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Canadian Car Buying (for Canadian Consumers)



  • mbagradmbagrad Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy a cheap used car from Canada (under $1000). I am wondering if the customs fees will outweigh the car cost. What needs to happen when buying a car in Canada when I'm from the U.S.?
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I have been in Canada a couple times this year. While NEW cars are significantly cheaper than in the US (and most Canadian dealers do NOT sell to US residents), I have seen used car prices that seemed much higher than you could land the vehicle in the US for (and I AM accounting for the 0.79 exchange rate that is currently in place).

    Another snag is that you will find that some cars marketed in Canada, cannot be imported as they do not meet US safety and pollutions standards. That is not generally a problem with the American makes.

    Personally, unless you have some "sweetheart" deal with a friend or a relative, I'd forget about it.
  • mazda6iguymazda6iguy Posts: 365
    Casino Windsor is running a promotion where you could win a Smart car. We do not have these in the US, so I was wondering if a US resident wins the car, what happens when he brings it back to the US? Are those cars federalized?

    On a related subject, what if a US resident wants to buy an Acura EL (not offered in USA) just to be unique. What are the pitfalls? Can he have it serviced by US Acura dealers? Just wondering....
  • moebmoeb Posts: 1
    I would like to know if it's a good idea to pay for fabric protection when you have a baby. Moreover, I would like to know if that make a difference to pay for the paint sealant and the undercoating? Let me know if I will just waste my money or if it's a good idea?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    While NEW cars are significantly cheaper than in the US

    That may have been true when the exchange rate was C$1.40 to the US$, but now that it's more like C$1.25 I don't think there are many cars that are significantly cheaper in Canada if you compare like with like.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    **I don't think there are many cars that are significantly cheaper in Canada if you compare like with like. ***

    Back in September, when the exchange rate was something close to C$1.23, I bought five Ford F250s that were identically equipped. Three went to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton and two went to the midwesterm states. There was about a $1500 difference in the price that I paid taking into account currency exchange. I bought them through the same leasing company and took advantage of all available incentive programs from Ford.

    For the most part, it is a moot point since the overwhelming majority of Canadian dealers will not sell to residents of the United States and visa versa.
  • mikeb2mikeb2 Posts: 1
    My daughter is a student at a university in the US. We live in Toronto. I'm planning to get a car for her, and am wondering about the pros and cons of buying one in Canada and having her use it in the US, versus buying one in the US. This is not an issue of price (I'll deal with that separately), but I am concerned about possible licencing, insurance or other issues.

    Does anyone have any views on this topic?
  • ykim1ykim1 Posts: 1
    Dear Mbagrad

    Can you tell me which cars are not imported to USA?
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Over the years, the following cars were marketed in Canada but not sold in the US. This is an "off the top of my head" list, not a complete one.

    Nissan Micra
    Mercedes Smart Car
    Hyundai Pony (pre Excel)
    certain Peugeot models

    I am sure that others can give you a more specific list.
  • Also add...

    Acura EL and CSX

    There is a good list of cars marketed in Canada but not U.S. at Wikipedia.
  • I did some comparatives on pricing (using vendor websites), and either the US is getting great deals on most models or Canadians are taking it up the ... ever since the dollar has climbed.

    Subaru is the worse with 20% premium on the WRX and Honda has a 13% additional markup on an SI with Aero and 18" wheels.

    At Audi Canadians pay a 14% premium for 4WD compared to an 8% premium for 2WD

    Generally speaking across the Toyota lineup we're paying between 10% and 20% more than the US after factoring in the current exchange rate.

    The new VW GTI gap starts at 14% for the base but when you add some extras it drops to 7%

    Given the free trade laws I think it's at the point where it might cost less to import the car from the US rather than buying at a Canadian dealership.

    PS - don't give me the line about supply and demand. This is the corporate machine exploiting the under informed consumer.
  • dmanderdmander Posts: 1
    Subaru is the worse with 20% premium on the WRX and Honda has a 13% additional markup on an SI with Aero and 18" wheels.
    Especially since the Honda I was looking at is made in Allison, Ontario. Excluding taxes it is cheaper to buy it in Portland Oregon than in Ontario. Ford too is up to this game offering little more than about 15% more on the MSRP and Canadians don't get the $3000 USD discount the Americans in the many parts of the US are getting for a F-150.
    Because the material costs are largely based on USD then Canadians should find vehicle prices coming down. Obviously car manufacturers think Canadians are stupid.
    I imported my last Canadian built car from the US and will like do the same again.
    RIV has info in this but do your research.
  • Folks,
    I am shopping for a Subaru B9 Tribeca. Any canadians want to share their experience buying a Subaru B9. I read some posts which said that buyers in US can buy one B9 $2000 below invoice. Can we Canadians get the similar discount or close a deal below invoice now?
    Any suggestion are welcome.
    BTW, I have the Carcostcanada reports in hand already.
    Thx in advance.
  • cwru32cwru32 Posts: 1
    I have no experience about canadian market. I would like to know how much you have paid for a new Honda crv. did you use any online service? do you know a good dealer? what options did you order on your car?
    finally, do you think new 2008 will arrive in september?
    thanks for your help.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,605
    Please be advised that U.S. dealers are NOT permitted to sell new Hondas destined for Canada! I must get six requests a day! You really need to deal with your local dealers!!
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    I'm surprised that some enterprising Honda dealers have not found a way around this.

