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Old 03-31-2012, 06:31 AM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,930,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minibrings View Post
Odd that they're different. US cusanted in Lewiston, ny wanted a fax , can't remember if it was 48 or 72 hours in advance. They did not even compare the title to the car, they looked outside th window and I pointed to my Saab.
I think you're in for a disappointment if you expect consistency for such a bureaucratic procedure
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
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I've personally imported a vehicle from the US to Canada. It was pretty straightforward. I did it through the border crossing at Champlain, NY (with Lacolle, QC on the Canadian side). This was in 2009. They definitely wanted the ORIGINAL title 72 hours in advance, and no less. On the US side, they put in their system that the vehicle was leaving the US permanently (or whatever the code was). The Canadian border crossing wanted me to pay tax and the imported vehicle fee. Then I got daytime running lights installed, passed the Transport Canada test at Canadian Tire, passed the provincial safety inspection, got insurance and registered the vehicle. A bit of work, but not outrageous. The only problems I can see is if the vehicle doesn't pass the mechanical safety inspection (and you'll probably need an emissions test if it's in Ontario). Failing either of these could be expensive to fix the needed items. Maybe try passing those inspections first if in doubt, then "import" it.

Or, sell your car in NY and buy a new or certified and e-tested used car in Ontario. And in Ontario, the "safety checks" to get your car "certified" are done at private garages. In the past, I've taken a vehicle to one place, it failed miserably, took it to another shop and it only needed a few things to pass. In Quebec, you must go to a designated inspection centre that ONLY does inspection. No repairs. So, they have no incentive to get you to fix something, unless it really needs it, because they don't profit from it. Much better system than the subjective one in Ontario.

BTW: my friend imported a car through the border crossing at Buffalo, NY in 2003 and did not provide the title 72 hours in advance. He just showed up. I was with him. They let him through, but that was a different border crossing and several years ago. To be sure, I would do things as they ask.

Yeah, Ontario insurance is expensive! But in the whole grand scheme of things, an extra $1000 a year or so shouldn't break you. If it does, you're cutting it too close. Most insurance companies will let you make monthly payments. If you haven't already found it, try Compare Car Insurance Quotes & More at Kanetix to get price quotes from up to 5 insurance companies at once. HINT: get a "letter of experience" from your insurance company in NY. They might be able to take your years of (hopefully claim free) driving in NY rather than starting you as a new driver. Then again, if you have a bad insurance record, maybe it's better just to forget the letter of experience.

Ontario is a very regulated province. Sometimes to extremes. In many cases, if something is not "just right" you can get declined, turned down or fined. Especially as a new permanent resident, don't take any chances or get any strikes against you. Just get your vehicle imported and get your Ontario driver's licence, plates (tags) and insurance.

Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:11 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,656 times
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Thanks everyone. I greatly appreciate your advice.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:23 AM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,930,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
Then I got daytime running lights installed, passed the Transport Canada test at Canadian Tire, passed the provincial safety inspection, got insurance and registered the vehicle.
An anecdote that (to me) sums up the whole process -- I didn't have daytime running lights installed on the last car I brought back, but the Canadian Tire guy saw me coming in with the lights on, even though it was 10 AM (I always keep them on), so he thought they were installed. He signed off on the inspection, and 15 minutes later I was on my way.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
An anecdote that (to me) sums up the whole process -- I didn't have daytime running lights installed on the last car I brought back, but the Canadian Tire guy saw me coming in with the lights on, even though it was 10 AM (I always keep them on), so he thought they were installed. He signed off on the inspection, and 15 minutes later I was on my way.
You got lucky! I guess it depends on the mechanic. Some are more thorough.

Also interesting to note, some cars have automatic sensors that detect when it's dusk or dawn (or of course total darkness outside) and turn the full lighting system on with the low beam headlights, tail lights, dashboard lights, etc. Some are more sensitive than others, so if your car has that, it might have been dark enough in the garage for the sensors to think it was dawn or dusk and the full lighting system got turned on automatically.

Some (if not all) of the US market cars have daytime running lights now. I think all new GM's and Toyotas do, maybe all makes now? GM has been installing daytime running lights on US spec cars for a while now, voluntarily, since the early 2000's, possibly even the late 1990s, but back then, only on certain models - usually mid range and higher range models.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:56 PM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,930,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
You got lucky! I guess it depends on the mechanic. Some are more thorough.

Also interesting to note, some cars have automatic sensors that detect when it's dusk or dawn (or of course total darkness outside) and turn the full lighting system on with the low beam headlights, tail lights, dashboard lights, etc. Some are more sensitive than others, so if your car has that, it might have been dark enough in the garage for the sensors to think it was dawn or dusk and the full lighting system got turned on automatically.

