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      08-12-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
Lefort
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Canadians buying used M3s from the States..?

Hey guys.. new to the forums. Tried the search function but couldn't come up with what I was looking for.

I'm in the market for buying my first M3.. namely a used '09 executive convertible package type thing.. and it's hard not to notice the ~$10,000-$15,000 price difference from autotrader.ca and autotrader.com. (I'm in Toronto.)

Is it possible to buy used from the States paying that specific State's sales tax, have it shipped up, paying any fees/duties/etc at the border, then pay the Canadian sales tax (HST), and wind up paying a significant amount less for your efforts?

I did find this thread http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566552 mentioning that dealers don't seem to be able to sell new M3s to Canadians.. is that also the case with used?

Thanks in advance for any help, it's much appreciated.
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      08-12-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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From my calls in to various US dealers, I discovered that they will sell used to Canadians, and if you look hard enough, there are lots of low mileage gems to be had.

That being said, after factoring in duty (6.1 odd %), taxes and shipping, the cost savings weren't that significant. Ultimately, I wanted a new car, and with some negotiating was able to get a reasonable discount on a new-build right here in Calgary

Make sure that you're comparing apples to apples when looking at US vs. CDN M3s. If resale is a factor, bear in mind that US vehicles will command a little less up here if you ever decide to sell.

Good luck!
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      08-12-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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Thanks Asif.. couple questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryX3 View Post
That being said, after factoring in duty (6.1 odd %), taxes and shipping, the cost savings weren't that significant. Ultimately, I wanted a new car, and with some negotiating was able to get a reasonable discount on a new-build right here in Calgary
Taxes are something I've been trying to look into and can't figure out from searching online. So essentially I'd end up paying the 6.1% duty + 13% HST + cost of shipping and any others fees like registering etc..?

From what I can tell.. '08s and '09s around the ~$65k mark in Canada are around the ~$52k mark in the US. So even if duty + fees = 8%, we're still saving $5k. Seems like a pretty good price for the hassle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryX3 View Post
Make sure that you're comparing apples to apples when looking at US vs. CDN M3s. If resale is a factor, bear in mind that US vehicles will command a little less up here if you ever decide to sell.
Why's that? And is there anything specifically that might often be different when comparing vehicles from the two countries?


Sorry if my questions are newbish.. I'm an M3 newb..
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      08-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryX3 View Post
From my calls in to various US dealers, I discovered that they will sell used to Canadians, and if you look hard enough, there are lots of low mileage gems to be had.

That being said, after factoring in duty (6.1 odd %), taxes and shipping, the cost savings weren't that significant. Ultimately, I wanted a new car, and with some negotiating was able to get a reasonable discount on a new-build right here in Calgary

Make sure that you're comparing apples to apples when looking at US vs. CDN M3s. If resale is a factor, bear in mind that US vehicles will command a little less up here if you ever decide to sell.

Good luck!
Asif
Exactly what I said on another thread.

Asif, I saw your screw-up/reject car at the Gallery. It looked nice, I thought anyways.
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      08-12-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefort View Post
Thanks Asif.. couple questions:



Taxes are something I've been trying to look into and can't figure out from searching online. So essentially I'd end up paying the 6.1% duty + 13% HST + cost of shipping and any others fees like registering etc..?

From what I can tell.. '08s and '09s around the ~$65k mark in Canada are around the ~$52k mark in the US. So even if duty + fees = 8%, we're still saving $5k. Seems like a pretty good price for the hassle.



Why's that? And is there anything specifically that might often be different when comparing vehicles from the two countries?


Sorry if my questions are newbish.. I'm an M3 newb..
You can get Canadian 08's for low 50s and 09's for high 50s and when you do the math your savings on imports is less than 5% which eventually you lose on the resale anyways if not more!

As well, dealers will not go to bat for you on those 50/50 warranty claims! They hate it with a passion when people bring their US cars in for service at their dealership and have I been told by many friends at the dealerships this is a fact.

Also, I know lots of people who took huge losses on their US imports and I too had a very hard time with my US 2005 M3 when it came time to sell. The guy who bought that car off me eventually took a 25% hit on that same car one year later when comparing to the Canadian market M3s. The dealers up here won't touch US cars which the private market knows and therefore the price drops significantly.

Bottom line is unless your savings is really huge to offset those headaches and eventual huge resale losses on a US car, it is not worth it.

