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summit425 01-22-2008 01:34 AM

Buying a car from eBay/United States
 
I know USA cars are cheap compare to cars in Canada.

do you think it is worth it??

How much do you think I can save avg. (let's say $30000 CAD car)

I am thinking of buying an e46 from states and since I never bought such a big thing just want to know how does it process.

Will they help me to do the paper work when my car is crossing the boarder??

Gamite 01-22-2008 01:46 AM

contact the dealer, you don't have to go through ebay. You can go down and see the car for yourself if you're not sure about it.

To cross the border you need to have a admissible letter from BMW ($350) and you have to have the ownership faxed to the border 3 days ahead of time.

alpine323 01-22-2008 08:51 AM

Got this from a post on Bf.c


How to Import a Vehicle into Canada



For all those interested in bringing your dream car into the Great White North, this is for you. I'm still in the process, but I'm nearing the final steps, so I thought I'd share what I learned here with everyone else. What follows is a walkthrough on all the steps you need to take to get your baby back home.


Numbers You'll Need:

Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
Phone: 1-888-848-8240
Fax: 416-626-0366
info@riv.ca
Mon-Fri 7:00am - 12:00am EST
Sat-Sun 7:00am - 5:00pm EST
http://www.riv.ca

Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA)
Phone: 1-800-461-9999
Outside Canada: (506) 636-5064
cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Transport Canada
Phone: 1-800-333-0371
Outside Canada: (613) 998-8616/2524
Fax: (613) 998-4831
tc.gc.ca

Lynden Border Crossing (The one I chose to go through, Choose the one closest to you)
Phone: (360) 354-2183
Fax: (360) 354-2706

BMW Canada
Phone: 1-800-567-2691
Fax: 905-428-5410
8:30am - 8:00pm EST

Assuming you've found the car you like, have gotten someone in the area to check it out, and, if you're super organized, gotten a local mechanic to inspect it, you're ready to begin the import process. This actually took a lot longer than I expected, and it's full of red-tape and fees.

What to Do Before You Do Anything:

Make sure the car is legally allowed into Canada. Several cars, for various reasons, are banned flat out. Don't make the mistake of buying a car not able to cross the border. There's a list of acceptable vehicles here:
http://www.riv.ca/english/US_vehicle_admissibility.pdf

The 15 Year Rule:

If the car is more than 15 years old, determined from the month and year of the build date (found on a sticker on the d. side door paneling), it is exempt from all RIV regulations. 6 months more on my car and I wouldn't have to deal with any of this, but it's important to note, because it makes importing older cars a lot easier. (See post later in thread for more details)

For the sake of convenience, let's assume you love the car, everything checks out, and you’re ready to buy it. I took the path of flying down, then driving it back up, so I'll go from there.

Documents Needed:

You'll need your seller to provide you with the following documents to keep on hand:

1. The Vehicle Title (You can do with just a faxed copy before the actual transfer of title takes place)

2. A Bill of purchase. Just a piece of paper stating “I, Seller, am selling this Vehicle to X for $XXX on the date of X. The VIN # is XXX”. Have both parties sign the bottom with printed names underneath. *In my case, this was fine to go through the border with, but when I went to ICBC recently, they required that I fill out their own Bill of Sale to be signed by myself and the seller. Check with your local insurance agency regarding what they will accept.

3. A copy of the registration. More on this later.

Once you have these documents, you'll need to fax them to whatever border crossing you're passing through a full 72 hours in advance. The clock starts the next morning after you fax them, and they don't count Saturdays and Sundays. So assuming you send them in Monday, the clock starts Tuesday and the earliest you can pass through that crossing is Friday. Also note that At some locations, NO IMPORTING IS ALLOWED ON THE WEEKENDS! This almost ruined my trip, so keep that in mind.

After you fax the documents in, get your plane ticket/transportation/travel papers in order. If you're planning on going on a one way flight, or driving down, make sure you're holding on to that list of documents, as they'll want proof when they question you. If you're shipping it through an auto transporter, now is the time to book it.

