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Canadians - Purchase and Import Your Next Car From the United States

Jul 7, 2008
If you are a Canadian considering purchasing a vehicle in the United Sates you should be aware of the rules and logistics of your purchase. It may be to purchase a difficult to obtain vehicle, it may be to save money - a substantial amount of purchase price or it may be obtain a more premium used vehicle -one that never saw a Canadian winter in its lifetime. Regardless of all of that your car importation process will never be as easy and simple as the acquaintance you met in the lineup to buy chicken, told you.

First of all - ensure that you follow the rules to the letter , of the Canadian Government Agency responsible for setting and enforcing the rules dealing with the importation of foreign motor vehicles into Canada - "The Department of Transportation Registrar of Foreign Motor Vehicles " , "Riv.ca" or Riv for short. Their regulations, rules and requirements are plainly listed either on the internet website, on a printed document available from the Queen's Printer, or by phone. It's always safest to phone and ask if you unsure. It never hurts to clarify and be sure.

Once you have determined your vehicle of choice or a list of vehicle and model years you are off to the step of finding and locating a suitable vehicle to purchase. It uses to be that you were at the mercy of car import brokers. In this day of inexpensive communications and the internet the rules have changed greatly. It used to be that your only choices were to buy a newspaper from your chosen American city, hope that it was current, and scour dealer ads. From then on in were expensive phone calls, a lot of questions, and then wondering what else you would be hit for when you arrived at the dealership. Your other option was to physically go on a trip or vacation and spend your time, and holiday searching for your new car. It might have been exciting , but it is no way to spend a vacation and on top of that your negotiating powers are diminished , perhaps by limited supply of the type of vehicle that you want as well as the clicking clock of your travel costs and your limited time frame.

Luckily in this modern day and age we have a lot of other available options.

Dealer websites can be easily checked online. Communication is rapid and generally inexpensive - whether it is by email or directly by phone. It's always a question though of the accuracy of the price quotes online. Are these final prices, negotiable prices, or are these lowball prices to get you in the door. Only the door may be 1000 miles away and expensive to get to. Ask questions and use your judgment skills. It never hurts to be cautious.

Next in line there is eBay. EBay allows the average person or even dealers the ability to market their goods in a tremendously larger catchments area. Usually there are a lot of photos and descriptions. EBay particularly excels in hard to find and vintage cars.

Instead of an individual selling his car locally - and having only a small group of customers, for less than the price of local ad - they can reach a whole new very large market of auto buyers who can be most interested in their vehicle for sale. EBay allows for an automated, in depth car history purchase online, for a nominal fee. In addition if you are serious about the purchase - eBay will provide access to local 3rd party who will conduct an independent qualified mechanical inspection. Keep in mind that eBay is only the facilitator. Any contracts and agreements are between you and the purchaser only.

The financial agreement of purchase price, payment and deposit terms are a matter between you and the seller. Most eBay sellers require a deposit promptly, followed by a bank draft or negotiable instrument within a time period, which has been agreed to between seller and buyer. In most cases transportation costs, back home to Canada, are the responsibility of the buyer. Cars are usually sold f.o.b. shipping which means it is the buyer's responsibility for shipment and shipping costs. You can arrange to pick up the car yourself, and perhaps make a vacation of it. On the other hand many find it most convenient, economical and a saving of time, energy and aggravation to have the car shipped home with a commercial auto shipping transport service.

In the end it can be said that it is often safer to purchase your new vehicle close to home. You know the dealers, the car dealers are close by if you have mechanical problems which require service or need product support. On the other hand if a Canadian purchases his car , and imports it from the United States he may either have a substantial cost saving or obtain a hard to obtain vehicle or a good used car that has never seen harsh Canadian winters.
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