Who can drive my car under my insurance in Ontario?

Who can drive my car under my insurance in Ontario
Who can drive my car under my insurance in Ontario?

In Ontario, Canada, anyone who has a valid driver’s license can drive your car, as long as they have permission from you.   

Can I drive someone else’s car in Ontario?

You can drive someone else’s vehicle in Ontario as long as you have the owner’s consent and are authorized by law to operate a motor vehicle. 

Can I drive my parent’s car without insurance in Ontario?

No, you cannot drive your parent’s vehicle without insurance in Ontario!  Insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. If your definition of “without insurance” means not being on your Parent’s auto insurance policy, you still may not drive the vehicle. The only way you would be allowed to drive your Parent’s car is if you’re licensed to drive a vehicle in Ontario, have permission from your Parents (provided they are the owners of the vehicle), not excluded from driving the vehicle/vehicles from their insurance company and you also need to disclose to your Parent’s insurance company that you’re a licensed driver in the household. 

Can my friend drive my car in Ontario?

Your friend can drive your vehicle as long as your friend is legally licensed to operate a motor vehicle in the province of Ontario and has your permission to drive your car.  

Can someone drive my car if they are not on my insurance?

Anyone can drive your car if they’re not on your insurance policy, as long as they are authorized by law to operate a vehicle (have a valid class driver’s license) and have your consent.  However, there are a few situations where it becomes risky to let someone else drive your car.  

If the person who’s driving your car lives in the same household as you, and you haven’t disclosed this to your insurance company, there may be a denial of claim coverage should there be an incident involving your vehicle. Auto insurance companies want to know all licensed drivers in the household so they can charge the right amount of premium. If someone in your household has potential regular access to your vehicle and is not being rated for it, you would have prejudiced your insurance company from charging the correct premium. 

other drivers in the household auto insurance application section
All drivers in your household need to be disclosed when applying for auto insurance in Ontario

What happens if someone is driving my car and they get into an accident in Ontario?

If someone gets into a car accident in Ontario with your vehicle, the outcome can be negligible or financially, devastating.  

Let us go through some examples:

Example 1: you did not provide consent for that person to drive your car. If you did not permit someone to drive your car, you would need to have that person charged and convicted for theft by the Police to have your claim covered, provided you have the appropriate coverage. 

Example 2: the person driving your vehicle could get into an At-Fault accident which would go on your record, as well. This may increase your insurance rates in the future. You may have heard the expression “If you lend your vehicle you’re also lending your insurance”. Keep in mind that as the owner of the vehicle you share joint, responsibility with the person driving your car! 

Example 3: if someone you give consent to drive your vehicle gets into an accident, and that person has violated a policy condition, such as driving under the influence, you may be stuck paying for the damages to your vehicle and any associated costs such as towing and storage fees.

Example 4: there’s the chance that the accident would be 100% not at fault and your auto claim would unfold normally, provided the driver had your permission to use the vehicle and was properly licensed to operate a motor vehicle in Ontario. Should have no effects on your insurance! 

Example 5:  if the person you lent the vehicle to got into an accident while their driver’s license was suspended or expired, your auto claim would probably be denied. Driving with an expired or suspended driver’s license is a policy violation, as driving under these conditions is prohibited by law. This would leave you stuck paying out of your pocket for the damages to your vehicle and possibly other property, as well. 

These are just a few examples of what could happen if you allow someone to drive your vehicle, and get into an accident.  The takeaway is to know that when you’re lending your vehicle you’re also lending your insurance. 

The owner and driver of a vehicle are jointly responsible for any loss or damage to any property or persons while in the use and operation of your vehicle.  

Make sure the person you’re lending your vehicle to is properly licensed by physically inspecting their license. Make sure the license isn’t expired and properly classed for the vehicle you’re lending. 

Can I drive someone else’s car with my insurance?

You cannot drive someone else’s car with your insurance.  Your insurance will not transfer over to the other vehicle, however, there are situations where it can.   Here’s an excerpt of the OAP 1, or the Ontario Automobile Policy. 

Always get clarification from your insurance broker or agent before you decide to drive someone else’s vehicle and expect your insurance policy to provide coverage for the non-owned vehicle. 

Who can drive an insured car in Ontario?

Anyone who is authorized by law to drive a motor vehicle in Ontario can drive an insured vehicle. This means that the driver needs to have permission to drive the insured vehicle and have a valid Ontario driver’s license. The driver also needs to have the correct class of driver’s license and be authorized by law to operate a motor vehicle. The driver cannot be someone who is specifically excluded from driving the insured vehicle/vehicles. 

Can my wife drive my car without insurance? 

Your wife or spouse needs to disclose to your insurance company that they are licensed drivers living in the household. This ensures that the insurance company is collecting the correct premium and also confirms if the licensed driver qualifies to drive under the company’s specific underwriting rules and conditions.  If you do not disclose that your wife or spouse is a licensed driver in the household, you risk having your policy cancelled, or a claim denied for misrepresentation. 

There are situations where your spouse or wife does not meet underwriting criteria with your insurance company and may need to be excluded from driving your vehicle. If this is the case in your situation then whoever is excluded cannot drive your vehicle, regardless of the situation. Typically the excluded driver would have their own insurance policy with a different insurer, insuring a different vehicle. 

Peter Martire, CIP, CRM, RIBO – Executive Editor and Insurance Advisor

Peter has been working in the insurance industry since 2005. He has over 18 years of experience adjudicating complex auto insurance claims and sales and service brokering. In March of 2024, he partnered with Begin Insurance Inc. as a Senior Insurance Advisor. He also serves as Executive Editor of carinsuranceinontario .ca.

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