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Importing Car into Canada from US



  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    VD, our dealership where I work recently brought in a new S600 from the US for a client. I'll talk with the fleet guy that did the transaction and post some info here tommorow night. (We're in VanCity as well).

    The bottom line is that you will have to spend some money to get the car over here (including mods, taxes, duties, etc. so make sure you account all that and see if it's worth it).

    I'll get back tommorow on this though. cheers

    PS Nice choice, the CL55.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • Driving Television (a Canadian show on Global) will be airing an episode this weekend about importing new vehicles to Canada. For any one interested.

    Driving Television
  • tedd2tedd2 Posts: 23
    Well I think we can agree on one thing about Mercedes Benz Canada..they certainly will do whatever they can to be aqs difficult and vague as possible when it comes to importing a car. I in fact just bought one from back East, and the guy I bought it from had all the fun and hassle of bringing it in.From my research then you can pretty much forget about saving any money bringing in a MB, and Honda do not honour the warranty. AS far as the cars I was looking at that left Porsche and BMW. Porsche said there would be no problem as far as the warranty was concerned, and I never did approach BMW. Good luck to you all...
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    My coworker bought a Boxter from the US last year and there was no problem with the warranty either. He saved about $10k AFTER all the costs invlolved.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • it looks like i might wanna go with bmw 645 instead of Mercedes to avoid headaches. it is easier car to import, virtually no changes need to be done in canada.

    shipping cost from miami to blaine, wa for pick up is just 1520 us, not so bad.

    yes, ive heard porsches and bmws no problem to import too. i've personally spoken to brian jessel bmw guys and they said no problem there.

    process of importation is straight forward, not a rocket science. we've imported bentley gt from LV previously. it went quite smooth but MERCEDES

    boomchek, if you could check on changes done to that s600 that would be great. I am pretty sure it’s the same as on cl55 amg.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Yeah I just spoke with our fleet guy that was involved with the imnport and he said the following changes were done:

    5MPH (8KM/H) front AND rear bumpers. I guess the US doesn't have that requirement.

    Daytime running lights.

    And one more thing that he forgot, but not big deal (maybe the child tether anchors.

    Youy also might want to change the speedometer if MPH bothers you, as I don't know if you can change it at the touch of a button.

    Anyways he said the total cost on the new S600 was about $3200 to convert it, which isn't so bad.

    He said you should call a MB dealer and give them the vehicle's serial number, and they should be able to know or tell you right away if the car needs anything por not.

    Personally I find the West Broadway MB and Boundary MB are the easiest to deal with here in the Lower Mainland. Not that there is a ton of MB dealerships to begin with here.

    Hope this helps.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • hey, that's not bad after all. i will drop by talk to these guys on west broadway or boundary and supply them with VIN. i am pretty sure front and back bumpers will have to go on cl55 as well but would like to get detailed price info/parts numbers. I went to richmond MB dealer and those guys are stiff, no help whatsoever.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Tell me about it, I am across the street from them and even for me sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get some information (I drive a C240). Sometimes not all the time. I just find the other places to be more helpful.

    Another place that has reasonable pricing for MB service is Henneken Auto on Marine and Oak. Don't know if they do conversions but they know their stuff very well so check them out as well.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • hi guys, i have been wanting to get a cl55 amg from states, for a long time now, but I was not going to own one without warranty and I leave in vancouver too. so Finally I found 2003 cl55 here, paid more for it than if I got one for states, but no headaches and got extended warranty as well.drives like a dream, has all the options that I want, and fast as hell

    p.s. why are you guys getting the 2002 when the 2003 is so different.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    You mean you have the CLK 55 AMG not the CL right?

    The CLK had a total redesign for 2003 that's why it's different than the 2002 and older.

    The CL stayed the same from 2000 up until now.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • No I meant the CL55, 2003 and up the engine became supercharged boosting it to 493hp from 360. also some cosmetic changes like the rear and headlights, wider nav screen, key-less go was an option and monsterous toruqe with the supercharger.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Ah, you're right, I learned something today.

