When it comes to being able to purchase vehicles Canadians have a lot of great choices. Even the option to import a vehicle. This may be the case for those Canadian drivers that own a right-hand drive vehicle (RHD)
What Is An RHD Vehicle?
This is a vehicle where the steering wheel is mounted on the right-hand side of the vehicle. So, instead of the driver’s side being on the left side which is traditional for drivers in Canada, it is on the left-hand side.
Who Can Get RHD Insurance?
Anyone who can legally own a vehicle can get right-hand drive insurance coverage. However, this has not always been easy. For some who have purchased this type of car they just assumed they would be able to get coverage and were shocked when it was extremely difficult to do so.
The Insurance Companies Choice
For the most part, it is up to the insurance companies to be able to choose what vehicles they will insure. For many of the insurance companies providing vehicle insurance, they opted not to provide coverage for these RHD vehicles. They went on record with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to verify this.
What Is The Financial Services Commission Of Ontario?
This is a Company that regulates insurance companies and related third parties as well as other industries in relation to their financial dealings. They answer directly to the Minister of Finance. Their mandate is to protect public interests.
How Much Will My RHD Insurance Cost?
Could be over $7,000 per year
It is very difficult to give an estimate on insurance for RHD vehicles. This is because very few insurance companies will even consider insuring them. Those that do will have a lot of stipulations in place. If it is obtained there may be a few factors that will help to reduce the cost of the premiums a little. Such as:
- There may be reductions for Ontario drivers that have a clean driving record for over ten years.
- A clean insurance record
- The particular type of RHD vehicle
- The intended use of the vehicle
For drivers that have ten years plus experience and good driving and insurance records the cost will be about a 50% surcharge for the RHD insurance coverage.
Are Right Hand Drive Cars Legal In Ontario?
Ontario will permit right-hand vehicles to be driven on the public roads in Ontario. However, they must be at least fifteen years old. There is a ban on newer right-hand vehicles being imported to the province. The same rules and permission to drive these vehicles in other provinces may be different. The ban on new models is a federal ban.
Quebec will not allow for the registration of most right-hand vehicles.
Prince Edward Island will not allow these vehicles to be driven on their public roads
Do I Need An Ontario License To Get Insurance?
If you are going to register your vehicle in Ontario you will need proof of insurance.
In order to get insurance, you will need a driver’s licence.
In order to drive on Ontario public roads, you need an Ontario drivers license.
List Of Rhd Insurance Companies In Ontario
Insurance companies are upgrading their services all the time which means they may add new services or even delete ones that they were offering. When it comes to RHD coverage you may find that one of the following can help you with this as a Canadian driver.
Mitchell & Whale Ltd.
Hagerty: There may be a chance that this company will provide right hand drive vehicle insurance if the vehicle is not newer than 25 years old and specifically those that have been imported from Japan like the Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra, and Toyota Land Cruiser
Elliott Insurance Services
It may be a little easier to get insurance for right-hand drive vehicles that are British made such as:
- RHD Landrovers
It is also worth approaching classic car insurance providers. Some may consider providing insurance for your RHD vehicle. However, the requirements for qualifying will be quite strict, such as:
- The vehicle will have to be over 25 years
- The insured must have a clean driving record and a clean insurance record
- The insured will have to own another vehicle that is used for daily use
- The vehicle must be in stock condition
- The RHD vehicle cannot be used for daily use
If the company is going to provide insurance they may have some additional requirements especially if the insured is looking for collision and comprehensive coverage. They may need:
- An appraisal of the vehicle that verifies its value
- The importation papers
- Photographs of all four sides of the vehicle
- A photocopy of ownership
- Photograph of VIN plate.
Why Is RHD Insurance So High?
There are a lot of reasons why insurance for this type of vehicle can be so expensive. Some of the same metrics that are used for standard insurance are applied and these vehicles may not rate very well within the metrics.
One of the big factors is the safety features. Although there is a ban on RHD vehicles that are newer than fifteen years there are still some concerns that were raised back in 2007 by the Canadian Association of Automobiles regarding safety concerns of these vehicles. They wanted the ban to go to 25 years. There was indications that there was a 40% increase in accidents for Right Hand Drive Cars.
Repair and Replacement
Another big concern of insurance companies is the repair costs and the high replacement value of these types of cars as they may fall into the classic car category. For some of these vehicles, it may be extremely difficult to get repair parts and they would probably have to be imported.
There may be some concerns about theft because the vehicle may be assumed to have a high value based on its age.
The Standard Metrics
Then added to these intensified concerns are the standard metrics that would be considered such as:
- The driver’s record
- The insurance record
- Where the car would be stored
- The intended use of the vehicle
Overall the individual who wants to have ownership of an RHD in Ontario has the option to do so. But, are they willing to go through all the difficulties that can come with insuring this type of vehicle as well as the costs.