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Discussion Starter #1
Hello neighbors to the north. I wonder if you could help me with something? I'm seriously thinking about purchasing an Odyssey in Vancouver, BC and importing it here (see post "U.S. resident CAN buy Canadian Odyssey?" for more info).

My question is for all of you who have already purchased your Odyssey--since I need to pose as a Canadian, could you please explain to me what's needed to purchase it. In other words, what sort of proof do I need to show?

A Canadian driver license?
Proof of Canadian insurance?
Anything else?

Also, if I were to pose as a Canadian who moved to the US, would Honda honor the warranty?

Lastly, what did you pay for yours--$2000 less than MSRP Canadian?

Thanks very much!!
 

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They will probably photocopy you drivers licence.
When we picked up our 2002 EX-L the Sales Manager, who is a family friend, commented that he had received several phone calls from other dealerships wondering if they could 'trade' him for the Odyssey. I got the impression that the changes this year have made the Odyssey a hot item. If so, the $2000.CDN discount may be a thing of the past, especially in the large cities. Check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is one reply I got from one of the Honda dealers in Vancouver. Does this look about right?

Here is a quote for the vehicle you inquired:

Vehicle: 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-Leather, 5-Speed Auto
Vehicle Price $36,900.00
PDI & Freight included
Documentation Fee $135.00
Air Conditioning Tax $100.00
----------------------
Sub Total $37,135.00

Taxes PST+GST+ 0%Luxury $5,198.90
Tire and Battery Levy $21.40
----------------------
Grand Total $42,355.30
 

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The dealer has folded the $850 PDI/Freight charge into the MSRP, for a start.
The documentation fee is dealer profit, and unusually high, in my experience. Most try for $75. to $85.
The other charges are legitimate.
If you go to http://english.honda.ca and find Odyssey in the models, you can check MSRP for the vehicle and options.
I suspect you can better this offer a bit by face to face negotiations, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if you reach a $2000. discount now that the improvements for 2002 are known. Good luck
 

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You may want to talk to an auto broker who can advise you on how to proceed.

Please call Greg Huynh at http:\\www.quinella.com

I purchased my 2001 EX for 38KCAN all taxes included and he pulled some strings on the luxury tax in Canada. He had it shipped from factory and charged approx. $500 over invoice with a 6 week wait.

Mention my name so I can get the 2% finders fee.

Regards, Geoff Fawkes.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gfawkes:
You may want to talk to an auto broker who can advise you on how to proceed.

Please call Greg Huynh at http:\\www.quinella.com

I purchased my 2001 EX for 38KCAN all taxes included and he pulled some strings on the luxury tax in Canada. He had it shipped from factory and charged approx. $500 over invoice with a 6 week wait.

Mention my name so I can get the 2% finders fee.

Regards, Geoff Fawkes.

</font>

Correct URL is http://quinella.dynaserve.com/
 

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Aren't there import duties when you bring it back to the US thru customs?

I find it hard to believe it would be so simple to import a vehicle and escape taxes etc. The reason the cars may be cheaper in Canada is because they are a Canadian product and there are no duties. Otherwise-there would be no need for a Honda sales facility to exist anywhere near the Canadian border on the U.S. side.

I don't buy the exchange rate theory. If a U.S manufacturer sells a two dollar (US) item in Canada, and the exchange rate is 1 US dollar per 1.5 Canadian, it will sell for $3 in Canada. Then when they exchange the money back to US currency they will have their 2 bucks. At least thats been my experience in Canada.

Al

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 10-25-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Al,

Let me illustrate using the example above.

$42,355.30 CDN = $26,861 US

Once you cross the border, you apply to get the GST and PST back, so you're getting the $5198 ($3296 US) back.

This means you're paying $23,565 US for an Odyssey EXL. Compare that to what you $28,690 MSRP here in the US, if you can even get it for that.

For this $5000 savings you have to deal with the Odometer in KPH and the fact that Honda may not honor the warranty. Is that worth $5000 to you?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hondaboy:
Al,

Let me illustrate using the example above.

$42,355.30 CDN = $26,861 US

Once you cross the border, you apply to get the GST and PST back, so you're getting the $5198 ($3296 US) back.

This means you're paying $23,565 US for an Odyssey EXL. Compare that to what you $28,690 MSRP here in the US, if you can even get it for that.

For this $5000 savings you have to deal with the Odometer in KPH and the fact that Honda may not honor the warranty. Is that worth $5000 to you?
</font>
hondaboy - lots of people here have thought about doing the same thing. You will not get a warranty unless you truly are a resident of Canada and then move to the US.

