Being a college student is a time-consuming and expensive part of life. While many may see it as a fun and exciting experience, the truth is that college is hard. Between the high demand of multiple classes, homework, finals, and all the studying in between, college typically leaves little time for much else.
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Although many students opt for a part-time job while going to college, these jobs are typically not extremely well paying, and students often have minimal hours to work. Because of this, college leaves many students with little to no money to spare.
When you’re trying to support yourself while also attending college, you want to look for money-saving opportunities any time you can. Doing things like cutting back on unnecessary purchases and searching for sales are great ways to start saving money.
The savings don’t have to stop there. If you have a vehicle, you can also put some money back in your pocket by saving on car insurance. It might not be the first thought that comes to mind, but insurance savings can add up. And when you’re counting every penny, it can make a huge difference.
You may be wondering how exactly you can save on insurance. While there are many deals available to a wide variety of drivers, the savings really begin with the kind of vehicle you own. Some cars are simply cheaper to insure than others. This means the car you choose can be a significant start for your insurance savings.
So why are some cars cheaper to insure, and what cars are the best for college students and their savings? Let’s find out.
Why do some cars cost less to insure?
Insurance companies do their due diligence when it comes to determining auto coverage costs. Many different aspects of your vehicle can affect rates. The insurance business is all about risk, and critical risk factors determine most rates.
The Odds of Your Vehicle Being Stolen Affect Insurance Rates
Some cars are more commonly stolen than others. Therefore, if you buy a vehicle categorized as one of the most frequently stolen, your insurance company will deem it a risk. A high-risk car means higher insurance rates.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a not commonly stolen vehicle will cost you less to insure because your provider sees it as less risky.
Insurance Factors the Cost of Repairs
Some cars are easy to work on, and others require special skills and expensive parts. Your insurance company knows which cars will cost an arm and a leg to fix, and therefore will charge more for coverage to make up the difference. They want to be sure they aren’t losing tons of money if you get into an accident.
Choosing a vehicle that is simple and relatively cheap to repair will ensure a lower rate due to the lowered cost of repairs.
The Value of Your Vehicle Matters to Your Insurance Company
Considering that your insurance company will have to cover replacement costs if your vehicle is totaled, it’s easy to see how the price of a car can play into insurance rates — the more expensive the car, the more costly to insure. Your coverage company wants to make sure they will get their money back should anything happen to your vehicle.
The Color of Your Car May Indirectly Affect Insurance Costs
Believe it or not, the color of your vehicle can actually play a role in determining your insurance rates. Although this doesn’t directly relate to the type of vehicle you purchase, it may make you think twice about the color you choose once you’ve determined the right car for you.
Many people might think brighter-colored vehicles are more expensive to insure, but this is not the case. Your insurance won’t charge you extra for that shiny red car you couldn’t help but splurge for. In addition, because brightly colored cars are more easily seen and identified, they are less commonly stolen than their standard colored counterparts.
Insurance companies may not give you a considerable discount for having an off-the-wall colored car, but you also don’t need to avoid them to lower your insurance rates.
More desirable and more commonly stolen colored vehicles may have some impact on your insurance costs. Though the increase isn’t directly related to the color of your vehicle, it does have a hand in it.
Because desirable colored cars are in high demand, they may also come with a higher price tag. Combine a more expensive vehicle with a higher theft rate, and you have a recipe for increased premiums.
Your Age Affects Insurance Rates
One insurance cost you simply can’t avoid is that of younger drivers. Because younger drivers have less experience, they are more likely to be involved in an auto accident than someone over 25. This puts most college students into the category of high-risk.
This inescapable insurance cost might seem frustrating, but insurance companies are only trying to cover their bases. Although it may seem unfair to some, the statistics of those under 25 behind the wheel mean you will have to look into other routes to save money on insurance.
Best Cars for Insurance Savings
The type of car you choose depends on what you want and need. There are a wide variety of vehicles on this list, able to meet the needs of almost anyone.
