Maybe you recently received a ticket that impacted your car insurance rate, or your teenaged child has come of age to receive their licence and they’re ready to take the family vehicle out for a spin. If you’re a new or young driver, partaking in a defensive driving course or driver’s ed class can not only help you to avoid a surcharge on a violation, but it can help you to earn a discount on your car insurance. This can work to negate lower your premiums and get you the best price possible.
Knowing how you can take action to lower your car insurance rates is half the battle to more affordable coverage. Here’s a quick guide to how courses can lower your car insurance rate and other ways for inexperienced or young drivers to get more affordable insurance.
Courses to lower your car insurance rate: Frequently Asked Questions
How much does driving school reduce insurance?
While it tends to vary as to how much partaking in driving school reduces your insurance based upon the insurer that you’re with, a defensive driving course can usually help licenced adults save anywhere between 5% and 10% on their car insurance. Keep in mind, however, that this only applies to recognized courses. Not all driver’s courses are approved by insurers.
By the same token, driving courses are not free. It’s important to check what your regional requirements are to insure you receive the insurance benefits. Often it will have to be with an accredited institution that includes in-class and on-the-road lessons. The cost of this program can range between 500-1000, but the price varies by location and requirements.
How do I get the cheapest car insurance as a student?
Students tend to pay more for their insurance because they are younger and inexperienced. Even if you’ve held a licence for as long as you were able, that still doesn’t beat out the tens of years that a 30, 40, or 50-year-old driver would have, and you still fall into a demographic that statistically sees more accidents. Approved courses to lower your car insurance rate are, of course, one of the easiest and best ways to save as a student.
Other ways include upping your policy deductible amount, driving less and choosing alternative transport more, carpooling, purchasing a vehicle with a higher safety rating, and abiding by the rules of the road to avoid any incidents, violations, etc.
Can I reduce my car insurance if I drive less?
Yes. Driving under a certain threshold may qualify you for a low mileage discount. For most insurance carriers, the threshold is 11,000km/year, and discounts are greater the less you drive. Some insurers will have additional thresholds for greater savings, like 8,000km, 6,000km, etc.
You can reduce the amount you drive by taking alternative transportation, like public transit, choosing to carpool with friends or family, biking, walking, etc.
When can your driving insurance rate be reduced?
Usually, your car insurance rates will start to decrease each year after the age of 25. This decrease only applies to one factor of your rate and so it may be negated by other factors such as an increased car price or accidents and traffic violations. The most statistically risky demographic are young males under the age of 25.
Young females see higher rates when they’re younger too, so the difference isn’t really that astronomical. You won’t immediately be seeing lower rates upon turning 25, but you can expect your rates to begin to decrease as you get older and more experienced.
Until this time though, you’ll be paying rates as you would since you’re an inexperienced, young driver. Consider enlisting in a driver’s education program in this time to win a discount of 5-10% on your total insurance costs. Remaining claims-free during this time is also a good idea.
Does an MTO certificate lower insurance costs?
An MOT is basically a check that declares your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. A MOT test includes examining the condition of all parts of your vehicle, from its exhaust system and brakes to its tires, lights, windscreen wipers, and mirrors. It is required for every vehicle over the age of 3 years old to have an MOT certificate.
You can’t drive your car without an MOT test, unless you are driving it to a pre-booked test or you car is under the age of 3.
An MTO certificate won’t lower your insurance costs, but not having a valid MOT and having your car be over the age of 3 can result in your insurance being voided. You need to have a valid MOT certificate to get insurance.
Does mileage affect insurance rate?
It can, absolutely. Cars that are driven less than a specific threshold for mileage, such as 11,000 or less, may qualify for a low mileage discount. Mileage impacts your car because typically the less you drive, the lower your risk of being involved in an accident is, and the less chance there is that you will need to make a car.
One of the first questions your insurer may ask you when calculating your premiums is your annual mileage. If you drive above that amount for any reason, you could incur higher insurance premiums than you had initially anticipated.
Does cancelling car insurance affect your future rate?
If cancelling your car insurance results in a lapse in car insurance coverage, this could result in higher future rates. Sometimes, cancelling makes sense. You might be selling your car or planning to take your car off the streets during the winter months to make modifications. You might do it because you’re moving to an area where your insurer doesn’t service, or simply because you aren’t satisfied with who you are currently insured through.
But, if you cancel your policy prematurely (before the 6 or 12 month policy term is up_ you technically violate the terms of the contract you’ve agreed to. You could face a charge, plus if you don’t get insured again right away, you’ll have a lapse in your coverage, an inconsistent history, and you may pay more. Insurers will assume you’re not driving and therefore your skills may have slipped time.
You can combat this impact by being added as an occasional driver to a parent or partner’s car insurance policy to maintain continuous insurance.
If you are cancelled as a result of non-payment, this will also affect your future rate. It might also label you as high-risk, and you could struggle to get insured again.