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Student car insurance

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What do I need to know about student car insurance?

Student car insurance is largely the same as regular car insurance. You'll get the same level of cover whether you're a student or not.

Where it might differ is in the price you pay. Students are often seen as riskier to insure for a number of reasons. Sadly, this can lead to higher premiums for them.

But what about just not declaring your status as a student when taking out a policy? Could this be a way to get cheaper insurance?

In short, no. This is known as fronting, a form of insurance fraud.

Get caught fronting and you could face a driving ban, points on your licence and even a criminal record. So it's simply not worth it.

There are three levels of car insurance for students to choose from:

  • Third-party insurance is the minimum amount of cover you legally 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 protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.
  • 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, comprehensive car insurance can sometimes be the cheapest option.

Is car insurance more expensive for students?

Unfortunately, the answer is almost always yes.

As a student, you’re likely to be in the young driver insurance category, which means insurers may consider you to be high risk and more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers.

Student housing also tends to be in inner city areas where car theft can be common. 

This can see you paying higher premiums than more experienced drivers.

This is why it’s really important to shop around and compare quotes to get the best deal.

How much does student car insurance cost?

University 2 Avg fully comp policy price 3
University of Birmingham
£841
University of Cambridge
£480
The University of Edinburgh
£488
Lancaster University
£445
University of Leeds
£739
University College London
£1,233
University of Manchester
£883
Newcastle University
£557
The University of Nottingham
£585
University of Oxford
£509
The University of Sheffield
£639
University of Southampton
£512
University of St Andrews
£453
The University of Warwick
£638

2 Universities have been taken from the 2020 UniRank league table. We've added just one London University as all would show the same car insurance premium. Price is based on West Central London.

3 Confused.com price insurance index Q4 2022.

The exact cost of your student car insurance is not just down to your age. It’s based on a variety of factors like:

  • Your driving history, as points and past claims make you appear riskier to insure
  • The car you drive and its insurance group are known to affect what you pay

     

  • Your uni's location as uni towns and cities often have a higher rate of car theft

     

This table shows the average comprehensive policy price for a selection of the top universities in the UK.

The prices shown are an average across all age ranges, and not just student car insurance quotes.

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Can I get student discount on my car insurance?

Students can often get discounts on everything from shopping to eating out, but sadly student discounts don’t normally extend to car insurance.

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

How can I get cheaper student car insurance?

Insurers consider many factors when working out how much you’ll pay for insurance. This includes things like your age, where you live and the car you drive.

This can leave many wondering how to get cheaper car insurance.

But don't worry. Here are a few things you could do to help save yourself some money:

  • Shop around and avoid auto renewal
  • Think about the car you drive
  • Consider a black-box policy
  • Add a named driver
  • Accurately estimate your mileage
  • Pay upfront
  • Increase your excess
  • Avoid modifications
  • Consider pay per mile insurance
  • Take an advanced driver course

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.

Think about the car you drive as cars in high car insurance groups can be pricier to insure than those in lower ones. 

Consider black box insurance or a telematics insurance policy, as these may be cheaper than standard car insurance policies.

Add a named driver to your policy, as this may cut your premiums.

Pay upfront as it can be as much as 16%4 cheaper to pay for your insurance in one go, rather than in monthly installments.

Accurately estimate your mileage as over-estimating could increase your price. The average is about 6,5004.

Increase your voluntary excess as the more you're willing to pay, the cheaper your policy is likely to be.

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

Consider pay per mile insurance, also known as pay as you go car insurance, as these policies only bill you for the miles you drive.

Take an advanced driver course as insurers may offer you a lower price if you do.

4Based on Confused.com data Jan 2022 - Jun 2022

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

If you leave your car at home, you have a few options.

SORN your Car: Even if you aren’t driving it, you’ll still have to tax, insure and MOT your car if you leave it at home - unless you SORN it. By declaring it off-road, you won’t have to pay any of the above, but you will have to store your car in a garage or on a driveway until it’s unSORNED, and you tax, MOT and insure it again.

Insure it for the year: Cover your car for the year and it will be protected from theft and you can drive it whenever you are home. How good value this, will ultimately depend on how frequently you come home. It will be pricey if you only come down at Christmas in the summer, but if you're down regularly it might be the most practical option.

Take out pay as you go insurance: This type of policy uses black box or telematics technology. You pay a low, flat rate for the year and are then charged for each mile that you use. If you aren't racking up the miles, it could work out cheaper than a standard policy.

Try temporary car insurance: You could SORN your car while you are away and then take out a temporary policy when you are at home. Temporary car insurance is usually available from anything from an hour to 28 days.

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?

If you share a car with your parents, and you're not its main driver, it might work out cheaper for you to be added to their policy as a named driver.

One drawback of this, however, is that it'd prevent you from taking the car with you to uni.

If you did take it with you, you'd be seen as the main driver. If you were only insured as a named driver on your parents' policy, you'd then be doing something known as fronting.

Fronting is a big deal, and is classed as a type of insurance fraud. Get caught doing it, and you could not only invalidate your car insurance policy, but end up with a criminal record too.

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Need more help?

Which address should I use when I get student car insurance?

When getting a quote, you should use the address where your car is for most of the year. If you’re a student living away from home, you should – for insurance purposes – use your student accommodation as the main address on your policy.

Student areas are highly populated and often higher risk, so this may hike up the price.

It’s worth noting that failure to state the correct address can lead to your policy being invalid in the event of a claim.

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 will usually be on your side when it comes to car insurance, with older more experienced drivers benefiting from lower prices.

However, mature students still pay a lot for car insurance compared to other drivers of the same age. This is because being a student is considered a higher risk ‘occupation’.

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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 - Car insurance, personal Finance, mortgage and life insurance expert signature

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 130715 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 25/01/23). Read our reviews