When buying a premium used vehicle, a common concern is what kind of life the vehicle had before you sat down behind the wheel.
Prior to signing your name to one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, take the time to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Without doubt, the most important thing you can do is carefully check over the vehicle yourself. Look for anything that raises questions in your mind and ask the seller to explain.
The person who owns the car should be able to answer your questions, either because they’ve had a long experience with the vehicle or they had similar questions themselves of an earlier owner. If you’re not getting the answer your inner voice wants to hear, you know further investigation is required.
When buying a premium used vehicle, always be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. Remember that information is power and there are steps you can take to make an informed decision.
One great way to find out where your ride has been is through a service called CarProof. This Canadian company has built a name for itself in the automotive industry as one of the most trusted methods for tracking the comprehensive history of a vehicle.
The company was in the news earlier this year after a couple purchased a car they thought was new but had previously been in a collision. The couple didn’t find out until a CarProof history report was generated months after they bought the car.
CarProof is offered by more than 5,000 dealers across the U.S. and in every Canadian province, including Victoria Premium Auto in Victoria, B.C.
A CarProof report can cost between $10 and $72 and, depending on the level of report you want, will give you accurate registration information, note any liens on the vehicle, and detail any collision history. The report includes details about odometer status and whether the vehicle has been actively reported stolen. The report also tells you what branding the car has been given by the government – any designation other than “normal” should be questioned.
CarProof gets its information from hundreds of data suppliers in Canada and the U.S., including government sources and private companies that inspected the vehicle in the past.
Great experience, easy, stress-free, friendly, helpful, excellent knowledge and expertise, honest and forthright - Thanks.
Weakening loonie creates opportunities for importing cars into the United States
A drop in the value of the Canadian dollar has been a boon to exporters as it makes goods produced here cheaper for people in other countries, specifically the U.S.
The lower loonie also makes importing a premium Canadian vehicle attractive to Americans. Of course, there’s more to it than buying a great car from a Canadian dealer and driving over the border. If you’re a U.S. citizen looking to take advantage of current economic conditions, the first thing you need to do is give yourself some time. You’ll need to contact a number of agencies and make sure your paperwork is in order.
There are a few extra costs you can’t avoid, such as tariffs, and a few that could apply depending on the age and specifications of the vehicle you select. Ideally, prospective buyers are looking for a higher-end vehicle so the additional costs make up a smaller percentage of the overall price you’ll pay for importing the vehicle.
The rules are much different depending on the age of the vehicle. If it’s over 25 years old, you can avoid many of the hurdles that need to be jumped for newer vehicles. Just make sure you have proper documentation showing the manufacture date.
Generally, vehicles over 25 years old are classified as “classic or antique” and are subject to a 2.5% duty based on value at the time of import. Canadian-made vehicles are usually duty free, but you’ll need to be able to prove they were built in Canada. Older vehicles also don’t have to meet all the emissions or safety standards that new cars are subject to.
For vehicles under 25 years old, you’ll need to contact various U.S. agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Border Protection Agency and federal as well as state transportation departments.
Most Canadian vehicles have emission systems that are much the same as those required in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Association recognizes this but notes that verification is still necessary.
According to the EPA, importers can verify whether the Canadian vehicle is identical to a U.S. certified version to find out if:
The Canadian vehicle has an emission label stating it is certified to United States EPA federal emission standards
The vehicle manufacturer’s United States representative has provided a letter of compliance that states the vehicle complies with all United States EPA regulations. Generally, EPA only accepts compliance information from the manufacturer’s United States or Canadian representative
The Canadian vehicle is not identical to a United States certified version, in which case you’ll need to do a lot more work, and likely pay a lot more money.
Even if the EPA agrees that your vehicle is the same version as ones certified in the U.S., another agency, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, might require a letter of compliance from the manufacturer.
You’ll also need to contact the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Check out its FAQ on the subject for more information.
Once you have the necessary paperwork in hand, you’ll have to pay a duty unless the vehicle was made in Canada.
U.S. Duty fees for vehicles manufactured outside Canada
Motorcycles: either free or 2.4%
There are different rules if you’re importing the vehicle for reasons other than to use as your new day-to-day ride. For example, if you’re bringing the vehicle in the U.S. to take part in races or plan on only having the car in the U.S. for less than year, you might not have to pay the same fees. Check with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency for the latest rules.
The website EZborder Crossing offers a few tips, summarized below, that might help:
Once you choose a car to buy
Contact the vehicle’s manufacturer for a letter confirming your vehicle meets the required U.S. safety and emission standards. The letter needs to note the Vehicle Identification Number
If the letter states minor changes are needed, your option is to get an authorized dealer to make the fixes and then show the invoice to U.S. Customs
If the vehicle needs major work or doesn’t meet U.S. regulations, you might have to contract a commercial importer – however, this will be pricey.
Crossing the border
Make sure you have the bill of sale listing you as the owner.
You’ll also need the statement showing the origin of the vehicle, the title and the Vehicle Information Number.
You’ll need to pay GST but not PST. The GST will be refunded later. Make sure to clean the undercarriage as the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires it to be inspected to ensure you’re not packing any foreign soil across the border.
When you get home, make sure you have insurance and that the vehicle is registered with your state’s Department of Transportation.
Remember, this is just a quick guide. Make sure you check with your premium auto dealer for help with all the details.
