Having a car at university has its advantages. From easy commute to lectures, to road trips and creating fun memories that you will always look back, no matter how you look at it, owning a car as a student is very advantageous.
However, with the freedom of owning a car comes a list of responsibilities such as car maintenance, tax and insurance. The fact that student car insurance is relatively high due to the driver’s age doesn’t make things any easier. And when you factor in the other expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation costs, and books, it will not be surprising if your car insurance takes a backseat.
But, before you can have added freedom to drive around, insurance is a must, as it’s obviously legally required. Therefore, to help alleviate the issue of high student car insurance costs, we have compiled a list of tips to take in mind when purchasing car insurance.
- Type Of Car And Value:
The type of car you drive and its value both affect the amount you pay for your premium. Bigger engine size and an expensive model will automatically result in a higher premium. As a student, going for smaller engine size and a standard model free of modifications will get you a reduced premium.
- Compare Insurance From Various Companies
When shopping for insurance, it isn’t advisable to go for the very first quote you are given. As a student looking for cheap car insurance, it is not just the price which you should be taking into consideration. There are aspects of what your insurance covers, so make sure you understand the add-ons and remove any unnecessary cover to help reduce the final price.
If you are studying abroad, they prefer to get insurance from the same region. E.g. if you are studying in Ireland then you can save money by considering quotes from an Ireland insurance company like AA to get the best deal on motor insurance as a student. Usually, local or national insurance provides various benefits and discounts when compared to multi-national insurance companies.
- Secure Your Car
Where you live also affects your car insurance premium and students’ accommodation isn’t always in the most secure areas in town. If you live in a particularly dangerous part of town, your car insurance premium will be increased. However, by going an extra length in securing your car, you might also be taking that extra step in lowering your premium.
Look for a car with an immobilizer and alarm and you can also buy various devices that will help secure your car.
- Keep A Clean Licence
While driving, make sure you take precautions and drive safely. Avoid penalty points and convictions because they can affect your premium during renewal.
Apart from this, some companies reward safe drivers. The black box in your car measures your driving behaviour and depending on your insurer, you might gain up to 100 Bonus Miles every month. This could accumulate at the end of the year, thus saving you money at the time of renewal.
As a new driver/learner, you should also check if there are discounts offered to learners by the various companies you are looking into to save even more money.
- Reduce Your Mileage
People who typically drive less are at lower risk of accidents. Therefore, their car insurance premium is usually much lower.
As a student, try to avoid driving when it isn’t necessary. If you have to drive to university, you can try parking it for the day to avoid any additional driving. Also, if you live near the school, you can always walk/cycle to campus. This can also help your budget as you will be saving fuel costs.
- Add A Named Driver
With age and experience generally always being against student drivers, it can be cheaper to add an older and more experienced driver to your policy.
However, you have to bear in mind that this is entirely different from what is known as “driver fronting”. You do not purchase the car insurance in the name of a more experienced driver, making that person the main driver while you are put down as the named driver to reduce your premium. That is criminal and can render your insurance void in the event of an accident. Apart from the fact that you might have to meet the claims all by yourself, you might also end up facing a motoring conviction.
- Pay In Full For The Lowest Price Available
By paying upfront, you will be avoiding the monthly payment charge and thus saving up money. So, if you can pay for your policy all at once, then do.
As a student, to make this easier on your, you can plan your start/renewal date to fall in the summer months when you have the possibility of securing summer jobs and therefore more money to help your pay for your policy in full.
It is perfectly understood that a student policy can be expensive to purchase while studying at university, but by applying the above tips, you stand a chance of reducing car insurance premiums.
By starting to drive now and beginning to build up a history of safe driving with no claims, you will soon have built a good driving record that will entitle you to a No Claims Bonus, thus drastically reducing the cost of your premium.