    Anyways it was the other guy that is looking for a CL not me. I'm just giving him info as to how to do it. But yeah, with the 120Hp difference I would be going for the 03 as well.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • cl55 amg 2002 is cheaper then 2003 model by a lot. on the outside it's the same car except for exhaust pipes. compared to 2002 model, 2003 cl55 amg has massive exhausts, love it ! difference in power is also there 2003 comes with nearly 500 hp versus 2002 version 360.

    however if you are sucker for power you could install supercharger and intercooler for extra 15000 US and gain extra 95 HP on 2002.

    i might go with newer bmw 645 instead of mercedes for warranty reasons. will share my experience once i get a car.
  • actually boomcheck, I realize that 2003 is lot more expensive, but I have done the research both supercharged and non-supercharded version depreciate at the same rate with the same residual value, so next year this time, you can get the 2003 model for the same price that you are getting 2002 now.
    I forced myself to like the rear of BMW but just couldn't get around it and mercedes was tough to import, so I had to buy the cl locally.
  • Would someone please advise if my understanding is correct with respect to Honda Canada's position on U.S.-manufactured cars imported into Canada. This is my view:
    1) warranty on a new Acura TL would not be honoured
    2) warranty on a used Acura TL would not be honoured
    3) warranty on either would be honoured in the U.S.
    4) warranty on a new TL, if registered in Canada, will only be
    honoured if the warranty is first registered at an address
    in the U.S.
  • tedd2tedd2 Posts: 23
    That is my understanding. I have no idea at all how this could possibly be legal. They out and out told me that if I lived in the States and then moved to Canada then of course the warranty would be valid. So go figure. I don't believe they have a leg to stand on but who wants to put out thousands of dollars in the purchase of a vehicle and take them on after you have made the purchase. I wish someone would launch a class action suit as this doesn't sound like Free Trade to me..!!
  • Tedd2,

    I am completely in agreement with you. There are absolutely no legal grounds on which this could stand. This is a wager by Honda Canada that a class action suit is not likely in Canada...most of the folks buying a TL have the means to pay the price differential and won't be bothered. That differential was at one time as high as about $9k by my calculation; now our dollar is at $1.18 to the U.S and there is a $5k differential. Dealers are asking the same price for a used 2005 TL as one could get for a spanking new 2007 in the U.S. Outright piracy!!
  • Hi,

    I am trying to find a place in the USA to purchase a toyota Prius to import to Canada?

    I was going to get one in Arizona but I would have to pay Sales tax along with them having to ship the vehicle to Canada. They won't allow me to pick up because of regulations. I was going to pick it up while on vacation to drive back.

    So, questions....

    1. Where to purchase so I can pick up and pay no sales tax?
    2. Can a person buy used and bring it back?
    3. Best pricing?
  • If the car is being exported from the U.S., sales tax is not applicable. They can ship the car to the border for you, where you will pick it up, clear U.S. Customs, then Canada Customs. You pay sales tax where the car is registered, presumbaly Canada.
  • ccacpccacp Posts: 117
    If you are not a resident of Arizona and and you do not intend to register the vehicle in that state, you should not pay state sales tax. You should only pay the GST at the border and the PST when you register it in your home province. Tell the dealer to consult the state DMV.
    You can buy a used car. You will pay GST on the book value or the purchase price depending on how close these 2 values are.
  • Sorry, you can import either new or used. Pricing requires your contacting a host of dealers in as many states as you wish. Prices are generally good in the New York, New Jersey and California markets because of the competition and volume of business being done there.
  • ccacpccacp Posts: 117
    Ebay has a great number of priuses. Then you need to contact the dealers in question.

    Remember that there will be a 6.1 % duty at the border on the converted cost of the car in CAD dollars.
  • As per dealer....
    Quote" I need a bill of lading from the shipper saying he picked it up and he is going to deliver the car to your address out of state. The state is very clear on this so it must be a bill of lading with the address of the buyer and the location of the end results, a hotel or motel will not work. If the car is going to Canada that is the address I need on the bill." End Quote

    I wanted to pick up the vehicle from the dealer but he said I can't step foot on in the dealership.
  • first Thanks for all of the replies I read all of the threads... earlier ones seemed to suggest that Toyota USA has told there dealers not to sell to Canadians.

    any truth in that?
  • I have been looking on ebay... California seems to have lots of vehicles... but alot seem to have salvage stickers. I am a little concerned as there is no warrenty and not sure how good the vehicle was repaired.

