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Importing Model S to Canada

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Han Chen, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Han Chen

    Han Chen Member

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    I know there have been several threads about importing a US model S into Canada but I have a bit of a unique situation. My friend is currently in Phoenix doing a residency. He wants to buy a S85D but apparently he will have problems importing a US Model S into Canada. He's only down in Phoenix for another year then he is moving back to Canada. What are his options?

    It seems like his best option is to buy the car and get it delivered to Calgary then drive it back to Phoenix. Can he not simply ask Tesla to build him a S85D to canadian spec and charge him whatever it costs for the difference and have it delivered to Phoenix? He would like to avoid the long drive from Calgary through Vancouver, down the west coast and then across to Phoenix if he can.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Recommend you (or your friend) ask Tesla. As you say it's a unique situation so any responses here are most likely all going to be speculation.
     
  3. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I'd talk to Tesla and explain the situation and see if they can't do something. They may not be able to because of the different regulations in the two jurisdictions (i.e. may not be legal to sell the Canadian speced vehicle in the US). But the only way to find out is to ask.
     
  4. 3s-a-charm

    3s-a-charm Active Member

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    How about having delivery in Vancouver then having it shipped to Phoenix. That would solve most of the problems I would think.
     
  5. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    What spec the car is is irrelevant. The car can not be imported to Canada by anyone other than Tesla. (Yes the auto industry has bought a law that is that messed up)
    in fact, a Canadian car, once exported to the USA, can not be reimported until it is 15 years old and exempt from RIV.
    The only way to do it is to buy the car in Canada, register it in Canada, and drive it in the USA as a Canadian visiting the USA.
     
  6. Han Chen

    Han Chen Member

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    He emailed Tesla and they said it can't be done. I don't really understand why. These cars are built to order but I guess there must be some regulation issues or something. Taking delivery in Vancouver is the other option. Can he take delivery in Vancouver, somehow register it in Calgary (he doesn't want to pay the provincial sales tax and he lives in Calgary - his wife is still here in Calgary) and immediately drive it down to Phoenix? I don't know how the registration and all that stuff works. Sounds messy.
     
  7. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    As someone else has said, purchase in Canada, License and register in Canada, then either drive it or ship it. Drive it would be 1000% easier then shipping. if he ships, Customs and duty's. If he drive it, he's just driving it across the border as his transport vehicle. It is perfectly legal for him to drive a Canadian Licensed car here as it would be for a American licensed vehicle in Canada. I deal with Importing and Exporting regularly. That would be the 1000% easier process to do. Try to avoid Customs at all costs.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Can't be done because the auto industry bought a corrupt law from corrupt politicians. Nobody other than the manufacturer can import any new vehicle in to Canada regardless of what standards the vehicle is built to. Once a car has been sold for the first time it becomes a used vehicle and can then be imported only if it is on the RIV list. The RIV last is written by the manufacturers, and lists the vehicles that they are willing to allow to be imported, along with what modifications they need to meet Canadian standards. Once a vehicle reaches 15 years of age, it can be imported regardless of any permission from the manufacturer. As such, the auto dealers are working hard, and spending a LOT of money, to try to get that law changed.
    As of now, Tesla has refused to allow the model S to be imported to Canada under the RIV program. They also have not been willing to answer what the differences are. With the roadster they forbade it's import until they stopped producing it, and then it was added to the RIV list. It seems likely that the Model S is in a similarly purely protectionist situation.
    As for your suggestion. Yes. Once the vehicle is registered in Alberta, it can then be driven to the USA by a Canadian, and as long as it remains in his possession the entire time he is in the USA, and as long as no modifications are made to the car while it is out of the country, he is free to bring it back to Canada with him at a later date.
     
  9. 3s-a-charm

    3s-a-charm Active Member

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    IF the owner is a resident of Alberta at the time of registration he should be able to take delivery in Vancouver and complete the registration papers for Alberta (don't think you would need to have the car in Alberta) so you don't pay BC taxes.

    Then drive it across the border in to Seattle and either keep going to Phoenix or ship it from there to save on time and wear. Somewhat complex but so is his situation.

    Alternately, but a car in Phoenix and sell it when you move.
     
  10. Han Chen

    Han Chen Member

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    #10 Han Chen, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
    Edit: I used the Google. So he can keep the car in the States for a year this way.

    Can he simply drive the car back up to Canada for a few days and then go back to the States and be good for another year?
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    That's to keep the Canadian Registration. To re-import to Canada he doesn't technically have to keep the Canadian registration, he just has to keep it in his possession and not modify it. Of course my knowledge is all on the Canadian side, so I can't say what hurdles he may face trying to register a Canadian car in the USA.
     

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