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Hey All.

Just signed up to the board after reading a few posts, so thought I would say hello.

Also just a quick question to see if anyone has imported a car recently from the states?

I'm in the market for a slightly used SUV, so thinking of picking one up from the states. Any input to the matter would be appreciated.

Regards,
Vic
 

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You can find more info and get more response by checking out the huge thread on Redflagdeals

A wealth of info there! Certainly a good time to buy now with the strong loonie.
 

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The best deals are either on used cars and/or new, expensive cars.

When I was about to move back from US to Canada, I bought a new Honda accord. The price difference was massive (even after exchange rates and an import tax, and new licensing ...). The difference was $35,000 to $24,000 (after import duty, re-licensing etc.)

You can buy in the US. I'd take a look at things that importable (there's a custom's list), because it has to comply with Canadian safety standards. I think the best thing to do is to buy it yourself, and bring it back. Be aware that they're going to slap duty on it (and GST/HST) etc ... but I think with the dollar where it is ... you're still saving money.
 

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Like Genius mentioned, make sure the vehicle you want is allowed to be imported into Canada. We bought a van off a guy who also had a car for sale that he got stung on.... bought it off ebay, drove it into Canada and couldn't register it here because it wasn't on the list of vehicles you can import. Costly mistake.
 

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You can find more info and get more response by checking out the huge thread on Redflagdeals

A wealth of info there! Certainly a good time to buy now with the strong loonie.


My experience (as posted on RFD)

It was time for a new car. We own a beautiful 3 yr old Newfoundland dog, Freya. Our '02 4 door Hyundai Accent meant Freya took the back seat, and our 300 L trunk had to accomodate the rest of our storage. Our hunt started in Dec 2009. Almost bought a used 2006 Ford Focus via private sale. Decided against that and started looking @ new cars. I asked around on RFD in the Automotive forum. I analyzed quite a few wagons and CUVs. We came close to paying for a 2WD CR-V EX (for about $32,000), and then I decided to read this thread - as suggested by some people who posted in my CUV thread. The prospect of buying a loaded Outback for about the same $$$ is an RFDer's dream.

We wanted an Outback, but the base model @ our local dealership was going to cost us $32,000. The Limited was a whopping $42,000. I do hate the freight + delivery - total rip off IMO. Yes, I paid delivery in the US, but it was about 50% of what we pay in Canada.

We wanted the Limited. We didn't want a moonroof or NAV. Those cost about $1800 in the US as options. The front underguard, wood trim, and leather are nice - but we didn't care about them much. The Harmon Karmon stereo is NICE, and from what i've read on the Outback forum, the non-HK factory stereo sucks. We also wanted the power passenger side seats, which are not available w/ the Premium or Base models. Most importantly, we wanted the dual zone temperature/climate feature as my wife and I differ when it comes to heat and A/C. We also orders mud flaps, rear bumper protector, rear cargo net,

I emailed Karl @ VanBortel a slew of times. He was great. I highly recommend working your deal via Karl @ VanBortel if you can get toe NW NY State to buy your car. Also, they sell for invoice. You might be able to get lower from them, but I was content w/ invoice (car + accessories).

I started doing the math. I figured I could get this car for $31,000 if I got my CDN at par. We didn't get it at par, we paid a bit more, but we did pick the right time about 3 weeks ago when the loonie was stronger.

We were slated to get a 2010 Outback, but those got increasingly difficult to order (our first request was not met for the May 1 delivery). Karl suggested we get a 2011 instead. Might have to wait a bit longer, but it's a newer vehicle. Our order was placed when SOA announced the production start date (mid June I think). We then learned our order had been filled. Karl also honoured the 2010 quote he gave me on both the car and accessories. The 2011 is about $300 more. He also gave me accessories @ the Premium price, not Limited - for some reason they differ.

We arranged to pick the car up Monday, July 12th at 11am. Originally we were hoping to use the Thousand Islands bridge to export, but Karl informed us that this port of entry has different rules than does the Lewiston Bridge near Buffalo. Basically, Thousand Islands requires the ORIGINAL title - signed whereas Lewiston only requires a faxed unsigned copy. Title won't get released until you pay for the car, so the only way to use the Thousand Island entry was to wait an additional 72 hrs (and another trip!). Forget that. Same state, different rules. Peculiar.

