Friday, December 28, 2007

BMW Imposing Fines on US Dealerships

Just when we had thought that we'd heard it all, a subscriber informed us today that "BMW dealers in the US are being charged $2,600 for each new car they sell that is exported unless it is registered, taxed, and titled in the US first."

And while BMW is penalizing its US dealerships, apparently "pre-owned cars to not attract the same fines as new ones."

So if you've been wondering what prompted the sudden change of heart at the BMW dealership in the US, wonder no more. BMW is playing hardball and the dealerships are fearful of suffering the wrath and having their profitability eroded.

The bigger question remains; who is going to buy the expected influx of pre-owned inventory on the US car lots? You guessed it...the Canadian BMW dealerships who will be glad to sell it to you at inflated prices.

If this policy upsets you, get the word out by contacting the media. If you are caught in the BMW obstacle course, don't suffer in silence; spread the word about these practices. Your stance today will project others in the future, or at least knock a little sense into the manufacturers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Transport Canada News Release Regarding Anti-Theft Device

Transport Canada's long-awaited amendment was announced today.

The amendment, which relates to the Immobilizer or Anti-Theft Device situation that has trapped a number of importers with vehicles that were overnight considered inadmissible to Canada, will now "allow Transport Canada to immediately begin clearing the backlog of cases involving Canadians who recently purchased certain new U.S. models."

To read the news release visit

This amendment appears to be a victory for Canadians, but we await the final adoption on December 26th, which will be published in the Canada Gazette.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Importing A Ford From The US Into Canada: Recall Clearance Information Available Online

***NOTE*** As of August 3, 2010, this information is not valid. Refer to for details.


If you are importing a Ford vehicle from the US into Canada you can obtain Recall Clearance information directly from the Ford website.

1. Go to: and type in the words "What is a recall."

2. A new page will open up and ask you to input your VIN.

3. The page will refresh to show you if there are any recalls outstanding on your proposed import.

You can also ask the dealership to print off a Ford OASIS report for your vehicle to show if any recalls are outstanding.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hyundai Imports From The US: No Warranty Coverage

Dear Readers:

On December 3, 2007, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. issued a statement that it will not honour warranty coverage on any imported Hyundai vehicles. Of course, we all know this is another attempt by the manufacturer to thwart your purchasing power because they won't reduce prices in Canada.

Quote from the statement:

Customer Handling Procedures

When a customer requests warranty repairs for an Imported Vehicle, they should be advised as follows:

1. The Imported Vehicle has no warranty coverage in Canada, as it was not sold or distributed by Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

2. The dealership is able and willing to perform repairs, but the customer will have to pay for these repairs.

3. The customer can return the vehicle to an authorized HMA dealer in the U.S. for warranty repairs.

Our thanks to a UCanImport Subscriber for sharing this information.

Please note that you can purchase 3rd party warranty coverage for your Hyundai imports. 3rd party warranties offer great flexibility and can be customized to meet your needs. Make sure that the price of the warranty purchase more than justifies the savings on your Hyundai import.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

30 Days Left To Import A New Subaru From The U.S: New Directive Aimed At Stopping Sales To Canadians

If Subaru of America, Inc. has its way, January 3, 2008 marks the date when a new directive to stop exports to Canada without express written consent comes into effect.

The reason they give to their US dealerships is that they should concentrate "on selling within their area of responsibility."

And while late model and pre-owned vehicles are also cheaper to purchase in the US, this edict flies in the face of NAFTA.

Here's what we suggest you do if you are in the market for a Subaru:

1. Purchase it within the next 30 days when you won't be subjected to surreptitious maneuvers such as using US post office box addresses or having a friend who is a US resident purchase the car for you;

2. Take a moment to sign the petition at to demand fair treatment for the Canadian importer;

3. Raise your concerns with your MLA, even if you are not a Subaru purchaser. Your stance today may protect your right to purchase the car of your dreams tomorrow.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Immobilizer Amendment Issued By Transport Canada: Rules Relaxed In Favour Of Importers

We are pleased to report that an amendment announced by Transport Canada will allow vehicles equipped with a factory installed immobilizer to be imported into Canada.

Here is a paragraph from the amendment statement:

This proposed amendment clarifies that vehicles sold at the retail level in the United States, that are equipped at the time of manufacture with an electronic immobilization system, may be imported into Canada, and that those vehicles that do not have an electronic immobilization system may be imported if the vehicle can be safely fitted with an immobilization system that conforms to the National Standard of Canada...

For the full policy, please see

Friday, November 30, 2007

Obtaining A Letter Of Admissibility For A BMW Import From The US

Dear Readers:

To receive the Letter of Admissibility for your BMW import you must telephone your local dealer (the one that will inspect the vehicle for you) and provide them with this information:


The dealership will take this information over the phone and charge you $350.00 by credit card. They will then submit the request to BMW Canada who will issue the Letter of Admissibility.

You will need to present this letter to the CBSA agents, so please ensure that you have it prior to crossing the border.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Importing A Car Through The Blaine Border Crossing: New Information For Importers

Submitted by a UCanImport Subscriber


Note the following changes:

1. You can no longer pay the RIV fee at the border at Blaine.

2. They [CBSA] charge(s) you GST, and in my case duty, at the time of of import so you pay the current exchange rate. They would not take into consideration the actual amount I had paid for the car even though I had my exchange receipt and wire transfer documents. The exchange rate was down a $0.07 from when I exchanged my money. (UCanImport says, this is a new policy for the border, and it may not be relevant for every crossing. Please try to use your foreign exchange receipt if the rate is better. Maybe CBSA will accept it at other border crossings).

3. The fax on the American side is not a reliable way to get your documents to that office. The officer told me the fax machine "goes all night and day". Better to drop the copies off on in person, if possible. (UCanImport suggests scanning the documents and sending them by e-mail to as an alternate option.)

4. You can send in your [Recall] Clearance letters and documents [to RIV] in advance of receiving your "form one" so the car will pre-cleared when you do pay your fee and fax in the title and form one. (UCanImport says, Great tip! If your importation requires a Letter of Admissibility, send that in advance together with the Recall Clearance Letter and any other documents that you have obtained, such as Title and/or Bill of Sale.)

5. They [RIV] want the title faxed in with the form one now. (UCanImport says, this is a new requirement, so please add the Title to the list of documents to be submitted with Form 1).


UCanImport is grateful for these submissions and thanks all Subscribers for their valuable input.

Visit our Resources Section for a listing of Border Crossings and document requirements.

Importing a Car from the US: Please Print And Notorize The RIV List

Dear Subscribers:

Please note that in the last few weeks, Transport Canada and RIV have been amending their admissible listings almost on a daily basis. Some prudent folks, who have ended up being caught in the "immobilizer net" (see blog items) actually saved the RIV lists for the dates in question.

