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Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? #5190689 08/18/19 08:28 PM
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BobsArmory Offline OP
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Looking at used cars for a while now and it seems like I am seeing more cars that have been imported into the USA from Canada. Is this a new trend? Is it something to stay away from when looking for a used car?

Here is an example Pontiac Vibe

I found this while car shopping for my daughters. Seems a bit pricey for what it is.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190726 08/18/19 08:56 PM
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If you’ve been noticing a reduction in the selection of specific used vehicles...

Actually the US has been exporting used and junk cars in masse to overseas buyers, as a result parts are harder to find for sub 10 year old cars compared to in the past.


Many US EVs find their way to Canada, most Canadian cars that come back are via the Minnesota loophole and are special interest cars like the 80mpg Smart CDI diesel or the Nissan hatches that aren’t sold here.

Anyway...
I doubt importing gray market from Canada is a big thing.

Maybe an individual who once worked in Canada got the compliance sticker to bring his Aztec home?

Last edited by Rmay635703; 08/18/19 08:58 PM.
Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190756 08/18/19 09:34 PM
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Used vehicles have been flowing across the border for years. The incentive right now is the exchange rate. A dealer from the USA buys up used cars, sometimes at auction, and fills up a car carrier. The paperwork at the border is easy. What’s popular in western Canada right now are pickups.

It also works the other way. Back in 2008 the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 08/18/19 09:36 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190798 08/18/19 10:26 PM
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pitzel Offline
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I think the manufacturers aim for a long-term CAD/USD$ of around 1.15CAD$/USD$. So when the exchange rate is beneath that, cars flow from Canada to the US. When its above that, the Canadians are buying cars from the US and importing them to Canada.


Change your thinking...not your oil!
Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190819 08/18/19 11:00 PM
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I'm noticing it as well. Local Ford dealer has six 2014+ GMC Sierra pickups on their lot. All six were imported from Canada within the last 3 months.

Of course, it's not too hard to tell. Just look at the frame rails above the rear axle. One truck was a 2014 with only 23,000 miles (supposedly) and the rust was coming off the frame in flakes, and the clear coat on the wheels was salt damaged.

The frame on my 2000 Sierra looks better.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190828 08/18/19 11:14 PM
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Reddy45 Offline
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I can't imagine this would work for cars that can't yet be tagged for public roads in the US right? (certain Nissan Skyline cars)

Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190893 08/19/19 02:15 AM
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Waiting for a raft full of classic cars from cuba lol.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: pitzel] #5190913 08/19/19 03:54 AM
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eljefino Offline
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It's not so much the manufacturers but the distributors-- you buy the car from "Toyota Motor sales USA" and they're the guys that warranty the cars. They also mark them up as much as the market would bear.

They don't want competition-- Mercedes (USA) hates this in particular-- so they don't allow brand new cars to do this.

Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190984 08/19/19 06:34 AM
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GON Offline
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Can't answer to the Canadian to USA used car market.....

But I am aware of used car dealers that make a market in buying used trucks from Wisconsin (transporter load at a time), shipping them to Arizona, having the frames sprayed with a black substance that gives the appearance of undercoating and hides rust, and sells them to people wanting to buy a used truck from Arizona, becuase they have not seen salt........

Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5190990 08/19/19 06:40 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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The warranties on GM are honoured on both sides of the border. I had warranty work done in Canada on a truck I bought in the USA. Used cars flow across the border easily. New cars, not as much as the dealers are told by GM to not sell for export, at least along the northern states.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5191152 08/19/19 10:22 AM
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JTK Offline
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I was thinking it had more to do with your proximity to Canada maybe?

I don't know about now, but a year or so ago, one of the big chain dealers in my area seemed to have lots of 1yr/old ex-rental pickup trucks from Canada. I'm in the Buffalo NY area, so the border is close.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5191164 08/19/19 10:47 AM
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I live close to the border Alberta Canada side and see 15 vehicles (3 transport trucks) going towards the border on my commute, no matter what time of day....every day. In that small 8 hour window I would estimate at the very least over 100 vehicles per day during the work week. Conservatively, over 500 vehicles per week, 2000 per month.

I know transport companies that this their sole purpose for business and it shows no sign of slowing down. A couple of years ago it used to be one transport truck per hour so the movement has gone up 3 fold in the past 2 years. Previously it was just pickup trucks, now I am seeing small SUV's and some cars thrown into the mix randomly. This is only the main border port from Alberta/Montana, I can't speak for all the other ports across the 49th parallel, but I imagine there will be similar reports in BC, Ontario but perhaps those might even be busier.

Very few transports coming from USA to Canada in the same fashion, if any in my region.

Last edited by Smokescreen; 08/19/19 10:49 AM.

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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: BobsArmory] #5191184 08/19/19 11:08 AM
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We don't see a lot here, but I had an interesting experience with one a month or so ago. This newish, 2017-2018 F-150 came in with an issue with the speedometer. I looked it up and noticed it called for a KMH/MPH version. The tech said it had a US one from a Platinum in it. I checked OASIS and got the warning that it was a Canadian vehicle. The customer had just purchased it from an auction in Florida and drove it here. Ford has a policy concerning instrument clusters that the old one MUST be returned and it MUST be the identical number to the one that was sent. Obviously this was not going to happen with this truck. Also they will not ship out a cluster unless the one being ordered matches the VIN provided.

So knowing everything above, I first went to my manager, then the service manager with what the tech gave me and what I had found through my research. The service manager said to not do anything further and gave the truck back to the customer after calling Ford and asking for guidance. Ford said there would be no warranty on the repair. The mileage in the PCM did not match the mileage on the cluster, even when converting kilometers to miles, so the entire warranty on the vehicle was in question.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: eljefino] #5191835 08/20/19 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eljefino
It's not so much the manufacturers but the distributors-- you buy the car from "Toyota Motor sales USA" and they're the guys that warranty the cars. They also mark them up as much as the market would bear.

They don't want competition-- Mercedes (USA) hates this in particular-- so they don't allow brand new cars to do this.


Mercedes (USA) is keeping track of buyers. Apparently a nice cottage business popped up where buyers from Mainland China were paying a US-based broker to buy, via straw buyers, a vehicle which would then be shipped to China. Chinese customers apparently don't want to wait for their vehicle to be built. Mercedes AG allegedly found out because US cars were getting serviced at dealerships in China. I wish I knew more details like whether or not individuals at Mercedes (China) were participating in the fraud.


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Re: Used cars imported from Canada to USA on the rise? [Re: Snagglefoot] #5192174 08/20/19 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Used vehicles have been flowing across the border for years. The incentive right now is the exchange rate. A dealer from the USA buys up used cars, sometimes at auction, and fills up a car carrier. The paperwork at the border is easy. What’s popular in western Canada right now are pickups.

It also works the other way. Back in 2008 the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar.


The 2017 3500HD I purchased came out of BC. They told me before I bought it. It had all the dealer service records. The original owner had his name and number in the owners manual.

It was a lease return.

Last edited by ls1mike; 08/20/19 03:34 PM.

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