With the Canadian dollar being stronger then the US dollar right now, and
the Civic SI costing about $23K US in the States and 33K Canadian in Canada
I'm thinking it might be worth the effort to buy one from the states.
Anyone have any experience or suggestions on doing this?
My understanding is I won't have to pay duty as the SI is made in North
America. I will just have to pay GST at the border and get some sort of
Insepection done to the vehicle? Sounds like a small amount of work to do
to save $10 000
Here y'go. Straight from the horse's mouth:
RIV is the Canadian government agency that handles vehicle importations
Generally speaking, the American Honda factory warranty will be honored by
Honda Canada Inc.
Anything to back this up? It would seem to me that you're saying that
if I buy a Honda in upstate NY and then move to Ontario when there's,
say, 15,000 miles on the car after 16 months, I'm screwed if something
goes wrong if I try to have it remedied by Honda in Canada.
Doesn't sound correct.
No debate there, Tony. I realize they can tell which market the car was
made for/delivered to.
Do you know for a fact that Honda Canada will send you packing back to
the States? For that matter, what will they do if I take my American
delivered Honda up to Montreal on a business trip and the transmission
fails? Tell me to go back to an American dealer? Doubt it.
Not the same situation, visiting is not the same as importing. I
would expect under visiting you would 'pay' the Honda dealer to repair
and then be reimbursed by Honda US.
With respect to the original question, there is likely to be minor
differences between US and Canadian models and you need to submit the
vehicles for inspect and certification at an approved centre. When I
imported a Volkswagen Golf into Canada (Halifax) I took it to a
Volkswagen dealer to find out what was required then took it to the
approved centre (Chrysler Dealer) for inspection and certification. In
my case there was nothing required, off hand I can't remember the fee
but it was not significant.
Yes it will. Both ways, too.
A guy I know moved across the border with his Canadian market car. There
was no problem whatsoever with the warranty.
The problem is the dealer may refuse to sell you the car in the first
place. Honda takes a dim view of cross-border selling. If it becomes
prevalent enough, Honda will issue prohibitory notices to the dealers,
telling them not to sell to non-residents. I have seen these notices
this doesn't seem logical. if i drive my car to brazil [long adventure
vacation], and it breaks down within the warranty period, the local
factory agents won't cover it? i find that hard to believe. a friend
of mine drove an audi through europe, middle east, and had a suspension
arm break somewhere in north africa. it took a while, but he got that
warrantied. if audi can manage that there, it seems unlikely honda
can't/won't cope with the wild uncivilized natives of canadia.
Personal experience of people at odyclub.com who were suckered by their
dealers into buying Odysseys from Canada, back when the demand was
super-high and the dealers were looking to get product any way they can
to sell to people who were ecstatic to pay list plus.
They went for warranty work and discovered they weren't covered.
Anecdotal evidence from Internet postings wasn't good enough for me; too
much "Internet wisdom" floating around (some of it even from me).
So I called my local dealer, plus I called Honda Canada Inc. Customer
Both you and I are partially correct. Here is the final word from Honda
(Remember that dealers are independent companies; they are NOT part of
Honda. They just buy franchise licenses from Honda.)
Legal US resident with US address moves to Canada, whether permanently
or temporarily. So long as he remains the owner of the vehicle and
retains proof of his former US residency and driver's license, the US
warranty REMAINS VALID and Canadian dealers may obtain from American
Honda reimbursement for warranty repair.
Canadian resident moves to US as Situation 1, brings his Canadian car
with him. Canadian warranty REMAINS VALID in US as in Situation 1 with
conditions as per Situation 1. US dealers may repair and apply for
reimbursement from Honda Canada.
Canadian resident with Canadian address buys car from US dealer, legally
imports it to Canada. US warranty is NOT VALID in Canada. Car must be
driven to US dealer for warranty service. Neither you nor the Canadian
dealer may apply for reimbursment from American Honda.
US resident with US address buys car in Canada, legally imports it to
US. Canadian warranty is NOT VALID in US. Car must be driven to
Canadian dealer for warranty service. Neither you nor the US dealer may
apply for reimbursment from Honda Canada.
"Safety Recall" repairs WILL be done under warranty in ALL situations by
ALL dealers on BOTH sides of the border to ALL cars, regardless of the
import situation, provided the importation was legal.
The Honda rep was unaware of any governmental laws concerning this. As
far as she knew, this was Honda's policy and that other car
manufacturers may have different policies. She was careful to say she
was no expert on the legal side of the issue. All she knew was /what/
Honda's official policy was, not /why/ it existed.
My personal suspicion is that this has something to do with franchising
laws. Auto franchises are backed by considerable federal and
state/provincial regulation, this in order to protect them from the
automakers and from each other. It would not surprise me to find out
that such policy exists as a way of protecting dealers from cross-border
competition arising from currency fluctuations and pricing based on that
So there you have it.
I left out a bit in my haste to post:
If you are willing to drive the car back to its home country, the factory
warranty is STILL VALID there even though the car is registered /outside/
the car's home country.
The dealer will not care where you live, or where the car is registered and
licensed. They only care what market the car was originally made for.
Taking the car back is easy for peple living an hour or so from the border,
a lot more difficult if you live further than that.
My original assertion that the warranty was valid both sides of the border
was based on the experience of the guy I know who took his car across when
he moved. His Canadian warranty was honored in the US because
1) he was the original importing owner, and
2) he had proof of former Canadian residence.
I was unaware until today of the ownership and residency requirements, so
thanks to Elmo for prompting that.
Call American Honda Motor Manufacturing, either the customer relations
line or your local zone office:
They'll straighten the dealer out.
I had them straighten a local dealer out back in, oh, 1988 or so.
Dealer's service manager didn't like it, and told me so. I gave her a
big "so what? Do your job."
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