    Is there any issues with bring a vehicle with a Salvage sticker into Canada?
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    If you bring a salvage vehicle back to Canada it might not pass the inspection if it isn't rebuilt properly.

    Plus salvage vehicles will not have any warranty on them form the manufacturer.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    I purchased a Nissan Frontier in Phoenix over Christmas. To avoid paying State, county and city taxes I took delivery of the truck in California and then drove it home. All we did was drive the truck to Blythe, California and into a notary office and sign off that I was taking the truck out of the state. I crossed the border into BC on Jan 8th and had plates and insurance within three weeks. It has been really easy!
  • Wow... I have been back and forth with the Arizona Tax dept and they told me I had to pay tax no matter what.

    Can you give me more detail. I have not been getting anywhere with this.
  • When you say delivery in California... did they ship it to California and you picked up the truck in California?

    Did you purchase new from a dealer?
  • I am absolutely convinced that Honda Canada is playing the part of an institutional terrorist as far as not honoring the warranty on cars purchased in the U.S. It probably is a bit easy to say but if sufficient numbers of buyers are willing to do it, car sales in Canada will eventually feel the pinch. Why should a car purchased in the U.S. and exported to Mexico have the warranty honored but not so if exported to Canada. These are all NAFTA countries.

    One question I would like to be perfectly clear and certain about, and hopefully someone will be able to chime in, How can one make certain that the purchase of a new Honda product that is exported to Canada will have the warranty honored in the U.S., if not in Canada? There seems to some uncertainty about this. Thanks guys/gals
  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    I bought the truck new, from a dealership. According to them, it used to be common practise to take the vehicle to California and give it to the purchaser and they did it on the occassion. An employee of the dealership, in this case the salesman, drives the vehicle to California. I went along for the ride. The deal was completed when I signed the paperwork in California at the Notary office. Until then, I did not own the vehicle. Going out it was theirs and coming back it was mine. If I was to do it again, I would complete the deal in Blythe and then continue on West and then North toward home. Hope that helps a bit. I will send my salesman an email asking if he knows any Toyota dealers in the Mesa/Phoenix area and if they do something similar.
  • Sorry for the questions....

    where did you do all of the paper work? Also, did you get a 30 day permit in Blythe? So, what happens at the notary?
  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    No worries. The dealership took care of all the paperwork, including the 30 day temp permit. The permit was an AZ one and not California. I imagine that the temp permit means one still has not registered the vehicle in AZ, hence no taxes. The notary was $20 and involved the dealership employee signing in a book and providing thumb print and I did the same thing. Took all of 20 minutes. It seemed like it was a very common thing to do, as the woman at the notary was the receptionist and seemed really familiar with the process. The drive out was two hours each way.
  • So, exactly why did you have to go to Blythe to do the Notary? Don't Understand what this is for and why not do this in Arizona? And in Blythe was the Notary in a Vehicle Registration Center?

    So, to understand exactly...

    1. What address did you put down as registaring the vehicle? Canadian?
    2. So, the salesman drove with you to Bylthe and then you drove him back to the dealership? Still don't understand why you needed to do this? Is this because you don't have to pay sales tax in California?
    3. Which Notary did you use in Blythe?

    Again, thanks for all of the information.
  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    I bought the truck with my Canadian address. I guess I had to take delivery out of the State to avoid taxes. I don't know the name of the notary that we used, but it was at a real estate office. that's about it for info. good luck!!
  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    I am looking for info about Nissan warranty work done in Canada on new,American purchased vehicles. I am curious to read about experiences people have had; both good and bad. Anyone had warranty work done in the Vacouver area? I may have read the warranty wrong and I am looking for some clarification.
  • I am importing a new Porsche Cayman S into Quebec from New Hampshire. I have everything worked out (thanks in part to tips from this forum!). My major concern is locating "binder insurance" - insurance while I am transporting the car and before securing Quebec registration. Most insurance companies in Quebec will not insure the car until its registered. One, Bellairsdirect, will insure the car only for 50K personal liability and that it before its registered. Any leads or help in locating an insurance company that deals with binder insurance in Quebec? Or perhaps I have this wrong and binder insurance has to be purchased in the States (?).
  • Please comment on the following:
    1. Do brand new honda's have any warranty if they are bought in US and only registered in Canada? I have been told that these are considered Gray market and have no warranty in the US or Canada.
    2. Can you buy warranty from any 3rd party or Honda canada on these type of cars?
    3. Anyone have recent experience with importing Honda.

