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      03-21-2010, 06:36 PM   #12
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Drives: F25 2.8dF82 M4 R1200GS
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Toronto

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Originally Posted by MaxL View Post
Ok, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation and confusion on this forum. I imported two BMWs in the last 12 months, so I have a bit of experience. First, there is NO conversion cost, unless for some reason you want to do it. Inspections accepts modern BMWs without modifications. Also, please do not pay for Recall clearance letter - ask the seller to give it to you (service history will work just as well) or make few calls to US dealers and get one of them to give it to you for free. Worked for me - 2 out of 2.

Second, duty is 6.1%, so it may be a bit higher than what you mentioned.

Regarding the loss of free maintenance - I am not sure what level of maintenance comes at no extra cost with M3 in Canada, but I believe it includes very little - like one oil change a year. Does it includes brakes & rotors? Belts? The car imported from the US has free maintenance that also includes brakes, rotors and belts (in the US). The rumors about US dealers refusing to honor free maintenance on Canadian-registered US-spec cars are NOT TRUE - I called BMW NA office and a regional dealer in US and both confirmed that.

Although most people would not drive to US to get their free oil changes, it may very well be worth a drive to get free pads + rotors (and you can get oil changed at the same time ). So depending on how close you are to the border, US car may actually be a benefit in terms of free maintenance!

Finally, about not being able to see complete vehicle history for cars from outside of Ontario. Maybe I am missing something, and let me know if I am, but this looks like a complete FUD. You can still do carfax, request warranty service record and you still have all the title history for USA and Canada - what else do you need? Essentially, a person buying a US car in Canada has exactly the same amount of information about the car as the person buying the same car in the USA. Email, fax and internet penetrate Ontario borders just fine . It may take few more phone calls to get the info.

Regarding the resale - it depends. There are people that panic when they hear it is a US car, and there are people who do not care, especially if the car is older than 2-3 years. So sale may take longer, cause you will need to filter out the "xenophobes" who think all non-canadian cars come with blown engines and other nonsense, but normal people will see that cars are pretty much the same and will pay the same. Trading the car in will result in lower valuation, though - dealers make sure to use this excuse to screw you even more. Still, you will be reselling an older and thus much cheaper car, so loss, if any, should be much smaller than the gain.

So do not be afraid. Talk to people who done it - I've done my research and never met anyone regretting it.
Carfax is far from being very reliable source of information and this also applies to the systems that are in use Ontario.The big problem with these systems is that it reports only what was reported in the system to the data base.if a customer smucks up his car & it is a cash repair,that is outside the system.I had this happen with a client who picked up a car in WV that it turned later had over $50000 damage that been paid cash.He noticed some issues and had the car checked out & discoved improper repairs that were unreported.He researched further and found out where the car was repaired by searching the Porsche parts database by serial #.He had zero recourse because he was a Canadian buying a car in the US.
I am not saying you cannot find a good US car,but is all the time & due diligence worth the effort with maybe marginial total gains!