ICBC's top five tips to avoid trouble when importing a vehicle from the U.S.

    That 'deal' may be more trouble than it's worth

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - B.C. set a record for vehicles imported from
the United States in 2008 - 42,922, more than double the number that crossed
the border in 2006. But, in a year when the Canadian dollar also reached
parity with its American counterpart, some B.C. drivers found great deals
while others found their U.S. vehicle was anything but a bargain.
    "It's imperative buyers gather as much information as possible about the
vehicle they're bringing home to Canada in order to make sure it's not
flood-damaged or has a 'washed' or incorrect title," said Mark Francis, ICBC's
manager of provincial vehicle registration and licensing.
    Titles are effectively 'washed' when a vehicle that sustained serious
damage in a crash and is coded as 'rebuilt' or 'non-repairable' in one state,
changes hands and turns up in a neighbouring state with a 'clear' status.
    More than half of the cars, trucks and trailers imported from the U.S.
into B.C. last year were brought in by dealers intent on re-selling them.
    "The bottom line is, do your homework, gather all the required forms and
make sure you know what you're buying," said Francis.

    Here are ICBC's top five tips for buying and importing a vehicle from the

    1.  Look at the guest list: Before you even think about making the
        purchase, make sure the vehicle you plan to import is admissible to
        Canada. For a start, check out Transport Canada's List of Vehicles
        Admissible from the United States
        Don't forget that vehicles brought into Canada must be modified,
        inspected and certified to meet our safety standards.

    2.  Take a history lesson: A vehicle history report can tell you a lot
        about a car you're thinking of buying, like whether it's been in a
        major crash, has any liens on it or is flood damaged (ICBC will not
        register vehicles with a status of 'non-repairable' or 'flood-
        damaged'). CarProof(TM), Autocheck(R) and CARFAX are just some of the
        online services that are available, for a fee.

    3.  Get your paperwork together: A complete collection of documents and
        forms is required: title documents, registration, sales receipts, and
        a statement of compliance label. You should also ask for any recall
        letters the manufacturer has sent out on your vehicle model. And plan
        ahead when it comes to getting your U.S.-based vehicle into Canada;
        ICBC sells a 10-day insurance policy that can accompany a U.S. permit
        during that transition time. Once you're on this side of the border,
        Canada Border Services Agency will provide the Vehicle Import Form
        and collect the fee on behalf of the Registrar of Imported Vehicles

    4.  Call in the inspector: After payment and the recall clearance
        documentation have been received, RIV will forward you an inspection
        form by e-mail, fax or mail. Make sure you keep detailed receipts for
        parts and labour for the modifications to present at the time of the
        inspection, along with Form 1 and Form 2. Canadian Tire stores carry
        out inspections on behalf of the Registrar of Imported
        Vehicles/Transport Canada. The vehicle must also pass a provincial
        inspection at a designated inspection facility

    5.  The final step: At this point you can register, licence and insure
        the vehicle at any Autoplan broker
        ( Remember to bring your Vehicle
        Import Form with two stamps, the Canadian Border Service Agency
        document, original Certificate of Title or Certificate of Origin and
        the original bill of sale.

    If you're looking to buy a vehicle from outside Canada, our website has
good information to get you started. Go to, then click on Vehicle
Registration, then go to Buying, selling and importing a vehicle. Transport
Canada's website - - also has some great resources, including
information on kit cars and vehicles over 15 years old, where RIV requirements
are not applicable.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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