Being a student these days isn’t cheap and is bound to get more expensive as the cost of college increased more than 1% over last year and inflation continues to affect Americans’ spending power.

The average cost of college tuition at a four-year, in-state public university for the 2021-22 school year was $10,740, according to data from the College Board.

Another essential that can be pricey for young folks? Car insurance. In fact, young drivers ages 16 to 25 pay a whole lot more on car insurance than older drivers. Drivers who are 18 pay $5,242 per year for their own full coverage insurance policy, which is a great deal higher than the national average of $1,682 for a 40-year-old driver.

Selecting the best car insurance for college students hinges on a number of factors – where the young driver lives, how often he or she is behind the wheel and who is the owner of the car. These factors all come into play when determining auto insurance coverage rates for students.

How much do college students pay for car insurance?

As mentioned before, car insurance rates for young drivers ages 16 to 25 are more expensive than older folks on the road — and by a significant margin. That's because young drivers have less experience, which deems them at higher risk.

Teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash than someone who is 20, according to the CDC.

Let's take a closer look at our research on rates by age and teen drivers:

Car insurance for 18-year-old college students

According to a 2022 CarInsurance.com data analysis, the average auto insurance for an 18-year-old who is on his or her own policy is $5,242 for full coverage.

This rate is a staggering $3,883 higher than the national average of $1,682 for 40-year-old drivers in the U.S. That being said, the average rate for 18-year-olds is far lower than the cost for 16-year-olds, which is $7,625 per year and $635 per month.

Let's take a closer look at car insurance rates for 18-year-olds:

  • State minimum coverage: $1,706
  • Liability limits of 50/100/50: $2,058
  • Liability limits of 100/300/100, with comprehensive and collision coverage and a $500 deductible: $5,242

Car insurance for 19-year-old college students

The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. for a 19-year-old who is taking out their own policy is $3,874 on their own full-coverage policy. It's a tad less expensive than car insurance rates for 18-year-old drivers, but nearly $3,000 higher than the U.S. average of $1,682 for the 40-year-old set.

Breaking it down even further:

  • State minimum liability coverage: $1,234
  • Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $1,482
  • 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $3,874

Car insurance for 20-year-old college students

The average car insurance rate in the U.S. for a 20-year-old who is on their own full coverage policy is $3,532, which is $1,740 more than the national average ($1,758) for drivers who are 30. 

  • State minimum liability coverage: $1,109
  • Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $1,333
  • 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $3,532

Car insurance for 21-year-old college students

See the costs below for 21-year-old drivers at various coverage levels on their own policies.

  • State minimum liability coverage: $884
  • Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $1,066
  • 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $2,864

Car insurance for 22-year-old college students

See the costs below for 22-year-old drivers at various coverage levels on their own policies.

  • State minimum liability coverage: $794
  • Liability coverage with limits of 50/100/50: $961
  • 100/300/100 liability with a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible: $2,593

How can college students find the cheapest car insurance?

Here are some ways to get affordable car insurance for college students:

Try to Stay on mom and dad’s insurance policy

If you still live at home or are going to school in-state and your parents’ name is also on the title, it should be easy to remain on their car insurance policy instead of having the expense of getting your own.

Carry only state minimum required coverages

If your car is older and you own it outright, then you can save by not carrying collision or comprehensive coverage if you can either afford to fix the car if damaged or just replace it. If you have assets to protect, It is recommended that you carry higher liability limits.

Read more: What is state minimum car insurance?

Try usage-based auto insurance programs such as State Farm’s In-Drive or Progressive’s Snapshot

You can save a few hundred dollars a year if you are a very conservative driver. If you are an aggressive driver, drive during high-risk hours or put a lot of miles on your car, you may not qualify for a discount at all.

Comparison shop for car insurance

If you’re getting your own policy, the best way to save is to compare car insurance quotes from at least four companies for the same coverage levels, says Terrance Odean, a professor of finance at the University of Berkeley.

Go for a high deductible

Odean says to choose a higher deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage if you can afford it. Consider as high a deductible as you can afford to pay out of pocket without causing you financial distress.

