Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.



  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    What os do you use mostly, Linux?

    I agree with you mostly on Microsoft business practices, however I think in the long run the standardization that windows brings is good for computers. I remember the old days of trying to install hardware and software when standards were not that rigid. I will gladly take plug and play and windows api's in winxp over that mess.

    I think win2000 and winxp are where win95 should have been. Software and hardware work and they are stable. I tried setting up a linux rig a few years ago and it was a mess. Very hard to find drivers, maybe that is better now.
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    I do not have any experience with ABS. But if you want to build your own pc or have someone do it for you, you can get the colored alienware cases and mouse and KB at
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    ...Solaris. I have a mixture of Winbloze, Solaris and Linux at home. My laptop dual boots Solaris 2.6 and Windows

    I primarily use Windows for websurfing, e-mail and games for my children (nothing that requires a full bore game rig) In fact, I believe the fastest processor in my home is a Celeron 766.

    I just finished installing one our new E12000 systems for the US Air Force. Nice rig. Maximum configuration is 52 processors and 288GB of RAM.

    Typical configuration is 36 processors with 144GB of RAM and 9 IO boats that contain 4 IO cards each. It can be divided into anywhere between one and nine seperate domains.

    The E15000 is essentially twice the E12K with 106 processors max and 576GB max, but typically 72 procs with 288GB RAM and of course twice the max number of IO boats and domains.

    Most will not be running this at home as it requires 6 30A power circuits and some serious climate control. Not to mention it is 3000# fully loaded in the shipping crate. (Weighs a bit less when all the packing material is removed.)

    See all the details at:

    And I believe they are cheaper than the E10000 was when it was released about 5 years ago. (Bringing it back onto topic)

    Thinking maybe my next car needs to be the automotive equivalent of Linux, the kit car ;)
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    Sign me up for one of those E12000 thingys. Can i get 10 geforce 4600 ti's with 10 50 inch monitors? LOL The ultimate gaming rig. Sounds like you could create a holodeck with that much processing power.
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Was at the used car dealer across street yesterday.
    The importer guy was not there...He is in
    Canada buying 4x4 trucks to bring over !
    I mentioned to the mgr. about GM cutting
    off warranty work on Can. vehicles. He
    said "since when" ?). He did mention that
    Chrysler is/has cut off warranty repaIRS.
    On used cars too !
    He says he don't know how much it cost to bring
    them over. Yea right..I think he was trying to
    give me the dust off.
    Loopholes closing quick !.geo
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    My company distributes building products - manufacturers add features and better warranties with no fear of raising prices and/or cutting our margin. Unless of course their customer has an orange or blue logo.

    Hardware/Software/Electronics are some of the few businesses where a drop in price is expected by the end user. Technology is expensive to develop at first then gradually costs drop as production increases.
  • robr2robr2 Member Posts: 8,805
    Aw shucks - you're making me blush!!
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    Feel free to email each other regardintg computer hardware and software... but it is off topic at Edmunds. Thanks!

    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    I came across the following article this morning, and immediately thought of this discussion and pulled it out of the old freezer. It's from a newsletter called Dealer's Edge that I subscribe to.

    "Dealer's Edge
    November 4, 2002 Vol. 8, No. 41
    439 Words Page 6


    Odometer fraud follows increase in vehicle imports from Canada

    Fewer miles on a vehicle mean dealers can increase the sale prices by thousands of dollars.

    DealersEdge has reported several times (DE 2/11/02, 4/29/02, 7/22/02, 8/12/02) on the gray market trade for used vehicles between Canada and the U.S. No wonder. The temptation is great. Favorable exchange rates make vehicles brought in from Canada and sold in the U. S. extremely profitable. So far, so good. But a disturbing trend, odometer tampering, has begun to emerge as an unwelcome angle to this business.

