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Old 08-18-2007, 09:01 AM   #1
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Just imported an '05 Boxster S from the US to Canada AND full trip report!

I'm new to this forum, and thought I would share my experiences of purchasing and importing a gently used 2005 Boxster S from the United States into Canada. I gleaned a LOT of information on the car from the forum, and I feel that by describing my experience and trip I can "give something back" to all of you. It's a long trip report, but I hope you like it!

A couple of weeks ago I decided that the combination of the high dollar and somewhat stubborn resale market here in Canada presented an opportunity to import a Porsche into this country.

The process isn't too difficult, although it does seem "daunting" at first.

My first step was to check values on the porsche.com used-car website with comparable values in Canada. I found a low mileage (~9500) 2005 Boxster S in Knoxville at a reasonable price (Harper's Porsche). I contacted the salesman regarding the car, and the dealership was EXCELLENT at getting back to me/sending me information. They took lots of pictures of the car, gave me a detailed description, etc. A fantastic dealership to deal with.

The car was optioned with Bose & Windstop, Auto Climate Control, Painted Wheel Caps, xenon, etc. and had the stock 6 speed manual. From the photos of the car you could tell that it was in fantastic shape. The car came with a Porsche Certified Warranty until November 2011, so I knew that it would be covered mechanically. Plus, given the low mileage, I knew that the car had been barely broken in. To top it off, the dealership completed the first service on the car, so it was ready to be driven!

The car was listed for $45,900 and we settled on a purchase price of $41,800 for the car, inclusive of all extras, after a very short negotiation (I thought that it was an outstaning deal, and it was easy and quick to get there). The same exact car, with similar milage and options, has been priced here at Pfaff for $69k, plus 14% tax, so I knew I was getting a good deal.

I decided to purchase the car, and wired the purchase price funds to the dealership. Yes, this was a bit of a leap of faith seeing as how I hadn't seen the car, but buying from a Porsche dealership gave me comfort that they would stand behind the car.

I booked a flight down to Knoxville with my wife as we intended to make it a "road trip" and drive the car back to Toronto.

The dealership sent me a recall clearance letter, copies of the title, and bills of sale for my records before I came down. I took the title and faxed it to the Lewiston Bridge US CBP facility (WARNING--The fax number on their phone line is INCORRECT! The correct fax is 716-282-1400) as they require the title faxed to them 72 hours prior to import. I then called the CBP to verify reciept of the fax, which they acknowledged.

All that was left to do was fly to Knoxville and pick up the car. We flew down on US Airways to Knoxville (via Charlotte) and our salesman (Joey Collins) from Harper's Porsche met us at the airport in a brand new Cayenne Turbo. A very nice automobile! He took us to the dealership, and once I saw the car I knew I had made the right choice. It was EXACTLY as advertised, with a few small stone chips (I am going to fill them and then get a Clear Guard for the hood and fenders!) but otherwise it was in immaculate condition. The seats were brand new--no leather stress, the interior was in showroom condition, and the rims were clean with no scratches or gouges. The tires have another year on them, which is the only drawback of buying used.

The salesman had me sign some paperwork and then after introducing me to the owner of the dealership (who was following my purchase and wanted me to be happy) gave me a very thorough walk through on the car and its features. He also gave me a front license plate mount in case I needed it (which I do) and pointed out that he affixed a 30 day temporary plate to the car. We loaded our bags into the car, said good bye to Joey and pulled away and onto the Interstate.

We decided to drive back home as it was cheap to fly to Knoxville, and what better way to get to know the car than driving it home? We planned a route through Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and then to Pittsburgh PA where we stayed in a hotel for the night. The car was awesome--even during a MASSIVE rainstorm in the mountains in W.Va, it handled beautifully, and executed passes and top down motoring with precision. What a fantastic car. I think i grinned for the entire 10 hour drive to Pittsburgh. The next day we drove through the Alleghany mountains to Erie, and then east on the I90 to Buffalo, and onward to Lewiston--that part of the trip took 4 hours, with a stop to fill up.

Speaking of fill ups, this car gets fantastic mileage! We averaged about 650 km/ 400 mi per tank, and we were driving on and off with the top up, at an average speed of 120 km/75 mi per hour. I was very impressed.