If you buy private sale up here and avoid all those taxes and other costs, I'm sure you can come really close to the US price. I did this many times and now am on my 4th M3, of which that one US M3 was the only one I did not do too well with due to resale woes. You just need to be patient on finding a nice, clean local car.
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      08-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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Don't forget that BMW will charge you a VIN lookup fee associated with getting the car registered in Canada (i believe it is around $1000 but that might be with the changes made to the car such as daylight running lights).

You will also have to have an RIV inspection ($229) and an out-of-province/emissions/certification (can't remember what it is called in ON).

Factor in shipping of $1000-1500.

I don't believe you can get a CPO from the US which means that your 09 will have < 2 years remaining on the warranty if that is a big deal to you.

In the end I had the same thoughts that you are going through (although I pay only 5% GST) and it still made sense to buy in Canada, form a relationship with a dealer and pay 2.5% more.
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      08-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #7
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2011.75 E90 M3  [5.00]
One minor thing to consider when looking at US cars is that they have less options as standard vs Canada... here we get Comfort Access, Cold Weather Package, Bluetooth/BMW Assist, Alarm, iPod/USB, Sunroof (for E90) all standard. Its a small thing but it makes a bit of difference IMO.

Not to mention the previous posts!
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      08-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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Ok. This topic has come up several times on this forum in the past year and I want to set things straight. From my point of view.

I'm reading lots of hearsay and speculation from individuals who may have never imported a US car, or haven't imported the e90 chassis.

I just finished importing a "brand new" 2011 M3.

To answer OP original question:
at the border

** Most important document is the recall clearance letter or vehicle service history. RIV Canada now accepts a print out from dealer service history. Getting this piece of paper(from US) will save you $500 from Canadian dealer. There is a guy offering this service in Canada for $375.

1. USD sale price converted to CAN, using that days exchange rate.

2. 6.1 % duty on CAN price

3. 5 % GST. (I'm in NS and paid remaining 10% upon registering locally)

4. RIV fee $195 (you can choose not to pay at border, you have 30 days upon entering Canada) If you have recall letter or service history, CBSA will fax to RIV for you with $195 proof of payment.

5. Air Conditioner fee $100

*You pay the 6.1% duty on CAN value only. the 5% gst includes CAN value + 6.1% + AC fee.
*Assuming you are importing vehicle yourself and not hiring a company or shipping to your place. Otherwise, you'll have to pay RIV fee up front.

THAT'S IT, at the border!

After you have your M3 at home. You wait for RIV to send you inspection form. I received mine 24 hours after crossing the border via EMAIL. I printed it off and took it to local Canadian tire for RIV inspection, which is FREE.

once Canadian tire stamps your import form and signs off on DTRL and VIN numbers match...... you can go register your vehicle.


I saved $20 000 before tax and duties. I haven't done the calculation on after tax spread. I got the same car, paid less for it and paid less tax to our greedy NS government
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Last edited by GMW; 08-12-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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      08-12-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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Do your research, be informed and then decide what is the best for you.

I have had positive experience on the 13 cars I have imported in the last 5 years. I have sold 5, made money on 3 (drove 3-8 months and flipped) and got the very close to what I thought market was on the other two sold after 2-3 years of driving. The other 9 I still own either personally or in my Company (employee cars). I just sold a Cayenne GTS that I improted in Dec 2010. Drove it for 8 months, made $7k profit on the sale. I priced it aggresively and got what I asked for it in 4 days. I even had a Kijiji reply that wished me good luck on selling my over priced, manual trans US porsche.

I just bought a E90 2008 M3 in Oregon. This is my first BMW imported and I had stayed away as dealers are not friendly. But I wanted an M3. The car is loaded. It was hard to find the options I wanted with the colours and low miles. It is in transit and will be here Monday. Landed in Canada my costs with all fees/inspections/trucking is ~$48,500. Car was just listed and I negotiated hard for a great price, had them unenroll the CPO etc. I think I saved at least $7k.

If you think BMW dealers are bad, try Honda (we have 4) and they will not cover any warranty, period. But knock on wood, have only had $1000 in repairs on all 4 and warr just about to expire.

Last edited by 884487; 08-29-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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      08-12-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMW View Post
Ok. This topic has come up several times on this forum in the past year and I want to set things straight. From my point of view.

I'm reading lots of hearsay and speculation from individuals who may have never imported a US car, or haven't imported the e90 chassis.

I just finished importing a "brand new" 2011 M3.

To answer OP original question:
at the border

** Most important document is the recall clearance letter or vehicle service history. RIV Canada now accepts a print out from dealer service history. Getting this piece of paper(from US) will save you $500 from Canadian dealer. There is a guy offering this service in Canada for $375.

