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Old 03-04-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
wildwindsca
 
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Question importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Hey all seriously thinking of importing a sprinter into Ontario.
Anyone done this ?
My specific questions are:

1. what modifications need to be done to import under Canadian regulation? ie : are there any unusual ones with a sprinter as opposed to any other vehicle. ( ie kms on the speedo is a normal mod) Specifics would be good to know. It would be less costly If it can be done at Canadian tire versus Mercedes

2. anyone use a dealer or an import service in Canada to check through US auctions?

I ask the second question as I have two close friends who just bought used vehicles ( albeit NOT sprinters) through Canadian dealers, that were cheaper imported with tax to their doors then doing the work themselves.

Here hoping i can get a great sprinter and join the club!!

Currently driving a rusted out astro all wheel drive wearing a big hat fake beard and large sunglasses so i wont be recognized .
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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Arrow Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Yes, I've imported into BC Canada from Utah US. It was federally inspected at Cdn Tire. No modifications had to be made, mine already had Daytime Running Lights. If no emissions equipment was previously removed or modified you may be ok. They will not let in a vehicle that has ever had water damage on title. Every emissions and components connected to the computer must be working fully, and all dash lights must work and be off when running.
After I paid all import fees HST taxes and repairs to get it up to clean running condition it was an extra $6000 above price, and probably wouldn't have imported/do it again.
If you are not a mechanic, you must expect to pay 4X what you would expect to have a Sprinter Technician repair it. I just paid $377 to have a Sprinter tech look at my front wheel sensors to find out why my ABS light/ Traction control light came on after I replaced the rotors and pads. Sensors got vibrated out of spec and they charged me $47 for shop supplies(spray cleaner) and 2 hours labour at $144/hr. Any other mechanic might have charged $50 to clean and set sensors but no-one HERE has a Sprinter computer reader to clear error codes, except a Sprinter dealer, or people here with a DAD UNIT. This dealer also wanted to replace my ball joints, I didn't tell them that 1 was just replaced 8 days before, and the other 1 replaced 4 months ago, so they just want to steal/take your money for owning and Mercedes product.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

My '02 Sprinter passed with covering up the miles on the spedometer with black tape to just show only the kms on the dial.

I imported all myself. Had I known there are importers / auctions I should have done that, because I found out after that the used car company I bought it from won it for $1,000 at auction, put $2,500 into repairs to get it going and sold it to me for $8000. All together I've spent $16,000, but couldn't find any in Canada for under $18,000 at the time, so you see the attraction of buying for $8000 and importing.

Don't expect AWD traction from a Sprinter though, it's realistically more like 1WD with it's slip controls on

Last edited by NelsonSprinter; 03-04-2011 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

I imported my 2007 in the fall of 2009. It was really easy. Just arrange to get recall letter from manufacturer, fax all bills and recall letter to US customs 72 hrs in advance of bringing it home. Stop on US side first and get form stamped approved for export. Drive to Canadian side and into customs. You'll pay A/C tax of converted price. Then you'll pay 6.1% exsise tax because a sprinter isn't made in CAN/USA/Mexico (NAFTA). On that total price, you pay the 5% GST, then leave customs and come home with your van. When you get home you go to your local CDN tire with RIV (registrar of imported vehicles form- $204) and they inspect vehicle and stamp your form 1. You then get your van safetied and e-tested and go to your local mto office to change the ownership into your name and get your plates where you will pay the 8% PST according to your Custom form 1.
Now the only difference now is with the HST where you pay all the tax, but it will be the same amount regardless. Cdn tire does not require your speedo to be in KM as mine is in all MILES and he said it doesn't matter. You must have drl's, if not they will wire it up for you for $30. Mine had drl's.
Process is easier than it sounds, but you are taxed up the bum hole!
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Hi. Assuming you have a Passport and you're going to fly down there and drive it back?
This simplifies the paperwork.

Did you visit the www.riv.ca website?

Their site is easier to use since I imported in summer 2008.

The auto shippers I had called in 2007/8 wanted almost $4K to ship a Sprinter to SK from USA NE or south.

You need to determine if the Sprinter will be road worthy and actually has a clean title.

My Sprinter was out of warranty but if you're buying a newer one - check if warranty is still valid in Canada. For some manufacturers the warranty becomes nullified once vehicle is exported from USA.

At the local state DMV you need to get a temporary tag/plate/permit. Some states do not offer insurance so you need to get temporary insurance from your insurer (MTO in your case).
Good idea to check out the state DMV website. ie. MA state does not issue temp tag so you may have a problem. Some states may even show online some info on the VIN like Title check.

Carfax is fairly complete but not every record is shown or available to them.

Note that only certain US and Cdn border crossings handle vehicle exports/imports and you have to cross at the one you specify on the fax to US Customs (along with a photocopy of the Title). Their hours vary but the US side wants to see you there 30 minutes before closing.

Very important is to get the physical Title document (when you get to the van) as the US Customs officer perforates it with a special machine when you're exporting. They may also want to inspect the van before you leave the USA. And it needs to be clean.

