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Best car insurance discounts for students

Updated Mar 13, 2023
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In most states, car insurance companies can use age and driving experience to calculate premiums. Since young people are at statistically greater risk for accidents, higher rates for students may make sense. However, that doesn’t mean these rates are always easy to pay. Knowing this, most carriers offer car insurance discounts for students, and the savings they offer may be substantial. Bankrate has compiled a list of common (and less common) discounts that may help young people and their parents find car insurance that fits their budget.

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Educational discounts for students

Nearly all major car insurance companies offer some form of discount for students. The discount options may vary depending on whether the student has their own policy or is listed on someone else’s policy. Discounts eligibility and amount may also vary greatly between providers. 

Good student discount

Students who earn good grades might qualify for cheaper car insurance through a good student discount. This is one of the more common student discounts and typically applies to both students listed on their own policies and those listed as additional drivers on their parents'. Typically, drivers must be full-time students who earn a 3.0 GPA or higher and be under a certain age to qualify, and they may need to periodically send a report card or transcript to their insurance company to maintain eligibility.  

Driver's training discount

In addition to the good student discount, many insurers offer a driver’s training discount. If you took an approved driver’s training course while getting your license, you might want to let your insurance company know for a possible savings opportunity. Some carriers may offer a driver’s training discount if you take an approved course even after getting your license. Contacting your insurance company directly is likely the fastest way to determine if you may be eligible for these savings. 

Distant student discount

Students in college who are living away from home may be eligible for extra savings depending on where they are living and if they have access to a vehicle. Students away at college without their vehicle may earn a distant student discount, considering that their risk of an accident is likely much lower without regular access to a car. Sometimes also known as a “student away at school” discount, many carriers will not offer the distant student discount unless the student is insured on someone else’s policy, at least 100 miles away at school and does not have regular access to a vehicle.

Affiliation discounts for students

As students head out into the world and become members of organizations and workplaces, they may have more opportunities to save money on their car insurance premiums. An affiliation discount is usually negotiated by a college, business or organization on behalf of its members or employees. Affiliation discounts are typically exclusive and may include special insurance features and perks on top of the discount. Below are some of the more common types of affiliation discounts. 

University and alumni

Many larger organizations, including universities, have their own discount with select insurance carriers. These discounts may be extended only to staff, or they may be more widely available to alumni associations and enrolled students. Check with your university to see what partnerships and student discounts they may have with car insurance companies.

Sorority, fraternity and honors societies

Larger sororities, fraternities or societies sometimes have their own negotiated discounts. While Liberty Mutual, Geico and Travelers seem to offer the most of these types of potential discounts, they may be available from other carriers as well. 

Military

Students who are also in the military may earn additional discounts. Some auto insurers recognize military members by offering a military discount on their car insurance. Even if a military discount is not offered, reduced coverage and additional savings might be available for vehicles in storage while military members are away from home for extended periods.

How much can I save with student discounts?

Discounts for car insurance can vary by company in both discount type and amount. That being said, student discounts may be significant. For instance, Geico advertises up to 15 percent savings with its good student discount. 

Young drivers also usually pay cheaper rates when listed as a driver on their parents’ policy instead of as the named insured on their own. However, drivers typically need to still live at home to be eligible for inclusion on their parents' policy. 

To give you a point of comparison, we’ve compiled average full coverage rate data from Quadrant Information Services for students listed on their parents' policy with good student and driver's training discounts applied. Note that your rates may vary based on your location, carrier and other personal rating factors.

Student age 16-year-old 18-year-old 19-year-old 21-year-old
Average full coverage premium on parents’ policy with discounts $4,392 $3,837 $3,345 $2,763
Average minimum coverage premium on parents’ policy with discounts $1,470 $1,261 $1,070 $868

Cheapest car insurance companies for students

As each company sets its own premiums using proprietary rating algorithms, each also offers its own suite of available discounts with different savings opportunities. Although some companies might have higher overall base rates, they could still be competitive if they provide more young driver discounts than other carriers.

The table below showcases some of the cheapest companies for students listed on their parents’ policy. Although these average full coverage premiums include the good student and driver’s training discounts, it’s important to note that discount availability may vary by state. For a complete list of the discounts you (or your student) may be eligible for, please get in touch with the company directly.

Company 16-year-old 18-year-old 21-year-old Advertised student discounts
Erie $2,876 $2,630 $2,392
  • Youthful driver discount
  • Youthful driver longevity discount
  • Driving training discount
  • College student discount
  • Farmers $3,085 $2,762 $2,385
  • Distant student discount
  • Youthful driver discount
  • Good student discount
  • Shared family car discount
  • Geico $2,977 $2,523 $1,688
  • Driver’s education discount
  • Good student discount
  • Away-at-school status
  • Affiliation discount
  • Nationwide $2,262 $2,188 $1,725
  • Good student discount
  • State Farm $3,139 $2,689 $2,206
  • Steer Clear discount
  • Average student savings by state

    Each state sets its own car insurance minimum requirements and has its own risk factors, so rates may vary considerably based on where you live. For instance, drivers in states that require no-fault insurance tend to pay higher premiums. Additionally, states that are at higher risk for weather-related disasters or have a higher population density (leading to heavier traffic and more accidents) may have higher-than-average rates.

