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New driver insurance

In under 5 minutes you can compare personalized first-time driver car insurance quotes from Canada's top providers, for free.

What is new driver insurance?

Whether you're a new Canadian resident, new to driving, or a young driver, you need car insurance to legally drive in Canada. Being a new driver comes with numerous challenges, but no greater than simply having a lack of experience -  a cause for concern for car insurance companies. Remember, insurance providers are insuring you in case a risk becomes a reality, so new driver car insurance is often more expensive as the risks associated with inexperienced drivers is higher.

However, with a few tips, and by comparing auto insurance quotes, you can find the best car insurance for first-time drivers.


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How car insurance works for new drivers

Obeying the road rules and how to drive in Canada will help keep your rates lower as a first-time driver, while you accumulate experience. The more you know how car insurance for new drivers works, the easier it is to find and maintain a cheaper rate.

To begin, most of Canada works in a no-fault system (Saskatchewan, Alberta). No-fault insurance means if you are ever involved in an accident, whether you’re at fault or not, you’ll only ever work with your own insurance company to file a claim. It helps to speed up the claims process.

In Canada, each province has their own regulatory body that governs how the car insurance industry works. Even though there are regional differences regarding the rules, regulations and coverages, there are also a lot of similarities, such as the mandatory coverages that make up a basic car insurance policy.


Third-party liability

Liability insurance covers other people and their property. The minimum amount of coverage for third-party is $200,000 in most provinces, but many Canadians opt for $1-2 million.


Accident Benefits

Accident benefits cover costs to heal injuries after you're in an accident. In general, there is coverage for physiotherapy, chiropractic, and other specialized rehabilitation services. Accident benefits coverage also pays income replacement, and death and funeral benefits.


Uninsured motorist

Injury coverage for you and your family if you're injured in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you're able to identify the driver, your car may also be protected. New drivers in Alberta aren't mandated to have this coverage, but everywhere else, you need it.

Optional insurance coverage for new drivers

Many options are available from endorsements, add-ons, specific perils, to extensions of coverage. But comprehensive and collision insurance are the most common and standard additions to any car insurance policy. If you're leasing a car, your lender may require this coverage in addition to the mandatory minimums.



Collision insurance protects your car if you're the at-fault driver in a crash. If you're not at fault, you can use direct compensation property damage (DCPD) in provinces where it exists, or you'll need to pursue the at-fault driver for damages.



Comprehensive insurance protects your car when it’s parked from vandalism, damaging weather like hail storms and lightning, and falling objects like trees.

In general, car insurance for new drivers works in the same way as a regular experienced driver. Where they start to differ is in price. Auto insurance providers examine risk factors when calculating car insurance costs. One of those factors is the driver's experience. Whether you are a first-time driver or a new driver to Canada, you will be treated as an inexperienced driver by most Canadian car insurance companies. 

Insurers use historical statistics and data to come up with a unique rate based on the driver’s profile. It's a bit stereotypical, but the industry believes that history dictates what the future may hold, so they use pricing as a safeguard against inherent risk. Inexperienced drivers have an extensive track record of being higher-risk drivers, due to the volume of accidents and traffic infractions. So, while it’s important to build a policy that fits your situation, you need to be aware of the ways you could save on insurance as a new driver.

Compare car insurance quotes for new drivers.

The cost of insurance for new drivers is typically high, which is why it's important to compare quotes to find the cheapest rate for you.

How to get cheap first-time drivers insurance

Provide valid proof of out-of-country driving experience

Compare insurance quotes for first-time drivers

Take a designated driver course

Use parents or more experience driver's policy

Ask for discounts

Increase your deductible

Reduce your third party liability coverage

Drive safe, traffic tickets may increase your rate

Install an anti-theft device in your car

Buy winter tires

Buy a car that is cheaper to insure

Consider telematics (or usage-based insurance)

Bundle your car insurance with your home insurance

How much is new driver car insurance?

An estimate for car insurance for new drivers would be anywhere between 3-6 times the price of insurance for someone with a clean extensive history of safe driving. New driver insurance costs depend on many factors, including age, location, make and model of car. Here are some examples of first time auto insurance rates in Ontario. We're using a 2016 Honda CR-V as the car for each sample quote, then we'll adjust the age and experience for comparison purposes. The driver is male and living in Toronto. 


Sample new driver insurance rates

Driver Profile


Estimate car insurance

First-time driver (older)



New Canadian w/ prior driving experience



Young driver, previously insured w/ parents



First-time driver (younger)



FAQ for insurance for new drivers

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

How much is insurance for a new driver in Ontario?

How much is ICBC insurance for a new driver?

How much to add a new driver to insurance?

Author Bio

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

Matt started his professional career at CARPROOF where he honed his marketing and analytical skills for over 3 years. Matt then took his wealth of experience to’s Toronto offices, working with insurance providers, agents, and brokers to grow and expand the Insurance business unit. He is a thought leader in the community and a valuable insurance resource to respected publications like the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and 680 news radio in Toronto.

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