Student Car Insurance in the UK

Finding affordable cover for students at university.

author image-cai
By Cai Bradley
Updated on Thursday 20 August 2020

Student driving a car with friend

Car insurance is an expense that we all have to deal with – whether we’re young or old, rich or poor, student or employed.

Unfortunately, car insurance for students can be particularly expensive, with many paying over a thousand pounds in premiums per year.

But you shouldn’t simply accept the first quote you receive, and with our help, you will be able to reduce the cost of your student car insurance.

In this guide:

Do you need car insurance while at university? How much will premiums cost you? Do mature students still pay more for cover? Here’s everything you need to know about car insurance for students.

What is student car insurance?

Car insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects you against the costs associated with road traffic collisions, including damage to other vehicles, personal injuries and theft.

There are three main types of car insurance policies to choose from, including:

There are also some types of specialist car insurance policies on offer, including insurance for students, black box insurance, new driver insurance, cover for over 50s, and temporary insurance.  

Standard cover is typically sufficient for most people, including students, but you may find that some specialist providers can offer you a better deal, so it’s always worth shopping around first.

How much does car insurance for students cost in the UK?

Students under 24 years of age will almost certainly pay more than the equivalent driver over 25, largely due to the important factor of experience.

According to Money Supermarket data, the average cost of comprehensive car insurance for 17 to 19-year-olds is £1,091. Here’s how that weighs-in against other age categories:


Average cost of cover

17 to 19


20 to 24


25 to 29


30 to 39


This essentially means that, on average, 17 to 19-year-olds pay over £500 more for their car insurance than 30 to 39-year-olds.

The amount you pay for your car insurance depends on the level of cover and the provider you opt for – among other things – but don’t assume that the most extensive policy will also be the most extensive.

In fact, Money Supermarket’s study found that comprehensive cover is the cheapest option for students and all other age groups. Third-party only insurance is, on average, £2,558 for 17-19 year olds and £1,887 for people aged 20 to 24, which is around a thousand pounds more expensive than the average cost of fully comprehensive cover for those age groups.

This is, in short, because people who take out a third-party only insurance policy are statistically more likely to make a claim.

Read more: How is Car Insurance Calculated?

Why is car insurance so expensive for students and young drivers?

Most students pay more for their car insurance due to the fact that they are likely to be in their late teens or early twenties, and are therefore less experienced drivers.

Insurance providers see young and inexperienced motorists as high-risk to insure as they have not yet built up enough years’ no-claims bonus and general driving experience to prove that they are safe on the road.

Read more: Cheap Car Insurance for Teenagers

However, mature students may also see their premiums increase when they go to university, as they are placed in the student risk category regardless of their experience, according to Go Compare.

Does being a student affect car insurance?

The main reason why students pay more for insurance is that most students are aged between 18 and 21, which also happens to be the most expensive age to insure due to their lack of experience on the road.

It’s not only age that impacts your premiums as a student though, as mature students also see their premiums rise.

Most university campuses are in city centres, which have higher crime rates and students are therefore more likely to need to make a claim for damage or theft on their car insurance policy. Student housing is also unlikely to have a secure driveway or private garage to park in, increasing the risk further and leading to more expensive car insurance.

Listing your occupation on a car insurance application

Whether car insurance is cheaper as a student or employed worker depends on a variety of factors, including the provider and which job title you choose, but it may be worth getting quotes for both if they apply to you. Once you have your quotes, you can then determine which option to choose.

Read more: How Job Titles Affect the Cost of Car Insurance

Remember, you must be honest on your application and if you lie, your policy could end up invalid and your premiums will have gone to waste.

Temporary student car insurance

There are some instances where you might be better off getting temporary car insurance, for example, if you don’t take your own car to university and only drive your parents’ vehicle when you’re home for summer or Christmas break.

Short-term car insurance for students at university can be a useful and affordable alternative to standard annual cover, but make sure it’s the right policy for you before purchasing it.

Get your quote or read more in our guides to short-term cover:

How to get cheap insurance for students

There are many ways to get cheaper car insurance, including:

Can you get a student discount on car insurance?

There are also specific ways that students can get more affordable car insurance, including student discounts on offer with certain providers.

While it isn’t common to see the main car insurance companies offering exclusive student discounts, there are providers out there that will lower your premiums if you simply ask them for a deal. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? If they say no, simply look elsewhere for a cheaper quote.

Finding the cheapest car insurance for students in the UK

If you’re looking for the best car insurance for students, the first thing you should do is shop around using comparison sites. That is the best way to gauge an idea of how much you should be paying and which providers are offering the most affordable deals.

Get your student car insurance quotes with us here at Compare UK Quotes by tapping the button below:

Read more in our related guides:

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