    If I were in the market for a new Honda and chose to buy it from the US I would be happy to buy a 'one week old, previously registered, used car with, let's say, 6 miles on the odometer'. I'd be happy to pay a price which relected the going rate for such a car plus delivery, doc fees etc., in fact the sort of price that I might be able to negotiate on a new car of the same specification.
  • dhermildhermil Posts: 9
    I am a Hyundai-Mitsubishi dealer in the Detroit metro area. We deliver cars to Canadian customers in Canada.
    We arrange all the necessary paperwork including financing if required. As an example, I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa FE SE that we can sell for $21,500 Canadian. I believe that the comparable vehicle in Canada would be priced closer to $30,000 Canadian.

    I would be happy to explain how the process works in detail.

    Canadians buying vehicles in the US, and importing / registering vehicles in Canada, the procedure is relatively straightforward. First, vehicles under 15 years must qualify for import and be on the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)approved list ( The list also indicates expected modifications required to register the vehicle. Expect daytime running lights and child safety seat anchors at a minimum. Avoid cars requiring bumper modifications and Mercedes Benz vehicles in this regard specifically as only the dealer ($$$$) can modify the vehicle to comply with RIV. Kit cars under 15 years are not admissible. Good news: vehicles ( except buses) over 15 years ( based on month /year of manufacture ) all are admissible without requiring RIV inpections. Cars over 25 years are antiques, no duty applies. Motorcycles, trucks (light and heavy ) and SUVS are all admissible. Having found an admissible vehicle, the title for any "self propelled land vehicle" must be faxed to US Customs at the border crossing for approval: each port has slightly different hours and rules. Some border crossings do not process vehicles. Three full business days later, the vehicle with original title can cross and be stamped by US Customs. The vehicle must then be admitted by Canada Customs. Expect to pay 6% GST, $100 air conditioning excise tax, $206 RIV fee ( under 15 years old ) and possible duty if not made in North America. Example: German vehicles 6%. I always fax the RIV form 1 myself to RIV, the next day call them and they will email you form 2, listing what has to be modified. If you do not call, form 2 will be mailed in about 10 days. After completing modifications, you take form 1 &2, the vehicle and a letter from the manufacturer stating " no outstanding recalls" to Canadian Tire for inspection, they stamp the forms and you can go to a licence office, pay the PST ( on actual price paid, not book value ), turn in the US ownership, and obtain a Canadian title to the vehicle. As always, you need a safety inpection and possibly an emission test. Be warned no original US title in hand and the vehicle cannot cross into Canada
  • I live in Toronto, Ontario and am looking at purchasing a 2007 Nissan Quest minivan which is made in the USA and is an allowable vehicle to bring over to Canada duty free(slightly used preferred). Please advise if you have a dealer connections/or yourselves whom may sell to me...I can pickup car from you as well in the Detroit area or across the border in Canada. I have read the process to bring a vehicle over but would rather pay alittle extra to have all this work done for me if it can be arranged.

    Regards, Terry
  • I purchased a used 2007 328XI from a BMW dealer in a different city (USA) than I live. The car recently developed an transmission leak. I took it in for warranty work (at Edmonton BMW) and they told me it is leaking in three places (pan, where wire probes enter, frost plug). I was told work had been done on the car and they would not cover fixing it under warranty. I said the car is almost new with two registered owners (other BMW dealership and myself). Only work would have been performed by BMW. BMW records show no work was ever done. They still refuse to do the warranty. They told me they can tell when the pan was dropped by the screws. Even in the highly unlikely event that someone did work on the pan (1) it would have been by BMW and (2) how come the other leaks are not covered.

    This does not make sense to me as to why this car would not be covered under warranty - its crazy. By the way, Edmonton BMW says they have to replace the entire transmission because the "frost plug" is not a part available from BMW - it will cost me $14,000.

    I was wondering if any others have had leaking transmissions in 2007 328XI (Automatic Trans)? Also has anyone ever heard about the frost plug leaking? Has anyone else had warranty issues denied by BMW?


    I have posted this in the BMW 3 Series forum (and others in different site). Sorry for the cross post but I thought it might be interesting here.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    A television reporter is looking to talk to consumers who live in Edmonton, AB that needed a repair to be done on their vehicle which should have been covered by warranty, but for whatever reason the dealer or manufacturer is refusing. Please reply to no later than Tuesday, October 9, 2007 with your daytime contact info.

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