Are Students Allowed to Drive In Ontario?
In Ontario, students can drive and get a license as early as the age of 16. However, the type of license they will get is only for beginners, and supervision is a must at all times with certain conditions. You can drive in Ontario even if you came as a student from another country. If you are planning to drive, you may provide the driver license from your country of origin. This license is valid in Ontario for only 60 days and after this period you have to get an Ontario Driver’s License.
As a student, you may prefer to rent cars or borrow from relatives or friends. If your school is far away from your place of residence then you have two choices. You may drive or travel by public transit. If you intend to drive, you have to carry active car insurance with the minimum level of coverage as per the law. If as a student you are caught driving under impaired conditions, the consequences are very serious. Driving under influence is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada and you may not want to have a police record to follow you for many years.
Do Students Need Car Insurance to Drive in Ontario?
If you own a car and wish to drive, your car needs to be insured. As per law stipulated by MTO, you are expected to fulfill three conditions if you wish to drive a car on the roads in Ontario and carry proof for the following:
- Valid permit to prove that your ownership of the vehicle is legal
- Active vehicle insurance with at least standard coverage
- Display clearly valid and updated license plate stickers
You are responsible for registering your vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation with appropriate insurance coverage. Violation of this law invites a hefty penalty and or conviction that could affect your driving record for a long time. Even worse, your novice driver license may even be suspended or revoked. In some cases, enforcement may also impound your vehicle. If convicted of driving without insurance, your conviction record may appear in the Ministry of Transportation and Insurance Bureau of Canada database. Insurance companies could have access to this information and then you may belong to the high-risk category. In some cases, insurance companies can refuse to renew car insurance.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost to Students in Ontario
Insurance companies usually set insurance rates based on several factors which are then approved by the office of the Superintendent as per FSCO. In Ontario, young drivers below the age of 25 pay significantly more than the average insurance cost even if they have a clean driving record. Another factor is the employment status of the student. Since you are a student, the insurance company may assume that you have no stable full-time employment and that you may miss out on payments. If as a student, you drive in your part time for a living, then the insurance company may treat you are a high-risk too as you are more exposed to busy traffic on the road. There are high chances of you getting involved in a collision or committing a traffic offense. With more time spent on the road for a commercial purpose, you may be an increased risk to the insurer. As a result, you will pay higher annual premiums ranging from $4000 to $6000 for car insurance.
How Can Students in Ontario Save on Car Insurance Policies
To save on insurance costs, you have to start driving early as much as possible for building a driving record. You may also consider other options as mentioned below:
Build good driving record
– You may get yourself listed as an occasional driver on your parent’s car insurance policy. If you can keep your driving record clean and claims free, this will reflect as a low risk to the insurance companies. With several years of good record as a novice driver, you may be able to get lower insurance rates once you buy your own car and get your policy.
Get a driver training program
– Another option to save on insurance premiums is to complete a reputed training program approved by the Ministry of Transportation. If you pass this program, the driving school can vouch for your driving skills. This documentation will also reflect on your insurance risk assessment in a positive light. Certain insurance providers give discounts at each level when you move from G1 to G2 and then a full G license.
Frequency and usage of car
– You may try to reduce your car insurance rate by declaring how often and where you drive your car. You may declare to your insurer that your car is intended only for personal use and will be sparingly driven within certain distances and destinations like school and home. As mentioned earlier, insurance companies view daily and long commute driving as high risk and it is important that you may not falsify any information.
Type of car
– As a student, it may be very tempting to drive a fancy car to school. However, your insurer may not give you a lower insurance rate if you choose to drive an expensive car. The same goes for those modified cars too as repair costs tend to be steep compared to stock versions.
– You may ask for a student discount or multi-product discount when bundling your policy with those of your parent’s insurance. Be it their car insurance or home insurance policy and you may enjoy a discount on the total household premiums.
– By enrolling in an auto club like Canadian Automobile Association, your trust rating increases and may help to reduce your premiums to an extent. As a member, you also enjoy many club benefits. Auto clubs offer free road assistance, towing, bike assistance etc.
Lastly, you may ask your insurance provider to adjust your coverage and deductibles on your policy. It is important to have at least the minimum level of coverage and then some optional coverage to combat any sudden expenses to repair damages. In the event of a collision, you may not want to be stranded with the expenses and would need the correct level of auto insurance to cover your back; you may check our car insurance calculator to get multiple quotes.