Finding the Best Car Insurance for International Students in the U.S.

International students face many challenges when studying in the United States, from adapting to a new culture to navigating a foreign education system. Securing affordable car insurance as a foreign student brings its own difficulties. Factors like age, driving history, and experience make it harder for international students to find cheap coverage.

This comprehensive guide will explain everything international students need to know about getting licensed and insured to drive in the U.S. You’ll learn who offers the best car insurance for international students, how to get a driver’s license, what impacts rates, and top ways to save on coverage. With the right insurance provider and smart shopping strategy, international students can obtain the protection they need at the best available price.

Factors That Influence International Student Auto Insurance Costs

International students pay some of the highest car insurance rates of any demographic. Several key factors lead to more expensive premiums:

Age – Younger drivers are deemed higher risk and pay increased rates. Most international students are under 25.

Driving History – Companies can’t access driving records from other countries. Lack of U.S. history raises prices.

Credit History – No U.S. credit history can mean higher premiums in states that allow credit-based pricing.

Experience – Less experience driving in the U.S. is seen as more risky by insurance companies.

Location – Urban areas like college towns have more accidents and claims, elevating rates.

While international students can’t control these factors, they can offset high costs by choosing the right insurer and maximizing discounts.

Best Car Insurance Companies for International Students

The car insurance company you select can have a major impact on the price you pay as an international student. Below are the top recommended insurers for foreign students based on availability, cost, service, and coverage options:

State Farm

  • J.D. Power customer satisfaction leader
  • Usage-based Drive Safe & SaveTM program
  • Student away at school discount
  • Rates start at $144 per month


  • Wide array of discounts to lower premiums
  • Rental reimbursement and mechanical breakdown coverage
  • Rates from $159 monthly for minimum liability


  • Usage-based Milewise® program
  • New car replacement and accident forgiveness
  • Rates starting at $186 per month


  • Snapshot® telematics program measures safe driving
  • Name Your Price® tool finds cheap coverage
  • Rates from $167 monthly

The General

  • Student away at school discount
  • Affordable non-owner vehicle coverage
  • Rates starting at $176 per month

These top insurers stand out for competitive pricing, dedicated discounts, robust coverage options, and experience serving international drivers. Getting quotes from several providers ensures you find the cheapest rates.

How International Students Can Get Licensed to Drive

Before purchasing insurance, international students first need to obtain a driver’s license. The main license options include:

  • U.S. Driver’s License – To obtain this, provide proof of identity and residency and pass written and road tests.

  • International Driving Permit (IDP) – Apply for this permit before coming to the U.S. and validate it with your home country license.

  • Home Country License – Use this license for up to one year in the U.S. Get an IDP for enhanced validation.

Check your state DMV website for the exact requirements to get a driver’s license as an international student. Driving without a valid license can prevent you from securing insurance and lead to legal penalties.

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance as an International Student

Finding discount opportunities and comparing quotes is key to reducing premium costs. Consider these top ways international students can save on car insurance:

  • Compare quotes from at least 3 providers to find the best rate.

  • Ask about discounts like good student, distant student, and driver training.

  • Consider “non-owner” policies if you won’t have a car and will only drive occasionally.

  • Increase your deductible for lower monthly premium payments.

  • Enroll in usage-based programs like Progressive’s Snapshot® or Allstate’s Milewise®.

  • Improve your credit by maintaining payment history to lower rates in applicable states.

  • Take defensive driver courses to earn a discount for completing driver safety classes.

Finding the cheapest car insurance as an international student involves putting in the time to research discounts, compare quotes, and talk to companies about the best pricing packages.

Top Car Insurance Companies for International Students

To give you a headstart on your search, here is an in-depth look at two of the top insurers that provide quality coverage tailored to international students’ needs and budgets:

State Farm

With 90 years of experience and 18,000 agents nationwide, State Farm excels at personalized service along with reasonable rates. Benefits for international students include:

  • Student away at school discount up to 25%
  • Usage-based Drive Safe & SaveTM program to earn discounts
  • Expert agents that help you find the right policy
  • Accident forgiveness protection on your first at-fault accident
  • New car replacement coverage for recently purchased vehicles

State Farm offers affordable premiums averaging just $205 per month for full coverage for young student drivers. Check with a local State Farm agent for customized international student quotes.


Known for amusing ads and low prices, Geico offers international students discount opportunities like:

  • Good student discount up to 15% off
  • Multi-car discount for covering more than one vehicle
  • Rental reimbursement and mechanical breakdown coverage
  • Mobile app and online account management
  • Rates starting at just $159 per month for minimum coverage

Geico boasts strong tech tools, competitive pricing, and coverage starting as low as just liability insurance. Get a fast online quote today.

Key Takeaways for International Students

Purchasing car insurance in the United States as an international student presents unique challenges. But by following these key tips, you can secure affordable coverage:

  • Shop quotes from top national companies like State Farm, Geico, and Allstate that regularly cover foreign students.

  • Ask each insurer about available discounts to minimize your premium.

  • Obtain either a U.S. driver’s license or an International Driving Permit before applying for insurance.

  • Take advantage of non-owner insurance policies if you will not have your own car.

  • Compare quotes from at least three providers to find the best rate on customized protection.

Finding cheap car insurance as an international student may take some extra work. But partnering with a top insurer, maximizing discounts, and comparing quotes will enable foreign students to obtain affordable coverage.



Do international students pay more for car insurance?

Key Takeaways: State Farm, Geico and Erie tend to offer more affordable rates for college-aged drivers than many other insurers. Like other young drivers, international students pay higher-than-average car insurance rates.

What is the cheapest car insurance for college students?

State Farm offers the cheapest car insurance rates for college and high school students on individual policies, while GEICO provides the most affordable family policies for students at both levels. Young drivers can lower their high insurance costs by qualifying for good student or defensive driving discounts.

Can international students get car insurance in California?

If you’re a student studying in the U.S. with a foreign driver’s license, you can purchase an auto insurance policy in any state.

Can a foreigner get car insurance in USA?

There are a couple of ways to get insurance in the U.S. as a non-citizen: you can get it from a car rental company or from a car insurance company. If you’re vacationing in the U.S., consider purchasing insurance coverage from your rental car company.

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