Importing a vehicle from Canada to the United States involves several costs beyond just the price of the car itself. Duties, fees, transportation, and compliance requirements all factor into the overall expense transport.

This comprehensive blog post breaks down the key considerations for calculating the total cost of bringing a Canadian car across the border.

Import Duties and Taxes

One of the biggest expenses when importing from Canada is paying the import duty and taxes levied by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The duty rate depends on the car’s classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, but most passenger vehicles carry a 2.5% duty rate on the price paid or value of the vehicle, whichever is higher. Auto Transport

In addition to the duty, you must pay any applicable federal taxes like the Gas Guzzler Tax for vehicles that don’t meet fuel efficiency standards. State sales tax and registration fees are also due when importing a Canadian car.

Car From Canada To US – Transportation and Shipping Costs

Getting the vehicle from Canada to your doorstep requires transportation services. The distance, method of transport (truck, rail, or container ship), and any special handling fees all impact the shipping cost. Reputable auto transport companies typically charge:

  • $500-$700 for transport up to 500 miles
  • $1,000-$1,200 for transport between 500-1,000 miles
  • $1,200-$1,500+ for transport over 1,000 miles

Open auto transport is more economical than enclosed carriers. However, luxury or collectible vehicles may justify the added expense of an enclosed carrier to protect from road debris and weather during transit.

Import Documentation and Compliance

Bringing a vehicle across the border necessitates proper paperwork and regulatory compliance. Costs here include:

  • Vehicle import documentation: $25-$100 for EPA, DOT, and CBP paperwork
  • Translation fees: $50-$150 for translating vehicle documents to English if required

Failure to provide complete, accurate paperwork or prove the vehicle meets federal standards can lead to delays, penalties, or even having the car refused entry.

Car From Canada To US – Cost-Saving Tips for Canadian Imports

While importing inevitably involves some added expense, there are ways to minimize the costs:

  • Buy from provinces closer to the US border to reduce transportation costs
  • Use an import broker to handle paperwork and compliance for a flat fee
  • Import a newly redesigned model year, which may be exempt from EPA testing
  • Ship multiple vehicles at once to split the transportation cost
  • Be prepared with all documents to avoid delays, storage fees, and penalties

With careful planning and a firm understanding of the expenses, importing the right Canadian vehicle can still be a cost-effective option for US buyers looking for a specific model or good deal.