1. USD sale price converted to CAN, using that days exchange rate.

2. 6.1 % duty on CAN price

3. 5 % GST. (I'm in NS and paid remaining 10% upon registering locally)

4. RIV fee $195 (you can choose not to pay at border, you have 30 days upon entering Canada) If you have recall letter of service history, CBSA will fax to RIV for you with $195 proof of payment.

5. Air Conditioner fee $100

*You pay the 6.1% duty on CAN value only. the 5% gst includes CAN value + 6.1% + AC fee.
*Assuming you are importing vehicle yourself and not hiring a company or shipping to your place. Otherwise, you'll have to pay RIV fee up front.

THAT'S IT, at the border!

After you have your M3 at home. You wait for RIV to send you inspection form. I received mine 24 hours after crossing the border via EMAIL. I printed it off and took it to local Canadian tire for RIV inspection, which is FREE.

once Canadian tire stamps your import form and signs off on DTRL and VIN numbers match...... you can go register your vehicle.


I saved $20 000 before tax and duties. I haven't done the calculation on after tax spread. I got the same car, paid less for it and paid less tax to our greedy NS government

I just imported a 2011 ZCP M3 into Canada with 4000km, fully optioned (except for cold weather package).

Savings as compared to an similarly equipped demo model (without ZCP) at local dealer was in the order of $17K after all other costs (shipping, duty, RIV fees, inspections fees, etc).

I should mention that NO costs were incurred to bring to Canadian compliance and dealer I purchased from in US did not charge anything to supply Recall Clearance letter and Service History.

Last edited by DeltaBMW'r; 08-12-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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      08-12-2011, 12:03 PM   #11
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From what I recall there are some warranty restrictions on servicing a US car in canada. Savings on a US car could be great but come resale time your going to get pinched IMO
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      08-12-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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How the heck are a couple of you guys here claiming you saved 17-20K, almost 20% or more?? Sorry but I'm not buying it since that is more or at least equal to the price difference on brand new E9X M3s between US and Canada, and that's before all duties, taxes, costs, and headaches are even factored in.

If you buy locally and privately(at least in Alberta), there alone you save 11% on those taxes which wipes out at least 50% of any savings from importing a US car and especially after all others costs like shipping, possible cluster change, and inevitible future resale loss are added in you are not ahead. Anyone who thinks otherwise about the E9X is delusional. (BTW, we're talking BMWs here, not Porsche or other cars....every car's market is unique)

I'm not claiming there is no savings but 20% or more on the E9X M3 after all true costs, resale loss, and taxes are accounted for??? BS!
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      08-12-2011, 12:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3cragg View Post
From what I recall there are some warranty restrictions on servicing a US car in canada. Savings on a US car could be great but come resale time your going to get pinched IMO
Wrong.
the Original 4 year factory warranty is not affected.

Free Maintenance does not transfer over. Ie, oil change, cabin air filter, and other fluids.

If you're saving 17-20 thousand dollars this is a no brainer!

For re-sale, I've made profit on each car I have imported to date.

Some see the process as scary and risky. If one does their homework and finds a good deal I highly recommend shopping south of the border.
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      08-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3cragg View Post
From what I recall there are some warranty restrictions on servicing a US car in canada. Savings on a US car could be great but come resale time your going to get pinched IMO
I've been through this already once before with a US purchased 350Z. Saved almost $10K at time of import and sold after 3 years for $3K less than it cost me. I doubt that someone who paid full CDN price for a Z can claim that. In fact, the influx of US cars (even by Nissan dealers themselves) drove the price of used Z's down.

Aside from the BMW beginning its journey in the US, what's the real difference? ... they're still both made in Germany and NO mods had to be made to car to bring into compliance.

The only possible argument is warranty... or fear of a lack of one... which from my past experience, was not a concern as Nissan Canada approved all work on my Z as warranty. So far my research has shown that BMW dealers in Canada have NOT been refusing warranty claims.. in fact my local dealer stated that the next time I'm in they will enter my VIN into their system for future warranty service.

The only thing I have read is that yearly free check-ups & oil changes aren't covered and free courtesy cars aren't provided... but for $17K I should be able to cover that.

I will agree that the older the car is that you import the less it makes sense from a savings point of view, but for a 2010/11 model with low Kms, it is worth it in my opinion and personal experience.
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      08-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta335i View Post
I just imported a 2011 ZCP M3 into Canada with 4000km, fully optioned (except for cold weather package).