To give yourself an extra measure of confidence please print off the current RIV listing that shows your vehicle as Admissible and have it notarized.

To see how the lists have been changing see

Take a moment to sign their petition and to offer your support.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Importing A Car?: Canada Customs Is Offering Free Seminars

Dear Readers:

Now you can register online for a free seminar hosted by CBSA to learn the process of importing a car from the US.

"There will be importing seminars for the Canadian public who are interested in learning the process of importing cars into Canada and we're providing them at no charge," CBSA trade compliance officer Alan Barrados said. See complete article at

CBSA will advise you to " check the Transport Canada list online before heading south to shop."

Recall Clearance Letter Update: BMW Imports From US To Canada

Submitted by UCanImport Subscriber:

I have run into a major road block. BMW Canada is telling me that once the modifications and inspection has been completed at a BMW retailer, that it will take 15 to 20 business days to receive a recall clearance letter. Obviously I can't insure my vehicle until I have that letter, and by the sound of it, my new BMW will have to sit in my garage for 3 or 4 weeks before I can drive it.As you can imagine, I'm a little upset.

They are claiming that the recall letter must be signed by several high ranking BMW Canada executives, and that they will not make an exception for anyone in Canada. I sounds like B.S. to me!!

I'll let you know how things turn out.

UCanImport says:

The problem with BMW is that they aren't happy nor supportive of importers. All these requirements have come up just in the last week. Please see the additions to RIV's site at These suddenly important requirements are totally baseless and cause redundancy of effort on several parts.

What's interesting is how this policy has been implemented shortly after BMW announced cash rebates on Canadian purchases. Give Canadians a cash rebate and throw up all kinds of deterrents to shopping in the US. It reeks of bad marketing and a knee jerk reaction to the swelling tide of Canadians rushing to the US for a much better deal on their BMW.

I'm sorry you've been thrown into this predicament. Had BMW been honouring their previous, completely satisfactory and expedient protocol of issuing internal dealer printouts through their US dealerships, a lot of importers would be a whole lot happier today. This is a money grab and paper shuffle motivated by fear and loss of sales.

And now we have even more proof that Transport Canada and RIV are kowtowing to the auto manufacturers whims. Tomorrow BMW may decide that you can't import a red vehicle without getting a stamp of approval...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cars Without Borders: Making Sense Of Transport Canada's Stance

Dear Readers:

In recent weeks we have witnessed an unprecedented volleying of responsibility between Transport Canada, RIV and the auto manufacturers. The issue in question has been the anti-theft device (the immobilizer) standard that was planned for introduction on 2008 vehicle models.

With five years to prepare for the introduction of the new policy, to say that this situation has been mismanaged is an understatement. More that 3,000 people, have been caught in the "net".

The net spans from September 1, 2007 to November 1, 2007, a full 60 days where Transport Canada overlooked its responsibility to roll out the policy and market it accurately and proactively to potential importers. Now, instead of heading the pleas of these same folks to honour its website information and its employees' well meaning but downright misguided assurances, Transport Canada has chosen to not only uphold this policy, but to enforce it retroactively!

A new website has emerged to support those caught in the borderless confines of the importing process. Appropriately named Cars Without Borders, the website has been built and is being supported by volunteers and advocates who are seeking justice from a government who has turned a blind eye to these 3000 importers.

We as Canadians who are exercising our right to import vehicles under the NAFTA agreement, have a choice. Sit back and let the bureaucrats who aren't forced to hold their newly acquired vehicles in limbo run amok with our dollars and their double-speak OR speak up for those who are in the unfairly caught in the midst of this debacle and have tens of thousands of dollars to lose.

There is a democratic process in this Country and we urge you to exercise your rights. Visit Cars Without Borders and let them know how you can help.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Importing a BMW from the US: US Dealerships Not Allowed To Issue Internal Dealer Printout

Dear Readers:

In an effort to make it even more costly to import a BMW from the US, BMW has issued an edict to its dealers NOT to print off an Internal Dealer Printout, which until now was a suitable and acceptable alternative to a Recall Clearance Letter.

Here is how the Recall Clearance Process will work when you contact BMW or the US Dealer:

Submitted by UCanImport Subscriber:

All North American BMW dealers have been notified that they can not release printouts of vehicle history reports to owners. Even the computer systems used by the dealers in the USA and Canada have been modified to flash a large warning in RED to this effect when a dealer pulls up a internal dealer history report for printing. RIV told me I could go this route instead of a recall letter, but BMW must have caught on.

BMW for whatever reason has instigated a new policy effective Nov. 26, 2007. Not only do they now require a $500 two-hour Canadian dealer VIN inspection before issuing a recall clearance letter, but as of the 26th, they require $350 for a letter of admissibility, before they will do a recall letter, and as of the 26th, a BMW dealer is the only one that can do the daytime runnung headlights (otherwise no recall letter). This adds about $1100 to the cost of importing compared to the Toyota that I brought in a few months ago. If you want to contact BMW Canada, they will confirm all of this.
There you go folks, Free Trade has just become a little bit more expensive and time-consuming!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BMW Recall Clearance Letter: Latest Costs

Submitted by a UCanImport Subscriber:
Comments welcome.


I just bought a new 2007 BMW motorbike in the US. BMW Canada sent out a directive that the US dealer could not give me a internal print out of the safety recall. When I phoned BMW Canada Not only did I have to pay the $500.00 consolation prize to their Toronto dealer, they wanted me to take it for inspection. I asked what are they inspecting. They said Vin# and check to see if bike safe. What a crock. They would not take the word of the Us dealer on correct Vin #. I said it was also checked by US customs, Canadian Customs and Canadian Tire. As for safety issue there was no recalls on it, and it is a new bike. I live an 8 hr drive from Toronto (Sault Ste Marie).

After much talking they decided I did not have to bring in down. They are all heart. Anyway, they should have lowered their prices in the first place. We Canadians are getting ripped off. I saved $6000.00 before expenses. I will never deal with BMW Canada again.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Importing An Audi From The US: Request A Recall Clearance Letter

Note that Audi will only issue the letter when you are back in Canada with your car and have sent them a fax of the Title.

Follow these steps:

1. Telephone Audi at 1-800-822-AUDI (2834) Option #3 and let them know that you have completed the importation.
2. They will issue you a File Number which you will then use on your cover letter.
3. Send the cover letter and copy of Title to Audi at 1-248-754-6521.
4. Ask Audi to send a copy to you by email and the hard copy by snail mail.

