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General Climbing Discussion

Buying a car in BC
Nick SA
9:07:02 PM
Had a look around and couldn't really find much in the way of prior coverage for this, please correct/ direct me if there are any existing threads covering this...

I'm heading to interior BC (Nelson) for an extended period of snowboarding followed by climbing in the summer and was wondering if anyone's had any experience buying used van/truck in Canada and has any pearls of wisdom or valuable insight/advice they'd like to share?

Particularly concerned with the registering process, i.e. if it's like Vic and cars need a RWC or something similar. Whether 3rd party insurance is included in rego etc. and whether there's anything specific that's good to know in advance.


Fish Boy
5:17:35 AM
No rwc or safety checks unless car has come from another province or country. Cars are cheap. Basic insurance cost me $1500 and for it to be fully insured it cost another $1500 on a 5 year old Hyundai! Get snow tires.
9:13:51 AM
3rd party insurance is not included in the rego but you need it to get the rego. Get insurance history from all you past insurance policies & the premium should be cheaper (mine went from $1200 to ~$500 with history).

in Alberta you only need a safety certificate if the vehicle is more than 16years old, & even then they usually waive it if the vehicle has been kept registered the whole time. Sounds like BC is similar. Don't buy an out of province vehicle - the safety certificate is twice the cost as a normal inspection & you can all but guarantee they will find a list of (expensive) repairs needed.

snow tires are a must, especially in the Kootenays. Drive slow in the snow.... the Koots are reasonably remote, patchy cell coverage, lots of deer & elk to hit etc. Its not a bad idea to have a sleeping bag in the car if you are road tripping somewhere. You could be in for a long cold night waiting for someone to come pull you out of the ditch.

If you're buying a mini van, don't get a Ford Windstar unless its already had the gearbox replaced...

12:03:50 PM
If you're flying into Calgary, get a greyhound and wait until you get to nelson to buy a car,
If you fly into Vancouver, it might be worth looking into a car there, as there is a bigger population. Cars need "aircare' (polution certificate) only if living in Vancouver, so dont worry about that too much.
Lots of dodgy cars around, do a mech and stolen vehicle check for sure! its worth the extra day in Vancouver!

The insurance thing you need is a statement from your current employer, Must be on their letter head stating:
1. dates you have been continually insured for.
2. dates of any claims made against you.
3. show main drivers name and policy number

You get 5% off BC insurance for every year you have had no caims for with your aussie employer. ie, if you got NRMA 3rd party/property when you were 20 years old, and you kept the same car or policy number til you are 30, then came to canada with a letter from NRMA, BC would give you 50% off their premium!

ICBC- BC government insurer (i think its the only car insurer in BC??) have lots of info on their website.

Winter tires are different to all season tires. 4WD is a definate advantage. winter tires will set you back around $4-700 depending on which models are sold out etc...
Nick SA
10:20:25 PM
Thanks for the beta tim, james & fish boy.

I'm into Calgary, then bus to nelson so that clears that one up.

The insurance looks letter looks like a sweet plan, and winter tyres are a given. I've had plenty of experience driving on snow, both OS and here, and definitely appreciate the benefits of good tread.

Fair point about the bag/ being prepared for overnight and i'll avoid Ford Windstar's and dodgy gear boxes. What's the consensus on a Chevy Astro AWD?

I take it I'm alright registering car/ insurance if I've an aussie full license? Getting a BC one will happen, but probably not straight away.
Fish Boy
7:37:53 AM
Wall mart have the cheapest snow tires...not the best quality, but totally better than the best all seasons....

8:04:00 AM
No probs registering on an Aussie lisence, insrance costs ($1900/6mnths for me) alot straight out, then you get refunds as you move to areas of less crashes (ie vancouver to revelstoke refunded my $300).
You will probably have to pay full price at the "autoplan" brokers (autplan is the state run car insurer), and then send in yor letter to see if you are elegable for a refund cheque.

So first up, you need an address so you can say where your living, and so they can send refund cheques somewhere.
9:59:01 AM

>Fair point about the bag/ being prepared for overnight and i'll avoid
>Ford Windstar's and dodgy gear boxes. What's the consensus on a Chevy Astro

a mate had a 2wd Astro & it was fine for a old cheap van. Extra street cred for driving a Mr T mobile... The 2wd versions are rear wheel drive so you would need chains. Not sure how many of the AWD versions are around.

Unless you plan on driving on lots of dirt forestry roads in the summer I wouldn't stress too much about 4wd - good snow tires help more than 4wd. Having said that, my g/f has a Imprezza, with snow tires its unstoppable in dry AB snow.

I drove on my Aust license for more than 2 years no problems. Aust licenses don't transfer so I had to do written test, get learners then do a driving test (painful).

ICBC is the provincial gov't insurance company scheme & the only place to get 3rd party. Comprehensive insurance comes from other insurers, but you still need ICBC 3rd party even if you have comp.
Fish Boy
1:39:28 PM
James, are you sure our licenses don't transfer? I've been here 5 months, my lisence was suspended, now expired in oz but was told you just surrender your oz license, have a letter from vicroads with driving history then voila! Either way, I've been driving around and it seems there are no cops....
2:33:00 PM
It definitely didn't transfer to AB, but it was 2 or 3 years ago that I swapped my license, maybe some rules have changed? Not sure if the rules are different in BC, but I would check it out...

I think I got driving history from Vic Roads which meant I could avoid the graduated license stuff - ie passed the test & got a full/open license straight away.

RCMP don't seem to check licenses often anyways... the few times I've been through check stops they only seem to ask for rego & insurance proof.

There are 10 messages in this topic.


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