An aside on Auto Transporters:
Many of the companies I called wouldn't actually cross the border themselves, so you may end up having it shipped to the edge of the country, and having to go down and do the final crossing yourself. Also, you may find it's more cost-efficient if you do the driving. I went from SoCal to Washington, and I received quotes averaging about $1200 USD. My plane ticket was $300 last minute, and gas was only about $100. It was a 3 day trip, so accommodations didn't add up to much either. You also get the thrill of learning about your car over a cross-country trip. If however you find yourself unable to import, this is a good alternative. I believe InterCity Transport (or something like that) is a board sponsor and was previously willing to offer bfc members deals on shipping depending on where you live. Shop around, but know that the cheapest isn't always the best. Get their guarantee on when your car will arrive in writing, and MAKE SURE THEY HAVE FULL INSURANCE! Just type in "Auto Transport Nightmare" into google and see what you get. Don't let this happen to you.

Insurance:
If you chose to drive it back up yourself, you're going to need insurance. Go into your local insurance broker and ask for a "Binder of Insurance". This covers you so long as you go from your origin to your destination via the most direct route. There's some wiggle room, but once you get closer to home you can't blast around the canyons the rest of the day. You'll need to provide the VIN and plate # of the car when you're getting insured. This BoI isn't enough on it's own though. It's only valid if it's riding on a registered vehicle with plates. So if the seller has registration on the car, you'll be driving on his or her plates and registration until you reach your destination. When you meet with the seller, you'll need to get him to sign a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form at the DMV. This means that if you crash, it's not going on the seller's insurance.

If the car has no registration or plates, you'll need to go to the nearest DMV and get some. Registration is easy - it comes in the form of a One Trip Permit which lets you leave the country without having to go through emissions testing or any of the other hoops, and it's much cheaper than full registration. You can apply for temporary plates in the same way. Seeing as this is the DMV, be prepared for a long wait. It's best to set half a day to this.

All the insurance agencies I talked to covered their asses saying I had to call all the DoTs for states I was traveling through to make sure the insurance was valid. After a million infuriating automated messaging systems and left messages, the short answer is yes, it's valid.

So you've got the car, faxed the border documents, gotten your insurance, and now you're ready to cross the border.

At the US Border:

Step into the office and produce the original title, bill of sale, and registration. They'll inspect the car and check the VIN, then stamp your registration, and you're off to home turf.

At the Canadian Border:

Produce the same documents again, along with your Driver's license, and they'll hand you Form 1. This is really important, so don't lose it. They'll charge you $195 for giving you this form, 7% of the car's value for GST, and 6% for duty. You'll pay provincial sales tax when you get insurance (6% in BC). To give you an idea of perspective, I paid $6600 USD for my car, and at the border, paid $972. All these funds are non-refundable. Once you cross the border, you now have 45 days to get it inspected and registered, otherwise it's sent back to whence it came. And you're out all those border fees. So don't do this. It's unlikely though, because they give you an automatic 10 day extension, and if you call a week or two before deadline, you can get more time. So if you haven't gotten it inspected in 2 months, get off your ass you lazy bastard.

alpine323 01-22-2008 08:52 AM

Once You've Gotten It Back Home:

You'll need to get a "Recall Clearance Letter" first from BMW Canada. This is letter basically saying the car you have is free from all outstanding recalls in Canada. It MUST have the following: Manufacturer's Logo, official letterhead, the signature of the official with his name and position, and the VIN #. Every other car company does this for free, but, seeing as it's a bimmer, BMW now charges $500 for it. Nothing you can do about it either

Now you have to bring in into a Canadian Tire to get it officially inspected. There are two inspections you need to go through - An Out of Province inspection (OOP), and a Federal Out-Of-Country Inspection. You get the form for the OOPI at your local insurance brokers, or if in doubt, your provincial insurance agency should have it. Both deal with the general safety of your car; The OOCI checks to make sure the car is road-legal throughout Canada, and the OOPI checks your vehicle against provincial regulations. You can tow your car to the shop, but you can also get special 1 - 3 day temporary operating permits designed especially for this case. They average around $30 - $80 a day depending on the level of coverage and the value of your car. I wouldn't trust Canadian Tire to empty my ashtray, but unfortunately they've got the government contract. There's also a few local shops that should be licensed to do it, call the RIV to find one in your area. Some, not all, of the thing's they'll look for:

Metric Speedometer, DOT approved Windshield, Windows, Light bulbs (Take out those Angel Eyes!), child safety restraint harnesses, working seat belts, Catalytic converter present, high mounted stop light, neutral switch, hood struts, acceptable window tint (35% in BC), and daytime running lights. They'll make sure the car is in good working order and nothing could be danger on the road. If you have any motor swaps or large conversions like I did, they will need a receipt for the work done. Anything they categorize as a "Major Modification" needs to be accompanied by a receipt showing the shop who did the job and the parts that were installed. So if you're looking at buying an S52 swapped car, make sure you get the paperwork too!