Importing A Porsche From The U.S. Into Canada: Obtaining Recall Clearance Letter

To obtain a Recall Clearance Letter for a Porsche purchase in the U.S. please follow these steps:

1. Make sure you have proof of ownership of the vehicle i.e. Title, Purchase Order or a Bill of Sale.
2. Draft a cover letter using the Sample Letter in the UCanImport guide.
3. Fax the cover letter and proof of ownership to Porsche US at 1-800-322-2436
4. It will take up to 2 weeks to receive the Recall Clearance Letter, but they will advise you in advance if there are any recalls outstanding. If your Porsche has a recall, it will have to be completed in the US prior to importation.

To reach a customer service representative at Porsche US, telephone 1-800-767-7243 and don't select any options; simply wait on the line and a representative will answer your call.

Transport Canada and the Immobilizer Debacle

Dear Readers:

Please share your experiences with us.

Here's one from a recent importer submitted November 21, 2007.

Transport Canada Boondogle

Here are the details of our experience in trying to import a 2008 Escalade.

1. Oct. 27 paid $500 deposit for the purchase of Escalade

2. Oct. 29 went to Canada Custom and got (online rating report).
BSO agent 11464 detailing exactly how I should go about this process, and precisely what my cost at the border will be.

3. Oct. 29 additionally called GM Canada (1888 467 6853) regarding the recall clearance letter. I was told the fee would be going up to $250, and additionally the Recall Letter is required after you have imported, at the time of inspection. So in my case there was no rush.

4. Based on RIV list as it existed on Oct.28, custom verification with agent #11464 on Oct 29 and recall clearance agency discussion on October 29 a wire transfer of US $57,000 was made to the Cadilac dealer who agreed to ship the truck to Seattle for delivery on or about November 12.
Everything was thereby finalized as such.

5.Browsing the Net on a fine Sunday afternoon Nov 4 I was shocked to see a changed RIV list of admissability. When I called RIV just as they opened at 4 am pacific time I was put at ease by the agent (Owen) saying since you have a bill of sales October 30th, you are OK, as long as Canada customs is OK. At 4:45 am pacific time, I was at the canada customs Huntingdon, BC, custom agents #19457 and agent #10402 gave me a form 1 and explained the process and assured me I have no problem.

5. At this time the pick up of the truck that was put on hold Sunday night November 4 was now given a go ahead, and custom agents were made aware of this.

6. November 13 as I drove in through the same Huntington border with my new truck, I was told rules have just changed again, and was shown a memo of Novermber 13 by agent BSO # 10582, and #11244. I was given a fax # and told if RIV could ok then we are OK.

7. November 13 5 pm pacific time I spoke to (Chase) RIV WHO assured me that this can be cleared up as soon as I can fax my bill of sale.

8. November 14 I called twice since no fax from RIV had been received, and spoke to agent Chase, his words "no problem no problem, letter of clearance on its way". Later at 2pm pacific time Stephane the manager through another agent adviced me "based on documentation submitted they can not provide a letter of clearance". when asked what other documents
they may need they had no answer to that question, but implied that Transport Canada will do a press release this week.

9. I feel I have been poked in the eye by RIV, Canada Customs, GM Canada by feeding me nothing but false assurances.

10. At the end of the day all my due diligence and following process got me in this hole.

11. Based on 2008 Escalade MSRP in Canada $90,000. My US cost is $60,000, do the math!!!!!!!

12. This is bureaucracy "passing the buck" at its best. GM Canada is laughing all the way to the bank. God Save this Country.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Importing a 2008 Model Vehicle: CMVSS114 is here to stay

Dear Readers:

After repeated calls to RIV we understand that CMVSS114 (the immobilizer policy) is here to stay. This news comes as a surprise and a shock to us at UCanImport and we suggest that you contact your MP if you have purchased a vehicle and have a Bill of Sale dated earlier than November 1, 2007.

Below is a sample letter that was obtained and supplied by a UCanImport Subscriber. This letter was generously supplied by an extremely frustrated and out-of-pocket importer.
It was delivered to his MP who in turn delivered it to Minister Cannon.

November 15, 2007

Hon Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
House of Commons
Ottawa, ONK1AOA6

Delivered by Hand

Dear Minister,

I am writing to you regarding a situation that has been brought to my attention by a constituent who has encountered difficulty during the importation of a vehicle he purchased in the United States. A copy of his letter is enclosed.

As you will read in his letter, Mr. ***** purchased a vehicle in the United States on November 5, 2007 with the intent of importing it into Canada. He had first confirmed that same day that the vehicle was considered “admissible” by Transport Canada. He sent the necessary documentation to the border and waited the required 3 days. On November 9th, he checked to ensure his vehicle was still admissible to Canada and found that it was now considered inadmissible.

Is there a mechanism in place that would allow Mr. ***** to import his vehicle into Canada considering that his vehicle was not on the inadmissible list on the day he purchased it and he went to great lengths to ensure he was complying with government regulations?

If there is no mechanism in place that reasonably addresses Mr. ****’s bureaucratic predicament, I request that you have one put in place. It could be as simple as a vehicle is considered “admissible” to Canada if it was not on the “inadmissible” list the day before the date of purchase. Another option could be that a vehicle is “admissible” if it is imported within 30 days of being added to the “inadmissible” list.

I appreciate your attention to this matter.



Encl. 1


Importing a Honda CRV from the US into Canada: Comments from UCanImport Subscriber

Submitted by UCanImport Subscriber:

" I am bit puzzled to hear that Honda is not letting CRV 2008 models to be imported from U.S.A. As per the NAFTA Free Trade agreement the trade barriers are lifted between U.S.A., Canada and Mexico. Then why is it Honda has put restrictions on Imports of 2008 CRV vehicles. If Honda is doing that, then they are violating Free Trade Agreement, hence the violators must procecuted. I have spoken to my M.P. about this and has asked him to question this in the parliament. I have spoken to Honda Canada and they say that they have no restrictions whatsoever on impotation of any Honda vehicles. I think it is the Dealers have put this restrictions on the imports from U.S.A."

Response by UCanImport:

You may consider sending this letter to your MP and expressing your frustration with the Honda and Toyota ban on new automobiles as well as the surprise immobilizer policy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Importing an Audi from the US into Canada: Modification update

A recent importer of a 2000 AUDI A6 2.7T QUATTRO AWD from the US into Canada has learned that 2003 and earlier Audi models may require rewiring to activate the daytime running lights.

Daytime running lights are a required modifications for all imported vehicles and can usually be completed easily by Canadian Tire or a dealership. However in the case of Audi's of a certain year or earlier, this task may take a few hours and cost you more than you had thought - and it may only be performed by an Audi dealership.

