Archive for March, 2007

Fed ban threatens special imports

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Loophole may close for distinctive, older Japanese and European car models. Read Full Article at TheStar.com


Special to the Star
To the casual observer, Michael Bayley’s car looks like an old Volkswagen Golf with a monstrous scoop tacked onto the hood.

While it may resemble a shop-class pimp job, the scoop feeds a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that’s good for 230 hp – enough to grind the tires into eraser dust.

Onlookers are more likely to notice that Bayley has to roll down the passenger window to order in a drive-through lane. That’s because the steering wheel is on the right-hand side of the car.

Bayley imported his used 1991 Nissan Pulsar GTi-R directly from Japan, eschewing conventional left-hand drive for the cachet of driving an automobile unknown in these parts.

“I was looking for something a little different,” says Bayley. “And I had a personal connection to the car. It appealed to me when I was living in Japan.”

A mechanical engineer who works in the auto parts industry, Bayley has joined a small but growing contingent of auto enthusiasts who have taken advantage of a loophole in Canada’s importation laws to bring in distinctive, older Japanese and European models that are exempt from federal safety rules.

While Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles (www.riv.ca) carefully screens late-model domestic and imported vehicles brought in privately from the U.S., it leaves 15-year-old-plus vehicles unscrutinized….

Read Article…

What is a Recall Clearance Letter?

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

A recall clearance letter is a required document for importing a vehicle into Canada that states that your vehicle is free from safety defects that resulting from the manufacturing process. This document will be unique to the vehicle you are importing and can be obtained either from an authorized American dealership or from the manufacturer themselves. If you get the recall letter from a dealership, make sure they are in fact an authorized dealer, and also ensure that the document has the manufacturer’s logo or stamp on it, as well as the vehicle’ VIN number, as this is a requirement to complete the RIV program.

Here is a list of phone numbers you can contact to get a recall clearance letter for the major vehicle manufacturers:

Audi -Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-822-2834 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
BMW -Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-831-1117 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Chrysler – Recall documentation can be obtained on the internet at www .daimlerchrysler .ca or RIV will accept a VIP printout from a dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Ford -Recall documentation can be obtained from www.ford.com; head office by calling 1-800-392-3673 or RIV will accept an OASIS or Ford Confidential printout from a dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
General Motors -Recall documentation can be obtained from GM Vintage Vehicle Services by calling 1-888-467-6853.
Honda, Acura -Recall documentation can be obtained from the internet at www.honda.com. You must register with the ownerlink, and print the recall specification page or printout/letter from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Jaguar -Recall documentation can be obtained from www.ford.com; head office by calling 1-800-452-4827 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Mazda -Recall documentation can be obtained by filling out a Recall Clearance Letter Request Document and Sending it in to Mazda. Click here for more information on Mazda Recall Clearance Letters, or click here to download the Mazda Recall Clearance letter request document.
Mercedes-Benz -Recall documentation must be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-367-6372.
Mitsubishi -Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-222-0037 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Nissan -Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-647-7261 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Toyota– Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-331-4331 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Volkswagen -Recall documentation can be obtained from head office by calling 1-800-822-8987 or RIV will accept an internal system report from a U.S. dealership on letterhead or with dealer stamp.
Volvo -Recall documentation can be obtained from Volvo Cars of North American head office by calling 1-800-458-1552. Volvo Cars being imported will also require a Letter of Admissibility.
Click here for a full list of Recall Clearance Letter contacts with more vehicle manufacturers!

What should I watch out for when purchasing a vehicle to import into Canada?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

As with any vehicle purchase, you need to excercise caution when purchasing a vehicle from the US to import into Canada. Some things you need to watch out for include:

