Automotive

Worth it to import used car out of province?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 11th, 2017 9:38 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Member
Nov 11, 2009
453 posts
112 upvotes
Edmonton

Worth it to import used car out of province?

I've been looking at Chevy Volts for a while now, and the only provinces that have used Chevy Volts are BC, Ontario and Quebec. The price difference between a used 2012-2014 Volt to a new 2016 Volt is quite substantive. Even so, is it worth it to import one considering the inspection costs (Alberta) and the hassle of insurance?
22 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36249 posts
10404 upvotes
Ottawa
If the price is right why not? It is not like trying to get one from the US.
You just need to get a safety inspection like any other car.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
16623 posts
5238 upvotes
London
SRG01 wrote: ...only provinces that have used Chevy Volts are BC, Ontario and Quebec. The price difference between a used 2012-2014 Volt to a new 2016 Volt is quite substantive. ..
I think ON, QC and BC have tax incentives/rebates of up to $10k on new electric cars so the manufacturer's new car price is higher to reflect this. Used electric cars don't get any rebates, so the asking price is lower
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8530 posts
1316 upvotes
Pete_Coach wrote: If the price is right why not? It is not like trying to get one from the US.
You just need to get a safety inspection like any other car.
Exactly. When we got our SUV, our dollar was strong so we bought it down in the US.

This latest car, QC had the better pricing /selection so that's where we bought it. Each had a bit more work involved but we felt it was worth it.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
6410 posts
2595 upvotes
Ottawa
Despite the exchange rate, I suspect you can get a better deal in the US. I think in Canada, you'll be hard pressed to find a used Volt under $20k CND. In the US, you can probably get one for as low as $11-12k US. I think because they are so much more common in the US, prices are quite a bit lower.

For buyers in provinces that do offer subsidies, you might do very well finding a new "old stock" (2014 or 2015) in the US (which I suspect would be very hard to find in Canada). Technically, in Ontario at least, you can actually get the subsidy on a demo but it has to be a relatively unused demo (I think it might have to have under 3000 km).

-- update --

For demo vehicles to be considered "new" and received the rebate, they need to have less than 2000 km.
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
2868 posts
1876 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I heard it's a nightmare importing from QC to ON.
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2008
1016 posts
260 upvotes
Ottawa
canoek wrote: I heard it's a nightmare importing from QC to ON.
Why would that be? What would be required beyond, emissions test, MoT safety inspection, and paying the HST?
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
2868 posts
1876 upvotes
Toronto, ON
CanuckGreg wrote: Why would that be? What would be required beyond, emissions test, MoT safety inspection, and paying the HST?
I don't know. I just read it is difficult so I never pursued it.
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2012
700 posts
226 upvotes
Toronto
I purchased a car from New Brunswick last year. I drove out to look at it, put a deposit and flew out 2 weeks later and drove it back. I'm retired so I have nothing but time to kill.
I told my insurance company and got coverage. The dealer gave me a trip permit. Once in Ontario my mechanic certified the car, and did the emission test.
I paid 13% tax in New Brunswick so when I went to MTO I didn't have to pay the HST. I forget what I paid for the plates.
Banned
User avatar
Aug 16, 2014
246 posts
49 upvotes
Toronto
QC has a bad reputation for rolling odometers back. Had a Maxima from there and when I was trying to sell it nobody wanted anything to do with it once they learned that it originally came from QC. Considering you're in AB I'd be looking at BC cars first.
[OP]
Member
Nov 11, 2009
453 posts
112 upvotes
Edmonton
Thanks everyone for the replies!
michelb wrote: Despite the exchange rate, I suspect you can get a better deal in the US. I think in Canada, you'll be hard pressed to find a used Volt under $20k CND. In the US, you can probably get one for as low as $11-12k US. I think because they are so much more common in the US, prices are quite a bit lower.

For buyers in provinces that do offer subsidies, you might do very well finding a new "old stock" (2014 or 2015) in the US (which I suspect would be very hard to find in Canada). Technically, in Ontario at least, you can actually get the subsidy on a demo but it has to be a relatively unused demo (I think it might have to have under 3000 km).
That's actually a good idea. I should take a look south of the border. Do you have any suggestions as to the websites I should visit?
Brian71 wrote: I purchased a car from New Brunswick last year. I drove out to look at it, put a deposit and flew out 2 weeks later and drove it back. I'm retired so I have nothing but time to kill.
I told my insurance company and got coverage. The dealer gave me a trip permit. Once in Ontario my mechanic certified the car, and did the emission test.
I paid 13% tax in New Brunswick so when I went to MTO I didn't have to pay the HST. I forget what I paid for the plates.
Yeah, that sounds very similar to my overall plan: take a look at the vehicle, fly out and drive back. I know a couple of shops that can do out-of-province inspections too...
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
6410 posts
2595 upvotes
Ottawa
canoek wrote: I heard it's a nightmare importing from QC to ON.
CanuckGreg wrote: Why would that be? What would be required beyond, emissions test, MoT safety inspection, and paying the HST?
I bought a car from QC to ON and it was pretty much a non-issue. Got a trip permit from QC, then had to do the usual in Ontario to get my plates. The only issue is that I had to pay QC tax and then apply for a refund which took quite a few months (might be because I bought it from a used car dealer).
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2012
700 posts
226 upvotes
Toronto
Auto Trader .com is a good site. You can pick the vehicle you want colour, options etc.
Just use any zip code for your search.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 6, 2010
9531 posts
1507 upvotes
Montreal, QC
Importing cars in itself is fairly easy and if it's from the neighboring province, there's many dealerships who will even assist with the process if they have experience with it (I know some dealerships near Ottawa on both the ON and QC side can do this).

