When it comes to your auto insurance rate, there are plenty of variables that go into determining what you pay, including your driving record, the make and model of your vehicle and your insurance provider’s claims history. But another important factor is where you live.

InsuraMap is Kanetix.ca’s interactive tool that allows motorists to compare estimated auto insurance premiums across the country according to postal code. And for drivers in Ontario, if you live within or near the GTA, chances are you’ll be paying premiums that are a great deal higher than the provincial average.

While the average car insurance premium in Ontario has dropped a total of $90 since we conducted the study in 2015 – now sitting at $1,448 – the most expensive city for car insurance in the province for the second year in a row is Brampton, coming in 65 per cent higher than the average at $2,392 annually. In fact, cities in Peel Region take two of the top three spots on our list

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Insure Your Car in Ontario

Ontario car insurance can be expensive, and even more so if you live in one the following areas:

Rank City Estimated Premium Compared to provincial average
1. Brampton $2,392 65% higher
2. Vaughan $2,018 39% higher
3. Mississauga $1,930 33% higher
4-a Toronto $1,886 30% higher
4-b Markham $1,886 30% higher
6. Richmond Hill $1,783 23% higher
7. Hamilton $1,683 16% higher
8. Pickering $1,593 10% higher
9. Ajax $1,556 7.5% higher
10-a Bradford $1,484 2.5% higher
10-b Stouffville $1,484 2.5% higher

*Figures are based on a single 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record.

Why are these numbers so high? Heavily-populated areas like Toronto and other cities within or close to the GTA experience more traffic congestion or have a higher percentage of commuters, so the probability of a collision occurring increases. In addition, certain intersections and neighbourhoods may be more prone to car accidents or experience higher levels of theft.

However, not every city in the GTA is susceptible to high premiums. Whitby comes in just below the provincial average at $1,443, while neighbouring Oshawa comes in at $1,354. Go further north to Barrie, and you’ll find the typical estimated premium at $1,366. And just outside the GTA, Kitchener comes in at $1,251, Cambridge at $1,172 and Waterloo at $1,165. Meanwhile, four hours northeast of the GTA in Ottawa, motorists are paying an average of $1,142.

What are Some of the Cheapest Areas for Car Insurance?

According to InsuraMap data, some of the least expensive areas for auto insurance in Ontario are Renfrew, Petawawa, Pembroke, Port Elgin, Kincardine, Smith Falls, Perth, Gananoque, Carleton Place and Brockville. All of these cities have estimated annual premiums under $1,000. And at the very bottom of this list is Hawkesbury, a town located on the Ottawa river, halfway between Ottawa and Montreal, where motorists are paying an estimated premium of only $956 per year.

But You Don’t Need to Move to Pay Less!

While where you live is highly influential in what you pay, there are a number of ways to lower your rate, starting with maintaining a clean driving record. Other tips include bundling your home and auto insurance policies for up to 15 per cent in savings, installing winter tires for up to five per cent off your policy, and increasing your deductible to save up to 10 per cent. And consider making your annual payment in one lump sum instead of spreading it out over a period of 12 months, as many companies charge administration fees to process monthly payments.

But one of the easiest ways to save is by comparison shopping. Customers who use Kanetix.ca save an average of $750 on their annual car insurance premiums. Chances are, you can find a rate that’s lower than what you’re paying now – even if you do live in one of the top 10 most expensive cities in Ontario.