Heading off to university this year? If so, you might be wondering whether to buy a car, or whether to take yours with you if you already have one.
Driving while a student has many benefits and means you don't have to rely on public transport. You can use your car to pop to the supermarket, drive to university, or visit home at the weekends and during the holidays.
Although owning a car gives you more freedom, keeping it on the road isn't cheap. As a student, you'll be paying for your tuition as well as housing and living expenses. So, finding a car insurance policy that provides great cover for an affordable price will, no doubt, be a top priority for you.
Student car insurance can be expensive, as younger, less experienced drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident than older drivers. Students are therefore more likely to make a claim, so insurers offset some of this risk by charging higher premiums.
If you're currently looking around for student accommodation, be sure to research the crime rate when looking around towns and cities. If there's a greater risk of car theft and vandalism, it could be reflected in your insurance price.
There are some ways to reduce the cost of your insurance. These include:
If you don't have your own set of wheels yet, bear in mind that powerful and expensive cars cost more to insure as there's a greater risk of theft. Plus, repair fees tend to be higher. There are over 50 insurance brackets, with all makes and models ranked from least to most expensive to insure. So, if you're looking for cheap car insurance, it really does pay to do your research!
If the area you're going to be living in has a high crime rate, then improving your car security can help cut insurance costs. Consider installing an approved immobiliser if your car doesn't have one fitted as standard, and use a wheel lock. Both of these security measures will reduce the chances of your car being stolen and so your premium will be reduced.
While it's tempting to drive everywhere when you own a car, limiting the number of miles you drive in a year can have a big impact on the price you pay for insurance. So, if your university is just around the corner from where you leave, using your legs could save you more than just petrol money!
Telematics insurance is a great solution for students under the age of 25, as it calculates premiums mainly based on your driving style rather than generalisations about drivers of the same age and level of experience. With a telematics policy, an engineer installs a small device known as a 'black box' in your car to track your driving habits. The safer you are on the road, the less you pay for insurance.
If one of your parents has years of driving experience, ideally with a good no claims discount, adding them to your policy as a named driver can cut your insurance costs.
If you're the main driver of the car then you must be named as such on the policy. If you named a parent as the main driver when they weren't, you'd be committing a form of fraud known as 'fronting', which is a criminal offence. Never lie to get cheaper insurance, as it can invalidate your policy and could even result in a criminal conviction.
Likewise, the address stated on your policy must be the address where your car is kept the majority of the time. So, if you keep it at university with you, you should give your university address. If you give an incorrect address this could also invalidate your policy.
We understand how important driving is for some students, and that's why we're helping to minimise insurance premiums for young drivers through our flexible cover options.
Our SmartMiles telematics insurance enables student drivers to manage insurance costs while maintaining safe driving habits. We'll calculate your premiums based on how safely you drive, and you can keep track of your progress through our free SmartMiles smartphone app. You'll also have access to a wealth of hints, tips and advice to help you enhance your driving skills and ultimately lower your insurance premium.
Our comprehensive insurance policies are all 5 Star Defaqto rated, meaning they provide great cover for student drivers at a price that won't break the bank. So, whether you choose a standard car insurance plan or a SmartMiles policy, Hastings Direct can help you find the perfect cover for you.