Having a driver’s licence in Canada is a rite of passage. However, driving comes with a number of risks and costs, with insurance rates being one of the most obvious costs of driving. There are a number of ways for young drivers to save money on car insurance, ranging from having good grades to driving a safe car. Learning the proper (and safe) way to drive from certified driving school courses and instructors is now more important than ever, and can save you money on insurance. Let’s discuss the benefits of driving school in Ontario, and why you should make the investment for your young driver.
When can I start driver training?
As soon as you turn 16, you are eligible to write the G1 test and get your beginners driver’s licence. It is at this point that you can start driver training with an MTO-approved driving school. It’s interesting to note, some driving schools will allow you to start driver training before you get your G1. However, you will only be able to complete the in-class lessons and will need your G1 before actually getting behind the wheel.
How much does driving school lower your insurance in Ontario?
In Ontario, when you take driving lessons from a Ministry-approved driving school, it can lower your insurance rates. Most car insurance companies may give you savings of 5% to 15% when you complete driver education from a reputed institute. For young and new drivers, this is a great way to lower premiums. Additionally, G2 drivers who takes driving school classes can graduate to a G licence after eight months instead of the usual 12 months.
How much is driving school in Ontario?
The average cost of attending driving school is $600; with a range from $575 to $800. The price depends on the driving institute and package, as per your choice of practice hours. While it may seem pricey, it should be considered an investment towards getting cheaper car insurance, long-term. With a savings of 10-15%, this can translate to even bigger savings. A young driver faces the same rates more or less for a three-year period. This means that driving school can result in big savings over the course of that period.
Benefits of driver’s education classes
When it comes to driving, the benefits of attending driver education courses far outweigh the costs. Along with better insurance rates, driving courses can also:
- Allow a young driver to get comfortable with driving and take a gradual approach to learning how to drive
- Grant the opportunity to get behind the wheel and practice all important driving skills
- Help novice drivers learn the principles of defensive driving
- Personalize driving lessons to help develop the hands-on skills you need to work on
- Teach real and new driving situations, from avoiding hazards to weather-related maneuvers
- Eliminate poor driving habits before they begin
- Gain driving practice hours on a highway that are mandatory for taking your G licence road test
How to find an approved driving school course
You must use an MTO-approved driving school in order to receive the driver’s course discount on your car insurance. There are a number of MTO-approved driving schools in Ontario for you to choose from. Once you complete your course, OND will pay for and complete your online MTO certification.
Tip: When choosing a driving school, it is important to look at the specific details of the school. This can include such things as the length of a course, the cost, and the times when a course is held.
What does driving school in Ontario include?
Most driving schools will:
- Teach a review of the rules of the road
- Take drivers out on the road
- Demonstrate how to properly handle a vehicle, and
- Review the process of moving through the licensing journey
This is a good way for drivers to learn the information they will need in order to be successful during their official driving tests. One of the nice things about taking a driving course is that it is now possible to take the majority of classes online. This can be especially handy for some young drivers who don’t own their own car, as it can mean they will not need to be present at the driving school to still take the course.
Tips for choosing a reputable driving school
According to carhub.ca, there are a few things you should look for in a driving school:
Ensure that they are officially accredited with MTO and not on the list of revoked schools
Some driving school courses no longer fit the government requirements and are considered unapproved. Should you choose one of these schools, you will no longer qualify for the insurance discount.
Make sure that you are paying for a sufficient amount of in-car lessons
Each driving school is required to offer a minimum of 10 in-car lessons, according to the MTO. When you sign up for a beginner’s driver education course, you typically have a classroom component, as well as in-car. In-car lessons will get you behind the wheel, on real roads and in authentic situations that you will face as a driver once you’re ready to drive independently.
Meet with your driving instructor beforehand to ensure that they are a good fit
In order to ease the anxiety of being in a new, unfamiliar situation (behind the wheel) with a relative stranger, it’s important to ensure that you are comfortable with the driving instructors. Have a phone chat or meet at the school in-person and have a sit-down conversation.
Research online reviews and ask your networks
With the power of the internet today, online reviews can save you a large amount of time in researching a reliable, trusted school. Look at Google and Facebook reviews, and also turn to sources, such as your network on social media and online forums.
How can you save on insurance as a teen driver?
Sadly, teen drivers often have the highest insurance premiums because they are inexperienced. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to reduce insurance costs. Beyond recommending driving school, the best ways to save include:
- Listing all drivers in your family under one policy
- Listing your teenager as an occasional driver
- Bundling auto insurance with existing home, condo or other insurance policies
- Avoiding purchasing flashy, high-powered vehicles (which usually come with higher insurance premiums)
- Engaging in telematics insurance. This innovative program rewards safe driving with reduced premiums based on real-time monitoring of your vehicle
- Ask your isure broker about additional discounts!
At the end of the day, a safe driving foundation pays off down the road, for both your insurance and your safety. If you have more questions about setting up a new driver on your policy or driving school discounts, contact us at 1-877-702-2617 or email us at [email protected].