A defensive driving course will save you money. The question: How much? There are a lot of factors at play, of course. If you drive a sports car and have been found at fault in a few accidents, you’re automatically going to be paying more than someone who drives a compact and has a spotless record. On the other hand, that makes every bit you can save all the more vital, right?

What Does It Cost?

A defensive driving course will run you between and bucks in New York state or in New Jersey.

How Long Will It Take Me?

Probably less than six hours. In New York, you’re looking at 320 minutes to get certified, so that’s just over five hours required for the actual training, and then you just add your travel time and so on to that.
So the total cost? At most: Thirty-five bucks and one afternoon.

All insurers will offer discounts for drivers who take advanced driving courses, but some are more generous than others. It’s always worth the meager investment required to take a defensive driving course, but for the best results, you will want to shop around and find an insurer that really appreciates the time and money you put into your education as a driver.

All Insurers?

Yes, all insurers. At least in New York state, where New York Insurance Law § 2336 demands a ten percent discount for three years for drivers who provide proof of having completed a PIRP (Point and Insurance Reduction Program) course through a DMV-approved provider.

In English, that means they have to give you at least ten percent off for taking a defensive driving course. Some insurers may offer even better discounts in order to stay competitive, but you’re looking at a discount of ten percent from the base. Ten percent of your auto insurance for three years is going to add up to a whole lot more than thirty-five bucks. It’s worth the investment.

What Will It Save Me?

The average cost of insurance in NY is $1,205 a year. Multiply that by the three years this law covers you for, and that’s $3,615. So over the course of three years, the average New Yorker is saving $361 and change. In short, you’re getting about ten times your initial investment back.

The average cost of insurance in New Jersey is around $1,239 a year, meaning that a ten percent savings over three years would be around $371.

At the higher end, the average cost of insurance in Brooklyn is closer to two grand a year, meaning that your three-year savings would be dang near six hundred bucks. At the lower end, the national average is just under nine hundred a year, saving you about $270, which isn’t quite six hundred, but it’s not bad.

Long story short: You’re not going to be able to buy insurance so cheap that thirty-five bucks is too big an investment for ten percent savings over three years.

Added Benefits

It’s not just discounts. Being a certifiably safe driver looks good to the courts if you ever are involved in an accident, and it helps to reduce the chance of getting into an accident in the first place. This keeps your record clean and your insurance premiums low.

The money you’ll save with a defensive driving course is tremendous. It’s well worth the investment, the only question is: When are you free to squeeze the class into your day?