Thursday, 20 October 2016

Career webinar

This is just a quick one for anyone interested in some information about growing your career prospects in Canada.

Sometimes it can be a bit difficult communicating with someone who has different cultural references than you.  I remember when I first arrived here I even had trouble getting some change. I asked for change for a fifty dollar note and the guy asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted change, what he meant was what format of the change I wanted, did I want coins or notes.

Anyway, so here is the link to the webinar.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Buying a car too early

There really is such a thing as buying your car too early in Canada.  You can't get off the plane and climb into a brand new car and drive away (well, you can, but you'll be driving illegally). As usual, the dealer selling you the car won't bother to give you all the details.  They just want to do the sale.

So, what makes it too early and illegal?  The fact that you can't legally drive without car insurance and you can't get car insurance here without a Canadian Drivers license!

Probably the best source of information on getting ready to drive in Canada is on the CIC website here. The article is called Driving in Canada.

The Financial Services Commission states it a little more explicitly.

My story goes like this for those who are interested:
I moved into an area where the distances between shops and home was just a little bit too far to carry a two-year-old daughter and some groceries.  The bus links were also somewhat far away.  So we decided that we should get a car.  As a tip for those wanting to rent initially, use Enterprise, I found them to be much more reasonable than all the other car rental places here.  Renting a car for an extended period of time though is really expensive.  So we bought the day before I went to get my G1 license.  Then I heard that it was illegal to drive without insurance (You can still drive any other car on your international license, just not your own un-insured one).
There I was calling every insurer I could find, even dealing with a few unscrupulous ones that wanted me to sign, but couldn't insure me until I had my G2.  So I booked my G2 test ASAP, travelled a bit to get to a place that had a test open the next week and got my G2.  Now I could be insured, but since I only had a G2 license, not a Full G license, you can imagine the insurance was a bit hefty.  Getting my full G was the next top priority*.  Unfortunately it was not possible to find any testing center that had an opening within any kind of driving distance, so I got an insurance that was not a contract and waited about another 3 weeks.  Getting the full G still did not bring down the insurance that much.  Thank goodness I had a great insurance agent and with some major help and many documents I managed to get my insurance down to about $1500 a year, and I could legally drive!  In all my time driving on the roads in Canada I have yet to be stopped by the cops, but it is much more comforting driving legally.

So, I hear you asking, what are the work arounds?
There are only two I can think of.  The first is hardly worth mentioning because I don't know of an insurer back home that would insure a car bought in another country, but you could try.  So this owrk around only works if you ship your car over to Canada.  Then you can carry on under your old insurer while you get your Canadian Licence.
Then of course you can also get someone who has a Canadian Licence to buy your car for you and then they can insure the car in their name.  I imagine you may want someone you really trust.

If neither of those options work for you.  Well then, don't lose hope!  Just get your Canadian License really quickly!  I managed to get my full G in just one month.

*To be able to do the Full G Driving Test you need to provide the Drive Test center with a letter from your Road Authority showing you have two or more years experience.