Just under 50% of students have a driving licence, but the majority (67%) leave their car at home rather than taking it with them when they move away to university.
This guide explains how to save on your car insurance if you decide to leave your car at home while you go away to study.
Many students decide not to take their car with them when they go away to study, perhaps because they know they won’t be driving a lot, or because they have nowhere to keep their car near their student accommodation – it can also be expensive to drive a car daily on a student budget.
What many students don’t realise is that by leaving their car at home they will not only save on petrol and running costs, but they could potentially save on their car insurance too. Even if your car will sit undriven for months on end while you’re at university, you are still legally required to insure it (unless you declare it as off the road with a SORN – Statutory Off-Road Notice), but you can save by tailoring your policy to your needs.
If you leave your car at home while you study, you’re likely to have a lower annual mileage than the average driver. Take the time to calculate the annual mileage you are likely to cover and state that when you apply for your insurance policy. A lower annual mileage is likely to result in a lower premium, and some providers even offer special policies tailored for drivers with low mileage.
Another way of saving on student car insurance is to put an additional driver on your policy. If you plan to leave your car at home and it’s likely to be driven by someone else (e.g. a parent or relative) more than you drive it, consider naming them as the main driver on your insurance policy. If they are an older or more experienced driver it’s likely that your premium will drop, but remember you will only be able to build a no-claims bonus if you are the main driver on the policy. Also be wary of naming an older relative as the main driver if they will actually be driving the car less than you – this is known as fronting and is illegal.
If you leave your car at home and another person is likely to drive it occasionally (i.e. less than you drive the car over the course of the year) you can add them as an additional driver on your policy. If they are older or more experienced this will still likely have a positive effect on your insurance costs.
If your car is only being driven intermittently, such as outside of term time, you could benefit from telematics insurance.
Telematics insurance uses a device known as a black box, which is installed in your car and measures the quality and regularity of your driving. So for instance if you’re only likely to drive your car for 12 weeks of the year (summer and Christmas holidays and half-term, for example), the provider will acknowledge that you’re less likely to have an accident as someone who’s driving their car daily, and this should result in a lower premium. Find out more about telematics insurance for students in our guide.
If you’re ready to start saving on student car insurance, compare policies below.