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Student car insurance

Find affordable car insurance for students

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1Accurate as of February 2024.

What is student car insurance?

Student car insurance is just like normal car insurance that you take out when you’re a student. This usually means when you’re in full-time education – either university or college.

You’ll always need car insurance to drive on UK roads, no matter how old you are or what your job is – even if you only have a provisional licence, you’ll need to have at least third-party cover in place to get behind the wheel.

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Do I need student car insurance?

It is a legal requirement to have car insurance to drive on UK roads, even if you are a learner driver. There are serious penalties for driving uninsured that include fines, points on your licence, and potentially being banned from driving.

If you are using using someone else's vehicle – whether you're driving it with a full or provisional licence – you have the option of being insured as a named driver on the vehicle owner's insurance policy. This is sometimes a cheaper option than buying an individual policy if you only use the vehicle occasionally.

However, you can only be added as a named driver to another person's policy if they are the main driver, meaning that they will be driving the vehicle most of the time. Lying to an insurer about which person is the main driver is considered a type of fraud known as 'fronting' and is an illegal practice.

What car insurance cover do you need?

Use our tool to answer 3 quick and easy questions so we can help you find the right car insurance cover for you.

Types of student car insurance

Students will have the same types of car insurance to choose from as everyone else:

  • Third-party

    Third-party insurance only pays out for damage done to someone else or their car or property – it doesn’t cover you or your car 

    Average premium: £931.76 per year*

  • Third-party, fire and theft

    Third-party, fire and theft policies add cover for your own car if it’s stolen, or damaged by fire or an explosion 

    Average premium: £1,092.66 per year*

  • Fully comprehensive

    Fully comprehensive cover offers everything included above, but also adds a range of other cover options for you and your vehicle 

    Average premium: £1,059.08 per year*

* Based on annual price of car insurance policies with one driver holding a full UK driving licence. Data collected between January 2023 and June 2023

Why is car insurance so expensive for students?

Car insurance is the most expensive for young people and students because insurers see them as having a higher risk of being involved in an accident. This is due to young people and new drivers having less experience on the road.

As you get older and get more driving experience, the cost of car insurance will naturally go down. Building up your no claims bonus will also bring your premiums down as you prove to your insurance provider that you are a safe driver.

You can find more information about the factors that affect your car insurance premiums in our guide 'Why is car insurance so expensive?'

How much does car insurance cost for students?

Students are likely to pay more than most for car insurance as most who list ‘student’ as their main occupation are under the age of 25.

People in this age group are seen as high risk by insurers owing to their relative lack of experience on the road – as such they normally face higher premiums. However, it also comes down to:

  • Your location: Some areas in the UK are more prone to theft, vandalism or traffic accidents, so these locations will likely see higher premiums 

  • Your driving history: Having few years of experience will go against you, but if you have been driving for a while your history of claims and convictions will also be a factor 

  • Your car: Insurers sort car makes and models into different insurance groups based on factors like performance and ease of repairs, and cars in lower

Occupation

Average annual premiums**

Student - Living At Home

£1646.15

Student - Living Away

£1414.42

Student Nurse - Living At Home

£1332.52

Student Nurse - Living Away

£1414.84

Student Teacher - Living At Home

£1131.48

Student Teacher - Living Away

£1493.72

Unemployed

£998.86

**Based on the average annual price of comprehensive policies sold through MoneySuperMarket in February 2024.

How can students get cheaper car insurance?

While students may face higher premiums than most, there are ways you can look to lower the cost of cover:

  • Tick

    Telematics insurance

    Telematics insurance, sometimes known as black box cover, is when insurers use GPS technology to monitor your driving, rewarding good habits with future discounts 

  • Tick

    Pay-as-you-go insurance

    Pay-as-you-go car insurance charges a flat rate for when your car is parked, then only charges beyond that for the miles you drive – helping you save if you aren’t a frequent driver

  • Tick

    Driving fewer miles

    The more miles you drive the more likely you are to have a road accident – so limiting your time on the road can help keep costs down, especially with pay per mile insurance

  • Tick

    Named driver insurance

    Adding a parent or guardian as a named driver, so long as they have more experience than you, can help bring down costs – but make sure you’re honest about who’s doing most of the driving 

  • Tick

    Choosing a car from a low insurance group

    Insurers sort cars into insurance groups based on factors like their performance and ease of repairs – cars in lower groups are generally cheaper to insure

  • Tick

    Avoiding small claims

    If you can go for over a year without making any claims – by staying safe on the road and if possible, paying for small things yourself – you can start to build up a no claims discount on future premiums