    According to a report in the Seattle Times, law enforcement officers broke up an organized ring of Canadian and Spokane-area car dealers accused of fixing odometers at falsely low settings, allowing them to inflate car prices and bilk buyers out of as much as $1 million in all.

    Authorities say it is a growing problem from Washington State to Maine.

    Before Canadian vehicles can be sold in the U.S., their speedometers and odometers must be converted from kilometers to miles. This creates an opportunity for shady dealers to roll a few thousand miles off the vehicle in the process, and then increase its sale price by thousands of dollars.

    Seven people in Canada and the United States were indicted by a federal grand jury in Spokane for rolling back the odometers on 122 used vehicles from Canada that were then sold in eastern Washington state.

    Most of the vehicles were expensive trucks and sport-utility vehicles, and some had up to 50,000 miles taken off the odometer. Estimates are that an additional profit of 10 cents for each mile that is rolled back, or $5,000 on 50,000 miles.

    Role of NAFTA

    The North American Free Trade Agreement has produced a huge increase in the volume of cross-border car sales. In 1996, only 2,500 used vehicles were brought into the U. S. from Canada. So far this year, the total is about 350,000, according to published reports. But the U.S. Department of Transportation has only four agents dedicated to odometer fraud in the entire country, and no one is assigned to look specifically at vehicles from Canada.

    No comprehensive study of the problem has been conducted, but the NHTSA has about 10 investigations in progress. Still, dealers insist the vast majority of vehicles from Canada have honest odometer readings.

    At Dealer Auto Auction Northwest in Spokane, where about 10 percent to 20 percent of the cars sold come from Canada, co-owner Greg Mahugh said his business had already detected problems with some cars before the federal government announced the indictments. His company had already stopped working with the people who were charged, he said.

    Nationally, the federal government estimates more than 450,000 people every year buy used vehicles with mileage gauges rolled back."

    Enjoy and please feel free to use the following discussion to talk specifically about this article or about Gray Market imports in general.

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    ... That's a great article, thanks for droppin' it off ..

    That should fall in line with the Canadian dealer that got caught about 6 weeks ago at the Detroit auction with all the "roll backs" .. I bet his account is lookin' a little thin right now .. Ouch.! .l.o.l....

  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Check that again ! Some of the cars sold
    up here in northern NY have been converted
    to MPH speedos with importer sticker on door
    jamb. Also some are sold with just the km
    speedo. A couple of my buds up here have
    Can. import trucks with both!........geo
  • isellpotiacisellpotiac Member Posts: 122
    Often see customers from sonjaab's area. First thing I do is start asking questions about the trade, where did you buy it? Where is the title? Let's run a Vin check! Stuff like that. Too much of a headache. When someone is shopping trade 60-100 miles from thier home it just screams trouble. Funny thing is, when confronted with the facts, these customers get pissed at me. Like I am the first one to share the bad news with them. I will always tell them to take it back to where they bought it from.
  • rbrenton88rbrenton88 Member Posts: 186
    Was that Landru who got caught doing the rollbacks? I always suspected he was hiding something.

  • landru2landru2 Member Posts: 638
    I say you sir, have impuned my character! I challenge you to duel! Lease calculators at thirty paces?

    :^) (I've always been a Foghorn Leghorn fan)
  • sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Overheard a conversation the other day
    "What do you mean you can't honor the
    warranty on my 2000 chevy ! Sold new
    in Canada ? Imported to the USA ? It
    was made in the US.......I bought it
    from a used car dealer..He didn't tell
    me that !" I listened to this person
    for a few minutes. Then went and spoke
    with her. I said GM cut off the warranty
    on Can. Imported cars a few months ago.
    Such as Honda , toy, and others did....
    I suggested she contact a GM dealer in
    Gan. Ont Can. for warranty work !
    Will keep ya' posted............geo
  • visionxpvisionxp Member Posts: 45
    that people who actually go and buy cars from canada and then bring'em back here are pretty smart and dont allowfactories to take advantage of them because me, personally, cant think of any logical reason why the cars are priced higher here in the US(remember the cars are made in the US) than in Canada.
    however lower prices in canada are justified because wages are a lot lower and the canadian dolar is worth less than the USD.
    the other way around is not justified so if the american car makers want to discourage grey market imports they should stop charging more for the same car only because we(in the US) make more money.

