Clifford St-Remy

Right-Hand Drive Vehicles: Are You Having Trouble Finding an Insurer?

Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra, Mazda RX7… You’ve been shopping for this new ride for a few months already, you meticulously go over the classifieds searching for the real gem, you’ve already even found the space to store it this winter. You’re ready!

So, you decide to call your insurer but, to your great surprise, he tells you that this type of vehicle can’t be insured. You ask yourself this question — but why?

Why do most insurance companies not offer insurance for this type of vehicle? To understand the full picture, let’s start by explaining the basics.

First of all, what is a Mazda RX7?

A right-hand drive vehicle or RHD (Right Hand Drive) is a car that was imported from another country, most often from a country colonized by the British who, like approximately a quarter of the world’s population, drive on the left-hand side of the road, which means the steering wheel is on the right-hand side.

Here, in Quebec, we drive on the right-hand side of the road and the wheel is located to the left of the car, which means that our roads and driving laws are adapted to our way of driving.

Significant increased risks…

A study carried out by the SAAQ on accidents that happened in 2007 and 2008 revealed that ride-hand drive vehicles were involved in 30% more accidents than vehicles with a steering wheel on the opposite side. In the eyes insurers, this is a significant risk factor.

This can be explained by the fact that RHD vehicles are not adapted for the Quebec roadway system.

A maneuver as simple as a passing can become problematic: You are on a two-way road and you are about to pass a car. From your driver’s side vantage point, you are generally able to see what is in front of the car ahead of you. However, this is not the case if you are sitting to the right side of the car, which drastically increases the risk of an accident.

This situation is so problematic in a RHD vehicle that a special rear view mirror exists to correct such obstruction. It’s called a double mirror. One mirror points towards the front of the vehicle whereas the other points towards the inside. It mimics the principle of a periscope since the reflected image allows the driver to see if a car is approaching from the opposite direction. The rear view mirror is installed on the windshield inside the car above the dashboard, in the left corner. Its use is similar to the outside rear view mirrors on the doors. Their dimensions are fairly small, which means that they don’t block the driver’s field of vision.

In short, the different characteristics of these vehicles as well as the added risks that they pose can make finding an insurer for your right-hand drive vehicle more complex. It’s precisely for this reason that Lareau has decided to develop an exclusive program for this type of vehicle.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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