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Driving in Calgary

Most popular cars in Calgary

Calgary is one of Canada’s foremost up-and-coming cities. With a population of about 1.6 million people and a growing number of families in the area, the number of cars on the road has also increased. Here are the most popular car brands among Calgarians, based on data from LowestRates.ca:

Popular Brands

  1. Honda
  2. Ford
  3. Dodge
  4. Nissan
  5. BMW

Who shops for car insurance in Calgary?

Calgary’s population is diverse and growing, but a few industries still power the economy. More than 30% of Calgarians work in one of three industries: healthcare and social assistance, retail trade and finance, or real estate. Keep reading to learn more about the people of Calgary who compare car insurance quotes on LowestRates.ca.

Gender of our users

Male
65%
Female
35%

Average age

35

years old

Tickets and accidents

Have Tickets
21.68%
Have Had Accidents
18.04%

Your questions about Calgary car insurance, answered.

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How much is car insurance in Calgary?

How much is car insurance in Calgary? To answer this question, we examined the average quote received on our site. To find the cost of car insurance in Calgary, we looked at the average quoted price for car insurance: $2,309 per year or roughly $192 per month. However, the price you’re quoted could differ from the average. Here’s why:

  • We did not filter users based on age. Young drivers pay the most for car insurance, which skews the average higher.
  • Our quoter allows you to customize your coverage, meaning you can choose optional coverages like collision insurance. Adding coverages will increase your premium.
  • We also did not filter by mileage. Driving long distances daily will also increase your premium.

Car insurance companies weigh the risk presented by the entire insurance pool (i.e., all its customers), and they also consider the risks individuals present. It’s still possible to find a lower than average car insurance rate if you have a good insurance and driving history.

To get an accurate estimate for car insurance prices in Calgary, we recommend filling out a quote. Since insurance rates are individualized, our quoter asks for details about your car, your daily mileage, and your insurance history. As a result, our quoter provides a more reliable estimate than a basic Calgary car insurance calculator can. Doing a quote is a small investment: most people complete it in under three minutes.

Which Calgary postal code has the highest premiums?

The postal code region of T3J pays the highest rates for car insurance in Calgary, according to LowestRates.ca data. The region encompasses the Martindale, Taradale, Falconridge and Saddle Ridge areas. 

Which Calgary postal code has the lowest premiums? 

The T4A postal code in the Airdrie East region pays the least for auto insurance in the city of Calgary. The district is located in the north of Calgary and encompasses most of Airdrie, except for the area west of 8 St. SW and south of 1 Ave NW. It’s a new district, having just been developed in 2017. 

How do Calgary car insurance quotes compare to other cities in Alberta?

While Alberta drivers may not pay as much as drivers in Ontario and Alberta, it doesn’t mean cheap auto insurance is easy to find. In some Alberta cities, residents can pay up to $2,500 per year for car insurance. Yes, Calgary is in the top five most expensive cities in Alberta to purchase car insurance.

The most expensive cities to purchase car insurance in Alberta are:

 
  1. Edmonton
  2. Rocky Mountain House
  3. Camrose
  4. St. Albert
  5. Calgary

While some Albertans pay higher fees for auto insurance, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some Albertans pay as little as $1,600 for auto insurance annually. Take a look at the cheapest Alberta cities for car insurance:

  1. Cochrane
  2. Parkland County
  3. Hinton
  4. Ponoka
  5. Medicine Hat

While Calgary doesn’t currently rank near the top for the most expensive auto insurance rates in Canada, more people in Calgary used LowestRates.ca to compare car insurance quotes in 2019 than people from any other city.

Where you live is an important factor in determining your car insurance rates, but Calgary drivers should keep in mind that it’s only one factor out of many. Keep reading to see what other factors can impact how much you pay for car insurance in Calgary.

 

What factors determine my car insurance quotes in Calgary?

There are a number of factors that determine your car insurance rates in Calgary. Here are some to consider:

Your mileage: How much you drive every day is another major contributor to what you’ll pay in auto insurance rates. Someone that’s driving 30-45 minutes to and from work each day will pay more in car insurance than someone who only uses their car to run errands.

Your postal code: Insurance companies determine your rates partially based on the postal code you live in. If your area generally has a higher concentration of claims, you may find yourself paying higher rates than people living in the next postal code over.

Your driving record: Your driving history is another factor that will weigh heavily on how much you pay for car insurance. Someone with an accident or multiple tickets on their record will pay more for insurance than someone with a clean record because they’ll be deemed higher risk.

Your age: Like it or not, the younger you are, the more you’ll pay in car insurance (until you’re about 30). This is because you’re considered a high-risk driver until you’ve built up a driving history that demonstrates the opposite. There isn’t much you can do about it, but at least you’re not alone. Young people across Calgary, and Canada, face the same high auto insurance rates than the more experienced drivers they share the road with.

Your policy: How much you pay in auto insurance is impacted by how much auto insurance you buy. There are a number of different policies to choose from in Calgary, but everyone in Canada is required to have at least a basic level of car insurance. Keep reading to find out what your policy options are.

What are car insurance rates for Calgary seniors?

Adults between the ages of 50 and 70 get some of the lowest car insurance rates in Calgary. If you belong to this demographic, you probably have a long history of being insured and you might even have bundled your home insurance policy with the same provider of your auto insurance. After age 70, though, you might see your rate begin to creep up because people in your age group are more statistically more likely to need to file a claim and need longer to recover from an injury. If you do see your rates begin to climb, it may be time to shop around for new automobile insurance in Calgary.

