Buying a new car in the U.S. vs. Canada

Hi all,

I’ve gone through various threads related to importing a car from the U.S. and its associated processes. I’m trying to capture a set of trade-offs/costs if I were to buy a car in the U.S. for a few months and subsequently importing it vs. buying a new car altogether in Canada.

For context, I have a leased car that will be expiring at the end of this month. I plan to buy it out and sell it at some point later this year. I envision permanently relocating to Canada by early next year and plan to get a car just before/after my move, so I was wondering if I’m considering alternatives in the right manner.

  1. From a financial perspective, does the cost of buying a new car in Canada outweigh the hassle/charges of importing a relatively newer car from the U.S.? Primarily, wondering if a new car costs more in Canada and if I should just buy one here in the U.S.
  2. If I were to buy a car in the U.S. for a few months, is there a requirement for it to have been used for a few months (I believe 6 months?) before declaring it in the GTF?

I’d really appreciate if experienced folks could provide some guidance. Thank you.

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  1. Like everything, cars are also expensive on this side of the border. Importing a car is pretty straightforward and doesn’t costs more than $1K (as far as I remember) if you’re driving it yourself.
  2. Haven’t read/heard about this anywhere so can’t comment.
  1. But you have to pay import duty on the car if it’s valued > 10K CAD, isn’t it?
    Plus, depending on the location, you have to ship the car to Canada.
    These are the two other things to consider I guess

For #1, you don’t as long as it’s mentioned in the GTF list.

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I don’t think this is true if you are a “new settler” and your vehicle is mentioned on the Goods to Follow list like @jayhop mentioned.

Thank you, @jayhop , @nik and @texan for sharing your thoughts.

As it was a lease, I completed a buyout. I plan to include the car in the GTF. Is there a requirement that the car would have to be used for 1 year after the purchase?

I’ve been using the car for 3+ years now (because of the lease), but it’s only been a month since I actually bought the car and the title was transferred to my name.

You should be fine.

From what I’ve read, there isn’t any requirement on the amount of time you should have owned the vehicle before importing it into Canada. There is however a requirement an the amount of time you should own the vehicle after importing it into Canada using the duty-free import privileges as a new settler. After importing the vehicle, you should own it for atleast 1 year in Canada before selling it. If you sell it within 1 year, then you will have to import duties on the vehicle.

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Makes sense. Thanks for clarifying :slight_smile: