Car dealer launches lawsuit claiming unfair fees on vehicles purchased in the U.S.

March 26th, 2008

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver car importer has filed a lawsuit against several major automakers, claiming they artificially inflate prices for Canadians wanting to buy vehicles in the U.S.

Westport Motor Cars Ltd. says manufacturers clearly want to discourage cross-border car shopping by charging “unreasonable fees” for modifications required to make the vehicles comply with Canadian standards.

Westport owner Todd MacDonald said BMW, for example, has added new measures required before its U.S.-sourced cars can be driven in Canada – including changing speedometers to highlight kilometres per hour instead of miles per hour and changing modules to read Celsius instead of Fahrenheit.

He said the time-delaying modifications can cost up to $5,000.

“These measures are a crock,” MacDonald said in an interview. “I’ve finally had enough and that’s why this [lawsuit] is happening.”

Read the Full Article BY BRUCE CONSTANTINEAU, Vancouver Sun »

Importing a Mercedes Benz into Canada

March 23rd, 2008

Importing a Mercedes Benz into Canada can be slightly more costly and difficult than many other brands of vehicles. Many Mercedes Benz vehicles will require some kind of modification, that in some cases can work out to be quite expensive.

If you are thinking of importing a Mercedes Benz into Canada from the U.S.A., in addition to reading our guide on how to import a vehicle from the USA into Canada, there are a few things you should be aware of so that you don’t encounter unexpected costs.

  • Many Models of Mercedes Benz cars are inadmissible and cannot be imported into Canada from the U.S.A. To find out if a Merecedes vehicle is admissible, check Mercedes Benz’s vehicle admissibility chart.
  • Many Mercedes Benz vehicles will require modifications that can only be performed by a Mercedes Benz Dealer.
  • In many cases, finding out what modifications a Mercedes Benz vehicle will need in order to be admissible into Canada will require an inspection by a Mercedes Benz dealer, that will most likely cost extra money.
  • All Mercedes Benz vehicles being imported into Canada require Letter of Admissibility that can be obtained by filling out the online Letter of Admissibility Request form from Mercedes Benz Canada (these typically take 1-2 weeks to receive).
  • Recall letters for Mercedes Benz vehicles can be obtained through Mercedes-Benz USA by calling 1-800-367-6372

Mercedes Benz Canada has an information page and an FAQ regarding importing a Mercedes Benz into Canada, and goes into more detail about specific models and years.

In spite of the extra roadblocks, many Canadian still manage to import Mercedes Benz’s and save money. As always, it is important to be aware of all the costs and effort involved before you purchase the vehicle.

Want to discuss Importing a Mercedes Benz into Canada with people who have done it? Check out the Forums

Vehicle Import Price Calculator

March 18th, 2008

This little tool will help you determine the final cost of a vehicle you wish to buy and import after import and registration costs. It will automatically factor in today’s current exchange rate, duties, fees, and taxes.

Information Seminars about Importing Vehicles into Canada

March 16th, 2008

Canada Border Services Agency has begun holding free seminars in various cities throughout Canada about importing cars into Canada. These seminars are very helpful and informative to anyone thinking about purchasing a vehicle in another country and importing it into Canada.

Typically these seminars will have 5-8 guest speakers from various government agencies, including Canada Border Services agency, Transport Canada, RIV, and the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.

Topics covered include:

  • requirements
  • documentation
  • prohibitions
  • costs
  • regulations of the Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the provincial government

Attendees will be given helpful literature and example paperwork related to importing vehicles into Canada. There is also time given to address specific questions or concerns that you may have about the importation process.

For dates and times of the seminars, or to register for a seminar in your area visit the Information Sessions and Seminars section on the Canadian Border Services agency website.

Car makers put brakes on pricing parity

March 16th, 2008

Dealers slash stickers but costs still 20-30% higher than US

“It’s been a few months since the loonie took its wild flight to US dollar parity but it is still hovering at that mark. While Canadians may feel entitled to cash in on the strength of their currency, price adjustments here have been decidedly underwhelming.

The auto industry, in particular, has been slow to give the Canuck buck its due. And when Canadians started pouring across the border in search of cheap wheels, car manufacturers responded aggressively. They instructed stateside dealers to turn away bargain-hungry Canadians and threatened not to honour warrantees on cars purchased in the US. ”

Read Full Article by Anwar Ali at NRM Personal Finance

Canadians import record number of new and used vehicles as loonie soars

March 3rd, 2008

OTTAWA – A record number of Canadians imported vehicles from the United States this year, said a report released Monday as economists warned that an automotive shopping spree south of the border could drive down selling prices in Canada.

Scotia Economics (TSX:BNS), citing data from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, said Canadians imported a record 137,000 new and used vehicles from the U.S. through October, after the loonie overtook the slumping greenback.

Scotiabank auto industry specialist Carlos Gomes said Canadians imported 24,873 vehicles in October alone – twice as many as in October 2006 and a 68 per cent jump over the 14,832 vehicles imported this September.

Read the Full Story on AOL Money

Ottawa sued over car import rules

February 28th, 2008

Two vehicle leasing companies have launched a class-action lawsuit on cross-border vehicle shopping with a new twist, alleging Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency were participants in a conspiracy to keep vehicle prices high.

The two arms of the government have been named along with BMW Canada Inc., Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. and Mercedes-Benz USA LLC in a lawsuit that alleges actions they required of people or companies trying to import U.S. vehicles into Canada reduced competition and enabled prices of vehicles sold here to be 20 per cent to 35 per cent higher than similar U.S. models.

Read full article at

2008 Tax Relief Means Cheaper Vehicle Imports for Canadians

January 1st, 2008

Effective January 1st 2008, the Canadian GST rate has dropped from 6% down to 5%. That means when you import a car into Canada, you will be paying less taxes and thus, the cost to import a vehicle to Canada just got cheaper. The amount your GST will be calculated on is, as always, based on the sale price of the book value of the vehicle, typically whichever is the bigger number. And, for non-North American vehicles, importers will still be paying the standard 6.1% duty.

For more information on the Tax change, see the Tax Relief information page on the Department of Finance of Canada’s website

Importation of U.S. Vehicles by Canadians: Government of Canada Announces Amendment to Clarify and Ease Importation

December 19th, 2007

OTTAWA — The Government of Canada has amended the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to make it easier for Canadians to import vehicles from the United States built on or after September 1, 2007, that are already equipped with an electronic immobilization system or that can be fitted with one.

Read full article at Transport Canada

Don’t Get Lost in the Process!

November 10th, 2007

Check out the new visual overview of the process of importing a vehicle into Canada.

This diagram is available to be seen online here, or can be downloaded in PDF format to be printed out or sent to friends.