  • Tick

    Keeping your car safe

    If you keep your car on campus this may affect the cost of your insurance – the best place to park a car if you can is in a locked garage

  • Tick

    Increase your voluntary excess

    A voluntary excess is an amount of money that you agree to put towards the cost of claims. By agreeing to a higher excess, you can reduce the cost of your policy, although your car insurance pay-outs will be reduced

Faith Archer

Our expert says

"

The costs of insuring, fuelling, taxing and servicing a car can eat a big chunk out of a student budget. If you’re not planning on driving while at university, you may be better off taking out temporary insurance for a few days when you do need to drive, for example when transporting your stuff at the start of term, or sharing the driving on a trip during the holidays.

"
- Faith Archer, Personal Finance Expert

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If you’re a student you may find temporary or short-term car insurance more useful than an annual policy. You’ll be able to take out cover on a monthly, daily or even hourly basis, so you only pay for the cover you need when you need it.

This can work out cheaper than taking out and paying for a full annual policy – so it’s always worth comparing your options to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

If you don’t use your car, one options could be to take out temporary cover so you can still get behind the wheel when you need to. However if you don’t use the car at all, and you’d rather not worry about having to insure it, you can declare it off-road with a Statutory Off Road Notice.

It’s worth considering that if you do declare your car off-road, you’ll stop accruing your no-claims discount. For this reason, you might prefer to take out temporary cover or reduce the expected mileage you give to your insurer, so you can keep building your no-claims bonus.

Telematics insurance, also known as black box insurance, is when your insurer uses GPS software or hardware to monitor your driving habits. This can be done with the aforementioned black box, which is fitted under your dashboard, or with a plug-in device that goes into the cigarette lighter, or a mobile app using your phone’s location data.

Insurers use this to analyse things like your driving speed, breaking and handling of corners – and they often put all of this information into a ‘driving score’ which you’ll be able to see yourself.

The better you drive the more likely you are to get cheaper premiums next time you compare quotes.

It’s usually a rule of thumb that your car insurance costs will be lower if you pay the full amount in an annual lump sum, rather than spreading the cost over 12 months. But it’s always good to compare quotes to make sure you know what’s on offer.

Fronting is an illegal practice where you would lie about who the main driver of a policy was to get cheaper premiums. For example, if you were a student and you took out a car insurance policy on your own car, you’d expect to pay high premiums – so by adding a more experienced parent or guardian as a named driver you could bring the cost down.

However if you’re doing the bulk of the driving that would make you the ‘main’ driver. Fronting would be if you declared the older driver as the ‘main’ driver even if you were doing more of the driving – just to get lower premiums. This is lying, and illegal, and could lead to punishment in court.

Even if you’re a learner driver with a provisional licence, you’ll need at least third-party insurance in place to drive on UK roads. If you’re taking private lessons it’s likely you’ll have to take your own cover out, but driving schools often provide their own insurance.

Insurers don’t usually offer special discounts for car insurance if you’re a student, and as youngsters generally face higher than average premiums, this makes it even more important to take steps to get cheaper cover.

If you’re living away from home while you study, you should use the address at which you keep your car for the most time. So if you spend more of the year at university than you do living at your home address, you should put your university’s address as yours.

Unfortunately students face some of the highest premiums - mostly down to the fact that the majority of students are also young drivers with little experience.

The options available will depend on your provider and policy, but many will offer the following cover options to add to your policy:

  • Breakdown cover

    This will cover the cost of roadside assistance if you break down

  • Courtesy car cover

    If your vehicle is being repaired, you will be given access to a replacement vehicle until yours is fixed

  • Personal accident cover

    This cover will pay out a lump sum to you or a beneficiary if you are injured or killed in a road accident

  • Motor legal protection

    Your insurance will also cover any legal fees relating to a road accident

  • Windscreen cover

    Cracked windscreens can be deadly if they aren't replaced. This add-on will cover the cost of repairing or replacing a cracked windscreen

  • Car keys cover

    Your policy will cover the cost of replacing your car keys if they are damaged, lost, or stolen

  • Wrong fuel cover

    This will cover the cost of repairs if you accidentally top your car up with the wrong type of fuel

  • Personal belongings cover

    Your car insurance can also protect personal belongings that you keep in your car if they are damaged or stolen

  • No-claims discount cover

    Protect your no-claims discount with this cover. It will allow you to make a certain number of claims each year without affecting your premiums

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