Importing a Vehicle to Canada

The information here only applies if you are bringing a car to Canada for your own, personal use...

Generally the purchase of cars in North America is cheaper than buying the equivalent car in Europe. It is therefore not usually worth the cost of shipping a car to Canada. Additionally, cars in Canada are manufactured to withstand the harsh winter climate, unlike European cars. All vehicles imported into Canada must comply with Canadian import laws and all Canadian safety standards must be met. The Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) sets the standard for all vehicles (new or used) which are allowed to be imported into Canada. The Act sets out the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS). Visitors and tourists who import their vehicles into Canada temporarily do not have to comply with the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. This is only if the vehicle is used exclusively by the visitor or tourist. This exemption applies to people coming to Canada for less than 12 months or on a student visa. However, the vehicle cannot be sold in Canada and cannot remain in Canada any longer than 12 months or the time specified on the student visa. The overseeing bodies for the import of vehicles are Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency: