Are you planning to buy a car in the U.S. and ship it to Canada? Read this article for information on how the import process works, the potential drawbacks of this process, as well as what benefits one can expect from importing cars from the U.S
Have you heard from someone that cars are cheaper in the U.S than in Canada, and maybe now you’re thinking of buying one there and bringing it here? If so, there are some things you should know. This article will provide you with the benefits of buying a car this way and discuss some of the potential challenges.
We’ll also offer some valuable tips on how to get your car across the border with ease. So whether you’re planning to buy a car for yourself or for your family, read on for all the information you need!
Benefits of Buying a Car in the U.S and Shipping to Canada?
If you are looking to purchase a car in the U.S and bring it to Canada, there are some perks that you can enjoy. However, whether or not you save money is still debatable, and we’ll talk about that later in this article. That said, let’s see some main benefits of this approach:
The United States hosts almost every renowned international car manufacturer’s plant, which means you can find every vehicle here that may not be available in Canada.
Not every car manufacturer has a plant in Canada, so those looking for vehicles not available at their local dealerships can definitely benefit from buying abroad.
The U.S was home to over 286.9 million registered cars in 2020, and this number may have further increased by now. With so many vehicles, you are sure to find the one you’re looking to add to your collection of classic cars.
You can easily find one at dealerships or online marketplaces like eBay Motors or Hemmings and have them shipped to your location.
Tons of Online Auction Houses:
Besides online marketplaces, there are many online auction houses in the U.S where you can find vehicles for cheaper than their market price. However, this is primarily beneficial to dealers as they can purchase car fleets that the government is looking to sell. These can be stolen and then recovered vehicles but with no one to claim for, custom seized cars, or U.S dealers looking to sell old inventory.
Individuals can sometimes find a great buy as well if a bank is selling a vehicle if its previous owner failed to pay the mortgage or insurance companies are selling vehicles that were in an accident but repaired.
What About Cost Savings? Can You Really Save Money When Taking This Approach? There are some mixed opinions about cost savings when buying a car from the U.S and bringing it to Canada. According to a study, many vehicles sold in Canada have a 17% higher price than in the U.S.
This translates to an average of $5,842 difference per vehicle. This difference is on new cars, so you can imagine how much manufacturers are trying to squeeze out of Canucks.
They give the reason for not having a plant in Canada, so they need to make up for the transport costs to dealerships, but even then, $5,000+ is A LOT of money for shipping, which should not cost over $1,500 per vehicle. They send in bulk, so they also get lower shipping costs.
Anyways, if you play your cards right, by which we mean calculate all the costs associated with buying the car and bringing it to Canada, including:
- Shipping cost
- Import duties
- Exchange rate
- Brokerage fees
- Shipping Charges
And if you still have a good chunk of money left as savings, then yes, DO IT; it’s way better to pay extra money when buying the same car in Canada. However, make sure to consider all the challenges that come with importing a foreign vehicle into Canada as well. We’ll discuss them in the next section of this guide.
For used cars, we believe you can get some financial benefit if you look hard enough. If your research game is strong and you can scout the internet for sweet, hidden deals giving you a big enough difference, then you can save a good amount of money.
Some Potential Drawbacks of Buying a Can in the U.S and Bringing it to Canada:
Importing a vehicle from Canada comes with some challenges as well, and you need to make sure you’re prepared to deal with them before moving forward. Some of them include:
Warranty: Some manufacturers who sell the vehicle in the U.S do not honor warranty outside of the U.S like Honda. Make sure to ask your dealer if the warranty works in Canada.
Financing: Those looking to buy a car with an auto loan will have to first get approved in Canada for the loan before buying the car. Some banks may not agree to buy a car outside of Canada.
Vehicle Admissibility: Canada has restrictions on some vehicles and will not allow them to enter. Here’s a list of vehicles allowed to be imported from the U.S.
Paperwork: You will have to go through a lot of paperwork, sign some forms, and provide some documents and invoices before you can get your vehicle cleared at the border. However, a reputable car transport company can help you with all of that.
Process of Buying a Car in Canada and Importing to The U.S:
- Secure Financing: Since Canadians cannot get financing in the U.S, you need to get approved for an auto loan in Canada first. We suggest doing this before buying a car so you know how much you can spend on one.
- Buy The Car: You can check out auctions, dealerships, and online car purchasing platforms to find the car you are looking for. Try to find the dealerships that are closer to the border and tell them you’re going to import it to Canada to ensure they have no problem with it.
- Inspection: If you are getting a used car, hire a 3rd party inspection company to ensure it is in perfect condition. Also, check the car’s history to ensure there are no criminal records, insurance claims, or accidents against it.
- Ensure Compatibility: Make sure the vehicle meets all the requirements stated by the following agencies:
- Canada Border Service
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- U.S Customs Border Protection
- Transport Canada
- Environment & Climate Change Canada
- Get Relevant Documents: you will have to get the car’s title, VIN, and bill of sale before reaching the border so you can show these things to them and get your car released. Make sure to have your passport and driver’s license as well.
- Hire a Car Shipping Company: If you don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with customs, you can hire a car transport company, and they will take care of everything for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which cars are best for shipping to Canada?
All the vehicles admissible into Canada as per their list can be shipped to Canada from the U.S. the best vehicles would be the ones giving you cost savings as compared to buying them locally.
How much does it cost to ship a car from the U.S. to Canada?
The cost range varies greatly because we don’t know the total difference between point A in the U.S and point B in Canada. However, keep a general range of $600 to $2,000+ in mind.
What is the difference between a domestic and an international car shipping service?
Domestic car shipping means shipping anywhere inside the U.S or Canada. But when you decide to ship a car from the U.S to Canada or vice versa, it comes in international shipping as the transport is being done between two nations.
Is it worth buying a car in the U.S. and bringing it to Canada?
It mainly depends on what you mean by ‘worth.’ If you mean cost savings, then maybe and only if you are saving money after subtracting all the costs associated with the import. If you mean finding the collectible vehicle you cannot find in Canada, then definitely worth it because the U.S is a larger market, so you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Canadian Car Shipping Can Help You Import to Canada From The U.S:
If you’ve decided to buy a car in the U.S and want to get it here as soon as possible, we can help! We’ve experience importing all kinds of vehicles, new, used, non-operational, classic, sports, and every other kind from the U.S.
You can just call us, provide us with the details of the vehicle and pickup/drop-off points, and we’ll provide you with a free quote.
Once you hire us, you don’t have to worry about anything; we’ll take care of everything, including customs clearance, sorting out paperwork, border inspection, and so on.