been in an accident, your car insurance rates may go up by an average of 29%. Erie, however, only raises rates by 18%, on average. Erie also received one of the highest scores in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, a 893 out of 1,000 points.

Erie charges affordable rates for full coverage at an average rate of $3,129 a year. It also offers some unique coverage options, such as its Rate Lock feature. And with Erie, your rates will only change if you add or remove a driver or car, or if you change the address where you have your car regularly.

Pros:

  Cheap full-coverage costs

  Unique coverages

Cons:

  Is only available in 12 states and the District of Columbia

Full-coverage car insurance rates for 18-year-olds

Car insurance is often more expensive for those in college or getting ready for college. This is mostly because of their age and lack of experience on the road. Companies weigh these and other factors differently, though, which can impact what you pay.

Best full-coverage car insurance rates for 18-year-olds

CompanyAverage annual premium
Island Insurance$1,319
Texas Farm Bureau$1,719
Concord$1,931
Country Financial$2,226
USAA$2,753
MMG$2,945
Pemco$2,945
Erie$3,129
Umialik$3,569
Mercury$3,821
Hanover$3,970
State Farm$4,078
Auto-Owners$4,207
Farm Bureau$4,378
Grinnell Mutual$4,534
Grange$4,591
Westfield$4,619
Shelter$4,632
Geico$4,866
United Automobile$4,945
Co-Op$5,077
Average$5,214
Arbella$5,247
American Family$5,413
Safety$5,568
Travelers$5,590
Nodak$5,896
Plymouth Rock$6,648
The Hartford$7,228
Allstate$7,405
Safeway$7,623
Nationwide$7,900
NJM$8,040
Progressive$8,187
Farmers$8,854
Acuity$8,901
Amica$9,052
AAA$9,111

Rates are for an 18-year-old male with good credit and a clean driving record. Your rates may vary.

Minimum car insurance rates for 18-year-olds

If you’re looking for cheaper car insurance rates, you can buy minimum coverage. This also means less protection if you get into an accident.

Best minimum-coverage car insurance for 18-year-olds

CompanyAverage annual premium
Island Insurance$418
Texas Farm Bureau$770
Pemco$896
Hanover$997
Concord$1,005
Grinnell Mutual$1,014
USAA$1,014
Nodak$1,234
Erie$1,282
Co-Op$1,294
Mercury$1,301
MMG$1,357
Westfield$1,366
Country Financial$1,401
Umialik$1,453
Farm Bureau$1,582
Auto-Owners$1,700
State Farm$1,803
Shelter$1,883
Geico$1,992
Grange$2,088
Safety$2,152
Average$2,220
American Family$2,364
Arbella$2,405
The Hartford$2,433
United Automobile$2,517
Travelers$2,633
Plymouth Rock$2,742
Progressive$3,089
Acuity$3,280
Allstate$3,339
Nationwide$3,425
Safeway$3,742
Amica$4,071
AAA$4,075
Farmers$4,084
NJM$7,952

Rates are for an 18-year-old male with good credit and a clean driving record. Your rates may vary.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

What factors affect insurance rates for college students?

Insurance rates for drivers under the age of 25 tend to be higher than it is for older drivers. This is mostly due to higher car accident rates among young adults, which leads to high insurance premiums. Your rates should go down after gaining a few more years of driving experience.

How to save money on car insurance as a college student

There are other ways you can save money on car insurance besides discounts. By following these suggestions, you may help lower your annual car insurance premium.

Drive an older car

Older cars tend to be cheaper to insure since the repair costs are usually cheaper than they are for a newer model. Older cars can also carry a lower insurance rate due to their lower value.

Stay on your parents’ insurance

Buying your own insurance policy often costs more than joining your parents’ policy. If your parents have good driving histories or have been with the same insurance company for years, you should pay an even lower rate. However, if your permanent address is different from that of your parents, you may have to buy a separate insurance policy.

Shop around

Shopping around for the best rate is one of the best ways to get cheaper car insurance. Car insurance companies can quote you very different rates, as well as offer different types of discounts.

Avoid making small claims

Your car insurance rates will likely go up after you file a claim for an accident. If the damage is minor and you’re meeting your state’s legal requirements, you can pay out of pocket to avoid your insurance rate going up.

Methodology

Car insurance rates were obtained from Quadrant Information Services for the largest insurance companies in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Unless otherwise mentioned, the following were used:

  • Minimum–liability rates include personal injury protection and/or uninsured motorist coverage where required by state law.
  • Prices reflect insurance for an 18-year-old male driver with good credit and a clean driving record.
  • Rates are provided for comparative purposes only. Your rates may vary.