: Canadian Purchase of Car in U.S. Procedure?

02-13-09, 01:19 AM
My Dear Countrymen::canuck:

I am somewhat perplexed by the
process of buying a car in the U.S.
whether through E-Bay, or otherwise,
in terms of the certification, e-test,
g.s.t., duties, plates for transport (if
you drive it), shipping issues (if you
don't), etc. ...

Moreover, I would be obliged to anyone
who could share their experience; and, any
tips in connection with the foregoing, if at
all possible.

I thank you kindly in advance for any information.

Best Regards,


02-13-09, 10:30 PM
I know what you are dealing with, I tried two years ago to buy a Lotus Esprit from Los Angeles and I was Naive enough to think that I just had to go there and pay and drive it back using Temp Plates. Boy was I wrong.

1. If buying from a Dealership or Used Car Dealership, most if not all will not due to their state law let people 'Drive it home' they have to transport it, I don't know about Americans it may be different for them.

2. The Car/Truck has to meet the Canadian Standards, Metric Speedo (no problem if a Caddy) and the bumper collision standard. Canada Customs has a website that will tell you which vehicles are eligble and what are not.

3. Because Registering it is Provincial Matter, MTO in Ontario, they will collect the GST and PST on the day that you register it, Driveclean and Cert are still required as is the Insurance. Make sure you have the title for the car. You have some time after it reaches the border, but if you bought it off a private person, you need to inform Customs ahead of time to expect the car.

4. There are some companies out there that will deal with paperwork and either float the car up or car carrier it and they will deal with the border issues and even cert and register it for you, its up to you

None of these options were open to me and I lost out on a great car, not to mention a trip to LA, always wanted to see the San Diego Naval Base

02-16-09, 01:43 PM
www.riv.ca is the place with all the information you should need.

While at the local (state) dmv office (you are getting a lien check, right?) ask for a temp tag or in transit sticker. I drove from Indianapolis to Calgary with just a piece of paper stuck to my back window. While a car I bought in WA came with WA plates for a year for $25. Once you have all the paperwork in hand and are ready to make it back for the border fax your form and signed-over copy of the title to the border crossing of choice (there's a list of those designated for vehicle imports) The papers say 3 days ahead of your crossing. Either plan something to do for a couple days or take your chances and sweet talk them into letting you through earlier.

On the border you pay the paperwork fee ($209 or something) and gst on the purchase price. From that time you have to go to a Canadian Tire for the Federal inspection (they look for just a few things that are federaly mandated, kmh on the speedo, daytime driving lights, child safety seat anchors..... etc) and from there you then need to be Provincially inspected/registered (doenst have to be at a CT store)

I've done it a couple times in the last few years, if you have any more questions that the website at the top doesnt answer feel free to add them here or PM me.

02-16-09, 04:12 PM
I thank you Gentlemen for your
extremely helpful assistance. :worship::highfive:

I really didn't have a clue before
now; and, appreciate the time you
took to help.

Best Regards,



Nastor Nastiuk
03-20-09, 05:04 PM
I bought an Eldorado in Jan. 2008 and brought it oversoon after. All I had to do was to report it to the U.S. customs 24 or 48 hours prior to bringing it in to Canada. There was no cost. I think I had to pay gst. to the Canada customs but that was it.

04-11-09, 10:36 PM
Kindly tell me about the Eldo.
That is what I want to pick up;
since, the selection is slim in
Ontario; and, the U.S. may be
the way to go.

Nastor Nastiuk
04-13-09, 09:13 PM
Well, I got the Eldo on e-bay in Oregon. Had it shipped to Mpls. and the cost was around $1100 by transport. I drove it home to Fort Frances, Ont., 300 miles north. I don`t think it cost me anything at the U.S. but had to pay g.s.t. at the Canadian customs. It5 has to be reported to the U.S. customs like I said a day or two before you bring it over. That was about it.

04-20-09, 11:57 PM
Hey TomDeville!

PM me in regards to what you'll need for the RIV.

I work there and would be happy to guide you through that aspect of the importation process.

Very simple, if done correctly and I can also provide a tip that will save you some $$$. :)