Auto insurance

Are you going back to college? 3 ways to save money on car insurance

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It pays to do what you can to reduce your costs.

Key points

  • Many students are on a tight budget.
  • There are steps you can take to lower your auto insurance costs without skimping on coverage.
  • You can benefit from various discounts, for example for getting good grades or being a safe driver.

If you’re heading back to college, you may be preparing for a whole host of expenses, from supplies and books to bedding and furniture for your dorm or apartment. But if you have your own car, you may need to think about another expense: car insurance.

Of course, many college students live on a tight budget, and if you’re one of them, that means you can’t afford to spend more than you need to insure your vehicle. Here are a few ways to reduce your costs and make great savings.

1. See if you qualify for a good driver discount

College students are often hit with expensive car insurance premiums because their lack of driving experience makes them a higher risk in the eyes of insurance companies. But if you’ve already been driving for a few years (which is possible if you got your license at a young age) and have a good driving record, it’s worth seeing if you’re eligible for a good driver discount. Many insurance companies offer this benefit to encourage drivers to be careful while on the road.

2. See if you qualify for a good student discount

Doing well academically could benefit you in many ways as a student. On the one hand, if you maintain a good grade point average, you may qualify for scholarships that lower your tuition. But getting good grades could also help lower the cost of your car insurance premiums. Many insurance companies reward students with strong academic records with discounts, so it pays to see if yours does the same. And if not, it might be time to change insurers.

3. Get a discount for leaving your car at home

The less you actually use your car, the less it will cost to insure it. And so if you’re going to college and you don’t take your car with you (for example, because parking on campus is a nightmare or because you’re a freshman and can’t bring car on campus before your second year), it is advisable to inform your car insurance company. You may qualify for a significant discount if your car will be parked primarily in your parents’ driveway during the school year.

Don’t pay more than necessary

College students typically incur a multitude of expenses, and even if you’re employed while in school, your bills can still pile up. As such, it pays to do what you can to save money on every bill you’re responsible for, including car insurance. And that means looking for discounts at every opportunity.

In addition to these specific moves, it always pays to shop around for car insurance once your policy is due for renewal. You never know when one company may offer a better rate than another, so it’s worth spending some time doing that research and seeing where it takes you.

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