Keeping auto rates low as a new driver

When you first get your driver’s license, the world opens up. With a car, fun times are only a little ways away. Car insurance is a mandatory purchase, but did you know that auto insurance for new drivers is much more expensive than for older, experienced drivers? This is because auto insurance premiums are generally based on your likelihood of making a claim and, statistically, newer drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident or have their car damaged than more experienced drivers.

This might not seem fair to you. After all, you have no driving history to go off – why would you be charged more? According to figures, young drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are far more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who are over 20 years old. Men are also deemed more likely to be involved in accidents than women, but unfortunately that’s not a premium increase that will go away over the years.

Are you stuck with this increase? Yes and no. There are some ways that you, as a new driver, can make your auto insurance rates more affordable.

4 top ways new drivers can reduce their rates

Yes, it’s disheartening to have higher rates as a new driver when you were oh-so-excited to get behind the wheel and hit the road. But you don’t have to stay with those prices! There are a few strategies you can take to lowering your auto insurance rates as a new driver without needing to cut coverage or make any significant sacrifices that would otherwise muddle your driving experience.

Here are four of the top ways new drivers can reduce their rates, broken down:

#1: Raise your deductible.

Your deductible is the amount you will need to pay out before your auto insurance carrier steps in to cover the rest. For auto insurance in Quebec, you do not have to pay your deductible if the accident isn’t your fault. In the event that you are in an accident and deemed not at fault, you will have compensation under your civil liability insurance.

Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your rates. You can choose to increase your deductible for lower rates, but ensure that the amount is within reason so you could still pay out of pocket for it should anything disastrous happen.

#2: Shop around for a policy.

If you are concerned by the price of your auto insurance, know that come renewal time you can shop around and obtain quotes from other insurance carriers. Also, regardless of your current circumstances, it’s beneficial to address any potential lower rates available to you every year or so and see if you can get a better deal.

It should go without saying, but cheap doesn’t always mean best. You’ll want to make sure you aren’t cutting any coverage just to make your insurance affordable.

Panda7 cuts to the chase and does the shopping for you. We have access to major auto insurers and can get you a quote quickly so you can see your potential costs personally.

#3: Take a driver’s ed course.

Not only will taking a defensive driving course teach you how to operate your vehicle safer, but many auto insurance carriers will offer a discount for young drivers (or drivers of any age, really!) who complete approved courses. Accident prevention and driver’s education are all recommended options to help reduce your rates and likelihood of accident.

Discuss with a broker or your insurance company before you sign up for any course, just in case the course you are looking at is not eligible for a discount. Also, you’ll want to assess if the effort being expended as well as the cost of the course will offer a discount that’s worth your time.

#4: Opt to take public transportation.

Yes – while the first instinct when you get your license is to want to drive everywhere, understand that the more distance you clock, the higher your rates may be. This is because the longer that you are on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident. This is especially true if you tend to drive during high traffic times.

You can shave off some distance by opting to take public transportation wherever possible. Instead of driving to and from school or work, take the train or bus. If the distance is short enough, you may even want to bike instead. Every company will have a mileage threshold

Remember: “new” doesn’t mean young

If you were to obtain your driver’s license when you were thirty or on, you’re still classed as a “new driver.” Sure, you might have the age, but that doesn’t mean you have the driving experience! Your auto insurance provider will likely still group you in with young drivers.

If you are an immigrant with years of experience driving in the country where you originate from, you may be able to ask for a “letter of experience” with whatever insurance company you are currently insured with. This shows that you already have the years of experience, just maybe not in Quebec or wherever it is in Canada that you live.

Even so, if you are new to winter driving due to where you lived previously, your insurance provider may still take this into account and probably require some period to get used to it before you can be considered anything other than a new driver.

No matter what, it’s important to have a discussion with your insurance broker to see what your options are. Panda7 are approachable and friendly – like pandas! – and can discuss your needs with you so that you get what you need for an affordable price. Our representatives speak both French and English and are ready to help you Monday through Friday.