Student car insurance

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How much is student car insurance?

As a student, you’re probably in the young driver or undergraduate age bracket. Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to see young drivers as a higher risk, which means getting cheap car insurance isn't always easy.

The location of the university you attend can influence the cost of your insurance too. As crime and insurance claim rates are often higher in the cities and areas students live, the cost of insurance may be higher than more rural areas.

The table below shows the average comprehensive policy price for a selection of the top universities in the UK. We've only included one central London university from the original list. It's worth noting that the prices shown below are an average across all age ranges, and not just students.

University 1 Average Comprehensive Policy Price For City 2
University of Oxford £619
University of Cambridge £672
The university of Edinburgh £617
University College London £1,139
The University of Manchester £1,081
University of Leeds £865
University of Glasgow £744
The University of Nottingham £722
University of Southampton £619
The University of Warwick £802
University of Birmingham £1,079
Newcastle University £673
The University of Sheffield £812
University of St Andrews £571
Lancaster University £593

1 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.
2 price insurance index Q2 2020

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.

There are a few things you could do to help save yourself some money:

1. Shop around and avoid auto renewal
Comparing quotes is an obvious one but it’s the easiest way to save money. Insurers don’t always reward loyalty so there’s a chance the price they offer you will be more than last year – even if nothing’s changed and you’ve not made a claim.

Don’t worry if you’ve missed it though as there are still savings to be made. If you’ve received a renewal price, we guarantee to beat it. And if we don’t, we’ll pay the difference and give you £20! (T&Cs apply, must be like-for-like policy)

2. Think about the car you drive
Car insurance groups are one of the many ways insurers work out prices. There are 50 insurance groups, 1 being the cheapest and 50 the most expensive. Choosing a car in a low insurance group could help reduce costs.

Which group a car falls into can be influenced by things like how powerful it is (engine size), how secure it is (does it have an alarm or immobiliser fitted?) and how expensive it is to repair or replace.

3. Consider a black-box policy
A black-box or telematics policy bases your insurance price on your driving habits – often safer drivers benefit from reduced prices. To give you an idea of the potential savings, we found that for 17-year-old drivers, a telematics policy could be up to £1,333 cheaper vs a standard policy*.

Some telematics polices do have restrictions on when and how many miles you can drive. Depending on what you need the car for, it should be easy to work out how many miles you’ll drive in the year and whether any restrictions will be suitable for you.

4. Add a named driver
Adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy can help lower costs. You should always name the person who drives the car the most as the main driver. Otherwise that’s what’s known as fronting, which is illegal and can invalidate your policy. You should also only add drivers to the policy if they actually drive the car.

5. Temporary student car insurance
Temporary car insurance can be a good option for students who only want to drive occasionally or when they return home from university during weekends or between terms. Temporary car insurance policies provide fully comprehensive cover from 1 to 84 days and are a convenient way to borrow a friend or relative’s car without affecting their existing insurance policy.

6. Pay upfront
If you can afford to pay annually for your insurance, it works out cheaper. Insurers charge interest to pay monthly which usually works out to be 16% more expensive (based on data - January 2020).

7. Estimate your mileage
Try to accurately estimate how many miles you think you’ll drive over the year. Over-estimating could increase your price. The average is about 7,000 but depending on what you use the car for you may find you drive more or less than this.

8. Increase your excess
Choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess can help bring down your insurance quote, but remember you’ll need to pay the excess if you make a claim.

*Average based on a telematics vs standard car insurance policy for a 17-year-old main driver. data - June 2020.

What level of cover should I get?

There are three levels of car insurance to choose from: 

  • Fully comprehensive: this option often works out to be the cheapest. It offers the highest level of protection, covering you and other drivers from damage caused by you.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT): this protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft. 
  • Third-party: this 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.

What do I need to get a quote?

Comparing car insurance with us is easy. All you have to do is fill in some details and we’ll compare up to 116 insurers to help you find a good deal. Having the following details at hand will help speed things up:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation - or if you’re a full-time student we’ll ask what type and which course you’re studying
  • Any previous claims or accidents from the last 5 years
  • Details of any additional drivers you want to insure
  • Your driving licence number
  • Number of years no-claims bonus (if any)

Car details:

  • Registration or the make and model of your car
  • Details of any additional modifications (things like spoilers, exhausts but not tow hitches)
  • Estimated annual mileage

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to insure my car even if I don’t use it?

The only way to avoid insuring your car is to declare it SORN. But remember, a car with a SORN can’t be on any public road – it’s a £2,500 fine otherwise. See our guide on how to SORN a car.

Can I just use my parents' insurance?

In case you missed it, this is a no-no if you’re actually the main driver as it’s classed as fronting.

While it might seem like a good way of saving yourself a bit of money you risk invalidating the policy and ending up with no cover should you need to make 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.

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 the majority of the year. So 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.

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

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

It’s worth noting that not giving the correct address can lead to your policy being invalid when you come to make a claim.

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