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Student car insurance

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  • Compare up to 169 trusted insurers1, so you can get cover that suits you and your budget

  • Range of optional extras available, including breakdown cover

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Navigating car insurance as a student

Finding car insurance as a student follows the same process as any other time in your life. The main decision you need to make is whether or not you want to take your car with you to uni. This will likely depend on how and when you use your car.

Whether you choose to bring your car to uni or leave it at home, there are a few things you should be aware of. Student finance statistics show that university life can be expensive which is why it's important to shop around for your car insurance. The good news is we're here to help you navigate your options and find you the cover that best suits your needs.

What type of insurance should students get?

There are 3 levels of insurance to choose from. The level you need will depend on your personal circumstances.

Third-party

Third-party insurance is the legal minimum amount of cover you need to drive. It covers damage caused to someone else’s property, but doesn't cover repairs, theft or fire damage to your own car.

Third-party, fire and theft

Third-party, fire and theft protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance offers the highest level of protection, covering you and your car as well as other people and their property. Although it offers the most protection, this option is often the cheapest.

How much does student car insurance cost?

On average, students living away from home pay £1,777 for comprehensive car insurance2. But how much you actually pay depends on several risk factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your driving experience
  • The car you drive
  • Your registered address

Here's a breakdown of how much students can expect to pay based on living in some of the top university cities:

University 3 Avg fully comp policy price 4
University of Birmingham
£1,298
University of Cambridge
£745
The University of Edinburgh
£769
Lancaster University
£686
University of Leeds
£1,114
University College London
£1,815
University of Manchester
£1,297
Newcastle University
£830
The University of Nottingham
£868
University of Oxford
£760
The University of Sheffield
£960
University of Southampton
£755
University of St Andrews
£683
The University of Warwick
£969

2Based on Confused.com data January - March 2024.
3Universities have been taken from the 2024 UniRank league table. We've added just one London-based university as all would show the same car insurance price, based on West Central London. Prices are based on averages for the cities the universities are in.
4Confused.com price index Q1 2024.

Why is car insurance more expensive for students?

Car insurers set their prices based on risk - and students are considered to be higher risk than many other drivers for several reasons, such as:

  • Your age Students tend to be in the young drivers category. Insurers consider young drivers more likely to be involved in an accident due to lack of driving experience. You also won't have had change to build up many years of no claims, so your no-claims discount is likely to be less substantial.
  • Your location - Uni towns and cities often have a higher rate of car theft.
  • The car you drive and its insurance group are known to affect what you pay. If your car has any modifications, this can also increase the cost of insurance.
  • Your driving history - Points and past claims make you appear riskier to insure.

These factors can see you paying higher insurance costs than more experienced drivers. This is why its vital to shop around and compare quotes to get the best deal.

Which address should students use for their car insurance?

You should always insure your car at the address where you usually keep it. If this is at your university accommodation, then this is the address you should use.

Never be tempted to give your insurer your other address to try and get a cheaper deal. Lying about your situation when you apply for insurance is fraud and it could invalidate your cover.

Choose a reward & enjoy year-round hot drinks every time you buy car, home or van insurance**

How to claim

Rewards from Sainsburys, Paramount+, Just Eat, Halfords and Greggs when you get a quote and buy through Confused.com

**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. The year-round reward is provided by Greggs, and consists of one regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply.

Can I get student discount on my car insurance?

No - while students can often get discounts on everything from shopping to eating out, these don't normally extend to car insurance.

But although students usually have to pay more for their insurance than older and more experienced drivers, there are ways to bring your costs down.

How do I get a quote?

If it's your first time comparing prices with us, you'll need to complete our quote form. To do this, you need to provide a few details, such as:

Personal details:

  • Title, name and date of birth
  • Your address. Remember this should be where the car is mainly kept
  • Details of any previous claims or accidents in the last 5 years
  • Your driving licence type and number
  • Any no-claims you might have

Car details:

  • Registration number or the make and model of your car
  • Any modifications made to your car
  • Your estimated annual mileage

If you've compared quotes with us before, all you need to do is log in. Your details should all be saved - just check they're up-to-date.

Once you've completed the quote form, we'll compare prices from up to 169 insurers and you'll see a list of quotes to choose from. You'll also have the option to add policy features like breakdown cover or legal protection and view prices for monthly or annual payments.

We compare up to 169 trusted insurance companies1 to get you our cheapest deal in minutes

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How can I get cheaper student car insurance?

