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What’s the Difference Between US and Canadian Cars?

Difference Between US and Canadian Cars

Besides the red tape that goes along with purchasing a gray-market vehicle, cars purchased in the United States tend to be less expensive than cars purchased up north.

There is a very clear price difference between the American and Canadian car markets. In general, U.S. car prices are lower than they are in Canada.

That’s why Canucks have been importing a record number of U.S. cars into Canada.

According to this report, the average price difference when shopping for cars in both markets is 20%.

That means that the same car sold in America for $24,000 goes for $28,800 in Canada!

I haven’t tried this yet, but it seems like importing cars can be equal parts excitement and challenging.

Why the Price Difference?

Auto manufacturing plant.

One reason is that most car manufacturers are in the U.S. And we’re not just talking Ford and GM.

Toyota has manufacturing plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi. Most Hondas are produced in Ohio, Alabama, as well as North and South Carolina.

You might also be astonished to learn that many of your favorite nameplates haven’t been pure red-blooded Americans for years.

Is Importing Cars into Canada from the U.S. Worth It?

Cars being shipped on a car transporter.

It depends.

While there are a lot of fees associated with importing cars into Canada from the United States, it can be worth it if the car on your mind is $30,000 are more.

Additionally, if the car you want to import into Canada is under NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement) it won’t be charged the typical duty fee of 6.1% – it may even get more tax and fee relaxation.

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What About Importing a Car into the U.S. from Other Countries?

Car coming out of a shipping container.

Like I said, I haven’t tried this yet.

While buying a gray-market vehicle might mean a lower sticker price or the ability to drive with features not offered here in America.

Getting it into the country isn’t for the faint of heart.

The Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988 makes it more challenging for individuals to import cars into the United States – the Act requires that the manufacturer certifies the imported car.

You can as an individual import a car yourself. But according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, it’s going to cost you more than just money.

Not only that, but if there’s a recall or something specifically wrong with your car. A U.S. dealership may not be able to fix it – that’s what happened to this guy.