Technically, Honda dealers in Canada are not allowed to sell to US residents. To get yourself a license in Canada, you have to prove you live there legally. I think it takes more than staying in a hotel for a few days. Even moving to Canada requires their permission. If you are able to get yourself a driver's license from a Canadian province, why should you get your taxes back at the border - you are a resident of Canada now not the US. And if you do manage to get the money back, you will have to pay the sales tax when you register the car in your state (if it has one).

True, it's $5,000 but there are way to many hoops to jump through for my tastes. Not one person who has thought of this on the boards I frequent has done it.

Good luck if you do try it.
 

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You can get citizenship papers for just about any country if you go thru illegal channels, but then you may be playing with your freedom if you get caught, especially with current events as they are.
The $3296 US savings will decrease in Michigan once you pay the sales tax of 6% ($1611) on the full retail price-necessary for registration. Now the savings are down to $1685 US, and still no warranty. Add 800-1200 for a comparable warranty and the savings is reduced even further.

I too don't know of anyone who has done this and saved all the money I keep hearing about and I've been hearing this for years. I would think U.S. dealers near the border would raise one hell of a squawk with both the government and the manufacturers..but I hope the guys trying it will keep us informed.

Regards
Al
 

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albaby - Canadian built cars do not incur any customs duties at the US border thanks to NAFTA. Honda can price their cars differently depending on the market. For the Odyssey, MSRP in Canada is $4,000 less than the US but MSRP in Mexico is $12,000 MORE than the US. (Go figure!)

Sales tax applies differently depending on your state laws. In general, most states will not charge you sales tax if the vehicle was previously registered in another jurisdiction (and therefore assumed you paid the taxes in that other state).

Since all the Honda dealers in Canada require registration in Canada before they will sell to you, this is the scenario you are facing. Which is not bad if you buy in Alberta with a 7% GST only and your state's sales tax is 7% or more. But it is definitely pricey if you buy in British Columbia and live in Oregon (which has no sales tax!)

Registered Importers are not allowed to buy new Canadian cars either and could lose their license (with the manufacturer) if they do. The RI I spoke with said the car has to be 6 months old and have 15,000 miles (km?) before they can import it. The brokers you see selling Canadian Odysseys in the US today probably found back-doors to this policy.

robr2 - even Canadian residents and citizens are entitled to receive refunds of GST and PST if they export a vehicle to the US.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">robr2 - even Canadian residents and citizens are entitled to receive refunds of GST and PST if they export a vehicle to the US.[/B]</font>
But I presume that sales tax would have to be paid on the vehicle if it were registered in a US state which has a sales tax.

Unless of course one decides to show the state the taxes were paid in Canada but conveniently forget to tell them the tax was refunded upon exporting to the US. To me unethical not to mention probably tax fraud.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by albaby:
The $3296 US savings will decrease in Michigan once you pay the sales tax of 6% ($1611) on the full retail price-necessary for registration. Now the savings are down to $1685 US, and still no warranty.</font>
Al, please go back and read my post again. The savings amount to $5000. Even if you have to pay 6% in taxes to your state, you'd have to pay that anyway if you bought one in the US. The savings is still $5000--no ifs, ands or buts about it!



[This message has been edited by hondaboy (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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albaby - check the above numbers again. What he is calculating is a $5,000 savings before taxes are factored in. So it would be $5,000 plus the $3,296 minus taxes you pay to register in your state. And no one is talking about getting false citizenship papers.

Here is the facts. Dealers in Canada have the legal right to sell their cars to anyone, Canadian resident or not. Honda doesn't want this so they impose fines on dealers who do this. So dealers have to prove to Honda that they believe the buyer was a resident by checking for a Canadian DL and registering it in Canada. Nothing prevents anyone from buying a car and then deciding to move out of Canada.

Technically, you don't need a Canadian DL to buy cars in Canada nor register it in Canada. This requirement is solely a Honda issue (other manufacturers do this also to be fair) for the dealer to meet.

So if you want to buy an Odyssey you have to produce a Canadian DL which requires proof of residency (not citizenship). Contact a Registry Agent and ask them what form of proof they require. Usually it is simply a letter with your Canadian address on it.
 

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robr2 - interesting idea and I think it may be legal too


Seriously, a state that does not charge sales tax on vehicles that were previously registered in another jurisdiction would have no legal standing to collect sales taxes. Take Oregon vehicles for example, no sales tax at purchase, register it, and if you move sometime in the future Arizona will not charge you sales tax when it is registered in Arizona.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by phoenix2001:
robr2 - interesting idea and I think it may be legal too
</font>
Phoenix - glad to see the
emphasis. You never know if the person you are jousting with on the internet is an IRS agent or a border patrol officer.


Remember, it's a fine line between tax avoidance and tax evasion!!

