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Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.



  • keithlcakeithlca 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 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 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 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 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 NJPosts: 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 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 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 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 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.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    >> 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. <<

    But so far both cases have been struck down by the Canadian courts as not legal for Ford to do this. But as you say it's in appeal, so who knows what will happen. In Europe this was finally settled just last month, and as of Oct 1 it will be strictly prohibited.

    And this week Infiniti joined the ranks of the other manufacturers by sending out a letter "reminding" them not to sell to US customers. The letter was very stern to say the least.

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ...... Whooooof, you guys just don't read this things do you ...?

    Maybe your Italian, so let me explain it to you in Italian ---- YU donna getta the waranttea on a Hoonda whena you a buya a Canadiana Odoseea it ..? Ok den... l..o..l..

  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Last year Ford fined 20'something dealerships who paid their wasnt until they actually started to enforce their franchise agreement which allows them terminate any franchise if they export cars...

    If the dealer and the mfg both signed the agreement, which they have, then it should be an open and shut case...but add some lawyers to the mix and of course the only people who win are the lawyers..haha

  • normp1normp1 Posts: 25
    Jon I emailed you on friday and was wondering if for received it ? If not please let me know. You can email me at [email protected] Thanks normp1
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    Got it and responded today. Sorry for delay. Remodeling the house pre-empted all email over the weekend.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    Good point that if the franchise agreement prohibits it then it's all over. But from what I understand there is some problem with the interpretation, hence the Canadian court rulings so far.

    Example that >might< fit: I buy the McDonalds franchise for Toronto. Of course that does not give me the right to build a place in Chicago for example. But what if a guy from Chicago comes in to buy my less expensive hamburgers to take home to the family. Can corporate prevent me from selling to him?

  • mney6mney6 Posts: 116
    A Chicago dealer was buying Nissan's in Canada and reselling them in Chicago.
    Big No-No
    The warranties on those cars are null and void.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    we took a look at out franchise is very clear and to the point about exporting...but of course a band of lawyers could come up with their own version of how the sun will come up tomorrow.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    C'mon Terry, the guy asks for some help and you give him a flip, condescending answer. He said he wants a USED Honda. Maybe the warranty doesn't matter to him, but saving a few bucks does. We can appreciate your insight as a member of the cars sales community, but you're not helping the cause of the reputation of the industry. Let's keep the discussion a little higher.

    fa1c0n, no one here will make the decision for you, and you'll have to find the vehicle too. But if you want info on the process on how to import let me know and I'll send it to you.

  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    Clarification: Do you mean it prohibits you from exporting yourself, or even prohibits you from selling to someone you suspect will export it themselves? If the latter, then it is strict and clear. And since you're in the US does it also prohibit you from selling imported vehicles? (If any of this is "confidential" between and you and the mfr I understand).
  • jaclazjaclaz Posts: 37

    Jack here, been spending the winter here in lotus land, Victoria, BC. Went to the Nissan Infiniti dealer Saturday just to see what he'd say. Well friday he recieved a letter which ended your loop hole for purchasing a Cdn. vehicle.

    Gee, And I was just about ready to take delivery of that black G35. Darn! Nice car! So I went over to see if I could get MB to let go of a C230 Kompressor, Nope, no deal with you Americans! Ok that Cadillac CTS, you guys don't care who gets this car do ya? Yes sir, I'm sorry but we cannot sell you that vehicle if we knowingly sell it to you and know that it will be registered in Oregon next week. Hmmmmm, seems to be a conspiracy here! So do you guys want me ( I'm an Ameri-Nadian ) to set-up a biz to buy these for ya? I'll drive em around till I get a 1,000 clicks (that's nadian for kilometers, or 620 miles) on em then cross the border for a visit to my ole homeland and then I'll put em on a trailer to anywhere you live. Let's see, how much for such a service. $1,000? Yeah, let's see if I can turn 10 cars a month just like you sales guys I can make $10,000 a month just like you sales guys!

    God, that's it. Eureka!! Oh Poop, there's those darned BC plates. Darn kilometers on the speedo. Aahhh, you don't care about that. Just slip a "C" note to the clerk at DMV when you get new plates. Better get 4 or 5 of those C notes just in case one isn't enough. Clerk might be greedy. And let em know you know where they live and where there children and parents live, so No double-cross, See! Yeah, now were on the verge of becoming gangsters. Yeah, say it like James Cagney.

    Well, another good business idea shot full of holes.

    Good luck you guys and Happy Motoring!
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ...... Lighten' up, it's called humor ..

