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Author: Subject: Need Help w/ USA to Canada Auto Import
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Illicit
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 09:22 AM Reply With Quote
Need Help w/ USA to Canada Auto Import



http://images.sytner.co.uk/w3images/used_stock/-333585/new_image_1.jpg
Update: im working in georgia for 1 year without a vehicle, hence i wanted to purchase one that i would enjoy back in canada after the stay.

Haven't imported a car from the USA to Canada before and would like to ask all outiens for advice.

Question: Is it worth it to import an Audi from the US to Canada?

I'll include all my research here for anybody looking to import as well.

Exchange Rates
Mid-market exchange rates from $CAD to $USD at the time of this writing is 1CAD = 1.01076USD. A preferred rate exchange at TD Canada Trust will offer only 1CAD = 0.9932USD.

Taxes
Using the state of Georgia and the province of Ontario as examples. You will have to pay 6% (GA state tax) on the sale price of the car.

Then 5% GST and 6.1% duty on the final price of the car at the border.

Then when you cross the border and register your car, 8% PST more calculated on the final price of the car.

Sales price = the cost of the car including dealer fees, title/registration, state warranty rights but not including state tax.

Final USA price of the car = USA sale price + 6% state tax

Final Canadian price of the car = (sales price + 6% state tax) and 19.1% sales tax, provincial tax and non-NAFTA tax. Yes. you have to pay Canadian tax on top of even the USA tax.

What about buying from a sales-tax free state?
There are 5 sales-tax free states: Delaware, Oregon, New Hampshire, Alaska and Montana. Buying from them to save on taxes is a very good suggestion and can save 3000-4000$.
However, you must register the vehicle in the state you bought it. You cannot register it in the state you were from just to save on taxes, they will end up charging you your home state's sales tax anyway.

Additional Fees that will also be Taxed in Canada
There is a A/C fee of $100, a green levy fee of $1000, a RIV registration fee of $195, and an RIV inspection fee ($unknown) to an inspection agency (e.g. Canadian Tire).

Warranty
Update: Regular Audi warranty is covered between Audi America and Audi Canada. Extended warranty is not.

Real Cost Comparisons
USA Invoice cost of an A4 Quattro Manual, Prestige, Metallic Paint, S-Line is $44,637.00. After misc. fees and dealer fees and state tax, I was able to negotiate an "out-the-door" cost of $48,616.33. That is about 5.7% discount off MSRP.

Canadian retail cost on a Premium Plus (there is no Prestige in Canada), with all the same features will have an MSRP cost of $59,407.72. I expect to be able to negotiate a 5% discount at least, bringing the new "out-the-door" total to $56,437.33.

The real question: Will Importing from the USA be cheaper than buying from Canada?
Canadian Price: $56,437.33.

USA Price: $48,616.33 * Exchange Rate = $48,946.92.

Updated: After 19.1% tax at the border and legal fees, the final price in $CAD = $59,590+!!

Importing from the US ends up costing even MORE than buying it from Canada even though the Canadian sale price is $10,000 more!

Resale value
The value of an imported US car will be about 20% less than a Canadian one of the same model/trim/features.

Why Import?
Why do people suggest that importing an expensive car from the US is cheaper than purchasing from Canada? And does anybody with experience importing cars see a mistake in my math? Perhaps I included the wrong taxes?

Thank you so much, outiens!
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 10:29 AM Reply With Quote


This is strictly my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. Even if the total cost from importing came out to be cheaper than buying in Canada outright, the time needed to go through the bureaucratic hoops would make it not worthwhile. As a person who can afford a mid-priced luxury, I'm sure you understand the concept of time = money. If we add the fact that resale value also suffers by 20%, this just doesn't make any sense. The Canadian govt would much rather you spend your moneys within its own borders and outrageous import fees are meant to encourage this. That being said, I can only think of 3 reasons why importation would be justified.

1. Wow factor. Some people just gotta be the cool kid on the block. Certain models may not be offered in Canada and so the only way to own is to import. In this scenario, $ is probably not a priority. Years ago, I remember my cousin complaining about how the Lancer Evo was not offered in Canada thus forcing hardcore fanboys to import from the US. My assumption is that this is becoming less of an issue.

2. You are a Canadian who just happened to buy a car in the US on a whim and now have to suffer the consequences of bringing it home. Again, $ was probably not a priority for buyer.

3. Importation laws have changed. Perhaps it was easier to import in the past before the Canadian govt caught onto how much revenue they were missing out on. Maybe the stories you heard are a mix of urban legend and old legislation?