"If you drive an old junker that you could afford to replace, you can save money by not getting collision and/or comprehensive coverage," Odean says.

Cheap car insurance for students
CompanyAgeLiability OnlyFull CoverageState Minimum
Allstate18$1,843$5,968$1,544
Allstate19$1,277$4,395$1,077
Allstate20$1,111$3,995$936
Allstate21$891$3,209$747
Allstate22$825$2,954$689
American Family18$1,646$3,558$1,574
American Family19$1,363$2,967$1,304
American Family20$1,207$2,573$1,147
American Family21$1,009$2,247$956
American Family22$913$1,976$860
American National Finance18$660$2,259$584
American National Finance19$420$1,538$364
American National Finance20$420$1,538$364
American National Finance21$371$1,382$319
American National Finance22$338$1,285$288
Amica Mutual18$2,121$5,837$1,841
Amica Mutual19$1,395$3,804$1,210
Amica Mutual20$1,149$3,115$996
Amica Mutual21$909$2,427$782
Amica Mutual22$849$2,261$731
Arbella Insurance18$2,611$6,862$2,060
Arbella Insurance19$1,433$4,003$1,114
Arbella Insurance20$1,433$4,003$1,114
Arbella Insurance21$1,352$3,760$1,042
Arbella Insurance22$698$1,841$530
Auto Club18$2,293$6,215$1,850
Auto Club19$1,881$5,218$1,501
Auto Club20$1,623$4,527$1,281
Auto Club21$1,341$3,752$1,045
Auto Club22$1,216$3,418$936
Auto-Owners18$1,252$3,645$1,053
Auto-Owners19$1,018$3,053$862
Auto-Owners20$906$2,769$772
Auto-Owners21$811$2,476$683
Auto-Owners22$718$2,248$604
Automobile Club MI18$1,803$5,928$1,644
Automobile Club MI19$1,619$5,792$1,480
Automobile Club MI20$1,408$5,260$1,287
Automobile Club MI21$1,016$3,991$927
Automobile Club MI22$976$3,845$890
Geico18$1,149$3,369$919
Geico19$906$2,719$719
Geico20$805$2,438$634
Geico21$639$1,986$503
Geico22$588$1,793$461
Chubb Ltd18$947$5,664$792
Chubb Ltd19$852$5,057$712
Chubb Ltd20$767$4,502$639
Chubb Ltd21$656$3,793$545
Chubb Ltd22$656$3,793$545
Country Financial18$1,602$4,291$1,169
Country Financial19$2,082$4,810$1,554
Country Financial20$1,299$3,660$926
Country Financial21$1,187$3,401$836
Country Financial22$1,097$3,186$764
CSAA Insurance18$1,957$7,009$1,493
CSAA Insurance19$1,476$5,123$1,102
CSAA Insurance20$1,275$4,481$943
CSAA Insurance21$1,133$3,988$828
CSAA Insurance22$1,033$3,561$747
Erie Insurance18$988$3,151$873
Erie Insurance19$846$2,771$744
Erie Insurance20$800$2,616$702
Erie Insurance21$673$2,207$589
Erie Insurance22$616$2,049$542
Farmers Insurance18$3,864$8,720$3,189
Farmers Insurance19$2,434$5,653$2,007
Farmers Insurance20$2,302$5,387$1,899
Farmers Insurance21$1,753$4,152$1,469
Farmers Insurance22$1,495$3,579$1,241
Frankenmuth Insurance18$1,407$5,401$1,379
Frankenmuth Insurance19$1,393$5,345$1,365
Frankenmuth Insurance20$1,321$5,066$1,295
Frankenmuth Insurance21$880$3,466$862
Frankenmuth Insurance22$689$2,758$676
The Hartford18$2,118$5,781$1,597
The Hartford19$1,474$3,976$1,115
The Hartford20$1,403$3,793$1,056
The Hartford21$1,340$3,641$1,005
The Hartford22$1,285$3,541$961
Iowa Farm Bureau18$1,521$3,760$1,136
Iowa Farm Bureau19$1,362$3,510$1,012
Iowa Farm Bureau20$1,247$3,379$918
Iowa Farm Bureau21$906$2,994$638
Iowa Farm Bureau22$829$2,854$576
Island Insurance18$535$1,668$415
Island Insurance19$535$1,668$415
Island Insurance20$535$1,668$415
Island Insurance21$535$1,668$415
Island Insurance22$535$1,668$415
Kemper Insurance18$2,681$6,556$2,160
Kemper Insurance19$2,141$5,462$1,734
Kemper Insurance20$1,938$5,001$1,573
Kemper Insurance21$1,616$4,328$1,302
Kemper Insurance22$1,530$4,087$1,234
Kentucky Farm Bureau18$1,505$5,624$1,226
Kentucky Farm Bureau19$1,505$5,624$1,226
Kentucky Farm Bureau20$1,505$5,624$1,226
Kentucky Farm Bureau21$993$3,639$771
Kentucky Farm Bureau22$993$3,639$771
Mapfre Insurance18$1,029$3,721$922
Mapfre Insurance19$1,029$3,721$922
