Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Rates will vary for international student auto insurance
  • Most schools will have a list of local insurance providers for you to check out
  • You may pay up to $800 less per year by doing research on cheap car insurance for students

Many students come to the U.S. to attend college or graduate school. In many cases, these international students have international driver’s licenses in their possession.

How much does car insurance cost for international students? In most cases, auto insurance for international student drivers is more expensive than the average U.S. driver’s coverage.

It’s important to know what you’ll pay in auto insurance rates for international students. Unfortunately, the cost of car insurance for international, foreign students is typically more than what their fellow students pay.

International students are charged more for their auto insurance policies because they usually do not have a driving history recorded with a U.S. agency. Read our guide to learn how to find affordable international student car insurance.

Get the cheapest car insurance for international students in the USA. Get free international student car insurance quotes by simply entering your ZIP code above — we’ll do the rest!

What do you need to know about international student car insurance?

Car insurance for international students in the USA is often more expensive than car insurance for a student who has grown up in the country.

That’s party because car insurance companies are taking a chance that the driver has an acceptable driving history. The driver is basically given a clean slate.

But insurance companies know these are foreign roads to you. Depending on where you’re from, you might be used to driving on the left side of the road.

There’s also the fact that most international students tend to be young, and young drivers are considered to be high risk anyway because of their low level of driving experience.

After three years of driving in the U.S., international student auto insurance costs will drop a lot, just as insurance goes down for any other driver that gets more experience on the road.

International student auto insurance rates are on average $393 per month. You can get student discounts from many insurers, which can discount your coverage so it’s close to what U.S. students pay.

Can you get car insurance without a license? Some car insurance carriers will provide coverage but will require the driver to obtain a U.S. driver’s license. These companies will provide the first 30 days of coverage.

The College of the Atlantic in Maine notes that you should wait 10 days before applying for a U.S. driver’s license. That gives the government more time to process your arrival status, and in turn, your driver’s license application.

After this time, the driver must have obtained a U.S. license in order to keep their policy valid. In most cases, if the student is still insured after three years, their history with the insurance company will result in lowered rates that are closer to the national average.

For information on the average expenditure per state, check out the Insurance Information Institute’s website.

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How do you find international student car insurance?

If you’re an international student, the first place you should check when seeking car insurance is with your university’s international student association.

When looking for car insurance for your vehicle, the international students’ organization will more than likely provide you with a list of companies who will provide coverage.

In most cases, the school will have a list of local providers for you to check out. The companies are aware that international students are required to have car insurance to be able to legally drive on U.S. roads.

These companies are familiar with your situation and will get you set up with a policy in a short amount of time.

If you’re confused about how to buy international student car insurance, this video from Global Survival Guide gives some pointers on buying a new car and car insurance as an international student in the United States.

Start your car insurance shopping at your students’ association to find deals and discounts that might help you save money.

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What kind of car insurance do you need?

The exact coverage you need to have on your auto insurance policy depends on where you live. Different states have different minimum coverage requirements. Most states require bodily injury liability and property damage liability at the very least.

Some also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

If you are leasing your car or paying off a loan, you may be required by the lender to purchase collision coverage and comprehensive coverage as well.

You may also wish to add additional coverage options like mechanical breakdown insurance or even rideshare insurance if you’re planning to drive for Uber or Lyft as a side job while you’re in school.

How can do you get discounts for students on car insurance?

As a college student in the U.S., you may be eligible for a good student discount from some of the largest car insurance companies. Take a look at the table below.

Student Car Insurance Discounts Offered by Company
CompaniesGood Student Discount OfferedFurther Education Discount Offered
21st Centuryx
American Familyx
Country Financialxx
Liberty Mutualxx
Safe Autox
State Farmx
The Generalx
The Hanoverxx
The Hartfordx
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Many companies offer distant student discounts for drivers who are away from home and therefore not driving as frequently.

In addition to discounts for students, most auto insurance companies offer a wide range of other ways to save. Many offer a safe driver discount or a discount for taking a defensive driving course.

There is usually a multi-policy discount available for those who bundle their auto policy with homeowners or renters insurance.

You might also consider taking part in a usage-based insurance program. These programs use a mobile app to monitor your driving habits and issue a discount for safe driving.

Talk to your insurance carrier about which insurance discounts they offer and their eligibility requirements. When you add multiple insurance discounts together, you can save a considerable sum on your base rate.

The best rates car insurance rates for international students will go to the safest drivers.

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Do college students get cheaper car insurance?

How much should insurance cost for my car? Comparing car insurance rates is a good way to find out.

Even if you use your international students’ association’s car insurance contacts and resources, you should still shop around just to make sure you’re getting the best possible price for car insurance.

How much is the average car insurance for a college student? The table below shows average rates for student car insurance in the U.S.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates for College Graduates by Company
CompaniesAverage Monthly Auto Insurance Rates
State Farm$144
Liberty Mutual$173
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What is the cheapest car insurance for students? Out of these major insurers, the cheapest and best car insurance for students seems to be USAA, but that’s only available to military personnel and their families.

If you’re not elibile for USAA, Geico is the second-cheapest car insurer for students.

Your rates will certainly be somewhat higher than this if you’re an international student, but this gives you a good look at average student rates.

Students should take the time to compare car insurance companies to ensure that they get the best rate possible.

Rates will vary for international student auto insurance, so be sure to get assistance from a reputable comparison site like ours.

Enter some data about the type of policy you require, such as full coverage versus liability only.

Each U.S. state has its own set of minimum car insurance requirements. Your insurers should know what your requirements are, but it’s important that you know liability-only coverage does not cover damages to your own vehicle. You need full coverage for that.

Perform a side-by-side comparison of each company from the results list.

Many comparison sites allow users to request free quotes from each car insurance company right inside the search webpage.

Over time, you can save a lot of money by shopping around for your best car insurance rates. You may pay a difference of $800 less per year by doing research and comparing different car insurance rates.

International students seeking car insurance are encouraged to shop around to get the best price for their car insurance rates.

How can you learn more about different auto insurance providers?

In addition to using a car insurance comparison tool, do research to find out what customers are saying about the car insurance companies.

Once you have a short list of possible car insurance providers, research the companies and read customer reviews about each one.

Some good places to go are A.M. Best to check out a company’s financial ratings and J.D. Power for customers service scores.

After all, if you’re paying for car insurance for student visa drivers, you want your insurer to be customer-oriented and helpful. If you need to file one, you want them to pay the claim.

Get the best car insurance quotes for internationally licensed drivers by entering your ZIP code into our FREE comparison tool below. Find the best international student car insurance company for you.