Need a vehicle

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Hey, I'm looking for a good, cheap local car rental place in the area.

Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Ponoka, etc...

If you know of a good place, can you shoot me an email please?


randallfriesen at gmail dot com would be fine.

Trying to get some things in place for next week.


Nope, I couldn't just hit the "Post" button could I.

Rant warning, beware...

Lauralea and I have always worked hard, cost of living wise, so that we could have one parent home with the kids and caring for the family. That has been a priority for us. Another priority has been that we do with less income as a choice, so that we might be able to work in areas and with people who might not otherwise be able to have a local pastor. As a result, we've worked with what we've had, and God has been good to us.

Sometimes that has meant holidays closer to home or me taking the city bus to work, but it's been a priority for us and we've tried to live into that as best as we can. Probably most of our married life we've been a one car family and when it was more affordable, we became a two car family. Choices like that. These choices have been guided by a sense that God is God and he will take care of us.

Presently we have one car and are open to getting another vehicle, but we are also trying to be faithful to our past thinking. We are trying to discern need vs life in a field vs cost vs the local culture of automobiles. And that's just the car itself. The thing that has made this a rant in my head today has been talking with our auto insurance broker. The auto insurance system in this province seems taylor made to make a few people very rich. The costs of buying insurance for you, your spouse, and a few kids, in this province, is staggering to my mind anyway. And that is coming from a person who has lived a few years with publicly provided insurance. I don't know why a state or province would choose private insurance over public insurance for it's people knowing that the people would all have to pay more anyway. The prices stagger the mind, even for one vehicle, let alone two or three.

Anyway, before you think I have red underwear on, my point is that the process of discernment to get another auto or not, is also can we afford the insurance for it or not. Those costs may even be more than the cost of the vehicle in the long run. I never saw that coming. And who is getting rich off the current system too?

"Luckily" my broker told me, "Luckily Alberta brought in price controls a few years back. It used to be that the person with no insurance history would pay over $5000 a year for auto insurance." Unbelievably ridiculous. With a bit more work they could get the cost down even more.

And I am lucky, I know that. But that seems to push it to the places where some people just can't afford to drive. Either that, or there is an amazing amount of disposable cash out there in these two income, three vehicle families.

So for now, it's probably cheaper just to rent something for the week. And if you want to set me straight on the value of private over public auto insurance, go for it. I don't know it all, yet.


  1. As a European who has always had to use private insurance companies, the cost of motor insurance in North America is staggering to me. We pay around $800 a year for each of our 2 cars, and I'm certain the insurance companies generally make a decent profit. About 5 years ago I talked with one of my colleagues in Texas, and he was talking about paying >$300 a month for car insurance.

    I don't know, but maybe it's the culture of litigation that has flourished on your side of the pond (the infection is trying to take hold here - thankfully so far it has failed mostly). When there is an accident, although people will often quite viciously try to pass the blame, no-one expects to make a killing from it. Accidents are just that: a fact of allowing humans to drive a car.

    Or maybe you're right, and it's purely profiteering.

    Out of interest, how much was insurance in Saskatchewan?

  2. Toni- here in Sask. I currently pay about 1000 a year to insure the vehicle and top it off with about $300 to get extras - like glass coverage, a lower deductible and a rental car if mine is in an accident and needs repairs. The vehicle is insured no matter who drives it. I don't have to worry about extra insurance if my kids are learning to drive or if they borrow it occasionally.
    Sounds as if you have a good deal over there too with private insurance.
    I think our gov't insurance keeps costs down due to volume and centralization. I'm all for a gov't that makes life easier for its people.

  3. My coverage in Sask was about $600 per vehicle and for $200 more I would have had what Linea has.

    Here it's a couple of hundred more than that for the first auto.
    Then to add occasional use by one college student family member, you double that.
    Then for a second auto you actually more than double that total.

    I agree, I think that the culture of litigation here is making things higher.
    Here in Alberta the general approach to many things is user pay, or the individuals wants and needs are primary. In Saskatchewan it would seem that the community is more important than the individual. Thus universal health care started there, and Credit Unions, and many community centered things.

    It's simply a different approach to life.

    Interestingly I seem to be bumping into more and more people effected negatively by the oil industry here. And I don't mean the cash leaving the province kinds of things. I mean peoples health and wellbeing effected in adverse ways by the systems and structures and noise etc. the industry uses to get the oil out of the ground and to refineries.
    That's possibly another kind of example where the importance to a few outweighs the effects on the local communities.

    Again, just a different culture or spirit here than there.

  4. Sounds like they're modelling themselves on your southern neighbours a lot more. Are there a lot of whacky churches there too?

  5. I do think its fair to say that Alberta is much more "Americanized" than some of the other provinces. As for churches, probably not so much wacky ones, although I haven't seen many yet, as much as many more conservative churches per capita I suspect.

  6. We're paying (before deductions) about $3000 per year for our little Neon. Because of Nate's driving record, we've gotten that knocked down to about $2000. Which is still ridiculous for basic insurance on a 2005 vehicle for "pleasure use".

    Seriously makes me doubt whether or not it's worth it.

  7. Interestingly enough, when we moved from Alberta to Saskatchewan in the late 1980s, we ended up paying more, not less, to insure our vehicle. Perhaps things have changed since then. At that time the Alberta rates were heavily dependent on age and driving record, whereas in Saskatchewan an 18-year-old would pay the same as a 50-year-old. We were about 30 years old with good driving records. A 20-year-old with a couple of driving violations would have seen a big drop in auto insurance by moving to Saskatchewan.
    If your rates are that much higher in Alberta, at your advanced age :) the insurance companies must have changed their formulas.

  8. Argg, I meant to say that "we ended up paying less, not more..."


I'm moderating all the comments these days.

Copyright Randall Friesen. Powered by Blogger.