The last expense college students need after sky-high tuition rates is pricey car insurance. We analyzed hundreds of thousands of rates from 15 of the best companies to find the cheapest auto insurance for students. On average, the cheapest insurance companies for students are:

  • Erie
  • State Farm
  • Nationwide
  • Allstate

Cheapest companies for students by age

Of the many factors that determine how much students pay for auto insurance, age is one of the most important. Our research found that, on average, an 18-year-old pays $3,430 a year for auto insurance, while a 22-year-old pays $2,415 — a difference of more than $1,000 a year.

Cheapest insurance companies for students by age
Company 18-year-old 19-year-old 20-year-old 21-year-old 22-year-old
Erie $1,708 $1,563 $1,451 $1,359 $1,216
USAA $1,715 $1,534 $1,386 $1,270 $1,194
State Farm $2,386 $2,164 $1,977 $1,841 $1,737
Allstate $3,312 $3,547 $3,476 $2,569 $2,475
GEICO $3,418 $3,019 $2,739 $2,580 $2,505
Average $3,430 $3,093 $2,892 $2,537 $2,415
American Family $3,529 $3,161 $3,063 $2,203 $2,145
Nationwide $3,640 $3,148 $2,799 $2,164 $2,000
Auto Club $3,735 $3,735 $3,735 $3,735 $3,735
Auto-Owners $4,112 $3,559 $3,004 $2,666 $2,407
CSAA $4,267 $4,267 $4,267 $4,267 $4,267
Farmers $4,306 $4,306 $4,306 $4,306 $4,306
Progressive $4,605 $3,292 $3,230 $2,751 $2,464
Travelers $5,874 $5,148 $4,492 $3,916 $3,540
Mercury $6,329 $4,842 $4,198 $2,251 $1,975
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

The above rates are for a full-coverage policy. The cheapest company may change based on your age. However, Erie, State Farm, Allstate, USAA and GEICO are consistently great low-cost options for college students.

Because rates can change so much depending on how old you are, we recommend reevaluating your auto insurance on a regular basis to make sure you are not overpaying.

Compare insurance companies to find your cheapest student rates!

Cheapest companies for students by gender

Male students pay more for auto insurance than female students, on average. The difference in average price between genders is smaller for older demographics, but for young drivers, males are considered a very risky group to insure.

Cheapest insurance companies for students by gender
Company (F) base policy (F) full coverage (M) base policy (M) full coverage
Erie $649 $1,315 $740 $1,504
USAA $741 $1,322 $777 $1,422
State Farm $1,130 $1,823 $1,263 $2,085
Allstate $1,317 $2,606 $1,556 $3,313
Nationwide $1,496 $2,348 $1,772 $2,856
American Family $1,552 $2,427 $1,844 $2,974
Average $1,568 $2,616 $1,719 $2,940
GEICO $1,596 $2,637 $1,694 $2,896
Auto-Owners $1,597 $2,734 $1,825 $3,245
Mercury $1,779 $3,150 $2,035 $3,928
Progressive $1,911 $2,967 $1,971 $3,219
CSAA $1,992 $4,267 $1,992 $4,267
Auto Club $2,216 $3,735 $2,216 $3,735
Travelers $2,406 $4,031 $2,848 $4,708
Farmers $2,734 $4,306 $2,734 $4,306
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Get the cheapest insurance policy for you by comparing rates

Best auto insurance companies for students

To find the best car insurance company for you, we recommend evaluating companies based on four criteria: price, regional availability, coverage and customer satisfaction.

Below, we highlight the top auto insurance companies in the U.S., as well as their student discounts that you might want to take advantage of. Discounts were not factored into the average full coverage rates.

Best car insurance for college students
Company Average full coverage rate Good student discount Student away from home discount 2019 J.D. Power claims satisfaction rating Market share
State Farm $1,954 Up to 25% Yes 878 14%
Progressive $3,093 Yes, discounts vary Yes 856 12%
GEICO $2,766 Up to 15% No 879 12%
Allstate $2,959 Yes, discounts vary Yes 853 8%
USAA $1,372 Yes, discounts vary No 900 5%
Liberty Mutual Yes, discounts vary Yes 857 5%
Farmers $4,306 Yes, discounts vary Yes 865 4%
Nationwide $2,602 Yes, discounts vary No 867 3%
Travelers $4,369   Up to 8% Yes, up to 7% 865 3%
American Family $2,700 Yes, discounts vary Yes 857 2%
Auto-Owners $2,989 Up to 20% Yes 870 1%
Erie $1,409 No, but "Youthful Driver" discount up to 20% Yes 879 1%
Auto Club $3,735 Up to 14% Yes, up to 47% 866 1%
Mercury $3,539 Yes, discounts vary No 837 1%
CSAA $4,267 Yes, discounts vary No 847 1%
Note: Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

When it comes to comparing the coverage between companies, make sure you pay attention to the coverage limits in your quote or declarations page. This is where you’ll find the details about how much coverage the insurance company is offering you. When you compare prices, the coverage should be the same or similar.

If you go to college out of state, you may want to choose a company that is also available in your home state. By doing this, you leave open the option to get on your parents’ insurance plan.

How students can save on auto insurance

Because college students tend to be between the ages of 18 and 25, they are involved in more accidents and traffic citations than older drivers, which leads to high insurance premiums. However, there are a few ways students can save.

Shop around

Shop around and compare quotes from several insurers before choosing one option over another. The benefit of this legwork is that it ensures you find your best rates and the right amount of coverage. Additionally, we recommend reevaluating your policy and insurance needs on a regular basis, considering how much age affects car insurance rates.

Drive an older car

Driving an older used vehicle instead of a newer model often leads to cheaper insurance. That’s because older cars tend to be cheaper to insure because they aren't as costly to repair and require less coverage. The older your car is, the less coverage you’ll need for damage to it.

Stay on your parents' insurance

If the vehicle you take to college is owned by your parents, it may be in your best interest for it to be added to your parents' insurance policy (if it isn't already). Especially if there are others on the policy that have a good driving history, this may be the cheapest option for many students.

Get good grades

Many insurance companies offer young adult customers (or their parents, depending on who is footing the bill) a reduced rate if they can prove they're a full-time student and have a good GPA.

These reduced rates can be up to 25% lower than what drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 would receive otherwise, depending on the insurer. As a result, be sure to let your agent know if your student has a high GPA, often a 3.0 or above.

Complete a defensive driving course

Some car insurance companies offer discounts to students who go through a defensive driving course or driver's education program. We recommend checking with your current insurer to see if they offer this discount, and if they do, take advantage of it. The cost of the course is often worth the savings it results in.

Raise your deductible

Raising your deductible is probably the easiest way for students to lower their rates. If your vehicle is still worth enough that dropping your collision and comprehensive coverage isn't a good idea, you could still raise the deductible associated with that coverage. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay more if you're in an accident, though.


We analyzed 271,320 quotes from 15 companies in the following seven states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. These states were chosen as representative of the national auto insurance market, and also represent varying driving environments.

The policies we considered were for a male and female driver between the ages of 18 and 23, for a 2010 Toyota Camry. The coverage specifics were as follows:

Coverage Base policy Full coverage
Bodily injury liability 25/50 25/50
Property damage $25,000 $25,000
Underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury liability 25/50 25/50
Collision None $1,000 deductible
Comprehensive None $1,000 deductible

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