Ultimate Guide – How to Import a Car from the USA to Canada Hassle-free!

how to import a car from usa to canada

Welcome to our ultimate guide on how to import a car from the USA to Canada hassle-free! If you’ve been dreaming of owning a sleek American muscle car or a stylish imported vehicle, we’ve got all the information you need to make it happen. Importing a car may seem like a daunting task, but with our step-by-step instructions and expert tips, you’ll be cruising down Canadian roads in no time. So buckle up and let’s dive into the exciting world of importing cars from the land of stars and stripes!

Research the Vehicle You Want to Import

When it comes to importing a car from the USA to Canada, the first step is to research the vehicle you want to bring across the border. Take some time to explore different makes and models that catch your eye and align with your preferences. Whether you’re looking for a fuel-efficient sedan or a powerful SUV, there are plenty of options available in the US market.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, dig deeper into each specific vehicle’s specifications and features. This will help ensure that it meets Canadian safety standards and emissions regulations. Keep in mind that some modifications might be necessary before bringing certain vehicles into Canada.

Another important aspect of researching is understanding how much similar cars are selling for in both countries. This will give you an idea of whether importing a car is cost-effective or if purchasing locally would be a better option.

Additionally, thoroughly inspecting photos and reading detailed descriptions of the vehicles can provide valuable insights into their condition. If possible, consider hiring a reputable third-party inspector who can physically assess the vehicle on-site before making any commitments.

Don’t forget about maintenance costs and the availability of spare parts once the car is imported. It’s essential to ensure that servicing and repairs won’t become an inconvenience or financial burden down the road.

By conducting thorough research on various aspects such as model suitability, pricing comparisons, inspection requirements, and future maintenance considerations, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision when selecting which vehicle to import from the USA. So roll up your sleeves – it’s time to dive deep into all things automotive!

Make Sure the Vehicle Is Legal to Import

Before you begin the process of importing a car from the USA to Canada, it is crucial to ensure that the vehicle is legal to import. This step is necessary to avoid any potential issues or complications down the line.

You need to verify if the model and make of the car comply with Canadian safety standards and regulations. Transport Canada provides a list of vehicles that are admissible for importation into Canada, known as their List of Vehicles Admissible from the United States. Make sure your desired vehicle is on this list before moving forward.

Additionally, consider checking if there are any restrictions or limitations on certain types of vehicles. For example, some exotic cars may require special permits or documentation for importation.

Another important aspect to consider is checking if there are any outstanding recalls or safety campaigns associated with your chosen vehicle. You can do this by obtaining a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) report through platforms like Carfax.

Familiarize yourself with any fees, taxes, duties, and customs requirements that apply when bringing a car into Canada. Contacting Canadian Customs will provide you with accurate information regarding these financial aspects.

Choosing Your Method of Transporting the Vehicle

Now that you have done your research and made sure the vehicle is legal to import, it’s time to decide on the method of transportation for your car from the USA to Canada. There are a few options available, each with its own pros and cons.

One common method is using a professional auto transport company. These companies specialize in transporting vehicles across borders and can handle all the necessary paperwork and logistics involved. They will pick up your car from its location in the USA and deliver it safely to your desired destination in Canada. This option offers convenience and peace of mind, knowing that professionals are taking care of everything for you.

Another option is driving the car yourself. If you enjoy road trips or want to save some money, this can be a viable choice. However, keep in mind that there may be additional costs such as fuel, accommodations, tolls, and potential wear and tear on your vehicle during an extended journey.

If you live near the border or have access to a trusted contact in both countries, you might consider hiring an independent driver who specializes in cross-border transportation. This person will drive your car across the border on your behalf while ensuring compliance with all regulations.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to prepare all required documents, such as proof of ownership (title), a bill of sale or commercial invoice if applicable (to determine value for customs purposes), registration papers showing any outstanding loans or liens against the vehicle (if applicable), and valid identification (passport or other government-issued ID) for both yourself and anyone else listed on the title registration papers when crossing into Canada.

Remember that importing a car from USA to Canada involves various fees including duties/taxes at Canadian Customs upon entry into Canada; GST/HST depending on province residence); Registrar of Imported Vehicles fee; inspection fees; provincial licensing fees; air conditioning excise tax (for certain vehicles). It’s essential to factor in these costs when planning your budget.


– Affordable cost of importing a car from the US to Canada
– Wider range of car options available
– Easier to get a car that meets safety and emission standards
– Can save on taxes and duties
– Easier to get access to parts and services


– Time consuming process
– Additional paperwork and regulations to comply with
– Potential for customs delays
– Risk of incurring additional costs such as shipping and handling
– Potential for car to arrive in damaged condition


1. What documents do I need to import a car from the USA to Canada?

Answer: You need a valid Canadian passport, valid driver’s license, title and registration for the vehicle, proof of insurance, and an export certificate from the US.

2. Are there any extra fees associated with importing a car from the USA to Canada?

Answer: Yes, you will need to pay duty, federal taxes, provincial sales tax, and GST (Goods and Services Tax) upon entry into Canada.

3. Is it possible to import a used car from the USA to Canada?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to import a used car from the USA to Canada, as long as the vehicle meets all safety and emissions standards in Canada.

4. How long does it take to import a car from the USA to Canada?

Answer: Generally, the process takes between 4-8 weeks.

5. Is it possible to drive my car from the USA to Canada?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to drive your car from the USA to Canada, however, you must obtain the proper documentation and permission from both countries. Additionally, you may be subject to customs inspections.


1. Determine the eligibility of the vehicle for importation into Canada by consulting the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) website.
2. Make sure the vehicle meets all safety and emissions standards set by Transport Canada.
3. Ensure that the vehicle is legally registered and insured in the USA.
4. Obtain a bill of sale or registration document from the vehicle owner.
5. Have the vehicle inspected by Transport Canada to verify that it meets Canadian safety and emissions standards.
6. Pay the applicable duties and taxes on the vehicle.
7. Obtain an Import/Export Declaration form from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
8. Obtain a Vehicle Importation Form (Form 1) from the RIV.
9. Submit the necessary documents and forms to the CBSA and obtain a Release of Goods form.
10. Have the vehicle registered in Canada and obtain a Canadian licence plate.