It is a misconception that almost all cars in the United States can be imported easily into Canada. You may have seen terrible news reports of angry and mystified car buyers held back at the Canadian border with a car that they cannot bring in or import into Canada. The key is to do your homework. Check the rules. Recheck. If in doubt it never hurts to be on the safe side and check once again - perhaps by email so there is written documentation. Otherwise you may in a position like those poor people on Canadian TV news. Intending to save money on a new or used car purchase, but with a car stuck on the American side of the border. No car imported in Canada. No cash.
Guess they will have to sell the car to a willing American buyer - perhaps for ease of sale sold on eBay. Again the key is to do your homework thoroughly.
If your vehicle that you plan to import into Canada is less than 15 years of age you will have to find out if it qualifies for importation under Transport Canada's Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program. The RIV's program is set up to ensure that qualifying models imported into Canada are modified , inspected and certified to meet Canadian standards, You can most easily visit the Riv site online at http://www.riv.ca/ , Phone a toll free number, email or snail mail.
The key question to have answered on the Riv site or in direct communication with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles that your car, truck or S.U.V. is admissible for importation into Canada according to the gold standard - "Transport Canada's List of Vehicles Admissible from the United States. Next it is essential totally that your vehicle is NOT on the Inadmissible List. This Transport Canada list is your bible for importation of your vehicle into Canada without a broker. Lastly ensure in the third column marked "notes" that there are no overriding further restriction in regards to your vehicle and that any modifications noted and insisted on in the column can be completed as well as accomplished within a cost factor within your choice and budget.
Assuming that you have accomplished all the above. Before your vehicle can leave the United Sates it must be cleared for export by U.S. Customs. Fax the bill of sale, title and relevant documents to the appropriate U.S. Customs office at least 72 hours prior to your arrival at U.S. / Canadian Border.
Your next process will be to clear Canadian authorities. Again if you have prepared the proper documentation - Bill of Sale , title , clearance letter from the U.S. Customs office and a recall clearance letter on official letterhead from the dealer or manufacturer of the vehicle stating that all recalls have been performed on the vehicle. You will be asked to pay approx $ 300 Riv fees at that time, GST (General Sales Tax) on the price of the vehicle. If your vehicle was manufactured in the NAFTA (North America Free Trade) areas of the United States, Canada or Mexico you will not pay additional import duties and taxes on the vehicle, which are generally about 6 %. Depending on your geography and jurisdiction you may or may not have to pay provincial sales tax at the time point or later when the car is registered and licensed. Lastly if your car has air conditioning installed you will be asked to pay an excise fee of $ 100.
You cross the border and you are almost home free. Riv has appointed the national automotive chain Canadian Tire to conduct the final inspection of your vehicle and perform any modifications required. The fee of inspection is included in the Riv fee at the border. Any modifications or work necessary is at your expense. In the case of some luxury brands inspection, modification and certification can only be done at factory authorized retailer. You can only be given the essential recall clearance letter until this authorized dealership route is completed.
You are now cleared, almost at the successful completion of importing your new car into Canada, without a broker. The final step is to register and license your new vehicle in your local provincial or territorial area. You have imported your new vehicle - all without a professional import car broker