How Much Does a Driving School Reduce Your Car Insurance?
Whether you've recently earned your G1 license or are the parent of a soon-to-be driver, you've likely started looking into your local driving schools.
However, unlike regular schools, there's no "meet the teacher night". This means that parents and teens have to do some research if they have questions.
Thankfully, we're here to help; if you've recently asked yourself questions like, "how does driving school work?" or "how much does driving school reduce insurance?", be sure to continue reading.
What is driving school?
Let's start with the basics — what exactly is driving school?
In Ontario, driving schools are private businesses run by registered driving instructors. The purpose of a driving school is to teach inexperienced motorists how to drive safely and responsibly.
Driving schools range in size; some employ several instructors, while others are operated by a single instructor. However, it is worth noting that all driving schools in Ontario are regulated by the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario), ensuring that all new drivers get a proper, consistent education.
If you're unsure which option you'd like to choose, feel free to scroll through a list of driving schools that the Ontario government recommends.
What do new drivers learn in driving school?
Everyone has different needs, especially new drivers.
Some new drivers have had the opportunity to operate farm equipment and other off-road vehicles. This gives these drivers a slight edge, as they've had the time to hone some of their motor skills.
On the other hand, some young drivers have never sat behind the wheel of a vehicle, which means they are starting from ground zero.
As mentioned earlier, driving schools in Ontario teach inexperienced motorists how to drive safely and responsibly. But, what does that entail?
Some examples include:
- Road signs
- 3-point turns
- Parking (pulling in, backing in, parallel, etc.)
- Defensive driving techniques
- Consequences of breaking the rules of the road (speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, evading authorities, etc.)
One of the benefits of taking driving lessons is that your instructor can help you work on specific skills or challenges that you may be facing. For instance, let's imagine that you feel comfortable driving on the road and making u-turns, but you struggle with parallel parking. Your driving instructor can take you to a tight parking space and help you hone your parallel parking skills until you're an expert.
How long does it take to complete driving school?
Unfortunately, there's no black-and-white answer to this question. The process could take a matter of days or stretch out over a handful of weeks. The length of the process truly depends on your schedule and availability.
Most driving schools offer a fast-tracked version of the in-class portion of the curriculum. Fast-tracked driving school consists of a handful of lessons that last four to eight hours each.
These fast-tracked lessons are available when there is a lull in the school year, like March Break or the summer holidays. New drivers can often complete fast-tracked driving lessons in a week or less.
During the remainder of the year, the in-class portion of the curriculum is spread out and shorter. Instead of being several hours, regular driving lessons generally last one to two hours. This gives people the opportunity to take classes before or after school/work.
Depending on your schedule, regular driving lessons can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months to complete.
Do you need your G1 to participate in driving school?
This is an interesting question because the answer is both yes and no.
If an individual doesn't have their G1, they may participate in the in-class portion of driving school. Doing this gives eager individuals an opportunity to get their lessons done ahead of schedule.
However, if you don't have your G1, you may not take part in the on-road portion of your driving lessons. Even with a certified instructor, it's still illegal for someone to drive without the necessary licence and documentation.
Price of driving school vs. the savings — is it worth it?
The questions many of you have been waiting for — how much does driving school lower insurance rates in Ontario, and is it worth paying for classes?
Cost of driving school in Ontario
In 2020, the average cost of driving lessons was $600. This one-time fee is minuscule compared to the laundry list of other vehicle-related expenses that drivers deal with on a regular basis (gas, maintenance, registration, etc.).
If $600 doesn't seem feasible, remember that this is an average number, not a set-in-stone total. You can likely find a driving school that offers lessons at a lower price. Furthermore, you may be able to negotiate a deal where you make monthly payments instead of paying in full.
Savings over time
In 2020, auto insurance for young drivers (teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24) was typically between $3,000 and $7,000 per year. In comparison, new drivers over the age of 24 paid an average of $1,455 in 2020. This is a drastic difference.
Driving school often gives drivers access to a discount ranging between 5% and 15%. In turn, drivers between 16 and 24 can save a minimum of $150 and a maximum of $1,050 on car insurance annually.
Additionally, new drivers over the age of 24 can save a minimum of $72.75 and a maximum of $218.25 a year.
With all of this in mind, you can see why driving school is vital for young drivers, as they can potentially save thousands of dollars on auto insurance between the age of 16 and 24.
Although the savings for drivers over 24 may not be as lucrative, going to driving school can still help you save on auto insurance in the long run, making it a worthwhile expense.
So, does driving school lower insurance Ontario? Yes, it does
It goes without saying that attending driving classes can help you stay safe and pay attention to the road.
By taking the time to go to driving school insurance rates become much more affordable for new drivers of all ages.
Because of this, driving school is a fantastic investment for anyone looking to save money in the future.