Cars are an excellent choice for people who perhaps like some space in their vehicle but don’t need an overabundance of it. In addition, they usually will get better gas mileage than their larger counterparts, offering twice the savings. These are the best cars for college students to lower insurance costs and save money.
This subcompact car offers a reasonable sticker price and great insurance rates, averaging around $890 a year or about $74 a month. With a 4-cylinder engine, you can expect anywhere from 32 to 40 mpg, making it an excellent option for those who need good gas mileage as well.
The car provides a fair amount of trunk space and four-door access, making it perfect for those looking for minimal car space and significant savings overall.
These subcompact vehicles don’t offer a lot of extra room, but they can provide significant savings. Their purchase prices are typically relatively low, and they offer anywhere from 27 to 37 mpg. The insurance rate averages $1,212 a year or about $101 a month.
Though discontinued in 2019, Fiestas are still a solid vehicle choice for a college student looking to save money on insurance and gas prices. Plus, think of all the parking spots you’ll be able to squeeze into.
A little more spacious as a midsize car, the Toyota Camry offers reasonable insurance rates at an average of $2,112 a year or about $176 a month. They are also a great bang for your buck. The vehicle gets anywhere from 28 to 39 mpg, making it another excellent option for those looking to add fuel savings on top of their insurance savings.
The Camry also comes in a hybrid model for those looking to lower their environmental impact. Though be wary, sometimes it can be more expensive to insure a hybrid vehicle.
One of the most popular vehicles, the Civic, brings a lot to the table. The reasonably spacious vehicle offers incredible gas mileage at 33 to 42 mpg, good reliability, and reasonable repair costs. The Civic is an excellent option for a college student looking for a great vehicle that won’t cost them too much on repairs, gas, or insurance.
The average cost for insurance is $1,800 a year or about $150 a month. Though the Civic is one of the most commonly stolen vehicles, which would usually make for a lousy rate, the matter comes down to the sheer volume of this model on the road. They are one of the most commonly purchased vehicles and have been for a long time. The Civic has impressive safety ratings, which can help balance out the theft rate for insurance costs.
For the college student who wants extra legroom without making the jump to an SUV, a large sedan is a great option. The Taurus has ample trunk storage and rides well, making it a reliable and roomy choice.
Though discontinued in 2019, there are excellent used options available, allowing a college student looking to save some extra money the opportunity to find a great deal. You can expect a fuel efficiency ranging from 18 to 26 mpg with the Taurus. And its insurance rates are reasonable, coming in at an average of $1,469 a year or about $125 a month.
Best SUVs for Insurance Savings
For some, a car simply might not cut it. Perhaps you are looking for more legroom, storage room, or need an all-wheel drive. Whatever the reason, if a car won’t work for you, never fear. There are plenty of SUV options that will still save you money on your insurance rates.
This compact SUV has a lot to offer, much like its sibling, the Civic. CR-Vs get great mileage, especially for an SUV at 28 to 34 mpg. Like other Hondas, CR-Vs have excellent safety ratings, which play a large part in their low insurance rates. The average cost to insure a CR-V is $1,099 a year or about $92 a month.
The savings don’t just end with insurance prices and gas mileage, either. These vehicles have a reasonable starting price, and you can likely find an even better deal on a used model, making them a great, reasonably priced option for a college student.
For those looking for off-roading capabilities without purchasing a larger vehicle such as a truck, the Forester provides an excellent compromise. Foresters are known for their safety features and long lifespan, making them great cars for those hoping to get something to last.
With their excellent safety features comes lower insurance rates, averaging $1,346 a year or around $112 a month. They also offer reasonable gas rates, earning 26 to 33 mpg.
The RAV4 ranks very high in quality, reliable SUVs, making it an excellent choice for someone in college. The reliability and safety ratings help these SUVs earn lower insurance rates, averaging $2,004 a year or around $167 a month. They also offer amazing fuel efficiency, coming in at 28 to 35 mpg.