    "buying American cars from Canada? I thought the idea of buying american was to support OUR auto workers and economy, not Canada's? How much were these poseurs saving?"

    thats the ideea here but it doesnt work that way:) first you support the companies that are ripping you off and the people that manage to go around that are not posers.

    my $0.02
  • landru2landru2 Member Posts: 638
    Actually quite a few cars are built in Canada.
  • janzjanz Member Posts: 129
    There was another thread called "Grey Area" that discussed pricing, etc. but and the facts remain, the US and Canada have different economies, different distribution channels, and different pricing and I am not going to go there.

    HOWEVER, IMHO, for those who knowingly choose to buy Canadian, have at it. But I do not think it is logical for them to expect factory support by the US distributorship that they went around when they purchased in Canada. Those purchase dollars went to Canada, not the US or US vehicle distributors.

    It is the unsuspecting owners, like the one mentioned above, that I feel for. Those who unwittingly end up with a nearly new vehicle that has no warranty coverage, may be subject to a safety recall but do not know because the truck was not brought into the country through appropriate channels, and could easily have an odometer tampered with because this process (or lack of) simply makes that too easy as well.

    Also, a while back I read an article that Canadian auto dealers are against the exportation of vehicles, (US OR NOT) as well. This negatively affects their allocations, used vehicle market, and bottom lines.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
    Hi everyone. A while back we had a discussion about gray market vehicles here on the Smart Shoppers Message Board. Essentially gray market vehicles are cars and trucks that are purchased from dealers in Canada and imported to the U.S. Many people were and I suppose to some extent still are importing these vehicles from Canada because manufacturers price their products lower there to help offset the higher taxes and exchange rates. To combat this, manufacturers refused to honor the warranties of Canadian vehicles that are imported to the U.S. As you can imagine, this upset many people. Apparently, yesterday a group of consumers filed a class-action lawsuit against several automakers because of this situation. Here are links to two articles on this subject: USA Today - Lawsuits filed over auto prices and Automotive News - Lawsuit Claims Automakers Block Canada-to-U.S. Sales. Enjoy, and please feel free to share your thoughts on / experiences with gray market vehicles and this lawsuit in this discussion.

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    Essentially wraps up both sides of the arguements that were discussed previously. Hopefully now the courts will decide which side is crying foul.

    Class let me see, if consumers win I may see $3.00 for my 2002 new car purchase. At least maybe the courts will put an end to the practice of not honoring Canadian warranties in the US.

    Are there any websites that list manufacturer policies on this issue?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    ..... They can Class action this one, til' the cows come home .. they tried it in 89, 92, 96 .. even including the dealers -- what they forget is ~ it's part of their dealer agreement.

             I'm not taking sides here .. but, the overhead in build cost, is also about 25% less in Canada (alot has do with Govt subsides and allowances there) --

           So, should we just close all the plants in the US, knock 500,000+++ folks out of work and open all production in Canada -- Or, let's get really aggressive, let's close every plant in the US and Canada, then open up 9/10 plants in China, that should get the prices waaay down ..!

  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Member Posts: 38,514
  • masspectormasspector Member Posts: 509
    So if I buy a car that is made in Canada it should cost me 25% less? I don't think that is the way it works, at least at my local dealerships.

    While I agree with the point you are making, if all car manufacturing was shipped overseas, that $20,000 car would still be $20,000. Cost savings in manufacturing is rarely passed on to the buyer without external forces for downward pricing pressure. Short this pressure the prices would stay the same or go up because everyone is paying that price already. Any cost savings would go to increasing profits.
  • wrobelwrobel Member Posts: 1
    I tried to skim through all pages but it's a lot so if I missed, forgive me.