Some (if not all) of the US market cars have daytime running lights now. I think all new GM's and Toyotas do, maybe all makes now? GM has been installing daytime running lights on US spec cars for a while now, voluntarily, since the early 2000's, possibly even the late 1990s, but back then, only on certain models - usually mid range and higher range models.
My car still doesn't have them. Even funnier is that my US-purchased Mazda 5 was made in the same Japanese plant as the Mazda 5 that are sold in Canada (which obviously have those lights installed). They just don't install the device on US models.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,054 posts, read 9,102,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
Some (if not all) of the US market cars have daytime running lights now. I think all new GM's and Toyotas do, maybe all makes now? GM has been installing daytime running lights on US spec cars for a while now, voluntarily, since the early 2000's, possibly even the late 1990s, but back then, only on certain models - usually mid range and higher range models.
My newer US camry has running lights but because they can be turned off, I've been told I will have to pay the $500 to get them installed ....hopefully I will be as lucky as the poster above!
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:28 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,455,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
An anecdote that (to me) sums up the whole process -- I didn't have daytime running lights installed on the last car I brought back, but the Canadian Tire guy saw me coming in with the lights on, even though it was 10 AM (I always keep them on), so he thought they were installed. He signed off on the inspection, and 15 minutes later I was on my way.
Mine didn't even look. He asked me if my car had DAytime Running lights.. My Saab had it, but you could easily turn it off by pulling a fuse.. I forgot I had the fused pulled that day.. But I always leave the lights on the onposition anyway.

Another tip, get an extract from NY DMV of your driving record to make sure you get a full g-2 Ontario license.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 716,450 times
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It's true, the same manufacturing plant that makes cars for US and Canadian markets equips the models differently. For a brief period of time, I worked at the Honda assembly plant in Alliston, Ontario in the late 1990s, on the Honda Civic line. I know there were certain components that were actually different for US spec cars VS the ones destined for the Canadian market. Things you would not even think of, like a clutch slave cylinder. And of course, daytime running lights.

I had a 2010 Toyota Corolla (just sold it so I could eliminate car payments to save for my move, and keep my fully paid for 2005 Chevy Astro). In the Corolla, and the Astro, the full lighting system comes on automatically when it's dark outside, or dusk/dawn. Not quite the same as daytime running lights which should turn on the headlights or dedicated running lights at a certain wattage during the daytime, or until the full lighting system is on - whether manually or by a photo electric sensor.

A while ago, I had an older Toyota Camry. If I turned the lights on manually, then the full lighting system came on (headlights, tail light, dash lights, etc) as you would expect it to. And when I shut the engine off and pulled the key out of the ignition, all of the lights would turn off, even though the switch was still on. Next time I put the key in and turned the car on, the full lighting system would come on since the headlight switch was still in the "on" position. If you wanted to manually turn the lights on without the key in, I think all you had to do was move the switch off and back on again. But otherwise, you could leave the switch on and shut the car off, and the lights would shut off so you don't drain your battery. I think this is the type advernturegirl has in her Camry. Must be a Camry thing - most Camrys have it, and I'm sure some other cars do too, but it's not a true DRL (daytime running light) since you can manually override it.

If you're being told it will cost $500 to install daytime running lights, they're probably not being honest. In Canada, Canadian Tire sells the kit (a universal module with wiring) for about $40 I think. When I brought my Windstar from Florida, it cost about 1 hour's labor for the mechanic at Canadian Tire to install it, so maybe $75 or so? I'm sure there are aftermarket shops that sell the same, or similar module throughout Canada and the US, as well as online. I'd say any mechanic that knows automotive electric should be able to install it within an hour or two. In fact, I actually installed a DRL module in an older Canadian spec car that was made before daytime running lights were mandated in Canada. I don't think it took me any more than an hour to install it, and I'm definitely not a mechanic!

But, overall, it seems that some mechanics are more thorough than others with their inspections.

Side note: I had a Canadian spec 2006 Toyota Matrix that came with daytime running lights. Once they were on, they would not go off until you shut the car off. I did not like that. With some cars, when you set the parking brake, or shift to park, the DRL go out. Not with the newer Toyotas! Sometimes I'd come home late at night and didn't want to shine my headlights into my neighbors windows. So, I found a wiring schematic online, took it to a car stereo and alarm shop, where I was getting a new stereo and alarm installed, and got the guy to put a subtle little switch on the bottom of the dashboard. With the switch in the "on" position, my daytime running lights would work as intended. In the "off" position, the DRL were disabled. When I had to go for an inspection, or when I sold the car, I left the switch in the "on" position.

And on a different topic, good suggestion from minibrings to get a copy of your driving record from the DMV in NY. Ontario has a graduated licensing system, so providing you have enough years of documented driving experience in NY, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation should be able to give you credit for that, instead of starting you off as a new driver at the beginning of the graduated licensing system. It's similar in all provinces. I'm more familiar with Quebec, but in any case, I believe a license from any Canadian province, US state and a select few overseas countries (not many) can be directly exchanged. Otherwise, you start from zero, even if you've been driving for 20 years.
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