My father had offered to help me get to NY to ick the car up. My wife is 1/2 Dutch, so we decided to drive to Kingston to watch the Dutch play Spain in the World Cup final on Sunday the 11th. My wife doesn't get vacation time where we work so I needed to either take a bus, plane or drive down w/ my father. I'm not in the GTA, so getting to a plane or bus was going to be a pain. My Dad had offered to drive 2+ hrs to my house, then the 6 or so to Buffalo, then 6 hrs back to where I live, then 2 to his place. He just had his knee replaced 3 months ago, so I thought this was silly. So we headed to his place on the Sunday and my wife drove home after the soccer match. It sucks that Holland lost.

My father and I embarked on our adventure @ 6:55am Monday morning. Fun stuff as my dad drives a 1987 (yes, you read that right) Honda Civic (has about 120,000 km on it - my grandmothers old car). It was hot, as all of Ontario has been for a month. Our drive was uneventful. We paid a toll to cross the bridge, and it took about 10 minutes to get through the US border. My appointment @ Van Bortel was for 11am - we arrived at 10:59am! Great timing. One note - NY State police don't put up with speeding. We saw a half dozen pulled over cars - so watch your speed. 5-7 mph over won't get you in trouble, but I wouldn't risk more than that. Also, the I-90 is a toll highway, so I paid for the toll when we got off of it @ Victor NY. So remember to bring US funds! To buy food, gas, tolls. They don't take a CC at the toll booths! I forgot to get some and had to take an ATM hit to make a withdrawl.

It took about 40 minutes to do the paperwork and take a look at the car. Everything was in order and the Van Bortel staff were awesome. They provided free drinks (water, pop, coffee) and snacks which were welcoming after a long drive. The staff provided the paperwork in organized groups - those I needed for my records and those for the import office. They also provided a map that had instructions on it for when I got to the US border (to do the export). Very handy.

My Dad and I departed in our separate directions. I drove about an hour and was pretty hungry, so I pulled over at a rest stop and bought/downed a Big Mac, my first in years! I continued on and paid another toll when I got to the next exit/highway. It was an odd drive only in that I wasn't used to the size of the Outback compared to my 2002 Accent. There was a lot of construction, including on the bridges over Niagra - so the lanes were narrower than usual, but I managed it. It's just driving afterall. I paid one more bridge toll getting back into Canada.

When I hit US Customs I used my handy maps from Van Bortel to get myself to the right building. In under 10 minutes I was on my way to the Canadian border. There were 3 cars ahead of mine trying to get processed, so it took about 7-8 minutes for my turn. It took about 10 minutes for the border agent to get info from me about the import. I'm not totally sure how many questions were required and which he had for his own informational purposes! He was impressed with my new green Outback tho! After he was done checking my papers I drove to the Import office. It took me under 20 minutes to fill out the Form 1 and for the officer to process the paperwork. Another 5 minutes to pay for the A/C tax + GST.

I then drove home! I took the 407. We'll see if the cameras were able to read the temp paper licence in the window. That will be an additional cost if they can. An OPP officer pulled up beside me and slowed - obviously checking the temp licence. I didn't get pulled over, which was nice. So I kept driving to Peterborough. I got home around 5:45 pm.

On Tuesday of last week the mechanics who maintain my Accent offered to buy it from me for $2200, and they'd handle the safety, work that needed done (if any) and the emissions test. I was hoping to sell it for $2500 but that would include safety/emissions - and the potential of having to fix up things. So a good deal for us IMO (and it covered our PST on the new car!). I also wouldn't have to deal w/ showing the car, no shows and haggling. Lastly, I was able to transfer my old plates to the new car - so no need to buy more.

On the Tuesday I also downloaded my Form 2 from RIV. (if you give them your email you can forgo snail-mail and get a PDF version to print).

Wednesday I took the car to Canadian Tire after dinner, but I was unable to get the inspection done on the spot - so I booked for Thursday after work to get the inspection done.

Friday I went to MTO with all of my paper work and spent about 15 minutes registering our new Outback. This went smoothly and I went home and attached my old plates to our new car.

So that's it! Easy as pie. One vacation day used, some extra expenses (gas, lunch, tolls, safety/emissions) but still, mega savings vs buying at our local dealership.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here are the numbers:

Invoice: $27,293
invoice (MSRP in brackets)
$26270 invoice for car ($27995)
$695 destination fee
$309 for PZEV
-$300 VanBortel discount
$52 - rear bumper cover ($80)
$84 - splash guards ($129)
$34 - rear cargo net ($52)
$39 - all weather mats ($69)

Assessed price (in CDN for taxation purposes): $28,288 (this value is done @ the border based on the exchange rate that day)
$1,514.42 (GST + AC)
$2273.05 PST

$220.35 RIV

USD Exchange hit: $1,037.89
Rate: 1.0380

Toll CDN: $7
Toll US: ~$10.00 CDN
Big Mac: $3.94 (lunch)

