It’s important to know if one person can be a primary driver of two cars now more than ever. Having a vehicle is practically a necessity these days, especially when you live in a large city or on the outskirts of town. Very few things feel as exhilarating as taking your brand-new car out for a spin around town for the first time. You rely heavily on it to get you to where you need to go, whether it be to work, to visit family, or even just heading out on a much-needed road trip.
But as we age and our families grow, you may find yourself in a position where you need more than one vehicle, such as a minivan, to get your kids to and from their after-school activities easier. Or perhaps you are ready to purchase that luxury sports car you have been eyeing for years but still want to hold on to your more practical vehicle to use during the winter?
Maybe you just want a second beater car that you can tinker around with. Whatever the case, there are many justifiable reasons for needing more than one vehicle!
And, no matter your reason, one of the first questions you may find yourself asking is whether one person can be the primary driver of two cars. Don’t worry; we have got you covered. Let’s dive in and explore your options.
Can one person be the primary driver of two cars: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between primary and secondary drivers?
First, let’s cover the bases by defining what exactly it means to be a primary and a secondary driver.
A primary driver is an individual listed on the insurance policy which uses the car the most. Your insurance company will use the vehicle’s primary driver to determine your policy rate based on their credit score, driving history, vehicle use, and age. They will take that information and combine it with the vehicle’s make, model, age and mileage to calculate the final price of your policy.
The primary driver is often the owner of the vehicle, but it does not have to be, such as:
- A child driving a car their parents bought for them
- A friend or family member who is borrowing your car for an extended period of time
- An employee driving a company car
A secondary driver is someone who is listed on the insurance policy and often uses the car but doesn’t use it the most. Most often, this is a spouse who is primary on another vehicle but sometimes drives your car. Other possible secondary drivers include:
- Family members
As a general rule, if anyone may be driving your car regularly, you should add them to your policy. It’s important that the insurance company knows who drives the vehicle. When someone is listed as a secondary driver on your vehicle, your insurance coverage is extended to them should they be involved in an accident while using your car.
However, secondary driver insurance may increase your insurance cost as the insurance company will look at the driving record of each secondary driver you add. With each additional driver, the risk of an accident increases.
Do I have to add secondary drivers?
Yes, if they will be driving your car more than once in a while.
If you live alone and no one else will ever drive your car, then you don’t need to add one. But even if you live with roommates and any of them may be borrowing your car from time to time, you will still want to include them on your insurance.
Making sure occasional drivers are covered under your insurance is important. Not only will this give you peace of mind when your roomie is driving your car to pick up the take-out you both ordered, but it also guarantees that both of you will be protected should anything happen on their way there or back.
Your insurance specialist will help you make sure that your coverage is sufficient enough to safeguard your vehicles and their drivers. Also, don’t wait until it’s time to renew your car insurance to add frequent drivers. The last thing you want is a claim to get denied due to a misrepresentation of drivers.
Who doesn’t need to be added as a secondary driver?
Anyone who isn’t using your car regularly, such as:
- Relatives who are visiting from out of town and want to take in the sights.
- Neighbours who borrow your car while theirs is in the shop once per year or so.
- Siblings who are doing a one-time grocery run because you are sick.
Does it matter who the primary driver is?
The individual who purchased the vehicle is often the primary driver, which makes sense since they bought it and pay for the insurance. However, that’s not always the case. You just need to make sure you let your insurance company know who the primary driver is if it changes. Should you be found in breach of your insurance contract, you could be held responsible for any liability or damages due to an accident.
Can I be the primary driver of two cars?
At first, you may think it’s odd for someone to have two cars if they are the only person driving both. But there are many benefits to being the primary driver of multiple vehicles.
Your two-door sports car is perfect for cruising around the city on a nice, sunny day and even for going on short road trips, but it may be impractical to use as an everyday car. Therefore, having a practical second choice, such as a minivan, can make driving your big family to events, get-togethers or activities much easier. It’s also beneficial for getting groceries, moving furniture or anything else that requires a large vehicle.
You may also want a shiny new car to drive you to and from work and run errands on the weekends with, but in your spare time, have a used older model car to tinker with in your backyard or garage.
So, can you be the primary driver of two cars? Yes, you can. In fact, most insurance companies will permit you to have one primary driver for several vehicles, not just two. You will likely even receive a multi-car discount.
What is a multi-car policy?
The short answer is that a multi-car or multi-vehicle insurance contract protects more than one vehicle. Instead of having separate policies for each vehicle, most insurance companies will offer you a discount on your premiums when you insure both (or more) cars with them. While some individuals would rather have two unique insurance policies, combining your coverage onto one multi-car policy can come with several benefits. If one person is the primary driver of two cars, a multi-car policy can save them money and a headache by organizing all their insurance needs at one company.
How does it work?
In Canada, Multi-vehicle car insurance works uniformly between provinces. All drivers and vehicles will be listed under one multi-car insurance contract. As such, the cars will share effective and expiration dates, so your premiums will be deducted on the same monthly date. Your policy will have a single statutory benefit and liability limit that protects and covers your vehicles, the drivers, and passengers.
What is a multiple-driver household?
So while yes, you can be the primary driver of two cars, there are situations where you will not be permitted to be. If there is more than one licensed driver in your household, each driver must be a primary on a car, regardless of who owns both vehicles. Let’s give some examples:
- Two vehicles, one adult and one teenager
- A parent may try to avoid paying for the teenager by putting themselves as primary for both vehicles. However, if the teenager has a licence, your insurance specialist will automatically designate the teenager as the primary driver of the second car.
- Two adults, one car
- The person with the least best driving record would be made primary on the vehicle, and the second adult would be made secondary, even if they own the vehicle.
