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Car insurance, as you likely already know, is a tricky concept.

The amount you pay to keep your vehicle covered can be influenced by many factors, from the colour of your ride to the neighbourhood you live in. That’s why insurers can often get away with hiking your rates, even if you have a squeaky clean record on the road.

Just take Ontario resident Joao Rodrigues.

Up until recently, he’s been paying $1,454 to keep his 1998 Mazda MPV fully insured. But when Rodrigues received his latest bill, his jaw almost hit the floor: the rate had shot up to $2,053–an increase of more than 41 per cent.

“My car insurance went up for no reason. I’ve had no accidents, no nothing,” he said.

Rodrigues attempted to call his broker for clarification, and says they told him it was a “general increase.” But when Pat Foran with Consumer Reports contacted them himself, a different answer was given:

“All rate groups are updated annually to reflect changing factors, including how aging of a vehicle impacts risk,” Ilda Dinis with Northbridge Insurance wrote in a statement.

So what kinds of “changing factors” are they talking about? According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, it could have something to do with the age of Rodrigues’ car. The bureau says older vehicles have parts that may be harder to replace, or lack safety equipment that would be present in newer cars.

Our advice? Before buying a new ride, always call an insurance company to check whether or not it falls into a high risk group.

For more information, check out the video above.