Driving in Canada!

killpanda

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Hi guys! :)

Nothing is sure yet, but it seems I'm going to stay in Canada for while (hopefully I'll get a job and a work permit quickly ;-)).

So with this comes a few questions:

1 - Even if I don't really need a car (I don't know that yet), if I stay I really want one. My French driving license will be Ok for 3 months but then I'll have to pass the Canadian Driving License. Is it hard? ;-)

2 - So, let say I got my license and I buy a car, I heard Canadian insurance is a big rip-off but I don't really have fact on that. What would cost me, for instance, a 1.5L Civic to insure?

3 - I may have a budget of $1000 / $2000 CAD to spend on a car, I saw quite a lot of Civics, etc. What would be the best option in this kind of budget? Manual of course ;-)


Thanks in advance for all your answers ;-)
 

Craddosk

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1) The driving test is not hard. You'll be fine until your international driver's license expires, so go with that. Unless your moving here, then it's only good for three months. The big thing with the driving test is to follow the rules of the road, even if they don't make sense. Ex. shoulder check constantly, and the textbook stuff.

2) Insurance is variable depending on which province your going to. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive. It also is highly dependent on your sex, age, past driving history, and the vehicle you purchase.

3) For that kind of cash, when your ready for a car, look at the Under $5000 Autotrader for vehicles. Otherwise, don't worry about price. But, civics (over here) retain their value quite well.
 

killpanda

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Thanks :)

I will be staying in Vancouver (British Columbia then).

I think it will be quite hard, I passed my french license 5 years ago and have got many bad habits since... And I drove a bit in Peru, where I got even more bad and dangerous habits :-D
 

argatoga

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I've got a bitching RX-7 you can take off me. A bit dinged and missing an engine, but otherwise in great condition.
 

killpanda

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Oh great, maybe I can install some pedals in it!
 

argatoga

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Hell yeah. It maybe a bit oversteery without the engine in the front so don't go too fast.
 

killpanda

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I just had a great idea, maybe I can train some beavers and attach them to the front so they do the traction!

How hard can it be?
 

argatoga

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Or do all your driving down hill.
 

GM_IV

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1) Each province administers their own test so I'm not entirely sure exactly what BC does differently than Ontario. There should be a driver's manual which would tell you everything your supposed to do and the rules that maybe province specific.

2) You have heard correctly, Canadian auto insurance is terrible. Since your going to be in BC you at least get a less expensive one since its run by the government. Ontario's auto insurance companies are horrible and probably the worst in the country. I hate my current policy and every time I shop around maybe there's a better premium but I'd get screwed further with shady coverage. I'm glad all they run is auto insurance, I can't imagine these robbers running anything else.

3) Its hit or miss with that budget, its up to your timing and luck when something good shows up. The most important thing is to get the car inspected by a mechanic, used car dealers are as you'd expect not trustworthy. The Carfax report also may not be enough.
 

VR6

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Hi guys! :)

Nothing is sure yet, but it seems I'm going to stay in Canada for while (hopefully I'll get a job and a work permit quickly ;-)).

So with this comes a few questions:

1 - Even if I don't really need a car (I don't know that yet), if I stay I really want one. My French driving license will be Ok for 3 months but then I'll have to pass the Canadian Driving License. Is it hard? ;-)

2 - So, let say I got my license and I buy a car, I heard Canadian insurance is a big rip-off but I don't really have fact on that. What would cost me, for instance, a 1.5L Civic to insure?

3 - I may have a budget of $1000 / $2000 CAD to spend on a car, I saw quite a lot of Civics, etc. What would be the best option in this kind of budget? Manual of course ;-)


Thanks in advance for all your answers ;-)
In vancouver you probably won't need a car and for 1-2k I would reccomend saving up some more for something else.

I'm 22 and I pay the minimum coverage in alberta and it's about 1800 a year, Although I do have a few tickets...

If you do need a car, ya civic is your best bet, or an old corolla if you are lucky enough to find one in your price range.
 

GM_IV

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I'm 22 and I pay the minimum coverage in alberta and it's about 1800 a year, Although I do have a few tickets...
This is sad...your rate is better than mine...for the same coverage, I've been driving longer, my driving record is clean and my car is barely has any value left.
 

killpanda

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Yeah, I know I probably won't need a car to work or something (and our house is really near of the skytrain), but I want one. It's been 4 months now that I've been without a car and it's killing me. I hate being driven, I hate paying taxis and I could do without public transports...

1800$ a year only for insurance? Damn, it is indeed a ripoff... I guess I'll have to see, depending on the job I find and my budget at this time :)

Thanks for all the useful informations :)
 

killpanda

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Ohhhh, depending if I can sell the Fiesta, I might go over budget for that :-o
 

argatoga

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Yea MX-5s are cheap here. Esp. now during the Winter (not much snow but a lot of rain). I'm not sure what is involved with buying a car over here and importing it into Canada, but I'm sure you can find others across the boarder for around the same price.
 

Shawnw

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1- The driving test is not hard, it is very easy compared to many places. If like most people you are confident in your driving but not sure if its robotic enough to pass the test, sign up for a one hour refresher with an instructor. They will go over every little thing that the testers look for but that may be commonly overlooked by someone whos been driving for a few years.
I also suggest taking the test somewhere outside of the city centre. If you have to, go to surrey or langley. Less traffic, simpler streets= easy test.

2-Even though our regular insurance is privatized and run only by ICBC, its not great. If you are a safe driver with a clean driving history, your price should be more than reasonable. If not, then you may be suprised at how fast it jumps up.

3- With a $1000-$2000 budget there wont be much to choose from, but you can still find gold. Keep in mind that the great majority of cars here are automatic and that we dont have yearly inspections other than aircare (smog testing) in the Lower Mainland, so having a mechanic do a once over is a must. If you end up in a downtown/city center area, transit should be decent and you may not need a car at all.

Hope this helps and good luck with the possible move north.
 

killpanda

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Thanks :)

The move to the big cold north may be delayed due to unexpected complications though...
 

thevictor390

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You're certainly getting around. My traveling has been limited to the East Coast (Montreal to Florida).

Good luck wherever you end up!
 

killpanda

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Thanks :)

I've discovered the problem as soon as I woke up (so much for checking your mail at wake up time...) and it managed to ruin my complete day, I'm so pissed off I could bite someone!
 

killpanda

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So, now that I'm in Vancouver, let's bump this thread!

I'm in the process of passing the Canadian Driving License and will likely buy a car in the next few weeks/months if all goes well!

Our budget would be around $3000 and we're looking for something good on gas and reliable so I'm guessing we'll end up with some sort of high-mileaged Civic, which is fine by me, I found a couple of EK with manual transmission that don't look too bad.

Do you know better cars in this price range?


I have to see about insurance now, do you guys know approximately how much it would cost to insure a basic Civic? Keeping in mind that I won't go through the "Newbie" stage, I should obtain a full license right away since I'm able to use the French license to prove that I already have a driving experience and that my insurance record should be quite clean if they don't go dig too deep in the insurance database in France :-D
 
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