  • Check to make sure you are aware of the vehicle’s emissions status. As of March 19th 2007 there is an excise tax charged on fuel inefficient vehicles. A list of vehicles and their excise taxes (if any) can be found here or you can search a specific model here.
  • Make sure there are no outstanding U.S. debts on the vehicle. – US Customs will not let vehicles be exported if the title is not in your name and paid for in full.
  • Beware of Flood Damaged vehicles – check with the seller and get an AutoCheck report. Although you are legally entitled to import these vehicles, they are branded as “Salvage” title after importation. Each province has their own way of dealing with this, but in some provinces this means they are ‘non-repairable’ and can only be used for parts.
  • If you are buying on eBay, never deal with the seller off of eBay. In other words, always use eBay’s messaging/mailing system rather than your own email. Many times this is an attempt to scam you, and with a vehicle purchase, there is a lot of money to be lost.
  • Always call to talk to the seller and get a feel for what kind of person they are. You may have to trust your instinct if something smells fishy.
  • Watch out for ‘a little rust’. Although many vehicles from the southern United States are generally rust-free, many of the northern states use salt to de-ice the roads just like some provinces. Some of these vehicles travel south from time to time and therefore could still have rust as well. A little rust could mean a lot – so get a Carchex inspection to make sure what you see on paper is what is on the car
  • Double check VIN numbers. Always make sure the number on the title is the same as on the vehicle. You will not be able to import the vehicle at all if these do not match – you will be shit outta luck and the seller will likely be on his way to Mexico with your money.
  • Make sure it’s not stolen. Run the VIN number at the police station if your suspicious, otherwise the title and the AutoCheck report should be enough to tell.
  • Make sure you havent forgotten any of the costs involved. Don’t forget possible travel expenses, food, gas. Factor everything in. MyBorderPro does a good job of estimating all the fees, but make your own chart to make sure you know what your in for – and be realistic.

Introduction to eBay Motors Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

It has recently become an increasingly hot topic amongst Canadians thousands looking to purchase their next vehicle. Ebay Motors Canada has been around for a number of years now but it hasn’t been until the past year or two since Canadians have become a serious part of the auto market on eBay. Part of the reason is the recent boom in online vehicle retailers with their items available to Canadian buyers, the other reason has been the lack of knowledge and help available, in the past, to the everyday Canadian eBayer like you and I.

In this guide I will attempt to explain the process of purchasing a vehicle on eBay. I won’t go over the process of Importing a car to Canada from the U.S. much, as that is already covered elsewhere on this website, however I will talk about things such as ebay search tips, picking the right vehicle, things to watch out for, and making the purchase.

First Things first…
If you haven’t already done so, you need to create a free eBay Canada account. Whether you intend to buy a car right away or if you’re just browsing, eBay Motors has some great user tools available to members for finding a great deal on the car you want. So take a quick minute to sign up, it’s free, quick, easy, and you’ll thank me later.

Next, you can proceed to search for a vehicle on eBay Motors Canada

Searching for a Car or other Vehicle on eBay Motors Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

There are a number of ways to search for the car you want on eBay Motors Canada.

First, go to cars.ebay.ca.

If you have a specific vehicle model in mind that you are wanting to buy the most accurate way to find a car is to select the vehicle make “vehicle make” dropdown box within the “Find a Car” box. Then type in the name / model in the “vehicle model” box just below it. If you are looking for a vehicle on eBay Motors Canada, but are not sure exactly what you want (perhaps you are just looking for a good price?) try typing in “(no reserve, nr)”. This will return a number of search results from all over USA and Canada that do not have a minimum price, and could potentially sell for cheap!

Another way to search for a car on eBay Motors Canada is to navigate your way to the category that the vehicle you are looking for is most likely to be in. This can be done by selecting one of the primary car categories such as “Jeep” or “Toyota” from the categories box. By doing this you will gradually narrow down the categories to something specific, where you will be able to browse through a number of vehicles that are likely to be of interest to you.

If you would like to limit your search results by price, or perhaps by location, or maybe there is a vehicle that you know you don’t want, and you would prefer not to see in your search results. In this case, the “advanced search” feature may be best suited to you. From the eBay Motors Canada homepage, simply click on the “advanced search” link beside the search box. You will be taken to a page where you can fill out any specifics that you wish to include in your search. If theres something you don’t need to fill out, just leave it blank.

Learn more about filtering your search results

Filtering Vehicle Search Results on eBay Motors Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

If you are finding that the search results you are getting on eBay Motors Canada are not showing up in the order you wish to see them, or perhaps the vehicle you are looking for is buried under a bunch of crappy irrelevant search results, you can still filter out your search results in a couple of ways without having to go back and perform a new search.

