Being a college student is hard enough without having to juggle your class and social responsibilities with the search for a good car insurance policy. College students usually pay more for car insurance, since insurance companies view them as risky and inexperienced drivers. Plus, scraping together beer money isn’t as easy as it used to be. However, there are plenty of ways to manage your budget by lowering the cost of car insurance. Here’s how:
Raise your credit score
Young drivers are generally new to the credit game and may have no or lower credit scores than older drivers. If your credit score is bad, then your premiums will most likely be higher.
Get covered under your parents’ policy
You can be covered as a driver under your parent’s policy if they own the car, and if your primary address is at your parent’s house. Even if you live at a dormitory, you should use the address listed on your vehicle registration. Just don’t change your primary residence to your dormitory, or your car insurance will need to be changed as well.
Raise your deductible
It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that you will have a few minor dings and scrapes while trying to find parking on campus and having a low deductible can hurt your chances of getting a lower premium if you have to file a bunch of small claims, even if they are no-fault. Raise your deductible to between $500 and $1,000 if your insurance company will allow.
Choose a low-mileage policy
If you don’t commute a long way to class each day, then you may qualify for a low-mileage policy. If your annual mileage falls between 7,500 and 15,000 miles, you should be able to lower your premium. Many university students who walk from class-to-class qualify for this discount.
Do not pay for full comprehension coverage if your vehicle is worth less than $1,000.
If you drive an older vehicle worth less than $1,000, do not pay for comprehension coverage. The annual cost of premiums for this coverage can easily outweigh the cost of the vehicle. Avoid this coverage, since replacing the car should be relatively inexpensive.
Get a safe car
Yes, it may not be the chick (or dude) magnet that you’ve always wanted, but getting a safe car will absolutely lower your premiums. On the positive side, the more money you save, the more you can spend on dates — and that’s always attractive.
Look into “green” car insurance discounts
Hybrid and electric vehicles have been growing in popularity. Depending on where you live, you could be eligible for a 10 to 15 percent discount on your premiums. While green vehicles cost more to insure on average, a discount can make going green cheaper than sticking with a gas guzzler. Green vehicles even demand more cash in car title loans, should your financial situation grow dire. If you’re already saving money on gas, you might as well save on insurance too.
Be a good student
Major car insurance companies often offer a good student discount on car insurance. This may be the hardest (or easiest) way to save some extra money on your car insurance policy, depending on how you look at it. Well worth the effort, though!
Take a defensive driver or safe driver course
Many insurance companies will give you a break on your premiums is you can prove that you’ve completed continued driver’s education course. Hey, you’re going to school full-time anyway, what’s one more class going to hurt?
Following these tips, college students can save a lot of cash on car insurance. This can hopefully help students breathe a little easier when it comes to taking stock of their financial situation. It may even help when it comes to putting a dent in those student loans, right?