    New here but wanted to ask this question. Has anyone imported older vehicles that were never made in the US? Canada has a 15yr law on importing cars from other countries such as Japan. So now Canada is getting an outpour of Skyline GTR's which have been highly desired for a long time in the US but could never be imported. Now that these are legally on the road in Canada, could they be imported to the US?

    If this doesn't work. Is it possible to purchase the car in canada through a friend and keep the title in canada and insure it for myself here to drive in the US?
  • mizangelmizangel Member Posts: 1
    A friend of mine from the US wants to buy my car that I have for sale. I'm trying to figure out how to transfer the title of my Canadian car into his name as he is an American. Do I just use a regualar Canadian bill of sale document, or do I need to use a special one?

    Also, if he comes up here to get it, how can he get it licenced so he can drive it back home to Indiana?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,332
    .... "If" it's still under factory warranty, does your buyer know and understand that it won't transfer here ...?

  • d0nmand0nman Member Posts: 4
    I've got the same question as mizangel does, except I'm the one buying the vehicle from a private party in Ontario and will be bringing it back to NY state. It's a 1994 Grand Prix, so I'm not worried about warranty or any of that other stuff. Just curious about what the process is so I can drive it out of Canada and into NY... Does Ontario issue temporary tags and will Customs let me through with them? Or is it possible to get the title through the mail and register the vehicle in NY first?
  • engrgradengrgrad Member Posts: 3
    I am a Canadian that lives and works in the states. I am looking at purchasing a new vehicle and I was wondering if it is possible to trade in my Canadian vehicle at the dealer? It is registered in the states as of present but was originally manufactured for sale in Canada.

    can anyone help me out on this matter?

  • toddsulltoddsull Member Posts: 1
    I have the same question. Looking to buy a used car from a Canadian friend but dont know if I can drive it home or if titling it in the US will be a problem. If you find out please email me at [email protected]. If i hear of how this works I will post it here.
  • bjnkbjnk Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I read through this thread with the hopes of finding my answer, but no luck so far, so hopefully you guys can help.

    I own a 1996 Thunderbird that I drove from Canada to Boston for college 3 years ago. It was not imported or anything, I simply drove down and have had it here for the last 3 years. I am now moving to Phoenix and now that I am out of university I am responsible for my own car insurance etc.

    So now my question is how do I go about registering it in AZ? Do I need to cross the border again with this car in order to properly import it, or can I just go the Arizona DMV and get things squared away? Will there be fee's I have to pay? Any help would be appreciated as anyone I have talked to don't really know what the protocal is.

    OR should I just keep it registered in Canada and have Canadian insurance? I have heard that my driving record (which is flawless lol) will not transfer anyways and I will basically be treated as a new driver by US insurance companies. Any truth to this?

    Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • dsorbaradsorbara Member Posts: 1
    Importing a GM car into the US from Canada. The US requires EPA/DOT compliances. I recently tried to sell my vehicle to a friend in pennsylvania and after two days of trying to locate the proper authorities here is the needed information. I figured that i would post it so no one else would have the troubles that i had trying to locate this info

    Call with your Vehicle Identification (Serial) Number toll-free (in Canada) 1-888-467-6853, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EASTERN Time. (Outside Canada 1-905-440-7689).

    A nominal fee applies for the research service.

    We can also help you with the documentation required to export your used GM vehicle to the USA or overseas, and to import a GM vehicle to Canada.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Here's a link: GMCanada

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • distortiondistortion Member Posts: 1
    Ok not sure how this fits in but......

    I live in Western New York (Rochester), and we see a LOT of Chrysler "Intrepids" and Pontiac "Parisians". how does this work ? Are the delaers bringing them down or the manufactuer ?
  • kellyweilkellyweil Member Posts: 1
    I live in Canada and traded in my Canadian car to a New York Broker and I signed over the title to them. The broker is calling me telling me he is trying to register the car at the DMV in New York so he can put into one of his auctions and they are asking for some customs border paperwork???

