Manual vs. Automatic Car Insurance Prices, Pros & Cons

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Every auto insurance policy considers a multitude of factors to create its premium. In Ontario, car insurance companies each have their own method for weighing these factors. While prices and methods are approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, no one outside of a particular insurance company knows precisely how premiums are set. Manual transmissions may not factor directly into pricing, but the vehicles more likely to have clutch and gearshift operation generally fall into higher priced categories.

The Advantages of Manual Transmissions

manual transmission gear shift

Motorists who genuinely enjoy driving and love the feeling of control opt for manual transmissions when they have the choice. Saving around $1,000 on sticker price makes another appealing argument. Manual trannies are also lighter and require less maintenance. When these do need a trip to the shop, the repair bill is also lighter. When driven effectively, cars equipped with standard transmissions use less fuel, perhaps as much as 15 percent less.

The Advantages of Automatic Transmissions

Automatic transmissions provide an easier and more convenient driving experience. A motorist doesn’t need to learn to coordinate both feet and both legs with an automatic. Cars with automatic transmissions are more likely to have cruise control, which helps improve the generally lower fuel efficiency of the design. When it comes to stop and go city traffic, there’s much less exertion when driving an automatic vehicle.

Car Transmissions and Insurance

The North American auto market favours automatic transmissions. The race isn’t even close here, while in Europe, standard transmissions continue to dominate. This tendency has indirect influences on insurance costs in Ontario. Vehicles with stick shifts tend to be higher performance and sportier than their automatic cousins. Therefore, it’s more likely that the type of vehicle drives insurance costs up, rather than the type of transmission. Indeed, two door coupe versions of many vehicles cost more to insure than the four door models.

Insurance companies reason that vehicles with high performance tendencies invite motorists to drive these cars more aggressively and therefore increasing chances for collisions. Once again, the efficiency and control offered by manual transmissions invites their use in such vehicles. It’s not the transmission itself that constitutes a risk factor that results in higher premiums, but it is more likely this type of vehicle sports a clutch.

Because of the saturation of automatic transmissions in the Ontario market, there’s an argument that the presence of a manual transmission serves as a theft deterrent, but there’s no evidence this is a factor in insurance company pricing.

The Most Affordable Insurance for Manual Transmission Cars

If you’re a fan of standard transmission driving, you can often offset the difference in insurance costs through careful comparison shopping. Every insurance company in Ontario has their own way to calculate premiums. Your best opportunity to identify the lowest cost car insurance policies is through Ratelab’s car insurance calculator. Take five minutes to enter your information and car insurance needs, and the calculator searches dozens of Ontario insurers, returning the most affordable rates for your situation.

Enter your Postal Code below and get started on the track to low cost auto insurance. 

 

 

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