Importing your car from U.S. to Canada

🚗 📄 💸 Taxes, Custom duties, paperwork

(Image credits)

Should you import your car from U.S. to Canada?

  1. If your car is special or has sentimental value, you should definitely consider

  2. Otherwise the financial decision largely comes down to:

    • Total import duties and taxes you’ll pay - A

    • Price at which you can sell your current car - B

    • Cost of buying an equivalent used car in Canada - C

    • If C > A+B, then importing is worth it


  • List of accepted cars in Canada

  • Your car title (if your car has a lien, you’ll need to ask your finance company to issue a letter and get their permission)

  • Car is free of any recalls

  • Car must pass Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) inspection in Canada - this must be done within 45 days of entering Canada

What you need before you cross the border

  • Call the U.S. border office you’ll be crossing at least 72 hours before you reach. Send in a copy of your title

  • Bring your original title, bill of sale, insurance

  • Fill out “Form-1” ahead of time

  • Get a Canadian Insurance

Fees and Taxes

  • Import fees - $200 CAD

  • If your car has A.C. - $100 CAD

  • If your car was manufactured in North America, no import duties. If your VIN starts with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, you’re good. Otherwise the duty is 6.1%

  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) - 8% for Ontario and 5% for Federal GST (calculated based on market price your used car. You can use KBB values, either US or Canada)

Example Scenario

  • Car Invoice for duty (based on KBB Canada): ~$8000 CAD (per 12/13/2020 rate)

  • Import fees: $200 CAD

  • AC: $100 CAD

  • HST (13%): $1040 CAD

  • TOTAL: $1340 CAD or $1056 USD