Fender

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What are the restrictions on importing a new vehicle from the states? Does it have to be at least 1 year old or something like that?
 

Ntmd8r

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You can import any vehicle from the US, as long as it complies with our Federal regulations regarding requirements (DRLs, etc.)

Your best bet is to visit the Canadian Gov't website, and check out the regs, to see if the car you are considering does/can comply.

For example, until June of last year (2008), all Corvettes 2005 or newer
had to have bumper "shock-absorber" (styrofoam) installed, AND (for 2008 and newer), they had to have a SPECIFIC type of Immobilizer installed (the ones installed in US Corvettes did NOT comply... and you could NOT retro-fit the Canadian Immobilizer).
Fortunately, saner heads prevailed, and after June 26 (I think) of 2008, those restrictions were lifted.
I brought my 2007 up from the US in August 2008, and did not have to worry about those things. But I know guys who brought theirs up before June, and they DID have to comply.

In any event, my best advice is to GET/USE a BROKER !!!!!

This will save you all/any hassles, and everything will be done "by the book".
 

Fire22

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You can import yourself if you do your research ahead of time, or pay a broker to do it for you. One place to start is here:
BSF 5048 Importing a Vehicle Into Canada
how to import

Its not as complicated as you may think. Basically you need to make sure the vehicle is admissible into Canada.
List of Vehicles Admissible from the United States - Vehicle Importation from the United States - Vehicle Importation - Safe Vehicles - Road & Motor Vehicle Safety - Road Transportation - Transport Canada

If your vehicle is admissible, you need to ensure that you get the clear title to your vehicle when you buy it, the US Boarder needs the title and bill of sale 72 hours before you cross to Canada so that they can ensure their are no liens on it.

The Canadian side is easy - pay the taxes and the RIV inspection / registration.

Do not try to cheat on the taxes by getting a second bill of sale made up for a lesser amount, its not worth it and it is against the law.

Research - Research - Research
 

Area Z51

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Importing is as easy as 1-2-3, as long as you have:
1) Car is admissible-check RIV.ca website
2) 2005 and newer corvettes have no restrictions for importing..no more bumper styrofoam replacement req'd, or anything else
3) As long as it is considered "used" with at least 5000Km's (not positive) it can be imported. It's advisable to buy a certified GM car..warranty is tranferable to Canada.
4) Have to have bill of sale and registration changed over to your name, and a copy faxed to nearest US customs 72 hrs prior to bringing it over.
Require a transfer plate from US to drive car to Canada.
Once you arrive at US customs with your car, they will want to see original documents and stamp the registration with US customs stamp.
5) Cross to Canadian border, and show original documents, and US customs stamp
6) They will convert the cost of vehicle to Can $ and you pay 8% federal tax with credit card, etc.
7) The Canadian customs fills out RIV form 1, you get a copy, so you can get an RIV inspection at a Canadian Tire store.
8) A recall letter is required from a registered GM dealer, or GM US or GM Canada. This is required to send to RIV for the Canadian approved sticker for your vehicle.
9) Once Canadian Tire approves the inspection, then you can get car registered in Canada for plates, pay 5% tax based on cost of vehicle in Can $.
10) Once you send the recall letter to RIV, then in about 2 weeks you will get the sticker for your car.

Your good to go.
 

Sawbones

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I agree ... importing is easy as long as you do your homework. A broker would be a waste of money, in my opinion. (Hmmm ... maybe I should start a business). I bought a 1999 'Vette in October from an individual in New York. It did involve a trip there inbetween seeing the car for the first time, and then picking it up. If your new car is far from home, this could be an issue.

The GM website for determing if there are any recalls on the car is:

Vintage Vehicle Services Importing Exporting GM Vehicles Canada U.S. Mexico Overseas

I spent $260.50 for this (included the fee for getting an immediate FAX copy of the letter). I would suggest this be one of the first things you do to ensure that nothing is outstanding.

If you intend to drive the vehicle home, as I did, as opposed to having it shipped, you will need a temporary permit either from your province or the state where the vehicle is. In Ontario, they need to see the original US Certificate of Ownership. I opted to buy a temp from the State of NY. With a bit of searching, you can determine what is required. The only glitch I ran into was that I offered proof of insurance in the form of the "pink insurance slip." This wasn't acceptable. They wanted an actual letter from the insurance company. Made no sense, but a phone call later, and they FAXed a letter to DMV in NY and I was good to go.

I had no work or modifications that had to be done to my 1999. The letter from RIV says stuff like attaching a bilingual sticker if the airbags require periodic maintenance (which they don't), kilometer stickers for the speedometer (fortunately a push of a button fixes this). In other words, they generate a letter which is not Corvette specific.

A big caution ... some states, like California, will charge you sales tax and you don't get it back. It's a major cash-grab to help their lousy economy. Unless you want to pay an extra 8% or so to Uncle Sam, make sure the state doesn't levy this one on you. In New York, getting my temporary permit, another Government form attested that the car was leaving their jurisdiction.