I would also bet that some, if not all, of the people you've talked to about this haven't actually imported a car and are just speculating on the cost savings.

edit: I'm American, not a Canadian tax law expert, and just using my common logic and google. Experts, please feel free to put in your $.02

edit2: There could also be the consideration that people who have imported are not paying the entire cost at once and may have not added up their total cost. They may assume they're getting a better deal because they see the "out the door" price they're getting in the US. The tax they pay later, although hefty(19.1% OMFG), may be an after-thought.

edit3: Why Georgia? How much would the price change if you bought from a state with no sales tax? Delaware, New Hampshire, and Oregon come to mind.

edit4: Your calculation of $58295.78 doesn't include the additional costs (A/C, inspection, etc) of $1,295. If we tack that on, the cost of importation increases to $59,590.

edit5: Some manufacturers may not honor warranties across borders. This has less to with them being assholes and more to do with the fact that Audi USA and Audi Canada are most likely separate subsidiaries of the Audi group. Take a look at the warranty terms offered by each and I guarantee you will find significant differences. Since the number of importers is minuscule compared to the rest of their customers, they have little to no incentive in making an effort of converting legal fine print for you. I post on a VW forum and some members have complained about warranty issues arising from owning a USDM VW in Canada. Since VW and Audi are closely related, I would suspect the same problems for an Audi owner in the same situation. On a side note, NEVER EVER buy a German car without a warranty. I'm sure you already know this.

edit6: Did some quick research. Based on your 8% PST, I'm assuming you're from Ontario(lots of outiens from there lol). Would you still have to pay PST if you first imported the car through Alberta(or another province without PST) and then registered it in Ontario? If not, you could potentially combine the savings of buying from a state with 0% sales tax and importing into a province with 0% PST. I'm too lazy to do the math but I'm sure the savings found here would be the crux of the "importing is cheaper" argument. However, my hunch is that you'd have to be a current resident of Alberta for this to work out. It would not be very hard for the ministry of transportation to trace a car's origins and see what the owner is trying to pull. The possibility of allowing this loophole to persist(if it ever existed in the first place), is highly unlikely.

edit7: Last little thought. I know the American tax code allows a tax credit for certain foreign taxes paid. Does Canada have anything similar?

TL;DR: No. The hassle is probably not worth the savings, if any. You also might have to drive across the border for warranty claims.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 08:19 PM Reply With Quote


I imported my audi from the states before. You can't bring over a new audi, it has to be used. You can ask the dealerships and Audi USA to confirm. Warranty is for north america, so it applies to Canada as well. Get it from a state where you dont get charged for sales tax for importing it to Canada. I think Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, NY are a few states that don't (check the state DMV laws/regulations).

It does take some work, as cantonstylzes said above and there are a few other fees like he mentioned. You can definitely save money though. If you want to confirm any details, its always good to check with dealerships, state DMV and Audi USA. Also check the RIV site for info and you need to notify the border 72 hours in advance (a bit more simple now, just have to e-mail them the VIN) before you bring it over.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 09:12 PM Reply With Quote


Found this site for you, Illicit. Scroll down to the reader comments for lots of useful info.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 09:43 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by JackCough
I imported my audi from the states before. You can't bring over a new audi, it has to be used. You can ask the dealerships and Audi USA to confirm. Warranty is for north america, so it applies to Canada as well. Get it from a state where you dont get charged for sales tax for importing it to Canada. I think Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, NY are a few states that don't (check the state DMV laws/regulations).

It does take some work, as cantonstylzes said above and there are a few other fees like he mentioned. You can definitely save money though. If you want to confirm any details, its always good to check with dealerships, state DMV and Audi USA. Also check the RIV site for info and you need to notify the border 72 hours in advance (a bit more simple now, just have to e-mail them the VIN) before you bring it over.

Thanks all. You've been fantastic.

I just want to clarify something here, Jack, for other people who might read this. You can import a new car to Canada, but you need an American address. The dealership cannot register the car to a Canadian address, but if you work in the states for a while or stay with a relative, it's possible to order a new car and register it at the hotel address/relative address and import it to Canada afterward.

Basic warranty is good for North America, but the extended warranty is not transferable.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2012 at 09:55 PM Reply With Quote


You guys have persuaded me to do this if I ever relocate to Canada.
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[*] posted on 8-20-2012 at 05:00 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by Illicit
Quote:
Originally posted by JackCough
I imported my audi from the states before. You can't bring over a new audi, it has to be used. You can ask the dealerships and Audi USA to confirm. Warranty is for north america, so it applies to Canada as well. Get it from a state where you dont get charged for sales tax for importing it to Canada. I think Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, NY are a few states that don't (check the state DMV laws/regulations).

It does take some work, as cantonstylzes said above and there are a few other fees like he mentioned. You can definitely save money though. If you want to confirm any details, its always good to check with dealerships, state DMV and Audi USA. Also check the RIV site for info and you need to notify the border 72 hours in advance (a bit more simple now, just have to e-mail them the VIN) before you bring it over.

Thanks all. You've been fantastic.

I just want to clarify something here, Jack, for other people who might read this. You can import a new car to Canada, but you need an American address. The dealership cannot register the car to a Canadian address, but if you work in the states for a while or stay with a relative, it's possible to order a new car and register it at the hotel address/relative address and import it to Canada afterward.

Basic warranty is good for North America, but the extended warranty is not transferable.


I talked with Audi USA before (because I didn't believe the dealership when they told me) and they said I couldn't import a new Audi from the states. Audi had some specific rules about it. But the other possibility was to register the vehicle in the states, like you said, but I believe it has to be there for 4 or 6 months or something like that even if you register it at a relatives. Things may have changed since but that was what they told me back then. It's actually not that difficult to bring it over, the dealership will do most of the work in terms of changing the title and getting you a temp plate, etc.

PM me if you need anything, I'll try to give you as much info as I remember.
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