**As far as the daytime running lights go, you can buy a relay kit at BMW for $307, but Canadian Tire sells one for $27 that does the same thing. In this case the extra money for OEM parts isn't justified. All the DRL do is turn on the headlights when you switch the ignition.**

If you pass the inspection, they'll stamp your Form 1 and in about a week a new "Canadian Certified" sticker will be mailed to you to stick on your car.

The Last Step:

You've jumped through all the hoops, now comes the final stretch. Bring all your papers to your provincial insurance broker to get your new registration, plates, and insurance. You'll also be paying your provincial sales tax now. Shove the important documents in your sagging glovebox, keep the rest in a file back home, and you're good to go.

Vroom Vroom:

Put your key in the ignition, your sunglasses on, and roar away. Congrats!

Costs:
As far as cost goes, here's a breakdown:

Car - $6600 USD, so let's say $7000 CDN
Plane Ticket - $300
Binder of Insurance - $60
Gas for the trip back - $100
Cheap Hotel - $45
Border Fee - $195
Duty and GST - $1000
PST - $420
Cdn Tire Inspection - $80
BMW Recall Letter - $500

Gamite 01-22-2008 10:22 AM

Found a good website when looking for auto transporters

http://www.transportreviews.com/

summit425 01-22-2008 10:33 AM

alright.

thanks for the great info guys!

really appriciate it :)

summit425 01-22-2008 10:43 AM

BTW will BMW Canada honour the warranty from the states?

Gamite 01-22-2008 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summit425 (Post 1101459)
BTW will BMW Canada honour the warranty from the states?

call bmw canada, lets us know too

VSanj 01-22-2008 08:48 PM

"BIG UP'S" to Alpine for a VERY informative detialed post!!!!!!!!!! I sure everyone on these appreciates it very much!!

Gamite 01-23-2008 04:15 PM

Some More helpful links

http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/expor...or_vehicle.xml
All the information you need to export your vehicle at the US border.

http://www.riv.ca/english/html/how_to_import.html
Guide to importing a vehicle from the United States

Ado 01-24-2008 02:22 AM

Do I need this letter from BMW even if the car is over 15 year old??

Arash 02-20-2008 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ado (Post 1102365)
Do I need this letter from BMW even if the car is over 15 year old??

+1. Also does it need safety and e-test if the car is +15 years old? (1992)

woosh 09-29-2008 05:59 PM

how about supporting your own economy and buying cars in the country you pay your taxes?

Wannabe 10-02-2008 09:36 PM

http://www.importcartocanada.info/to...overage-check/

use that and it will tell you all Manufacturers warranty issues with crossing border

propr'one 01-01-2009 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ado (Post 1102365)
Do I need this letter from BMW even if the car is over 15 year old??

No. As soon as you leave the canada customs office, you can take your completed form 1 to the ministry of transport and get a title.

You do need safety + etest.

Dr. Flyview 01-24-2009 07:57 PM

Hey guys,

I just finished reading the 12 page thread on bf.c about importing cars into Canada (parts of it were posted above)

If you read up to around page 10 or so you will see BMW Canada has finally relaxed it's money-grab anality.

You no longer require the BMW letter of admissability when crossing the border

You no longer require the letter of recall from BMW Canada. You can get it from a US dealer for free.


Of course, if you call BMW Canada, they will still say the recall letter is required from them for $500+tax (they may even say you need the admissability letter).

You will still have to make the modifications at BMW or maybe CDN tire I'm not sure about this and pass the 2 inspections, etc.

topaz330ci 01-29-2009 10:44 AM

I imported my car from the states, man what a hassel, but it was worth it i guess. I was stuck in North Carolina for a week though cause our stupid TD banks didnt know how to make a simple wire transfer!

Anyways, i got a nice clean car with back up sensors which i never seen on a 330ci before... and it was a good experience, the drive home in a new car (16hrs) till the Alexandria bay crossing was really funnt, Virginia and Pennsylvania has amazing mountains!

I wouldnt reccommend doing this now since our dollar is worth nothing anymore, i did it when it was dead even...

