Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.



  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ....... Ok, basically how it works is, you buy the vehicle from the ABC dealer in Canada. When you purchase that vehicle, the title then must be transferred to the buyers state (and pay state taxes.) .. at that point in time, to change for the klicks to miles, all miles start at -0- ...

    Now the vehicle might have 12 klicks .. it might have 1500 klicks. but at the conversion, it will go back to -0- miles.

    Where the problem falls. Is that the vehicle will show a paper trail of let's say 303 klicks, the conversion is done, and as the vehicle gets sold in 2/3 years or whatever ... the history will show 303 k.. then converted to be miles. That vehicle could have been driven 303 miles or 3,003 miles because a bunch, not all, buyers drive around with with the electronic dash shut off. Till they decide to have it converted.... Thats where some of these problems come up. It's not that some of the manufactures don't want to honor the warranties, it's chasing the real miles ..!

    You buy the vehicle Feb 1st ... it has 55klicks, now on the paper work it shows that in June it was converted from 55 klicks to Reg miles. Thats what happens a lot ....

  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161
    Of course you have a TMU problem if you go from xxx kM to -0- miles when you do the conversion. That's common sense.

    However a reputable (and certified) repair facility will reset the odometer to the miles equivalent of the kM that are showing. Just multiply by .621, not exactly rocket science. Do it the right way and there's no trace of it on the title (again, here in WI anyway).

    Now when you're ready to trade you've got a car that's indistinguishable from its US-market version, both in terms of equipment and gauges, and has a clean title. True, *if* one were to look carefully it could be ascertained from VIN records that the vehicle was originally purchased in Canada. How much does that piece of info cost the seller (assuming it ever even comes to light)?
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Let's ignore the TMU issue. human nature is the real problem.. As a dealer we have a hard enough time selling legit cars. Try to explain to a customer who just pulled a carfax all the different numbers. the technology available today allows consumers to find out in a new york minute the car is gray market...blame the internet for this too, haha .additionally

    1. I can't sell the vehicle thru the dealer auctions.
    2. No matter who did the odometer, its still TMU.
    Also the doorjams on many brands are stamped as Canadian units and this plate is never chagned during the changeover process.
    3. banks will not finance a non us branded titles or gray market cars.
    4. We have had warranty issues...
    Most car companies have seperate divisions that run as completely different companies in canada than the US...This is why many manufacturers will not honor the other country's company warranty...
    example, MazdaUSA is a different operation than MazdaCanada. Honda is similar along wtih many mfg.. This is why they will not honor each others warranty.

    Also, the savings are not nearly as big as many on here would lead you to believe. As a dealer who has imported Ford products and managed to wash the titles into "clean" titles. I have found the hassles to not be worth the savings...It seems every unit had problems that eliminated the savings...I learned my lesson and i'm in the business. Stay away from trying to become an importer.
  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161
    Rich, good points. Here's my side:

    1. Reselling the vehicle is not a huge consideration since I'd keep the car a long time, until it's not worth much anyway. Plus as a *smart shopper* I know to sell it privately rather than trading it in, thus bypassing the whole auction scene entirely.
    2. Regarding TMU, the Wisconsin DMV says the exact opposite: certified repair => clean title.
    3. My credit union doesn't care how I spend my home equity loan.
    4. Nissan NA honors warranties in either country (I'm looking at the Maxima BTW).

    Bottom line, for certain people in certain situations, this can work out great and result in significant savings. I happen to be one such example (or so I think). Any of the above hurdles (or others) could be a dealbreaker for someone else, though.

    I'd also readily admit that the *system* seems to favor the average Joe "importer-keeper" much more than the businessman "importer-reseller". The latter brings to mind Kramer and Newman's (naturally) ill-fated scheme: driving the mail truck full of aluminum cans to MI for the 10 cent deposits...
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ...... That was 1 funny show... l..o..l...

    Those 2 kill me...

    I think the point of reality is .. unlike yourself, most people are trading every 28 months (or trying) ..

    See, you have a plan, you know in advance (and in your heart) .. you will keep this vehicle for ..5/6/7 years. That's not a problem -- you know what you are buying, when you buy it.

    The Vast majority .. that's a whole different story. Ok -- I can save $3,000 now and I will make that up when I get my Chevy, BMW, Infiniti, Lincoln ..or whatever in 5/6 years. But what really happens is: They become a consumer 20 months there lookin', Car and Driver covers the new Envoy, Subaru, any new rocket vehicle. In 24 months, there shopping around a little -- come 28 months, they are locked, loaded and ready to go.