Get the VIN and call for a quote before you import if you want to avoid unwanted surprises.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Buying your next vehicle in the US: "Free Market is not So Free for Consumers"

The question that many importers are asking at the moment is why, despite NAFTA, the only group to reap the rewards from the free trade policy has been the corporations who manufacture and sell automobiles. Why are consumers facing roadblocks every time they try to take advantage of the reciprocal free trade arrangement between the US and Canada.

The Montreal Gazette explores this question further in light of the immobilizer policy that is preventing Canadians from completing their importation from the US.

To read the article, click Free Market is not So Free for Consumers

"The pros & cons of buying a car in the U.S": MSN Finance article mentions UCanImport

The pros & cons of buying a car in the U.S., an online article written by Mr. Gordon Powers and posted today on MSN Finance mentions the UCanImport guide and it's step-by-step process to help Canadians import a car from the U.S.

A long-time mutual fund company executive, Mr. Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm that counts some of Canada's largest financial institutions among its clients. Gordon was the personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, and is currently a columnist for Investment Executive, Canada’s national newspaper for financial advisors.

Mr. Powers references a recent importation by a UCanImport subscriber whose case study - a purchase of an Infiniti G37 from New York State - is available on the website for other Canadians contemplating their next vehicle purchase in the US.

To read the full article visit:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Importing a Car from the USA? Daytime Running Lights Kit Available Through Canadian Tire

Submitted by: UCanImport subsciber

For $24.99 you can purchase a universal kit from Canadian Tire that allows you to do the job yourself. Note: It will NOT work on cars with concealed headlights.

Visit Canadian Tire, using this link, enter your postal code (if requested) and you'll be taken right to the universal kit.

We appreciate hearing from you - did the universal daylight running lights kit work for your import?

Thank you to our subscribers who keep us up-to-date on their experiences. You make this job so much fun!

Importing an Acura MDX from the USA into Canada - RIV Exemption Possibility

Submitted from a UCanImport subscriber from another blog site:

" Just got off the phone with my US dealer who has a stack of 2008 vehicles destined to Canada. He had a 2008 Sienna successfully go over to Canada, even though it was on "the list" as being non-admissible. The Sienna owner had purchased his vehicle pre-November 1st (when the list was released). He had RIV write up an "exception" letter and he was off to the races!"

"I must now contact RIV tomorrow with proof of sale (Oct 10th), which was made prior to the RIV Nov 6th list for my 2008 Tacoma, and they should give me an "exception" letter, as a precedence has now been set!!! I'll let everyone know how I do with this new angle. Cheers!"

UCanImport says: if you have a Bill of Sale dated earlier than October 31st, use this precedence to get your vehicle. RIV cannot make one exception and not honour any others. Based on the public outcry to this new immobilizer standard, we suspect RIV has an exception letter on file for folks who demand it. Call RIV at 1-888-848-8240 and get this letter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Importing a 2008 Model Vehicle from the US into Canada - New RIV Admissibility List

If you are considering importing a 2008 Multipurpose Passenger Vehicle (MPV), Passenger Car, Truck or Three-Wheel Vehicle, you must read RIV updates to admissibility at

If the vehicle you are considering is listed as inadmissible it's because it doesn't comply with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard amendment 114 for Locking and Immobilization Systems and that the vehicle is not equipped with an immobilizer that meets CMVSS 114.

For more information visit RIV or review the admissibility list on their website.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

RCMP Database of Stolen Vehicles: Free Searches Available

The RCMP maintains a searchable database of 185,000 stolen vehicles, updated daily. All you do is insert the VIN number to see if your vehicle is in the database and could possibly be reported as stolen. Particularly important if purchasing from a private seller in either Canada or the US.

This is an important precautionary step for would be importers of vehicles in addition to a CarProof or CarFax report.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Importing a Truck from the U.S. into Canada: Case Study for Nissan Titan LE Importation

A subscriber to UCanImport has successfully completed the importation of a 2005 Nissan Titan LE Pickup Truck and has provided the following case study for would-be importers of trucks from the US.

The step-by-step guide is applicable to both cars and trucks and, in this case, saved the importer about $14,000.00.

Importing an Infiniti G37 from the US into Canada: Case Study from UCanImport Subscriber

Importing an Infiniti G37 from New York State into Quebec is easy to do as described in a new case study listed on the UCanImport web site at

Please note that certain US border crossings will require that you submit original Title to them 72 hours in advance - instead of photocopies. For those of our subscribers that reside in Ontario and Quebec, please note that this includes the Champlain and Alexandria Bridge crossings from New York State.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Buying A Vehicle From A US Private Seller - Trip Permit Contact Info for Oregon State

If you are importing a vehicle which you purchased from a private seller in Oregon State, you will have to obtain a Trip Permit to drive your car home to Canada. A Trip Permit gives you permission to operate an unregistered vehicle.

The cost for a 21-day Trip Permit is US$20 and is issued from the Oregon DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). To find your closest branch visit

You will need to present the following documents: Driver's License, Bill of Sale, Vehicle Title and Proof of Insurance (you must have a Temporary Insurance Binder from your autoplan agent in Canada).

You must remove any existing plates on the vehicle and place the Trip Permit in the back window, driver's side. This Trip Permit is only valid until you reach your destination in Canada. After that time, to travel to complete modifications, inspections and registration, you MUST have a Canadian Trip Permit issued to you by your autoplan agent.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Importing a 2007 Volkswagen GTI from the US into Canada

If you are considering importing a 2007 Volkswagen GTI from the US into Canada please note that there may be an outstanding recall on the vehicle.

The front head lamp has a clamp that was either never installed or installed incorrectly and it will have to be adjusted, re-installed or removed entirely depending on the vehicle. The recall work will be done at no charge at a Volkswagen dealership in the US. However, until this recall item is fixed, and you have a Repair Order from the dealership showing that the work was completed, Volkswagen will not issue a Recall Clearance Letter.

Telephone number for Volkswagen is 1-800-822-8987. Please telephone with the VIN and they will inform you if your vehicle is affected by this recall.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Importing a Mitsubishi from the U.S. into Canada

An importer of a Mitsubishi from the U.S. has informed UCanImport that Mitsubishi will no longer honour its warranties if the car is imported into Canada. Until now, Mitsubishi warranty coverage did not include the 10-year powertrain. Based on the new information, no part of the Mitsubishi warranty will be transferable.

If you are considering importing a Mitsubishi from the U.S. please telephone the company at 1-888-576-4878 and confirm this warranty policy.

Please investigate appropriate 3rd party warranty coverage should you wish to proceed with your purchase.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

UCanImport Publications Featured on Canada's CBC Radio

For your reference, Zabin Somani of UCanImport Publications was a featured guest on a segment on CBC Radio One (British Columbia), entitled "Buying Wheels Stateside". The focus of the segment was the fact that more and more Canadians are buying cars south of the border as the Canadian dollar hits parity with the greenback.