Magical24 02-13-2009 01:50 PM

if you decide to use Ebay, dont use MoneyGhram or Western Union and i you start recieving email with invoices on them and they look professional forward them to Spoof@ebay.com and it will tell you if the mail is a legitimate ebay document

I also was looking to buy my car in the states but then i almost got scamed by like 2 americans so i was like **** it and i found my car in Canada and it was a better car, better price and i didnt have to go threw all the import bs so the point of the story is you should look around in canada fist cuz its better for our economy and you might find a better, hassle free deal

Davis 02-16-2009 09:11 PM

I looked into importing an E36 US vehicle in some detail when the US dollar was near par with ours. It barely made financial sense then. Being that the US dollar is now around $.82 cent cdn it seems quite impractical, unless you are getting a huge deal. (really??)
A buddy of mine ended up saving some money on a 06 Acura, but it was a big pain in the ass.
I would keep my eyes open for something in Canada IMO

meanm3 06-02-2009 09:28 AM

My close friend just imported a VW R32 from the states and it was a complete pain in the ass but he said it was well worth it.

For the time lost and the pain of dealing with customs he saved around $10k so he's a happy guy.

Just a warning, usually it's a royal pain in the ass to import vehicles across the border. I'd hire a broker if you don't feel like screwing around with U.S. Customs.

topaz330ci 06-02-2009 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meanm3 (Post 1309523)
My close friend just imported a VW R32 from the states and it was a complete pain in the ass but he said it was well worth it.

For the time lost and the pain of dealing with customs he saved around $10k so he's a happy guy.

Just a warning, usually it's a royal pain in the ass to import vehicles across the border. I'd hire a broker if you don't feel like screwing around with U.S. Customs.

It was pretty easy actually! just a few steps and thats it!

rmanaudio 07-29-2009 08:23 AM

Anyone know how it works if the person you are buying it from, drives it accross the border and parks it in your drive way??? Would it be easier?

topaz330ci 07-29-2009 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmanaudio (Post 1330008)
Anyone know how it works if the person you are buying it from, drives it accross the border and parks it in your drive way??? Would it be easier?

Hahhahaha

rmanaudio 07-29-2009 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by topaz330ci (Post 1330030)
Hahhahaha


Im serious dude! I found a guy selling a M3 in New York and he might be willing to go to the dealership in NY and turn day time runners on and drive it accross the border, park it in my driveway, take his plates off and take a flight back home.

What would I have to do then?

propr'one 07-29-2009 07:16 PM

^^take it to RIV. Still gotta jump the same hoops. The only way that really helps is if the car is 15+ years old.

lvan 07-29-2009 07:33 PM

I would not say that is rare for the driveway thing. Lets say you have the family from the states that brought the car to your door. You need to know where to go... Just because someone got stuck 1 week in US and had to goof around, it does not mean everyone will.... My 0.02c...

topaz330ci 07-30-2009 10:34 AM

You would have to still do everything and pay the same fee's and tax's!

The only thing different is that it would save you money since it's already at you're house!

Same paperwork involved and you would still have to get a trip permit or temp plate to drive it to the border because they inspect vins. Best bet, you make arrangements at the Duty Free and talk to the owner and tell you're connect to just drop the car off there. The Duty Free guys do that, i did that with them..

Then work it from there... follow the steps if import.

mamou01 08-04-2009 02:15 AM

Hi,

I was also looking to buy through ebay a couple of days ago. Forget it, there is so many obstacles and fees that you better buy in Canada,Actually, the prices on ebay are not that sensational. Calculate the exchange rate + 6% import tax because the car is from Germany + 200.00 for RVI (registration vehicle import) + GSt + PST and the worst of it, RVI is asking for a manufacturer letter saying that there is no recall and BMW charges $500,00 for that letter!!!:mad: + odometer change (Miles to KM) + Day Running lights Etc...
As I said buy from Canada.. BMW are very cheap charging $500.00 for a letter.. Shame on them . I still like their cars but not their actions.