    The fatal attraction starts to get ugly, when the vehicle they are trying to trade is still worth $3/$4,000 less -- No matter what they paid for it. It's just human nature.

    I'm not knocking any vehicles from
    Canada, They make wonderful vehicles there .. and Super boats. But until this Quasi "no market control" get's over it -- the consumer will pay for it --- Do I think it's fair .. absolutely not..! Do I think it hurts the market.. Not in my opinion. Just the consumer ....

  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    rroyce10: you are wrong for the most part.

    First of all you can not extrapolate the price difference from new to used cars. For instance let's say the price difference is $4k between a certain new US car and its Canadian equivalent. Then, in a number of years, let's say the US purchased car will be worth $3K. What would the price be for the Canadian car? Negative $1K?

    Second, I'll be generous here and extrapolate the difference, even though you cannot (see above). So consider this - you pay $4K less for a new car in Canada, then after a number of years sell it for $4K less than the equivalent used US car, and in the meanwhile invest the $4K. Definitely makes sense to buy from Canada.

    Third, what do you mean by:

    I'm not knocking any vehicles from
    Canada, They make wonderful vehicles there ..

    The Nissan Maxima, for instance, is made in the same plant in Japan whether it is sold in Canada or the USA. The US and Canadian versions are identical, except for some cosmetic differences such as the speedometer.

    And finally, as many people here have pointed out, please note - they DO NOT reset the odometer to 0 miles!!! As long as it is done properly the DMV gives you a clean title. So in reality you will be selling your Canadian purchased car for the same money (or close to it) as if it were purchased here in the USA.
  • mney6mney6 Member Posts: 116
    Why do they announce the cars at the Nissan sale as TMU ?
    Why do I have to inform the customer that even though the odom has been replaced to miles it is still considered TMU.
    Even if everthing is documented.
    Maybe some states are different than Iowa,so customers need to call their DMV before they take Sgrd advice.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ...... All do respect, in theory .. your right.

    In the reality sense, you are waaaay off.

    I go to 6/7/8 auctions a month ... from Orlando to Detroit .. from Detroit to NY, and most of them in between.

    On a average month I see 8/9/10,000+ vehicles a month. Everything from a Ferrari to Cavaliers.

    I'm not some kind of guru .. or try to be a mister know it all. I only give advice from a little experience of being around about 100 different dealers .. their products, my products.. all products.

    All vehicles that run through the auctions that are Canadian .. run as TMU. Whether it's a 2002 T-Bird or a 92 Caravan.

    I'm not saying that there is not a financial savings when you buy the vehicle from Canada ... because there is.

    But on the original MSO from the dealer, it shows where it came from.. and the title will show the mileage, whether it's in Klicks or miles.

    When the conversion takes place .. the Fed sticker shows in the door, the conversion then will start at -0- as in zero. .. along with that, any or all service reports as the vehicle, gains miles will show the the original klicks ...

    I have seen thousands .. I mean thousands pass through the auctions. Up goes the yellow light, the auctioneer announces it's Canadian, whether it has 250 miles or 250,000 miles ...85% of the dealers walk to the next lanes, 10% of those, hang around to watch what they might do .. and 1 or 2 of those, make a weak bid or two .. down goes the hammer at 1/2 of the normal price.

    Again I'm not trying to be smart -- I have seen all the gray markets that ran in the 80's that ended up being worth about 50% of what those poor people paid for em' in Germany or wherever .... and then people got the hint and stayed away.

    The Canadian vehicles are a great buy for someone that will keep a vehicle for 4/5/6+ years .. run the wheels off and get your dollars worth. That works for them. But for the average guy that is now trying to trade every 28+ months --- a $4/$5,000 is a lot of Cake to loose just for the Mapleleaf.

    This is a very hard to "explain away" .. to the buyer in Chi-town, Baton Rouge, Trenton, Kansas City, Lexington, Delray, Boston .... and all parts north and south.

    But, give it a try .. it may work out well for you.

    I hope this make some sense ...

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    I also am in the same boat as Terry. I am a dealer and I am at 3-4 auctions. A week.

    I go to 3-4 Jaguar Credit auctions per month. And often they'll send a batch of ex-canadian cars down here. And they are easy to spot as they have headlamp washers that the US cars dont.

