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Canadian Car Buying (for Canadian Consumers)

guizmoguizmo Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I am from Canada and am in the market for a new car. How do I get to know dealer cost in this country? In the states, many companies offer this service but I've been looking all over for something similar in Canada and couldn't find a thing! Do the american companies offer such a service for canadian customers or is there a way to convert the american dealer cost into canadian dealer cost?



  • Guizmo -

    I looked a bit more and Edmunds says, "There is no surefire method that can be used to calculate Canadian invoice from U.S. pricing because of market-specific models, trim levels, and options. However, you might want to try calculating the percentage of markup between U.S. invoice and MSRP, and then applying that percentage to the Canadian car, working backwards from MSRP to establish a ball-park invoice amount."

    (The answer is in Edmunds' FAQ.)

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanx bud!

    Think it's the only way to go!
  • gypsymangypsyman Posts: 1
    I am 3 months pregnant and drive a Ford Festiva. Too small to cart a little one around. A friend suggested I buy a Chevrolet Malibu. I want to know the safest, most reliable vehicle on the market. What do you suggest??
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hi Gypsy,

    Here's a government site that has very good crash test information. Probably the safest, most reliable car on the market, if there is such a thing all wrapped up in one car, would have a very nasty price tag...the crash testing helps to make a decision on safety, and you might try a site like for reliability issues.

    good luck,


    PS: Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "safe car"...but some are safer than others...
  • RaptorRaptor Posts: 1
    You need to get with a car broker or try the APA in Toronto or Montreal. APA charges fees to get dealer invoice prices - or you join as a member.

    It is a scam compared to US where everything is here on the Web for all to see for free. In Canada, there is no competition for APA and no one putting on the Web.

    It needs to be done, but we are repressed up here it seems!!
  • albyalby Posts: 1
    If I have a small business , is it better to buy
    or lease my new vehicle , also I reside in Canada
  • Many people who own small businesses find that the tax advantages make leasing a vehicle extremely attractive. However, this is in the United States and I am not familiar with Canadian tax laws so this may be different in your country.
  • kennardkennard Posts: 1
    Dear Raptor (Gregg)

    What is the "APA"?


    Allan Kennard
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Dear Alby.....hi.....It's really best to check with your accountant before deciding if a lease or buying works best for you. Some types of business operations don't offer an advantage with leasing. I went over this quite thoroughly with my tax guy and he showed me that in my case leasing didn't work for, I'd say it depends on what you do and how you do it!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Thanks for that info, Scholes!

  • steveuksteveuk Posts: 1
    How do I find dealer prices in Europe?

    What relevance is it anyway?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You could inquire at a specific dealer about their European delivery plan. Just numbers out there on a limb in a foreign currency aren't so relevent because you would also need to compare income levels and buying power to a European paycheck.
  • We are US residents, our daughter is a student in a University in Canada. We want to purchase a car for her. It seems like it would be beneficial for us to purchase the car in Canada because of the favorable exchange rate- One American dollar equals approv 1.5 Canadian. Are there reasons to think that this would not be a good deal?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Dear mjg,

    I think you'd need to investigate all the customs regulations and duties on importing new cars...I feel pretty certain that the US government has figured out all the ways to make this unprofitable. Maybe some of our visitors have first-hand info on the obstacles involved?
  • Thanks for the guidance. Seems like the manufacturers have set up restrictions on the sale of new cars to non Canadians. I also wonder if the cars are built to the same standards as cars built for the USA, i.e., emmission control. Am trying to locate an authority (US gov or Canadian) who can gives us the information but so far, I am only getting hearsay from dealers - some catious and others who seemingly would do anything to make a sale. Interest in the experience of anyone else in this area.
  • ike3ike3 Posts: 81
    To mjg31........
    Don't even think about it! Unless you plan
    on having your daughter plate and insure the
    car in the province she resides in....and then
    sell the car upon her graduation in Canada
    when she returns to the states.
    My experience tells me that some, but not
    all cars do meet both US Safety and Emissions
    requirements. To check for compliance, look
    for the EPA sticker in the engine hood or
    strut tower area. It is marked by the word
    "Catalyst" and there will be a written paragraph
    on the situation. Secondly, a safety and theft
    placard must be posted in the door jam of the
    drivers side. If only one is present, no good!
    Now, to complicate matters further, some
    actually do comply...but manufacturers and
    dealers near the border don't want US
    residents buying their could upset
    market conditions for the US dealers. So, I
    believe they deliberately will not put proper
    US stickers on...even though they do comply.
    If you really want to go through this bad
    enough, check with US Customs and a
    representative who works in auto importation.
    They will have a complete list of cars that do
    and don't comply. If your car is on that list,
    but does not have the right sticker...then you
    must write the manufacturer and ask them to
    provide one for you. Your US or Canadian
    dealer could help you there. But it helps if
    the car has already been plated in Canada
    first...because then if you decide you do bring
    it is now a used car, and the process may
    be a bit long as duties are paid.
    Hope that helps you out!
    Let us know what you do!
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    ...but looking for your topic isn't.