    Most people will do what they want anyway ..

    There is probably nothing wrong with any of these vehicles -- on this particular vehicle, he doesn't get the factory warranty ..and if he is fully aware of this and understands it, he won't have any surprises.

    I just went through this with a friend in Detroit .. He bought a Canadian Ody, I told him how it works, his brother who is a big hitter at Chrysler explained it to him .. the Honda dealer explained it to him before the purchase.

    But, last Thursday .. he is calling channel 5, MI State Attorney Gen's office, Honda, Animal protective league, American bowling association --- Well, you get the picture ..l..o..l... By the way, I'm 1/3 Italian -- So forget about.! per Tony Soprano.

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ...... On a lighter note .. Vancouver, is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too. The first time there, we spent 8 days and made it over to Victoria .. those "ferry" boats are amazing, there like Cruise ships ...

    Well anyway .. enjoy and good luck.

  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    direct sales and indirect sales....
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Yeah... only place in Canada with Palm Trees.

    I thought that was cool :)

  • Having trouble with the math. Does that make 1 of your two dads Italian?

    (That's for always griping about my miles on the trade values forum) : )

    Keep up the good work...
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... Hmmmmm, Ya know ..I never thought about it that way.

    I'm the only one in the family that looks like the milkman .... is that why I like to drive white vehicles ..?

    I will have to ponder this one ...

    Terry :-)
  • allchecksallchecks Posts: 25
    I have read the posts and planned to go to Canada tomorrow (and still will). But I found myself in Buffalo recently and decided to try Niagara Falls.
    Tomorrow I will go to Kingston, farther from the US/Canadian land border to compare.

    On a 2001 Buick Lesabre I found no difference in price between the US and Canada.

    On a 2000 Accord the difference was about $800.00 before considering the duty bringing the car in. This salesman sounded like he knew what he was talking about. He said the duty on a Japanese car was 2.7%. I was told on this site that it was 2.5%.

    On a 2001 Impala the savings was $2,400.00. I asked the salesman at this dealership why I could save $2,400 on an Impala with him, but would break even on a LeSabre at a competitors shop a few blocks away. He was surprised, saying they obviously compete with each other and the savings should be similar in either case. They weren't.

    One salesman suggested I use a broker; the other two said it was required. All could provide one for $300.00, which would come off the $2,400.00 on the Impala and the $800.00 on the Accord, making the Accord an unworthwhile proposition.

    All salesmen would deliver the car at the US border after being paid.

    At Customs the officer said that a letter on dealer letterhead is required indicating that the vehicle meets US EPA standards.
  • dustidusti Posts: 36
    looks like the ones along the border...

    already have spoofed the racket.

    forget 'em.

    looks like to get all of the savings into your OWN pocket, you have to go into Canada.

    like INTO Canada.

    How far away is the capital of the Northwest Territories?...
  • Hi everyone. I just came across the following article on the Web site and thought that many of you would find it very interesting. Enjoy and please feel free to use this discussion to dalk about this article or your experiences with importing a Canadian vehicle to the U.S.

    "Factories plot strategy to fight gray market imports

    Last year, nearly 200,000 cars and light trucks were imported from Canada to the United States, up sharply from 16,000 in 1996, according in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But Detroit's automakers, which have ignored the importing or tacitly encouraged it by dumping excess cars in Canada, say dealers and analysts are finally taking a hard line. The factories say the growth of gray market imports is costing them millions of dollars -- because they are selling more cars at discounts in Canada and fewer in the United States where sticker prices are higher. And the influx of vehicles is disrupting the distribution network.

    Chrysler plans to take steps within weeks to curtail the resale of new models across the Canadian-U.S. border, but isn't prepared to discuss details. General Motors is also close to taking action on the matter, a spokeswoman said.

    There are no laws that prohibit importing cars from Canada, though it is a violation of a Canadian dealer's franchise agreement if it knowingly sells to a third party. And there is nothing to stop individual consumers from going to Canada to buy cars.

    Ford has started fining Canadian dealers who sell cars that become exports. The so-called "charge-backs" are usually the difference between the Canadian price and U.S. price for a car. But two recent attempts by Ford to penalize Canadian dealers have stalled. A provincial court in Alberta has blocked Ford of Canada from charging a Calgary dealer $125,000 for exporting 23 vehicles. In another case, Ford tried to shutter a dealership in Quebec that had been exporting cars. The dealership remains open, though, pending a court-supervised arbitration."

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
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