    Want a Topaz/Oatmeal 1998 XJ8 with 40K for $19-20K? Ex-Canadian. Want an Ex-US-Lease car? $24K easily.

  • godeacsgodeacs Member Posts: 481
    people say they will save $4-5K on a car imported from Canada and invest the difference and make out like a bandit! Yeah, right! I'd say the large majority of folks will NOT invest the difference, rather blow it on something else.

    The car guys here who know try to explain but nooo....people don't want to hear, tell them they are wrong, etc. Agree with rroyce....most folks do NOT keep a car 6-7 yrs. They say that up front and then 2-3 yrs later, they're shopping again and then they are shocked when they try to sell....

    Folks, there's no such thing as a free most
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    People tend to believe what they want to...

    You are right. Its just like I had that 98 Corolla... 86Kish miles (Was in KMs). A clean 98 5-speed.

    Couldne get $4,500 for it retail!

  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    here's what I believe.

    Present money is worth more than future money. Whether the money is blown or invested is beside the point.

    Manufacturer's ALLEGEDLY don't honor the warranties not because they split themselves up into different national entities and quite rationally and logically don't honor each other's "different" cars ..

    but because they quite rationally and logically are in business to make a profit and it's in their interest to put up all the roadblocks possible to keep their profitable market from getting its hands on their products through means that won't give them one.

    Canadian cars AREN'T grey market cars. There are no modifications not under the manufacturers' control that would present a rational reason not to honor the warranties.

    I say allegedly because there is such a thing as an implied warranty. The product is required to perform its basic function - period.

    If Canadian vehicles are such dogs in the market that the loss in value upon resell is greater than the money initially saved taking into account present money calculations...

    And this is a BIG if.

    Then the American public must have some real phobia against kilometers.

    And USED Canadian vehicles must be one heck of a bargain.

    Buy one and drive it until the wheels rot. The car won't have this phobia.
  • landru2landru2 Member Posts: 638
    It's great that you BELIEVE all that. Tell us what you KNOW and we'll have something.
  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161

    You're right that in most instances, folks won't come back from Canada with a new car and the next day write a big check to Vanguard for $5K. Instead, if they're buying with cash, they'll withdraw $5K less from what they've already got at Vanguard than they otherwise would have.

    Alternatively, if they're borrowing, they'll take out a loan with $5K less in principal. However the end result is the same: the upfront savings *grows* over time.

    $25K for 48 months @ 6.0% => $28182 total outlay
    $20K for 48 months @ 6.0% => $22546 total outlay
    difference is $5636.

    In a practical sense, either case represents *investing*.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Bring that TOY up here to ALexandria Bay
    NY.........Crazy money !!!!
  • godeacsgodeacs Member Posts: 481
    Excellent summary and you're right on IF someone does that. Guess my pt was that say someone was gonna spend $26K on you new car, then finds out they can get it for $22K in Canada. So...they go thru the gyration (and expense) of importing from Canada and say, "hey, I just saved almost $4K from that trip to Toronto". Let's take that $$$ and take a vacation, buy a second car, remodel the house, etc..."

    So much for investing the difference!

    Also, guess I'm still skeptical - if bringing a car in from Canada was THAT good a deal, there'd be companies lined up at the borders providing that
  • gerapaugerapau Member Posts: 211
    The reason that companies are not lined up at the borders providing the service is because most manufacturers either do not allow buying in Canada or make it less attractive to either the purchaser (Honda and others by not honoring the Canadian warranty) or the seller (Ford and others by charging a penalty to the Canadian dealer for knowingly selling to Americans). Those manufacturers that do (Nissan/Infiniti)allow Americans to buy their cars in Canada would probably change their tune if a large number of people started buying in Canada. American dealers would start complaining and the manufacturer would put an end to it.

    Also, I do believe that any company that would set up shop and try to sell Canadian cars in the U.S. would have to sell them as used (the only way to buy a new Canadian car is through a Canadian dealer) and thus would not be as profitable.

    What it comes down to, is who you believe. On one side we have actual buyers who have made the trip north and have saved significant amounts of money and on the other side we have those that believe that these cars will lose any potential savings when the cars are resold. As others have said already though, if you do keep your cars for a long time buying in Canada may save you a lot of dollars. To everyone, I would advise you to contact your DMV before making the decision to buy in Canada. That way you can make sure that you will not end up regretting your decision.