    There are several topics dealing with the
    differences of carbuying in Canada, but they are
    scattered and there is some duplication. This
    tells me that people are not finding the info they
    need, so a little reorganization is called for.

    For now, let's put all the discussions here and if
    we need to branch out, we can.

    Thanks, Bruce. your co-host
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    I'm moving several topics here:

    Canadian Car Buying

    in the hopes that we can all get together in ONE PLACE to discuss the issues with Canadian Car Buying.

    See you there....

    Bruce. your co-host
  • the_fishthe_fish Posts: 1

    I recently purchased a '97 Acura CL premium in Canada for about $5,000 less than I could have gotten it for here in Seattle. Though there was quite a bit of red tape involved, it wasn't impossible.

    For the full story see my post in conference 1650.
  • Another one of our Hosts came across a very interesting article on how to approximate Canadian Dealer Cost for vehicles. It was written for the Canadian Driver Web Site. I suggest that anyone who is shopping for a new car in Canada should check it out. Click here to go there: Do It Yourself Dealer Cost (for Canada).

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Host
  • I am in the process of buying a new car & going through the usual thing of trying to get a handle on Invoice costs in Canada.

    Thanks Car_man, that was an interesting article in Canadian driver & I will certainly check with the APA.

    But does anyone out there know whether the dealer holdback applies in Canada. 3 dealers I have spoken to all say there is no such thing. If there is no holdback then I've got to think its been replaced by some other benefit to the dealer. Help me please... knowledge is power.

    I do have access to Fleet pricing. Should I just go with that or is it possible to beat fleet pricing by negotiating with a dealer?

    Re many of the earlier postings about US vs Cnd prices... I believe the reason for the difference is very simple, the manufacturers price their product to meet the economic & competetive conditions in each market. The fact that Canadian prices are cheaper than in the US when converted at current exchange rates reflects the fact that Canadians cannot afford to pay the same prices. If GM tried to price their products at the $US price converted to $Cnd they would not sell enough cars, so they make them "cheaper" (lol) for Canadians.
    Don't forget that we also pay about 15% in sales tax when we buy a car in the Great White North.

    BTW it is nice to see some Canadian content on Edmunds.
  • I am sorry I posted the same message on another thread before I found this one.

    We are moving to Canada for about 2 years from the US. We also need to buy a vehicle and have been trying to find out if it is cheaper to buy one here or when we reach Canada.

    Now I know
    1. Canadian MSRPs seem cheaper after conversion to USD.
    2. 15% sales tax in Canada as opposed to 6% here. But are there other taxes to consider ?

  • grc5grc5 Posts: 4
    In Alberta, car sales tax just 7% (federal tax only), 15% elsewhere.

    plus: $100 air conditioning tax
    plus: luxury tax of $75
  • I just ordered a 2000 Olds intrigue GL. the MSRP + Delivery was $33,105 Cnd, I calculated the same car to be almost $40,000 Cnd converting edmunds MSRP @ $1.00 us = $1.50 Cnd.

