Get money-saving tips in your inbox.

Stay on top of personal finance tips from our money experts!

News & Resources

Street Racing and Your Insurance: What Happens After You’re Caught

Aug. 9, 2021
4 mins
A man drives a convertible down a winding road on a sunny day

Not only is street racing or stunt driving incredibly dangerous and reckless, if you’re convicted of the offence, you will lose your licence, face an expensive fine, and you may go to jail. You can imagine what the impact of a stunt driving conviction will be on your car insurance premium.

Yet,excessive speeding and stunt driving are on the rise in Ontario. The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed the tourism season, but some drivers are taking advantage of lighter traffic volumes to shift into warp speed.

In Ontario, convicted street racers face fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, a possible jail sentence of up to six months, six demerit points, and loss of licence for up to two years (or up to 10 years if you are a repeat offender). Moreover, the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for fourteen days regardless of the owner. Punishments are similar across the country.

In April, the Ontario Legislature passed the Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act, bringing in a rolling series of changes and harsher penalties for motorists convicted of dangerous and aggressive driving. As of September 1, the post-conviction suspension will increase to a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. Motorists slapped with a second conviction will see a licence suspension of at least three years and a maximum of 10 years.

Your insurance premium will also skyrocket. That’s because a street racing conviction is considered a serious offence, and it will stay on your record for three years. Most insurance companies will consider you a high-risk driver. They could refuse to provide you with coverage, and if they do, the increase to your premium will be thousands of dollars.

If a driver is convicted of street racing causing injury, that driver can face jail time of up to 14 years. If that street racing incident kills someone, the convicted driver could face life imprisonment.

What is street racing or stunt driving?

Section 172(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines what constitutes street racing or stunt driving. In essence, the law defines stunt driving as driving more than 50 km/h over the posted limit.

But it also includes acts of road rage or other actions such as driving too close to another vehicle, not allowing another driver to pass in front of you or slamming on the brakes to make someone rear-end you. Stunt driving also includes doing doughnuts in a vehicle, driving a vehicle while not sitting in the driver’s seat, popping a wheelie (on a motorcycle or with a car, if possible), or driving with someone in the trunk of your vehicle.

The law is similar in Alberta. According to section 115(e) of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, a driver of a vehicle is driving carelessly if that driver should “perform or engage in any stunt or other activity that is likely to distract, startle, or interfere with users of the highway.”

car mascot.png

Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.

Where to race your car legally in Canada

There are racetracks across Canada that allow you to race your vehicle. Here are three places where you can race legally:

  • Toronto Motorsports Park Cayuga. Located about an hour outside Toronto is one of the largest racetracks in Canada. It hosts sessions that allow drivers to take their vehicles for a spin at high speeds and operates many races for those who make the grade.
  • Mission Raceway Park. About an hour outside of Vancouver, this track runs drag and road racing and features ‘street legal’ racing events for drivers who want to show off what their vehicle has under the hood.
  • Castrol Raceway. Located about 20 minutes from downtown Edmonton, this racetrack has drag and road courses you can sign up for, and it hosts ‘bring your own streetcar’ events.

However, it is important to note that racing of any kind is typically excluded from coverage in an auto insurance policy — including at designated racetracks. Insurance providers generally prohibit the use of vehicles in a race or speed test or illicit activities.

What a stunt driving or street racing conviction will do to your insurance

While car racing may be fun, your insurance company is unlikely to think so. If your vehicle is damaged, or you or someone else gets hurt due to racing, you may find yourself without coverage.

In addition to a higher car insurance premium, you may face fees to get your driver’s licence reinstated, legal fees (if you hire a lawyer), as well as towing and impoundment fees for your vehicle. Overall, it’s quite an expensive proposition.

Public roads and highways are not racetracks. Always be a safe and courteous driver, stay calm when behind the wheel, and remain focused on the road.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile marketer with experience as a staff and freelance writer for many business and technology publications and newspapers. He previously worked as the editor and media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA, handling home, auto, and travel insurance topics.

Latest auto insurance articles

A guide to getting your driver's licence in Alberta
If you’re in Alberta, whether you’re a long-time resident or a recent arrival, here’s everything you need to know about getting your driver’s license.
5 mins read
Ontario’s budget 2024: Drivers will soon be able to opt out of certain mandatory auto insurance coverage
Ontario’s 2024 budget suggests allowing previously mandatory insurance coverage to become optional. However, opting for this flexibility may potentially bring on higher risks.
4 mins read
Higher car expenses leading more Canadians to make changes to their driving
A new survey from RATESDOTCA and BNN found that 37% of Canadian drivers are planning on making changes to their driving routines in order to cut costs.
6 mins read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of our latest offers, relevant news and tips!

Thanks for joining!

You'll be hearing from us shortly - stay tuned.