    All this said though, some bargains are almost too good to pass on. One example appears to be the new Infiniti G35. Canadian prices have just been released and they appear to be much cheaper then in the U.S. The Canadian G35 with Premium package has a MSRP of CA$41,500 or about US$26,100. The American model with the same options is the G35 Luxury Leather model with Premium Package (with Winter Pakage, Power Sunroof, Xenon headlights and Wood Trim) and has a MSRP of US$33,580. Now, it is hard to compare all options, since the Canadian Infiniti web site doesn't have the specs for the different models yet, but all of the major options are the same (leather, sunroof, BOSE, Xenon, etc...). At a difference of about US$7,500 it should pay (even in the long term) to make that trip north.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ...... So, what happens when you go to trade that G35 in the next 2/3 years ..and the vehicle is worth $10 LARGE less ...?

    Call the DMV ...?

  • gerapaugerapau Member Posts: 211
    rroyce10: Do you actually believe that the car will be worth $10,000 less? If you do then you are fooling yourself.

    I know people that are/were involved in the used car business here in Canada. Starting a couple of years ago the used car prices started jumping up substantially at the auctions north of the border. There were/are two main reasons for this; American dealers coming to Canadian auctions and driving up the prices and Canadian leasing companies taking their lease returns directly to the U.S. to sell at American auctions (thus reducing the numbers available in Canada). I talked directly to one of the people that were involved in taking a shipment of Chrysler lease returns to an auction in N.Y. state. According to him, it was much more profitable to sell their cars in the U.S. then in Canada. He told me that he would have no trouble selling the entire shipment (more then 500 cars) that they were taking to the U.S. that day. I doubt very much that this would be the case if, as you have been telling us, the Canadian cars were worth so little in the U.S.

    You have stated yourself that you have seen thousands of Canadian cars go through the auctions that you have attended. The majority of these (late model cars) are probably from Canadian leasing companies. You have also stated that these cars usually go for half of the normal value. Do you believe that these leasing companies are taking their cars to the states to lose money? Used car prices in Canada are currently slightly less then in the U.S. but if the leasing companies could only get half the going rate in the U.S. then I doubt that you would see many Canadian cars at all. Wouldn't it be much more profitable to keep their cars in Canada? I will agree with you that the Canadian car will probably be worth less in 2-3 years. But definately not $10,000 less, nor $7,500 less.

    As far as calling the DMV (department of motor vehicals or whatever it is called in your state) is concerned, if someone is concerned that their vehical will possibly be branded TMU they should be able to find out for sure from their DMV.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Have you ever noticed that alot of people can justify anything without letting the facts stand in their way...haha

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    I don't think I will spend much more time with this subject, just based on your statements.

    My friend .. it's your money, not mine. The only reason why I entered this topic was to help to clarify some "Urban Legends".

    People like Audi, Bill and myself don't make a dime if you buy a Canadian/American/British or a Bulgarian vehicle .. it has nothing to do with us.

    The subject is predicated on, is there a value .. IF you buy a Canadian vehicle.

    And the answer is .. yes. You will save money upfront -- But the bad news is .. you will loose it at the end, at trade time. It's simple, that's the market ..and has been the market for as long as I have been in it, which next month will be 18yrs.

    You just stated: *Do you believe that these leasing companies are taking their cars to the states to lose money?*

    Aaah Yeah ..! I go to tons of auctions, I see em' everyday. Do you realize that ALL leasing Co's. loose $$ at the auctions ..? A vehicle has a residual of let's say $12 .. they run 200 units through, and on the average they might do $9,8/$10,2/$10,400 depending on the miles, condition, etc. ... that's what the market will bear. And that's whether it's a Cavalier or a Benz.

    This whole thing of: I can "steal" a 02 Lesabre/Chevy truck/Lincoln LS or a whatever .. is exactly what happened in the late 80's and the early 90's when everyone was "hell bent" to get a gray market Bimmer, Volvo, Benz, etc. They had the vehicles brought in .. did the $2,500+ conversion waited 2/3 months at the docks --- and when it was all done -- they saved $5/$7/$9,000+.

    But, the sad part for them was ... when they went to trade -- it was worth 60cts on the dollar. So here sat the Jag/Benz/Volvo/BMW buyers --- Is that some kind of Savings ..? Maybe on your planet it is.

