Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Feb 28, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • College students pay three times more for coverage than drivers aged 25-35
  • GEICO, USAA, and Nationwide offer the best car insurance for 18-year-olds
  • College students can lower their car insurance rates by qualifying for good student discounts

Are you looking for affordable car insurance for college students? Young drivers pay more on average for coverage, but you can still find cheap rates when you ask about auto insurance discounts. 

Overall, GEICO, USAA, and Nationwide offer the best car insurance for 18-year-olds, but Progressive and State Farm offer better student drivers’ discounts. Start comparison shopping online if you’re not sure which car insurance company is right for you. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about car insurance student discounts, and which companies offer cheap insurance for college students

Keep reading to compare rates and discounts from the top student car insurance companies. We’ll help you find the most affordable car insurance quotes in your area.

Which company offers the cheapest car insurance for college students?

Car insurance rates vary by age and gender. On average, younger drivers pay more for car insurance than older drivers. Take a look at this table to see how much more 17-year-old drivers pay than a 25- or 35-year old driver: 

Average Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status

Age, Gender, Marital StatusAverage Car Insurance Rates
Single 17-year-old male$9,028
Single 17-year-old female$7,559
Single 25-year-old male$2,889
Single 25-year-old female$2,703
Married 35-year-old male$2,449
Married 35-year-old female$2,446
Married 60-year-old male$2,308
Married 60-year-old female$2,243
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On average, 17-year-olds pay $7,000 more per year for car insurance. College students aren’t much older, so first- and second-year students could be looking at car insurance rates like these. 

However, these are just averages. Let’s take a closer look at what individual car insurance companies charge student drivers for coverage. Below you’ll find student auto insurance rates and discounts with the top companies in the country:

Car Insurance CompanyAnnual Car Insurance RatesGood Student Discount
State Farm$6,63625%
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GEICO offers the cheapest insurance for college students. GEICO also offers students discounts for good grades, good driving records, and membership in university organizations, including Greek life and honor societies. Read our GEICO car insurance review to learn more.

However, GEICO’s discount amount is less than drivers get with State Farm or Liberty Mutual. That’s why it’s important to comparison shop and read the reviews of multiple companies to see which offers the best rates for your family.

How To Qualify For Student Discounts on Car Insurance

The easiest way to get the best rates on insurance for students is with car insurance discounts. Before buying a policy or adding a student to your existing policy, ask about all the discounts you qualify for.

The most common discounts are student discounts, but each insurance company will have different requirements, including limiting discounts to drivers under 25 years. Other requirements include:

  • Maintaining a GPA of “B” (3.0) or higher
  • Enrolling as a full-time student
  • Having a good driving record

Some companies will vary on these requirements. For example, all student drivers must complete the State Farm Steer Clear program, which includes a five-course driving lesson. Allstate requires something similar, called teenSMART. Read our Allstate vs. State Farm review to learn more about the two companies.

Other insurers have more specific requirements. While Allstate limits discounts to students who go to school within 100 miles of where the insured vehicle is garaged, Progressive offers an additional discount to drivers who live further than 100 miles away. 

It can pay to shop around with multiple companies to see which offers the best rates and discounts. Read our Allstate vs. Progressive review to learn more.

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How can college students get cheap car insurance?

Unfortunately, insurance companies assume young drivers cause the most accidents. Due to this perceived risk, young drivers pay the highest rates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable car insurance for college students.

For example, college students can adjust their deductibles to get more affordable car insurance. Driving an older vehicle will also make students look less risky to insurance companies. Parking in a garage while at school can also lower rates.

Keeping a college student on a parent’s policy or adding them to a roommate’s policy can get cheaper rates. Rates for all drivers will increase slightly to compensate for the risk of the younger driver, but rates will still be cheaper than an individual policy.

What other car insurance discounts do students qualify for?

If college students maintain good grades and a good driving record, they can earn discounts of up to 20%. In addition, student drivers often qualify for multiple discounts, which can be applied for even cheaper rates.

Stacking discounts is the easiest way for college students to save money on car insurance. 

Students can qualify for multiple discounts by being enrolled in high school, summer school, community college, or university. Take a look at the table below to see how many student discounts are available by insurer:

Good Student Discounts by Company for 19-Year-Old Drivers

CompanyGood Student DiscountDistant Student DiscountStudents & Alumni DiscountYoung Driver Discount
21st CenturyYesNoNoYes
AllstateYes – 20%Yes – 35%NoNo
American FamilyYesYesYes – University of Wisconsin No
Ameriprise YesYesNoNo
AmicaYes – 10%YesNoNo
Country FinancialYes – 25%, B average or better NoNoYes – 10%
EsuranceYes – 10%NoYes – 15%, PAC 12 schoolsNo
GEICOYes – 15%YesYesNo
Liberty MutualYes – 22.5%NoYes – 10%; 5% for new graduatesYes – 5% for newly licensed
MetLifeYes – 15%, Full-time, under 25, singleNoYesNo
NationwideYes – 10%, 15 to 24 years oldYes – 10%Yes – 7%, Member of partner businesses, unions, schools, or associations No
ProgressiveYes – 21 or younger Yes – Age 22 or younger NoYes – 18 or younger
Safe Auto Yes – 10%, 25 or younger in GANoNoNo
SafecoYes – 15%, B average or better; Drops 1% each yearYes – 15%NoYes
State FarmYes – Up to 25% until age 25Yes – Under age 25, 100+ miles awayNoNo
The GeneralYes – 8%NoNoNo
The Hanover Yes – 5%, High school students who are accident & ticket freeYes – 5%NoNo
The HartfordYes – 3%Yes – 3%NoNo
Travelers Yes – 8%, Full-time, 16 to 25 years old, B average or better Yes – 7%, 25 and under, 100+ miles away NoNo
USAA Yes – 3%, 3.0+ GPA; lasts 3 years; Not available in HI, NC, or NY Yes – 100+ miles awayNoYes – $5 to $50 gift card for 15 to 19-year-olds w/good driving behavior who complete 100-hr program
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If students qualify, they can stack all four of these discounts to get the lowest rates possible. The table below lists all available discounts with most major insurance companies:

Car Insurance Discounts Offered by Top Companies

Discount TypeAllstateAmerican FamilyFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualNationwideProgressiveState FarmTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Family Legacyxxxx
Family Planxxx
Farm Vehiclexxx
Federal Employeexxx
Forward Collision Warningxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxx
Good Creditxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Occasional Operatorx
On Time Paymentsxx
Online Shopperx
Paperless Documentsxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxx
Stable Residencexx
Students & Alumnixxxx
Switching Providerxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxx
Young Driverxxx
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Before you buy car insurance for college students or anyone else, always ask about the discounts available. Some companies automatically apply discounts, others don’t, so it’s always good practice to ask just in case.

How to Buy the Best Car Insurance for College Students

While GEICO offers the most competitive rates for young drivers, the best insurance for college students depends on your budget and your needs. 

If a student lives on campus and is not driving, it will be cheaper to keep them on an existing policy as a named driver. However, if students plan on living independently off campus, they’ll need an individual policy.

GEICO, USAA, and Nationwide offer the best car insurance rates for college students, but Progressive and State Farm have better discounts, especially for students attending school more than 100 miles away from home. 

Compare quotes from these companies and more, and always ask about discounts before you buy car insurance or add a college student to an existing policy.