Details abound after you’ve made the move and settle into your new home. While the list may seem endless, and new systems are quite different than your past experience, be assured there are not only plenty of resources to guide you, Canadians are, on the whole, friendly and ready to help. When it comes time to a vehicle on the road, this guide – and this website – will help you find the best rates available for car insurance.
Requirements to Drive a Vehicle
Chances are, your driver’s license from your country of origin is valid to drive in Canada, at least for the first month or two. See the Links table below to contact the agency responsible in your province or territory. License requirements vary from place to place.
Insurance Requirements in Canada
Quite simply, you cannot drive an unlicensed vehicle in Canada. If you own a car, you must provide proof of insurance to register for license plates. You drive the car of a friend or family, the insurance provider for that car must be informed that you are driving it.
The kinds and amounts of insurance vary by province and insurance companies. Many factors affect the price you will pay, including:
- Where you live, both province and city
- The year, make and model of your car
- How much and how far you intend to drive
- Your age, driving experience, and driving record
- Insurance requirements in your province
- The insurance company you choose
Due to the differences in driving laws of Canada and other countries, many newcomers are treated as new drivers, particularly if no concrete driving records can be produced. It’s therefore not surprising for newcomers to be charged relatively high rates for auto insurance from most companies.
It’s important to understand the ins and outs of car insurance coverage where you live. For example, if a driver lives in a region where personal injury coverage is optional and, through lack of understanding, does not buy personal injury insurance, that driver could be responsible for costs over and above provincial health care resulting from an accident.
Similarly, understanding how deductibles work on collision and comprehensive coverage may save the driver shock and financial hardship in the wake of an accident.
Keeping Car Insurance Affordable
Some insurance companies charge high rates if you have no Canadian driving record. This can be offset if you have a letter from the insurance company you used in your previous country of residence, although not all insurance companies will consider this.
Taking a driver training program, even if you are an experienced driver, may help reduce your insurance rates too, particularly if the program is certified by your provincial government.
Married couples may earn discounts, and your education and career may also help. Explore all discounts that an insurance company offers to get the lowest rates before you choose to purchase.
One of the best ways to start shopping for a car insurance rate is to use a car insurance calculator. Entering information about you and your car, you can generate a rough estimate of the premiums you will pay. Not all calculators are created equally, though. Many are offered by insurance companies and will only generate quotes for their own products.
Choose a multi-company car insurance calculator, such as the one on this page. Enter basic information to get started, then add detailed information to get more accurate results. This calculator sorts through dozens of insurance companies, pointing you in the right direction for lowest rates.