Author Topic: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$  (Read 7896 times)

malacca

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Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« on: October 21, 2015, 07:28:22 PM »
I just bought a 2011 f-150 Lariat / Eco / Max Tow with extended warranty (Window Sticker was $57K & another 6K of aftermarket add ons) - paid less than $17K. Yes, it is a big vehicle but it is now towing my home.

Came with additional Chrome and an extra set of rims with snow tires, folding bed cover & spray in. Much cheaper than anything I could find in the USA. I wrote a guide below on my experience. I will probably go get another vehicle next month.

Prices
Canadian dollar lost about 30% since oil prices dropped. Just a year or two ago Canadians used to come to the USA to buy vehicles. Further, Alberta in particular is in a recession and people are losing jobs left and right (Alberta = oil). During the boom everyone was rich and thought nothing of buying a $70,000 pick up. Well, those vehicle are now hitting the used market.

Further, liberal party just won the election so the Canadian dollar is weakening even more! Could hit $1.50 soon.

Prices are much better in Canada and there is no issue bringing one down. There is a lot of chatter about import taxes, etc. None true.

Buying in Canada and Importing Made Easy - Malacca's Guide

Summary: Buy vehicle. Get DOT and EPA letter from manufacturer. Cross border & get form 7501. Bring 7501 and Bill of Sale to your state DMV and register.

Buying in Canada
- They don't have titles. You make a Bill of Sale. Find examples on web to download.
- Instead of a title you will get the vehicle's 'registration' signed buy seller.
- Go to Canadian DMV and check vehicle for any liens ($12). Buyer beware - if you don't check you could be stuck. Also will need a temporary permit to drive it to the border ($24). You WILL need proof of valid insurance on the vehicle that you are buying. In my state, any vehicle I buy is covered for 14 days. But the DMV wouldn't buy it - so I emailed my agent and he sent proof with the vehicle VIN on it.
- I just brought seller to DMV with me - much easier.
- If there is a lien on it, you will have to pay off the lien and get lien release.

Get DOT and EPA Letter from Manufacturer
- DOT. All recent USA made cars and truck will meet USA requirements. But you need proof. Some cars will have a DOT sticker on door jam and some will have a Canadian sticker (Maple Leaf). If it has a Maple Leaf it won't work. Need letter.

- EPA. Under the hood will be an US EPA sticker.

- If you are missing either one you will need a letter from the manufacturer (must be on Manufacturer letterhead - not a dealer). Process is different for each manufacturer. You will need the VIN.

Ford: Can get letter from any Canadian Ford dealer. They charge whatever they want. One quoted $60. It takes a day as they have to contact Ford to get the letter.

You can also get a letter online from www.shopfordgear.com ($18). It takes 2 days and they email it to you (you will have to call them and ask for expedited service via email after placing order on web).

GM will do it for free and takes 3 days.

Hint: If you have a vehicle in mind you can get the VIN ahead of time from seller and get the letter ready.

Heading to Border
- Canada doesn't check you when you leave. You can ask for a paperwork showing you permanently exported the vehicle but it is not necessary.
- I went to a crossing in the middle of nowhere. Two customs guys asleep at the desk. They new the process - kind of.
- Show them Bill of Sale, your passport, Letter from Manufacturer and they will create a form 7501 for you. You MUST have this form or you cannot register it in the USA and must drive back to the border to get one.
- YOU ARE DONE. Home Free.


Register at Your DMV
- Took Bill of Sale and form 7501 to DMV and registered it. Didn't have to pay any more than if I had bought it form another state - Tax, Title & License.
- I originally was going to register in Oregon as they don't have sales tax. But my plans were changed and I headed to Minnesota. I will head out west with the F-150 but thought it wasn't prudent to drive through 5 states with an unlicensed vehicle.

Notes - It would be good to print out the original online ad. Bill of Sale should have all contact info for seller. If it had a lien on it you should have a lien release. Funny thing is US customs DIDN'T want to see the lien release. So you could technically import a vehicle with a lien on it. I see some gears turning in some reader's heads...

