|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...