Anyway, we got to Lewiston, and I pulled off to the left and parked at the vehicle export warehouse (after I asked a friendly CBP officer where the warehouse was!). I walked in, and the officer on duty asked to see my title. She asked me where the car was parked, to which I replied "way down at the end of the parking lot". She grabbed her file, took out the fax I sent her, flipped a couple pages, and then stamped my car's title for export. The whole process took 2 minutes.

I then proceeded across the border where the Canadian border guard asked me about the car (how much I paid, when I bought it, when I left Canada). He gave me a yellow paper with those details written on them, and directed me to the left to the customs cashier area.

I walked into the Customs area with my paperwork, and I was warmly greeted by two agents who were quite cordial and professional. I explained that I was importing a 2005 Porsche Boxster S into the country, handed over the freshly stamped title and my bill of sale, and proceeded to fill out the RIV Form 1. After a couple questions (confirm my purchase price, country of manufacture) I was given a receipt which I took to the cashier and paid both GST (6%) and Duty (6.1%) on the CAD equivalent purchase price. I also paid the RIV fee ($219) and AC Excise tax ($100). All amounts were paid on VISA.

After that, it was home free, and onto the 405/QEW and then 407 to get home.

We passed 7 speed traps on the way from Knoxville, but I had resisted the urge (mostly ) to speed so we were clear.

That's my report so far. I will be calling the RIV to get my Form 2 right away, and then will install the DRL Mod myself on the car, take the car to Canadian Tire for it's Importation and safety inspection, and hopefully, if that goes well, I will have the car registered here in Ontario by the end of next week.

The only mod required on the car (because the Speedo/Odo can be switched to km/h using the trip computer) is the daytime running light mod, so it should be fairly simple to get the car to meet Canadian standards.

And that's it! I love driving this car--it really drives well, and is a fantastic cruising machine. I hope to take it to the track one day soon to really see what it can do!
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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Hi, Congratulations man i did the same thing from Hollywood Florida and followed the same procedures as you did and everything went fine getting back home to Quebec.
It pays to do your homework before importing anything from the States , makes it so much more enjoyable.

Hey didn't you feel like a million bucks when driving back in a Boxster for the first time, awesome experience and well worth the effort $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Enjoy the car and watch out for the speed traps.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:43 AM   #3
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Just a question about the Day Time Running Lights... I was told that the dealer had to turn on this feature using PWIS(sp?) scanner as the feature is controlled by a lamp module. No wiring/relay/jumper wire is needed on 2005 and up models.

Anyone know if this is true or not?
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:25 AM   #4
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Excellent report. I too am planning on bringing a Boxster back to Canada within the next few weeks. Glad to hear how well it went. I'll keep you posted as soon as mine is home.

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Old 09-10-2007, 06:33 AM   #5
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:54 AM   #6
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Great post, and congrats on the purchase.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:54 PM   #7
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I had my Box trucked up but probably would have drove it up if I had the time. I was leaving on vacation at the time. Insurance was covered by the trucking company. No US sales tax to pay. And they could either drop it off at my door if a broker handles the customs work or I can have the truck drop off the car at a local customs holding location where I clear customs myself (about 2 hrs). You process sounds like WAY MORE FUN!!!

I have a couple of questions your process:
-To drive it up I assume you had to get a US transit permit and pay US taxes. Did you find it difficult to get reimbursed for these taxes?
-When you crossed into Canada, did you have to get a Canadian transit permit or did they allow you to drive up with the US one? In which case, how long was the US permit valid for...were you able to drive your car while you were waiting for paperwork and inspections to clear?
-How did you handle insurance?

In Quebec I was told you can't even get a transit until you pass the federal inspection. And insurance companies won't insure the car until it passes inspections. (Franco, was this your experience?)

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Old 09-30-2007, 05:47 PM   #8
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Hi, Hope this helps

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Old 11-03-2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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How did you manage to not have the US export control at the Champlain border crossing not require to hold the ORIGINAL title for 3 business days?

You just faxed a copy of your car's title to the US export control office?
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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A freind of mine in Toronto just told me that a dealer just told him that they would charge $500.00 to do a reall letter if he was buying a car somewhere other than that particular dealership. Looks like the dealers are finding another way to get their hands in the pot if you are planning a private party purchase. I don't know how widespread this practice is but it is something else to consider.

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Old 11-04-2007, 09:55 AM   #11
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Wow thanks for the update!

Not an owner yet but I'm in Vancouver, BC looking to purchase a 987 S very soon. If that dealer you mentioned pops up during my search I'll know they are good to go.

Keep us posted
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