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Trade-in car imported from US in Canada?

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by mbaleine, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Does anyone know by any chance if it's possible / advisable to trade-in a car imported from the US in Canada?

    I'm deciding between (a) importing my current car from the US to Canada, and continuing to use it until I buy a new car (probably a few years later); and (b) selling my car in the US before moving to Canada, and then buying a new car in Canada immediately after moving.

    So basically the question here concerns scenario (a) -- Do Canadian car dealers accept trade-in of an imported car from the US? If they do, would there be a lot of hassle? (Assuming the car has been properly imported, it should comply to Canadian regulations. So daytime running lights and whatnot should not be an issue any more by then)
  2. Of course they do! A trade is a trade! Why wouldn't they? The car after import is certified to drive in Canada. It's just as good as a Canadian sold vehicle. Although you will most likely get haggled down on it's worth as it has "Undesirable" traits such as the speedometer being primarily in Miles not KMS etc, but don't let them get away with that (they will try to say that this will sway buyers away, but chances are they're either gonna go to the junk yard and get those small cheap details fixed or auction it off the lot.). As long as the car passes RIV inspections, they have no real reason to try and haggle down it's trade worth because at that point, after modifications, it's Canadian regulated.

    Ask yourself this: Is this car worth bringing up? Is it costing you monthly in repairs? Is it reliable?

    If it's a decent car, then why worry about making payments on a new car when you have this one already paid off? Save your money and bring it with you and trade it later down the road.

    If it's a car that is costing you to keep it on the road, then perhaps a new financed vehicle will be cheaper in the long run. Get some cash out of the car and exchange the money in Canada. You will make more on it in the end.

    Lots of factors to consider, but as far as trade ins go, it's just as valid.
    mbaleine likes this.
  3. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply :)!

    I figured they probably will, but just wanted to confirm. After all, the Canadian branch of Equifax/Trans Union refused to recognize my US credit history, even though the same companies operate in the US too. So just to wanted to make sure it's nothing like that again.
  4. I get the worry :) but considering most North American Cars (Even Japanese cars) have parts that come from at least 2 or more countries (a lot of parts are made in Canada for example, Toyotas and once upon a time, Ford), it seems almost pointless to deny a trade. The only major difference between cars in the US and Canada after they're successfully imported is that miles vs kms (For most makes and models, might be different with expensive models or high end luxury cars) which is where I believe the only "issue" you might face is a dealership trying to low ball you for the "Conversion" inconvenience which is just cosmetic and a lazy way to con you out of the cars worth. Like okay buddy, I'll let you take maybe 25 cents off for the price of the sticker on the odometer XD. If a customer is looking for a decent, good running car, they will hardly care if it reads in miles. :p

    In regards to your credit history, it's a catch 22. Even though Canada has many of the same firms and companies, most are completely treated as separate entities. (A good example would be McDonalds in Canada, although the profit still goes into the main pot for the company, is not owned by the American side and has it's own division, menu, standards etc.)
    You get to start off new, so this is great if your credit isn't so hot, but if you have an amazing credit in the US, this can be a little disheartening. I believe SOME might consider you credit history depending on what services with your credit you're looking for. It's always best to call around and ask (Worse thing they're going to tell you is no). For us, since our credit is bad in the US, we're happy to start off fresh again and relived our US history doesn't follow us.
  5. My wife's car was exported/imported free of duty since she was a new settler (PR). The rule says that you cannot sell your car in Canada I think for a year since import. Anyways, Ontario car's permit has a stamp on the back, something like "in case of selling this vehicle contact customs first"
  6. :O Didn't know there's a limit on how soon you can sell. I guess it makes sense considering the car would be imported duty-free. That's very good to know; thanks for the info!

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