Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To Seattle, WA - Export and Import of a Vehicle

Approaching Seattle, WA  
It was another gray day on the Pacific Coast yesterday when we headed for the US border. We made the drive to a south Seattle Ford dealer to pick up the F-150 truck our son in law, Trevor, purchased a couple of weeks ago.

The skies in Seattle at 9:45 am were no better looking than 1.5 hours earlier at home.
Our timing was quite good because there was light traffic going through Seattle.
The Seattle Ford dealer is located at the south end of Boeing Field.  One hour earlier and the expressways would have been riddled with rush hour commuters.

Downtown Seattle.
F-150 Ford FX4  4X4
Michael, the sales person we dealt with, was true to his word.  The truck was waiting and ready for the drive back home.  After exchanging pleasantries and signing a few more documents, we headed for the USA/Canada border.

I-5 northbound.  Jeanette took this photo.  She was following me in our Nissan truck.

Arrival at our home in Langley, BC.  Jeanette is about to take the truck for a test drive....before Trevor and Ginette get their hands on it.

We had to get to the US border before 3:30 pm to officially export the truck from the USA.  Once that was done, we headed for the Canadian border to import the truck into Canada.  With our paperwork well planned - and all documents in order - the process at Canada Customs was quite seamless too.  Within about 15 minutes, the paper work was accepted, the GST was paid, the Excise Tax was paid, the serial numbers were confirmed, and I was on my way.
Jeanette is about to drive away.
That is her racing off.
Trevor is flying in to Abbotsford airport this Thursday evening.  He will pick up his truck and drive to Penticton for a future brother in law's stag in that BC Okanagan Valley city.  From there, he will meet up with his wife (our daughter, Ginette) at our friends' home in Peachland (just 30 minutes up the road from Penticton) for their drive back to Edmonton, Alberta.
Waiting anxiously in our driveway for Trevor's arrival.
This is not the first time we have purchased, exported and imported vehicles into Canada.  In fact, this truck is the 7th time we have done this.  With a hot Canadian dollar (to the USA dollar) and vehicle purchase costs so much lower in the USA, it makes little financial sense, to us, to purchase locally.

Thanks for dropping in.


  1. It is a pretty painless process once you have all your ducks in a row. We had to wait almost two weeks to get the title document but the process at the border was very efficient. We crossed at Port Angeles - Victoria and were one of two vehicles on the ferry being imported.

    We will be looking to replace our tow vehicle so maybe on our way home from Mexico next year we will try it again. Unfortunately we can't do it on the way down because of the short time periods for the temporary permits and insurance. Oh well, one more year for the faithful '89 Accord!

  2. One question Rene', did he have to pay the Washington State tax or did they waive it as the vehicle was being exported?

  3. We are always looking for used RV's online..seems like the best deals are in the US..if you don't mind my asking did Trevor pay cash or was there USA financing involved?..
    Sounds like the process is pretty easy once you have the $$ lined up...

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  5. Congrats on successfully getting Trevor's truck across the border. He'll be a happy man when he sees that. Sure makes sense with the dollar at +5 cents right now.

  6. Croft:
    We did not have to pay the Washington State taxes because the vehicle was being exported directly out of the state into Canada....more specifically, Alberta. I signed a waver stating the vehicle was leaving the USA.

    Sue and Doug:
    We did not seek any financing in the USA. In this case, I bought the truck in my name and looked after all of the export and import documents. When Trevor arrives tomorrow, I will sign a bill of sale to him. He will then look after completing the Federal and Alberta Provincial inspections and getting the daytime running lights installed. It's just that easy.

    Should you require financing, my bet is that it would be far easier to obtain in Canada than in the US. I don't have any experience with USA financing so I simply surmise here.

    RV deals in the USA are far better than anything here in Canada. There is a glut of RV's, in large part due to the mortgage fallout. So many people have simply walked away from their payment obligations.

    I was checking on a specific motorcycle I am interested in and the cost difference between here in BC and in the state of Tennessee was $7K less south of the line. Incomprehensible!

  7. I recall that when we brought the motorhome into Canada, one of the things we had to prove is that there was no money owing on it. I can't remember if it was Canada or the USA that required that information but one of them wanted a title search for creditors.

  8. My nephew from Alberta just called to say he is buying a six seater aircraft in San Diego and has to land in Nanaimo, BC to import it. He said there is a "fire sale" of used private aircraft in the USA right now.

  9. Croft:

    A copy of the original title is sufficient for the US customs to OK export of a vehicle. A bank or other financial institution would not release the original title if there were monies owing. That is my understanding.

    Cheap aircraft? I should advise our son. While earning his degree in business, he also became a certified commercial pilot. How good are the aircraft prices?

  10. Ah! It was ICBC (Provincial Registration) who wanted the original title. We had problems getting our original title because we paid less than what was owing on the motorhome. Some finance company in California refused to release the title until they got a visit from Camping World Sales' lawyers (and maybe their cousin Luigi).

  11. I will send my nephew an email regarding the aircraft.

  12. Send me your email address and I will forward what my nephew sent. He has something bad to say about his broker that we should keep off the Internet.

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