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HomeDriver's ResourcesAWD vs FWD (Insurance)

Determining how an insurance company sets auto policy prices is a quick way to a headache in Ontario. While the insurance market is heavily regulated, it’s supplied by private insurers operating competitively. Each company has its own methods for price setting. When it comes to AWD (all-wheel drive) versus FWD (front-wheel drive), there may be differences in premiums. These won’t be consistent between insurance companies, and it’s difficult to pinpoint differences.

What is AWD?

Mechanics and car enthusiasts may have specific definitions of AWD, but in common use, it refers to any vehicle in which all four wheels can come under power, whether full or part-time. Therefore AWD is synonymous with four-wheel drive.

What is FWD?

Front-wheel drive is self-explanatory. Only the front wheels of a vehicle receive power from the engine and transmission. Fuel efficiency standards drove the change to FWD in the mid-1970s in North America. FWD saved both space and weight over traditional rear-wheel drive trains, without reducing performance or acceleration.

How Drive Train Configuration Affects Insurance

Pinpointing the effects of an AWD and FWD drive train on their own is difficult. For example, sport utility vehicles are both gaining in market share while remaining affordable to insure. SUVs often have AWD as either standard or optional equipment. The market for SUVs contains demographics similar to the minivan vehicle class. Minivans typically use FWD, maximizing interior space with flat floors. Insurance costs for these vehicle classes remain low due to the general habits of the people who buy them. Drivers with families, in their 30s and away from the impulses of youth tend to have few accidents and they’re old enough to establish solid driving histories.

When other types of vehicles feature AWD, it’s more the vehicle than the drive train that affects insurance cost. Two-door coupes, for example, tend to have sporty styling and superior performance compared to the four-door sedan version of the same model. Either car could have AWD or FWD. The coupe would likely always be more to insure.

Saving Money on Car Insurance

saving money

Whether your vehicle has FWD or AWD, you can save money on auto insurance using the same techniques. Ontario requires minimum mandatory insurance coverage for all vehicles on its roads. A motorist has the freedom to select further coverage or upgrades to the basic policy. Each option added brings additional premiums along with increased protection. The decision about cost and coverage balance is up to each driver.

Drivers of older vehicles may choose to increase deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage. While this also increases the amount the motorist pays in the event of an accident, it lowers monthly premiums along the way. Collision and comprehensive insurance can even be dropped altogether since Ontario doesn’t require a car to carry these types of coverage. Note that if you financed your automobile purchase, the lender may have insurance conditions you’ll need to observe.

The best way to ensure the lowest costs on car insurance uses Ratelab’s car insurance calculator to search dozens of auto insurance partners. Using the calculator you can pinpoint the best estimates for your needs. Enter your postal code below to get started on the road to saving money.


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