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      10-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #1
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1M importation questions

Hello All.

I am contemplating on picking up a 1M from Canada and bringing it back to the USA.

My questions are as follows:

1) How much of a hassle is this to do? Can I simply fly up to Canada and drive the car back or is there a rigmarole process that i need to do prior?

2) Are there any long term negative effects (Resale etc) on a Canadian car in the US?

This is my first attempt at importing a car so any info would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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      10-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #2
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Rigamarole. I just did it. Doable though and depending on price worth it. No one knows of future values. Driven in snow probably has bigger impact than just being Canadian. If you want to talk about it I can share my experience. Will Zaraska is Toronto can also help you.

Bdaddylo just did it also.
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      10-02-2015, 12:30 PM   #3
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Rigamarole. I just did it. Doable though and depending on price worth it. No one knows of future values. Driven in snow probably has bigger impact than just being Canadian. If you want to talk about it I can share my experience. Will Zaraska is Toronto can also help you.

Bdaddylo just did it also.
Thanks.

Pm Sent.
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      10-02-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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Is there something special about the car in Canada? I have a great VO with less than 25,000 miles that is for sale at US $54,000. Loaded, full 3M protective film and brand new PSS tires on the rear. Exceptionally clean and never tracked, etc. Put up for the winter soon. PM if of any interest.
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      10-02-2015, 02:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kubotarog View Post
Is there something special about the car in Canada? I have a great VO with less than 25,000 miles that is for sale at US $54,000. Loaded, full 3M protective film and brand new PSS tires on the rear. Exceptionally clean and never tracked, etc. Put up for the winter soon. PM if of any interest.
Yes, the price..
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      10-02-2015, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thought so. U.S. dollar strength is pretty powerful.
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      10-02-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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I tried to move in the opposite direction (US to Canada) this past spring... With pricing, duties, time commitment ect... I decided to leave her behind. I think it's easier to move from Canada to the U.S. so our experiences may not be identical. Also, with the CAD taking a beating lately, you should be in a great position (if you still owe Canadian funds on the car). Good luck!
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      10-02-2015, 03:55 PM   #8
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The only difference in the cars are a few options and features. Safety and emissions are the same which makes it a lot less complicated to import. The biggest obstacle is usually the financial transaction. Wiring money to a foreign account has some additional steps and also there are currency exchange fees.
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      10-02-2015, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdaddylo View Post
The only difference in the cars are a few options and features. Safety and emissions are the same which makes it a lot less complicated to import. The biggest obstacle is usually the financial transaction. Wiring money to a foreign account has some additional steps and also there are currency exchange fees.
Yes but also your state matters. California DMV is a joke . 5 weeks and counting after standing in line 6 hours and paying $4k. No plates yet. They are evaluating my application. They say it can take 3 mo. However. That's just the CA DMV. If they are reading this I'm not sure my opinion of CA DMV can be any lower.

On the plus side, the warranty transfers. I already used it.
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      10-02-2015, 04:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nachob View Post
Yes but also your state matters. California DMV is a joke . 5 weeks and counting after standing in line 6 hours and paying $4k. No plates yet. They are evaluating my application. They say it can take 3 mo. However. That's just the CA DMV. If they are reading this I'm not sure my opinion of CA DMV can be any lower.

On the plus side, the warranty transfers. I already used it.
He didn't ask about registering it. lol

Dealing with the DMV is almost always a challenge. The best thing to do is do as much research online for what your state requires for titling and registering a foreign vehicle. The lady who processed mine was surprised that I had all my documents in order. Make sure you have the cheapest form of payment as well. I left my checkbook at home and had to pay a credit card fee on a few thousand dollars in sales tax.

It is also worthy to note that the Canadian title and registration is on one document. One half is the registration and the other half is the ownership side. If you plan on driving the car over the border, you need to either borrow the seller's license plate and registration or obtain temporary plates from your DMV.
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      10-02-2015, 04:47 PM   #11
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Wow, thank you guys for all this information..I had no idea it was this involved to import a car from Canada..I plan on registering the car in NYC if that matters..Almost makes the low price of the vehicle not worth it..
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      10-02-2015, 05:07 PM   #12
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One thing that hasnt been mentioned yet is that you will need to federalize the car for the US.

That means that you will need to change the instrument cluster for an american one, as the canadian one doesnt read speed in MPH.

Not sure about anything else, but thats a big one.
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      10-02-2015, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
One thing that hasnt been mentioned yet is that you will need to federalize the car for the US.

That means that you will need to change the instrument cluster for an american one, as the canadian one doesnt read speed in MPH.