In Canada the license plates stay with the owner - not the vehicle. So when you buy it, you won't have a plate. Hence the need for a temporary transit permit.

You could bring a US license plate with you and slap it on until you get to the border. Of course you will want to remove it once on the USA side. Your form 7501 should be good if you get stopped.

My seller had the original dealer advertising plate. I put that on just so the spot wasn't noticeably blank.

If you are car dealer you can use your US dealer's plate.

Dealer vs Private Party
If you buy it at a dealer you will need to pay 5% GST and any provincial sales tax (might be another 5%). I did research about getting a refund of the GST but didn't need to as I ended up buying from a private party. I know Alberta only has GST - no sale tax.

Warranties
Most brands transfer. Just call and ask. My truck had a super premium extended warranty. It cost $100 to transfer it to my name. Warranty is good in Canada and USA. Already used it at my local dealer. Zero issues.

There is competition. US car dealers are buying like crazy up there. But bargains are abound. Canadians don't use Craigslist much - they use Kijiji.com

daverobev

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 08:21:28 PM »
Just like Canadians doing the reverse, the process will vary from one province to the other.

I'm actually thinking of getting an older vehicle from Florida because the rust up here is so bad. Even a 4 year old truck that'd been subjected to Canadian winters, without rustproofing, well... I mean, it'll be fine, but not much of a bargain.

I always thought stuff was generally much cheaper in the US, even factoring the exchange rate.

malacca

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 09:56:12 PM »
Well, the Canadian dollar was very strong for a while so prices readjusted - less Cad$ needed to buy imported products. It was 90 cents on the US dollar. Now it is 1.30 for one US$. That is a 40% decrease. Plus parts of Canada are in deep recession which drive prices down further. Prices of new are readjusting higher in Canada - but prices of used haven't (much).

Newer trucks have more undercoating & better paint and are fine for 8+ years.

malacca

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 03:01:41 PM »
Canadian $ lost more ground as new government is expected to spend more!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 03:46:32 PM »
I just heard a radio for a car dealer in Ottawa - they have US buyers up for a week so people can get a really good trade-in deal.  Given the amount of salt used in an Ottawa winter, our trade-ins must be an incredibly good deal for American car dealers.

bobechs

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 10:43:47 AM »
I just heard a radio for a car dealer in Ottawa - they have US buyers up for a week so people can get a really good trade-in deal.  Given the amount of salt used in an Ottawa winter, our trade-ins must be an incredibly good deal for American car dealers.

If you believe anything said in a car dealer radio ad -anywhere, anytime- there is probably little hope for you.

Just sayin'...

RetiredAt63

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2015, 11:05:55 AM »
I thought it was interesting that they were saying they trade-in to American dealers because I have never ever heard that before, and it relates to what the original post was about.

Believe that I would get as much for my vehicle as if I sold it privately?  Well, no.

I just heard a radio for a car dealer in Ottawa - they have US buyers up for a week so people can get a really good trade-in deal.  Given the amount of salt used in an Ottawa winter, our trade-ins must be an incredibly good deal for American car dealers.

If you believe anything said in a car dealer radio ad -anywhere, anytime- there is probably little hope for you.

Just sayin'...

bobechs

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2015, 02:26:58 PM »
I thought it was interesting that they were saying they trade-in to American dealers because I have never ever heard that before, and it relates to what the original post was about.

Believe that I would get as much for my vehicle as if I sold it privately?  Well, no.




I remember, years ago, that Alan Merrill Chevrolet (in Oklahoma) ran TV, radio and newspaper ad, after ad, after ad touting that "the Mexican Market needs used cars" and "buyers for the Mexican Market will be on the lot this [Saturday, Labor Day, so on]" and "your trade-in will never be worth more" etc. ad nauseum.

There was no Mexican Market; there were no buyers; it was all pure drivel.  So has every other puff I have heard in car dealer radio ads from that day forward. Trust me on this.

You are of course right that they are lying if they represent this is a financial opportunity for you.  But I submit that they are almost certainly lying about everything else.  Because they are car dealers and that's the way they roll.

