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Car Insurance As A Student: Can It Ever Be Affordable?


When you’re at university, it’s safe to say that finances tend to be tight. You’re on a limited income, and your ability to boost your budget is restricted by the hours of study your course requires of you. It’s a long-established trope that all students are broke, but this tends to be a trope because it’s usually 100% true.

Perhaps for this reason alone, many students choose not to take a car to university. As much as they love the idea of the freedom a car can bring, their funds just won’t stretch to meeting the running costs of a vehicle. One of the major contributors to this sad decision is the cost of car insurance.

Students vs. car insurance providers

Students get a rough deal when applying for car insurance. To begin with, most students tend to be young, which means their insurance premiums are expensive by default. Most insurance companies seem to believe that “young” equals “bad driver”; while there’s some statistical backup to this, there’s also a hint of discrimination in the air too.

Students then have to contend with the fact that listing themselves as a student on their insurance application can mean that their premium increases automatically; solely because they are in education. Occupation is a surprisingly important factor when deciding the cost of car insurance, and listing ‘student’ as your occupation is likely to have a negative effect on the cost of your premiums; there’s plenty of examples of this exact scenario on thestudentroom.co.uk.

So, taking the factors above into account, is that it— no car until graduation?

Not necessarily…

Thankfully, there are a couple of options that students might want to consider when it comes to running a car during their studies. The first is a basic principle of buying car insurance; make sure you use a comparison site such as cheapautoinsurance.co.uk to ensure you get as many quotes as possible. This is a good rule for anyone buying car insurance, but it’s all the more crucial for the much-maligned student driver.

Secondly, it’s worth checking to see if your parents are willing to insure the car in their name, and then add you as an additional driver. This is usually possible even if you are the registered keeper of the car, though you will want to double check before agreeing a policy. However, it’s well worth the hassle seeing if this is feasible for you, as this convoluted way of insuring your vehicle is surprisingly effective in terms of lowering your premiums.

A note on what not to do

As discussed, listing your occupation as ‘student’ on a car insurance application form can see your premium rise. However, it’s important that you’re not tempted to use a different occupation (for example, your part-time job). This could invalidate your insurance, so it’s a risk that isn’t worth taking. Be honest with your insurer to about your circumstances, even if that means paying more— if you withhold facts, your insurance will be invalid, and thus a complete waste of your funds.

In conclusion

Searching comparison sites and asking your parents to add you to their insurance, even if it’s technically your car, are the best methods of finding car insurance as a student. Good luck!