Mapfre Insurance20$1,029$3,721$922
Mapfre Insurance21$1,029$3,721$922
Mapfre Insurance22$1,029$3,721$922
Mercury Insurance18$4,022$8,924$3,056
Mercury Insurance19$2,470$5,634$1,901
Mercury Insurance20$2,198$5,136$1,704
Mercury Insurance21$1,843$4,484$1,424
Mercury Insurance22$1,691$4,104$1,313
National General Insurance18$2,709$5,322$1,795
National General Insurance19$2,182$4,066$1,409
National General Insurance20$2,047$3,802$1,326
National General Insurance21$1,667$3,215$1,071
National General Insurance22$1,609$3,106$1,033
Nationwide18$2,145$4,110$1,940
Nationwide19$1,746$3,330$1,581
Nationwide20$1,510$2,893$1,373
Nationwide21$1,051$2,016$922
Nationwide22$933$1,823$817
New Jersey Manufacturers18$1,472$3,285$1,224
New Jersey Manufacturers19$1,225$2,768$1,020
New Jersey Manufacturers20$1,118$2,500$932
New Jersey Manufacturers21$1,018$2,279$848
New Jersey Manufacturers22$924$2,068$770
North Carolina Farm Bureau18$857$2,479$777
North Carolina Farm Bureau19$409$1,273$365
North Carolina Farm Bureau20$409$1,273$365
North Carolina Farm Bureau21$409$1,273$365
North Carolina Farm Bureau22$409$1,273$365
Oklahoma Farm Bureau18$1,985$6,293$1,610
Oklahoma Farm Bureau19$1,805$5,717$1,447
Oklahoma Farm Bureau20$1,641$5,188$1,297
Oklahoma Farm Bureau21$1,489$4,708$1,160
Oklahoma Farm Bureau22$1,352$4,280$1,035
Palisades18$3,776$7,363$2,878
Palisades19$1,647$3,094$1,284
Palisades20$1,516$2,916$1,182
Palisades21$1,387$2,634$1,089
Palisades22$1,046$1,922$836
Progressive18$2,539$6,860$2,015
Progressive19$1,560$4,125$1,252
Progressive20$1,380$3,727$1,110
Progressive21$1,086$2,916$874
Progressive22$999$2,631$806
Safety Insurance18$2,482$6,107$1,340
Safety Insurance19$1,394$3,487$779
Safety Insurance20$1,280$3,210$714
Safety Insurance21$806$2,031$641
Safety Insurance22$655$1,466$516
Safeway Insurance18$3,647$7,271$3,091
Safeway Insurance19$2,710$5,392$2,207
Safeway Insurance20$2,710$5,392$2,207
Safeway Insurance21$2,391$4,759$1,906
Safeway Insurance22$2,391$4,759$1,906
Sentry Insurance18$6,202$13,813$4,669
Sentry Insurance19$4,550$9,418$3,387
Sentry Insurance20$3,558$7,586$2,667
Sentry Insurance21$3,499$7,509$2,621
Sentry Insurance22$2,892$6,576$2,163
Shelter Insurance18$1,758$4,749$1,513
Shelter Insurance19$1,619$4,354$1,382
Shelter Insurance20$1,482$3,963$1,252
Shelter Insurance21$1,343$3,568$1,121
Shelter Insurance22$1,204$3,172$990
Southern Farm Bureau18$1,611$2,962$1,043
Southern Farm Bureau19$1,449$2,746$923
Southern Farm Bureau20$1,317$2,567$826
Southern Farm Bureau21$1,208$2,417$745
Southern Farm Bureau22$1,119$2,290$679
State Farm18$1,419$3,629$1,195
State Farm19$1,196$3,122$1,003
State Farm20$1,065$2,812$887
State Farm21$917$2,438$757
State Farm22$838$2,250$688
The Hanover18$6,723$15,704$6,065
The Hanover19$5,356$12,640$4,821
The Hanover20$4,389$10,552$3,948
The Hanover21$3,641$8,938$3,274
The Hanover22$3,065$7,405$2,755
Travelers18$1,492$3,798$1,246
Travelers19$1,192$3,053$998
Travelers20$1,048$2,726$877
Travelers21$899$2,304$752
Travelers22$835$2,135$697
USAA18$1,019$3,243$851
USAA19$780$2,553$643
USAA20$706$2,333$579
USAA21$560$1,852$457
USAA22$525$1,742$428
Vermont Mutual18$898$3,938$714
Vermont Mutual19$898$3,938$714
Vermont Mutual20$898$3,938$714
Vermont Mutual21$557$2,398$445
Vermont Mutual22$557$2,398$445
Western National Mutual18$1,155$3,519$1,017
Western National Mutual19$1,012$3,192$880
Western National Mutual20$963$3,014$834
Western National Mutual21$883$2,785$756
Western National Mutual22$807$2,560$683
Westfield Insurance18$1,659$6,386$1,407
Westfield Insurance19$1,547$5,939$1,311
Westfield Insurance20$1,494$5,726$1,265
Westfield Insurance21$1,137$4,300$960
Westfield Insurance22$1,097$4,140$925

