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      10-24-2009, 01:30 AM   #1
weezyf
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importing a 328xi coupe into Vancouver BC

Just wondering what the costs will be.. My dad imported his x5 about 2 years ago.. He had to pay $500 to bmw for a recall letter + tax at the border.

I read a little while ago now you have to purchase a $350 + $500 letter from bmw.. Does this still apply?

Besides the DRLs what will I have to change?
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      10-24-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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I think you have to change the instrument cluster so that you have the Canadian one that shows only KMs, not miles and KMs. It is total bs, and the cost is in the $2,000 range from what I have read.

Other costs will be as follows:

AC tax of $100
RIV fee of just over $200
Duty of 6.1% (unlike your dad's X5, which was made in the US and therefore exempt from duty)
GST and PST (you will pay GST on the CAD price, plus the AC tax and duty -- that's right, tax on tax...; PST is levied only on the CAD cost of the vehicle before other taxes)
Inspection fee at Canadian Tire of about $120

With all of the above in mind, a $30,000 US vehicle would cost:

CAD price: $31,500 (assuming xr of .95)
Duty: $1,921.50
AC tax: $100
GST: $1,676.08
RIV fee: $204.74 (inc. taxes)
Can Tire inspection: $120 (estimate)
Recall clearance: $750
PST: $2,205
Instrument cluster and DRL fix: $2,000 (estimate)

Grand total (excluding any travel / shipping costs): $40,627.33

Actually just read elsewhere that it is $250 for the letter of admissibility you need at the border, and then $500 for a separate recall clearance letter. The cluster apparently costs $1,400, but in some cases you also need a heater control module ($1,000), and then labour is about $900, so a total of up to $3,300 plus taxes.

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Originally Posted by weezyf View Post
Just wondering what the costs will be.. My dad imported his x5 about 2 years ago.. He had to pay $500 to bmw for a recall letter + tax at the border.

I read a little while ago now you have to purchase a $350 + $500 letter from bmw.. Does this still apply?

Besides the DRLs what will I have to change?
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Last edited by aspiring335; 10-24-2009 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Updated info. on letters / modifications / costs
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      10-24-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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I don't think you need to change the clusters on the US cars, they come with km/h and mp/h and I'm sure if you look around some BMW dealers would give you the recall clearance letter for free or cheaper cause it doesn't cost them anything.
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      10-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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Wow $2000 a cluster?! Is this a recent change? Because my dads x5 has miles/km, and he didn't have to change it.

$1000 for a heat control module? For?

Thats crazy.. I'm having second thoughts now
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      10-24-2009, 07:29 PM   #5
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Sorry, that's simply not true. Try and do this with a letter from a dealer and you will not be able to import the vehicle (dealers can't issue recall clearance letters in any case). RIV used to accept warranty inquiries, but RIV will not accept these any more. Here is what RIV says:

BMW Canada informed Transport Canada that ALL modifications MUST be performed (and documented) by an authorized BMW Canada or MINI retailer and must be completed before a recall clearance letter can be issued by BMW Group Canada. Contact an authorized Canadian retailer for information on exact nature and costs of modifications required. Modifications vary by model and may be expensive.

It is complete bs. One of their excuses is that theoretically you could turn the DRL back on with the US cluster (the option is not available in the Canadian cluster, but that would obviously just be a software issue, not something that requires the hardware to be replaced).

Some people are posting that all of this work can cost $4k+. It's just not worth importing any more, unless it's a really expensive car when the $4k is not as significant relative to the potential savings from the exchange rate. Definitely not worth it for a 328xi.

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Originally Posted by PBureno View Post
I don't think you need to change the clusters on the US cars, they come with km/h and mp/h and I'm sure if you look around some BMW dealers would give you the recall clearance letter for free or cheaper cause it doesn't cost them anything.
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      10-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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I'm assuming your dad imported his before November of '07? The rules changed at that time. Also, some people are posting that the X3 and X5 don't require the cluster to be changed, but I don't know why they are any different.

No idea why the heater control module would need to be changed.

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Originally Posted by weezyf View Post
Wow $2000 a cluster?! Is this a recent change? Because my dads x5 has miles/km, and he didn't have to change it.

$1000 for a heat control module? For?