    In the table below, you’ll find average full coverage premiums in each state for students of various age groups listed on their parents' policy with good student and driver training discounts applied.

    State 16-year-old 18-year-old 20-year-old 21-year-old
    Alabama $3,986 $3,477 $2,857 $2,585
    Alaska $4,096 $3,481 $3,072 $2,644
    Arizona $4,214 $3,643 $2,916 $2,673
    Arkansas $4,006 $3,501 $3,008 $2,577
    California $5,360 $4,768 $3,539 $3,205
    Colorado $4,594 $4,219 $3,566 $3,237
    Connecticut $3,313 $2,760 $2,338 $2,088
    Delaware $4,239 $3,742 $3,198 $2,771
    Florida $6,738 $6,117 $5,017 $4,241
    Georgia $4,428 $3,909 $3,287 $2,885
    Hawaii* $1,332 $1,332 $1,332 $1,309
    Idaho $2,409 $1,999 $1,725 $1,507
    Illinois $4,148 $3,496 $2,938 $2,599
    Indiana $2,783 $2,363 $1,991 $1,763
    Iowa $2,482 $2,206 $1,940 $1,744
    Kansas $3,861 $3,272 $2,810 $2,549
    Kentucky $4,602 $3,996 $3,261 $2,826
    Louisiana $6,486 $5,409 $4,443 $4,003
    Maine $2,140 $1,828 $1,576 $1,303
    Maryland $4,273 $3,910 $3,285 $2,846
    Massachusetts* $3,025 $2,692 $1,964 $1,838
    Michigan $6,200 $5,504 $4,770 $4,090
    Minnesota $3,507 $2,980 $2,505 $2,268
    Mississippi $3,488 $3,011 $2,617 $2,304
    Missouri $4,186 $3,572 $3,020 $2,657
    Montana $3,714 $3,347 $2,949 $2,417
    Nebraska $2,920 $2,639 $2,336 $2,090
    Nevada $6,296 $5,437 $4,540 $4,054
    New Hampshire $2,682 $2,329 $2,001 $1,667
    New Jersey $3,722 $3,271 $2,769 $2,452
    New Mexico $3,172 $2,740 $2,312 $2,132
    New York $6,808 $5,882 $4,651 $4,020
    North Carolina $3,270 $2,337 $1,669 $1,604
    North Dakota $2,495 $2,125 $1,836 $1,744
    Ohio $2,630 $2,340 $1,991 $1,766
    Oklahoma $4,167 $3,591 $3,017 $2,772
    Oregon $2,993 $2,537 $2,146 $1,974
    Pennsylvania $4,684 $4,044 $3,441 $2,886
    Rhode Island $4,186 $3,644 $2,976 $2,579
    South Carolina $3,184 $2,725 $2,283 $1,998
    South Dakota $2,688 $2,435 $2,180 $2,112
    Tennessee $3,234 $2,804 $2,332 $2,094
    Texas $4,355 $3,844 $3,379 $2,783
    Utah $3,722 $3,104 $2,592 $2,265
    Vermont $2,773 $2,350 $2,070 $1,645
    Virginia $3,219 $2,781 $2,348 $1,978
    Washington $3,317 $2,886 $2,302 $2,045
    Washington, D.C. $4,287 $3,692 $3,160 $2,948
    West Virginia $3,312 $2,880 $2,370 $2,128
    Wisconsin $2,814 $2,392 $1,985 $1,831
    Wyoming $3,248 $2,868 $2,297 $2,126

    *Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

    Other discounts for students 

    Along with discounts tailored for students, young drivers may save money by taking advantage of discounts geared toward a broader population. Some of the most popular policy and vehicle discounts available are:

    • Bundling: Having both auto and renters or homeowners insurance with the same insurer typically yields a potential multi-policy or bundling discount
    • Safe driver: Many carriers reward drivers who avoid accidents and moving violations. This may also be referred to as a "claims-free" discount. 
    • Safety equipment: Newer vehicles with airbags, anti-lock brakes, driver’s assistance and crash prevention systems may earn a discount. 
    • Anti-theft device: Some companies will give you a discount on your comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft or vehicle tracking device.
    • Telematics: This type of car insurance discount is based on tracked driving habits through a telematics device or app. Demonstrating safe driving habits or low mileage may save you money, but be aware that some carriers may raise rates for drivers who demonstrate unsafe driving habits. 

    Frequently asked questions

    Methodology

    Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

    • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
    • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
    • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
    • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
    • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
    • $500 collision deductible
    • $500 comprehensive deductible

    To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. 

    These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

    Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 16-21 (base: 40 years) applied. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

    Rates for young drivers were determined by adding drivers ages 16-21 to a 40-year-old married parent’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy. 

    Written by
    Carol Pope
    Insurance Writer

    Carol Pope is an insurance writer for Bankrate and prior to joining the team, she spent 12 years as an auto insurance agent. During this time, she sold, serviced and underwrote auto insurance for people across the country. She also has experience selling supplement coverage such as umbrella insurance.

    Edited by Insurance Editor