It was actually an enjoyable, satisfying exercise .. especially when we were home with a "new" Vette like we'd never seen before in Canada. Good luck.
 

Woodstock Car Guy

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I've been considering importing a 'vette from Japan. I have a contact that can assist with the purchase and shipping to Vancouver. Anyone with experience such as this?
 

Riley P

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Las Vegas is a great place to import a car from. No extra taxes, just a $40 drive away permit and a smile. I got my recall letter from a dealership in Vegas. I guess they don't have enough people down there buying cars from out of country to know that they could be charging money for it.;)

One warning. Make sure the Vin on the title is the same as on the car. Someone misread mine where an 'A' was suppose to be a '4'. Long story short, it took 9 weeks to get my car across the boarder. Other than that, everything went very smoothly.

No experience with bringing in cars from overseas. I would be interested to hear how it is done.
 

Sawbones

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One warning. Make sure the Vin on the title is the same as on the car. Someone misread mine where an 'A' was suppose to be a '4'


I can just imagine! When I walked out to the car with the US Customs guy he made me stand at the back of the car while he checked that the VIN on the paperwork matched the car. I swear it was because it would be easier to shoot me if they didn't match up.

One other thing that caused me some head-scratching for awhile. The RIV site says you have to provide "original" vehicle documents to the US Customs 72 hours before crossing. Well how would you do this if you haven't paid for the car and don't want to sit at the border for 3 days? I called them, and the obvious answer was, "Well you FAX them to us." Then why don't they say that in the first place!
 

Y2KConv

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If you plan to drive a Vette back from the US and use temporary transit plates from the originating State, you must have liability insurance purchased in the State.
Canadian insurance is not acceptable to the local DOT. Had to buy 30 day liability insurance of $300,00 (min) for a small amount of money ~ $100.
Also if the car is in joint ownership, make sure the wife is around to sign off the transfer.
After returning to Canada and paying the tax and the RIV fee, the paperwork was slow in coming from RIV because of workload. The Canadian Insurnace company does not like insuring a car for a longer period even though it is sitting in your garage since it is not yet registered in Canada.
Finally had to call RIV and fax them the forms to speed up to the process.
It is good to follow up with RIV after returning to Canada.
 

Riley P

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Ah, good point about the liability insurance. Very interesting that it is not accepted by the local DOT. I had liability insurance through SGI during the time I went down to get the car.

Does local DOT mean it differs from State to State? I've heard some States are difficult to import from where others, like Nevada, are quite easy. Some only give drive away permits that are valid to their State's border, where others like Nevada, was good to the Canadian boarder then you need your local insurance after that.
 

Y2KConv

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The DOT was in North Carolina and I also had Canadian insurance to cover the trip through the US and Canada and then the period in storage until RIV issues the permitt including the inspection trip to CTC.
 

Sawbones

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Y2KConv,

"If you plan to drive a Vette back from the US and use temporary transit plates from the originating State, you must have liability insurance purchased in the State.
Canadian insurance is not acceptable to the local DOT."

That really makes no sense to me. I can only suggest that possibly the policy varies from state to state. Very likely, infact. New York State procedure was very specific about what they wanted to have for insurance documentation prior to issuing a temporary permit, and my insurance company was very much aware of what I was doing.

Guess the bottom line is, investigate thoroughly for your specific circumstances and don't really on hearsay.

Happy New Year, everyone!
 

Area Z51

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The in state insurance is a new one to me. I had an insurance card from Canada, and in Ohio, they Ok'd it. In fact, whenever I rent a car in the US, or overseas, I always use my car insurance from home. No issues yet.
California, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Switzerland, France, Italy, Barbados, etc etc.
 

reco

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Lots of good info here, I'm also looking into bringing a corvette back to canada. I'm pretty clear on most of the steps I think, the only think I'm having trouble figuring out is the mods required to pass inspection in canada. I'm not sure about the speedometer, do I have to get a decal? (In all the pictures I've seen there are only miles displayed on the speedeometer.) I still can't seem to find out about the DRL's either. Do U.S. vehicles have them? I've heard that they don't. I'm looking at a C5 and since they all have the headlights that pop up out of the hood does that mean they would have to be up all the time? I see that they have small lights in the bumper, does that constitute a driving light?

Anyway, if someone could help me out with some information I would be grateful, thanks.
 

CableGuy

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I'm not sure about the speedometer, do I have to get a decal? (In all the pictures I've seen there are only miles displayed on the speedeometer.) I still can't seem to find out about the DRL's either. Do U.S. vehicles have them? I've heard that they don't. I'm looking at a C5 and since they all have the headlights that pop up out of the hood does that mean they would have to be up all the time? I see that they have small lights in the bumper, does that constitute a driving light?

Anyway, if someone could help me out with some information I would be grateful, thanks.

The US C5 has DRL via the front parking lights (same as Canada), all C5 speedometers are able to display either MPH or KM/H with the press of a button. I got my C5 in Arizona and didn't have to change anything when I brought it over. Good luck with your purchase!!
:canada:
 

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