Note:

  • Liability Only - 50/100/50
  • Full Coverage - 100/300/100 Liability with $500 Comp/Coll Deductible

Which car insurance companies offer coverage for college students?

The editors at CarInsurance.com researched insurance companies that offer notable car insurance for young drivers, many of which include ways to save on coverage.

Here is a list of major carriers:

AAA: In addition to coverage and discounts, AAA members also get 24-hour roadside assistance. There's also AAADriver, which is AAA's safety feature that allows parents to set certain driving parameters and restrictions to help keep you safe on the road. Another standout feature? AAA offers its young drivers online teen driving resources. Plus, a parent/teen agreement is available.

Allstate: If you're keeping the car at your parent's house and the parental units live within a 100-mile radius, you might be able to keep car insurance coverage under their policy.

American Family: American Family also offers the option of keeping your car insurance policy under your parents' coverage. You'll need to live within 100 miles of your parents' home.

Auto-Owners: Auto-Owners offers a handful of great discounts – up to 20% for good students, a teen driver monitoring program and a student-away discount.

Geico: Geico offers affordable rates and a convenient app to make it easy for young drivers to manage their policies and file claims.

Liberty Mutual: Twenty-four-hour roadside assistance is available for teen drivers.

Progressive: Progressive's Snapshot program can help determine whether you were distracted while on the road and can offer rewards for good driving habits.

State Farm: State Farm's Steer Clear program helps young folks on the road improve their driving skills and rack up savings at the same time.

How do you buy car insurance for college students?

You’ll want to ask yourself a couple of questions before you buy car insurance as a college student.

Staying on mom and dad's policy?

The first question is whether you're able to stay on a parent's policy. Generally, it's cheaper to go this route. Plus, the coverage limits will likely be higher and your parents will also qualify for a multi-car discount.

You're usually able to do this if you live at home, or are away at school and only drive when you are at your parents' house. Your parent's name will still need to be on the car title. And some insurance companies will let you stay on your family's household car insurance if you go to school within, say, a 100-mile radius of your home and are without your car.

