Student car insurance
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Learn how to save money on your car insurance with our special guide...
About student car insurance
Getting the best deal for everything you buy is always important for students, and car insurance is no different.
Having a car while at University can be very useful, but finding cheap car insurance for students can be difficult.
Most students are classed as young and new drivers – i.e. under 25 years old – which means they are subject to the high premiums associated with young and inexperienced drivers.
Also, students tend to live in areas of cities that have a high crime rate – which can also mean higher insurance premiums as insurers will consider it a higher risk of being stolen or vandalised.
It’s not all doom and gloom for students though, as there are some student car insurance products available that won’t completely break the bank.
The trick is to do your homework and compare policies from a range of insurance companies to find the best deal for you and your individual circumstances.
The first decision you have to make is to decide which level of cover you need while you are at University.
You will generally have three main options:
- Third Party Only
- Third Party, Fire and Theft
Third Party Only cover tends to be the cheapest, as this only provides cover for any damage you cause to third party vehicles and property/injury.
Third Party, Fire and Theft cover will usually be a bit more expensive as this will include cover if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by attempted theft or by fire.
The most expensive cover option is fully comprehensive, which will provide all the third party cover as well as protect your own car and pay for repairs if you are at fault for an accident. Comprehensive policies also come with a range of extra policy options to give you extra peace of mind.
Obviously, for students who want to keep their car insurance as cheap as possible then comprehensive policies should probably be avoided. Although for some the benefits and peace of mind they get outweighs the extra cost of being fully comp insured.
For the more cash conscious of students, though, Third Party Only and Third Party, Fire and Theft policies are the best option to keep car insurance cheap.
Black box car insurance for students
Another option for students is to take on a black box car insurance policy.
Black box, or ‘telematics’, car insurance has become a popular choice for young drivers looking to save money on car insurance, as it works by tracking your driving habits and calculating your premiums based on data points like:
- How often you drive
- What times of day/night you drive
- How fast you drive
- How much hard braking you do
So rather than paying a set amount for car insurance each month, a black box policy gives you more control over what you pay.
Learn more: Cheap black box car insurance
When you buy a black box policy your car will be fitted with a literal ‘black box’ which records your driving data and transmits it to the insurance company.
Many providers now also offer smartphone apps so you can access your data yourself and monitor your own driving habits.
Temporary car insurance for students
Another option for students is to consider temporary car insurance.
There is a growing car insurance market based around short-term policies which are designed for people borrowing a car for a certain period of time, and so don’t need a full 12 month policy.
If you are borrowing a car to move your belongings to Uni over a weekend, then you can get one, two or three day car insurance to cover you.
You can also get temporary insurance for as much as three months, which could be useful to borrow a family car for the first term of University for instance.
Temporary car insurance is all about offering flexible options to drivers to fit around their own individual needs, rather than having to commit to a 12-month policy.
Some temporary and short-term car insurers won’t cover young drivers, so this option is mostly for older students in their 20’s.
Is it better to stay as a named driver on my parents policy?
If you are insured as a named driver on a family car on your mum or dad’s policy, then you can stay as a named driver if you only intend to drive the vehicle when you are home from University during the holidays.
If you take the car to Uni and are the main driver of it while you are there, then you will need your own car insurance policy. Don’t be tempted to lie about this to the insurance company and claim your parent is still the main driver, as this is not only illegal (known as ‘fronting’) but it could also mean your policy will be invalidated in the event of a claim – which could cost you a lot more than just paying your own insurance premiums.
However, you could add an experienced driver as a named driver on your own policy to reduce the cost of insurance. Adding an experienced driver who may occasionally drive your car, such as your mum or dad, can have a significant effect on the price of your premiums.
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