4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance for International Students on a Thin Budget

how to save money on car insurance for international students frugal budget

The United States isn’t just a land of opportunity. It’s also a land of quality education. Some of the world’s best universities, including Harvard and MIT, are in the U.S.

It’s thus not surprising that with over one million international students, the U.S. has the world’s largest international student population.   

As a foreign student, however, life isn’t always rosy, especially when it comes to managing culture shock and navigating finances. You’ll quickly learn that you need a car, which you must fuel, maintain and insure. 

In this article, our focus is on car insurance for international students. International auto insurance coverage is typically pricier than regular coverage. 

Continue reading to learn how to get lower premiums and save some money with frugal car insurance for international students.  


1. Buy a Cheap(er) Car 

Perhaps your parent or guardian promised to buy you a nice ride once you secured admission to a top U.S. university. Or you've been saving up for a nice ride.  

Either way, when you want more affordable international student car insurance, you need to abandon your desire for an expensive car. Expensive cars present a bigger risk to insurance companies, and to cover the risk they must charge owners higher premiums.  

On the other hand, a cheap car is easier to fix, repair, or replace. Insurance companies love them. You’re likely to get a good insurance deal on a cheap car.  


2. Buy a Car with a High Safety Rating 

Along with buying a cheaper ride, you need to ensure the car has a high National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety rating.  

Sure, cheap cars aren’t exactly known for exceptional safety, but with enough online research, you can find models that strike both ends.  


3. Find an Insurer That Doesn’t Pay Much Focus on Driving Experience 

In most instances, an insurance company will consider a driver’s experience behind the wheel when insuring their car.  

Experienced drivers with a good driving record are low-risk. They’re rewarded with lower premiums.  

Inexperienced drivers, or drivers who have just been licensed, pose a greater risk, and as a consequence, they’ll pay more for auto coverage.  

When you’re on a thin budget and want to pay as little as possible on car insurance, try to find an insurance company that doesn’t give your driving experience a lot of focus. Or one that will consider your driving experience in your home country.  

Your school’s international students department might offer good recommendations for companies offering cheaper college student car insurance, so be sure to consult. 


4. Take a Defense Driving Course 

If you’re already a licensed driver, you might not need to go to a U.S. driving school in order to legally drive here. Typically, your license will be converted to an International Driving Permit. 

However, if you want cheaper auto insurance, you might just have to go to a driving school again. Only this time you’ll not be learning how to drive, but how to drive defensively.  

Drivers who have taken defensive driving courses get cheaper car insurance rates. 


Car Insurance for International Students: Time to Save! 

Getting car insurance for international students isn’t a complicated process. But when you need to get cheaper insurance, you have to do your homework. With this guide, you’re now in a good position to secure an auto insurance policy that suits your current financial situation.  

Happy driving (and learning!) and keep reading our blog for more tips and insights. Visit the Frugal Finances and Insurance sections of our site to learn more about how to save money and improve your life.

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