Gas prices got you walking?

It's no secret that young drivers, especially young male drivers, pay some of the highest auto insurance rates. Driver inexperience, a tendency to exhibit risky driving behaviours, and an increased likelihood of being involved in an accident all contribute to the car insurance premiums young drivers pay. But, there are things a young driver can do to lower his-and her-auto insurance rates.

1. Sign up for a usage-based insurance program

Usage-based insurance (UBI) programs, also called telematics, monitor a driver's driving habits to offer insurance premium rate reductions to good drivers. These programs take into account how fast a driver accelerates and brakes, what time of day they drive, trip duration, and speed, among other factors.

Many programs offer a five per cent rate reduction just for signing up, with additional premium decreases down the road. Contrary to popular belief, UBI program cannot make your insurance rates go up. Drivers that prove themselves can receive discounts of up to 25 per cent.

To see if a telematics program is right for you, try KANETIX's free DriveSmart app for Apple or Android, which will give you an indication of whether or not you could receive savings through a UBI program.

Learn more about usage-based insurance:

2. Driver's training

Taking a ministry-approved drivers training program pays off. These courses cost on average about $600, but savings can be in the thousands. We used KANETIX's quote comparison tool to generate a quote for a 17-year-old Toronto-based male with driver's training and without it, and the resulting quotes showed that driver's training could save at least $900 a year on his insurance.

Now the key here is to make sure it's ministry-approved. Each province and territory will list the approved courses on its Ministry of Transportation website. These are the courses insurance companies typically accept. If you're not sure, a quick call to your insurance provider before you sign up for class can confirm any questions and savings. And if they won't offer you savings, see tip #4.

3. Switch cars

A young male driver looking to purchase his first vehicle may hope for a souped up sports car, for example, but this can sometimes lead to souped up rates as well. Insurers factor in many variables when deciding on your auto insurance rate, and the vehicle itself has a lot to do with it. The cost to repair or replace the car, how it fares in a collision and protects its occupants, and its likelihood of behind stolen all make a difference. Before buying your first car, do your research to make sure it won't end up causing your premiums to be even higher.

4. Compare Rates

Perhaps the easiest way to save money immediately is to compare rates. Many young people stick with their parents' providers, but these aren't necessarily the rates that make sense for you. Compare auto insurance rates online today to see if you qualify for insurance savings with another insurance provider.

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