What are car insurance rates for Calgary students?

Car insurance for new drivers in Calgary is expensive. Young people pay, on average, the highest insurance premiums of any demographic (adults with driving convictions notwithstanding). For drivers who’ve been insured since age 14, rates start declining in the mid-twenties and typically persist until their thirtieth birthday.

It can be challenging for new drivers to find affordable car insurance in Calgary. However, there are some things you can trim the price of your car insurance rate:

  • Avoid getting your own car, if you can. Instead, opt to get listed as the secondary driver of your parents’ car. Insurance for secondary drivers costs less than it does for the primary driver.
  • If you’re in school (high school or postsecondary), insurance companies offer discounts to students who maintain a certain GPA.
  • Take a driver’s education course and make sure you get a certificate of completion. Showing that to an insurance company will lower your rate.

For new drivers in Calgary, a “cheap car insurance rate will be relative. However, we’ve found that the demographic that finds the most savings on LowestRates.ca are young drivers — the more you’re expected to pay, the more dramatic the savings you can find when you compare Calgary car insurance quotes.

What are insurance rates for new immigrants to Calgary?

If you’ve recently immigrated to Calgary, you can’t drive without having the proper licence and insurance. Ask your old insurance company to provide a reference to your new Calgary auto insurance company. This will go a long way to nab you a lower car insurance rate and you’ll have a better chance at securing a lower car insurance rate because you have proof of your insurance and driving history.

What are car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Calgary?

Having several traffic convictions will put you in the high-risk category with most insurance companies. If you’ve ever had your licence revoked, you are pushed further into the high-risk category. Being high-risk means that insurance companies think that the likelihood of you needing to file a claim. Since insurance companies are betting that they will need to provide you financial assistance, they will charge you more. It’s very hard to find cheap auto insurance rates in Calgary as a high-risk driver. There are, however, insurance companies that cater to high-risk drivers. Failing that, you can purchase facility insurance, which is a pool that is funded by Canadian insurance companies to offer coverage to high-risk drivers.

What kind of car insurance do I need in Calgary?

Third-party liability and accident benefits - You must carry this type of insurance to legally operate a car in Alberta. This type of basic car insurance policy protects your liability if you injure someone else in a collision. It also pays for your medical costs. You must have liability benefits worth at least $200,000 and accident benefits worth at least $50,000.

Collision - Covers costs if your car is damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive - Covers costs if your car is damaged by things other than a collision, including theft, vandalism, or falling objects.

Specified perils - Protects your car from insurable risks that you specify you want in your policy. If it’s not written in the policy, it isn’t covered.

All perils - A hybrid between collision and comprehensive insurance. Offers coverage if your car is damaged in a collision or by any other insurable risk.

You can customize your car insurance quote to reflect any type of coverage.

 

Where do I get cheap car insurance quotes in Calgary?

There isn’t a car insurance company in Calgary that can guarantee cheap car insurance premiums to every driver that applies for a policy. 

While there are a number of factors contributing to your car insurance rates that you can control, there are also some that are out of your control. For example, insurance companies set prices based on their loss ratios — the amount that they pay out annually in claims compared to the revenue they generate. These ratios will determine what rate they’re willing to offer you.

Since every insurance company underwrites risk differently, one of the fastest ways to find a cheap quote is to compare insurance companies.

By comparing car insurance quotes on LowestRates.ca, you might find a company whose tolerance for risk is a bit different than the one you’re currently working with. You may be surprised at the cheaper rates you find when you compare the market.

 

Facts and myths about driving in Calgary

Facts

  • No hitchhiking. It's illegal to hitchhike within Calgary city limits.
  • Say cheese. In Calgary, 51 intersections have speed-on-green cameras, red-light cameras, or both.
  • Now that's a parade. The Calgary Stampede Parade has over 40 floats, 30 marching bands, and 350,000 spectators every year.
  • Calgary's Deerfoot Trail is the busiest road in all of Alberta. Over 160,000 vehicles pass over sections of Deerfoot Trail every day.
  • Major construction of the South-West portion of the Calgary Ring Road began in the fall of 2016. The 31 km section is expected to open in 2021, bringing the city one step closer to completing the 100 km Ring Road.

Myths

  • Radar detectors are illegal in Calgary. False. Radar detectors are legal in Calgary and in the rest of Alberta.
  • In Calgary, the most dangerous street for pedestrians is Macleod Trail S. False. A study done by a local engineer found that the intersection of 17th Avenue S.W. and 4th Street S.W. witnessed more pedestrian injuries than anywhere else in the city.
  • Parking is free on the day of the Calgary Stampede Parade. False. Parking meters downtown are not free on parade day.

What are some tips for driving in Calgary?

  1. If you're driving in Calgary during the winter, buy snow tires. If you're driving in Calgary during the winter, buy snow tires.
  2. Drive cautiously at Deerfoot Trail and 16th Avenue. It's widely viewed as the most dangerous intersection in the entire city, rivalled only by the Deerfoot Trail and Glenmore Trail intersection.
  3. Stay up-to-date on the Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road S.E. Interchange Project. As of July 2016, an 18-month detour is routing drivers around the new Glenmore Trail roadway and interchange. Access to Ogden Road and to Barlow Trail is still available, but plan your travels accordingly.
  4. Put your cell phone down. Calgary traffic laws strictly prohibit texting and emailing while you're operating a motor vehicle.

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