    Look, right now everything looks peachy keen. But as the 12 months turn to 24 months, and 24 months turn into 36 months, these owners will be turning into new buyers -- ready to trade in this real nice vehicle, that they listened to "ALL" these sales people, that are doing ONE thing -- and that's to sell you a Canadian vehicle (and make a sizable commission) .. with of course "all those saving" --- 2/3 years later that consumer won't remember their name -- just that they are about to loose a ton at trade time.

    So, do as you please ... like I had said before, it's your dime, not mine.

    My grandfather use to tell me -- "Tell me what you know ... Not what you think.."

    I feel, you have been thinkin' too much ...

    Good luck .. your gonna need it.

  • gerapaugerapau Member Posts: 211
    rroyce10: Before you start educating me on the economics of leasing cars take a few seconds and read what I said:

    "Do you believe that these leasing companies are taking their cars to the states to lose money? Used car prices in Canada are currently slightly less then in the U.S. but if the leasing companies could only get half the going rate in the U.S. then I doubt that you would see many Canadian cars at all. Wouldn't it be much more profitable to keep their cars in Canada?"

    I fully realize that for many years (this is starting to change though) leasing companies have over-estimated their residuals. What I said though, was that if these cars are worth so little in the U.S. why would the Canadian leasing companies bother selling their cars in the U.S. for less then they could sell them for in Canada (and thus lose some money). Yes, used cars are slightly cheaper in Canada (5% - 10%) then in the U.S., but if a leasing company is going to take a 40% hit by selling the car in the U.S. why wouldn't they stay in Canada? The only reason that they are going to the U.S. is because they can make more money there. Maybe because the values of Canadian used cars in the U.S. are not quite as low as you would have us believe.

    Also, you stated in your last post that "This whole thing of: I can "steal" a 02 Lesabre/Chevy truck/Lincoln LS or a whatever .. is exactly what happened in the late 80's and the early 90's when everyone was "hell bent" to get a gray market Bimmer, Volvo, Benz, etc. They had the vehicles brought in .. did the $2,500+ conversion waited 2/3 months at the docks --- and when it was all done ".
    First, it is very difficult for Americans to buy any Ford/GM/Chrysler (and most other manufacturers for that matter) product in Canada and save money. This is due to the fact that the big three manufacturers (and many others) will fine any Canadian dealer who knowingly sells to an American. There has been such a problem with Americans coming to Canada to buy Thunderbirds that Ford has demanded that Canadian dealers not sell any Thunderbird for cash. All of this is because even the manufacturers realize that, with the value of the Canadian dollar as low as it is compared to the American dollar, there is a real bargain to be had. They do not want their American dealers to lose business (especially those dealers near the Canadian border).

    Second, the Benzes, Volvos, etc... that you are talking about here required major work to make them legal in the U.S. (thus the $2,500+). Even after the cars were made legal, much of the time the car was still not the same as the U.S. version. The Canadian cars that we are talking about here do not require $2,500+ to make them legal in the U.S.. They already meet all American safety and emission standards and are virtually identical to the U.S. model. In most cases all that is required is a simple change of the speedo/odo. I will accept that in some states this will result in the car being declared TMU (you obviously have more experience with this then I do). I will also accept that the cars will be worth less in 3 years then an American bought car. What I do not accept is that the G35 that someone buys in Canada today for US$26,000 will be worth $10,000 less then an American bought G35 in 3 years.
  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    that's the fact, jack.
  • lameslames Member Posts: 14
    I only know one person who did this and so far he has had none of the problems described here. Perhaps the West Coast is easier? Anyway, my brother purchased a car in Canada and financed it through our local bank. The title does not say "TMU" anywhere on it. The odo is still in klicks, he was going to change it, but the morons at the certified shop caused him to change his mind, as they ordered the wrong color replacement. They were going to CONVERT the klicks to MILES so I don't think it would have been TMU. He has not considered trading it in, so I don't know what the dealer reaction would be, but I do know that when the 3.5 pathfinder came out some of our local (Seattle area) dealers had the Canadain vehicles as they could not get enough from Nissan, and they WERE NOT SELLING THEM at any discount!

    Given all that, I know the east coast is a bit different when it comes to cars and titles. Perhaps out there cars from Canada are more obvious on the paperwork.

    The funny thing is that for the most part the cars are identical, same crash and emmission standards. Only the option packages seem to vary.

