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We can help you find cheap car insurance in Vancouver.

Whether you're a daily commuter or an occasional driver, there's one thing you're always going to need if you want to drive in Vancouver: a good auto insurance plan. In British Columbia, the provincial government administers auto insurance through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Drivers are required by law to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance through the ICBC, but they can also buy additional coverage if they choose. This means that insurance companies in Vancouver don’t offer mandatory auto insurance.

While the province’s public system means we don’t quote car insurance rates for Vancouver, that doesn’t mean we can’t give you the information you need to make the best financial decisions. Let us help accelerate the process by providing you with useful information about your Vancouver car insurance costs.

Keep reading to learn more about how B.C.'s car insurance system works, how you can purchase additional coverage, and how much your auto insurance rate in Vancouver might be.

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Learn more about car insurance in Vancouver.

Because the province of B.C. has a public car insurance system, LowestRates.ca doesn’t quote car insurance in Vancouver.

That doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t help you secure cheap car insurance in Vancouver by learning about how the system works.

Just like any other province, the province of B.C. will calculate your rate by taking into account a number of factors. Keep reading to learn more about how the system works and how your personal circumstances might impact your rate.

By the numbers

Based on ICBC data, Lower Mainland drivers get in quite a few accidents:

170,000

The ICBC says auto theft is an ongoing problem in Vancouver:

6,000

What can I do to get cheap car insurance in Vancouver?

It's easy — if you know how. Here are some of the best ways to lower your auto insurance premiums:

Shop around

We'll show you the most competitive rates from all the top insurers. Now you can compare quotes all in one place.

Buy the right coverage

Avoiding extra frills in your policy and paying for only the coverage you need will lower your premiums.

Drive responsibly

Your driving record impacts your rate. Fewer infractions and fines equals cheaper insurance.

Pay on time

Prompt payments can save you money on late fees and lower your premiums. Insurers love a good customer.

Bundle up

Adding a house, motorcycle, RV, or other type of insurance policy to your car insurance plan can lower your rates.

Be safe, not sorry

Safety features like winter tires and alarm systems can help reduce your insurance premium.

Stick with one insurer

Most auto insurance companies give special discounts to customers who stay with them for a number of years.

Take a course

A defensive driving course makes you a better driver and can significantly reduce your car insurance premiums.

Keep driving

The math is clear: more experience on the road equals lower car insurance premiums. Young drivers almost universally pay higher rates for car insurance. While it’s difficult for new drivers to secure cheap car insurance rates, you may be able to lower your rates by maintaining good grades and attending driving school.

Look at location

Where you drive affects your premiums. Some areas are associated with higher rates of car accidents and theft.

Choose the right car

Cars with high crash-test scores, low theft ratings, and less powerful engines tend to have cheaper insurance rates.

Track your driving

With a usage-based car insurance policy, you can turn your low-risk driving habits into lower premiums.

Your questions about Vancouvercar insurance, answered.

What type of car insurance system does Vancouver have?

Like the rest of B.C., Vancouver operates under a public car insurance system. The car insurance system in B.C. is owned and operated by the provincial government, which means that mandatory coverage must be purchased through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). This means that insurance companies in Vancouver don’t sell basic?? car insurance.

However, you can still purchase additional coverage, such as fire, theft, and collision coverage, from private insurers.

How much is car insurance in Vancouver?

The price of car insurance in Vancouver can vary due to a number of factors. Drivers in B.C. are known to pay more for car insurance under their public system than any other province in Canada. See below for a car insurance estimate for Vancouver residents.

Average auto insurance rates by province

ProvinceAverage Rates
Ontario$1,505
British Columbia$1,832
Alberta$1,316
Newfoundland & Labrador$1,168
Manitoba$1,140
Northwest Territories$978*
Nunavut$963*
Yukon$812*
Nova Scotia$891
Saskatchewan$1,235
New Brunswick$867
Prince Edward Island$816
Quebec$717

What factors determine my car insurance rates in Vancouver?

Calculating your automobile insurance rates in Vancouver can be complicated. You may have come to this page looking for a Vancouver car insurance calculator. However, a basic calculator likely won’t take into account the many considerations that go into determining your rate. Just like any insurance provider, the ICBC uses a number of factors to calculate your insurance premiums. Here are some to consider:

Your licence level: Not having a full licence will cause your premium to be higher. Conversely, having a full licence has a positive effect on your car insurance rates. New drivers looking for car insurance in Vancouver may see higher rates due to this. This is also why students who need car insurance in Vancouver may face challenges securing an affordable rate.