The main concern is usually with the condition itself. In the case of Quebec, people fear rolled back odometers and typically more aggressive use of salt in winters which may affect the condition of the car. Then again, I've only ever bought used cars from Quebec since I'm from there and I've never had an issue lol :razz:
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2006
514 posts
76 upvotes
NB
Brian71 wrote: I purchased a car from New Brunswick last year. I drove out to look at it, put a deposit and flew out 2 weeks later and drove it back. I'm retired so I have nothing but time to kill.
I told my insurance company and got coverage. The dealer gave me a trip permit. Once in Ontario my mechanic certified the car, and did the emission test.
I paid 13% tax in New Brunswick so when I went to MTO I didn't have to pay the HST. I forget what I paid for the plates.
what did u get, if u don't mind me asking....how much did u save?
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2012
700 posts
226 upvotes
Toronto
jonnyyaa wrote: what did u get, if u don't mind me asking....how much did u save?
I bought an 07 Z06. I wasn't looking for a deal but the car was listed around $15,000 less than other ones that I was looking at. So in my case driving out to look at it, then flying back to drive it home I still got a good deal.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
54688 posts
19494 upvotes
Do we only pay enough tax so that the total paid to the province where the car is from and to Ontario combined = 13%? From the few examples posted, it seems this is how it works. What if the province the car is coming from has a 15% tax, do we get a 2% rebate in Ontario?

https://www.ontario.ca/faq/what-do-i-ne ... le-ontario

Vehicle from outside Ontario

You must provide proof of identity (name, date of birth and signature) when you register a vehicle for the first time using your driver’s licence number or registrant identification number. You must also include a list of imported goods which includes your vehicle.

Most vehicles that are purchased privately in another Canadian province will be charged retail sales tax (RST) or harmonized sales tax (HST) at 13% when you register in Ontario.

If you are becoming an Ontario resident, you may declare an exemption when you register the vehicle instead of paying the retail sales tax.

For other retail sales tax exemptions, contact ServiceOntario at 416-235-2999 (GTA) or toll free at 1-800-387-3445 (Canada).

See general requirements to register your vehicle in Ontario


If you will be registering a personal used vehicle (e.g. pick-up truck) in Ontario that was a commercial use vehicle in another province or country you will need:
  • proof of insurance
  • out of province ownership (title)
  • a complete bill of sale (if vehicle is not in your name)
  • proof of the “empty” weight of the vehicle in kg excluding the load (if not already on the ownership)
  • Safety Standards certificate
  • emissions test for heavy-duty vehicles older than the current model year (heavy- duty vehicles have a registered gross weight of more than 4,500 kg)
  • a structural safety (If the vehicle brand is “Rebuilt”, “salvage” or the equivalent. For a structural safety you must visit a vehicle inspection station.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
16743 posts
15190 upvotes
Richmond Hill
alanbrenton wrote: Do we only pay enough tax so that the total paid to the province where the car is from and to Ontario combined = 13%? From the few examples posted, it seems this is how it works. What if the province the car is coming from has a 15% tax, do we get a 2% rebate in Ontario?

https://www.ontario.ca/faq/what-do-i-ne ... le-ontario

Vehicle from outside Ontario

You must provide proof of identity (name, date of birth and signature) when you register a vehicle for the first time using your driver’s licence number or registrant identification number. You must also include a list of imported goods which includes your vehicle.

Most vehicles that are purchased privately in another Canadian province will be charged retail sales tax (RST) or harmonized sales tax (HST) at 13% when you register in Ontario.

If you are becoming an Ontario resident, you may declare an exemption when you register the vehicle instead of paying the retail sales tax.

For other retail sales tax exemptions, contact ServiceOntario at 416-235-2999 (GTA) or toll free at 1-800-387-3445 (Canada).

See general requirements to register your vehicle in Ontario


If you will be registering a personal used vehicle (e.g. pick-up truck) in Ontario that was a commercial use vehicle in another province or country you will need:
  • proof of insurance
  • out of province ownership (title)
  • a complete bill of sale (if vehicle is not in your name)
  • proof of the “empty” weight of the vehicle in kg excluding the load (if not already on the ownership)
  • Safety Standards certificate
  • emissions test for heavy-duty vehicles older than the current model year (heavy- duty vehicles have a registered gross weight of more than 4,500 kg)
  • a structural safety (If the vehicle brand is “Rebuilt”, “salvage” or the equivalent. For a structural safety you must visit a vehicle inspection station.
When I bought my 911 from Calgary here was the process:

- Paid GST to the dealer
- had dealer get me a 15 day intransit permit so that I can drive in Ontario to get etest and safety done without going to MTO.
- paid dealer to ship car in enclosed trailer
- called insurance to add 911 before it was enroute as I wanted my own insurance on it as well, not just the shipper
- after getting safety/etest went to MTO with bill of sale and Calgary ownership. Brought lube to ready for the PST portion. Discovered that MTO is ok with no limit on credit card usage lol.

And yes if the province is 15% tax you will get a 2% rebate.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
54688 posts
19494 upvotes
You paid the entire PST on your credit card, cool! :)

Thanks for sharing your experience. Who examined the car for you?

Top