U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arizona > Phoenix area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-07-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
379 posts, read 734,926 times
Reputation: 369
Default Snowbirds: Vehicle Insurance/Registration

We're considering purchasing a vacation home in Scottsdale. I know they area very well - have been visiting since 97.

Curious what other snowbirds (particularly Canadians) have done for vehicle registration?

Our preference is to have one vehicle remain at our property in AZ. I'm not interested in driving/shipping it back to Toronto every year.

Can I, as a non-resident/citizen purchase, register and insure a vehicle in AZ that remains in the state with an Ontario drivers license?

Or, will a Canadian insurance company allow an Ontario registered vehicle to remain in AZ year round? For example a company like State Farm which operates in both countries. I realize this is a question for the insurance company, but I have not received a straight answer from any of them.

Curious what other snowbirds/part-time residents have done for their vehicles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-07-2012, 10:23 AM
 
1,619 posts, read 1,746,548 times
Reputation: 2160
> will a Canadian insurance company allow an Ontario registered vehicle to remain in AZ year round?

I don't know about Canada, but in the US we have yearly state inspection. This alone would make it impractical to keep a car in AZ that is registered somewhere across the country.

I suspect Arizona will be very happy to register your car, in view of the cost of vehicle registration.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,026 posts, read 3,831,436 times
Reputation: 3347
Arizona requires smog inspections every two years, unless the car is really old (pre-1994, I think?).

For newer cars, the smog inspection is a 30-minute pit-stop, where they plug into the computer & collect $28.00- no big deal.

We don't require safety inspections.

You can & should buy & register & insure the car here.

There is no sales tax on private party sales - buying from a dealer costs nearly 10% more .


The plates will be cheaper the longer the car has been in Arizona.

Insurance & registration will very likely be much cheaper here - if your winter home has a garage to leave the car in,

You can cancel the plate (& get a partial refund) & cancel the insurance as well to save money when you leave.

You can cancel the plate or buy a temporary one when you return at

Servicearizona.com

Buy a battery for the car @ Costco after the first year, because sitting dormant kills them, and Costco's warranty will cover

future replacements at almost no cost. (2 year free replacement, and two years is about all you'll get out of one).

Leave the fuel tank full & change the oil when you come back.

Bringing a car from Canada can be a mess, you need proof from the manufacturer that the car meets us crash and emissions standards, which is either a five minute phone call, or sometimes impossible to get. And Arizona will ride you like a pony with registration fees and possibly even sales taxes if it's new.

Last edited by Zippyman; 07-07-2012 at 12:48 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: AZ
4,978 posts, read 5,981,490 times
Reputation: 6491
You don't need to be licensed in Arizona to insure or register a car here. You may not have to register it here, but it might be easier to do it that way for a whole heap of reasons. Sales and registration taxes are rather obscene, but it's easy to get around--a $30k car will have half the tax and registration of a $60k car. Maybe you care about it, maybe you don't. Just be prepared to see a lot of digits on tax and registration.

Your Canadian license is valid in the US, so you should have no problems buying or insuring a car here.

Not sure about whether your Canadian insurance would cover a vehicle kept permanently in the US, but I'm going to venture a guess that the answer to that question, is "no", even though it might be the same company. It should cover temporary travel to the US. I have tried to insure vehicles at different homes in different states on the same policy, and ran into problems because of (insurance agent/company) licensing issues. You're going to be getting a homeowner's policy here anyway, might as well tack car insurance on to that and get a multi line discount.

You probably already checked this out, but here are the requirements that determine whether you need to register a car here. Motor Vehicle Division
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
379 posts, read 734,926 times
Reputation: 369
Good answers, thank you. As I suspected, best route seems to be buy/register a local vehicle and keep it there. Is AZ one of the only states that allows non-residents to do this?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Ma
204 posts, read 196,570 times
Reputation: 102
The whole Az vehicle thing is very complicated.
Sales tax. Vehicle tax or something, registration charges

Coming from Ma we have a 6.25% sales tax on sales price of car from dealer or Private that u pay at the registry.
We have an excise tax which is mailed to you every year and it's 25$/1000 they value car at. Example I bought a new car 34k and excuse was $450 first year and decreases each after
We pay registration yearly $50, yearly car inspection $29

Car insurance. I have 3 cars. Full coverage on all and pay $1200 year for all 3
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,026 posts, read 3,831,436 times
Reputation: 3347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberated in TO View Post
Good answers, thank you. As I suspected, best route seems to be buy/register a local vehicle and keep it there. Is AZ one of the only states that allows non-residents to do this?
Arizona is probably the least convenient state as regards to citizenship & the DMV. Most states aren't nearly as worried about fingerprinting everyone & checking their citizenship every time they leave the house.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Two years in Raleigh, NC
5,803 posts, read 5,300,701 times
Reputation: 7228
All I know is that nearly every permanent ex pat (US and Canadians) that live in mexico keep their cars registered in South Dakota. And, when we lived in snowbird RV land (aka East Mesa/Apache Junction), we saw LOTS if SD plates.

Before you decide, I'd research the reasons why. I'm sure they include low cost, not needin a "real" SD address and easy renewals.
PM me if you have trouble tracking this down.

Last edited by Jkgourmet; 07-07-2012 at 09:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2012, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,026 posts, read 3,831,436 times
Reputation: 3347
I think if you compare Canadian insurance, taxes & registration fees to arizona's, az will end up much lower. Plus, there is no worry about your insurance paying up if it's based here. With many US based companies, you can buy & print out your forms online, and buying a temporary plate in az can be done online as well. While it might be possible to register & insure a car in sd, being that the op isn't ever in sd, it seems like an unnecessary risk - az does have a "snitch line" for reporting out-of-state plates, and cops here write tickets for it- sometimes wrongly.

It's easier to just pay the fees here in az, get a "native" plate & cancel it when you leave to get a substantial portion of those fees back. It's legal, easy & prevents hassles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2012, 05:27 AM
 
3,734 posts, read 3,111,486 times
Reputation: 2597
A MN friend of mine has been living part time in AZ for many years. A few years back, he changed his car registration from MN to AZ assuming it was the smart thing to do. When he returned, he wanted to turn on the insurance again but since he didn't have it inspected, he could not do it. His inspection lapsed which required a whole lot of paperwork. What is an easy task in MN to turn back on the car insurance became a nightmare of long lines at the DMV and at the testing station. A 2010 car still needs to be tested. I was with him some of the trips back to the DMV. He finally got a person who was helpful at the desk. When we shared the story about the red-tape, he asked why he bothered to register it in AZ. Part timers don't have register the car in from Arizona's perspective.

I too want to leave a car in Arizona year round starting in September. There is no way in H_ll I am going to registering my car in Arizona. I plan on driving the car in AZ with my MN plates for many years to come. In MN, we no longer test newer cars for emissions. We have learned that was a complete waste of time. Some states are a little slower in figure that out. It's nothing more than a money grab and a massive PITA.

Last edited by MN-Born-n-Raised; 07-08-2012 at 05:39 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arizona > Phoenix area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top