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Your Guide to Comparing Student Car Insurance

With all the activities of student life to throw yourself into, insurance is probably low down on your list of priorities. But moving away means dealing with grown-up stuff – and that includes car insurance if you’re thinking of taking your motor with you. So do you know the difference between fully comprehensive and third party? Ever heard of a black box? Fear not. Our guide will help you find the right insurance deal for you with the cheapest cars to insure and leave plenty of time for studying – and partying, of course!

Why is car insurance for students so expensive?

For an insurance provider, it’s all about assessing and pricing risk. They know that those in the student age group , 17 and 18, are statistically more likely to make a claim than older drivers.

This isn’t necessarily your fault, but rather the result of your circumstances. You probably haven’t been driving for long and that, statistically speaking, means you’re more likely to have an accident. And it’s likely that you haven’t had the opportunity to build up a no claims discount, which can help reduce your car insurance premiums.

Another reason for higher costs as a student may be the area you live in. If you’re in a large town or city, there’s an increased risk of you having an accident and your postcode could be in an area with a particularly bad crime rate.

What are the different types of insurance?

There are three types of cover to choose from:

Third party covers you for damage you cause to another vehicle or any injuries you cause to other people (including passengers in your car). Remember, it doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle.

Third party, fire and theft offers the same as third party, but you’re also covered if your car is stolen or if it suffers fire damage.

Comprehensive insurance offers the same level of cover as a third party fire and theft policy, but also protects you as a driver and will pay out for damage to your car.

How can I reduce the cost of student car insurance?

Well the good news is, although you might never consider your car insurance as cheap, there are a number of things you can do that might make it more affordable.

Pay your premium yearly
It’s typically cheaper to pay for your insurance in one lump sum. A monthly payment plan can cost more because insurance providers often charge interest on the instalments. Our quote page will show you the differences in prices to help you choose.

Shop around
Our comparison service will help you find the right deal for you. The market is also intensely competitive – looking a little harder for a good quotation could really pay off.

Check different levels of cover
Most of us assume that third party cover is the cheapest option and a comprehensive policy the most expensive, but that is not always the case. It’s best to check all cover types to see which premium is the cheapest for you, if price is a priority.

Vary your voluntary excess
Car insurance excess is the amount you’ll have to pay when you make a claim on your insurance. It could be made up of a compulsory and a voluntary excess. Increasing your voluntary excess from the minimum amount to one that you can still afford could mean a cheaper monthly premium. If you’re under 25, you might also have an additional young driver excess, as insurance providers consider you to be a high risk.  You’ve just got to make sure you can afford to repay the total if you had to make a claim – the voluntary and compulsory excesses are combined in this instance. 

Improve security
Fitting additional security to your car could help reduce your premiums. An industry-approved alarm or an immobiliser are both good options. But you do need to assess the one-off costs against any saving you might make, and bear in mind you may need to speak directly with your insurance provider to get this saving reflected.

Add an experienced driver
If you know a more experienced driver who may also use the car, adding them to your policy might save you money. Even an occasional experienced extra driver with a good driving record could make a difference. Just make sure they do actually drive your car, otherwise you could invalidate your insurance policy. And remember, you must never put forward the more experienced person as the main driver if that isn’t actually the case. This is known as 'fronting', which is a type of fraud and is illegal. 

Restrict your mileage 
Your insurance provider will need to know how many miles you think you’ll drive in a year. If you’re only likely to use your car during holidays or at weekends, then declaring a low annual mileage estimation could cut the cost of your premium. But do make sure you give an accurate estimate; if you’re dishonest, your cover could be invalidated.

What is a black box policy?

black box or telematics policy refers to a small device placed in your car, or an app that you download to your phone, that relays details of how you’re driving to your insurance provider. They use the data to reward safe driving with lower premiums, which makes it a useful policy for young or inexperienced drivers.

How do modifications impact my insurance price?

Insurance providers dislike changes to factory specifications and, while you might think they improve your car, your provider probably won’t. Modifications could bump up your premium if an insurance provider deems they increase performance, reduce safety or add value, making your car more of a target for thieves. Some insurance providers may refuse to even quote you a price; those that will may charge you more.

How can I find the cheap student car insurance?

Our price comparison service is an effective way to compare more than 100 insurance providers and get an overview of some of the deals available on the market. Remember, we’re here to help you get the right cover at a price you can afford.

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