This deal is fairly involved and requires some prep work, but it can be very lucrative for anyone in the market for a new/pre-owned car. Below is a breakdown of my deal and how you can go about replicating
2014 Infiniti QX80 w/ Tech Package, Theater Package, Wheel Package, Deluxe Touring Package, 10,000-20,000 Miles: $62,000 USD plus taxes (estimated to be about $4,200), Doc Fee (estimated to be about $300), registration (estimated to be about $200)
TOTAL US COST: $66,700
Canada Prices (Same vehicle, same options): $60,000 CAD.
Importing the vehicle comes with other costs and complexities, so here's how it breaks down:
Vehicle Cost in USD (based on $0.764 conversion): $45,840 USD
GST (Canadian Tax at 5%): $2,292 USD
Doc Fee: $304 USD
US Border Import Duty (vehicle manufactured outside North America): $1,200 USD
US Registration & Taxes (Utah tax rate of 6.5%): $3100
TOTAL CANADA COST: $52,736
SAVINGS: 26.4% or $14,000 USD (even more if you get your GST back)
GST - There is a good chance this can be refunded. I filed a form through Canadian government stating I exported the vehicle within 60 days of purchase, so I am supposed to get that GST cost back since I'm paying taxes when I register it in the US. Will report back if that comes through GST Rebate Link [gc.ca]
Duty - If the vehicle was originally manufactured in North America, this duty of 2.5% would not apply, making the deal even better.
Required Documentation - At the border you will need some information. All details are in this link: Link [cbp.gov]
. The most important to do in advance is the Letter of Compliance from the manufacturer stating that the vehicle complies with all EPA and safety standards. Border crossing with the proper documents took about 10 minutes.
Registering in the US: Bring all stamped documents from the border, along with your state's required documentation to the DMV. Also, bring the bill of sale from Canada, originals of the registration transfer from Canada (they don't have titles), and the bill of sale from when the previous owner traded in the vehicle (if used). This will be taken by the DMV in order to legally register it in the US.
Warranty - This is an important one. I was originally going to buy a brand new Infiniti, but I learned that Infiniti voids the warranty if the vehicle does not stay in the origin country (in this case, Canada) for at least 6 months. That's how they protect US dealers from people doing this. So either buy a vehicle that is used, or just accept that they may void the warranty. Also, check with each manufacturer as they have different rules. My Infiniti is 1 year old and the warranty is valid until 60,000 miles and can be used at any dealership in Canada or the US.
Metric vs. Miles - Remember that in Canada they use the metric system. This comes in to play in a couple of ways. First, your speedometer will show Km/h in larger numbers, and the smaller numbers will be the MPH. It takes some getting used to, but is not a huge deal. The odometer will also be in Km. That means you will need to run a simple calculation when factoring in warranty. My Infiniti in the US, for example, has a 4-year, 60,000 mile warranty. In Canada, it's a 4-year 100,000 km warranty (equivalent of about 62,000 miles). You can take the vehicle somewhere to get the instrument panel converted, but I don't plan to. I was quoted about $500 to make the change.
Conclusion - This deal is not for the shy or those unwilling to do a little leg work. I also spent about $300 driving this car about 1,000 miles from Canada to my house. If you live closer to a border, it will be easier. Slickdeals is full of lots of people willing to put in some work to save some money, so I thought I'd at least pass along my story. For me, saving $14,000 on a car is certainly one of my very slickest deals ever. If I can get my GST back, I'm north of $16,000 in savings. The real savings here is finding a vehicle that prices out about the same in Canadian dollars and taking advantage of the exchange rate while it's to the advantage of US citizens. To my friends up north, we love ya and you guys did the same thing when the CAD was stronger than the USD!
Feel free to hit me up with specific questions if you are interested. Good luck and happy savings!