Car insurance for new drivers

Shopping for car insurance is no easy task. Especially if it’s your first time. As a new driver or the parent of a young new driver, you may be asking yourself a bunch of questions on how and when to get started. Well, we've made the process of understanding car insurance for new and young drivers a little easier to navigate. Let's cover the basics.

Who is considered a "young" new driver?

Although there's no specific answer, to most insurance companies, young drivers would typically include anyone who falls into the 16–24-year-old category. However, age won't always be the only factor in consideration. Due to province-specific restrictions, some insurance companies determine who a young driver is based on years licensed, while others may consider both age and years licensed. Because young drivers carry the least driving experience, this may temporarily result in higher insurance premiums, although keep in mind that rates do vary from insurer to insurer and is also province dependent. With experience and a clean record, insurance rates for new drivers should lower in no time. And, TD Insurance offers a variety of discounts and savings designed specifically for young drivers. We'll ask all the right questions to determine your eligibility and will automatically add these to your policy to ensure you're saving every dollar possible.

How does it work if I have a young driver in my household?

When you have a young driver at home who has taken the first step in the process of getting their license and has received their driver's permit, don't worry about having to add them to your policy just yet. A driver's permit typically allows the driver to operate a vehicle only when they’re accompanied by an experienced driver (years of experience will depend on each province). That means your child will be automatically covered under the insurance policy of whoever they’re driving with, provided they follow the conditions of their permit, of course. So, whether your child is driving with an instructor, a family member or with you, rest assured they’ll be covered.

Does my child have to take a driving course?

In between their driver's permit and getting their actual license, here's something to keep in mind: driver's training. While driver's training may not be mandatory in most provinces, having your child complete the course comes with a ton of benefits. Not only will they be more prepared for their next licensing test, they'll be better educated on the rules of the road that will help keep them and everyone else safe. And while safety is a main priority, let's not forget about the money you can save, too. Did you know that by having your child complete driver's training, it could help reduce the cost of their car insurance? What may cost a couple hundred dollars up front, will have your young driver saving more in the long run.

How do I know if my child should be insured on their own or under my policy?

When your child has obtained their license, this is when you'll both need to consider their insurance options. If your child will be purchasing or leasing a new car under their own name, they'll need to get their own insurance. However, if your child will only be driving your car, you can add them to your insurance policy, either as a primary or occasional driver. Your insurer will determine what type of driver your child is depending on their usage of the vehicle and how many other vehicles and drivers are in your household.

How much will new driver insurance cost?

Well, let's first consider the option of your child having their own car. With a car of their own, comes a policy of their own, too. This option will likely be pricier considering their age and limited years of driving experience. One way to minimize the higher insurance cost is to have them choose a car that's deemed "less risky" to insurance companies (i.e., cars that are considered less likely for theft, have an overall good safety record, etc.), and/or one that doesn’t require full coverage (i.e., an older, higher-mileage car that wouldn't be worth having full coverage on).

The second option would be to add them to your policy, that is if they'll just be driving your car. This may be the more cost-efficient route for your family. However, as mentioned above, this will depend on how they'll use the car and how many existing vehicles are already insured in your household. If, for example, you have as many cars as you do drivers at home, each person will be considered the principal driver of at least one vehicle. But let's say there's one car insured at home and your child is moving away for school, they should be added as a secondary or occasional driver. If you're a TD Insurance customer, the added bonus to this option is you may be eligible for additional discounts, like our Occasional Driver Discount for students living away from home.

Whether your child will have their own policy or share yours, TD Insurance offers multiple ways to save on car insurance for young drivers. Check out which car insurance discounts may apply to you and your new young driver.

What if I'm a little older, don't classify under "young driver" but am still a new driver? How will my insurance be calculated?

So, you’re new to driving, but older than what most insurance companies would consider a "young driver." You're probably wondering if you'll be paying the same rates as a newly licensed 16-year-old. Well, let’s first consider how car insurance premiums are calculated. Because there are so many factors that affect premiums, including the province you live in, your safest bet is to do your research and compare insurers. Different insurers evaluate risk differently, so rates between insurance companies will differ, too. Regardless of which insurer you choose, as you gain more experience on the road and maintain a good driving record, your rate should improve with time. Curious to see what car insurance premiums may look like for you? In as little as 3 minutes, you can get a quote to find out.

Being a little older comes with some additional benefits, too. Maybe you graduated from post-secondary school? Or you're a home owner/condo owner or tenant? Or maybe you even have multiple cars insured under your household? TD Insurance offers discounts for all those milestones in your life. And if those don’t apply to you, check out these additional tips to help you save on car insurance. Looks like getting older isn't so bad after all.