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Leasing makes monthly payments on higher-end models more affordable
Leasing premium automobiles is proving to be popular option among a new generation of car owners.
According to a recent report, consumers between the age of 18 and 34 -- known as Millennials -- are more likely to lease cars than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. That said, all three demographic segments are showing a renewed interest in leasing as an option when purchasing a new vehicle.
Millennials turned to leasing for almost 30 per cent of all new car purchases in 2015. That compares to about 27 per cent for the entire U.S. population.
Millennials are also leasing more than ever, up almost 46 per cent over the past five years. Across all generations, about 42 per cent more cars are being leased in 2015 compared to 2010.
The report is based on analysis by Edmunds, a leading automotive information company.
"Most Millennials understand and accept that they're on a tight budget and that they need to stick to it," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis, announced earlier this summer. "But it doesn't mean that their financial constraints limit them only to the most basic vehicles to get from Point A to Point B. If they see a chance to get into a nicer car while staying within their budget, they're likely to explore that opportunity. In most cases, leasing opens the door to the bells and whistles that they couldn't otherwise afford."
Leasing is typically a more affordable way for people to be able to drive more luxurious vehicles and is often preferred by people who don’t want to be financially committed to the same car for the long-term.
After reviewing car registration data, Edmunds’ analysts found that 28.9 per cent of all new cars were purchased by Millennials through leasing.
Crunching the numbers even more, Edmunds showed that youthful shoppers have a ceiling on how much of their monthly budget they’re willing to spend on their automobile. A survey conducted by Edmunds and the research firm Morpace found that 57 per cent of Millennials will only pay $2,999 for a down payment on a new car while 54.9 per cent will only pay $299 per month on a purchase.
Shopping for a car with those constraints essentially limits the choice to new models that are less than $20,000. However, by leasing, budget-conscious consumers can stretch the same $2,999 down payment and monthly $299 payments to afford premium automobiles priced as high as $35,000.
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Dodge Viper SRT 10 same model as one featured in films and television shows
Some cars are more than just automobiles. And while most premium, quality vehicles can turn heads and make your morning commute a dream, not many have the movie star appeal of the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
The super car is currently one of the near-perfect condition used cars for sale at Victoria Premium Auto in Victoria, B.C.
The Dodge Viper SRT 10 has been the subject of much admiration since its production year, and was featured in episode 4 of the 2010 series Battle of the Supercars.
Viewers of the U.S. spinoff of the popular Top Gear TV show will recognize the Viper from an appearance in episode 1.01 of Top Gear USA.
On the big screen, the SRT 10 was featured in one of the best stunts in the movie Wanted, in which superstar actress Angelina Jolie rides the hood of a Viper during a high-speed shoot out.
The film is about a young man who learns his long lost father was an elite assassin for an ancient organization – a storyline we might expect from Hollywood! And while the movie didn’t win any awards for its plotline, it was visually stunning thanks to the inclusion of the impeccable Jolie and the Viper SRT 10.
Another famous film that starred the Viper SRT 10 is Furious 7, the seventh sequel to the iconic Fast and Furious franchise. This film is best remembered as being in production when the series star, Paul Walker, died in an accident away from the set. Walker’s family and friends finished the movie as a loving tribute to the star and the film went on to gross $1 billion faster than any other movie in history to that point.
The Viper SRT has added its sex appeal to numerous music videos, including Always Strapped by Birdman, and added a sense of luxury to films ranging from The Interview to Alvin and the Chipmunks.
The exotic car isn’t for everyone but for true fans of premium automobiles there’s plenty to love about the Dodge Viper SRT 10.
Check out VictoriaPremiumAuto.com for more information on this luxury automobile and for all premium auto sales in Victoria.
Premium auto owners embrace luxury extras
You’ve worked hard and earned the right to a new set of wheels, a premium quality vehicle that makes driving a pleasure. Your new car treats you right, and you’re going to want to spoil it right back. Here’s a look at four accessories that will make owning a luxury vehicle even more of a pleasure.
Perhaps the top accessory for your premium auto is the right kind of protective cover. Let’s face it, there are times when you’ll need to keep your baby parked outside the garage. Having a quality cloth cover can protect your vehicle from the elements while also keeping your investment out of sight and out of mind of potential criminals. A cover is especially vital if you live in a cold climate, which means pretty much anywhere in Canada other than the southern West Coast. But even those of us lucky enough to live in Victoria or Vancouver have to deal with unexpected hailstorms, relentless rain or fierce winds.
Heated leather seats
This is becoming a standard feature on many modern vehicles and is among the most popular aftermarket additions available. On cool winter mornings or after a long day at the office, the experience of slipping into a heated seat helps take the chill out of your commute.
Whether you’re an audiophile or someone who appreciates quality in all things, a precision sound system can be a euphoric experience when you’re on the road. These days, the expectation is that high-end sound systems come standard with high-end vehicles but there’s always a way to boost your system with a new amp or speakers.
Of course, the most important thing in your automobile is you. Did you know that many premium vehicle makers also have clothing lines? From fine driving gloves and a luxurious leather coat to an elegant watch and sunglasses, there’s nothing wrong with looking as good you feel behind the wheel?
Odds and ends
Sometimes it’s the little things that add up to make a big difference in your driving experience. If you can imagine an accessory, chances are it’s available on the Internet.