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2006-10-01 - 9:19 a.m.

car logistics, or lack therof..

I fly to the yUK this evening and the prospect of sitting in a plane for several hours still fills me with dread. I spent yesterday evening packing - how to pack for England in the Autumn, apart from rain gear? I just threw about everything into a suitcase, including all liquids, gels, and aerosols. Ugh.

K and I finally saw some forward-action on our Canadian permanent residence applications. Because of my position, we are in a special nominee program that means the whole process should take 6 months - but this estimate did not count on the paperwork sitting on a university desk for more than 3 months first. In fact, the paperwork is still sitting there, but with yet another promise that it will go out tomorrow. This is disturbing because much of our Canadian status depends on getting this residence.

The classic example is with our car. We went through all of this trouble to export the vehicle from the United States so that we could get BC insurance and license plates put on it. To do this we had to email our scads of scanned paperwork to our specific border crossing more than three days in advance.

We of course then went accidentally to the WRONG border crossing, but were too far across the border into Canada to get back to the USA without going through customs and immigration (which had a 1-hour line). After searching our way across scenic Blaine, WA, we made it to our correct border crossing and the process was surprisingly simple. The title for our car was torn; it received a big stamp that said EXPORTED; and we proceeded into Canada.

But once we arrived in Canada, we were told that we could not IMPORT the vehicle into Canada, because of our status (or lack thereof). This was financially in our favor because we did not have to pay import fees or taxes. But it is also a bummer, because we are not allowed to sell or otherwise dispose of this vehicle anywhere in Canada. We cannot sell or dispose of it anywhere in the USA because the thing's been exported. Looks like our best bet in the meantime is international waters....

Why are we concerned about importing the vehicle officially? Because we want to SELL IT. We rarely if ever use it. Mostly it sits like a big steel decoration in the backyard. On top of that, as I mentioned before, BC insurance is exorbitant because neither K nor I get any credits for our combined 20+ years of perfect driving experience. So the insurance company set us at the absolute top tier, which is close to $2000 per year.

It feels ludicrous to pay this amount for a hunk of steel we never use. We could rent a car for about 4 days per month and still break even on the insurance, and that doesn't even count the costs of fuel and maintenance. Alternatively, there are at least 6-8 co-op vehicles scattered around the corner from us.

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