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 Fanatic
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Dec 11, 2005
8004 posts
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Yep Vanbortel the popular dealership for Suby was discussed so many times here. Wow its been that long.
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Sep 7, 2009
240 posts
34 upvotes
can2000 wrote: About 10 years ago, almost everyone in this thread talked about importing Subaru (outback and Tribeca) from the States. I myself imported one as well.
Any car is importable, so long as it meets the requirements spelled out by RIV. I have imported 2 Volvos and a GMC Yukon in the last decade.

So long as legal requirements are met (which most cars do), the determining factor for consumers was the warranty. Volvo had no limitations (a factor a time of purchase), so I could make a warranty claim immediately. My father-in-law had to wait 20K for a fabricated (non-Canadian) warranty term on his GMC. Some manufacturers purposely block cross-border warranties. I cannot speak to Subaru.

Summary is that any vehicle from any manufacturer is admissible as long as they meet legal requirements. Whether or not the manufacturer wants to block/void/delay warranty is their call.
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Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
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Ottawa
phlegm2 wrote:
Any car that meets Canadian safety standards is importable to Canada, which was always the case. Given they are manufactured to North American standards, there is typically little to no modification required.

...
I do not believe this statement is correct. IMO, it's more accurate to say that any car that the manufacturer tells RIV that it meets Canadian safety standards (or any car that is 15 years or older) is admissible.

E.g. other than original Roadsters, no US Tesla's are admissible into Canada. I strongly believe that the cars already met or can be made to meet Canadian safety standards with minimal changes (after all, they do sell them in Canada and I do not believe they need significant modifications) but Tesla has chosen to have them listed as inadmissible (I believe if you look back at older RIV lists, the Model S was briefly listed as admissible and then was removed).

Another example is that years ago (it might have changed since), the only way to import a US Lotus Elise was to go though a specific Montreal dealer (I forget the name - Spinellas or something like that). Was that a super qualified dealership with magical abilities and that no other mechanic in Canada was able to do what they could? I think it's more likely that they convinced Lotus that they would have exclusive rights in Canada so Lotus told RIV that imports had to go through them.
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Sep 7, 2009
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michelb wrote: I do not believe this statement is correct. IMO, it's more accurate to say that any car that the manufacturer tells RIV that it meets Canadian safety standards (or any car that is 15 years or older) is admissible.

E.g. other than original Roadsters, no US Tesla's are admissible into Canada. I strongly believe that the cars already met or can be made to meet Canadian safety standards with minimal changes (after all, they do sell them in Canada and I do not believe they need significant modifications) but Tesla has chosen to have them listed as inadmissible (I believe if you look back at older RIV lists, the Model S was briefly listed as admissible and then was removed).

Another example is that years ago (it might have changed since), the only way to import a US Lotus Elise was to go though a specific Montreal dealer (I forget the name - Spinellas or something like that). Was that a super qualified dealership with magical abilities and that no other mechanic in Canada was able to do what they could? I think it's more likely that they convinced Lotus that they would have exclusive rights in Canada so Lotus told RIV that imports had to go through them.
Not sure I take your points. You're saying that:

(1) RIV, and or manufacturers are conspiring at the core legal level to prevent US-CA imports (especially in a CA exchange deficit era, like now)
(2) A particular dealer has a "connection", bypassing a federally-endorsed agency
Newbie
Mar 9, 2008
99 posts
47 upvotes
Just wondering if someone can answer a quick question about state taxes. I apologize if this has been addressed somewhere in these 1500+ pages.

For importing a car into Canada, is there an advantage to buying a car in states that don't charge sales tax? For example, it seems like Washington State is currently not charging sales tax for EVs and there is no sales tax in Oregon. But if I were to buy a car in California to import into Canada, I would have to pay the 7.25% (or more) sales tax there? Can I avoid that by shipping the car to the border?

Thanks.
Member
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Sep 7, 2009
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There was a list of states, showing which ones collected tax from Canadians, and which ones did not. Unfortunately the site is down at this point. At least as far as 2012, Pennsylvania did not for example, but several do.
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Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
1690 upvotes
Ottawa
van_shopper wrote: Just wondering if someone can answer a quick question about state taxes. I apologize if this has been addressed somewhere in these 1500+ pages.