    BTW to Royce and others, given that a Vancouver dealer has offered to deliver a car south of the border with an Odo in miles, do you still think that would bite the buyer down the road? I don't see how it could.
  • lofquistlofquist Member Posts: 281
    >> Also, guess I'm still skeptical - if bringing a car in from Canada was THAT good a deal, there'd be companies lined up at the borders providing that service <<

    Last year there were 200,000 (two hundred thousand) vehicles brought into the US from Canada! You just have to go up to the border to see the line-up. Here's what I think is a good article on the subject published yesterday on Autonews.

    Maybe Nissan/Infiniti is the only company left that's allowing the dealers to sell direct to US customers, but the dealer-to-dealer trade is flourishing. And I don't think they are being sold new with TMU!


  • dustidusti Member Posts: 36
    But here's a solution.

    Make Canada the 51st state (but leave out Quebec -more trouble than its worth)

    Besides no more trade dispute, there would be advantages for both sides.

    US gets connected with Alaska.

    Due to respect US engenders, Canadians would no longer be cheated out of their gold medals.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    rroyce10: People like Audi, Bill and myself don't make a dime if you buy a Canadian/American/British or a Bulgarian vehicle .. it has nothing to do with us.

    You are wrong again! Bulgaria does not make any vehicles! :)

    Well, at least we all agree that if you buy a vehicle and keep it until the wheels fall off, then it makes sense to buy in Canada.

    The disagreement comes when resale/trade is added to the equation.

    Taking the Infiniti example, I just don't see how the initial $7.5K difference can increase to $10K, unless the depreciation curve for Canadian vehicles is completely different from the depreciation curve of US vehicles. But even if that were the case the curves will eventually converge. For instance, let's say that after a number of years the US Infiniti is worth $6k, then the difference with the Canadian Infiniti is bound to be less than $6K.

    So you got to agree that at least in some point in the future the difference will be less than the initial difference.

    prayerfor: Excellent post on investing the difference! A friend of mine who is a CFO said to me once that there is no difference between managing debt and managing assets.
  • landru2landru2 Member Posts: 638
    "Well, at least we all agree that if you buy a vehicle and keep it until the wheels fall off, then it makes sense to buy in Canada."

    Perhaps we can agree that buying a Canadian Nissan and driving it until the wheels fall off makes any sense. This sounds like the only maker not actively discouraging cross-border buying.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    Fair enough - let's agree on the Nissan, and disagree to a various degree on everything else.
  • prayerforprayerfor Member Posts: 161
    Terry, landru, Bill, and other dealers contributing to this thread:

    Simple YES or NO:

    Knowing all you do about the industry, resale values, TMU, and everything else we've discussed here, if it was YOUR money and YOUR purchase decision, would you choose to go to Canada and pay ~$5000 less than you would in the US to buy essentially the same car, and live with the (potential) shortcomings?

    Let's assume a) you've already determined that the Maxima is your top choice car, and b) you live within 500 miles of Toronto...
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ..... It's a gamble. Whether I want to try my money in that gamble is a: No.

    At least I have a pretty good idea on what vehicles are worth now and later. On those, that's anyones guess.

  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    rroyce: I find this hard to believe. What if you planned to use the car for, say, eight years accumulating 15K miles per year?

    You really think the price difference between the Canadian and US Maxima will be more than $5K after eight years?

    I'll be generous here and not argue the "Investing the Difference" point. Let's say $5K today equals $5K in eight years.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    rroyce: At least I have a pretty good idea on what vehicles are worth now and later. On those, that's anyones guess.

    I thought you already knew the Canadian vehicles are worthless, how come that's anyones guess ?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    ..... I think these are great buys ... IF, you know for sure, that there won't be any lump or bumps in your life. And you will keep it for the long haul -- that's good business.

    -- For those that have a plan (a real plan) for the next 4/5/6 years, these vehicles will do fine. 6 years down the road and 90,000++ miles later this is a good purchase. What can be the difference between a 6 yr old 100k++ Canadian and a 100k++US -- what ..? $500 over here, or $500 over there ..

    It's the guy that goes to trade in 2/3 years that will take the abuse.