I assume it is the same moving north, whether remaining south-facing or not.


RetiredAt63

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 09:34:29 AM »
True, who knows if there were really American dealers or not?  I am inclined to think there might be, to some extent, simply because this is a new line, and where did it come from?  If Canadian cars are that good a bargain for Americans, maybe dealers are coming here. 
Or maybe it is just a new gimmick to pull people in.

But if I were an American used car dealer, I would not go to Ottawa, because of winter road salt.  Go to a province that doesn't salt the roads.

I thought it was interesting that they were saying they trade-in to American dealers because I have never ever heard that before, and it relates to what the original post was about.

Believe that I would get as much for my vehicle as if I sold it privately?  Well, no.




I remember, years ago, that Alan Merrill Chevrolet (in Oklahoma) ran TV, radio and newspaper ad, after ad, after ad touting that "the Mexican Market needs used cars" and "buyers for the Mexican Market will be on the lot this [Saturday, Labor Day, so on]" and "your trade-in will never be worth more" etc. ad nauseum.

There was no Mexican Market; there were no buyers; it was all pure drivel.  So has every other puff I have heard in car dealer radio ads from that day forward. Trust me on this.

You are of course right that they are lying if they represent this is a financial opportunity for you.  But I submit that they are almost certainly lying about everything else.  Because they are car dealers and that's the way they roll.

I assume it is the same moving north, whether remaining south-facing or not.

malacca

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 04:24:08 PM »
Here is the F0150 hooked up to my new home.

notquitefrugal

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 08:00:49 PM »
Congrats! Used pickup/SUV prices are insane here in the US, by comparison. I would remove the chrome bug deflector, vent shades, and pillar covers, but that is personal preference.

Bearded Man

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 10:27:15 PM »
Truck mileage? Nice deal. Worth the risk/hassle?

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 11:28:48 PM »
Canadian cars have the speedometer in km/h, right? Do you need to convert it or just guess what the mph is?

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snowball

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 09:15:01 PM »
If it's digital, you should be able to just switch the display setting.  If it's a dial, it will have both kph and mph on there (mph in smaller numbers if it's a Canadian car).  Handy when you drive across the border on a road trip;  just have to get used to looking at the little numbers. :)

malacca

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2015, 12:44:00 AM »
Hey Fellow MMRs. So far my great Canadian purchase has worked out well (F-150). I bought a Family-Size RV trailer and headed back to San Diego. Truck towed it like a champ. Got 7.7 MPG! What do expect towing a small house?

I invested a bit under 40K for truck and house on wheels. For us, it was not about money but about lifestyle. So far we enjoy being in the RV and RV park much more than an overpriced San Diego shack. RV park is a great lifestyle - lots of activities and open space. And great neighbors and community.

We still have our house - rented out of course. Rent we receive is much more than the $900 we send on RV park rent, propane, electric and going out to eat a bit more.

The truck was great for its purpose - but am desperate for something more practical. That sucker is hard to park in the skinny Cali parking spots - and thirsty on gas.

So back to Canada to buy another underpriced vehicle!

If anyone is interested in making a trip, I am looking for a driver. I want to buy two vehicles at once. Need someone to drive the other one down to AZ or San Diego with me. I would pay airfare to Canada and all expenses down except food. You get a scenic trip and can learn how to import your own vehicles (hint: you can make decent money at it).


medinaj2160

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2015, 09:55:06 AM »
Thanks for the info, it seems that there are some great deals

Stasher

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Re: Bought Vehicle In Canada and Saved $$
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 10:06:53 AM »
Very wise of you , I live in BC but work out of Calgary, Alberta for an oil company. The oil industry is hurting for sure and can absolutely see many high priced vehicles going for very cheap plus with the currency exchange you are ahead for sure just like you said. Alberta road conditions would be much like say Montana or Wyoming  , hot and dry in summer and colder with snow in winter without much use of any road salts. The only thing to watch for on used vehicles in Calgary would be the floods from 2 years ago and the hail from last year. Out of the box thinking Malacca and good on you.