Should I buy in the US or Canada? I'm a Canadian living in the US, my wife is in Canada soon to come

joe_bob1joe_bob1 Member Posts: 1
edited January 2016 in Ford
I'm a Canadian living in the US, likely permanently (H1-B status, so no green card yet). My wife is living in Canada, and is selling the house and coming down to join me. We have an F150 which we imported from Canada to the US as our primary vehicle, so we paid no duty or tax or anything. We have a Chevy Optra5 which is still up in Canada, and would either need to be imported or disposed of.

We would like to buy a new car, either brand new and trade in the chevy, or really quite new but not brand new (e.g. 25 km ~ < 20 miles on it). We are moving to just outside of Detroit (well, I'm already there). We were debating whether we should buy in Canada or in the US.

It seems like if I buy in Canada, the win is the huge price disparity (e.g. a Ford Flex SE 2016 in the US is $29,995, the same thing in Canada is about $32,999, which is currently around $23,000 US). The other win is that I can trade in my little optra5 without having to jump through any hoops. The cons are that I have to pay 5% GST, and 5% PST, but I should be able to apply to get the PST back. At the border, if I buy it in my name, I think I'll have to pay an extra 2.5% for duty, but I don't think that is true for my wife (at least, it wasn't when we brought down our F150 - anyone able to clarify?) I have no idea if Michigan will ding us with a tax or not, they didn't for our truck.

So, it seems like a no brainer to get the vehicle in Canada and bring it down. Given that we are looking for something nearly new, I imagine that bringing it into line with current emissions and the like would be easy. Again, nothing was needed for our imported F150.

Any words of advice on the process while we still have one foot in each country?


  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,759
    I read (on the internet, so take that for what it could be worth), that warranties for Canadian vehicles may not be honored in the US.
    I have seen vehicles originally purchased in Canada for sale here in the US at OEM dealers.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • carboy21carboy21 Member Posts: 760
    Buying in USA is cheaper .
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 210,272
    I would also be worried about warranty issues.

    No matter what you are told by the government beforehand, you won't know the real story until you are standing in front of someone telling you what you owe. At the border, or at the DMV when you go to register the vehicle.

    If I'm going to be living in the USA, permanently, I sell the Canadian car in Canada, then purchase a new car in Michigan.

    Also, I don't what sort of discounts or rebates you can get on Fords in Canada, but the MSRP is not the final price, and you might find out that actual sale prices are very different, and may be closer than you think.

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