For importing a car into Canada, is there an advantage to buying a car in states that don't charge sales tax? For example, it seems like Washington State is currently not charging sales tax for EVs and there is no sales tax in Oregon. But if I were to buy a car in California to import into Canada, I would have to pay the 7.25% (or more) sales tax there? Can I avoid that by shipping the car to the border?

Thanks.
I don't believe any state charges tax if you are getting the vehicle shipped out of state. If you are planning on picking up and driving then it varies and you really have to look at individual states but most states do not charge tax if you are exporting the vehicle.

I don't know of any list but you might be able to find one. That said, it might not be up-to-date.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2008
5720 posts
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van_shopper wrote: Just wondering if someone can answer a quick question about state taxes. I apologize if this has been addressed somewhere in these 1500+ pages.

For importing a car into Canada, is there an advantage to buying a car in states that don't charge sales tax? For example, it seems like Washington State is currently not charging sales tax for EVs and there is no sales tax in Oregon. But if I were to buy a car in California to import into Canada, I would have to pay the 7.25% (or more) sales tax there? Can I avoid that by shipping the car to the border?

Thanks.
My experience is about 10 yrs ago so YMMV, but in my case, mines was a brand new car from California. I had it shipped from Cali to NY state border & picked it up in NY state. Did not have to pay Cali taxes. Still had to pay the regular Cdn taxes & I believe 6.1% RIV import fee/tax
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
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Ottawa
van_shopper wrote: Just wondering if someone can answer a quick question about state taxes. I apologize if this has been addressed somewhere in these 1500+ pages.

For importing a car into Canada, is there an advantage to buying a car in states that don't charge sales tax? For example, it seems like Washington State is currently not charging sales tax for EVs and there is no sales tax in Oregon. But if I were to buy a car in California to import into Canada, I would have to pay the 7.25% (or more) sales tax there? Can I avoid that by shipping the car to the border?

Thanks.
Forgot to answer your question but if you are planning on picking the car up in person and driving away then, yes, it does matter where you buy it. (i.e. if you buy in CA and plan on driving it away so get a temp permit, you will be charged sales tax which you will not be able to get back).
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Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
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phlegm2 wrote: Not sure I take your points. You're saying that:

(1) RIV, and or manufacturers are conspiring at the core legal level to prevent US-CA imports (especially in a CA exchange deficit era, like now)
(2) A particular dealer has a "connection", bypassing a federally-endorsed agency
Sorry I never replied before, I hadn't noticed your comment until now.

In answer to your question, yes I do believe the manufacturers are conspiring to prevent US-CA imports. I think this is clear with the way some manufactures handle warranties (e.g. If a person buys a Honda in the US, registers it in the US and then moves to Canada and imports and registers that vehicle in Canada, the warranty remains in valid but if a person buys a Honda in the US and simply imports to Canada without ever having registered it in their name in the US, the warranty becomes null and void. Similarly Nissan requires vehicles to be registered 6 months in the US before being imported to Canada, GM has no warranty coverage for the first 6 months after import, and some manufacturers simply cancel the warranty on import no matter what the conditions are, etc). It's also clear from the conditions in the import list; many manufacturers (particularly luxury) (e.g. BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, etc) have conditions saying ".. ALL modifications must be performed by an authorized BMW (or whichever manufacturer) before a recall letter can be issues by BMW (or whatever manufacturer). ..."

More recently, as I mentioned in my previous post, at the time, all Teslas (except Roadsters) were inadmissible. In the Spring / Summer of 2019, a Tesla owner who had been working in the US and purchased a Tesla but was now moving to Canada asked Elon Musk why he couldn't import his Tesla to Canada. Elon Musk replied that you should be allowed to move your Tesla anywhere in the world as long as there are no government rules against it ( and as of Aug 2019, most (all?) Tesla's are now on the RIV approved list although they do have the following notes and I'm not sure exactly what modifications are required if any others:
[EIS] The manufacturer confirmed Model S vehicles of 2019 and prior model year will require service to the electronic immobilization system. Read paragraph #9 of the "EXPLANATIONS" section for information on EIS.

