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Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.

Has anyone purchased a passenger vehicle in Canada and declared and brought the vehicle into the USA? I wanted to know what are the important customs, duties, sales tax considerations, etc to be aware of? Are sales tax paid in Canada refundable? Are there sales tax payable in the state in which you bring it into? Do the laws differ from state to state? Are there any custom and/or duties due and at what rate? Are the standard emission and safety differences to be aware of? Any answers to the above questions and any other considerations I should be aware of is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Unless you have a Canadian address you'll probably have some trouble doing this. There is a huge controversy over exporting right now. With Ford anyway, if they find the vehicle registerd in the US less than 6 months after it was purchased in Canada, they will charge back any profit the dealer made plus penalties. The buyers name goes on a "known exporters" list and they will be banned from purchasing another Ford vehicle. We turn away people every week because they show up on this list.

    It's gotten so bad with Super Duty trucks that we cannot sell one for cash because of the likelihood that it will exported.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    I have a place on the US Canada border.
    In Alexandria Bay NY.
    There is a used car dealer across the
    street. He has a BUNCH of late model
    cars and trucks imported from Canada.
    All have the km spedos in them.
    The guy sez they have no problems bringing
    them back to the US. At 42% plus exchange
    rate they are a good deal here.
    Its funny because some dealers up here
    advertise that they won't buy those cars
    and only have US ones............
    My bud just bought a ford xcab 4x4 for
    a lot less than a US model.........Geo
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    For used it's no problem. New vehicles is where it might get tricky.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    My wonderful Vauxhalls all came from Canada, but then importing an antique is much easier :)

    As far as used cars go.. heck, Jaguar Credit often sends Canadian Lease returns HERE to FL to auction off!

    I've bought a lot of used cars from Canada and they can be an awesome deal with our exchange rate.

    New though, that is tough. Some Mfrs will also cancel your warranty (Honda) and some dont care (Nissan)

  • I seems with the exchange rate, that the savings would be considerable. Is it possible to purchase and import a new vehicle from a dealer? Has anyone done this that can point me to a dealer in either the Montreal or Toronto areas? Thanks.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    ...can someone up there in Canada buy an Intrepid R/T, run it around for a few months, and then sell it to me? ;-) A Sebring 'vert would make an acceptable substitute, too!
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Shannyb -
    A guy with the handle lofquist knows a lot about buying Nissans in Canada. Apparently, Nissan is much nicer than some other companies about allowing export to the US - no warranty problems, etc. Lofquist is generally active posting in the Pathfinder and Maxima groups.

  • what about the ca emissions that many states require?
  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    I have a place along the US Canadian border.
    In northern NY
    A used car dealer across the street has a
    bunch of late model cars and trucks brought
    down from Canada.
    My bud bought a 99 ford truck from them. He
    had a couple of warranty issues. Local ford
    dealer took care of them...No problem just
    pay the deductible,,,,,,,,,,,,,Geo
    BTW it still has the km speedo too
  • My kid sister recently became a Canadian bride. A newly aquired in-law owns a dealership. I am in the new car market and know the Honda CRV's are substantially less up there. So I had her inquire.
    The short version of it is...barely worth it after duty tax, NYS sales tax etc. for the buyer and absolutely not something a dealer would risk. Seems any dealer who knowingly sells a new car destined for the U. S. will receive a heavy fine...up to 25K.
    Now I know. I knew it couldn't be easy as I grew up in Northern New York and I'd not heard of people going to Canada for cars. Beer and fire crackers yes....but not cars.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    warning all Canadian Ford dealers to not sell directly or indirectly any vehicles, especially the 2002 Thunderbird destined for the U.S.

    "Dealerships identified with unauthorized export sales of the 2002 Thunderbird will, at a minimum, forfeit all future allocations of these vehicles."
  • Anyone had any experience in buying a new or used BMW in Canada. I am planning to buy a new or late model used 3 series conv. and have had trouble finding the right car in the right color in WA.

  • mstsscmstssc Posts: 89
    My how times have changed. I remember when everyone wanted to go to the US and import cars to Canada as cars, as most things, were cheaper. Everyone thought the FTA would be great as duties were to be gradually phased out.
  • If you've bought a car in Canada and imported it into the US, please answer a few questions for me. I'm planning on purchasing a Pathfinder ($34000 CDN) and driving it home to Louisiana.

    My questions are:
    1. When I buy the car in Canada, will they issue me some sort of temporary license plate (like US dealers do) so I can drive it home?
    2. What duty rate did you pay at the border?

    Thanks in advance.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    I would do a little more investigating if I were you. I don't know about Nissan but if you tried to buy a Ford to take back to the US I'd have to send you packing. Once the car was registered in the US Ford would charge me back any profit I made plus penalize the dealership. Are you not able to find this vehicle in the US or do you expect to save a lot on the exchange rate or what?
  • I've ben told that Nissan IS different on this. People are saving several thousand (like $4 to 5 K) on the exchange rate, which is a significant incentive to buy a car with a km speedometer.
  • ...have emissions testing. Do the Canadian vehicles have US EPA stickers on them?

    If not, I could imagine there would be areas where this could be a major problem.

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Good luck reselling it.

    I have some customers with a 98 Corolla that's a Canadian unit.

    No wholesaler wants it (Its in KMs.. title, odo..etc..) and I can't take it to the auction unless I run it TMU

  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    I own a motel in NY on the US CANADA border.
    The used car dealer across the street has
    MANY late model Canadian cars and trucks
    at very reasonable prices(around 42% or so exchange rate).
    Most if not all Canadian cars meet USA federal EPA emissions........Some have km spedos some have them
    changed out and there is a import cert. on the title
    and a sticker on door jamb from the importer also.....Geo
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    They want a 98 Corolla with 147K KMs? :))
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