  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    my vote is NO....
    and I do spend alot of time in the I'm not afraid to gamble but not with my car.
  • lofquistlofquist Member Posts: 281
    But your vote isn't exactly unbiased. You are a dealership manager and have a vested interest in people buying locally....
    (BTW, love my new S4. And I did buy it locally)
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Yes, I am biased...
    But, I also have about half a dozen canadian units with washed indiana titles here on my lot. I'm not going to miss out of the gravy train but I also would not buy one myself
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    I was wondering - how can you tell if you bought a car with a "washed" Canadian title?
  • lofquistlofquist Member Posts: 281
    >> ...I also have about half a dozen canadian units with washed indiana titles here on my lot. I'm not going to miss out of the gravy train... <<

    And I think that's great. The American democratic way. I'd just like to see the day when we all can look at Canada vehicles for sale and think "no big deal".
    (not my job, just a "hobby")
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Carfax usually will have the initial numbers in kilometers and they never seem to add up correctly into miles..this is a big clue
  • keithlcakeithlca Member Posts: 13
    If i change the odo to miles right after purchase, I don't think Carfax will show any difference. Right? In fact, I don't see how anyone can find out if the title do not stated TMU.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    audi - thanks for your reply.

    I bought a new car last year, and I guess carfax will not help me. I was wondering if the VIN is different, or if there is any other way to check if my dealer sold me a Canadian car without my knowledge.

    Not that it matters to me, but just curious.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    depends on the MFG...If its any of the ford family of cars...which includes ford, lincoln, mercury, jaguar, mazda, etc...the original dealer usually shows up on the car fax and WILL for sure show up on the ford dealer computers...this will spill the beans as to the original sales location...which is canada. This would also apply to other mfg but i can't speak for all of them.
  • allchecksallchecks Member Posts: 25
    I have read the 94 posts. I am considering buying a used car in Canada. I will keep it until the end of time, or transfer it to one of my kids who will do the same. I couldn't card less about an odometer/speedometer that is kilometers as opposed to miles. Are there any other Americans like me who have bought a used Car in Canada and brought it back to the States, especially New York?

    If yes, did you have any trouble getting the refundable Canadian tax back? How long did it take? Did you pay the state sales tax or is it possible to have that missed? Did you pay 2 1/2% at the border coming back or not? I am not interested in all the theory that is in the prior posts. I just want to know if I can save money today buying a used vehicle in Canada.

    Please excuse me now; I have to run an errand in my 1990 Chev.
  • lofquistlofquist Member Posts: 281
    Besides me, I know of over sixty others who have gone to Canada to get new (mostly Nissans/Infinitis) or used cars (just a few). Not difficult at all.
    - Yes, you will get the Canadian and Ontario tax refunded and it will take 6-9 weeks.
    - You pay the 2.5% duty at the border only if the car or SUV was not built in the US or Canada. Foreign pickup trucks are dutied at 25%.
    - You will pay the NY sales tax when you register. They won't forget :-)
    - If you do want the speedo changed there is a shop in the Toronto area that does 1500 a month, usually for $200 to individuals.

    The biggest reason most people don't get used cars is because you won't get to see the vehicle up front to access the condition if you are dealing by phone. And if you just go shopping and find what you want, you may have to wait a couple days for the compliance letter from the manufacturer (but some like Nissan will fax it right away).

    Write me if you'd like the whole 'cookbook' procedure.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    Ford has been attempting to penalize Canadian dealers who sell to Americans.

    Automotive News article link

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • gerapaugerapau Member Posts: 211
    I was reading in the paper last week that BMW Canada also feels that Canadian prices are unfair to American dealers. In an attempt to stop Americans from comming to Canada to buy the Mini, BMW Canada is requiring that all purchasers of the Mini in Canada sign an agreement stating that they will not export the auto to the U.S. The purchasers must also agree that if they decide to sell the car within one year of purchasing it that the dealer has the right to buy it back first. Now, as the artical mentioned, maybe this is an advertising gimmic that BMW is using to instill a sense of demand for the car.
  • allchecksallchecks Member Posts: 25
    Thanks. I am planning a trip to Toronto the week of April 15 to look. I still can't decide if I should give up on my van, but I'll look.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Ford of Canada has recently terminated the franchise of two Ford dealers in Canada for exporting vehicles to the US and has fined another $200K for exporting 23 vehicles.

    All of this is now in litigation..
  • fa1c0nfa1c0n Member Posts: 1
    I could be coached into buying a used Honda Odyssey from a Canadian dealer when I could save a few grand$. Everything is equal in the product but the cost. Why wouldn't I do it?
    Give me some dealer names and I'll be giving them a call.
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