- Two vehicles, two adults and two teenagers
- Each adult would be made a primary driver for each car, and both teenagers would be made secondary drivers on both vehicles.
- Two vehicles, two adults and two teenagers, but one of the adults does not have a licence.
- The adult with a licence would be made primary on one vehicle, and the teenager with the least appealing driving record would be made a primary driver on the second vehicle. The second teenager would be made a secondary driver for both vehicles.
Can I have two cars with different insurance companies?
Believe it or not, this is quite a common question. The easiest option, of course, is to add your new car to your existing policy. As mentioned already, your insurance company may even offer you a multi-car policy discount on your premiums. However, if you find out that it’s cheaper to take out a new policy entirely on your second vehicle, then you absolutely can.
According to Canadian Law, you are allowed to have as many car insurance policies as you like! Therefore, it would be beneficial to shop around to find the best fit for you before deciding whether you want to take out a second policy or add to your current one.
Is it cheaper to insure a second car?
You will likely find in your search that almost every insurance company in Canada will offer some type of multi-vehicle discount. The amount, however, varies depending on your driving history and the insurance company.
Most companies will offer a discount between 10% and 25% on insurance premiums. This is why it’s best to shop around when you are looking to add a second vehicle to your insurance policy. The type of vehicle you add will also impact what you pay, it can be valuable to consider insurance quotes during the process of buying the car.
Not only can multi-vehicle discounts lower your insurance rates, but a multi-policy discount can also be applied to get you the cheapest insurance possible. In order to be eligible you must have multiple insurance policies with the same company, such as home insurance bundled with auto insurance. This may not be available in every circumstance but it is worth exploring with your broker or insurance expert.
What are Multi-car benefits?
Let’s discuss some of the other benefits of having a multi-car policy.
- Convenience. When you combine your policies or add on to an already existing one to create a multi-car policy, you only have to worry about one policy. Plus, you will be able to find all of your car insurance information in one convenient location.
- One monthly bank withdrawal. You can choose a single date to pay for all of your auto insurance. This is especially great if you have a bank account that charges you fees after a certain number of withdrawals per month.
- Savings. As mentioned above, you will likely receive some type of multi-car discount, saving you a sizeable amount on your annual premium.
What are the requirements for a multi-car policy?
If you want to bring a new car onto a current auto insurance policy, there are only a few requirements you need to know.
First off, if you are driving a car you don’t own, you cannot add it to your insurance policy. This is because the owner of the vehicle must be listed on the policy, not just the primary and secondary drivers. So if you are planning to borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle for an extended period of time, you cannot insure it yourself. Make sure you coordinate coverage with the vehicle’s owner.
Also, all vehicles must share the same policy term with the same start and expiry dates. One way to do this is by adding additional vehicles to your policy at different points throughout the course of a year. A common recommendation to ensure continuous coverage while steering clear of any cancellation fees or additional costs is to transfer each car to the main policy as individual policies expire.
To start creating a multi-car policy, here is the information you will need:
- Year, make & model of vehicle
- Vehicle information number (VIN)
- Purchase price
- How it is used (commuting, pleasure use, etc.)
- Location of vehicle
- Claims experience
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Which car do they regularly drive
- Traffic violations
- Claims experience
An important part of this process is to assign drivers to the vehicles they regularly drive. We know it can be tempting to leave a young driver off your policy or someone with several traffic violations, but the results can be damning. Even listing them as a secondary driver when they are the primary can be just as perilous.
If an adjuster discovers that any driver was not assigned correctly during a claims process, not only could you lose your insurance policy, but you could also be denied your claim and thus responsible for covering any damages or liability claims. So just make sure you are upfront with your insurance professional to ensure none of that happens.
Here’s how aha insurance can help
We understand that car insurance on one vehicle in Ontario is already expensive, let alone adding a second policy for a new car. If you are struggling to find multi-car insurance that works for you and your budget, aha insurance is here to help.
We spent 20 years listening to what Canadians wanted from their insurance company before aha insurance even opened its doors. We heard that insurance should be easy. So we made it our mission to do just that.
At aha insurance, we’re unlike other Ontario car insurance companies; we guarantee the price we quote is the price you pay. So, if you are searching for a way to get quick, same-day car insurance, look no further than aha insurance. From receiving a guaranteed quote in just three minutes to buying and managing your policy to making a claim, aha insurance is prepared to offer you all of the coverage you love with none of that insurance mumbo jumbo that our clients hate.
Aha insurance has partnered with trusted, nationally licensed insurers. So you can rest assured that our rock-solid insurance will be there for you if anything happens. With our quick and easy online application process and affordable rates, we’re confident you will be satisfied with your same-day insurance policy!
Nevertheless, with so many options for car insurance available, it can be difficult to decide what exactly you need for your multi-car policy. Therefore, if you wish to speak to a representative, our fantastic aha car insurance professionals are always standing by and ready to help you get precisely what you need!
Does the coverage need to be the same on each vehicle?
One person being the primary driver of two cars doesn’t always mean the cars need to be protected from the same risks. Say you may want to add optional collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and depreciation removal to your brand-new SUV that your newly-licensed teenager is a secondary driver on. However, you feel you don’t need comprehensive coverage on your older model sedan, as it’s older than the available depreciation waiver, so it doesn’t qualify for depreciation removal.
Is it possible to insure both vehicles this way? Absolutely. While your policy will have a single statutory benefit and liability limit that protects and covers your vehicles, the drivers and passengers, you can always add additional coverage and limits to each individual vehicle.
You can learn more about how much you can save by bundling multiple cars under one auto insurance policy by getting your 3-minute online quote or speaking to our expert brokers. Even though we have a fantastic quoting tool on our website, difficult situations often need some human interaction and advice to assemble the perfect solution for you. We are ready to help!