Geting my CAR shipped to Canada -- A wise decision?

I own a Nissan Altima 2015, which I am currectly financing (around 15k USD amount remaining to pay off car loan).

I plan to pay off my loan here in the US and get it shipped to Canada when I move. My reasoning behind it is that, I won’t be having a good credit score in Canda, so even if I plan to buy a car there I won’t get a good interest rate.

But there are contrasting opinions as well that I should leave my car here and move and buy a new car in Canada.

Please share your thoughts!

someone told me its very expensive to keep in Canada… Insurance rates are very high… Is that correct?

Also, If you are in big city or near downtown then you don’t need car there… but I think car is a necessity in these type of countries

Yes insurance premiums in Toronto can touch $200 a month (something people in the US find hard to believe). Also, you car will have to undergo certain modifications, e.g., I heard DRL (Daytime Running Lights) are mandatory, i.e. they should be always ON, anything related to imperial system might have to be converted to metric: km/hr. This is what I have heard from people who moved there.

If you don’t mind going around in public transport for the first few weeks or renting a car (your US license will work there, or you can just exchange it for Canadian license if you have sufficient US driving history), you might want to open a bank account that offers a line of credit. That might set up a credit score initially for you and help you get a car loan.

Also, I guess shipping a car from US to Canada delas with paying for duty and shipping costs whch might add to up around 2-3k USD. In that case, it makes sense to not take your car with you to Canada.

You don’t have to pay off the loan just call your lien holder (bank) and tell them you need an authorization letter since you are exporting the car to Canada. This is an official signed and notarized letter that they send you giving you permission to export the car while still under lien.

Then contact a car moving service (search for auto-transport) they do this a lot and know it like the back of their hand. They will send you a list of documents needed to export your car to Canada. It’s a pretty short list but the big one is a recall clearance letter from the car company. Again google and you’ll find the number to call about this for your car. This letter must say there are no recalls on the car and this is needed by Canada.

You will also need day time running lights but don’t worry about these any garage in Toronto will install them for about 100 CAD. Nothing else is needed.

Public transport is very solid in Toronto you can pick between the subway, street car (t), bus, docked bike share, Lyft, Uber, Cab or just walk its very walkable.

Like @avj said getting your license exchanged is pretty easy the government has offices all over called “Service Ontario” most will handle it. I know the one in the middle of downtown (Nathan Phillips Sq) handles it I went there. If you can carry along your driving history (Ask your DMV) then you can get credit for all the years of driving you did in the US. For me they had some issue connecting to the California system and only gave me credit for 3 years. The more years of driving credit you have the lower your insurance rates.

There is a government prog in place to guarantee credit to new comes when you goto a bank like RBC mention you are a newcomer and would like to get a credit card under this prog.

Yes @srhere car insurance rates are high so you’ll have to call around to get a good deal, install some tracking device in your car, etc to bring those down a little.

I’m not really a car person but I choose to bring mine over since it’s an SUV and we had planned to explore Canada. Also with kids I imagined it would be useful in the winter. The first 6 months (over the first winter) I didn’t touch it. Took the streetcar, Uber or walked we live close to downtown, kids school is just down the street etc. If you plan to live further away from downtown Toronto then I would say you’ll need that car.


Thanks ! That was a detailed response and is much appreciated. I will get in touch with the bank and get the process started.

My car had a recall for the safety bag and they replaced it. Can I still bring my car to Canada? Thanks.

Yes get a recall clearance letter from the manufacturer. Also search for other posts on this forum reg car importation. Also search my post on moving from USA to Canada, it has detailed information for importing car.

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Hello @arun.dash90,
were you able to take your car while it being still lien?

I have paid off my car. will be shipping it next week.

My car have currently 1 recall pending but no remedy available yet, will that will work out while importing from US to Canada. I am in assumption that my car manufacture can provide letter as they are liable for providing fix but haven’t. Please let me know your thoughts.

That would depend upon what the manufacturer is willing to provide. I would also reach out to your manufacturer in Canada if the recall is present there as well, that might help support your case that you can get the recall resolved on the other side.

I haven’t transported my car yet, so I am not an expert. The above answer is what I would do to provide sufficient proof / documentation on an open recall.

Thanks Vignesh, yes I agree. Let me check at Canadian side.

Hey guys… My friend is in unique situation. He travelled to Canada in his personal car (owned paid off) with US number plate and US insurance… Now his US license and visa stamping got expired… So he is stuck in Canada… In this situation how can he import the car to canada permanently? He cannot g…

One possibility would be to find a real buyer who can come to Canada to pick it up.

I don’t know if they can make the deal (buy with title, get registration done) and come to Canada with the plates to pick it up.

Better to contact DMV agencies in the US state and Canada province to check on the options.

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Can you please help me understand, at which step we need to showcase the recall clearance letter?. I am using a shipper to bring my car from USA to Canada but not sure whether I need to keep the recall clearance letter in my car to showcase at border or once my car arrives at bonded facility then I need to showcase to officer. Please suggest

CBSA doesn’t care about the recall clearance letter. You need to submit that to RIV as a part of the import process for them to release the Form 2.

Thank you, please also help me understand, I checked RIV website, my vehicle showed its admissible (Year 2018) and haven’t have any notes associated. But my confusion is, is it necessary to convert speedometer from from mph to km/h. Or I can bring car as it is. Please suggest. Thank you.

Nope, no need to convert the speedometer as long as it has both MPH and KMPH markings (which most cars have it’s just that the US make cars have the MPH which is more prominent whereas Canadian make cars have the reverse). The only thing that you need to ensure is that your car has DLR and that those are set to always on and can’t be turned off.