More About the Registry and the Windshield, and Ken’s Assessment

Croft mentioned that sometimes dealerships will handle the registration of the newly purchased vehicle. That was my experience in Quebec with my two new Accents. But this place wasn’t set up for that and I already had a license plate, albeit with expired tags. Surely I could drive five blocks to the registry without getting pulled over.

The minute I stepped out of the truck at the registry office, a cop came up to me! “I sure hope you’re going in there.” I replied in the affirmative and asked if he wanted to hear the story. Nope. All was good. Of course the registration was only a few days overdue.

The lady at the counter had a hard time finding the right plate and I got nervous. I detailed the instructions I’d been given and she apologized, telling me the problem was at her end and that I’d done everything right. She finally found the plate, made the transfer, accepted $80 something bucks, and handed me the year sticker for my plate.

Now, the windshield.


It was at least six big cracks and at least as many chips. It did not pass the Alberta safety inspection. There is no way I’m getting across the border with it. I have an appointment at 8:00 tomorrow to have it replaced for $250 plus GST. It will mean I won’t be able to leave until 2:00ish, so I won’t be getting as far as my property, but at least I will be legal and safe. The fact that I needed a new windshield and an oil change was ammunition during the bargaining phase. I have absolutely no problem paying for the replacement and am irked only about the lost time tomorrow.

Ken has gone over the truck and taken it for a test drive. He says that it is “very mechanically sound”, that I got a great deal, and that there are no concerns about me driving across the continent. I am going to need a tune up before the fall, but I don’t need to worry about anything right now. The condition of the tires, the engine, and the presence of receipts showing basic maintenance at the minimum has always been done tells us the truck was not abused. I feel even better now about my purchase!

I power washed the bed today and set up camp. It’s really tight in there right now, but my mother and I are going to build a platform for the bed to get it over the wheel so I’ll gain a few inches.



New Toad Purchase Details

I took a cab from the bus depot to the dealership, arriving just past 4:00. It was just a bunch of cars on a dirt lot with a pimply teen selling the vehicles out of a tiny trailer. I’d done some research and knew the place wasn’t as shady as it looked.

The kid put a license plate on the truck, handed me keys, and left me to look at the truck. At first glance, it looked good, but there is a bit of rust, the windshield badly needs replacement, there’s corrosion on the battery, and it was due for an oil change. I got on all fours and confirmed that nothing was leaking and that the undercarriage was clean. The tires are almost new.

The bed was filthy and they didn’t have the keys for the canopy. The cab was sparkling, though, and there was a Mr. Lube sticker indicating that the truck was just due in terms of both mileage and date for an oil change. In the glove box, I found a few receipts showing that basic maintenance had been done on it. I also found the Alberta safety inspection report that said all was good, but the windshield needed replacing.

I cautiously maneuvered the truck out to the road and onto Yellowhead highway. It drove smoothly and the gears shifted easily. I took my hands off the steering wheel and the truck drove straight and true.

I decided I wanted to buy it, but not for a penny more than the 3K sticker price, including the warranty, taxes, and fees. In optimal condition, it’d be worth about 5K, plus all the fees. The warranty is North America wide for a year on all the major components like the engine and transmission.

The kid said the truck was not going for a penny less than the sticker price plus all the fees, for a total of about 3.8K. I tried to go below 3K knowing I wasn’t going to get it, but I wanted to test the waters. I told the kid that I had my suitcase to spend the night, couldn’t put more than 3K on my debit card, and if I had to leave to get more money, I might as well go look at the other trucks on my list. He called his boss and told me that for 3K, they weren’t giving me a warranty.

I refused to budge. 3K including taxes, fees, and the warranty.

He called his boss again and I overheard, “if she leaves, we’re losing the sale. Yes, she’s going to leave.”

The deal was done. Salesman and boss were not happy, but they knew a manual truck wasn’t going to move. We signed the paperwork, I paid, and the kid put my license plate on the truck. Done!

I drove to the registry, paid the $80 fee for the plate renewal, and then headed to a quick lube place for the oil change, fluid top up, battery testing, and tire pressure check.

Next, I got some picnic fixings, topped up the gas tank, and I was on the road to Stettler by 7:15.

The truck drove like a dream! It was so much quieter than the Accent and very powerful. I will have to get used to needing to shift gears at higher speeds. No regrets so far!

On the Bus

I’ve always rather enjoyed taking Greyhound, but I have to say that Red Arrow is the way to travel in Alberta! It reminds me of flying in the good old days. The coaches are spacious (I have a single seat) and there are complimentary beverages and snacks. I also like that they have power outlets and wish I’d known that before I put my iPad charger in my big suitcase under the coach.


The wifi is pretty good, but it blocks some sites, including Google Maps (huh?!). I used the less helpful Map app on my iPad to get the answers I needed, mainly how long it would take to drive to Stettler tonight.

I’m thinking about the negotiations for the truck, knowing that I do not have strong position to negotiate a better price. But I do have a couple of ideas, including mentioning that I have luggage with me since I wanted to keep open the idea of spending the night in Edmonton to look at a few more trucks tomorrow.

But the fact is that the listed price is already an awesome deal for that truck so even if I end up paying that, I’m still going to be a winner. That said, I can only put through $3,000 on my debit card per day, so if the price won’t budge, I’ll tell them it has to include GST otherwise we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to conclude the deal and at that point, I might as well go somewhere else. But I really think this is going to work!

Getting Around Without a Car in Alberta Isn’t Easy!

After searching the car rentals, I decided that I was best off to take the bus to Edmonton. The Greyhound fare was $30, but the hotel here warned me that the only way to get there without walking in unsavoury neighbourhoods is by cab for about $40.

I decided to check out Via Rail and discovered Red Arrow, a charter bus service. It’ll wind up being pricier than doing the Greyhound plus taxi thing, but it sounds like a much nicer experience. I’ll take a taxi to their location and then again in Edmonton from the arrival point to the dealership. This trip is costing me an arm and a leg and I’m kicking myself for making reservations ahead of time. Live and learn.

My insurance company says that if my registration had still been valid on the car, I would have had two weeks to get everything transferred over. But since it’s not, I have till 6PM to make a deal on the car and get to the registry in Edmonton before it closes. If I succeed, and there’s no reason I can’t because I am ready to pay the full $3,0o0 for the truck (although I’m hoping they’ll settled for $2,000…), then I will be spending the night at Donna and Ken’s in Stettler, tomorrow at my property in Saskatchewan, and Wednesday I will be well on the road back to Quebec a full day earlier than my best case scenario.

Because I’ll be gaining a day, I am considering ordering my towing system parts for me to pick up somewhere along the way in the States, provided I can find a safe place to have them delivered. If I order tonight or first thing in the morning, and have them delivered in the vicinity of Duluth or even Minneapolis, there is a chance we’d arrive at the same time. Any suggestions? Would a post office hold big metal parts sent General Delivery?