Cross border car shopping becomes a hot trend lately thanks to the rising Canadian dollar. Reported savings range from around 10% for subcompact and compact vehicles, compact SUVs and small vans, to over 25% in the luxury vehicle segment. Most of the manufacturers honor the warranty (note there are exceptions, e.g. Honda reportedly). Some dealers even modify cars to the Canadian standards, e.g. speedometer and odometer labels, child tether anchorage, daytime running lights, French airbag labels and anti-theft immobilization devices. Some would complete the import paperwork for you. Again whether it’s worthwhile importing a car from the US is a personal decision.
If you do decide to do so, Transport Canada has a comprehensive checklist on “How to import a vehicle into Canada” covering,
- what to do before importing a vehicle,
- what to do at the border,
- what to do after the vehicle enters Canada,
- what RIV fees will be applied, and
- who to contact for vehicle import questions, including contact information for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
This list is all you need to import your dream car with a big saving. There are also independent resources such as Import a car FAQ .
There may be a few extra cost that you need to be prepared for. If the vehicle to be imported was not manufactured in North America, you have to pay duty to bring it into Canada. Normally the duty for cars is 6.2 percent of the value of the vehicle. There are also excise taxes on any imported vehicle weighing more than 2,007 kg (4,425 pounds).