Savings as compared to an similarly equipped demo model (without ZCP) at local dealer was in the order of $17K after all other costs (shipping, duty, RIV fees, inspections fees, etc).

I should mention that NO costs were incurred to bring to Canadian compliance and dealer I purchased from in US did not charge anything to supply Recall Clearance letter and Service History.
You're probably comparing to a Canadian car at dealer list which is not the same thing. Also, have you even compared to private sale and save on the taxes? We can twist numbers any way to make ourselves feel better about our purchases. It's human nature.
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      08-12-2011, 12:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailHappyM3 View Post
How the heck are a couple of you guys here claiming you saved 17-20K, almost 20% or more?? Sorry but I'm not buying it since that is more or at least equal to the price difference on brand new E9X M3s between US and Canada, and that's before all duties, taxes, costs, and headaches are even factored in.

If you buy locally and privately(at least in Alberta), there alone you save 11% on those taxes which wipes out at least 50% of any savings from importing a US car and especially after all others costs like shipping, possible cluster change, and inevitible future resale loss are added in you are not ahead. Anyone who thinks otherwise about the E9X is delusional. (BTW, we're talking BMWs here, not Porsche or other cars....every car's market is unique)

I'm not claiming there is no savings but 20% or more on the E9X M3 after all true costs, resale loss, and taxes are accounted for??? BS!
I'm not claiming anything. I went and did it 4 times now.
You should go try it and then comment, not before.


I'd be more then happy to share my personal costs. Unfortunately not going to share exact numbers on a forum. If you're ever in Halifax, I'll show you.

I don't need to justify this but I'll share one example.
the ZCP package costs $2500 US on US cars
same option in canada
7MA costs over $5000
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Last edited by GMW; 08-15-2011 at 01:40 PM.
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      08-12-2011, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailHappyM3 View Post
You're probably comparing to a Canadian car at dealer list which is not the same thing. Also, have you even compared to private sale and save on the taxes? We can twist numbers any way to make ourselves feel better about our purchases. It's human nature.
He clearly explained it the first time.
He's not comparing with a private sale on a 2011 M3 ZCP because they don't EXIST.

He's comparing similarly equipped cars in two different locations. I bet both locations are dealers.

Secondly, I didn't by a car for resale value. This shouldn't even be factored into this topic. Where was this mentioned in the OP post? Nowhere. OP asked the forum a question, I happened to answer with a lengthy reply and now you're here arguing.

And, I've never had a headache from buying a car.
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      08-12-2011, 12:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta335i View Post
I've been through this already once before with a US purchased 350Z. Saved almost $10K at time of import and sold after 3 years for $3K less than it cost me. I doubt that someone who paid full CDN price for a Z can claim that.

What's that got to do with a BMW M3 which is a totally different market controlled by greedy Canadian dealers? I and others have gone through this resale process with the BMW dealers here and it's not pretty.

Aside from the BMW beginning its journey in the US, what's the real difference? ... they're still both made in Germany and NO mods had to be made to car to bring into compliance.

The problem is that Canadian BMW dealers are trying to control and manipulate this market. The scumb bag dealers up here essentially blacklist your US M3 or offer you 25% less when compared to same Canadian car. They are essentially manipulating the market for US cars because the public also will follow the market value and are aware of this problem of how BMW dealers up here deal with imported US BMWs.

The only possible argument is warranty... or fear of a lack of one... which from my past experience, was not a concern as Nissan Canada approved all work on my Z as warranty. So far my research has shown that BMW dealers in Canada have NOT been refusing warranty claims.. in fact my local dealer stated that the next time I'm in they will enter my VIN into their system for future warranty service.

Again, BMW dealers up here are not Nissan!

The only thing I have read is that yearly free check-ups & oil changea aren't covered and free courtesy cars aren't provided... but for $17K I should be able to cover that.

I seriously doubt that number. It's not apples to apples.

I will agree that the older the car is that you import the less it makes sense from a saving point of view, but for a 2010/11 model with low Kms it is worth it in my opinion and personal experience.
Everyone really needs to do thier own homework on this and if you add all the true costs you may be surprised. The E9X M3 price gap of US and Canada cars are much closer than it was with the E46 M3. Yes, our dollar is stronger too but anyone claiming more than 5-10% savings is questionable and totally ignoring that eventual resale hit.

End of this debate for me. Sorry to offend anyone (not my intention) but this had to be said.
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      08-12-2011, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailHappyM3 View Post
You're probably comparing to a Canadian car at dealer list which is not the same thing. Also, have you even compared to private sale and save on the taxes? We can twist numbers any way to make ourselves feel better about our purchases. It's human nature.
NO... I'm NOT comparing dealer list!!
The dealer had a demo unit with 9000km on it "On Sale" for $80,800 (regular price was $88K). THAT is the number I'm comparing to... and it didn't even have the ZCP option.

