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Discussion Starter #1
The following is a post from a member on another Odyssey thread. Any comments/ suggestions/ feedback/ experiences and PROS and CONS are sincerely appreciated, since I'm seriously condisering this. The savings on an EXL amounts to more than $5000 US.

NAFTA was put in place between our countries to promote free trade, which improves our standard of living. Honda Corp. is working against both the US and Canadian governments by putting back a tariff that they worked hard to eliminate.

Having purchased a Canadian Odyssey while being a US resident, I found the process simple and legally supported by every US and Canadian governmental agency (note the references below to forms and process on both sides of the border). Honda is the only impediment here. All in all, the issues do not outweigh the benefits - and I would (will?) do it all over again for the $5KUS in saving for my 1999 EX.

Number 2 - A couple of things you need to know if you are going to execute this. First, the easiest way for the Canadian dealer (and yourself) is if you have a Canadian drivers license. Though this may seem unreasonable - for many of us, the Canadian border is only a short distance away. A CND DL negates all of the barriers Honda has put in place (for now). Before you go to pick up the car, you need to follow the instructions on the NHTSA and EPA web sites to get letters from the manufacturers. This is a no big deal thing. One e-mail to the manufacturer (using contacts on the web sites) and this was done. You will need this when you come across the border on the US side. The only other thing you need is insurance for the vehicle before entering the US. This is also a no big deal thing. You only need the VIN number to make this happen with your local agent. Your insurance agent should also give you a temporary Canadian insurance card - shows that the car is insured even though it is in Canada.

Once you get to the border you need to stop on the Canadian side and get a Certificate of Destruction/Exportation. This will be used in getting back GST/PST. Pick up the GST and PST rebate forms while you are there. Next you move to the US side and inform the agent that you are bringing back a car and need to go inside to get a Customs Form 368 (collection receipt or informal entry). This is used to prove to your state registrar that you brought the car into the US. At this point you are running on Canadian plates and registration. At some point in the future, you need to get your car registered in your state. With form 368 this is no big deal. The only variable is how much the car cost in US $ so they can compute the state sales tax due (at least this is how it works in NY). Now you are running US plates, registration, insurance et al. Nothing else to do but enjoy your Honda.

When I go to buy my next Honda, I will probably try one more thing.....I will buy the extended warranty from Honda of Canada (without the towing options). I would make sure I read the legal verbiage on the contract and specifically look for the part where they say that Canadian Honda's with this warranty can get serviced in the US. I am pursuing this for my Ody.

Here's the bottom line - it's none of the their business who you are or where you live. Once you have a DL, you are like any other Canadian citizen, all you need is a Canadian DL and payment to buy a car. Don't mention you are from the US. I think by now you picked up that you will need to go back to Canada for warranty service (unless you want to run Canadian plates during the warranty period, then you might be able to get away with US doing the warranty as a favor while you are out of Canada visiting your relatives).

As far as the mileage thing goes - I guess I will cross that bridge when selling....which isn't for a while.

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My questions--

If you've done this: Did you have to pay cash for your Odyssey? I assume that you exchanged the US currency for Canadian currency before you went to the dealership? Were you charged a fee to do this? Oh...and regarding all the posts I’ve read that say Honda Canada will fine dealers $300 CAN for selling to someone from the US—does this not apply if I have the Canadian drivers license?

Which lead me to: Why would I want to surrender my OR drivers license? I need it to drive in OR. And how do I get a Canadian drivers license in the first place, when I don’t have a residence in Canada?

And won’t they want to keep the taxes, since they think I’m from Canada? He said not to tell them I’m from the US, but I’ll have to if I want the taxes back, right?


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Currenly driving '00 MPV
, but want to sell it for '02 Ody so bad!


[This message has been edited by hondaboy (edited 10-17-2001).]
 

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The short answer is definitely YES. The savings are real but you will have to put in a lot of sweat equity into this venture.

First a couple of things to point out in the post above. It doesn't mention the fact that Honda USA may not honor the Canadian warranty. Also, Honda Canada is not only requiring dealers to produce copies of the buyer's Canadian DL but also to see that it is registered in Canada too and that requires Canadian insurance. You will also have to live with the odometer in KM issue.