The segment is currently available as a recording on CBC Radio's web site. To listen, go to:

The link to the interview is about half way down the page. You can also access the interview directly from the following link:


Please note, if you don't already have it installed, you will require the Real Audio Player on your computer to play the file. You can download it for free from the following link:

(Look for the download link to the "Basic" Real Audio Player, which is free versus the the Premium Player)


UCanImport Publications

Friday, October 26, 2007

Importing A New Car From The U.S. Into Canada: New Pressure On Auto Manufacturers

Nfld. couple claims discrimination by U.S. car dealers

Associated Press
October 20, 2007 at 11:19 AM EDT

BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian couple says they were turned down dozens of times when they tried to buy a new car in the United States and are challenging what they regard as illegal discrimination.

Read entire article here

Dear Readers: At this time, H.M. Brown can and will sell you a new car, and offer you a $250 cash rebate against your travel expenses.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Importing A Vehicle from USA to Canada Via Port Angeles, WA / Victoria, B.C. Border

If you are importing a vehicle from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, B.C. you are able to do so 7 days a week. Please follow details presented in the following case study for a recent importation of a BMW 325 from the US into Canada.

Case Study:


Hours of Operation
Documentation Requirements
  • 72 hours in advance, fax Title (back and front) to US border office at 1-360-457-7514.*
  • Follow up with phone call to 1-360-457-1221 to confirm safe and orderly receipt.
  • Confirm name of officer and provide travel details in known.
* Vehicle Export Worksheet not required for this border

At Port Angeles Coho Terminal
  • Present yourself at the US border office (a trailer located around the chainlink fence on your right when you disembark from the Coho ferry).
  • Submit original Title to officers.
  • Board the Coho back to Victoria with your new vehicle (you can arrange for the transport company to deliver the vehicle close to the terminal building).
At Victoria Terminal
  • Present yourself to the CBSA officers and pay Duty (if applicable), GST, and RIV fee.
Officers at both terminals are very helpful, knowledgeable and courteous.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Importing a Car from the U.S. into Canada using the Alexandria Bridge, New York / Lansdowne, Ontario Crossing

If you are planning to import a car into Canada via the Alexandria Bridge, New York / Lansdowne, Ontario border crossing, please note the following special requirements:

Export Hours
Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm

To arrive at the Export Control Office for Alexandria Bridge, New York, take Exit 52 (last exit) and proceed to the Cargo Processing Centre. There is plenty of parking here if the transport truck meets you at this location.

Document Requirements
72 hours in advance of crossing the border back into Canada, the office must receive the Title certificate for the car. They require the ORIGINAL Title, sent to them by traceable courier (for security) to this address:

Vehicle Export Control
46735 Interstate Route 81
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607
Tel: (315) 482-2472

Required Follow-up
After you have couriered the papers (Title and Cover Page) and determine that they should have been received, you can telephone the Export Office at (315) 482-2472 and press option #0 to speak to an officer and confirm that all was received in order.

I would use this opportunity to let them know when you plan to cross. In some cases, you may be given permission to cross earlier than 72 hours. Please note the officer's name in this case.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Importing a Honda from US into Canada: Register for Recall Information

We understand that some folks who are considering importing a Honda from the U.S. into Canada are experiencing difficulty obtaining the Recall Clearance Letter.

You many wish to visit the Honda owner page at:
and sign into the Owner Link page at

As a benefit of signing onto this system, you can access Recall Information for your Honda by providing the VIN.

UCanImport Publication Updates Available Free Of Charge To Subscribers

Many subscribers still do not realize that once they download the UCanImport guide, they are entitled to receive all future updates of the guide - automatically - at no extra charge.

The UCanImport guide is a step-by-step importing guide that helps you import a car from the US. It contains process and documentation information and tips on saving money along the way.

Download your guide today from and start learning how you can import your new car from the US.

Pressure On Canadian Retailers To Decrease Prices

We've known for some time now that it is cheaper, in many cases, to import a car from the US than buy it from a Canadian dealership. We still haven't been able to get a straight answer from the auto manufacturers as to why this price discrepancy continues to exist.

But, guess who's making it a mission to get prices adjusted - at least at the retail level - to reflect our stronger Canadian dollar?

Here's the quote:

"It's an opportunity for us, on behalf of the Canadian people, to encourage retailers to reflect [on] their prices [and] the fact that they have an advantage with respect to costs right now," he said. "Their costs go down because of the increased value of our currency, and that should be reflected in prices. And the sooner the better."

To find out who said this, visit:

Importing BMW cars into Canada: New Canadian Cash Rebates Aimed To Slow Down Imports

In an attempt to slow down the importation of BMWs from the US, BMW Canada Inc. is offering cash rebates to some customers who pay cash or finance their purchases. The rebates amount to $3,000 for cash buyers of 2007 model year cars in the company's best-selling line, the 3-series.

If you are considering importing a BMW from the US, you may want to read the complete article at

To see how consumers are reacting to this news, visit:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Contact Information for Importing a Hyundai from USA to Canada

Dear Subscribers:

For those of you considering importing a Hyundai from the USA, please note that the following contact information was inadvertently left off the Manufacturers Contact List:

For Hyundai USA:

Hyundai Motor America
P.O. Box 20850
Fountain Valley, CA 92728-0850

For Hyundai Canada:

Customer Relations: 1-800-461-8242
By Email:

Canadians Prohibited From Importing Bombardier Products

Comments welcomed:

The price protectionism that we have witnessed in the auto industry is now smearing the reputation of Bombardier Recreational Products. With prices a disproportionate and unjustifiable 30 to 40 percent higher in Canada, Bombardier has taken aim against the Canadian consumer shopping in the south, by banning sales from their US dealers.

Read more at:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vehicle Excise Tax on Cars Imported From The US - new web link

When importing a car from the U.S. please review CCRA's list of vehicles that are affected by the newly introduced Vehicle Efficiency Incentive (VEI) Excise Tax. The listing has moved and is now available at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Recall Clearance Letter for Jaguar Imports

Jaguar Canada will issue a Recall Clearance Letter via their US office upon receipt of a Letter of Compliance Request.

You can obtain this form by telephoning Jaguar Canada Customer Service Center at 1-800-668-6257 Monday-Friday , from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Details required on the Letter of Compliance Request included:
  • Your contact information;
  • Vehicle VIN, Model, Year;
  • Confirmation of fax number to receive a fax copy of the Recall Clearance Letter;
  • Confirmation of mailing address where they can send the original copy Recall Clearance Letter.

