1. Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, Toronto's largest and longest running online community. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register on the forum. You can register with your facebook ID or with an email address. Join us!

Buying / Importing a used US vehicle to Canada

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Aerius Zension, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    Lots of threads on buying a used vehicle, but nothing on buying one from the States and importing it to Canada. Wondering if anyone here has any experience on this. I'm Googling it now, but I'm looking for a personal experience as opposed to a gov't website. The info I'm reading is spotty at best.

  2. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member

    It's a hassle and a half.
  3. swenard

    swenard TRIBE Member

    From my understanding and anecdotes from friends, it's quite easy.
  4. diablo

    diablo TRIBE Member

    I've heard both of the above.
  5. Eclectic

    Eclectic TRIBE Member

    From friends experiences...it appears to be easier if you go pick it up and drive it back.

    Shipping is where the pain in the ass comes from.
  6. Karim

    Karim TRIBE Member

    I've done it.

    The simplicity of it all depends on the make and model of the car and which state you buy from.

    For example, in Ontario, you are required to have a front bumper mounted license plate. If you purchase from a state that does not require this (Pennsylvania for example), you will need to pay for this to be done. That and daytime running lights, french and english airbag warning stickers, and a bunch of other stuff.

    Certain brands will honor their warranties cross border. North American made vehicles are exempt from duties.

    You will still need to pay the Canadian tax on your purchase.

    All the requisite forms are available online.

    The biggest pain in the ass I found was that you need to keep the vehicle state side for 72 hours after purchase before bringing it back in over the border. When I bought my car in Jersey, I made a weekend out of it in NYC.

    Oh, and buying a used car through a classifieds car listing site can be a pain, because the border requires a recall clearance letter, that many car manufacturers charge a couple of hundred dollars for, when really it's just a simple piece of paper stating what recalls needed to be done on the vehicle. The dealership I bought from was nice enough to give me one at no charge.
  7. kuba

    kuba TRIBE Member

  8. Fillmore

    Fillmore TRIBE Member

    Did you say.......

  9. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member

  10. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    Perfect. Thanks for the story, and thanks for the link. I thought that import site looked dodgy in Google but I'll have a read thru.

    Buying it from family who are driving it to Canada. Knew about the daytime running lights, though I was told the speedometer needs to be changed. Didn't know about plates on front bumper, though its from Seattle.
  11. Photon

    Photon TRIBE Member

    It is very easy. First you have to make sure your vehicle is admissibleHERE Then you have to fax or email a copy of the title to US Customs at the crossing you will be using 72 hours prior to importing it(business days, holidays and weekends do not count). When you are importing the car make sure you stop at US Customs BEFORE crossing the border to have the original title stamped. This is very important; if you go back to the US and have not done this and US Customs catches this, they will seize the car and charge you with smuggling.

    At the border you will have to fill out an RIV Form 1 and pay the duties and taxes on the CDN value of the car. US, CAN, and MX built cars are duty free all others are 6.1%.

    After you import the car you will need to take it to Canadian Tire and have the proper modifications done to it. Once that is done go to Registrar of Imported Vehicles and register the car with them and pay $195.00

    Then you must get it licenced in which ever provence you are in.

    They can do this but you will have to meet them at the border to import the car.

    If you have any more questions let me know. I work at a customs brokerage at the border and import 20-30 cars a day.
  12. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith TRIBE Member

    It is easy. If you have problems with it, then you probably shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.
  13. sub4

    sub4 TRIBE Member

    Photon-what state are most of these vehicles coming from? in my shopping, ive found texas has alot of inventory. but maybe thats just for the specific vehicle i want.....
  14. Photon

    Photon TRIBE Member

    I see cars from just about every state in the US, but mostly from NY, PA, MA. That also could be because most of my clients go to Manheim auctions in PA. I have noticed though that most of the "summer" cars eg. Corvettes, Ferraris, Vipers etc. are comming from nice weather states like FL, TX, CA.
  15. Beings

    Beings TRIBE Member

  16. NemIsis

    NemIsis TRIBE Member

    If you do fax the title over to US customs, make sure to keep the confirmation.

    My Dad bought a 60's truck this past winter, faxed everything and it seemed a-ok. He and his brother went tourist and drove through the US for 2 weeks before coming up north to cross. When they hit customs they were told that customs didn't get the fax. They asked to see the confirmation (which my dad didn't think to bring). He was then stuck in the US for 3 days (3 days to process). He had to drive back home on Christmas Day :(.
  17. todiefor

    todiefor TRIBE Promoter

    Very interesting thread with loads of useful info. But one thing remains to be clarified:

    What amounts to the perfect storm, or ideal set of variables when it's worth it to buy a vehicle cross border.

    I mean, I just checked and saw an '07 Ford Explorer in the US for about 20 grand, and I saw a similar vehicle here posted for only a few grand more. Is that really worth it? When is it worthwhile? For those of you who've done it, can you expound on what you bought, how it compared to prices here and how much you believe you saved?

  18. Dr. Grinch

    Dr. Grinch TRIBE Member

    Explorers are commodity vehicles. You can get them easily, and being a Ford, they're priced pretty similarly in Canada/US.
    The big savings are on higher end vehicles, particularly upper end German vehicles.
    I brought my VW back from the US and saved maybe a few grand, but got exactly what I was looking for.
    If I was buying something more upmarket (say a 7 series bimmer), I could have saved tens of thousands.
    Other cars you can save pretty big coin on: Subaru and Audi
    We WAY overpay on these in Canada

    The definitive guide I used to bring my car over was here:

    VWvortex Forums: HOW TO Thread - Importing a car from USA
  19. swenard

    swenard TRIBE Member

    I wanted to buy a Lotus Exige but it is unadmissable.
  20. Dr. Grinch

    Dr. Grinch TRIBE Member

    You still 100% sure about that?
    I saw an Exige on the roads about 4 days ago.
    We loosened the restrictions on front bumpers from 5mph to match the US 3mph about 18 months ago.
  21. swenard

    swenard TRIBE Member

    I just checked the registrars site and it said no. Although, you're right I have seen many of them in Canada.
  22. Photon

    Photon TRIBE Member

    I also forgot to mention that you will have to pay $100 excise tax if the car has AC and a "Green" tax for fuel inefficient vehicles which you can check for HERE
  23. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    If I have P225 all seasons on a vehicle, can I put P205 winter tires on it even though its a thinner tire? Rim and radius size match.
  24. Vote_4_Pedro

    Vote_4_Pedro TRIBE Member

    wrong thread...
  25. the_fornicator

    the_fornicator TRIBE Member

    I've had a bunch of friends do it and they said to bring it in through Alberta, if you can.

    Save money on some sorta tax -though I reckon the money you'll save, you'll just spend on transporting it from Alberta to Ontario.

Share This Page