New Driver? What to Know Before Hitting the Road

Things to know before hitting the road

Getting your driver’s license gives you the freedom to head out on the road and become more independent. For many, it is a rite of passage, while others might choose to get their license later in life.

Regardless of when you pass your drivers’ test, it’s something to celebrate! However, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Before you get to take to the roads, it’s important to understand how to keep safe. You also want to ensure you have proper auto insurance just in case. Here we look at what you need to know before hitting the road.

Driving with a Learner’s Permit

If you get your learner’s permit, driving is only allowed with an experienced driver in the car. Depending on where you live, there are usually strict rules when it comes to driving under the influence — and let’s not forget about the dangers of distracted driving.

When it comes to insurance, you will be protected by your friend or relative’s car owner’s insurance coverage. However, for more frequent usage, it might make sense for the owner to add your personal information and driving history to the insurance policy.

In families, this usually includes kids and both parents; however, if a friend will be allowing you to drive their car often, they really should consider adding your name to the policy.

Take a Government Approved Training Course

In some provinces, insurance rates can be discounted if the driver completes a government-approved drivers’ training program. This is an excellent idea, as your savings on insurance premiums can be as much as 25%. If you just have a learners’ permit, this is a good way to help you get your full license. More importantly, you will know from the start how important it is to avoid distracted driving and learn safe driving techniques. This includes avoiding rapid acceleration, speeding, and hard braking.

Responsibilities and Restrictions

Once you get your license, you can drive alone, but this does come with some restrictions. In most cases — regardless of what province you live in — there is a two-year probation period before you receive your full license.

When on probation, you are limited to how many people are in the car with you. You also don’t yet have the status to be the experienced driver for someone driving with their learners’ permit. Make sure you understand the rules in your province, so you don’t put yourself at risk of losing your new license.

Insurance for New Drivers on Probation

Often in families who share vehicles, parents or spouses might have one car that is driven more often by a specific person. In this case, the insurance should reflect this change and designate them as the primary driver; otherwise, you could run into challenges should a claim be filed.

New Driver Car Ownership

If you have decided you can afford a car, you will require an insurance policy. Because of this, you need to look at the costs of your insurance premiums on top of your car payments.

Your insurance will depend on a lot of things, including your driving record, how long you have been driving, and the year and make of your vehicle. When buying your car, you require third-party liability.

This is mandatory for your car insurance policy as it covers the cost of damage caused to others in case of an accident. Without it, you will be charged with driving without insurance which carries a very hefty fine and in case of an accident, you are held responsible for any damage caused to property of others or for any bodily injury.

Here are additional types of insurance coverage to consider:

  1. Collision

    This insurance covers costs associated with the repair of your car’s damages. This is highly recommended because if your car is damaged and is not paid off; you still have to continue paying your car payments. You might as well make sure you can continue to drive it!

  2. Comprehensive

    This will cover the cost of repairing or replacing if your vehicle is involved in a claim other than a collision. So, if your car is stolen, catches fire, is vandalized or broken into, your damages are covered.

Ways for New Drivers to Save on Insurance Costs

  1. Bundling

    If you have a home, condo or tenant, you can see impressive savings if you bundle all of your insurance policies with one insurance company .

  2. Higher deductibles

    If your goal is to lower your premiums, you can go with a higher deductible. However, you have to keep in mind should you need to file a claim, you will be responsible to pay the deductible towards the costs to replace or repair your vehicle.

  3. Government-Approved Courses

    As already mentioned above, you can save up to 25% on your premiums by taking a government certified safe or advanced driver training course.

  4. Drive safely

    Following the rules will help you maintain an excellent driving record so you can look forward to lower premiums the longer you drive.

Becoming a new driver is exciting, but it also comes with the responsibility to keep you and other drivers safe. These tips will help you once you get your license, so you’re better prepared to hit the road.

If you are a new driver and would like more information about getting started, call Bow Valley Insurance at 844-310-9918 or contact us here.

Coverage is subject to policy wording, terms, conditions, and deductibles. Protection is limited to the perils, coverage, exclusions, and limits shown on the policy.