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Car Shipping FAQ: Can I Ship My Car To Canada?

Subscribe January 16, 2014
Car shipping process | Choosing an auto shipper | FAQs | Industry Information

Michael, who lived in St. Louis, fell in love with Josie, a girl he met on the Internet. They decided to marry after knowing each other for six months.

Michael wants to move to Toronto, Canada, where Josie lives. Because Josie already has a home, Michael has decided to rent a moving van and do it himself.

The problem? He needs to ship his car into Canada. Are the laws the same in Canada as they are in the U.S.? Are there any concerns when moving a vehicle to Canada?

Things To Consider When Shipping A Vehicle to Canada

Since Canada and the United States are so similar, it's easy to forget Canada is a foreign country. Moving a vehicle into Canada should be easy, but it really isn't.

Cars sold in the United states do not necessarily meet all the standards the Canadian government requires for licensing. Before deciding to move his car to Canada, Michael contacted the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV). Moving a vehicle into Canada is the same as importing it, so Michael's car came under the RIV guidelines. Vehicles moved into Canada come under the RIV if they are under 15 years old.

Moving a vehicle into Canada to stay is more than just driving it across the border. Once in Canada, vehicles need to meet Canadian standards for air quality and safety standards. As soon as the car comes across the Canadian border, import fees, customs fees and taxes are due. Then, within 45 days of arriving in Canada, the vehicle needs to be modified to meet those standards before it is registered.

In some areas, shipping a vehicle into Canada is the same as shipping it to any other foreign country. The original title and registration need to be given to the transport company, along with a letter from the lien holder giving permission for the vehicle to be moved to a foreign country.

What are the costs associated with moving a vehicle into Canada?

For the most part, the costs are the same as moving a vehicle within the United States, since no actual ocean transport is involved. Most vehicles are moved on trailers, the same as cross-country moves. The duty and import fees, in some instances, are paid at the time the transport trailer crosses the Canadian border and others are due upon registration. There is a separate fee if the vehicle has air conditioning, a Green Levy fee if the vehicle does not meet fuel consumption standards and a Goods and Services Tax (GST). In all, import fees can be as much as 5,000 USD, along with provincial taxes and duties.

So why would anyone want to ship their vehicle into Canada?

Because, even with all the fees associated with it, it still costs less to ship a vehicle into Canada and register it there than it would to buy a new vehicle once there. Besides, your car is your baby – why move unless you can have it with you.

For more information on shipping a vehicle into Canada, visit the Canada Border Services Agency's website. You can also ask your customer service agent at DAS; we ship vehicles into Canada on a regular basis and are your best resource for information on shipping into Canada.

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No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
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