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      03-21-2010, 09:16 PM   #17
smiling amid the chaos...
Meff's Avatar

Drives: Erratically
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cascadia

iTrader: (0)

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.
I talked to VIR and they told me for a '10 M3 I had to make the changes

Second, duty is 6.1%, so it may be a bit higher than what you mentioned.
I used this % based on $67 - 70K cost for car

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!
I live 20 minutes from the border and have been issued a Nexus pass as I travel stateside often so this is a viable option for me. Certainly not as convenient as a local dealer, but hey, life is short.

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.
Only considering new '10 so a non issue

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.
After lurking around here for a few weeks prior to joining, I have contracted the mod bug to the point that I think I'll have much bigger issues affecting my resale than the fact that it might be a US based car.

Thanks for your input Max