Fortunately for you as an Oregon resident, you have no state sales tax and it is not too far from Canada to get any serious warranty work done from the dealer you purchase it from.

If you want to buy one, I suggest contacting Honda dealerships and pose as a Canadian resident or at least a US resident who is relocating to Canada. Otherwise they will try and gouge you. You tell them you are or will be a Canadian resident, will produce a Canadian DL and will register and insure it in Canada.

Then haggle, pay about CDN 1,300-2,000 off MSRP. I think the easiest thing to do is to purchase the car without financing or trade-in. So you'll need to go to a bank to get a bank draft in Canadian dollars. Call around, many banks have a special currency desk which gives you much better rates for bulk currency purchases. Wells Fargo is one such bank.

So finalize a contract and then get to Canada, get your DL, purchase it, insure it and register the car. The costs are minimal and if you have to give up your Oregon DL you can always get another one. Now drive to the border, get the tax rebate forms (I think you have 60 days to file them) and when you arrive at US Customs you have 2 choices:

1) If you want to give up on getting the Canadian warranty honored in the US, call Honda USA and obtain a compliance letter for Customs. Honda USA may still honor the warranty but calling them up certainly alerts them; or

2) If you want the warranty, you'll have to get through Customs without the compliance letter which means you tell Customs you are not importing the car (at least not right away). I am making no suggestions as to how you do this. You'll have to come up with something. Just be aware than a) you do not owe Customs any duties so you are not cheating the government; and b) the Odyssey is compliant with all US safety and emissions laws. Let's assume you get through. Wait six months and then call Honda to tell them you've moved from Canada to the US to get the compliance letter and a relocation warranty letter. Register the car in your state after complying with any Customs regulations.

Check this link for Customs regulations:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/

Does it seem like a lot of work? Absolutely. You will have to decide for yourself if this is worth the trouble.

[This message has been edited by phoenix2001 (edited 10-18-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for your reply, phoenix2001, but my questions above still linger...

How do I get a Canadian drivers license in the first place, when I don’t have a residence or address in Canada?

And won’t they want to keep the taxes, since they think I’m from Canada? He said not to tell them I’m from the US, but I’ll have to if I want the taxes back, right?

BTW: Did you buy one from Canada and import it?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Obtaining a Canadian DL is easy if you are willing to trade in your Oregon DL. Check this link for specifics:

http://www3.gov.ab.ca/gs/services/mv/operator.cfm

For residency, get a friend's address in Canada. Or check into a hotel and use their address.

You have sixty days to export the car and get the taxes back. This stuff is all on the Canadian side so you just need to fill out the forms (which I have not seen) and mail it back. I don't think you'll have a problem but I think you better do some research.

I have not investigated this since the 7% GST in Alberta is the same tax I would pay in Arizona so it didn't matter to me.

Have not bought a Canadian Odyssey yet, still investigating.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Phoenix2001, could you please email me? There's some more questions I'd like to ask you. Thanks much!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Al and Rob- You may want to read the post above, since it goes into a lot more detail from someone who actually did this.
 

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That's a repost from the other thread.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by phoenix2001:
quote:
Given Honda's requirement of the DL and obtaining one implies residency at the time of purchase you will not be able to get a refund.
</font>
Suppose I, as a Canadian resident, buy a Honda (to satisfy their residency requirement), and then sell it privately to you, a visiting American resident. Then you should be able to get a GST refund, right? (Not sure about PST)

What's wrong with that scheme?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DP:
That's a repost from the other thread.

Suppose I, as a Canadian resident, buy a Honda (to satisfy their residency requirement), and then sell it privately to you, a visiting American resident. Then you should be able to get a GST refund, right? (Not sure about PST)

What's wrong with that scheme?
</font>
Possibilities:<ul>[*]Vehicle is used when purchased which could affect finance rate or eligibility.[*]Second buyer has less recourse to dealer.[*]There is additional risk to both buyer and seller (did the cheque clear, was the vehicle damaged, is the title clear, etc.).[/list]

Just some thoughts,


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Maugham

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
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