This past February I was in the great state of Florida visiting my mom and dad as they are full time snow birds, so I guess you can say that my family and I spend a lot of time in the heat of the south. Over the years my dad had observed that the cost of living was much less expensive in the U.S.A than back home in Canada, especially big ticket items like automobiles. So because of this, my dad suggested the family invest in a new car as time was ticking down on their current one. As my dad is talking about this whole idea with my mom trying to sell the idea to his wife with "Vincent is here and he will do everything for us, we don't have to worry about anything and we are going to save thousands" he says to my mom, all awhile here I'm thinking that this won't be big deal and should be a piece of cake, heck if I can sell multimillion dollar homes and commercial buildings then this will be a breeze!
Boy was I wrong about the whole being a breeze thing!
It all started with asking my mom what kind of car she wanted and her budget, cause is if she isn't happy and on board then my dad won't be buying anything let alone a car. My mom said she liked to buy a Mercedes Benz, so I began looking for the model that she liked the most and also began do some due diligence as to what is required to ship the car back to Canada.
In a few short hours of research on the net I found out that the process is not as easy as I thought and it's expensive due to the fact that the vehicle my mom wanted was manufactured in Germany and not in North America which meant an extras tarif of 6% duty was going to be applied on top of the 13% H.S.T. So let me get this strait, If the car is built in North America than no duty applies and is more likely to be admissible. What a cash grab, shame on the Canadian Government for squeezing more out of us. Well that's just the beginning of bad news for us, the manufacture in this case being Mercedes Benz also required that we change the whole odometer or else the warranty would be cancelled at an extra cost of $5000.00 dollars. That is another cash grab as other manufactures nor does the Ministry of Transportation require this modification. Shame on you Mercedes.
When we began to figure out that buying a domestic car or a car that was manufactured in north America was the best fit as modification requirements and tariff costs would be minimal we decided to look at a Cadillac or Lincoln Towncar. The sad part is that when we visited many dealers and told the sales rep that we intended to import the vehicle most of them responded that they won't even sell is the car! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It seems these dealers would only sell us the car if we registered the car in the state of Florida and paid the 6% sales tax which is not a requirement from the DMV or the state. I was beginning to understand that buying a car is more stressful than finding certain houses for sale in Toronto. You would think that one would be more difficult than the other! Not on this day.
I finally made some inquires and found my savior to this whole mess online, his name was Dan and he works and U.S Auto Imports, he took the time to explain the whole process in detail and quoted me to the penny how much it would cost to import, tariffs and licensing fees would be in Ontario. Dan you are the man, if it wasn’t for his expertise than I would not have bought a car in the U.S.A to import back to Canada.
The bottom line is if you want something done that requires attention to detail like buying a car for the purpose of import or buying a home, use a professional as it will help in making the process fun and much less stressful.