RAV4s are usually an easily maintained car as well, meaning you will spend less time and money in repair shops because the likelihood of things going wrong is low. This is appealing to both you and your insurance company.
The Escape is a great SUV with reasonably low insurance rates, averaging $1,170 a year or around $98 a month. Though they are not overly spacious, Escapes offer plenty of room for those looking for an excellent compact SUV. And with notably good gas mileage ranging from 37 to 44 mpg, they really give their competitors a run for their money.
Being a college student means you may be spending a reasonable amount of time driving around campus or near it. Having an SUV with such high gas mileage can mean a lot more money saved. Add in the lower insurance rates, and you have a great SUV to keep more money in your pocket.
Best Trucks for Insurance Savings
Some people may simply enjoy having a truck. Be it for personal use or perhaps a side hustle you do while going to college for some extra cash, trucks certainly have their perks. Though they won’t gain you much in terms of parking convenience, they do allow you many storage and space benefits.
This compact pickup offers an average insurance rate of $1,234 or about $103 a month. Though on the smaller side compared to some pickups, the Tacoma still offers good off-road performance and gas mileage ranging from 20 to 23 mpg.
Because of its smaller size, it does offer a little more flexibility in terms of parking than larger trucks, which might be great for college students hoping to find a place to park in an already packed school lot.
A larger model such as a Silverado might be a better choice if a compact truck simply doesn’t cut it. This truck offers a variety of options, making it easy to tailor to your personal needs. The average cost to insure a Silverado is $1,578 a year or about $132 a month.
The fuel efficiency of the Silverado is where the truck may fall short for some. Depending on the model, buyers can expect anywhere from 14 to 23 mpg. If you are someone who doesn’t need to drive too often, it may be the perfect vehicle.
There is a little debate over whether the Ridgeline truly falls into a truck category. Although it does contain the bed that most would immediately associate with a truck, its body style leans more in the direction of an SUV. This vehicle also has an all-wheel-drive compared to the standard 4-wheel drive seen in other trucks.
However, it could be the perfect vehicle for a college student who wants the bed of a truck for convenience and the roominess of an SUV for sitting space.
Another benefit for college students, the Ridgeline costs an average of $1,454 a year to insure, or about $121 a month. It also boasts 18 to 24 mpg, making it a strong contender for those looking for a truck without overspending on gas or insurance.
Insurance Savings for College Students
Insurance may seem challenging to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be. Even without purchasing a new vehicle, there are still ways you can ensure you are getting the best possible rate and saving all the money you can.
The Good Student Discount
Many companies offer a good student discount that those attending college can take advantage of. Most companies will differ in their requirements of earning a good student discount.
Some require a certain grade-point average, and others may ask for a letter testifying to your academic success. Be sure to speak with your specific company to find out the requirements and then start saving.
The groups you join in school may also play a role in your insurance savings. Some companies offer discounts to students who have joined specific groups such as honor societies, fraternities, and sororities. Be sure to check with your agent to see what groups on your campus qualify.
The Safe Driving Discount
If you have an impeccable driving record, you may be able to save a little money from your insurance company. Though you will likely still be under the category of high risk due to age, that doesn’t mean a little cost can’t be cut due to a squeaky clean driving record. Make sure to look into what kind of safe driving discounts your company offers.
Keeping Insurance Costs Down in College
College can be a wonderful time in many people’s lives: the first real freedom, choosing a career path, and the excitement of beginning a new portion of life. There are many reasons to celebrate and enjoy the time spent in college.
Worrying about costs like insurance only adds to the already high-stress levels most college students experience. Luckily, there are many options to save a little money and decrease some worries.
If you choose to look into one of the vehicle options listed above or even do a little research of your own and find one better suited for your needs, there are still ample opportunities to keep costs low and save money on insurance.Tags: College student College college students Find the right car Save cost Save on college expenses