  • I am also interested in getting definitive answers to these same questions. My incomplete understanding is that if the car is registered in the States then warranty would apply, but that registration, again based on what I gather, requires paying the state sales tax, which would affect the cost advantage. On the other hand, I have heard of getting title of the car registered with Honda U.S. for warranty purposes, requiring a U.S. address. So I am unclear on these points. Could someone please help? The only thing I am sure of is that HONDA CANADA WILL NOT HONOUR THE WARRANTY.
  • tedd2tedd2 Posts: 23
    I am certain that you can buy the car in the States in many States without paying the state tax if the car is going out of the States. The border States seem to be the ones that just won't sell a Canadian a car...period. As far as the warranty is concerned though, with HONDA, you are hooped. They will not honour the warranty, which is quite illegal and it is b.s. But who is going to take them on. Do what I hell with a Porsche..!!
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    I have heard of the same rumour I guess with Honda. Well I work for Honda, and as far as I know, you should be able to carry over your Honda warranty into Canada if you buy and register your vehicle in the US and keep it htere I think 6 months at least.

    I mean there are people in different situations who work down there and get transferred back up to Canada and take their cars with them.

    I heard some people are able to buy new Hondas or Acuras there and pay for warranty in Canada, but it's a rumour I heard and wasn't able to follw up on that.

    Probably the reason Honda is strict about this is to protect it's dealer network in Canada. Otherwise you'd have a lot of dealers ticked off about losing business to cross border shoppers.

    Best thing to do is to call Honda Canada and find out directly from them. Give them a scenario like if you're working there and get transferred up here, what would happen with the warranty?

    Just my 2 cents

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • I have read all 35 pages of this forum and I have questions that I have not seen addressed explicitly - perhaps I missed it...

    Please help - any guidance is very much appreciated.

    I am interested only on a 70’s Chevy/Ford muscle car from a southern US state.

    I would like to import it, into Ontario, Canada with the intention of driving it in Ontario

    I have read the comment in this Forum “You do not need anything. The car is over 15 year old. See RIV”….. but I cannot find any detailed info at RIV. If it exists, please send me a specific link.

    I intend on flying down to pick up the car…
    I intend on paying the private seller cash.

    Then what ….. ………..?

    I understand I can pre-arrange insurance.
    I understand GST would be applicable.

    My primary concern is admittance in Canada and the exit, or export from the US.

    The pdf on the RIV site does not cover this age range of vehicle… or am I mistaken? Please advise.

    Question 1: What do the US authorities require?

    Question 2: Who are the relevant US authorities?

    Question 3: What do the Canadian authorities require?

    Question 4: Who are the relevant Canadian authorities?

    Question 5: Whose / what license plate do I need to use? When ?

    Question 6: Do I need to stop in each state, on my drive back, to get permits? Etc?

    Question 7: What is all this about recalls? And letters from the manufacture? Is this required?

    Question 8: If this is too complicated, is there a company in Canada that will assist in this process. If so, what are the fees?

    Question 9: Are there safety issues to consider (seal belts, bumpers, etc.)

    Question 10: What are the common pitfalls of amateur enthusiasts like me? What are common mistakes, misconceptions, etc.?

    Question 11: How does this situation change if the car being imported is a European can… for example, is it possible to bring in a 70’s MGB, or a 70’s Mercedes Benz? Can a 70’s Benz be imported into Canada?
  • tedd2tedd2 Posts: 23
    Save your time..I HAVE called HONDA and I spoke to them and this is not a rumour. They are emphatic. And sure it is all about the dealers protecting everyone. Does the word NAFTA mean anything to anyone out there? Do you recall something called the North American Free Trade Agreement? This is a clear contravention of what NAFTA is all about and someone should go after HONDA. Like I said i found my solution..I bought another make!!
  • Hi guys,

    I'm about to purchase a 1999 BMW M3 from Texas, and just wanted to know if anyone could help me approach this.

