Getting your driver’s licence in Ontario is a journey, not just a destination, because passing your G test Ontario has three stages. And if you’re the parent of a young adult on the road to getting their licence, your insurance rates will be affected.
There are several things to consider when navigating toward completing a successful driver’s exam, both on paper and the road, as well as getting car insurance quotes for coverage that reflect that you may have a G1 or G2 licensed driver behind the wheel of your vehicle as an occasional driver.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Arriving at the G test Ontario is the final stop on what is a graduated licensing program. A young driver can expect the process to take at least two years, starting with their G1 and then onto the G2 before getting their full G licence. If you’re not able to obtain the full licence with five years, you must start over.
The G1 license is quite restrictive. To obtain one, you need to be at least 16 years of age, pass a written test about the rules of the road and traffic signs, and pass an eye exam. While this first stage does allow you to drive, there are many requirements and restrictions. If they aren’t followed, you could have your G1 licence suspended, and even be fined. Your driving record during this stage can affect your insurance rates down the road.
The restrictions and conditions of a G1 license demand that you have a fully licensed driver with a minimum of four years’ experience with you when behind the wheel. There are also limitations on what roads you can drive and when, and there’s zero-tolerance for consuming any alcohol.
As a new learner, you must wait a year before moving on to the G2 licence, which means passing a road test to evaluate your basic driving skills, unless you take a driver’s training course, which will allow you take the test after only eight months at G1. However, there’s no fast track for doing a second road test to get your full G licence — you have to wait the full 12 months.
With a G2 licence, restrictions loosen a little; you can drive without another experienced driver in the car with you and on any Ontario roads at any time of the day. However, you must still have a zero blood alcohol level and carry only as many passengers as there are working seatbelts – G2 drivers under 19 face additional restrictions.
To graduate to a full G licence, you’ll have to do another road test. Unlike the first road one, it includes expressway driving to ensure you can drive on the highway at high speeds. In addition to basic driving skills, the G test Ontario focuses on how well you enter, merge into, drive along and exit expressways where the speed limit exceeds 80 km/hr. It will also evaluate many other driving skills, both on highways and residential streets, including:
- Proper lane use and observation skills
- Mirror use and blind-spot checking
- Lane changes
- Proper signalling and speed
- Left and right turns
- Stopping at and passing through intersections
- Roadside stops
- Driving along curves
- Space management
- Defensive driving
- Parallel parking
- Three-point turns
Overall, you’re looking at least a year and a half of being a driver in training before you can do your G test Ontario, and you’ll improve your chances of passing with getting the right teacher.
Get on Course with the Best Instruction
While it’s possible to learn how to drive from a parent or an older sibling, there’s a lot of value in going to a driver’s school if you want to pass your G test Ontario with flying colours. Not only is it shown to prevent tragic traffic fatalities by instilling a skill set of safe driving practices in young drivers, but it also lowers insurance rates.
Make sure Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation recognizes the driving school you select. Much like choosing a university, evaluate it to make sure it’s the right fit, including the instructors. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them both in class and behind the wheel, so you’ll want to interview them to see if they’re a good match with your personality. You’ll also want to get as much attention from them as possible to improve your chances at success, so be sure to check out what the in-class instructor ratio is. The maximum ratio in Ontario is 40 students to one instructor, but the ministry’s preference is 24 to one.
Outside of the classroom, you’ll want to solicit as much feedback as possible after each driving lesson. Find out what you’re doing well and where you need to improve. Be clear with your instructor about the aspects of driving that you’re not comfortable. When not taking lessons from an instructor, try to get as much practice driving in with a parent, relative, or another qualified driver, and pay attention to drivers when you’re a passenger to discern their good habits from bad ones.
Going to driving school will cost money upfront, but it will save you funds in the long term by rewarding you with a better driving record and lower insurance costs.
Saving Money by Spending Money
A driver’s training course will cost a few hundred dollars, but it can also mean substantial savings on insurance when it’s time to get car insurance quotes.
All drivers on the road must have insurance. Most G1 drivers practice driving with someone else’s car that includes them on the policy. The policyholder needs to notify their insurance company there’s a driver that has obtained their G1 licence, and generally, there’s no charge for adding a G1 driver to a policy. You must notify your insurer a G1-licensed driver has obtained their G2 licence since they can operate a vehicle independently and must be listed on the policy.
Once you’ve passed your G test Ontario, your insurance rate will reflect that you’re a fully licensed driver with the knowledge and experience you need, which suggests you’re a lower risk of getting into an accident. But before you get there, your insurance rate as a driver in training will vary, and if you’re a young a driver, it’s probably paid by your parents on their policy.
Adding an occasional driver to your auto insurance policy will generally increase your insurance premium. Still, it’s cheaper to add your teen driver in training to your policy than for them to get their own. Adding them as an occasional driver under your insurance would also allow them to drive any vehicle listed on your policy. Your insurer will assess the risks involved and adjust your premiums accordingly.
Even if your teen has passed their G test Ontario, they’re considered a higher risk until they’re 25 and cost more to insure as age and driving experience matter. If you add your teen as a full-time driver of a vehicle on your policy, your insurance costs may go up significantly.
It’s also important to remember that as the policyholder, it’s up to you know records of all secondary drivers on your policy. Your premiums could go up if an occasional driver on your policy makes an error. Ultimately, it’s your policy, so it’s your problem. Your insurance provider will find out about any speeding tickets or driving infractions by occasional drivers when reviewing your policy for renewal or if you opt to switch providers.
As with any insurance product, it pays to shop around for car insurance quotes. While your premiums will rise when you add a young driver to your policy, some providers do offer ‘good student’ discounts and lower rates to those with a driver’s education certificate.