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6 Things to Know About Importing Vehicles

Are you thinking about purchasing and importing a car from another province?

While you could simply visit your local dealerships and drive away with a new vehicle, many Canadians opt to purchase out-of-province vehicles.

Why? There are many different reasons but mostly because they find an amazing price or a vehicle that suits their unique wants and needs.

Importing vehicles can be stressful and requires some extra time and effort. However, it’s not impossible and could be the key to owning the car of your dreams!

Buying a Car From Another Province

Whether you do so through a dealership or a private sale, you can purchase a vehicle from any province in Canada.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the rules and regulations for the province you live in since they vary across the country.

Just as you would buying a new vehicle closer to home, it’s important to do your homework. Here are five things you should know about importing vehicles from another province:

1. You Will Need to Provide Additional Information

When you purchase and import a vehicle from another province, you will likely have to provide additional information when it comes to registering, plating, and paying the sales tax on the vehicle.

This information varies from province to province but you should have on-hand proof of insurance, an out-of-province title, and a complete bill of sale.

There are no standard rules across all provinces so it’s important to check with your province’s regulations.

2. The Sales Taxes Are Based On Your Province

When you pay the sales taxes on a vehicle imported from another province, you are required to pay the tax based on the province you live in.

So even if the tax rate is lower in the province the car is coming from, you still have to pay the tax rate for your resident province.

3. In-Transit Permit and Insurance

If you are driving your new vehicle home from another province, you may require an in-transit permit that allows you to take the vehicle back to your province to register it and pay the sales taxes.

However, you need to have your insurance in place before you can get this permit. This means completing the sale of the vehicle so that you can get insurance coverage.

4. Mandatory Vehicle Inspections and Registration

Because each province has different inspection and registration rules, you need to find out what regulations apply to the province you live in.

When you import a vehicle into Alberta from another province, for example, you must have the vehicle registered within 3 months and the vehicle must pass an OOP (Out of Province) Vehicle Inspection.

5. Shipping and Other Additional Costs

When you purchase a vehicle from another province through a dealer, the dealer has to pay shipping costs which are passed on to you.

Also, there may be a cost when it comes to transferring the ownership title and registration over to the province you live in. 

6. It’s Hard to Tell the Condition of the Vehicle

Lastly, it’s important to note that it can be different to determine the condition of the car if you can’t see it in person.

If you can’t travel to check out the vehicle you intend on purchasing, make sure you get a full history report that includes the car’s accident history, any money owed on the vehicle (i.e., liens), and if there are any safety recalls that have not been fixed.

Also, have the seller send you as many interior and exterior photos and videos of the car as possible. 

You should also have a thorough inspection done and acquire a safety certification from a licensed mechanic. 

How to Import a Vehicle From Another Province

Automobile mechanic repairman checking a car engine with inspecting writing on a clipboard

If all of this sounds good to you, and you have found your dream car in another province, here are the steps you must follow to purchase that car:

  • Ensure that the seller (whether it is a dealership or private seller) has everything in place to sell the car out-of-province.
  • Contact your province’s VRA (Vehicle Registration Authority) to make sure you have all the information and documents you need to make the purchase.
  • Find out the condition of the vehicle by having the owner inspect it before you buy it.
  • Negotiate the price of the car and look into any additional discounts apply because you are importing the vehicle from another province.
  • Make sure the payment is made safely through a secure means.
  • Check the seller’s ownership and registration against a government-issued ID to ensure you are not being scammed.
  • Sign the necessary paperwork and pay the seller.

Finally, have the car picked up or shipped to you!

The Pros and Cons Of Importing a Vehicle

Although buying a car from another province may seem like a hassle, it can be a great way to get the car you want!

If the car of your dreams is not available in your own province, you’ll have a better chance of acquiring it through another province.

Plus, depending on the province you live in, you could end up paying less in sales tax. For instance, Alberta has a provincial sales tax rate of 5% whereas New Brunswick’s rate is 15%.

The downside to buying a car from another province, however, involves time, effort, and extra cost.

You also have to take unfamiliar business practices into consideration since dealerships and lenders operate differently in each province. 

Ready to Seal the Deal?

Now that you know the ins-and-outs of buying a car from another province you may just decide that the entire process is worth it to have the car of your dreams.

In order to protect your new investment, it’s important to take care of it by ensuring that you follow a proper maintenance schedule.

At Park Muffler, we are dedicated to providing top-notch repair and inspection services to car owners in the Sherwood Park area!

Make sure your new vehicle is kept in good shape by booking your appointment today. 


Save time at the shop by booking ahead.



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