Here are a few things you could do to help get cheaper car insurance and save yourself some money:

  • Shop around and avoid auto renewal
  • Add a named driver
  • Estimate your mileage accurately
  • Pay annually rather than monthly
  • Increase your excess
  • Consider pay per mile insurance
  • Park in a secure place
  • Improve your car's security
  • Get a car in a lower insurance group
  • Avoid cars with modifications
  • Consider a black-box policy

Shop around and avoid auto renewal as insurers don’t always reward loyalty, so there’s a chance the price they offer you will be more than what you paid last year.

Add a named driver with a good driving history, as this may lower the price of your insurance. Just make sure whoever's doing the bulk of the driving is the policyholder, otherwise you may be guilty of fronting.

Pay annually rather than monthly as it can be as much as 38%2 cheaper to pay for your insurance in one go, rather than in monthly instalments.

Estimate your mileage accurately as over-estimating could increase your price. The average mileage is about 6,600 a year2.

Increase your voluntary excess as the more you're willing to pay, the cheaper your policy is likely to be. But you should make sure you set it at a level you'd be able to pay if you needed. According to our data, the most common level of voluntary excess is £2502,

Consider pay per mile insurance, also known as pay-as-you-go car insurance, as these policies bill you only for the miles you drive. If you drive fewer miles, you could see a lower price.

Park in a secure place as parking in a secure garage rather than on the road means your car is less at risk of theft.

Improve your car's security with an immobiliser or a car tracker. Most modern cars already have an alarm or immobiliser fitted, but it's always good to double check.

Get a car in a lower insurance group as cars in high car insurance groups can be more expensive to insure than those in lower ones.

Avoid cars with modifications as most are likely to bump up the cost of your insurance.

Consider black box insurance or a telematics insurance policy, as these monitor how you drive to calculate a driving score. The better your score, the lower your insurance could be at renewal. You can even get green car insurance policies that will track how economically you drive and reward you based on how efficient a motorist you are.

2Based on Confused.com data January - March 2024.

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What if I leave my car at home while I'm at uni?

Insuring your car for the year means it's covered against theft and you can drive it whenever you're home. However, how good value this is will ultimately depend on how frequently you come home. It's likely to be expensive if you only head back for Christmas or the summer. So, if you leave your car at home, you have a few options:

  • SORN your car: Even if you aren't driving it, you still have to tax, insure and MOT your car - unless you SORN it. By declaring it off-road, you won't have to pay tax, insure, or MOT but you do have to store your car in a garage or on a drive until you remove the SORN. If you want to drive it when you're home, you must tax, MOT and insure it again.
  • Try temporary car insurance: If you do choose to SORN your car while you're at uni, you could buy a temporary insurance policy when you're home. These policies are usually available for anything from an hour to 28 days.
  • Consider pay-as-you-go insurance: This type of insurance uses black box or telematics technology. You pay a lower, flat rate for the year and are then charged for each mile that you choose. If you aren't racking up the miles, it could work out cheaper than a standard policy.
  • Become a named driver: If someone else is using your car while you're at uni - your parents or a sibling, for example - you could ask to be added as a named driver on their policy.

Can I take my car to uni if I'm only a named driver?

No. If you take your car to uni with you, you are considered to be the main driver. If you take your car to uni while you're listed as a named driver, this is known as fronting.

Fronting is illegal and could result in your policy being invalidated and criminal charges brought against you.

You must buy a car insurance policy in your own name, even though it may be more expensive than having a more experienced driver as the main driver.

What our student car insurance expert says

"If you're planning on taking your car to uni, you should be truthful with your insurer about where the car is being kept for most of the time. It might be tempting to say you keep it at home rather than uni to save yourself some money, but misleading your insurer could invalidate your policy."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
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Why choose Confused.com?

  • Based in Cardiff and founded in 2002, we were the first car insurance price comparison site, so we know a thing or two about insurance. In fact, we help over 5 million customers with their insurance each year.
  • We're 100% independent and not owned by an insurance company. That means you'll see the best prices available based on the information you provide and not for any other reason.
  • If you need help, our Cardiff-based team is here to support you. Visit our contact page to find ways to get in touch.
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Need more help?

Can I insure my housemates on my car?

Yes, if they occasionally drive the car you can add them as named drivers on the policy.

Will I pay more for car insurance as a mature student?

Age is one of the factors considered by insurers when calculating prices. Mature students are generally considered to be anyone who starts an undergraduate degree over the age of 21, or a postgraduate degree over the age of 25.

If you're under the age of 25, you're still considered a young driver. This means you're likely to still see relatively high insurance prices regardless of your status as a mature student. Even if you're older but are new to the road, you're likely to face high cost due to your lack of experience. Unfortunately, new driver insurance tends to be expensive despite your age.

Being a student is also considered a higher risk ‘occupation’. So even if you're not considered a young driver, you might still see an increase in your car insurance costs.

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Page last reviewed: 18 April 2024

Reviewed by: Louise Thomas