Driver’s education for new drivers: how it impacts your auto insurance

Driver’s education for new drivers, inexperienced drivers, and drivers looking to refresh their knowledge of road rules can be a huge benefit for many reasons. Some courses are available at your high schools, universities or colleges, through driving schools, or even virtually! Courses are generally convenient, informative, and set you up with skills that can make you a better driver for the long-haul.

Not just 15-16 year-olds take driver’s education courses! These are applicable to anyone, even drivers who are new to the country and unfamiliar with Canadian road rules.

What are driver’s education courses?

As the name may indicate, driver’s education is an educational program for new and inexperienced drivers wanting to develop a strong foundation for driving. It can also be for older drivers who have multiple years of practice behind the wheel who simply want to refresh their skills and renew their knowhow of traffic regulations and acceptable driving behaviour. In Quebec, a driving course is highly recommended for those who are looking to obtain their Class 5 driver’s license. Personalized courses are available through CAA Quebec Driving schools and other schools that are recognized by the Association québécoise des transports (AQTr). Courses are typically divided into multiple models, either provided in a classroom setting or virtually. They will include a number of exercises and reading for you to go through.

Why take driver’s education courses?

There are many reasons why drivers take driver’s education courses. For one, it makes them safer drivers. Whether you are inexperienced or young, driving can be daunting. While it provides many drivers with the freedom they crave, it can be a huge responsibility.

A driver’s education course can also refresh older drivers on road rules they may have fallen out familiarity with. Older drivers can review vehicle safety and basic driving habits, review basic road rules, and relearn the impairments that drivers can face and how they can recognize them.

Lastly, driver’s education courses may qualify you for a car insurance discount. Even as a new driver, enrolling in an (approved) driver’s education course proves to your insurance provider that you are willing to take the necessary steps to bettering your driver knowhow. These courses may discourage drivers from taking certain risks, educate them on drugs and alcohol’s influence on driving, and evaluate their skills as a driver. All in all, a better educated driver is a safer driver!

Ask your insurance broker about which courses may qualify you for a discount. Typically, courses provided through the AQTr are approved, but it never hurts to check. In some provinces or states, driver’s education is mandatory and must be acquired to teach you the correct attitudes, knowledge, skills, and more to keep yourself – and others on the road – safer.

Other ways to save as a new driver…

One of the factors that determines your car insurance premiums is your experience behind the wheel, which is difficult as a new driver whose budget may already be quite tight. Drivers who see the highest auto insurance rates are generally young men who are under the age of 25. Statistically, these are the people who are most likely to be involved in an accident, especially as these are the people who tend to drive most risky, drive under the influence, and more. One of the ways to reducing auto insurance costs as a new driver is to take a driver’s education course, but there are more ways than that!

For instance:

  • If you have any other insurance policies, purchase them through the same provider. Bundling may make you eligible for discounts.
  • Raise your deductible. If you are comfortable paying more out-of-pocket and you do not mind a higher deductible, raising your deductible can directly lower your auto insurance premiums.
  • Ask for a credit check. Some insurance providers include creditworthiness as a factor in the way they calculate your premiums.
  • Ask about occupation premiums or see if the institution you attend qualifies you for any additional discounts.
  • Purchase a car with a higher safety rating that will be less likely to be written off in an accident.
  • Talk to a broker! A broker, such as Panda7, is one of the best resources you will have to ensuring that you can find affordable auto insurance for less.

Auto insurance can be complicated, and as a new driver you may already be facing other financial obligations, such as tuition, student loans, rent, and so on. Thankfully, a broker is always available to talk to you about your auto insurance in Quebec and offer you ways to save based on your circumstances.

A final note on driver’s education courses

Not every course is built equal, and some auto insurance providers have a list of approved courses that will qualify drivers for a discount. Some can pack quite the punch to your wallet and are not worth the discount you would receive; it is best to ask your insurance provider about which courses they approve or ask for a list of the ones they like to see and compare the cost of taking those with the discount you would then receive. Even without taking into account the reduction on discounts, taking a driver’s education course can seriously reduce your odds of getting into an accident by instilling you with the knowhow you need to avoid collisions and better understand the rules of the road.