FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESIONS

We have been importing vehicles from the US since 1988. There are several things that you need to know in order to avoid running into trouble along the way. We can help you.

Following the questions and answers below will reveal most of the process to you.

  1. What is involved in importing a vehicle from the US?
  2. What is the cost involved to import a US vehicle?
  3. How can I arrange financing for a vehicle from the US?
  4. What is the time frame from when a vehicle is bought until you can expect to get it home?
  5. What is needed for paper work at the border?
  6. Will I be charged duty?
  7. How do I determine if the vehicle I am interested in is eligible to be imported?
  8. How can I be sure there is no money owing on the vehicle?
  9. How can I pay for a vehicle and be sure I won’t get scammed?
  10. Do I have to change the odometer?
  11. What about warranty issues?
  12. How can I arrange delivery?
  13. You offer a buying service. How does it work?
  14. How much do you charge for your buying service?
  15. What do I get for the $1500.00 fee?
  16. Can I save money by finding a vehicle myself?
  17. How do I proceed with purchasing a vehicle under your buyers program?
  18. What can I expect the vehicle condition to be?
  19. When do I have to pay for my vehicle?
  20. Where can I take delivery of my vehicle?
  21. What happens to my deposit if you can’t find the vehicle I want at the price we have agreed on?

1. What is involved in importing a vehicle from the US?

The first step is to decide what vehicle you want to buy. Please don’t call us to help you decide. We can only help you once you know what vehicle you want and what your cost is for the same unit in Canada.....apples to apples comparison. We can only help you on 2005 and newer units, we do not do deal in older vehicles.

Once you know what vehicle you want you will need to locate one and get a price. You can do your own research or you can use us as a broker to handle some or all aspects of your transaction.

Prior to arriving at the border you need to be sure that your paper work is in order. Note!!!!!! (This is important)!!!!!! A copy of your title must be presented to US. Border Protection Services at least 72 hours prior to your arrival at the border. If you don’t do this you will be held up for 72 hours and can be charged and prosecuted by the US government.
Your original title must be stamped by US Customs before you can proceed to the Canadian side.

On the Canadian side you must present your bill of sale as well as your title and your proof of payment to Canada Customs. You will have to fill out RIV forms as well as Import Forms. You may or may not get assistance from the attending officers depending on how busy they are.
Allow for a couple of hours or more at the border. If you are tempted to get a phoney bill of sale to save tax, don’t. They have several ways of checking your purchase price and it will cost you more than it’s worth.

2. What is the cost involved to import a US vehicle?

Please note that these are estimates and can vary:

Add to the purchase price the following costs.

*Dealer documentation fee. Most charge around $350.00
If you buy from a dealer ask about this fee
.Our documentation fee is $195.00

Freight/travel costs to get it home............ 
$1,000.00
 
RIV fee paid at the border ........................
$195.00
 
Brokerage if you don’t want to do the paper work yourself (recommended)....................      
$140.00
 
Cross border fee
$180.00
 
Safety Inspection in your home province .............
$100.00
+ repairs
Wire transfer cost/dollar exchange fees. ...............  
$150.00
+
Insurance costs/ transport permits, etc..............
$150.00
 
Lien search/ background search   ........................
$25.00
 
Bridge financing while in transit 1%  ....................
$200.00
 
Daytime running lights.........................................
$100.00
 
Estimated associated expenses... $2000.00 +
  

3. How can I arrange financing for a vehicle from the US?

Most banks won’t advance funds until the vehicle is in Canada because they have no security when it is in the US. We can get you pre-approved for financing and supply bridge financing until the vehicle arrives and you take delivery.
Call Murray at 306 332 6614 to do a credit application. Please have your social insurance# handy when you call. Murray only does finance... please don’t call him with questions about vehicles; he won’t be able to answer your questions if they don’t relate to financing your vehicle.

4. What is the time frame from when a vehicle is bought until you can expect to get it home?

It can take anywhere from 4 days to 4 or 5 weeks to bring a vehicle back. Several factors come into play that will affect your time frame. The main factor is the title. No title, no import! There can be several situations where a title is delayed and fresh dealer trades take a while. Ask if they have the title in hand when you are purchasing. Don’t forget you have to have a copy at the US border 72 hours in advance.

5. What is needed for paper work at the border?

  • Original copy of the bill of sale
  • Original copy of the title stamped by US customs
  • Certificate of origin (without this you may be charged duty)
  • Recall letter from the manufacturer.
  • Proof of insurance/transport permit.

6. Will I be charged duty?

Vehicles manufactured in the US are not subject to duty. This is why they want a certificate of origin in order to determine where the vehicle was built. The duty on imports is usually around 6%.

