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Thinking of purchasing a car in the USA and bringing it to Canada?

What's driving Canadian consumers south of the border? It is not the value of a canadian dollar, it's the difference in prices between cars sold in Canada and USA. There are lots of different things you must know before crossing the border and buying your dream car.

First of all you need to know if the car you're trying to buy can be brought to Canada. Yes, our government sets strict regulations and not all cars can be imported to Canada. Some of the vehicles will also require certain modifications to meet Canadian standards, for full list of vehicles allowed to be imported please see Transport Canada.

You will also need a Recall Clearance Letter. This letter is issued by the manufacturer and it simply states if there are any outstanding recalls on particular vehicle. If there are any recalls on your car you will have to complete all repairs required by the manufacturer before you cross the border. Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
will not release Inspection Forms to you unless you have your recall clarence letter.

You must also be aware of additional costs, such as duty and taxes. You should contact Canada Border Services Agency, before leaving and find out what the duty and tax you will have to pay. You can reach them at 1-800-461-9999 or (506) 636-5064 (outside Canada).

At the border you must also present all necessary documents, registration, insurance and sales receipts. If you plan on driving the car back to Canada it musts be insured. Your province might also have different requirements, please visit your province for more details.

U.S. Customs also require that you send the required documentation to them at least 72 hours before crossing the border (that's 3 days). It is also recommended that you contact the place of crossing to determine exact documentation requirements and hours of operation.

You must also contact your local vehicle registration office because different rules and pricing apply to vehicles purchased out of the county.

If you have purchased a vehicle in the USA please fill out the form below and let us know of your experience.




  T Fox (2/27/2008 7:26:02 PM)
  My brother in -law lives in Ontario and asked me to buy a car here in Boston where I live. Can Canadians legally buy used cars in the USA? Please email timjfox@hotmail.com Thanks
  robert (4/25/2008 7:51:39 PM)
  Legally, yes. You might have a hard time in towns closer to the border, drive couple of hours south of the border and no problem.
  Ken Tucker (3/1/2010 11:59:51 AM)
  I have been in the US on a TN permit for 5 years. Can I bring the car I purchased here back with me when I return.
  G. Huebert (3/14/2011 10:19:56 PM)
  Purchased a Camaro Z28 from St. Louis in 2006 and brought into B.C. Canada. I made sure all the paper work was at the border 3 days in advance. I was at the border for maybe 45 minutes to an hour and things went as smooth as could be. No problem whatsoever. Thanks to the border gaurds who were very pleasant to deal with.
  K.C. (3/16/2011 8:38:41 PM)
  Do you still have to fill in paperwork and report your car and stuff at the border if you bought a new car in the US and have lived & driven it around in the US for a year or so?
  MHanwell (8/8/2011 12:49:22 AM)
  I am thinking about buying a 13 year old Suzuki Sidekick from a US seller and bringing it up to Victoria, Canada. The vehicle was originally manufactured in Canada. What do I have to do to make the process as seamless as possible? I can be reached at meganhanwell@gmail.com Thank you
  Michele (8/9/2011 11:22:12 AM)
  Can you tell me what the pitfalls are to buying a RV or motor home in the United States and bringing it into Canada. thank you
  Robert (8/9/2011 11:45:43 AM)
  Michelle, same rules will apply as if you were bringing in a car from the states, you must notify the border 48hrs ahead of time, fax them your documents (exact location where you will be crossing), check to make sure that you are allowed to bring your type of vehicle as well before you buy.
  Andrew (9/27/2011 7:59:08 PM)
  I would like to buy a convertible to drive around in Florida in the winter and bring it up to Toronto in the summer. Can I do this without nationalizing the car - keeping it as an American car?
  Kyler Lefebvre (7/31/2012 2:59:42 AM)
  so i just sold my acura integra and i would like to go to Wenatchee, Washington tomorrow and buy another acura integra (i live in B.C.) can someone help me out and give me a step by step please? on how i can bring it back with no problem, and how much its going to cost me to get it back to canada? on a $3300 car?
  Rollie (1/4/2014 10:48:14 AM)
  How long is a temporary plate or tag allowed in the usa before going back to Canada. Thank You
  Pedro Nazare (2/2/2014 11:13:46 PM)
  My daughter bought a car in Canada and travelled to Savannah, US. The car has GA plates. She is presenting it to me. What are the procedures or papers required to bring the car to Canada.
  Taj Peters (5/21/2014 6:44:35 AM)
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