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Thread: Toronto to LA

  1. Default Toronto to LA

    Me and my 2 friends are planning a road trip from Toronto to Los Angeles where we will meet a friend who lives there. Along the way we will be collecting money for Street Kids International charity.

    Now, here is our problem.

    We want to drive a beater car we have (it works fine and will make it there) but want to fly back. And the car needs to be insured. We dont want to be stuck with a one year contract or something like that. Is it possible to get insurance, cancel it when we get there, and than take the car to a dump or something to get rid of it?

    Do you think a company will give us a one month insurance policy?

    Am i just nuts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Not to Worry (About That)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There should be a standard rider in all automobile insurance policies that allows you to cancel the insurance on proper notice. This is so that you can sell or junk the car without having to continue to pay for a policy that can no longer 'pay off'. Also, most companies sell coverage in 6 month chunks (but not shorter) if that is what you want. So I don't really see any problems with your plan. Just make sure what your particular company's cancellation policy is, and more importantly, make sure that your 'beater' is up to the trip or else you'll be paying far more in repair bills just to complete the trip than any insurance policy is going to cost you.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default importation

    Something I think you need to think about (in addition to the cost to repair a car that is of so little value it can be junked) is the issues you may have actually dumping a Canadian car in the US.

    Even if it has very little value, trying to transfer ownership of the car into the US (even if only to a junk yard) may trigger a whole slew of customs paperwork and possibly taxes and tariffs that could significantly increase the cost and hassle of doing this trip.

  4. Default

    So let me present this next scenario (thank you for all your advice so far, it has greatly helped me out).

    Say we purchase this insurance, and meet the required cancellation agreements in the contract. So we get down to LA, cancel the insurance. What would happen if we just gave the car away to say a family who needs it? Would that be a complete disaster??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Probably Useless

    California has its own emission control requirements which are more stringent than anywhere else in North America. It is more than probable that the car you are trying to 'give away' would be totally useless to anyone in California. Sure, they could take ownership. But ownership is not sufficient to take the car on the road. They would have to establish Title, entailing all the red tape that Michael alluded to, and they would have to register the car and get tags. meaning that it would have to pass a California vehicle inspection, including emissions testing, which could entail expensive retrofits of smog control devices - if they're even available. You might be able to turn it in to a junk yard, but given the limited chance that anybody would want parts from your old clunker they would probably charge you a substantial fee to take the car off your hands. The bottom line is that cars should never be thought of as disposable items.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Ok, I just talked to some people and they said they know some people who can take the car out of our hands. So disregarding that issue, and focusing on merely the insurance, we should have no problem doing this??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default be upfront

    You know, you'll never go wrong by telling your agent what you hope to do and then ask what will happen if you don't follow through with your plan. I guess the worst case is that you get a 6 month policy and you don't get a refund.

    I would really be using a whole lot more caution in regards to getting rid of the car. Talking to "a guy who knows some people" certainly wouldn't be sufficient in my book, especially when you could be held financially liable for any customs issues and those could impact your ability to return to the US in the future.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by falconi_47 View Post
    Ok, I just talked to some people and they said they know some people who can take the car out of our hands.
    That sounds dangerous, and may not work out when you are actually on the spot, and they are not.

    My suggestion is that you get on to the relevant government departments for both Canada and the US and speak to the proper authorities, to get your answer. Speaking to both will ensure that the advise given applies in both countries (sort of like a cross-reference). When / If you get the answer you are looking for, be sure to ask for it in writing.

    Only after that, would I worry about the insurance.

    Lifey thinks better to be sure than sorry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    You are opening up a bureaucratic minefield by not taking the car back out of the US when you return to Canada. You may be best served by driving from LA to Vancouver, dumping it there, and then flying back to Toronto.

  10. Default

    Wow thanks everyone for the advice!! GLC, i think thats what we will do, head up to Vancouver and dump it.

    What do they call those places? What am I looking for? A scrap yard? A Junkyard? Metal and Iron Wholesale?

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