    The car I traded it in for was American and I did all the legal paperwork on my new US vehicle that I brought into Canada. As far as any paperwork that I did when I drove my canadian vehicel over into the US I did none?? I just drove it over because I wan't planning on selling my car at the time I crossed.

    Does anyone know what the broker is requiring from me? I did this transaction in January 2008.
  • dbillowdbillow Member Posts: 1
    I have found a Canada 04 Hyundai at a dealer in New Hampshire. I live in North Carolina. It could be a great price and the vehicle seems to be in good shape. I have done some reading and am still unsure as to whether this is all worth the risk of owning a Canadian vehicle so I'm hoping for some advice. There's probably not much factory warranty left, so that's not much of an issue as long as I can have this vehicle serviced, get parts, etc. in the U.S. I'm more concerned about needing special customs paperwork to register it in NC and have the emissions inspection done. It still has an odometer that reads in KM, not miles. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • janalapeljanalapel Member Posts: 5
    I am a U.S. citizen but have lived as a permanent resident in Canada for many years. I decided to drive my 8 yr. old dodge caravan to Arizona as a snowbird for the winter. I later decided to stay in Arizona longer term...but when I went to the motor vehicle dept. to register and license the van in Az. I was given a slip of paper with a private auto works business (owned by a Canadian) and was told "he can help you!" HUH? he offered to "impound" my van for 8 weeks (told me to rent a car) while he does all the mechanical changes required to "make this canadian van into U.S. equivalent" AND he handles the forms, paper work which was not done at the border. Since I didn't know I was going to remain in the u.s. Now I am either forced to drive the van back to Canada to sell it there....or pay this guy $2500. (Or he'll buy the van for $1800 and ship it back to Cn. for me)
    This doesn't sound right ...that the government is hooking me up with a private business to make my car into a "legal import"? I called customs at the border...and they said it is impossible to import your car unless you bring it through the border yourself?
    I am confused...and since I am a senior I cannot drive alone from Az. to the Cn. border. I'd like to get the truth about how people do this?
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Member Posts: 7
    did you ever figure it out? I am a us citizen but bought a car in canada, and I need to register it here in phoenix, az
  • janalapeljanalapel Member Posts: 5
    I was ready to drive back to Cn. and re-enter the U.S. from Alberta to import my van...when a friend from the military offered to simply drive me to Sky Harbor airport in U.S. customs where the whole process took ten minutes. They had all the necessary forms I was told I couldn't get except at the border. I downloaded them from the internet...but they had them ready and highlighted for easy work. The ONLY required document I had to provide was the letter of compliance (one sentence!!) from Chrysler Canada (actually came from Chrylser in Michigan and that took a few days of begging and faxing different numbers to get to the right department) plus the registration from Alberta.
    Same thing at motor vehicle dept. took no time at all...with documents from customs and the Chrysler letter of compliance and registration from Alberta. And to think of all the hoops I was going thru to do this. No inspection was necessary on my 8 yr. old van...other than emissions test I volunteered and paid for before I knew all this. It is definitely possible if you get the right information.
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Member Posts: 7
    Ok, I have a honda but it should be the same I hope, I gotta get to new westminster and drive it here soon, uh what a long drive, thanks for the reply!
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Member Posts: 7
    Oh what form did you download? hs-7? And what did that one scentence compliance letter from chrysler canada say on it exactly? thanks again!
  • janalapeljanalapel Member Posts: 5
    Yes, it was the hs-7 document I downloaded...but didn't need since the airport customs people had that document ready for me to fill out. And the Chrylser "letter" (which ended up coming from the Michigan customer service dept. and not Canada after all) simply stated: The vehicle model, year and vin number and that it was compliant with U.S. safety standards. One sentence and one document that had one box to check off...was all I needed. No expensive changes to the speedometer or odometer were required...even thought the local former Canadian importer I talked to told me it would take him 8 weeks to do all the mechanical work and paper work required to import my van. Watch out for wrong information and people looking to take your money everywhere.
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Member Posts: 7
    Thank you for the info! I am wondering if you have to be there in person or not because I may just fax them the info so when I cross into usa from canada they will just look at the car and Im guessing they give you a piece of paper so you can register/title/get plates at az mvd?
  • janalapeljanalapel Member Posts: 5
    As I understand it....if you are entering the U.S. as a legal resident...with either citizenship or resident can fill out the import documents at the time you cross the border and then you have what you need to get your Az. license plate. I had crossed the border as a snowbird with my van...since I wasn't sure if I was going to stay longer than 6 mos. at the time. I am a U.S. citizen but lived in Alberta for more than 30 years. Finding out about the airport customs saved me a trip back to Alberta...but if your vehicle is in B.C. and you have to go get should be able to accomplish the importing at the border.
    I do know they require a letter of compliance with U.S. safety standards from the manufacturer and likely they will require an inspection of some kind. Talk to the customs officers at the border crossing you will go through. hope this helps!
  • gmiddgmidd Member Posts: 4
    Janalapel, earlier you wrote:
    The ONLY required document I had to provide was the letter of compliance (one sentence!!) from Chrysler Canada (actually came from Chrylser in Michigan and that took a few days of begging and faxing different numbers to get to the right department) plus the registration from Alberta.
    I am in the process of "importing" a car also. I have been denied this "Letter of Compliance" from Chrysler 3 times now. I even tried to get it through Dodge since the vehicle is a Dodge Van and a "Roadtrek" model. They say they will not supply the letter to a US citizen. Can you tell me what phone numbers you called or faxed? I already paid the Ca. citizen for the Roadtrek before I found out about the customs issue and the seller will not reverse the transaction. I'm stuck. Any other help or advice you or anyone else can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  • janalapeljanalapel Member Posts: 5
    I wonder if it is because I am also a permanent resident of Cn. but am a U.S. citizen...who was living in Alberta when I bought the Caravan there in 2002 (am the original owner of the van)...drove it here as a snowbird and decided to stay. .