If the Sprinter you're buying is 2010 or older then you can check for recall(s) from the Dodge.com website (hopefully none apply) but looks like you need dealer to print it out now. Otherwise, van can't leave the USA before they are fixed. ie. intake manifold recall on certain 2002-3 models.

The online owners manual is from 2004-2008. Last year they still had the 2009 one there.

I don't know if anyone has tried importing a 2011 yet. Mercedes Canada has required $400 or so for the recall letter in the past on their other admissible vehicles.

Canada Customs may or may not inspect the van or even look at the manufacturer sticker. But they need to see the Title. The agent didn't charge me any duty. I even got a tax exemption (for whole week) since I was in USA for over 48 hours (it's tax free on first $400 now, $700 if you stay parts of 7-days). So I guess the agents were in a good mood that day.

For the Federal inspection: DRLs, intact exhaust system, and no airbag light is critical. Not sure if Check engine light would cause a problem. You only have 45 days to pass the inspection but they will extend it up to 60-days (in case of problems) if you keep RIV updated.

There are monthly state auctions but I don't think Sprinters are too common yet.

I would not recommend using an auto broker for the paperwork as they charge a few hundred $ and you can easily do it yourself.

The provincial insurer places more importance on the Bill of Sale than the Vehicle Title.

If you search some more on this site there are other postings about importing.

Regards,

Last edited by djc126; 03-05-2011 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

thanks guys for the info!!
just to reiterate , i could not believe how much less my two friends paid for their vehicles all up after all relevant tax and shipped, in this case from winnipeg to my town of thunder bay ontario ( 700 kms) for 400 cdn.
The Dealers they dealt with seem to really be digging for deals and will go the US and get them.

Sadly another friend who was looking for a sprinter a while back went to the local dodge dealership to deal. They would NOT look out of town for him. He bought a dodge caravan from a dealer in southern Ontario for thousands less.
That same lot has a 2006 passenger sprinter for 45,000 CDN !!!! ...LOL. yeah way out of line.
So the mindset of local dealers here is that they have a captive audience. And it seems we are being gouged.

I really want a sprinter but am worried about all i hear on this forum about little gremlins popping up in the drivetrain with the abs and engine.
So for the massive space and gas economy am I willling to pay a premium with repairs to do it ?
or am I being gun shy?
My alternative is to buy a large chevy or ford van and pass off extra expense in gas for less "repairs" on a sprinter.
I have to say my astro has been pretty rugged and reliable but isnt big enough eats gas and handles like a ...tank.
How much that "premium" will be i guess i will find out.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwindsca View Post
I have to say my astro has been pretty rugged and reliable but isnt big enough eats gas and handles like a ...tank.
How much that "premium" will be i guess i will find out.
I wore out two Asstros over nearly 20 years before I wised up and flew to Phoenix to pick up Frito, an 04 Sprinter with under 10K miles. Landed in Canada, he cost me about $25K. Bear in mind that this was an essentially brand new vehicle, although without warranty of any kind.

Everything mentioned above is true. Importing is relatively easy, except for the wallet part. Even those taxes are not outrageous, IMHO.

What they don't mention is the difference between driving an Asstro and driving a Sprinter.

There is absolutely no comparison.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Grey imports from the U.S : Funny how Canadians enjoy a higher standard of Living in most compared to the U.S.But always look to their cousins on the other side,especially at Night.
Canada has the highest portion of Sprinter sales in the NAFTA region as to per head of capita.
I wonder how many would trade their health care for the U.S health care system?
You earn more, you pay more in tax, yes there is inequity's of discrepancy between provinces, as is the same in the U.S. some have it others don't =two speed economy's.
Yet each dealer on both sides of the border charge Euro labor rates, that are not aligned to local labor rates!"So who is ripping who off"??????.
Richard
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Funny? Funny is how I have a honors degree in Economics, and still don't understand what the hell Richard is saying!!??? lol
Stealerships labour rates are not the concern as such there pure ignorance and incapabilities of their labour force and inabililities to stock parts at reasonable cost for us dIYS'ers.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: importing "used" sprinter, anyone done it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovalmaster View Post
Funny? Funny is how I have a honors degree in Economics, and still don't understand what the hell Richard is saying!!??? lol
Stealerships labour rates are not the concern as such there pure ignorance and incapabilities of their labour force and inabililities to stock parts at reasonable cost for us dIYS'ers.
It's basic 101"s the other side of the fence is greener $$$$$$$$$$
You can't sustain a two way economy, and expect the poor to pay fior the 5% of the wealthy.
Make your grades and do your maths, and what do you get with dealerships The same price global price for labor.
How can Canada and The U.S charge a Euro labor rate???
712 Units for February is your Answer. but most percentage of sales are Canadian based.
You earn more/ Have a better standard of Living/ Have Housing valued higher than The U.S Health care is superior, and you still want what's on the other side of the fence.
No Business would even consider cross border trade. The tax is 100% written off locally you can't do that with a grey market cross boarder transaction and retain dealership warranty. hence the smart get smarter and the rich get richer." Poor man Rich man".
The rich seduce the poor, and the poor are seduced by the rich.
So much for an honors degree in 101's
Signed: Street Wise.
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