If you’re a new driver in Ontario, you’re probably feeling the pressure of steep auto insurance rates. According to Ratehub.ca, new drivers pay up to 5x more on car insurance than more experienced drivers, resulting in thousands of dollars in additional insurance costs per year. In Ontario, this issue is especially pronounced – insurance rates in the province are sometimes double those in other Canadian provinces like Quebec. As a new driver, bringing down the cost of auto insurance is likely a top priority for you- and that’s where driving school comes in.

How does the driving school insurance discount work?

If you complete a ministry of transportation (MTO)-approved beginner driver education (BDE) course in Ontario, you can become eligible for a discount on your auto insurance policy. Over the course of a few years, these savings can amount to thousands of dollars – several multiples of the $600-800 that driving school typically costs.

Insurance companies typically rate drivers on a star system. When you’re a new driver, you’ll usually start at one star. However, as you spend more time on the road and maintain a clean driving record, your star rating will increase. The quickest way to increase your star rating, though, is to go to driving school – for many insurance companies, this will result in an additional 3 stars being added to your policy, making your rating look more like a driver that has had several years of driving experience. 

To secure your driving school auto insurance discount, your course provider will have to submit an electronic record of course completion to the ministry of transportation (MTO). Contrary to popular belief, there’s no physical certificate that’s needed – all of the record keeping is done electronically.

How much can driving school save you on car insurance?

Typically, driving school can save you 5-30% on your car insurance for the first 3-5 years of your policy. For a typical new driver in Ontario, this can represent savings of thousands of dollars over just a few years. The exact amount of savings, however, depends on your individual insurance policy and the insurance company you decide to work with – making it especially important to compare rates.

To make the savings feel more tangible, let’s walk through a few examples for an individual living in Toronto – one scenario where they don’t go through driving school, and a few scenarios where they do:

Illustrative driving school insurance savings for a 16-20 year old living in Toronto

ScenarioAverage yearly auto insurance ratesAverage 1-year savingsAverage 3-year savings
Without driving school $6,000$0$0
Driving school, 10% insurance discount $5,400$600$1,800
Driving school, 20% insurance discount $4,800$1,200$3,600

 

Illustrative driving school insurance savings for a 20-25 year old living in Toronto
ScenarioAverage yearly auto insurance ratesAverage 1-year savingsAverage 3-year savings
Without driving school $3,000$0$0
Driving school, 10% insurance discount $2,700$300$900
Driving school, 20% insurance discount $2,400$600$1,800

Do all driving schools offer the same insurance discount?

Yes – so long as the driving school offers an MTO-approved BDE course, there is no difference in the insurance discount you will receive. All that matters to your insurance provider is that the driving school you selected is MTO approved. Tread with caution if a driving school makes any claims that their insurance discount is higher.

Do all insurance companies offer the same discount for going through driving school?

No – the discount offered for completing driving school will vary based on the insurance company you choose.

As a result, it’s extremely important to compare your rates across different providers to see which insurance company will offer you the greatest discount. Some insurance companies will only offer a 5% discount, while other insurance companies can offer a discount as high as 30%. Your individual driving record, history, location, and vehicle will also all play a role in determining what your particular auto insurance rate is.

To this end, at Kruzee, we’ve partnered with Walnut Insurance, a leading Canadian digital insurance broker, to help students compare quotes across Canada’s largest insurance companies. As part of Kruzee’s BDE course, students can receive 5 free auto insurance quotes so that you can be sure your provider is giving you the most competitive rate.