RIV Experiencing Processing Delays

Our subscribers who are proceeding with their importation from the US are reporting that there are delays at RIV- including telephone and fax issues- which are delaying receipt of Form 2.

Please ensure that your Temporary Insurance is valid for a few days to take into account possible delays in receiving your Form 2.

Please telephone RIV once you have faxed through your Form 1 and Recall Clearance Letter to confirm orderly receipt.

If you have any solutions to these delays, we welcome your comments.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Volvo Recall Clearance Letters Require Only A Phonecall

For our subscribers who are considering importing a Volvo from the US, the process to obtain a Recall Clearance Letter is very simple.

Telephone Volvo Canada at 1-800-663-8255 and follow the voice prompts to speak to a Customer Service Representative. Provide them with the VIN, your name, address, and phone and fax numbers.

If there are no recalls outstanding on the vehicle you will receive a Recall Clearance Letter within a couple of hours. A hard copy will be sent to you by mail.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Honda Warranty Honoured on Imports Under Certain Conditions

Submitted by: UCanImport Subscriber
Responses Welcomed
Q. If I purchase a used Honda in Canada that was originally sold as a new car in the United States, will Honda Canada provide any warranty coverage?

A. No. The reciprocal warranty agreement between Honda Canada and American Honda only covers owners who relocate from one country to the other, or owners from one country who are travelling on business or vacation in the other country. If a vehicle that was originally sold new in the United States is brought into Canada, its warranty only applies to the owner that purchased the vehicle while living in the U.S. and who imports the vehicle into Canada for their own personal or family use.

For more information contact:

Honda Customer Relations
715 Milner Avenue
Toronto, ON
M1B 2K8

Toll Free: 1-888-9-HONDA-9 (1-888-946-6329)
Hours: 8:00 am to 7:30 pm Mon to Fri (EST

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Case Study: Importing 2008 Subaru Outback Limited

A case study documenting the importation process for a 2008 Subaru Outback Limited is now available at

The vehicle was imported from Seattle, WA through the Sumas Truck Crossing in B.C. and the total savings were calculated at $13,876.00.

Class Action Law Suit Filed Against Auto Manufacturers

Four Toronto residents have filed a $2 billion lawsuit against the Canadian and U.S. divisions of General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler.

Written by David Friend from The Canadian Press and entitled "Lawsuit Alleges Automakers Conspired to Boost Canadian Prices", this article claims the auto industry is engaged in a price conspiracy to artificially maintain car prices in Canada. Examples of differences in MSRPs between the two countries are provided.

The article is now available at:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

US and Canadian Dollars Exchange Rate Information

Here is a useful site for up-to-date currency information on 164 currencies, including Canadian against the US dollar. is used by corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and financial institutions.

When paying for a car purchase via a wire transfer from your financial institution, you will likely be charged a premium on these rates. There are currency trading institutions who will transfer your money at better rates than banks increasing your savings on your car purchase.

UCanImport will be adding information about these services in the near future so that you can be better informed on wire transfer possibilities.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mercedes Benz 1998/1999 E300TD Not Admissible

Submitted by: UCanImport Subscriber

Comments welcomed.


I just got off the phone with Mercedes Benz Canada. They can not issue
the Letter of Admissibility for the only car I want because apparently
the US spec on "bumper impact withstand capability" to which MB
manufactured their "E" Class cars for the 1996-2002 export to US, is
2.5 MPH while the Canadian standard is 5 MPH, and since this is not
easily modifiable, my 1998/1999 E300TD is NOT ADMISSIBLE!

I guess this spells the end of my plan to import my Benz from the US.

Good luck in your endeavor,

Ford North American Warranty

Submitted by: UCanImport Subscriber

Comments welcomed.


Ford Canada head office has indicated in response to my question during a phone call that new car warranties on all Ford products will be honored anywhere in North America. This information might be more useful if it were in writing. For what it is worth.

Importation Requirements for 2008 Subaru Outback

Submitted by: Recent Importer

There are NO modifications required to import the 2008 Subaru Outback. You also don't need a Letter of Compliance from Subaru Canada contrary to their website.

I just imported an 08 Outback 2.5i Ltd. and all that is required is a recall clearance letter from Subaru of America plus the usual taxes and inspection fee.

It's a very nice car, you'll be glad if you get one.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

UCanimport Mentioned in the Toronto Sun

UCanImport was mentioned in an article in the Toronto Sun today regarding the resistance of Canadian retailers to adjust their pricing with the strengthening Canadian dollar...

Written by Linda Leatherdale and entitled "Still Biting for Our Cash", this article shows price comparisons on specific products.

The article is now available at:

or on

E-mail from "Pissed Off Car Dealer"

Comments welcomed.


First Name: Undisclosed
Last Name: Pissed off Car dealer
Company: Undisclosed

"Are you a bonded customs broker? It seems to me that you are offering the services of a customs broker, except at a higher, and inflated price and benefiting from media splashing your webpage address around. How do you think it will go over in the media when you are in trouble for acting as a customs broker without the proper credentials? You are encouraging Canadians to spend their money outside of Canada and that hurts all Canadians. I hope that you get the repercussions of acting as a customs broker without bond or license. You should have just offered this for free and it wouldn't have raised any eyebrows, instead you are in it for greed.

This will go to the attention of the CADA (Canadian Auto Dealer Association) in hopes they have the resources to know what to do with this forwarding it on to whomever regulates the customs brokers industry. I don't feel bad for doing this to you, your webpage is designed to lose Canadian car dealers business which we can't afford to lose because of your propaganda. Given the fact that new cars purchased in the US don't qualify for any 0% finance or lease options, the average car isn't any cheaper anyways, but your webpage sure doesn't care to point that out does it."


Comments by: Zabin Somani

The e-mail above is indicative of the "scare tactics" and mean-spirited messages I am now receiving almost on a daily basis from Canadian car dealers. I guess this is a sign that we are making some headway.

Until prices are on parity with the United States, I am going to stand my ground. As I have said before, I'm a proud Canadian and I would prefer that we buy all our goods in Canada. But if we are getting ripped off, then the only way we can stop it is to vote with our purchasing power and go elsewhere to obtain our goods until the situation changes. In the case of auto sales, when Canadian dealers see that they are losing significant business to our southern neighbours, they and the auto manufacturers will hopefully elect to rethink their strategy and adjust their pricing accordingly.

As a final note, if the individual had a leg to stand on regarding any of the points above, he/she would have left a name and contact information so that we could engage in a debate on the issues. For any other dealers that would like to engage with me, I welcome your e-mails. I would like all UCanImport readers to be able to make informed decisions, so I will post ALL of your messages to this blog for everyone to read. Tell me why Canadians should be paying up to 30% more for their vehicles than Americans. And lame reasons such as "we won't honour your warranty" or "we won't service cars sourced in the United States" won't cut it. I promise you that people will see right through these comments as simply price protectionism.

