Category Archives: Cars

How to import a vehicle from the USA into Canada

Here’s a small guide a client of mine wrote up concerning how he managed to purchase a car in the United States and import it into Canada. There’s a lot of paperwork to go through, but you should end up saving quite a bit of money, especially since the Canadian Dollar now is so strong.

  1. Find a car of your choice.
  2. See if the car is admissible into Canada, and that it fits the Canadian safety requirements.
  3. Check the vehicle history by using a service such as CARFAX. You’ll need the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to perform the lookup. CARFAX is predominately an American vehicle lookup service, while CarProof is Canadian.
  4. Check to see if there are any recalls on the car with the dealer and Transport Canada.
  5. Check to see if there are any modification requirements. Transport Canada (1-800-848-8240) and Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV).
  6. Negotiate the price of the car with the seller.
  7. Reserve the vehicle and then send the seller a USD money order, via Fedex or a courier of your choice.
  8. Prepare the Original Certificate of Title and sales receipt 72 hours before arriving to the border.
  9. If the vehicle is purchased for resale, you have to advise this to the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency).
  10. Ask for a recall clearance letter from the manufacturer / dealer. Fax this document to RIV, which is 1-888-642-9899, to facilitate the timely release of the inspections form from RIV.
  11. Anti-theft immobilizers are required.
  12. If the vehicle will be shipped to you, call a company to arrange transportation, e.g. (1-877-512-2227).
  13. Open an account with a broker, e.g. A&A Contract Custom Brokers Ltd.
  14. Call the broker and provide the necessary documents: title, registration, sales receipts, buyer information and recall clearance letter.
  15. Get the Admissible letter from the broker, which he will get from the border.
  16. Complete Vehicle Import Form #1, from A&A Contract Custom Brokers Ltd.
  17. Your vehicle will now ship to your chosen destination.
  18. Get the recall letter from the dealer and send it to the broker in order to complete Form #2.
  19. Take an appointment with the inspection company. With Canadian Tire, it’ll take you 2-3 days to do so.
  20. Vehicle inspections must be done prior to licensing and insuring.
  21. Register the vehicle with Forms #1 and #2 approved by the inspector, recall letter, admissible letter, sales receipts, original certificate of title and pay the 8.5% PST/TVQ sales tax to the SAAQ.
  22. Change the speedometer to km/h (if possible) and turn on daytime running lights.
  23. Check to see if there are any other additional costs (duties & taxes) such as the A/C excise tax.

Stuff I Can’t Wait to See in 2008

Every year, I’ll compile a list of gadgets that I’d like to see (and of course, have) for fun. This year’s toys are as follows.

BMW M3 E90 Sedan

BMW M3 E90

I have always been a fan of BMWs, and even a bigger fan of the popular M series. After a year and a half of hiatus, BMW unveiled and released the new M3 last September. They threw out the V6 and replaced it with a lighter V8, giving 420 horses (just 80 shy from the M5s). The car has been fully revamped, with a nice new carbon-fiber hood to make the car lighter and more maneuverable. The hottest aspect of this year’s release is the fact that a four-door sedan will be available (the E90, as compared to the E92 coupe). I have always preferred sedans for the reason that I don’t have to get out of the car numerous times to let passengers in the backseat in and out. While the Europeans have had the new M3 available for quite some time, us North Americans have been left out in the cold, waiting for an American release to come by. Supposedly the car will be released this spring 2008. Even though I can’t afford this bad-boy yet, it’s on my list for kicks.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Goodbye iPhone, hello X1. This beauty was recently announced by Sony Ericsson (February 10th) and will hopefully arrive in the second quarter of 2008. The X1 is loaded with features: quad-band, touch-screen, 3G, QWERTY keyboard, WiFi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, GPS receiver, 3.15MP camera and a 800 x 480 pixels 3 inch TFT screen. The kicker? It runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional instead of Symbian. I was on the verge of buying an iPhone until I saw this puppy get announced last month. I always wanted a PDA with a keyboard and mobile phone that was an all-in-one device. The HTC Touch was a candidate, but didn’t like its style that much (plus, the screen was too small…). The iPhone was a good choice, but I didn’t want to meddle with jailbreaks and other various hacks to get it running since my carrier (Rogers) is not distributing them yet. Regardless, I’m glad the XPERIA X1 will not be delayed as previously rumoured. I know the phone will be upwards 600$ when it first comes out, but I’m hellbent on getting one either way.

Duke Nukem Forever 2007 Trailer Shot

Duke Nukem Forever

I wish there was an easy answer as to why this game has been delayed for the past 11 years, as it has been the sad joke for many gamers out there. Duke Nukem Forever was announced in 1997 and has been under development since, or something like that. Supposedly the game has gone under several engine changes to keep up to date with technology, as noted in the three different trailers that were released over the years. The latest teaser trailer is pretty decent, and it gives its loyal fans some support in hanging in there for a bit longer. The original Duke Nukem 3D has always been a favourite of mine since I first played it back in the day. I’m worried that, by the time DNF comes out, I’ll be over computer games entirely and won’t have any desire to play it no more. Let’s hope, for 3D Realms sake, that the game actually gets released this year, or else I’ll finally put this game to rest and move on. One thing that always cracks me up is the Wired’s Vaporware Awards: the game has gotten a lifetime achievement award.

Mazda Tribute 2008 Service Bulletin

For the past two months, I was experiencing a slight problem with my Tribute 2008: each time I was pumping gas on a cold winter day, the fuel would spew back even though the car’s tank was empty. Filling the tank up took roughly ten to fifteen minutes since I couldn’t press on the lever too long (or else gas would just gush out and spill on the side of the car). The engine warning light then came on after a month of having this problem. Having enough of the headaches, I finally brought my car to the dealership the other day to get it checked. I was worried that I was going to get blamed for this problem (and end up having to pay garage labour fees!). This wasn’t the case, however, after leaving my car at the dealership the entire day, I get a phone call with some news on the problem. Looks like there was a service bulletin out for my car, detailing this exact scenario. Below is an excerpt of this problem from the bulletin:

MFG Bulletin Date: 20070803

The solution was to cut 13 inches off a certain fuel line to make it shorter and allow the gasoline to fill up the tank when the weather was cold. Basically, fuel pumping problem got fixed and I no longer have an annoying engine light on my dashboard. Also, my vehicle’s warranty covered the entire repair process. All I had to do was pay 10.00$ for the gasoline they pumped into my car to make sure the problem was solved. This is a heads up for all Tribute 2008 owners that might be experiencing these difficulties!