89 redrocket 09-30-2009 07:00 PM

Just finishing importing my 3rd BMW; its not too difficult but you have to follow procedure - read RIV.ca completely. Note a BMW Canada recall letter for $500 is no longer necessary [read RIV - get it free from a USA BMW dealer]. Have a CDN dealer check the VIN to see what mods are req'd; E90's could require more than $2000. I was told the speedo cluster needs changing-no idea why. Get insurance so you can get temp tags. US Customs require the original title for 72 hours and they export only 8am-4pm Mon-Fri. Cdn Customs next for Form 1, pay GST, Duty, RIV fee. BMW Cda must do mods, for E46 just turning on DRL's. CTC does inspection-very simple and quick (for E46) then emissions test, safety then go to provincial licence bureau with 1. original Title, 2. Bill of Sale, 3. Form 1 stamped by CTC 4. Emissions test and 5. safety.

topaz330ci 10-01-2009 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 89 redrocket (Post 1350707)
Just finishing importing my 3rd BMW; its not too difficult but you have to follow procedure - read RIV.ca completely. Note a BMW Canada recall letter for $500 is no longer necessary [read RIV - get it free from a USA BMW dealer]. Have a CDN dealer check the VIN to see what mods are req'd; E90's could require more than $2000. I was told the speedo cluster needs changing-no idea why. Get insurance so you can get temp tags. US Customs require the original title for 72 hours and they export only 8am-4pm Mon-Fri. Cdn Customs next for Form 1, pay GST, Duty, RIV fee. BMW Cda must do mods, for E46 just turning on DRL's. CTC does inspection-very simple and quick (for E46) then emissions test, safety then go to provincial licence bureau with 1. original Title, 2. Bill of Sale, 3. Form 1 stamped by CTC 4. Emissions test and 5. safety.


That's pretty much it! but you don't have to change the cluster, BMW just programs the digital part into KM instead of miles, and temp also...

I love the fact they don't charge you for those stupid letters, i paid almost 1000$ for those letters last year!

89 redrocket 10-01-2009 05:14 PM

Just to clarify......
 
BMW dealer told me that E90's would require cluster changed - I have no idea why. E46's are OK

JPTN 10-23-2009 04:27 PM

Lawsuit
 
There are currently class action lawsuits against BMW & Mercedes regarding all these unnecessary fees.

Check them out:
- http://www.ucanimport.com/lawsuit.aspx
- http://autolawsuit.blogspot.com

TNation 10-31-2009 04:33 PM

Cluster changes are NO longer necessary when importing vehicles over the year of 2004 from the United States. Great news if you import BMW's from the US

pdauphinee 01-23-2010 04:06 PM

if the car is over 15 years old you do NOT have to deal with riv, the car still has to pass a safety and I am not sure if it is 15 or 20 years , then no emission either. Get your recall letter from the states before bringing the car to canada, riv is also accepting a vehicle history warranty report, I just imported my z3 and got the vehicle warranty report from the dealer I bought the car from for free, so there is a way to beat bmw canada.

propr'one 01-23-2010 04:38 PM

^^that is not true. I've already explained this many times, but you do still have to complete RIV form 1.

lvan 01-23-2010 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by propr'one (Post 1259705)
No. As soon as you leave the canada customs office, you can take your completed form 1 to the ministry of transport and get a title.

You do need safety + etest.


Do we still need this letter for newer cars at all? The hype is kinda town to be slow economy.

pdauphinee 01-24-2010 08:44 AM

register us veicle
 
Any vehicle which is less than 15 years old will need a recall letter or the warranty history report and you will have to pay the riv fee.

nickdaytona 01-27-2010 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pdauphinee (Post 1384255)
if the car is over 15 years old you do NOT have to deal with riv, the car still has to pass a safety and I am not sure if it is 15 or 20 years , then no emission either. Get your recall letter from the states before bringing the car to canada, riv is also accepting a vehicle history warranty report, I just imported my z3 and got the vehicle warranty report from the dealer I bought the car from for free, so there is a way to beat bmw canada.

All used vehicles produced from 1988 onwards will require emmisions testing, the 20 years rule has long been scrapped.

pdauphinee 01-27-2010 11:44 AM

I stand corrected, I did not know the policy was changed in 2006 to include all vehicles from 1988 and newer. I picked up an 86e so that is why it did not come to my attention, thanks for the correction.

Firewired 01-28-2010 07:37 PM

So I went down and bought myself a BMW. Dealer over there printed me a letter stating that there is no open recall, but the RIV wont accept it.

Other dealers that I've called in the states can't help me. And my local dealer in Ottawa is asking me like 700$ to do it.

What can I do? Anybody with some leads ? PM's work you know ! *wiggle*


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