On eBay Motors Canada, your search results, by default, will be listed highest price first. This is likely not the way you wish to search for a vehicle. To change this setting, simply select a different order of organization from the “Sort By” dropdown box above your search results. This will allow you to find the vehicle you are looking for in the most efficient manner for your needs.

Another way of filtering your eBay Motors Canada search results is by narrowing down the categories from which you would like to see search results by clicking on the desired category names on the left hand side under “Matching Categories”. You may notice that you can also filter your search in a number of other useful ways by selecting further options under the “Search Options” heading also on the left.

Tip: If you would like to see what others have recently paid for vehicles within the same search results, check off “completed listings” and hit “Search” just below it. To use this option however, you may need to be a member.

Soon you will start finding vehicles of your interest, which means you can start watching and comparing vehicle auctions.

Watching & Comparing Vehicle Auctions on eBay Motors Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Once you start finding some vehicles you are interested in, it is a good idea to add them to your “watch list” by clicking “Add to watch list” within the auction’s page. Whether you intend to actually purchase that vehicle or not, it will help you to see how much other people are willing to pay, and you can even begin to learn some bidding patterns which may help your bidding strategy for when you are ready to buy a car.

If you are thinking more seriously about purchasing a certain vehicle, now would also be a good time to find out more about the vehicle

Getting More Information about a Car on you wish to buy on eBay Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Of course, the very best way to take a look at the vehicle would be to drive on down to wherever the car is located and take a nice test drive, but unfortunately buying a car off eBay Motors Canada doesn’t always provide that luxury. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a really good idea of what it’s like. Here are some ways to make sure that the car your bidding on is in fact the car you want.

First, you should find out more about the eBay Seller. If they have a rating higher than 98%, they will have a little star beside their name. This means that 98% of their customers have been satisfied, which generally is a good sign, especially if they have been involved in a high number of transactions. Also, check into their feedback and see what other buyers have said about them. See if there are any common complaints that would almost absolutely be ‘deal-breakers’ for you.

Look for details on the vehicle’s condition and make your best judgement call from the available photos. Some eBay sellers provide detailed reports on the vehicle’s condition. Look for any information on how it runs and find out if it has any problems. If the vehicle is in the United States, now is a good time make sure it is on the RIV list of vehicles admissible into Canada. You also should make sure that you won’t run into any unexpected costs when importing it into Canada by getting a myBorderPro cost estimate. This will check your car to see if there are any duties or excise taxes on the vehicle and also give you a total cost in Canadian dollars after taxes, importation and conversion! (very handy tool!).

Now will also be a good time to get an AutoCheck vehicle history report. These are fairly cheap and should only run you about $19. A small cost when you consider the amount of stress this will relieve from deciding to make such a large purchase. An AutoCheck history report will tell you everything that has been documented about the vehicle from safety recalls, to title changes, to accident damage – anything that might set off some red flags.

If you will be needing shipping for the vehicle or if you will need a customs broker to take care of your importing paperwork, eBay Motors Canada recommends A&A Customs Brokers and DAS Auto Shippers Get a quote from either of this services that you will be needing either online or by calling them. Write these numbers down and add them to the price you got from myBorderPro – you will need them later.

If all is good so far, find out about the auction’s terms and conditions. Does the vehicle come with a warranty, or is it being sold as-is? Also, make sure there is nothing unexpected in the fine print. Next, you should contact the seller.

Contacting an eBay Motors Seller who is Auctioning a Vehicle

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

When contacting an eBay Motors Canada Seller, find out if they are a dealer, or a private seller. If they are a dealer, they may already have experience selling cars to Canadians and may already know the correct process and documents to provide you with in order for you to import the car to Canada.

Most dealers will have a phone number listed in which case it may be a good idea to give the dealer a call and make sure you are on the same page about the buying process. Don’t forget to ask any further questions you may have about the vehicle.

Get an Inspection for a Vehicle if you Plan to Purchase off eBay Motors Canada

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

This may be one of the most critical steps you can take in the buying process. You may not be local to the vehicle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an experienced mechanic go take a look at it. Carchex.com specializes in Ebay Motors Canada inspection calls and can give a 155 point inspection on any vehicle almost anywhere in the U.S.A. A $100 inspection is your key to safe, smooth vehicle purchase and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. It is inexpensive, easy and quick, just go to carchex.com.