I stand behind our do-it-yourself guide, our assistance services and our web site. I am also committed to bringing to you every bit of information I can get my hands on that will enable you, the Canadian consumer, to make an informed decision with your next vehicle purchase... as they say, Power to the People!


Saturday, September 22, 2007

US Dealer Encourages Canadians to Speak Out

Submitted by: Maria Mazzarolo
Re: E-mail Response from US Car Dealer (name withheld)

Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2007 5:20 PM
Subject: Canadians Banned from New Toyota Sales

Hello Maria,

Thank-you for your inquiry.

Currently, I can only sell used vehicles to folks who live in Canada due to a prohibition from Toyota USA.

You can see my pre-owned inventory at [dealer car lot website].

I am encouraging everyone to make a complaint to your gov't about this apparent NAFTA Free Trade violation.

California insists on a State Sales Tax

Submitted by: Michele Cawthorne

I did check with California DMV and you DO have to pay the state tax if you're driving the newly purchased car on the California road.

If using a transport company, you will have to pay DMV doc fees of $55.00, Smog certificate $8.50 and Smog fee of $50.00.

Lexus honours warranty in US and Canada

Submitted by: UCanimport Subscriber


Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 6:52 AM
Subject: RE: General Comments [2007-09-19-]

Thank you for your recent communication with our company.

For your information, it is our understanding that Lexus dealerships in
the U.S. are not authorized to sell Lexus motor vehicles to customers
located outside the U.S. or to sell Lexus vehicles for re-sale or use
outside the United States.

Lexus Canada also cautions customers against purchasing Lexus vehicles
that were not manufactured for the Canadian market. Certain vehicles
available for sale in the US may not meet Canadian safety standards and it
may be difficult to obtain replacement parts for vehicles not originally
sold in Canada. Also, as The Registrar of Imported Vehicles indicates on
its website, even if a vehicle can be imported into Canada, there is no
guarantee that it can be modified to meet Canadian requirements and the
costs to do so are the responsibility of the owner or importer of the

For further information on importing a vehicle to Canada, we suggest you
visit the website of The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (a division of
Transport Canada). The address is as follows: If you prefer,
you may call them at 1-888-848-8240.

The manufacturer's warranty (regardless of whether it is a US Lexus
vehicle or a Canadian Lexus vehicle) is honoured in continental USA and

Thank you once again for writing.


Alice McNamee
Customer Relations
Lexus Canada


Comments by: Zabin Somani

Good news for folks importing Lexus!
Sounds a lot like the Toyota notice doesn't it? How do we determine if this policy is in contravention of NAFTA? Responses welcome.

Purchasing after-market warranties - a solution for many importers

Responses Requested:

One knowledgeable and very helpful subscriber with many years of experience in vehicle sales offered the following information:

In Canada, it is possible to purchase a fully customizable, after-market warranty for your car. Companies like Lubrico offer this service through dealerships.

I'd like to find the US equivalent, and see if their warranties will suffice for those vehicles that the auto manufacturers are refusing to honour once imported into Canada.

Toyota Honours Warranty in US and Canada

Submitted by: UCanImport Subscriber


Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:22 PM
Subject: RE: warranty

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

For your information, it is our understanding that Toyota dealerships in
the U.S. are not authorized to sell Toyota motor vehicles to customers
located outside the U.S. or to sell Toyota vehicles for re-sale or use
outside the United States.

Toyota Canada also cautions customers against purchasing Toyota vehicles
that were not manufactured for the Canadian market. Certain vehicles
available for sale in the US may not meet Canadian safety standards and it
may be difficult to obtain replacement parts for vehicles not originally
sold in Canada. Also, as The Registrar of Imported Vehicles indicates on
its website, even if a vehicle can be imported into Canada, there is no
guarantee that it can be modified to meet Canadian requirements and the
costs to do so are the responsibility of the owner or importer of the

For further information on importing a vehicle to Canada, we suggest you
visit the website of The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (a division of
Transport Canada). The address is as follows: If you prefer,
you may call them at 1-888-848-8240.

The manufacturer's warranty (regardless of whether it is a US Toyota
vehicle or a Canadian Toyota vehicle) is honoured in continental USA and

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.


Karine Shank
Toyota Canada Inc.

Comments by: Zabin Somani

This is great information and should ease warranty concerns for many Toyota importers. However, I'd welcome comments on "if" or "how" the no-sales-to-Canadians policy contravenes the NAFTA agreement?

Friday, September 21, 2007

UCanImport Mentioned in Globe and Mail Today...

UCanImport was mentioned in a great article in the Globe and Mail today regarding the current price differential between similar goods in Canada and the USA.

Written by Paul Waldie and Greg Keenan and entitled "Identical Cars, Clothes, Books Come Cheaper in U.S.", this article also shows some interesting comparisons on specific products.

The article is now available at:

or on

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BMW charging Cdn$500 for Recall Clearance Letter

Submitted by: UCanImport Subscriber
Responses welcome

We just imported a BMW into Canada from the states (north american made) because of the huge dollar diference from Canada to the USA and we've found out that BMW and the RIV have now struck a deal to hinder the importation of BMW's.

BMW has implemented a fee of $500 for their recall letters that the RIV will only recognize sent directly from 1 particular BMW department and address. Even though we have a recall letter and succesfully brought the car accross the border the RIV withholds Canadian Inspection forms until they receive the letter directly from BMW.

Anyway, came across your website in a yahoo article and it's fantastic. I was hoping that you might be able to provide info to your viewers and also to me about how to get around this new development that other manufacturers seem to be jumping on to keep prices in Canada high and get their cut. Thanks

Kudos to Harley Davidson: motorcycle prices lowered

Responses requested:
Yesterday, it was reported on the local Victoria news that motorcycle giant, Harley Davidson, has reduced its prices across the board on its new models. According to the report, this move came in direct response to increasing strength to the Canadian dollar.

I'm going by memory here: On the example that was shown, the 2008 model was 20% cheaper than the previous year! I just tried to find some infomation online, but to no avail. If anyone knows anything about this proactive move by the good folks at Harley Davidson, please respond.

While other manufacturers are defending their response to our soaring loonie, it's interesting to see this American icon was able to make adjustments in the interest of their consumers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

UCanImport on CKNW's Christy Clark Show

For anyone who is interested, I was just informed that a recording of my interview with Christy Clark on CKNW is available online. The topic (obviously) was the idea of importing cars from the US with the high differential in car prices and the 30-year high in the Canadian dollar.

