The Duties and Taxes you Might Have to Pay When Importing a Car to Canada

When you are planning to transport your vehicle from the United States to Canada—as in you are planning a move and are opting to bring your car with you instead of sell it—you should be aware that you will probably have to pay a handful of duties and taxes.  When crossing from the US to Canada, for example, you could have to pay:

    • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    • Import Duty
    • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
    • Additional fees


Every single vehicle imported from another country into Canada—regardless of the year it was released—will be subject to a 5% Goods and Services Tax. This tax is immediately due to the Canada Customs Agent when you enter the country. Basically, you have to pay this tax if you actually want to get into Canada with your vehicle.  The GST is the same tax you would otherwise pay if you were to purchase new vehicle from any dealer throughout Canada.Related image


In addition to what amounts to sales tax, the import of your vehicle may also be subject to an import tax. It depends on the vehicle, though.  If your vehicle was manufactured or assembled in North America (so Canada, the US, or Mexico)–with a minimum local content of 55 percent—you are not required to pay this tax. If, for example, your car was mostly manufactured or assembled in Germany or Japan (common to many cars in North America) then you may have to pay this duty—which is 6.1 percent of your vehicle’s value. This tax has been designed to encourage trade between the NAFTA nations (kind of like a tariff on foreign vehicles).


Once you actually cross the border—and pay the first two taxes and duties—you may also have to pay an additional provincial sales tax. If you are required to pay the PST, it will be at the time you register your vehicle in your new province of residence.  Not all provinces will have this tax; it is kind of like how each of the 50 states in America can have various laws and regulations that are different or in addition to federal regulation.


Registering your car in Canada might also result in you having to pay any or all of the following additional taxes, depending on your vehicle and situation:

    • Air Conditioning [modification] tax–$100
    • Excise Tax for vehicles larger than 2,007 kg (2.5 tons)
    • Excise Tax for fuel inefficient vehicles
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