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 the occasional errand.

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. Having little driving experience (approximately less than 10 years), previous claims, and driving convictions will push your car insurance rates up. For this reason, car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Vancouver may be higher than the average rate.

Your age: Like it or not, the younger you are, the more you’ll pay for car insurance (rates level out by age 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 Canada face the same high auto insurance rates when compared to the more experienced drivers they share the road with. This is another reason why the ICBC may not give new drivers in Vancouver a cheap rate on their car insurance.

However, being young isn’t the only way age can impact your car insurance rates. Adults between the ages of 50 and 70 get some of the lowest car insurance rates in Canada. 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, rates begin to creep up because people in this age group are statistically more likely to need to file a claim and need longer to recover from an injury. Therefore, seniors in Vancouver who hold car insurance policies may have trouble getting cheap rates.

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 Vancouver, but everyone in Canada is required to have at least a basic level of car insurance.

Your insurance history: In addition to having a poor driving history, your insurance history can also play a role in determining your rates. If you’ve filed multiple claims or have a history of missing payments, you may be given a higher rate. Furthermore, new immigrants who need car insurance in Vancouver may also face challenges because they have no Canadian insurance history at all.

However, this can be mitigated by asking your last insurance company to provide a reference for you when switching to a new provider.

Vancouverites searching for car insurance should also note that as of September 2019, the ICBC moved to a more driver-focused model. This means that your personal driving and insurance history will be more important in calculating your rate than external factors.

What types of auto insurance are offered in Vancouver?

Obtaining affordable car insurance in Vancouver depends largely on whether you purchase additional coverage. Luckily, car insurance brokers in Vancouver are well-versed in ICBC policies and requirements and also what types of optional coverages would/wouldn’t benefit you. Scroll down to learn more.

Third-party liability and accident benefits - This is a basic auto insurance policy. You must carry this type of insurance to legally operate a car in Ontario. It protects your liability should you injure someone else in a collision and 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.

What impacts your car insurance rates in Vancouver?

  • Growing population: Vancouver was the fastest-growing Canadian municipality throughout the 1900s, beating out even Brampton. Cities with higher population density tend to pay higher rates for car insurance.
  • Difficult winter driving conditions: Driving in Vancouver in the winter can be more tricky than driving in provinces that are used to getting a lot of snow: Vancouver is generally unprepared when it does snow. Being in a weather-induced collision will likely result in higher car insurance rates.

Tips for getting a cheap car insurance quote in Vancouver

While it’s true that B.C. operates on a public car insurance system, that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to secure cheap car insurance in Vancouver.

  • Take a driver’s education course: A certificate of completion demonstrates to your insurance company that you take driving safety seriously and can reduce your premium. 
  • Enroll in a telematics program: Depending on how much — and how well — you drive in Vancouver, you may be able to reduce your premiums. A telematics program can help you do just that by recording your mileage and your driving habits for your insurance company so you can qualify for discounts. The only caveat is that you’ll need to demonstrate good driving habits in order to get the discount at renewal.
  • Bundle your home and auto insurance together: Lastly, a common way to qualify for car insurance discounts is to bundle your home and auto insurance together. Most insurance companies will reward customers who hold more than one policy with them. To find out if you qualify, ask your broker or agent about this option

Don’t forget about home insurance.

In B.C., the provincial government is the sole provider of third-party liability auto insurance (mandatory for all drivers). This means LowestRates.ca can’t offer our quote comparison service to Vancouver residents. But don’t worry, there are still ways to save on your overall insurance costs.

Your home is likely your largest and most valuable asset — this is especially true for Vancouverites. Protect it with the right insurance policy. In just three minutes, you’ll be able to see quotes from 10+ home insurance companies serving Vancouver. Enter your postal code below to get started.

Jessica Vomiero

Jessica Vomiero

About the Author

Jessica is the former Associate Editor for LowestRates.ca. Before joining the team, Jessica worked as a National Online Journalist with Globalnews.ca and previously spearheaded the launch of the Business Section at one of Canada's largest technology websites, MobileSyrup.

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