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Seriously, a state that does not charge sales tax on vehicles that were previously registered in another jurisdiction would have no legal standing to collect sales taxes. Take Oregon vehicles for example, no sales tax at purchase, register it, and if you move sometime in the future Arizona will not charge you sales tax when it is registered in Arizona.[/B]</font>
No they wouldn't be entitled if the state has no right to collect the sales tax. I know, I live next door to tax free NH and see plenty of people buy cars here in MA who live up there. As long as the delivery happens in NH(wink wink nudge nudge), they don't pay the MA sales tax.

I guess the issues I have with this scheme are mainly ethical:

The dealer franchise agreement says they will not sell for export - by doing so they violate their contract.

Posing as a Canadian resident just to buy a car borders as fraud in my opinion.

Establishing Canadian residency by staying at a hotel in Canada is pushing it in my eyes. If you become a legal resident then you should do it through the proper methods. Note no where have I mentioned citizenship. If the DMV in a Canadian province is giving out licenses to anyone living at a hotel without showing proper documentation that they are in the country as a legal resident, then they are opening themselves up to the ticks of the social system.

Here is a link to a document showing the status of travellers to Canada:
http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/E/pub/cm/d261ed/d261ed.html

And here is a link with greater detail of emigrating to Canada:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigr/immcan_e.html

To me it's just shady. Legal perhaps but not within the spirit of the law and regulations. I guess I tend to be too honest and expect the same of others. I AM NOT CALLING ANYONE DISHONEST SO DON'T START.

The potential savings is a pile of money but the rigamarol involved seems to be only for those with lots of time on their hands.

You and I both have passionate opinions on this subject. I am going to try and let go. I mean sheeeeesh - why do I even care?
It's just a minivan!!

For those of you interested and have the time and perseverance GO FOR IT. But like I said before, no regular poster here has done it that I can recall.

Peace and Good Luck.

[This message has been edited by robr2 (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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Read kbatchers post. Here is a partial copy.
Our situation was different than most and I will try to keep it brief. We utilized a registered importer next to the Canadian border to purchase our Ody from Canada. It was great, saved about $1,200 under MSRP and saved the headaches of trying to get a Canadian model through the boarder. (We let the importer do the work) 2002 GG EX-L.

You may be able to argue about the sales tax angle, but if you're a resident of one state and buy a large ticket item in another state, you may be required to show that you paid your states taxes to a dealer in the other state. The dealer then has to forward the tax money to your state. That too, will depend on the state, but that's the way it works between Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. You will be asked to show evidence that you paid the taxes to the other state, and to whom when applying for title and registration. I seriously doubt that they would be fooled by your showing a reciept for GST, knowing that you may apply for a refund.

robr-I have bought several vehicles in Indiana and did not haveto pay their sales tax-but had to pay sales tax on the vehicle when I went to plate and title it in Michigan.

If these saving are so huge $5000 or more-and were even remotely legal,you would not be having to figure out how to do it. There would be firms selling you the necessary paperwork for a few bucks or maybe even taking care of the necessary documentation with Canadafor a small fee. And there would be no sales firms for any cars anywhere near the Can. border. Only service facilitys.

Keep us informed.
AL

Al

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by phoenix2001:
robr2 - interesting idea and I think it may be legal too


Seriously, a state that does not charge sales tax on vehicles that were previously registered in another jurisdiction would have no legal standing to collect sales taxes. Take Oregon vehicles for example, no sales tax at purchase, register it, and if you move sometime in the future Arizona will not charge you sales tax when it is registered in Arizona.
</font>

What you say is true-but only if you were a resident of Oregon when you purchased the vehicle. There are (were?) some tax dodges that were available in states like Oregon. I have heard of some people buying motorhomes etc. and using Oregon residency as a tax dodge. However-you had to establish an address there, and they had some firms that would give you an address. There could be problems with insuring a vehicle registered in another state etc, and your home state may require you to show that you were NOT a resident of your state when you purchased your vehicle. There still are some legal methods involving vehicles involved in interstate commerce-note the number of semi-trailers registered in Oklahoma.
These tax dodges are nothing new and have been tried for years. I would be surprised if they were still allowed to continue.The only one I am sure of in some states is the transfer of property between relatives, and even that is closely defined.

Let me know how this works out. With these figures, I should be able to sell my 01 EX here in the states and get a Canadian 02 EX and still have money in my pocket, even if I have to pay Mich. sales tax on the vehicle again. I just can't figure out why more people aren't doing it, and why there isn't someone offering to do the necessary legwork for a fee. If it's legal-I'll put my order in for an 02. As a matter of fact, I sent an e-mail to the dealer mentioned in this post, asking for the necessary instructions and prices, fees etc.


AL

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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Hondaboy-Phoenix-Sorry, I misread the figures. You are correct. Another thing I can't figure out is why Honda is screwing us in the states or why they are willing to take less profit on a vehicle in Canada when they are selling all they can deliver here for $5000-6000(US) more.

Al
 
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