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#3265434 - 01/30/14 10:43 PM Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc.
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6802
Loc: Everett, Washington
I would like to get a car up north from for my Mom. I'm about 30 miles north of Seattle.

There seems to be a glut of fairly nice Dodge Caravans up there, and hardly any where I'm at for the same money.

I have never dealt with currency conversion. US to Canadian dollar shows US $5000 = Canadian $5585.50 or $5362.08
Why the difference in cash rate. Would it be better to write a check, or do a money order? Trying to save any money wherever possible.

Don't know if I'll be getting a Canadian, or US made van up there. Whatever seems like the best deal. I realize the speedo is going to be in KPH if it's Canadaian most likely.

I realize I'll need to jump through some hoops getting it back to the US as well.

Thanks for any thoughts Pat


Edited by wwillson (01/31/14 06:39 AM)
Edit Reason: Subject spelling

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#3265447 - 01/30/14 11:03 PM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
NothingNew Offline


Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 63
Loc: WA state, USA
I hope you have an Enhanced Driver License or US passport if you're planning on picking up the van north of the border:)

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#3265462 - 01/30/14 11:24 PM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 4516
Loc: Canada
How old is the Van?

I do not know about getting a Canadian vehicle into the US, but to get a US vehicle into Canada, unless it is really old, you will have to bring the vehicle up to Canadian specification.
This can effect things like safety equipment such as Airbags etc.

A few years back I had a friend that brought her Acura MDX back from where she had worked in Houston TX.
Getting the vehicle to pass inspection (because Canadian vehicles must have Daytime running lights) was nothing short of a nightmare.
I think they even changed the ECU!!

I assume the two exchange rates are for Buying and for Selling currency. You cannot Buy Can Dollars at the same price you sell them.
However the seller might be interested in getting paid in Greenbacks (I would). Many Canadians have US dollar accounts.


Edited by expat (01/30/14 11:29 PM)

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#3265471 - 01/30/14 11:40 PM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6802
Loc: Everett, Washington
I do have an enhanced license. I was thinking maybe they might like US cash as well. So if I'm looking at a craislist ad for a new or used dealer and they want $5000 it would be canadian.

So would they take the US money close to the exchange rate? Or should I get the currency converted over in Canada, or the US?
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#3265478 - 01/31/14 12:00 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 4516
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: oilboy123


So would they take the US money close to the exchange rate? Or should I get the currency converted over in Canada, or the US?


Ask the seller if they want US and at what exchange rate.
Or, they may want a Bank Draft. The problem is (and I know from experience) A Bank Draft or money order is worth about as much as the paper it is written on, if it's a Dud.

The Bank will take it, and credit your account, but if it is a forgery, the recipient will be on the hook to the bank for the money. If you wanted to give ME a BD, I would ask you to come to my Bank with me to cash it.

Talk to the seller, ask what he wants!

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#3265574 - 01/31/14 06:31 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
rjundi Offline


Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 7253
Loc: USA
I am guessing these have US emmisions. Typically they require a letter from car maker with VIN # in it stating it meets US requirements emissions. It may be more lax on older vehicles but still worth checking.
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#3265576 - 01/31/14 06:36 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: expat]
rjundi Offline


Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 7253
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: expat
Originally Posted By: oilboy123


So would they take the US money close to the exchange rate? Or should I get the currency converted over in Canada, or the US?


Ask the seller if they want US and at what exchange rate.
Or, they may want a Bank Draft. The problem is (and I know from experience) A Bank Draft or money order is worth about as much as the paper it is written on, if it's a Dud.

The Bank will take it, and credit your account, but if it is a forgery, the recipient will be on the hook to the bank for the money. If you wanted to give ME a BD, I would ask you to come to my Bank with me to cash it.

Talk to the seller, ask what he wants!


Agreed ask seller. I work for a Canadian company that accidently issued me a Canadian check instead of US one. It took over a month to get it deposited in the US as it was considered foreign. The odd thing to me was I actually have a Canada based bank (TD) but did not matter.
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#3265578 - 01/31/14 06:39 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
Papa Bear Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 6283
Loc: Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
The difference in the exchange rate depends on whether you are buying Canadian funds or selling Canadian funds.

The banks have it worked out that they make money either way ..... imagine that.

My GM van (sold in Canada new, make in Doraville GA) is Km/hr in big print and mph in small print. The trip computer will select in either mode.

A call to your vehicle registration office will answer your questions promptly about importing a used vehicle.
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#3265611 - 01/31/14 07:15 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
racer12306 Offline


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 1832
Loc: Baltimore, MD
I think Canada is more strict in most safety/emission aspects than most states. I could see the biggest annoyance in the speed if it's an analog display.
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#3265614 - 01/31/14 07:17 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
ecotourist Online   content


Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 362
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Assuming you have arranged the proper daily limit, you should be able to take Canadian cash out of a Canadian bank machine. You get Canadian cash and your US account would be charged in $US. Canadians do this all the time in the US.

Vehicles sold in Canada have very similar equipment to those sold in the US. The major differences - daytime running lights are mandatory in Canada, the speedometer will have kilometers her hour as the major scale (they often have miles per hour as a secondary scale), and the odometer will read in kilometers (a kilometer is about 5/8 of a mile). Nothing significant in other words.

To import some newer US vehicles into Canada there is a requirement to upgrade certain items. Mercedes doors (at some point anyway) had to have increased intrusion bracing for example. But BMWs required nothing. There are likely to be similar lists for Canada to US imports.

Ecotourist

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#3265633 - 01/31/14 07:47 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
RogerBacon Offline


Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Ontario
Very few US citizens but a used car in Canada for a variety of reasons. Used cars in Canada are usually more expensive, they all have gone thru the Canadian winter and the hassle and expense of importing are not worth it. Many more Canadians go to the southern US to buy cars. I wish I was in your position and I would buy all my used cars from the southern US. Don't waste your time and money buying a car in Canada. Head south young man. Roger Ontario Canada

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#3265666 - 01/31/14 08:27 AM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: RogerBacon]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 6552
Loc: Ontario, Canada
He is getting a car in the Vancouver area though. Many cars there see almost no salt in winter too. I got a 20 year old Olds from my great aunt and it had nearly none at all.
Vancouver car prices aren't low though, but I can see how a 10yr old Caravan could go quite cheaply there.
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#3266308 - 01/31/14 09:02 PM Re: Buying a car in Canada, exchange rates etc. [Re: oilboy123]
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6802
Loc: Everett, Washington
I read an article last might about record auto sales in Canada. So tons of people in Canada buying new = lower prices.

Down here they are higher. Maybe right now the prices are at a premium because of the economy?
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“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
― Mark Twain







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