Live in Canada, want to sell my car. Now what?
March 17, 2011 6:21 PM   Subscribe

I imported my car to Canada from the USA while in Vancouver on a work visa, so (as a non-settler) I paid no taxes on it. Now, I'd like to sell it — what should I do? Go back to the border office and import it for reals (how much would this cost?) or export it back to the US and sell it in a Carmax in Seattle or something?

Any help would be appreciated! I know there are instructions for this online but everything I've read on the CA government site since coming here has been confusing (and occasionally wrong).

When I insured the car here, they took my title and replaced it with a proof of insurance — if taking it back to the US is the best option, would I need to go to my insurance company for a different document to transfer?
posted by dougunderscorenelso to Travel & Transportation around Canada (4 answers total)
Best answer: You can try phoning ICBC (1-800-663-3051) or stop by an insurance agent and let them phone. They'll tell you whether a buyer can register the car and therefor whether you can sell it at the moment. They'll also tell you who to contact if the car isn't sell-able currently.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 PM on March 17, 2011

Anecdotally, selling a US car in Canada (and vice versa) reduces its resale value considerably, because in the future, dealers won't want to touch it due to warranty issues, etc. A friend of mine in Canada got a great deal on a US originated Nissan Murano as a result - he doesn't care about the resale though.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 6:47 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lots of problems; did you have to get all of the Canadian safety stuff installed in your car (uh, something about safety belts, something about daytime running lights, maybe something about additional buckles or something) when I repatriated back to Canada (Vancouver via Peace Arch) from Iowa with all my "personal effects" in an American car.

Insurance for the car was a bloody nightmare because they thought that I wanted to keep the rustbucket in Canada and they wanted tons of money (ended up being north of $300) up-front before even granting insurance (at a really hopped up price).

If you didn't need to go through all of that bullshit, I'm guessing you'll need to do that if you want to sell it to a Canadian, or otherwise keep it in Canada "permanently." I ended up "selling" it to someone who was certified to take care of all the legal stuff to have it scrapped at a Canadian junkyard for $1 cdn (when it was about $0.6 on the USD).

It feels like you'd be better off advertising it in Craigslist Seattle and drive it down there and have a friend sell it for you.
posted by porpoise at 9:41 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @porpoise yep, I did get daytime lights, and passed all the safety inspections.

Sounds like selling in Canada is a bad call — the Seattle suggestion sounds decent — does anyone know if I'll need to re-export it (and get an American title instead of my ICBC card) in order to do this? Will I need to re-insure it in the US, or can I just sell and forget?
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 11:13 AM on March 18, 2011

« Older Can you provide me with advice for a summer in...   |   Bust out your Stevie Wonder trivia, I am in need! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.