Note-1: Please contact the manufacturer prior to importation to determine the exact nature and cost of modifications required.
As far as the second point, it's been several years now so I can't find any documentation / discussion on it but if you search, you'll see that there was a time where many Canadians were interested in importing US Lotus Elises. It was not possible to do this except that Spinelli in Montreal (http://www.spinelli.com/en) could do it (I'll try to find older versions of the RIV list but I believe it was similar to the conditions about only authorized company dealers being able to do the work except that it was a specific dealership).
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Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
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Ottawa
Davell23 wrote: I think they all are.
If your answer is to which states charge tax to foreign buyers, that's incorrect. I've purchased several US vehicles and for the most part you do not have to pay tax. I don't know exactly which ones but I know a bunch don't charge. (CA (and a few others) do, I thought FL did if you wanted a temp permit and drove away but I'm not 100% sure).

(offhand over the past 13 or so years (actually one was about 20 years ago))
- 2 motor homes from AZ, picked up in AZ and driven away, got temp permit and filled an export form and didn't have to pay tax
- 1 motor home from AR, picked up in AR and driven away. COULD NOT get temp permit because non-resident but didn't have to pay tax
- 1 motor home from MD, picked up in MD and driven away. got temp permit and didn't have to pay tax
- 1 motor home from TX, picked up in TX and driven away. got temp permit and didn't have to pay tax
- 1 car from FL, shipped to NY. Don't remember for sure but I believe I got a temp permit and didn't have to pay tax
- 1 car from FL, picked up in FL and drove away. Got temp permit and didn't pay tax but it was a used car dealer from PA and I don't remember if it was a PA or FL temp permit - I think it might have been PA (also not sure if it's completely legal what he was doing (licensed in PA but operating in FL) but who am I to say!)
- 2 cars from FL, picked up in FL and drove away. Paid tax BUT I actually registered both in FL since we were using them there for the winter
- 2 cars from NJ, shipped to NY. Got temp permits and didn't pay tax.

I think that's it.
Newbie
Apr 5, 2018
32 posts
7 upvotes
Monsieurmaggot wrote:
According to the MTO website:

To apply for a permit, take the following items to any ServiceOntario Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office:

a Bill of Sale from the person named on the permit to you;

name of your insurance company and policy number.

Note: The vehicle to which the trip permit will be attached must be insured at the time when the trip permit is issued.



I told the MTO person at their main office I was buying my car in the US and they said the same rules apply.

If in doubt, have the clerk call the MTO "800" support number set up for the licensing office people. That usually resolves the problem fairly quickly.
Looking to buy a car in NY and been told by dealer that they can't issue me a temporary plates, so trying to figure out what to do here, from what I understand I can't drive the car without plates at least in NY.
Does mentioned above mean that I would need to actually buy a car in the US, leave it there, go to MTO with title/bill of sale and then go back with Canadian temp plates to affix them?

Another option I am trying to figure out is getting temp NY plates myself, but not sure if I can do this as Canadian resident ( and cannot reach NY DMV via phone, too long wait times)
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5618 posts
1690 upvotes
Ottawa
pJohannson wrote: Looking to buy a car in NY and been told by dealer that they can't issue me a temporary plates, so trying to figure out what to do here, from what I understand I can't drive the car without plates at least in NY.
Does mentioned above mean that I would need to actually buy a car in the US, leave it there, go to MTO with title/bill of sale and then go back with Canadian temp plates to affix them?

Another option I am trying to figure out is getting temp NY plates myself, but not sure if I can do this as Canadian resident ( and cannot reach NY DMV via phone, too long wait times)
Unfortunately, I do not believe you can get a temp permit from Ontario until after you get the RIV inspection done which requires the car to be in Ontario.

I would search the forum but I'm pretty sure others were able to get a temp permit from NY State.
Newbie
Apr 5, 2018
32 posts
7 upvotes
michelb wrote: Unfortunately, I do not believe you can get a temp permit from Ontario until after you get the RIV inspection done which requires the car to be in Ontario.

I would search the forum but I'm pretty sure others were able to get a temp permit from NY State.
Makes sense, thanks. Will search further, never been great at RFD searching.
On the NY - from what I can see typically dealers would give the temp plates or ex-owners help with that (there's form to obtain transit pemits, but it doesn't say anything about out of country case)
I am on hold with NY DMV for second hour already, already got some help here faster :-D

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