Thats crazy.. I'm having second thoughts now
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      10-24-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
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Alright I'm very confused right now.. I read on another forum that you no longer need to change the cluster.. is this true?

Last edited by weezyf; 10-24-2009 at 09:39 PM.
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      10-25-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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No need to change the HVAC knobs if you don't want to.

On a side note, you will not have the free maintenance in Canada, you will have to take it back to the US for this.
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      10-25-2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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how about sell your car, and buy a new one in canada?
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      10-25-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Lots of disinformation here. Admissability letter is no longer required also a recall letter from a USA dealer (free) will be OK and no you don't have to change the cluster. I saved 20K importing my 335, go for it.
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      10-25-2009, 05:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takashi View Post
Go live in the US if you want to buy cars from the US.

It's not worth the hassle to import one into Canada unless you know what you are getting yourself into. You might think you are saving lots of $$ at the moment of purchase but it might cost you more at the end of ownership.
My dad imported his x5 from the US and saved a ton of money.

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Originally Posted by bavarian19 View Post
how about sell your car, and buy a new one in canada?
Hey thanks I didn't think about that!!! I'll sell my car and spend over 20k to buy a 328xi coupe... OR I could goto the US and just spend 5-10k after selling my car. HMMMMMMMM.

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Originally Posted by islandbimmer View Post
Lots of disinformation here. Admissability letter is no longer required also a recall letter from a USA dealer (free) will be OK and no you don't have to change the cluster. I saved 20K importing my 335, go for it.
Thank you sir! Did you import into Victoria recently?
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      10-25-2009, 07:14 PM   #12
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Yes, you are right. I did a bit more research and it seems that BMW dropped the admissibility letter requirement in July of 2008. I guess it was just people importing in that Nov '07 to Jul '08 window who got really screwed.

For the OP, this site has a really good summary of how the rules have evolved over time. The good news is you should be able to import your 328xi after all. My apologies for the confusion I may have helped to cause.

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Originally Posted by islandbimmer View Post
Lots of disinformation here. Admissability letter is no longer required also a recall letter from a USA dealer (free) will be OK and no you don't have to change the cluster. I saved 20K importing my 335, go for it.
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      10-25-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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So we don't need the expensive letter and cluster change? Just a recall letter from the States, DRL fix, CanadianTire inspection, and other government fees/taxes? Should be worth it to import then.. no?

Just watch out for two things:
- Free Maintenance won't apply, but if you go to the States often then you can just do it there and it includes brakes and other "consumables" where as you need to pay $800 in Canada to get that.
- Expect lower resale value when you want to sell the car. Apparently US-cars are worth less here (I don't know why). Unless you can take it back to the States to sell it.
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      10-25-2009, 09:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspiring335 View Post
Yes, you are right. I did a bit more research and it seems that BMW dropped the admissibility letter requirement in July of 2008. I guess it was just people importing in that Nov '07 to Jul '08 window who got really screwed.

For the OP, this site has a really good summary of how the rules have evolved over time. The good news is you should be able to import your 328xi after all. My apologies for the confusion I may have helped to cause.
Its all good.. I think a lot of us are confused lol.

Thanks for the site I'll check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdardashti View Post
So we don't need the expensive letter and cluster change? Just a recall letter from the States, DRL fix, CanadianTire inspection, and other government fees/taxes? Should be worth it to import then.. no?
We don't need the $350 admission letter from BMW.
We still need the recall letter.. But you don't have to get it from BMW Canada I think..


as for the cluster change we still need to clarify this.. I'll call BMW up tomorrow.. Unless somebody else knows.

Quote:
Just watch out for two things:
- Free Maintenance won't apply, but if you go to the States often then you can just do it there and it includes brakes and other "consumables" where as you need to pay $800 in Canada to get that.
- Expect lower resale value when you want to sell the car. Apparently US-cars are worth less here (I don't know why). Unless you can take it back to the States to sell it.
Theres a BMW dealership in the U.S about 45 mins from me.. Which is okay since the nearest dealership in my city is about 30 mins from me.

Resale value is low? Weird a lot of the dealerships here are importing cars from the U.S and selling them for the same price.. Besides I don't plan on selling it for a while.. And if I save 10k-15k importing instead of buying it here its a great bargain.
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