Thursday, May 22, 2008

Import a Vehicle From California

California is very specific about the process of purchasing a vehicle within the state. However, our communication with the California Board of Equalization has confirmed that if you are purchasing a motor vehicle from a private seller in California, with the intention of leaving the state without engaging in any side trips, you do not have to pay the state sales tax or the use tax.

To contact the immensely helpful folks at the BOE, use (916) 445-6662.


1. If you purchase a vehicle in California with the intention of exporting it out of the US, you will have to obtain a paper title (pink slip) from the seller.

2. If you have to pay off a lien in order to receive a Title certificate (required to export your vehicle out of the US), you should review the DMV’s Electronic Lien and Title Program (ELT):

3. For a listing of California City and County Sales Taxes for vehicle purchases from dealership, please see this database:

4. If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership and have it transported out of state you will be exempt from the state tax.

5. Once you have the Title certificate, you must submit it along with the Bill of Sale, and a lien release if applicable to the US border office a minimum of 72 hours prior to exporting your vehicle. For more information on US vehicle export requirements review Border Crossing Information

Friday, May 16, 2008

Import a Jaguar from the US

If you are planning to import a Jaguar vehicle from the US, please note the following information:

1. All 2003 to 2008 models are admissible to Canada and may be imported. A separate Letter of Admissibility is not required.

2. A Recall Clearance Letter can be obtained by contacting your local dealership in Canada. To find your nearest dealer, Click Here

3. Modifications required for Jaguar vehicles may be costly and you are urged to contact your local dealership with the VIN of your proposed import. They will be able to give you an estimate of the costs you can expect to pay to make your vehicle Canadian Safety Standard compliant.

4. When the modifications are completed, Jaguar will issue a Letter of Compliance. This Letter of Compliance will enable the release of Form 2 from RIV and allow you to complete your inspections and registration. All steps are detailed in the UCanImport guide

If anyone would like to share their Jaguar importing experiences, please post them here. We encourage you to share costs, nature of mods required, satisfaction with dealership service and any other points of interest.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Leasing Option Now Available for Canadian Vehicle Importers

UCanImport is pleased to announce that it has negotiated a leasing option for UCanImport Subscribers with one of Canada's largest fleet leasing corporations!

Leases are now available for new or pre-owned passenger cars and trucks that are imported from the USA into all provinces except Quebec.

Previously, leasing was not a purchase option for Canadians looking to purchase and import a vehicle from the United States. For many, this meant that importing was not an option because it required that they purchase the vehicle outright (cash) or through a line of credit or pre-negotiated loan with their local bank.

However, with UCanImport's leasing option, all UCanImport Subscribers can now explore the wider choice of new and used vehicles, as well as preferential pricing available in the United States, knowing that they have leasing as a purchase payment option.

So... Why Lease Instead of Purchase?

First and foremost... if you can save 20% to 50% on the vehicle purchase price simply by importing the vehicle from the United States, these savings would more than offset your vehicle leasing expenses!

Improved Cash Flow - When you buy a vehicle, you pay for the entire cost of the vehicle, regardless of how much you use it. When you lease, you only pay for a portion of the vehicle's cost, which is the amount you use during the term of the lease, as well as an interest amount charged by the leasing firm. Leasing can provide significant cash flow savings (which can then be better invested in appreciating assets) AND it enables you to drive the vehicle of your choice! With improved cash flow, you may even wish to upgrade to a newer and/or higher end vehicle make or model.

To learn more, fill out the short online form now available at:

A leasing representative will then contact you to assist in determining if a vehicle lease is the right solution for your vehicle importation. Alternatively, you can call (250) 883-0188 (9:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time only, please).

Zabin Somani (G.M.)
and the UCanImport "Pit Crew"

UCanImport Publications
"Driven by Knowledge"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Import a Vehicle From Texas

If you are importing a vehicle from the Lone Star state, you will need to understand a couple of unique Texas DMV requirements.

1. In Texas, simply signing off on the back of the Title certificate does not convey a transfer of ownership. To complete a transfer of ownership from the vehicle seller to the buyer, you will need to read this page on the Texas DMV site Receipt of a Title in your name can take up to 2 weeks, so expect a short delay.

2. To become exempt from paying the state tax on the vehicle purchase - unless you have to register the vehicle in the state to take advantage of a dealership purchase incentive - you will have to complete this form

Happy importing!

Importing a Motorhome from the US

If you are importing a motorhome from the US into Canada, please note that your vehicle will require daytime running lights to pass the Federal Inspection.

We have learned that Canadian Tire is not equipped to complete this activation for you (but encourage you to contact your local shop just in case), and that you will have to complete this modification at a mechanic that is willing to work on imported motorhomes.

In Red Deer, Alberta, Mid-Alta Motors will install daytime running lights for $250, and do an OOP for a further $250. To contact Mid-Alta use (403)343-3612. The address is 2319 Taylor Dr, Bldg 9, Red Deer, T4R 2R1. Tell your friends about this garage as they are willing to work on imported motorhomes.

We thank our UCanImport subscriber for this time-saving information and hope that many of our readers will benefit.

BMW Instrument Cluster Changeover on US Imports

If you are importing a BMW vehicle from the US you may wish to confirm if your vehicle will have to undergo the instrument cluster changeover.

To do so you will require to know the BMW Model codes and to which model they refer. You can refer to this table provided by Turner Motorsport to verify the model codes, after reviewing the BMW Service Bulletin referring to this cluster modification.

We thank a UCanImport subscriber for forwarding this link which we hope will save importers a lot of energy in determining if their vehicle will require the modification.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Import a Mercedes-Benz from the US

Recall Clearance Letter May Be Required

Mercedes-Benz importers are reporting that when they arrive at a Canadian dealership to complete their modification work that a number of dealerships are asking for a Recall Clearance Letter. Up until very recently the modifications, which range in price from $1,500 to $7,000, would result in a Letter of Compliance, which would also indicate the status of any recalls on the vehicle.

It seems that this extra step is now necessary. So, in addition to requesting a VIN specific Letter of Admissibility after reviewing this admissible vehicle listing provided by Mercedes-Benz Canada at you will need to contact MB USA to request this letter.

We are pleased to see that a number of 2008 models have been added to the list.

How To Request A Recall Clearance Letter

To receive a Recall Clearance Letter from MB USA, you will need to fax a letter to (201) 476-6213 along with proof of ownership in the form of a Title, Registration or Bill of Sale. You should also indicate that the recall information is required to complete an export out of the US and import into Canada.

Remember to provide your full contact information and your preferred method of delivery, i.e. fax or mail. Give yourself up to 10 days to receive this letter. To telephone MB USA use 1-800-367-6372. At this time there is no charge for this letter.

MB Regional Reps.

Further to our blog postings about the MB inspector, we have learned that the correct term for this position is "Regional Representative". There are in fact 5 reps in Canada and their areas are allocated as such: Western Canada (1 rep.), Central Canada (Alberta, Sask., Manitoba - 1 rep.), Ontario (2 reps.), Quebec and Maritimes (1 rep.).

The regional representatives are charged with 2 tasks: 1. to verify the modifications to confirm that they were completed to MB specs; 2. to audit the dealership charges for the modifications to confirm that they are consistent with the work performed.

The MB dealership in Canada who will be performing your modifications can contact their Regional Reps to confirm their schedules and give you a time line for their arrival in your city. We have heard accounts of waits up to one month, but this sounds unreasonable and manipulative. We urge you to have your local MB dealership and have them schedule the inspector's visit based on their time line quoted for your modifications to be completed.

We look forward to receiving your comments and hope that our research saves you both time, and money.