Importing Hyundai from US to Canada - my experience [Archive] - Hyundai Elantra Forum

: Importing Hyundai from US to Canada - my experience



2001GLS
05-25-2009, 09:53 AM
Well I have successfully imported my American Sonata to Canada and thought I would share my experience since it is 1st hand and current as of May 2009. Before you do anything, check with www.riv.ca to see if the car you want is importable into Canada. Be aware you may have no warranty on the vehicle once imported and will be responsible for any necessary conversion costs such as daytime running lights, child seat latches, stonger bumpers, etc. Some manufacturers require the work be done at an authorized dealer. Fortunately Hyundai does not have that requirement. Get a computer print out from your dealer showing no outstanding recalls on your vehicle as you'll need it for importation. Also, get a copy of your driving record for the past 3 years. You'll need it for your drivers license.

I am an American and recently got my permanent residence status in Canada. I purchased my Sonata new in Cincinnati, Ohio back in January 2006 and had financed it through HMFC. The first step in the process was to pay off the car in full to get the title. You cannot generally import a financed car into Canada, unless you have specific permission from the financial institution. (Impossible to get, I called Hyundai and they will not transfer the lien as is the case with most auto manufacturers financial arms) It took about 2-3 weeks to get the Ohio title. It can take up to a month to get the title.

Once you have the title, you will need to fax a copy of it to the CBP (US Border Patrol) 72 hours in advance of your arrival at the border. They will stamp your title for export. There is no cost for the stamp. It only took about 5 minutes but then it took 45 minutes to get out of the gated complex. They take your plate number and only open the gate about every half hour or so. Failure to do this can result in a $500 fine so don't forget it.

Once I arrived at the Canadian side of the border, I declared my intent to land as an immigrant and was pulled in. I was given a Form #1 for the vehicle which is very important. (You keep it in your vehicle while driving on your US plates. You can drive in Ontario on US plates as a permanent resident for 30 days. You can drive on your US license for 60 days. Be sure to make sure your auto insurance will cover you in Canada, as you can't get Canadian insurance until you have your car and license switched over.) You will also get a blue and white casual goods accounting document. That is where my car was listed. Because I was a new immigrant, I didn't have to pay duty on the car. Not sure if this is protcol as I fully expected to pay duty on the value ($14k CAN for an 06 GLS V6 w/45k miles). The duty is 5% GST, 8% PST in Ontario. You will also have to pay an extra 6% tax if the vehicle is not North American made. (US, Canada, Mexico) Fortunately my Sonata was built in Alabama. There was also supposed to be a $100 environmental tax for having an air conditioner but that was waived for me as well.

When you arrive in Canada, go to riv.ca and enter the Form #1 in the upper right corner of the page, your name and address info and then pay the $200 for your federal inspection. You'll have to fax a copy of the recall letter you got from the dealer to them. After those requirements have been satisfied, they will fax or e-mail you the Form #2. This takes about 3 days. Be aware you have 45 days in Ontario to get your car imported, otherwise you have to return it to the US. Once you have both Form #1 & #2, go to the local Canadian Tire (authorized to do inspections for the RIV) and they will do the federal inspection. It is included in the $200 fee you paid. You will also need a Provincial safety check ($89.95) at Canadian Tire) and an emissions test ($39.95) In my case, I had to have Daytime running lights added. The kit for that ran $39.95 but with labor to install it ran about $140)

I had checked with the Hyundai dealer I bought my vehicle at as well as one here in Canada and neither knew anything about adding DRLS to a US Sonata even thought the manual mentions them. I decided to just have Canadian tire install the their kit. It is wired to the low beams and they stay on all the time. Canadian spec Sonatas have the DRLS wired to the high beams at half power but doing this in a US Sonata makes the high beam light show up as on all the time on the instrument cluster. You can have the parking lights wired up as an alternative. You cannot have them use the fogs as DRLS though. These inspections and the lights took a few hours so I left the car and came back later to pick it up. They didn't require me to put the bilingual airbag stickers on as they said it was only for airbag systems that require periodic maintenance. They also didn't require any changes to the miles or instrument cluster since it does show kilometers on the inside.

They will stamp your Form #1 & #2. You can then go and get an Ontario title and plates. It cost $75 for standard plates. Custom plates are crazily priced at over $200 and $300 if you want a graphic. Now I know why so few Ontario cars have custom plates!

Before you go and switch your plates over, go get your drivers license first. If you have a US license and 3 years of documented driving experience they will exchange your license with a vision test. Then go switch your plates over. I know this the hard way. That way you can make sure you can get Canadian insurance.

All and all, the process wasn't too bad. Only cost me about $500 to get my car up here. No doubt it would have been more if I had to pay duty. I compared prices and buying a new Sonata V6 sport here they sticker for $30k Canadian. Quite a bit more than the $23K sticker on my Sonata even considering exchange rates. I do know that Canadian Hyundai dealers WILL NOT honor the warranty on my vehicle. I am not even sure the US dealers will, but I was 75% through my bumper to bumper warranty and have never been back to the dealer for anything other than fluid changes. Since I make frequent trips back to Ohio, if something comes up I can take it in and find out provided it isn't too serious. Also, US import cars tend to fetch slightly less when you sell them because many Canadians prefer metric instrumentation. Shouldn't be an issue since my Hyundai will be pretty old by the time I'm ready to get rid of it. Best of luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

mtlelantra
05-25-2009, 01:32 PM
nice writeup- I should do one for the reverse process...

Qyn
05-25-2009, 04:46 PM
That was a great writeup... I call for a sticky!


Custom plates are crazily priced at over $200 and $300 if you want a graphic. Now I know why so few Ontario cars have custom plates!

So true...

rckozma
05-25-2009, 08:52 PM
That was a great writeup... I call for a sticky!


Done and done.

SuperGLS
05-26-2009, 08:58 AM
Well done. Thanks for sharing.

But, why did you move to Coldland?



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2001GLS
05-26-2009, 09:03 AM
Well done. Thanks for sharing.

But, why did you move to Coldland?

I moved to Coldland because my wife is from here. Ohio is usually a few degrees warmer, especially in the winter cause I'm from the southern part. I'm now in Windsor, right across from Detroit so get all the lake weather. I still go back home every couple months. I would have left my car registered in Ohio if I could have gotten away with it, but as a permanent resident you can get in trouble for driving a US plated vehicle and I needed my vehicle to be legal to cross the border.


nice writeup- I should do one for the reverse process...

It would be interesting to see how it is bringing a Canadian car to the US. I do know that if a Canadian brings their car to the US, they can take it back to Canada very easily assuming they are the original owner when it was purchased in Canada. Wonder if the same thing applies to Americans?

UrbanerMezei
05-26-2009, 09:11 AM
I moved to Coldland because my wife is from here.
Hottest women in North America are from Canada hands down.

Hottest women in the world... meh, Brazil.

As for custom plates, yeah they're very expensive up here and not really worth it, I'd rather just pay my 75 bucks a year instead of 200 + 75 a year to have my plate say a misspelled catch phrase.

SuperGLS
05-26-2009, 09:48 AM
I see, I'd probably take Canada over Ohio myself! Hah.

Again, thanks for the write up.



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2001GLS
05-26-2009, 09:13 PM
Oh and one last thing.... after you're all done with the above, the RIV sends you a sticker in the mail to put on your driver door pillar. Mine just showed up today. Took about a week from when I registered the car and got plates.