    Since the car is made in Germany, do I have to pay more than if it was a North American manufactured car?

    Also, what taxes do I face at the border? What other fees are there?

    And lastly, what do I need to arrange before and after the sale?

    I appreciate your help.

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    Don't know exactly how much you will have to pay. Best place to look is CCRA (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency), and Transport Canada.

    They should have all the exact info of what it takes to import a car into Canada.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • Hi, I have reviewed the purchase / import procedures in this forum and plan to purchase a new vehicle (Honda) in Washington State and import to BC. However, I live about 1.5 hrs from the border crossing and about 4hrs away from the dealership in Washington state. Therefore, if the risk is minimal, I would like to purchase this vehicle without actually taking physical possession from the dealership for a couple days. This way I can save an extra trip to the dealership by signing a purchase contract via fax or courier and leave the car in the dealerships possession while I submit the purchase paperwork and no-recall letter to US customs by fax or courier. Once US Customs approves the export, I can make the trip to the dealership and take possession of the vehicle. It seems that people in this forum recommend taking possession of their new vehicle and then place it in temporary storage at a 3rd party location near the border crossing while they wait for US Customs to approve the paperwork. I would like to reasonably protect myself but also do not want to make an extra trip to the dealership,if possible. I admit this would not be a great plan if the dealership is not reputable, but I will be dealing with a Honda dealership. Questions:

    1) What are the advantages / disadvantages to taking possession and temporarily storing at a 3rd location vs. leaving the vehicle at the dealership? What steps can I take to do this while also protecting myself?

    2) What are your experiences with executing submitting purchase contracts with a dealership via fax or courier. Is there a preferred method of executing agreements from a distance?

    3) What clauses can I place in the purchase agreement to protect me between the date I pay for the vehicle and the date I take possession? Has anyone ever heard of structuring the agreement to state that I have legally purchased the vehicle, but complete payment to the dealerhip will be made at the time of possession?

    4) What is a safe way for me to pay for the vehicle that would likely be acceptable to the dealership (i.e. wire transfer vs. couriering a certified cheque vs. ???)

    5) Can I still obtain binder insurance on the vehicle on the date of my purchase even though I do not take physical possession for a couple days?

    6) Does ICBC provide binder insurance or should I look to a private insurance company?

    7) Will US Customs accept my purchase documentation / no-recall letter via fax? Or will they need copies via courier?

    Thanks very much for any input. This forum has been a great resource to me.
  • tedd2tedd2 Posts: 23
    Good luck with this. These are issues I am not familiar with and frankly I haven't read them either, re storing the car while waiting for papers. You are aware that Honda Canada will not honour the warranty?
  • I doing something simular with Toyota.

    1. I am leaving a dealership. Never thought about this much.

    2. I am getting quote faxed to me and will finalize paperwork when I show up to dealer.

    3. Never thought about this.

    4. both are safe.

    5. Not sure I am in alberta.

    6. Don't kniow.

    7. Fax ios ok... go to riv website and call US customes they need info 72 hours before going through the border so fax is ok from my understanding.
  • But based on your explanation, it appears that you are going to need to take 2 trips to the US dealership. The first one to finalize the paperwork when you show up at the dealership (presumably the time you complete the purchase). And then after this, you will have to fax the completed paperwork to US Cutoms and wait 72hours beforer you can go back to the dealership to pick up the vehicle to import to Canada. Is this correct? What I am trying to avoid is 2 trips to the dealership.
  • lax5lax5 Posts: 29
    Based on buying a vehicle in Arizona, I believe it is doable via fax. I guess it depends on how much you trust what the dealer tells you about the vehicle. I found the process very easy. I sweated the exportation from the US and that took all of five minutes and the Canadian portion was a little longer paying the RIV fees, and GST plus excise.

    The paperwork that needs to be sent to customs does not need to be signed in person, I don't believe. The best thing to do is get US customs to send you the package that they require. If you are uncertain about what you can do, call them. I found them to be really helpful. Depending on the border crossing you are using back to BC make sure you check the hours the exportation is open. I was shocked that the crossing back into the lower mainland was only open monday to friday.

    As an aside, the longer you are in the US, the more of your deductible can be applied against the value of the vehicle.

    Good luck
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