    Incidently I saved almost $4,000 off MSRP by getting to a good fleet manager
  • I would just like to point out that you can get rough estimates of Canadian invoice prices are from the book called "Lemon Aid". This book give an excellent introduction to buying a car in Canada and gives a % figure on the markup for new cars or trucks. I believe the company that writes Lemon Aid is the affiliated with the Canadian APA(where you can get invoice prices from). The book is a good value for about $25 canadian. ex. I found out that there is a 3% holdback and 20% markup on Ford F150's here in Canada.
  • does anyone purchased an MPV 2000 ES. where in the greater Montreal. how much.

    thanks to all of you.
  • I think even if you knew what the Canadian invoice price of a car is, it's still very difficult to negotiate a good deal. My reasoning is that dealers in Canada are used to dealing with customers who has no knowledge of what the invoice price is. Instead of negotiating with respect to invoice price (what our American friends do), we negotiate with respect to the sticker price.

    Even if you are one of the few who knows what the Canadian invoice price of a car is, virtually no other buyer does. While everyone else is willing to pay near sticker price, you're offering 2-4% over invoice. Why should a salesman take your offer if he/she is getting a much better offer from the rest of his/her potential buyers ... well, unless they're really desperate for a sale.
  • I posted information on my purchase in the I30 postings, and my US price was $ 26,535 -- about $ 2500 US less than US price.

    I received a large number of emails, and responded with:

    This is a form letter I drafted due to the large response from the Edmunds site. It should be easy for you to find a US broker near you -- and with the larger dealers in Ontario anyway it may be easier -- the taxes would still apply but I don't know what Ontario's provincial rate is -- again you would get it back.

    Here is the scoop on importing a new car from Canada:

    This isn't easy, or says all the research materials I found -- so when/if you contact the dealer keep this in mind if they say it's easy. I have included some web-links below that point to US Customs, Dept of Transportation, and EPA -- all of whom have some bureaucratic rules that have to be followed in importing a vehicle into the US.

    Some of the restrictions on pollution controls, safety equipment, etc should be okay as our Canadian and provincial laws are similar to the U.S. == in fact, here in British Columbia our EPA-type laws were based largely on California's strict standards.


    The Canadian dollar hasn't been too strong lately - based on conversion rates today a loaded 2000 i30 Luxury with all options except Communicator (options included s/roof, heated seats and mirrors, traction control) that MSRP shows as $ 30,185 US can be had here for about $ 27,500 US (I paid before tax $ 26, 535 US).


    1. Availability of 2000 i30 is now as bad as the Maxima GLE/SE (got mine just in time) (COMMENT 99/11/03 - more available now)
    2. You have to pay upfront 7% Canadian tax and 10% B.C. provincial tax -- but you get them back - you have to send rebate forms in.
    3. You will have to deal with a US import broker because of the US government requirements (you may need a US spec speedometer for example).
    4. You will have to pay 2.5% US duty because the vehicle wasn't manufactured in Canada.

    Having said all this, according to the dealer it would still work out that you would save about $ 1000-2000 US overall if, and the big if... they could get stock.

    Similar savings would be apparent on the Maxima if you could get it. At first glance there are whopping big savings on Mercedes (how about a 1999 C230 Classic at $ 25,500 US) but when I enquired he said it doesn't work. M-B voids the warranty if you buy the car here and take it to the US. According to the local dealer the Nissan/Infiniti warranty would be honored in the US, but obviously this is high on the checklists.

    More info:

    <<A HREF="">>;

    <<A HREF="">>;

    <<A HREF="">>;

    For more information on cars in Canada, one of the best sites I have found is:

    <<A HREF="">>;

  • If your buying a "hot" seller of course the salesman might not want to budge from his sticker price. But after finding the invoice price on my Grand Am GT I went to my local dealership with a list of 10 other dealers within a 2 hr drive from my home. I got a very nice deal.

    Now 2-4% might not be enough in the Canadian car market, I would use 3% as a starter and see where that gets you. I ended up paying 6% over but it was still $1200 cheaper than the best deal I was quoted without the invoice prices in my hand.
  • Anyone able to get better thanlist price on this model in Toronto area>
This discussion has been closed.