    I first contact Chrysler of Cn. but they forwarded my request for the letter of compliance to Michigan...customer service: Phone 800-992-1997 the bottom of the so-called letter contained this information:
    Chrysler Group LLC CIMS 484-04-04 P.O. Box 21-8004 Auburn Hills, Mi. 48321
    Letter signature "J.W.K." Senior Staff
    The only information given was the vin number and that the vehicle met all U.S. federal safety and emission requirements...except labeling, in effect at the time it was manufactured.
    It didn't even require an inspection.
    I am not sure why this letter is so difficult to obtain. I called alot of numbers and faxed several times...finally got somebody to provide this simple statement. Went to customs at the airport and filled out the forms...same thing at Motor Vehicles.
    It took weeks...but in the end took minutes! All because of that letter...and bad information from the Cn./U.S. border in Montana saying I had to re-enter the U.S. to get the right documents when they can be downloaded from the internet!!!
    Hopefully being persistent will bring similar results.
  • gmiddgmidd Member Posts: 4
    Just trying to be clear. You said you called several numbers and faxed several places before you got someone to provide the "letter". Is the number you gave me in the last reply the one that finally provided the letter?
    Thanks again for any help.
  • medlowamedlowa Member Posts: 7
    I am trying to do the same as you did.
    You have now idea hope this has eased my anxiety.
    Can you tell me wher to go exactly at Sky Harbour ?
    Really appreciate what you have done here.

  • medlowamedlowa Member Posts: 7
    I am trying to do the same as you did.
    You have now idea hope this has eased my anxiety.
    Can you tell me wher to go exactly at Sky Harbour ?
    Really appreciate what you have done here.
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