Why do I need to get my new car registered and insured?
Ontario law requires everyone to register their car because it proves rightful ownership of the vehicle. In case your car is stolen or broken into, your registration will prove that the car is actually yours and help get you compensation.
Car insurance protects you from having to pay to repair your car if it’s damaged or in an accident, and from liability claims if you’re held responsible for an accident causing damage to another person’s vehicle.
How do I get car insurance?
You may buy car insurance from licensed:
- Insurance brokers, who represent several insurance companies and can help you find the best rate. Find a broker near you.
- Insurance agents, who usually only represent one insurance company. Find more info about insurance agents through the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- Direct writers, who are insurance companies that sell directly to their clients. Find more info about direct writers through the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers.
Car insurance in the province is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). Be sure to consult their website to ensure that your insurance company, agent or broker is licensed and thus avoid insurance fraud.
What personal characteristics affect my car insurance rate?
Your car insurance rate will depend on how much coverage you get, the company you choose, as well as your personal profile.
The insurance company may look at a number of factors to determine the rate to offer you:
- The type of vehicle you drive. Research which cars may get higher insurance rates before buying one.
- Your driving record, including how long you’ve been licensed, previous accidents, tickets, etc.
- Where you live. Rates are higher in busy cities where accidents and thefts are more common.
- Your age, gender, and marital status. Insurance premiums usually drop once a driver turns 25-years-old.
- How often you use your car. Generally speaking, the more you drive, the higher your car insurance rate will be.
How do young drivers save money on car insurance?
- Take a driver-training course. Most insurance companies offer discounts to new drivers who’ve completed a recognized driver-training program.
- Gain experience driving as an occasional driver on your parent or guardian's insurance policy. Car insurance rates are much higher if you’re listed as a principal driver, as opposed to an occasional driver.
- Drive responsibly. Your insurance will go up if you get into accidents or get tickets.
- Research insurance companies that offer student discounts. Some companies reduce the price for young drivers with good grades or who live away from home to go to school.
- Buy a vehicle with good security features and that is less likely to be broken into. Insurance companies have higher rates for certain types of vehicles.
- Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need. For example, if your car is worth only a few thousand dollars, it may not be worth getting optional collision damage coverages.
How do I register my car?
You must visit a ServiceOntario to register your car and get a permit and license plate.
To register, you’ll need:
- Your driver’s license
- The completed used vehicle information package
- Proof that you bought your car (e.g., a receipt)
- Proof that you have car insurance
- The original vehicle permit from the seller with the completed transfer portion
- Your license plate number if you have a plate you’d like to attach to your new car
What happens if I drive a vehicle without car insurance?
If you drive a car that’s not insured, you risk:
- A fine between $5,000 to $50,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Vehicle impoundment
- Higher car insurance rates in the future
- Losing the right to income replacement, benefits, and the right to sue the at-fault driver for compensation if you get into an accident
- Being held personally responsible for another person’s medical costs if you cause an accident
For more information:
- Automobile insurance - This section of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario contains valuable information on car insurance. You will find resources to help you understand the different elements of car insurance, articles explaining what questions to ask when purchasing one, and valuable information on the complaint process.
- Vehicle insurance and registration - An overview of the importance of auto insurance from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.