As a college student, you know that higher education is a good investment in your future. Like most investments, college requires that you make some sacrifices now so that you can benefit later. Attending a college or university is expensive, and many students struggle with finances while they are in school. If you are going to college and struggling to stay afloat financially, one way in which you can save money is by finding inexpensive car insurance policies for college students. Finding affordable car insurance companies and prices can be difficult, so we compiled a list of tips that you can check out below to help you lower your monthly payments.
15 Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance for College Students
Tip #1: Compare quotes from various providers online
The first thing you should do when you are on a quest for cheap insurance is to compare insurance policy prices. The easiest way to compare rates is to get quotes for student insurance online. Most insurance companies have forms on their website that let you get a free insurance quote in just minutes. Insurance prices vary widely from area to area, and each insurance company determines its pricing using its own method, so the only way to know for sure which company is the cheapest is to get plenty of price quotes. Comparison shopping is the best way to make sure that you get the best car insurance deals online.
Tip #2: Consider getting car insurance quotes in person
Although getting quotes online is the easiest way to compare rates, if you have time, get some price quotes in person. Visit your local insurance agent’s office and discuss your available payment options; you may end up finding out a new way to save. Your local insurance agent might be able to recommend some additional ways to get discounts on your policy as well. Discounts are arguably one of the best methods for getting cheap car insurance for young drivers and those going to college.
Tip #3: Choose a college in a safe location
Car insurance is more expensive if you live in a dangerous city with high crime rates. If you are still deciding where to attend school, look at the crime rates for the city of each college you are considering. Not only will your car insurance be cheaper in a low-crime city, but you will also be safer as well. Obviously it’s not always possible for some people to choose a safe place to go to college, but you can put forth extra effort by parking your car in a garage or in a fenced in security zone.
Tip #4: Install a reliable car alarm system
Many car insurance companies offer discounts to car owners who take precautions against theft. If you install an anti-theft device in your car, you could be eligible for a reduced monthly premium. Car alarm systems are much less expensive than they used to be, and in most cases, you can get a system installed in a single afternoon.
Tip #5: Stay on the family insurance plan
If your car was ever covered by your parents’ insurance plan, consider going back on their plan if possible or remaining on it. Because of their driving experience, your parents probably get a better rate on their car insurance than you could get. Some family policies cover dependent drivers until they graduate college. Coverage varies from state to state, so check to see if the joint car insurance policy option is available to you.
Tip #6: Increase your deductible amount
Generally speaking, the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your insurance will be. If you have a plan with a low deductible, consider raising it by a hundred or two hundred dollars. Even with a small increase in your deductible’s amount, the savings could be quite significant. Make sure that you do not raise your deductible so high that you could not afford to pay it if you were ever in a car accident.
Tip #7: Pay premiums in advance
Some insurance companies offer drivers a discount if they pay their premium in advance. Paying for six months’ or even a year’s worth of student car insurance can save you money. This is not always an available option though, so it may not be offered depending on which company you are insured under.
Tip #8: Excel in school, get good grades
Many insurance companies offer good student discounts to policy members who are in college and maintain a high grade point average. Ask your insurance agent if you qualify for this discount. Some companies stop giving the good grades discount after high school, but the majority give them out to college students as well.
Tip #9: Bundle car and renters insurance together
If you have to purchase renter’s insurance for your college apartment, see if that company also sells auto insurance. Insurance companies offer discounts to customers who purchase more than one policy. If you are at the dorms, obviously this doesn’t apply to you yet, but keep this in mind for future years if you are going to move into an apartment.
Tip #10: Allow insurance companies to monitor your car
One of the latest ways to save money on student car insurance is to let your insurance company monitor your driving in exchange for a discounted premium price. Progressive Insurance is currently offering this program in several states, and several other insurance companies are testing variations of this program as well. Your insurance company will send you a small recording device, which you will connect to your car (it’s pretty easy to do). Then, information about your starting, stopping, and turning habits will be transmitted to your insurance company through the device.
Tip #11: Keep your driving record clean
It is much cheaper to get student car insurance if you have a clean driving record. Even one ticket can raise your monthly premium. Drive at the speed limit, obey traffic signs, and you will save on car insurance, simply by being conscious of your driving and following the law.
Tip #12: Trade in your car for a less expensive vehicle
Some cars, because they cost a great deal to repair, are expensive to insure. Imported cars are expensive to repair if any necessary parts need to be shipped overseas (additional information about import car insurance). Additionally, cars with high-horsepower engines are more costly to insure than cars with low or moderate horsepower. A high-performance vehicle might be fun, but insuring it will put a dent in your savings.
Tip #13: Drive only when necessary
Insurance companies often take how much and how often you drive into consideration when determining your premium. By reducing the amount you drive, you could lower your monthly car insurance costs. Additionally, walking or riding a bike occasionally is better for your health and the environment.
Tip #14: Purchase only the minimal amount of coverage
If you are in college, you probably don’t need to buy a comprehensive policy or extra collision protection. Instead, what you should try to get is a third party car insurance policy without any additions. This works especially well if you have a used or older vehicle and don’t need extra protection. Obviously if you are driving an expensive vehicle that your parents are letting you borrow, you’ll want a better policy though.
Tip #15: Utilize alternative methods of transportation
If saving money is your primary concern, consider living without a car while you are in college. Although this might not be possible for every college student, you should evaluate your circumstances and see if you can go without a car for a couple of years. Many college towns have reliable public transportation that you can use to get to class and work, and if you can visit home by means of the train or bus, there is no real need for you to have a car. If you live without one while you are in college, you will not have to pay a dime for car insurance.