Not sure about anything else, but thats a big one.
The federalization is for safety and emissions which all BMW NA models conform to and Customs doesn't check the instrument cluster. Changing the unit of measure on the digital read out to MPH usually is enough for state inspection.
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      10-02-2015, 05:30 PM   #14
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RE above post about warranty transfer: OP you should verify this before further steps (if this is an issue for you). I was told that the warranty is transferable (from US to Canada) but in actuality, it isn't quite so. I have to pay for every service call THEN visit a BMW dealership in the U.S. to submit receipts then await reimbursement. Again, not sure if it's the same w inverse case but do due diligence. Besides the 1m should be almost out of factory warranty by now so that shouldn't matter unless you got extended plans.
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      10-02-2015, 05:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by providence View Post
RE above post about warranty transfer: OP you should verify this before further steps (if this is an issue for you). I was told that the warranty is transferable (from US to Canada) but in actuality, it isn't quite so. I have to pay for every service call THEN visit a BMW dealership in the U.S. to submit receipts then await reimbursement. Again, not sure if it's the same w inverse case but do due diligence. Besides the 1m should be almost out of factory warranty by now so that shouldn't matter unless you got extended plans.
The vehicle in question is out of warranty already but it would not have been an issue for me to service anyways as I was a past Employee of BMW in NYC and still have good connections at the service center. As far as the warranty goes I would n eed to run the full VIN in Dealerspeed(BMW's network) to see if the car qualifies for any warranty while it was still covered..Some Canadian cars do and some don't, very weird..
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      10-02-2015, 05:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
One thing that hasnt been mentioned yet is that you will need to federalize the car for the US.

That means that you will need to change the instrument cluster for an american one, as the canadian one doesnt read speed in MPH.

Not sure about anything else, but thats a big one.
If you import it yourself for personal use the cluster is forgiven. If it's for resale, the cluster is required. I kept mine. Love it in Km just like German ones. The cluster costs about $800 and programming it about $500. Only dealer can do it legally and they ask for new in un-programmed unit. The DMV would only accept a dealer swapped cluster or potentially Mark your car as unverifiable mileage. With all that said and myself as living proof it is not required for personal use informal entry importation.
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      10-02-2015, 05:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadye90 View Post
The vehicle in question is out of warranty already but it would not have been an issue for me to service anyways as I was a past Employee of BMW in NYC and still have good connections at the service center. As far as the warranty goes I would n eed to run the full VIN in Dealerspeed(BMW's network) to see if the car qualifies for any warranty while it was still covered..Some Canadian cars do and some don't, very weird..
My US dealer cannot see Canadian Bmw maintenance history. I had to request it from Canadian dealer and they attached it to my file. However the Canadian dealer gave me a report that had German in it and it includes the work done in then US. The point is there are still a few weird communications things going on. Transferring the warranty was easy. One form and it took about a week.
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      10-02-2015, 06:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by nachob View Post
My US dealer cannot see Canadian Bmw maintenance history. I had to request it from Canadian dealer and they attached it to my file. However the Canadian dealer gave me a report that had German in it and it includes the work done in then US. The point is there are still a few weird communications things going on. Transferring the warranty was easy. One form and it took about a week.
Trust me when I tell you that the Internal communication within BMW is questionable at best. I dealt with all their nonsense for 8yrs straight.
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      10-02-2015, 06:44 PM   #19
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Question is becoming moot as most 1Ms are now beyond the warranty period.

If your Canadian 1M is still in warranty, then the warranty itself transfers over to the US, but the "maintenance" coverage/plan does not.

Up until the end of my warranty I struggled with BMW of NA, with whom I had many conversations and who claimed to have registered my Canadian 1M in my name. A few days before the end of my warranty, the car battery died and the car needed a jump start. BMW road assistance couldn't figure out how to get my car towed, so they transferred me to BMW Canadian road assistance, who set it up.

My warranty is now finished, and I think this renders all questions about this completely moot.

As regards the regsitration, my state, Idaho, was extremely anal about the odometer being as the cluster had been changed from kms to miles. After they got all the documentation they requested, the car was registered and titled like any other one. It is now a US registered and titled vehicle, and I would be very surprised if anyone would give two shits about that going forward.
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      10-02-2015, 08:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadye90 View Post
Wow, thank you guys for all this information..I had no idea it was this involved to import a car from Canada..I plan on registering the car in NYC if that matters..Almost makes the low price of the vehicle not worth it..
Depends on what you're paying. It was well worth it for me.
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      10-03-2015, 02:23 AM   #21
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2011 BMW 1M  [4.62]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadye90
Wow, thank you guys for all this information..I had no idea it was this involved to import a car from Canada..I plan on registering the car in NYC if that matters..Almost makes the low price of the vehicle not worth it..
a 1M is sooooo worth it....even in NYC
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