There were fewer quotes for new cars, a surge in low mileage drivers and a decline in the number of young drivers as road test centres and dealerships closed due to the pandemic, according to a new report by LowestRates.ca, an online insurance rate comparison site. "As people stopped commuting to work, and used their vehicles less once lockdown measures were implemented, there was a significant decrease in driving," said Justin Thouin, Co-Founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca. "We saw a big increase in low-mileage drivers (those who drive fewer than 5,000 kilometres a year) shopping for auto insurance on our site in April and May." The report also showed that COVID-19 lockdown measures led to a sharp drop in the number of young drivers searching for car insurance. According to the data, the number of young drivers (those 25 and under) quoting on LowestRates.ca declined by 37.06% in March, by 42.51% in April and by 7.58% in May year-over-year.
As car sales across Canada plummeted while dealerships closed during the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, data from the report show that the number of people seeking car insurance quotes for new vehicles (2019-2021 models) dropped by 80.08% in April versus the year before. There was an increase, however, in May, with month-over-month figures showing 51.07% more quotes for newer vehicles during the month.