Dad's gas: $29
Hyundai gas: $30

Vehicle Safety + Clean Air Test: $132.21
Vehicle Registration: $0

SubTotal: 32550.86
-$300 for 2010 price
- $44 for Premium priced accessories
TOTAL: 32206.86 (give or take - exchange rate not included on these last discounts)

SUBARU.CA BUILD

$36,371.75 (accessories + msrp)


TOTAL: 36,371.75 + 1725 destination
= 37896.75

HST: $4870.60 *** according to subaru on line pricing

CDN + TAX: 42823.33

CDN Price = $42,823.33
CDN Adjusted* = $41,615.33 (less moonroof and nav which are $1658 worth of options @ Van Bortel)
USD Price = $32,206.86

if we'd bought our USD back when we were at par we would have paid even less - at par, the total cost for this car would have been:

$31,512,97

we paid 77.4% of the CDN price.

(would have been 75.7% if we'd gotten our USD at parity)
 

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Wow thanks for the detailed post!

I imported a semi-rare sports car from the USA, about 5 years ago. I little PITA, but worth it, considering we had little choice on our CDN market. I painted it myself with my dad, then sold it, for the price I paid in USD.
 

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I know a snowbird couple -just bought a new Cadillac in Florida.
No Canadian warranty coverage.
You should confirm with the US car company (like Subaru of America) about the warranty. Some manufacturers will allow you to have warranty work done in Canada by a local dealer and reimburse you with receipts. You do have to pay out of pocket at first though, so paycheque-to-paycheque types need not apply.
 

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I can confirm 100% that Subaru Canada will NOT honor a warranty on a vehicle purchased from the US. They used to, until about 3 years ago.
 

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Infiniti G35

Purchased new G35 in 08 from Zimbricks in Madison Wis.
Only car co. that would give me a letter of recall, which you
need to register car in Can.
Lexus or Acura would not.
The Infiniti was assembled in LA.,so did not have to pay
the 6% foreign made duty.
If you buy one make sure you work the running lights into the deal.
Phoned Can. tire to ckeck if they could install. Sure we can 70 bucks.
Not, down to Mpls. dealer-$400.
But saved 15 grand buying in States.
Well not really cause I would not have bought one in Can. 52 without Nav.
vs 37 with nav.
P.S. Love the car
 

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I am done car buying for about 4 years , my brother bought a 32 ft trailer in Florida and it got stuck in customs for nearly 2 months for some reason.Have a few friends who bought older cars down there an no problem to get them over here.We bought our boat in Florida November 2008 when CAD was $1.10 ,we saved about $10,000 and probably can get 90% of our money back if we sold the boat today.
 

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We're looking again

We've imported serveral cars in from the US. We just helped our in laws bring an used Porsche for 1/2 the price it was here (helps that uncle owns a car dealership).

We're looking at bringing in a Toyota Sienna, but are trying to find a dealer that will sell it to us new, and perferably without the state tax. We know the warrenty won't be honored, but are okay with that, as we have a mechanic in the family.

We brought in a new SUV last time, and were able to to save about 23% or almost $15000 off the MSRP.
 

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We imported a 2011 Limited Outback and saved over $9300.

A little shameless self promotion here, but we've had a LOT of views of our articles regarding our import via a thread on another forum. Well over 1000 actually. Anyhow, feel free to check out our experience, the financial numbers and our DIY post. If you leave a comment or questions I WILL respond!


Here is an Import DIY post I did for my blog.

Why We Chose the Outback

Background

The Journey

Financial Breakdown - The numbers behind how we saved $9300+ by Importing

Q & A post

(if some of the content looks like Riff Raff's, I switched handles on this site when we launched our site)
 

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Side note, I imported a car in 2007 when we were at $1.08, I missed the peak by a couple days. Total savings at the time (this includes duty, taxes and fees) was $15,000 for a similar model and milage car here.

With our dollar at par, I'm awfully tempted to do another run. Though, having a second car makes no sense for me. Will be holding off.
 

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I'm strongly considering picking up a new-to-me motorcycle out of the North Eastern states in the next month or so. Prices are substantially lower $2-3K on a $7-10k bike, and our dollar being at/near par is a big incentive for me.

What's the deal with sales tax in the state you purchase? Still have to pay it I'm assuming? I'm considering one out of New Hampshire anyway, but it would be nice to know.

If I drop $8k on a bike in NH, and bring it back into Nova Scotia (15% HST), what am I looking at getting dinged at the border, and/or when I register in NS? Full 15% HST? GST only? RIV fee?

Thanks in advance!
 
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