While being a student can be the best years of your life, it is an expensive time. There is not only your student fees to consider, but accommodation and living expenses to factor in too. As a result, a student budget can be tight and adding student car insurance on top of that can be difficult. So, do you need student care insurance and how can you save money so you can make the most of student life?
Do you need student car insurance?
If you want to drive, it is a legal requirement to have car insurance in place. However, for students, car insurance premiums are typically more expensive than for other motorists. This is because most student drivers are under the age of 25. Statistically, student drivers are usually new drivers, with less experience and are more likely to have an accident compared to older drivers.
Furthermore, car insurance premiums drop considerably when you earn no claims discounts. However, student drivers are unlikely to have built up a significant number of years without claims.
However, despite the higher cost, having car insurance from when you pass your test helps you to build up your no claims bonus. This means that, as long as you don’t claim on your insurance, you can quickly see significant discounts in your premiums. However, if you stop insuring your car and stop driving during your student years, it may take longer to build up your no claims bonus.
So, in some cases, it is important to accept that car insurance is necessary if you want to drive while you are a student. As a result, it is essential to budget for the cost of student car insurance too. But, first, it may help to decide whether or not you should have a car while you are a student.
Should you take your car to university?
There are many advantages to taking your car to university with you, which include;
- Freedom – It will allow you to explore where you live.
- Shopping – You and your friends will love the benefit of not having to lug back all your groceries after a weekly shop.
- Going home – Having a car means you can go back to your friends and family more easily.
- Moving – Student life often means moving furniture from home to accommodation to your new flat. Having your car makes it much easier to move. Can you imagine shifting that chest of drawers on public transport?
- Big buys – Need a new desk from Ikea? A car will help you get your place feeling like home more easily.
- Part-time work – Having a car may make it easier for you to find a part-time job as you can widen your search area.
- Day trips – Great for bonding with flatmates and ticking off fun things off your bucket list.
On the other hand, there are some downsides to having your car at university with you;
- Becoming a taxi service – it’s all very well being a great friend, but you want people to like you, not the fact you can ferry them around.
- Parking – Most universities are in cities, which can make it difficult to find parking. Some halls of residence will have parking, but it may cost a lot to purchase a parking permit which is something to consider.
- Additional cost – As well as budgeting for nights out and food, petrol and parking can quickly add up which eat away at your budget.
- Higher costs – As you change your address to your student accommodation, insurers may want to put your premiums up. This is because student accommodation is usually in areas of higher crime which can increase the risk that something might happen to your car. Do not lie about the primary address for your car; if your insurer finds out, it is classed as fraud.
As there are pros and cons to both, choosing whether to take your car to university will depend on your own circumstances. Factors to consider are where you live in relation to university, town and the places you want to visit.
How to lower the cost of student car insurance
If you decide that taking your car to university is the right choice for you, then you’ll need student car insurance. Don’t be too daunted by the cost though. Here are some of the best ways to reduce the cost of your student car insurance premiums.
- Pick your car carefully
Go for small, safe and reliable cars rather than expensive sports and GTi versions. Avoid modified cars too which can raise your premiums.
- Consider the excess you can afford
The more of the excess you can cover yourself, the cheaper your premiums can be. So, consider the voluntary excess that you can afford to pay in the event of an accident. It also helps to consider the cost of your car too. If your car is only worth £500, it may not be worth spending £500 through voluntary excess to get it repaired.
- Add an experienced driver
If your parents use your car when you are back home, consider adding them to your insurance policy which can help to lower your premiums. Do not put someone who isn’t the main driver of your car as the primary driver though. Known as ‘fronting’; this practice is illegal.
- Consider your mileage carefully
If you’re moving to a city to study, then your mileage may drop considerably as you may not need to drive so often if everything is in walking distance. Before choosing a policy, carefully calculate the mileage you are likely to do. With lower mileage, insurers may see you as less of a risk.
- Think about black box or dash cam insurance
MyFirstUK offers lots of policies for student drivers, some of which include money-saving measures such as telematics (black box) insurance and dash cam insurance. If you’d like to get the cheapest student car insurance possible, talk to our experts about what type of insurance would best suit you and your needs.