Facts are facts... no twisting of numbers is required. Just assumptions clouding over the facts I presented.

And here in BC we don't get much of a tax break from the goverment if we buy privately... we still have to pay 7%. But my comparison is based on the fact that I bought from a dealer in the US... and compared to dealer in Canada. I found used 2011's in US for even less than I paid at US dealer so that argument bears little weight.

I'd be happy to provide a complete breakdown of costs for import and you can do your own comparison based on facts.
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      08-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMW View Post
He clearly explained it the first time.
He's not comparing with a private sale on a 2011 M3 ZCP because they don't EXIST.

He's comparing similarly equipped cars in two different locations. I bet both locations are dealers.

Secondly, I didn't by a car for resale value. This shouldn't even be factored into this topic. Where was this mentioned in the OP post? Nowhere. OP asked the forum a question, I happened to answer with a lengthy reply and now you're here arguing.

And, I've never had a headache from buying a car.
Really? I'd bet most peolple asking these questions about importing do care though. Afterall, why would they go through the trouble of importing a car to save money?

Yes, I have imported before (saved 8K on a 2 year old 2005 M3 back in 2007) but gave all that back and more on resale. So did the subsequent buyer who tried to trade it in at a dealer. He too lost money on the same car and it was a super clean, low mileage car! Importing was all the rage then though and the dealers were getting pissed off. Not sure much has changed with this dealer attitude.

G'luck everyone and enjoy your cars.
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      08-12-2011, 01:12 PM   #21
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Hey guys.. first off, thanks for the overwelming number of responses and genuine advice.. I appreciate it.

I want to reiterate that I'm a huge car (and M3) newbie and am doing my best to figure out what makes sense for me given my limited sources for information. Very happy I stumbled upon this forum because you guys clearly know what you're talking about.

Here are some of my extremely newbish questions:


(1) What exactly is the difference between a "Canadian" M3 and an "American" M3? I was under the impression that they were all built in the States, and once one crosses the border and gets registered properly, it becomes a "Canadian" M3.


(2)
Quote:
You can get Canadian 08's for low 50s and 09's for high 50s and when you do the math your savings on imports is less than 5% which eventually you lose on the resale anyways if not more!
I can't seem to find '09s in the high 50's.. with ~30,000km they appear to be more in the mid-high 60's range on autotrader.ca..


(3) In Toronto, how much do we save tax-wise buying private vs. buying from a dealer (in Canada)? The only dealership I've been to was "Venus Fine Cars" in North York because they seemed to have the largest online inventory so I went and checked them out. The car I test-drove and really like colorwise/etc is this one: http://www.autotrader.ca/a/BMW/M/NOR...1128102832006/

I managed to get it down to $76k after tax with a winter set thrown in.. but after seeing some numbers tossed around in these forums I'm staring to feel like that would be a terrible decision.


(4) GMW: So after the 6.1% duty, I assume that I'll also have to pay the standard HST of Ontario (13%), as well as the fees. Was a little confused by the way you split it up saying that you paid 5% GST, then the "remaining" 10% later.. I understand taxes in NS are different but just wanted to confirm you paid a total of 6.1% + 5% + 10% in total taxes.


(5) As for dealing with a seller in the States.. are dealerships allowed to sell to you without charging State taxes and its just that easy? Also.. how terrible of an idea is it to not fly down and test-drive the car etc. and simply assume it drives the same as one tested here and have it shipped up?


Thanks again guys.. and again, sorry for the severe beginnerisms..
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      08-12-2011, 01:15 PM   #22
CalgaryX3
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Drives: 2007 E90 335i / 2011 E90 M3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailHappyM3 View Post
Exactly what I said on another thread.

Asif, I saw your screw-up/reject car at the Gallery. It looked nice, I thought anyways.
Hey thanks! And incidentally, I agree with your posts regarding the negligible savings. I have imported two vehicles since 2007 and while the cost savings at the outset were attractive, you take a bath on the resale, since prospective buyers are savvy enough to want the savings attained by importing to be passed onto them.

I'm a little leary too about 20% cost savings especially when you factor in the lower standard spec on US destined M3s......but each to their own I suppose.

Good luck to the OP-whatever route you choose.

Asif
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2005 E83 3.0I Mocha on Black (Gone and forgotten)
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