Ongoing Deal Discussion

[Always] WOW ---- New and used cars from US up to 30% cheaper - Read post #1

Poll: Are Canadian cars overpriced

  • Total votes: 335. You have voted on this poll.
I have no voice, Canadian Dealers/Manufacturers are taking advantage of the Canadian consumer
 
112
33%
In most cases, new cars purchased in the US are almost always thousands cheaper
 
149
44%
I owe no one a living, competition is good. Thank you NAFTA!
 
61
18%
With the exchange rate factored in, Canadian prices are roughly the same
 
6
2%
With the exchange rate and financing, Canadian prices are cheaper - Buy Canadian!
 
7
2%

Poll ended at Dec 28th, 2006 1:46 pm

Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2006
1343 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto

[Always] WOW ---- New and used cars from US up to 30% cheaper - Read post #1

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There are many articles in the press (http://www.torontosun.com/Money/2006/06 ... 6-sun.html) or even on television (http://drivingtv.canada.com/) that mention that new car prices are considerably cheaper in the US. In some cases up to 40% cheaper. Most are about 20% cheaper. When the Minister of Finance says Canadian cars are overpriced you know something's up:
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:

http://www.cars101.com/subaru_prices.html

http://www.cars101.com/canada.html

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.
22803 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2001
1078 posts
54 upvotes
Not a hot deal...warranty will not be recognized in Canada.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 19, 2004
1248 posts
65 upvotes
Mississauga
I'm with ya! but be careful if you buy new as there might be warranty issues. My next used Porsche will be from the U.S. :lol:
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2006
1343 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto
That would be an incorrect statement.

The warranty on many American-bought cars is transferable to Canada.


As an added bonus, vehicles assembled in the US are also free of Duty.
Newbie
Jul 22, 2002
5 posts
You cannot import cars to Canada unless they are older than 1 year. The only way you can is by paying a hefty duty. The real deal lies in purchasing a car exactly 1 year old.

You can also research demographics in the USA to obtain the best price. Different areas offer the same vehicles at different prices depending on the overall economy of the area of interest.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2006
1343 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto
Follow the links my friends.

Unfortunately most people don't know about this and the Canadian dealers don't like reading this either.

At the RIV.ca site it is clearly outlined.

My local dealer tried to tell me the exact same thing:

The warranty wasn't transferable, I needed expensive modifications, I needed to pay duty. All that information is incorrect.

You can import ANY car into Canada providing it is can be legally imported. The site shows you which cars can be imported.
Newbie
Dec 26, 2004
72 posts
rooks wrote:You cannot import cars to Canada unless they are older than 1 year. The only way you can is by paying a hefty duty. The real deal lies in purchasing a car exactly 1 year old.

You can also research demographics in the USA to obtain the best price. Different areas offer the same vehicles at different prices depending on the overall economy of the area of interest.
where did you read about the heft taxes? i think the import taxes is 8% plus the RIV fees.......and some companies have both USA and canada warrenty...i know honda work 100% both ways... looking at the s2000 buffalo...
Sr. Member
Nov 15, 2004
944 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto
rooks wrote:You cannot import cars to Canada unless they are older than 1 year. The only way you can is by paying a hefty duty. The real deal lies in purchasing a car exactly 1 year old.
What are you talking about?
New cars can certainly be imported into Canada. Warranty is transferrable on certain vehicles. Hondas' warranties are not transferable. There's no duty on cars made within NAFTA --> ie, US and Mexico.

I still think buying a new car is a very good deal if you're willing to do the work. At least the 2007 camry I'm looking at, based on the purchase price of a friend, after all fees is arond $22000 + tax Canadian. Where as in Canada it's arond $29000+ tax.

The 2006 camries cost around the same price as a 2007, so I don't see how it's a better deal?
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2006
1343 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto
Here's the beauty of what I uncovered:

You buy the car in the US, pay about $200 RIV fees, you MUST have export documents from US Customs (no charge) you pay GST (6% as of tomorrow) when the car is brought through Canadian Customs (at specific sites only).

You then have to bring the car for Inspection at Canadian Tire (of all places) . The inspection fee is part of the RIV fee. Take that certificate along with the US Customs, and Canadian Customs paperwork to your provincial licensing agent.

Pay them the PST (based on the US selling price) and get your plates.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 23, 2005
2248 posts
260 upvotes
I did that with my CTS-V. But I bought it used. You can't bring the car over unless it's 6 months old or has a certain amount of mileage on it. That prevents you from buying brand new cars from the US.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
1514 posts
110 upvotes
Monsieurmaggot wrote:Follow the links my friends.

Unfortunately most people don't know about this and the Canadian dealers don't like reading this either.

At the RIV.ca site it is clearly outlined.

My local dealer tried to tell me the exact same thing:

The warranty wasn't transferable, I needed daytime running lights, I needed to pay duty. All that information is incorrect.

You can import ANY car into Canada providing it is can be legally imported. The site shows you which cars can be imported.
Just went to the RIV.ca site, says clearly that passenger vehicles require "daytime running lights" see below:

Passenger vehicles

Member
User avatar
Jun 30, 2005
383 posts
9 upvotes
Windsor
Ok. This is great if you buy NAFTA cars but how about the great german or japanese cars?! You still have to pay the duty tax which will kill the deal completely.
Any ideea how big are the duty taxes or where can I find info in this regard?
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