Home | Mailing List | Specifications | Care and Feeding | Modifications | Vendors | Literature


Exporting to Canada

New 8/19/05

Well, I've just recently imported two cars from the USA to Canada, and it's not for the faint of heart.

First of all, you have to make sure that they are allowed in according to Registrar of Imported Vehicles list. You would be surprised what isn't, and the reasons for it. My 97 C230 was not allowed in because the gov't had determined that to bring it into compliance with the 8 km/h bumper regulations was more money than people would spend.

I lived in the US for 17 years, and so would ONLY have had to pay duty on that portion over $10000 CDN if the car was manufactured outside of the US or Canada. The SHO goes through no problem, but the brand spanking new Sienna minivan had to have its origins proved. Fortunately, it was built in the US. For someone living there less than 5 years, I think what you pay in duty on North American cars, is driven by the auto pact. For sure, you don't get the $10,000 exemption on anything! Oh, by the way, since they don't seem to know what a new vehicle is worth after you've driven it off the lot, they scratch their heads until some wise old soul says "Check the book!". Out comes the manual, and a formula is presented that depreciates the car according to number of days since purchase. Didn't seem to help much ...

Then there's the tax. Full bore GST and possibly PST. I say possibly PST because I was told that it would be collected when we licensed the cars. It wasn't and I kept my mouth shut and kicked my wife in the ankle every time she asked ANOTHER question. Add 15% to be sure.

Other tidbits of interest. You have to alert US customs 3 days before you cross the border that you are exporting a car. This requires you to fax them a copy of the title, so you have to have the title to do it. Not easy to do on a new car, at least not in Colorado. US Customs frowns on you exporting a car without having it registered in the US. That means paying state sales tax and licensing fees, again, at least in Colorado. Once you have imported the car, you have to take it to a RIV licensed inspector and get it inspected. The easiest way to do that is to go to a Canadian Tire. I don't know about the rest of Canada, but the litany of things that were "wrong" with the SHO was frightening, and all diagnosed without the benefit of anything more than a trouble light, so far as I could tell.

On the warranty side, I was told, it's a Toyota warranty, and it works the same way every where in the world. Of course, the SHO (98) had no warranty to worry about. Of course, when the wife went into the Toyota speedy lube joint to get the oil changed, they outright REFUSED to reset the maintenance required idiot light as that was "an American market only option". Fah! They're everywhere!

Pierre 98 TR welded

Contact Information