7. How do I determine if the vehicle I am interested in is eligible to be imported?

Go to www.riv.ca. Most vehicles can be imported but you need to check to be sure.

8. How can I be sure there is no money owing on the vehicle?

There are several services on the internet that can do this for you. Try Carfax. They can also do a history for previous accident claims for a small fee. They are an excellent service. If you use our service the lien check is included.

9. How can I pay for a vehicle and be sure I won’t get scammed?

Most vehicles are paid by wire transfer or you can take a certified check with you when you go to pick it up if the seller will accept it. Do not wire money to private individuals!!! Most of the vehicles that we purchase from dealers we pay by wire transfer. You can also take cash although I would not recommend it. If you take cash over $10,000US be sure to declare it at the US border or they will confiscate it. If you use our service we handle the payment at no risk to you.

10. Do I have to change the odometer?

No, it is not required as long as the face plate shows both metric and English. Having the speedometer in miles may affect your resale value at a later date. Fees to change an odometer can be $300.00 or more.

11. What about warranty issues?

Every manufacturer is different. Call the service department in a local dealership to find out. Don’t call the sales department because they may not know and may give you incorrect information.

12. How can I arrange delivery?

There are several auto transport companies that run in the US but very few come into Canada. Email chris@autoimportservices.com  we can get you a quote to bring it back on one of our trucks. We can also handle the paper work and brokerage.

13. You offer a buying service. How does it work?

We have been buying vehicles in the US since 1988. We have developed a network of wholesale suppliers from whom we can source vehicles. We also buy from wholesale auctions and lease companies and have access to factory buybacks in most models. We have a buyer that travels the US extensively.

14. How much do you charge for your buying service?

We charge $1500.00 Canadian plus expenses. Associated expenses will run around $2000.00 CDN for an approximate total of $3500.00. Your saving of 5% -10% on the dollar exchange will offset a good portion of this cost.

15. What do I get for the $1500.00 fee?

You get the benefit of our insider buying power which will save you a lot more than the fee. The fee also covers the cost of our buyers expenses such as: wages, fuel, meals, accommodation,airfare, etc. Also covered is the cost of interim insurance as well as transport insurance, lien checks, administration costs etc. We also take the risk when sending money for the vehicle. In addition, you also get the benefit of our extensive experience which can help you avoid many potential pitfalls.

16. Can I save money by finding a vehicle myself?

We encourage you to look on your own. Most of the time we can find a vehicle for a lot less but there will be the odd situation where you may find a better deal. Contact us when you have decided on a vehicle and we will give you an approximate landed price.

17. How do I proceed with purchasing a vehicle under your buyers program?

We require the following:

  • The type of vehicle you want to purchase including at least 3 acceptable colors and a list of options. We will then give you a ball park figure of what we can buy the vehicle for as well as an approximate total cost for the vehicle delivered to Canada. We will not pay over the agreed amount to purchase a vehicle for you. If we buy it for less you will get it for less.

  • A deposit of $3500.00 Canadian is required to be deposited into our account before we will purchase a vehicle for you. No exceptions will be made to this rule. If you have any reservations please don’t proceed with this process.

  • All used vehicles will have some minor flaws; minute door dings, stone chips, windshield chips or cracks are a fact of life. We pride ourselves on our ability to buy top quality vehicles. Every effort is made to buy premium vehicles but if you are anal and expect an absolutely flawless vehicle please go out and buy a new one because we can’t help you and both of us don’t need the stress. We can, however, possibly assist you if you want to buy a new vehicle.

18. What can I expect the vehicle condition to be?

Our buyer is a professional. He will only buy what he considers to be premium vehicles. We do not expect you to accept a substandard vehicle and you do have the right to reject a vehicle if it is not up to the standards that we have laid out. All used vehicles have minor flaws. Remember we are not selling you a brand new vehicle.

19.When do I have to pay for my vehicle?

If you are using our buying service, we need to be paid when the vehicle has crossed the border into Canada. If you finance through us, we need all papers signed at this time. Please note that there will be a delay in delivery because your vehicle has to have an RIV(Registered Imported Vehicle) inspection.This is a formality, however, it takes a couple days for the paperwork to be processed by the RIV people. They are usually quite prompt.

20. Where can I take delivery of my vehicle?

We can ship to any major city in Canada, or you can pick up in Regina. We need to know this early in the process as we try buy the vehicle at a location as near to the final destination as possible. This saves freight costs.

21 What happens to my deposit if you can’t find the vehicle I want at the price we have agreed on?

If we don’t purchase a vehicle for you within 20 days you have the option of getting your money back with no extra charge for our efforts or just waiting a slightly longer time. if you so wish.

 
     
     
     
Email chris@autoimportservices.com