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      09-16-2019, 07:28 AM   #1
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Need a little help from my Canadian friends - importing a car

So - I have some knowledge on importing a vehicle from Canada to the USA - but know nothing regarding the process the other way around.

Can anyone give me some insight or some links to website I can review?

This is for my brother in law, who is contemplating a move to Canada - location is unknown at this time, but the likely landing spot is Toronto.

Any details or recommended links or recommended reading would be appreciated. Looking for specifics regarding any tax implications, requirements for registration, import duties, import laws and safety requirements, and issues regarding resale at a later date in Canada, since the car is an American vehicle with a speedo in MPH vs. KMH.

Thanks in advance!
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      09-16-2019, 08:06 AM   #2
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I would start here:

https://www.riv.ca/ImportingAVehicle.aspx
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      09-16-2019, 08:10 AM   #3
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Appreciate the link - do you have any direct experience? Website seems to make it appear to be a somewhat easy process, but I have my doubts.
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      09-16-2019, 08:35 AM   #4
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I did it 10 years ago when a dollar was a dollar, it's slightly more complex than it looks but not too bad.

TBH though, it makes no sense, just sell the current car and buy one here, he will make 35% on the exchange so won't lose out. And why in god's name would he move to Toronto? Cost of living is crazy high and truth be told it's dull as dishwater.

Last edited by Alfisti; 09-16-2019 at 08:49 AM..
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      09-16-2019, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
Appreciate the link - do you have any direct experience?
No direct experience, but friends have done it.

It is fairly easy but you have to gather the paperwork in advance and send it to RIV in advance or risk being denied.

Back in the day BMW dealers used to pay games with the recall letters needed, They used to charge something like $500 for the letter. Other manufactures are probably easier but could still be a pain in the ass to get.

The RIV part only covers crossing the boarder, once in Ontario the car needs to be registered and pass federalization which may or may not require a speedo swap and/or day time running lights installed.
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      09-16-2019, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
I did it 10 years ago when a dollar was a dollar, it's slightly more complex than it looks but not too bad.

TBH though, it makes no sense, just sell the current car and buy one here, he will make 35% on the exchange so won't lose out. And why in god's name would he move to Toronto? Cost of living is crazy high and truth be told it's dull as dishwater.
BIL is currently in South Africa. Looking to do a move for security reasons.

The vehicle he was considering was a mid 2000's Land Cruiser or Lexus LX470. He said he is having a hard time finding one to just buy in Canada, plus for a vehicle that old, he wants something from further south to avoid rust issues.

This wouldn't be a daily - the daily he would just purchase in Canada.

I read somewhere that there is a large tax on vehicles such as the Land Cruiser that have poor fuel economy. Is this true? I believe his plan is to move to Canada, then subsequently purchase the Land Cruiser, go down to the USA and drive it back.
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      09-16-2019, 09:28 AM   #7
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Not sure if there is a separate tax for fuel guzzlers but TBH, he is uprooting and moving, why add this hassle to your life? Just get one ehre. besides, has he seen the price of fuel here? No one in Toronto needs a landcruiser, just get a Highlander.
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      09-16-2019, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
I did it 10 years ago when a dollar was a dollar, it's slightly more complex than it looks but not too bad.

TBH though, it makes no sense, just sell the current car and buy one here, he will make 35% on the exchange so won't lose out. And why in god's name would he move to Toronto? Cost of living is crazy high and truth be told it's dull as dishwater.
Okay but if the same car sells for 10k Canadian for example it doesn't mean it sells for 10k USD in the USA... so you can't just say he'll make 35% more selling it in the states.
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      09-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Okay but if the same car sells for 10k Canadian for example it doesn't mean it sells for 10k USD in the USA... so you can't just say he'll make 35% more selling it in the states.
Sure you can, when he brings that cash over it's worth near $14K.
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      09-16-2019, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Okay but if the same car sells for 10k Canadian for example it doesn't mean it sells for 10k USD in the USA... so you can't just say he'll make 35% more selling it in the states.
What are your thoughts on this, Midnight? Is it a reasonable process, or a total pain in the ass that isn't worth the trouble?
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      09-16-2019, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Sure you can, when he brings that cash over it's worth near $14K.
No but that's my point, if he sells the car the usa he may get 10k USD but if he sold it in Canada he would've sold it for around 14k CAD. So most of the time it would be the same actual value.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
What are your thoughts on this, Midnight? Is it a reasonable process, or a total pain in the ass that isn't worth the trouble?
Honestly I don't know. I originally looked into it to buy cars from USA cheaper at first but the whole RIV and process seems like a total PITA... but I see an above poster said it just looks more complicated than it actually is so I really don't know.
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      09-16-2019, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
No but that's my point, if he sells the car the usa he may get 10k USD but if he sold it in Canada he would've sold it for around 14k CAD. So most of the time it would be the same actual value.
That's my point, that's what i said. So why go through the import hassle?
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