If anyone would like to listen to a recording, the link and instructions are as follows:

Go to

Register as a member (only takes a moment) and then access the audio vault. Select the date "Wed Sep.19" and the time "1pm". Your Windows Media player should popup and start the audio clip for that time period.

The interview started at 1:06pm and ran for approximately 23 minutes...

Looking forward to your feedback!

Don't worry: Some dealerships are pleased to work on your import

Submitted by Bob Toni

I heard you on CKNW this pm.

The guy that called in from the Lansdowne Auto Group does not know what he is talking about.

My neighbour brought in a 6 series BMW used and the dealership here on the NorthShore treats him like a king.

Comment by Zabin Somani: here you go folks, there are dealerships who want your business and your trust. You will find them and they will be happy to service your import.

Examples of Canadians paying more despite our strong dollar

Submitted by Brad Follet
Comments requested
Cars? What about everything else!

I purchased a Seadoo this summer in the US and saved over Cdn$3000 even after exchange and all duties. The sad part about it is that Seadoos are manufactured in Canada and are being sold in the US at a fraction of the cost here in Canada.

Yes, the exchange has been a small factor in the past, but the Canadian "gouge" factor is huge in comparison. Order a Kohler toilet here in Canada for over $1000 and wait 6 weeks for pickup or order it through the internet for $500 Cdn. (shipping and exchange included) and have it delivered to your door in two weeks. There are hundreds of examples of our gouging retailers here in Canada.

Consumer Association of Canada urging Canadians to buy US

Check out this article:

Even the Consumer Association of Canada is telling us it's time to shop south of the border. Really, do we need any more incentive?

Patriotism has it's place and I'm proud to be Canadian, but when I feel that I'm being taken advantage of, I choose to vote with my dollars. And right now, they're heading south!

Price Gouging by Auto Manufacturers

Submitted by Ron Tanguay
Responses requested

My friendly Toyota dealer in Bellingham, Washington has confirmed to me that he is now prohibited by Toyota USA from selling to me the Prius I want because I live in Canada.

Prior to this prohibition, sales of new cars to Canadians had grown to 60% of his volume. He -- and I -- are understandably irate with Toyota (and with other automakers like GM who restrict their dealers in this way). This dealer hinted at possible or pending legal action to challenge the automakers on this point.

Are you aware of any such action? Can we as consumers join in or otherwise lend our support to any such actions? Are you aware of effective ways around these unfair and possibly illegal maneuvers by the automakers? They appear determined to gouge Canadians by setting the prices they charge their Canadian dealers much higher than the prices they charge their US dealers.

From a recent CBC News article, I am also aware of a New York State Toyota retail dealer who was (and is perhaps still?) selling significant numbers of new Toyotas to Ontario and Quebec Toyota dealers who are benefitting from lower prices than they are able to get from Toyota Canada!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Canadian dollars highs making imports even cheaper

The loonie gave the greenback a spanking yesterday ending the day at a new 30-year high of 97.04 cents US. Six years ago the dollar hovered around 63 cents US. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that as we inch towards parity - it's probably not a matter of "if" but "when" now - the prices on those US car lots are going to look even better.

Custom House Currency Exchange is currently quoting 1.0259 for converting the US dollar to Canadian. That means a US$20,000.00 car will cost CAD$20,518.00.

The currency calculator is on the home page, so use it and gloat!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tips For Spotting Flood Damaged Vehicles

NADA, the National Automobile Dealers Association offers a bunch of tips on how to avoid getting soaked by a flood damaged vehicle.

It basically boils down to paying for a full, third-party inspection to evaluate the interior and engine compartment, to check for water residue and stains, to look for rusting and fading, and to do a smell-test for mold or musty odour.

If you don't know a mechanic or garage you can trust, pay CarFax to send a mechanic to do a complete inspection on your car for about $99. Details are at

Monday, September 10, 2007

BMW 1995 M3 And All 850 CSi Require Modifications To Suspension System

Did a bit of research into modifications for BMW imports today and here's an interesting tidbit: the 1995 M3 or any 850 CSi car may require adjustments to the suspension sytem for headlight height requirments. This may cost you more than you had bargained for - so do your homework before importing.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cost-effective car inspections available through CarFax

Recent British Columbia-based importer of a pre-owned car writes, "before making an offer I requested and obtained many additional hi-def photographs from the dealership. I also paid Carfax $99.95, to send an independent inspector to examine the vehicle and give it a test drive. The inspector did a thorough job and found at least two minor cosmetic flaws that I would never have found. The flaws and things like exterior and interior condition and tire tread depth could all figure in the offer process so I feel the $99.95 was a smart investment and I would do that again."

For more information see

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Free trip permit available through temporary ICBC insurance in BC

Recent importer from British Columbia confirms that he purchased good coverage from ICBC before he travelled to the US to pick up his car - $5,000,000 liability, comprehensive, etc. for $99 for 10 days.

When he took it to Canadian Tire for the inspection he had to go to ICBC for a trip permit, which was free because the temporary insurance was still valid.

TIP: confirm with insurance agent that your trip permit is covered under the temporary insurance.

Volvo warranty applies in Canada

September 6, 2007: Volvo Canada Customer Service confirms that the Volvo original factory warranty is honoured on all imports from the US. Once the vehicle is registered in Canada all warranty work can be completed at the dealership closest to you.

From Volvo brochure: "All Volvo cars with U.S./Canada specifications sold by Volvo Car International Customer Sales or Volvo Cars of North America are covered by a complete worldwide 4-year/50,000 mile warranty package including the 8-year U.S./Canada corrosion warranty, a 5-year emission warranty, a 5-year seatbelt limitedwarranty and the U.S./Canada On Call Road Assistance Program."

For info contact: 1-800-663-8255 ext 5837

Welcome to :: Blog

Since our "Grand Opening" in August 2007, we've had a wonderful response to our web site ( as well as our downloadable guide, Importing Cars from the U.S. into Canada.

To provide another forum for additional and up-to-date knowledge that we've either received from our readers or gathered through our research, we decided to set up this blog. Please note that we are "newbies" to blogging, so please bear with us as we figure out this new and wonderful medium for communicating...

What information do we plan to share on this blog? Well, pretty much anything that has to do with importing cars into Canada from the USA. From the importing experiences and insights we've received from our readers and clients, to newly released information from the Canadian and US governments, car manufacturers, insurance agents... whatever information may be of value to other Canadians that may be looking to import their next car as well.

Anyway, we encourage all of you to use this blog to send us your questions (which we will do our best to answer in a timely fashion) or share your experience with other Canadians. Our aim is to make this blog a valuable resource for anyone looking to save money by importing their next car from the United States...


UCanImport Publications