Importing a car from Canada

E34lover

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Ok, I've researched importing cars from Japan before but never have really given importing from Canada a thought. Could I go up to Canada and buy a 240sx there, drive it through the border, and then either register it or swap VIN with another 240? If so could this be done with a Silvia? Also one more thing. Could you buy a Skyline up there and bring it to the states to either Sell it or keep it?
 
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Spectre

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The R34 cannot be sold or owned (except by citizens of other countries) in the US. If you get caught driving it by the Feds, which is what will happen when the police run your VIN, they will make you either crush it or export it back to Canada.

The thing that keeps the R34 out is that it's not OBD-II. Stupid, I know, but that's the law. There's one company that has DOT and Customs approval to import remanufactured and modified R34s (not Motorex) as new cars, I forget who it is, but that's the only way (now) to get an R34 in that you can keep without fear of the government screwing you. There were other ones imported earlier that are grandfathered in, but anyone trying to bring an R34 in outside the approved channels now is going to get screwed - the Feds twigged to it when Motorex got popular.


That said, R33s and R32s are legal to import all day long as they are specifically permitted by DOT/Customs. Thing is, everyone wants the R34.....
 
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E34lover

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Actually I've read up on this and the only Skylines allowed to even be modified to US standards is a 95-96 R33 GTR or GTS. That being said it might not apply if coming from Canada. Also are there really Feds out on the road looking for Skylines? :lol:
 

Spectre

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No, but there *are* Fed computers looking at VIN numbers in state registration and inspection databases. Doesn't matter that it's from Canada or not, unfortunately. I keep looking at doing the same thing to get a "non-supercar-exemption" XJ220 into the US and keep getting the same answer. Think I'm going to have to settle for the US-built 95% accurate replica, though.

The R34 importer/remanufacturer is something new, he's only been around about a year. I can't remember the guy's name, but it's not a simple "slap a new computer in" job - he even reinforces the doors and complies with all current crash and emissions standards.
 
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E34lover

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No, but there *are* Fed computers looking at VIN numbers in state registration and inspection databases. Doesn't matter that it's from Canada or not, unfortunately. I keep looking at doing the same thing to get a "non-supercar-exemption" XJ220 into the US and keep getting the same answer. Think I'm going to have to settle for the US-built 95% accurate replica, though.

The R34 importer/remanufacturer is something new, he's only been around about a year. I can't remember the guy's name, but it's not a simple "slap a new computer in" job - he even reinforces the doors and complies with all current crash and emissions standards.
Is it this guy? http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=105699
What he does is take the shell of a Skyline and tweaks it. Then you buy the underpinnings of a Skyline and ship it here so that you just slap on this shell and now it's a Kaizo vehicle which is legal in the US.
 

Spectre

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You can drive it through, but registering it and keeping it is going to be another matter.

Besides, it's cheaper just to get an S13/S14 in the US and buy front or back cuts from dead Silvias, then swap parts.
 

E34lover

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So there isn't a way I could just go steal VINs off of a 240 in the US, put it on a Silvia, and register it as mine? If not then what about a 240sx. I mean there are so many better deals up in Canada.
 
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Spectre

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Well, for starters, swapping VIN numbers is a felony unless you get state DMV approval ahead of time.

Second, they'll confiscate the car if you get caught, and usually it ends up crushed.

Third, the only place 240SXs cost outrageous amounts of money is California and maybe the East Coast plus Houston. Everywhere else, they're cheap - especially if you want a project car.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/cto/998269997.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/996671166.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/cto/981767498.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/995442962.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/994738243.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/994250795.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/987893946.html


Don't forget, Canadian cars also have the evil rust bug, too.
 

Spectre

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More or less, yeah. 240SX's are stupidly expensive in CA last I looked, so the original poster apparently noticed that 240SXs in Canada were cheaper than the US.

He *didn't* notice that almost everywhere else in the US, the 240SX is *cheeeeeeeap*.
 

E34lover

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Well actually I did notice, I was just wanting a lower mileage 240. I guess it would be a bad idea though cause of the rust. Yeah, it really annoys me that all the 240s here are severely heavy on drift tax. I just can't believe how stupidly cheap they go for in Canada. I mean (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/cto/959180020.html) they go for nothing. That car is going for about 2k American! http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/cto/994487963.html 95' 5 speed S14 with 101K miles for 4800 and you could probably haggle for lower! This is only in Vancouver too!
 

Spectre

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Don't forget that if you legally import a car from Canada, there will be a not-insignificant duty that will have to be paid on the car. Then there's the California import tax which is placed on any car bought in from out of state.

That import tax is part of why used car prices (on desirable or popular cars) are higher in CA - not just the "drifter or ricer tax" imposed by market forces - the *government* is making it more difficult and expensive to bring cars in from out of state.

Unfortunate, because those higher prices really tempt me to try to sell some of the stupid cheap Jags we get here in Texas out there - but since the taxes will eat the profit margins for me.... :p
 

JipJopJones

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Just a note on the rust thing, If you get a car from the west coast (Vancouver) We don't use alot of salt on the roads, nor do we have much humidity, so rust on cars isn't a huge issue here compared to back east.

We can't have R34s in Canada either, there is one guy in Vancouver that managed it (how he did it i know not) but a vehicle has to be 15years old to import if it doesn't meet the standards.

On a side note, there is a guy running around in a brand new Fiat near my house... everytime I see it I do a double take, I still haven't been able to talk to the guy.
 

GM_IV

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Just a note on the rust thing, If you get a car from the west coast (Vancouver) We don't use alot of salt on the roads, nor do we have much humidity, so rust on cars isn't a huge issue here compared to back east.

We can't have R34s in Canada either, there is one guy in Vancouver that managed it (how he did it i know not) but a vehicle has to be 15years old to import if it doesn't meet the standards.
Indeed Vancouver or Alberta cars are in better shape and probably the only places in Canada where a 70s Japanese car can survive. Ontario cars are terrible, the only ones left without rust or had the body repaired(like mine) won't be for sale and if they do go on sale its much higher than book value.

As for the Skyline GT-Rs, technically even the R33 is not allowed until next year, only the R32 is allowed because of the 15 year rule. The R34 is technically legal once its 2014. Once a car reaches the age 15, it can be imported.
 

JipJopJones

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As for the Skyline GT-Rs, technically even the R33 is not allowed until next year, only the R32 is allowed because of the 15 year rule. The R34 is technically legal once its 2014. Once a car reaches the age 15, it can be imported.
Are you sure about the R33? I'm pretty sure they can be imported now, I've seen them listed on craigslist for sale in Vancouver (as in they've already been shipped)
 

GM_IV

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Are you sure about the R33? I'm pretty sure they can be imported now, I've seen them listed on craigslist for sale in Vancouver (as in they've already been shipped)
I do not know of a R33 that was made earlier than 1995. So technically it fails the 15 year rule set by the RIV. Under the 15 year guidelines, 2010 is the earliest they're legally allowed.

So quick question for you Canadians. Is there some weird tax that I should know about if I buy a 240 up there?
Not that I know of unless your registering the vehicle in any Canadian province, then you'll be subject to a few taxes. As far as I know its mostly paper work for the seller. I have no idea what US customs or State governments will do.
 
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