[Always] WOW ---- New and used cars from US up to 30% cheaper - Read post #1
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007 ... 21-cp.html
There are dealers in Canada who also agree and (lucky for smart consumers like those reading this thread) are starting to feel it on their ledger sheets:
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/fina ... 53&k=77254
For a couple of hours of paperwork (www.riv.ca) you could save THOUSANDS of dollars on your new vehicle purchase.
For example, check out Subaru pricing from this dealer in the US then compare it to Canada:
Unless the car is very hot and desirable (like a new model or extremely popular), a large percentage of buyers pay BELOW invoice (not MSRP). You may also qualify for the US rebates (if offered) and other incentives that typically drop the invoice price thousands less than invoice.
Edit: I purchased a 2007 Subaru Outback in Buffalo NY and saved approx. $18,000! The price was almost $2000 off invoice!
Contrary to what a Canadian car dealer might tell you, almost ANY car can be imported regardless of it's age. The process is very simple. There's very little paperwork to do. Ask around, you'll be surprised how many people are doing this. The press has taken note, the Canadian car companies are quietly telling some of their US dealers NOT to sell to Canadians since the savings are quite dramatic. Check out the US invoice prices online for free. Many of us are getting cars for LESS than invoice. Canadian dealers insist on working backwards from the MSRP which is ALWAYS thousands more.
Since many of us have done this, we've taken it upon ourselves to spread the word. Thanks to RFD member "Michelb" for helping compile this FAQ:
IMPORTING A CAR FROM THE USA INTO CANADA FAQ
1) Why bother importing a car from the US?
- Partially of the recent strength of the Canadian dollar, many models are significantly less expensive in the US than in Canada. Also some models/trims are available in the US but not in Canada.
2) Can any car from the USA be imported?
- No, check the list at www.riv.ca. While many cars can be imported without any or with very little modifications, some might need modifications like the addition of Daytime running lights, and/or child tether anchors
3) Do I have to pay duty and taxes?
- There is no duty on cars built in North America. Cars from elsewhere will be charged 6.1% duty. You have to pay GST when you import the vehicle and PST when you register your vehicle as per your Province's regulations.
4) How do I know if I can import a car without paying duty?
- If the VIN starts with a number, it's made in North America and can be imported duty free. If they VIN starts with a letter, it's made elsewhere in the world and you will be charged 6.1% duty.
5) IS this only for new cars?
- Any car that can be imported (See point #1) can be imported new or used - does not make any difference and the process is the same (other than things like safety checks and clean air checks which really have nothing to do with importing the car).
6) Will the new car warranty be valid in Canada?
- This varies by manufacturer and you should contact the one for the car you wish to import. Some manufacturers (e.g. Subaru, Toyota) will honor the warranty, others will honor the warranty but under a few conditions (e.g. Nissan), while others void the warranty if the car is not registered in the US first (e.g. Honda)
7) Do I need a US address?
- No, but some dealerships (e.g. Toyota, particularly those near the Canadian border) may not want to sell you a car if you don't register it in the US first. In general dealerships very close to the Canadian border may not be as willing (because of pressure from the manufacturer) to sell to Canadians and you may have to travel further South.
8) I have a friend/relative with an address in the US, can I or they buy the car in the US and register it there before importing it to Canada?
- Yes but you may be charged sales taxes in the US and in Canada if you do that. Different states have different tax rates (and some none) so it may be possible to do it there. It has been confirmed that Canadian buyers pay NO sales tax in certain states like New York but are charged sales tax in Michigan. Also, there are certain conditions under which Customs Canada will allow you to import the car without paying taxes but this is only for those who are out of Canada for extended periods of time.
9) Can I get financing for a car purchased in the US?
- You cannot get financing through the dealership or manufacturer. You may be able to get a car loan from your bank but probably only once the vehicle is imported into Canada. Some Canadian banks are now offering US loans.
10) Can anyone do this for me?
- There are importers / brokers that will handle shipping and importing however they do charge a significant amount. Individuals can do it for themselve for the cost of a few hours time and the $200 RIV fee.
11) Are there any drawbacks from having a US car?
- Generally no. There are some inconveniences such as having an odometer in miles rather than kilometers and having the 'principal' display (outer ring) in the speedometer in MPH rather than KPH. It may be more difficult to resell an 'US' vehicle and you may get less for it. Dealer supplied bonuses (e.g. free oil changes for the first year) are usually not valid in Canada. Some automatic climate control and computer data information can also be in Imperial measurements. Some vehicles can easily switch between Imperial and Metric measurements while others cannot.
12) What should I pay for my car? What's fair? How to I compare?
This is a complicated question but if you're reading this you have the most valuable tool available to you. It's called THE INTERNET. Unlike Canada, the US readily promotes competition. While most manufacturers indicate a MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) most automobiles in the US are sold based on "invoice" pricing. This is closer to the true value of the car. This information is readily available on the Internet. The theory behind this is to ensure that a dealer in Iowa can sell a car for roughly the same price as one in LA. Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that large volume dealers also get additional discounts and incentives. Some could get free transmissions or moonroofs from the manufacturer. The dealer may choose to charge you for those items and keep it as straight profit. Others will discount the price accordingly.
In very rare cases, the car is so popular it exceeds demand. In those cases, the consumer might have to pay above invoice. If you can't get a car for US invoice price, shop around. Call dealers in other cities or states to get an idea what others are paying. Excellent sites like Edmunds.com have forums where "prices paid" are discussed.
Many of the RFDers compare prices the following way: Use US "invoice pricing" as the starting point. Add the exchange and a thousand or so dollars. Offer that to the Canadian dealer. NEVER compare US MSRP to Canadian MSRP unless you're researching prices. There is no doubt there is a price disparity in Canada. Many Canadian dealers will use all kinds of arguments to mislead you. There is a Canadian automotive analyst who is an expert at deception. They'll point out that model and trim levels aren't the same so true comparisons are not possible and that no real price disparity exists. Unfortunately for him, with the Internet at your disposal, you can compare options to options. This price disparity is huge and is now the subject of a $2 Billion dollar lawsuit filed in Canada in September, 2007.
Don't let taxation get into the discussion. You're paying taxes regardless of where you buy. Lucky for the Canadian buyer purchasing down south, your overall tax bill will be significantly reduced since the initial cost of the car is lower.
You'll be told that the cars aren't compliant and that "thousands" need to be spent to conform your car. Leave that the Transport Canada to decide. RIV.ca will tell you what needs to be done to the car. In the vast majority of cases, very little or in the case of many cars like the Subaru Outback NOTHING is required.
Dealers will tell you the Canadian market is small and can't support the US pricing. Another good one is that the cars in Canada are competitively priced in the market. That's the whole point of the lawsuit. There appears to be some collusion going on. There is an allegation that many Canadian car manufacturers have agreed to keep their prices artificially high.
This information is supplied to the best of our knowledge, if you have any recommendations or corrections please let us know.
Okay now you're convinced to buy in the US. How do you do it?
Follow the import instructions posted at the Registrar Of Imported Vehicles. http://www.riv.ca/english/html/how_to_import.html. It's so easy.
Another excellent resource is the RFD thread compiled by alysomji with input from just about everyone: http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/show ... p?t=477998
More details at www.monsieurmaggot.com
If you have any questions, ask some of the members at RFD who've gone through the process.