While it typically is the easier, less-expensive route to stay on your parents' or someone else's household policy, there are reasons why you might want to get your own car insurance:

  • If your parents have a less-than-stellar driving record — think moving violations, accidents where they were at fault and traffic convictions.
  • Or ifyour lack of experience or driving record is causing your parents' policy to go up. In that case, it might make financial sense to get your own policy.

Check out our detailed parents' guide: The best and cheapest way to insure teenage drivers

Look for discounts

While getting car insurance as a young driver can be super expensive, the good news is there are a slew of discounts you might be eligible for.

Car insurance companies know how pricey it can be to get car insurance when you're in college, so will entice you with many ways to save. (We'll get into ways you can save on your policy in just a bit).

Depending on the car insurance company, some discounts are only available if you're grouped in with an existing policy.

Shop around

The prevailing joy of car insurance is there's no shortage of options. Gather quotes from several car insurance companies.

Suggested Insurance Coverage Depending upon Circumstances
Attends CollegeHolds Title to CarLives at HomeDrives Year-RoundDrives During Visits HomeSuggested Insurance Coverage
Out of stateNoNoYesYesParent Policy
Out of stateNoNoNoRarelyParent Policy
In townYesYesYesRarelyStudent Policy
In townNoYesYesN/AParent Policy
In stateYesNoYesRarelyStudent Policy
In stateNoNoYesRarelyParent Policy
100+ miles from homeNoNoNoYesParent Policy
100+ miles from homeYesNoNoYesStudent Policy

How can college students get discounts on car insurance?

The types of discounts you can qualify for as a college driver depend on your insurance company. Also, not all discounts are available in all states, which is something you'll want to keep in mind when shopping for car insurance.

Here are some common ways to save on driver's insurance when you're a college student:

Get good grades

The good student discount for keeping up your GPA averages about 14% as of 2022, depending upon your auto insurer.

Live away from home

You might be eligible for a student-away discount if you live within 100 miles of your parents' home and leave your car there. And you only use the car on weekends, holidays and vacations when you're home.

A student-away discount averages about 16%. If this scenario sounds like you, you might be able to either snag a discount on your own policy. Some insurers allow you to stay on their insurance, which is usually cheaper.

Ask about discounts for student organizations

If you belong to a sorority or fraternity or are a member of an organization such as the American Medical Student Association or American Student Dental Association, you might be able to save some money.

See if you qualify for a multi-policy discount

If you're away for college and are renting an apartment, some insurance companies offer savings if you bundle your renters and auto insurance with average savings of 6%.

Ask about discounts for safety features

If you install an anti-theft device in your car, this could bump down the cost of your car insurance 1.4%. Additional discounts include:

  • Airbags: 1.6%
  • Anti-lock brakes: 3.22%
  • Back-up sensor: 3.98%
  • Daytime running lights: 1.95%
  • Driver alertness monitor: 2.26%
  • Lane departure warning: 0.82%
  • Rearview camera: 0.82%

Learn more: Car insurance discounts for students

Can college students stay on a parent’s car insurance policy?

It largely depends. If you still live with your parents, go to school in-state or a parent's name is on the title of your vehicle, you can. In fact, it's typically recommended you do so because it's far less expensive than buying your own insurance policy.

Another perk is that the amount of coverage or scope of the policy will most likely be higher than a bare-bones student policy. Plus, your parents will likely qualify for a multi-driver discount.

While auto insurance for college students can be significantly higher than for older, more experienced drivers, there are ways to keep your costs down. This entails seeing if you can stay on your folks' insurance, figuring out what type of coverage best suits you and finding ways to save.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Keep Teen Drivers Safe." Accessed July 2022.
College Board. "Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021." Accessed July 2022.
Insurance Information Institute. "How Can I Save Money on Auto Insurance?" Accessed July 2022.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). "A Shopping Tool for Automotive Insurance." Accessed July 2022.
AAA Drivers. "Teen Drivers - AAA Student Membership" Accessed July 2022.

Methodology

CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to find auto insurance rates in 35,000 ZIP codes in 2022 for drivers driving a Honda Accord LX 2022 with a clean driving record.