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Importing a Suzuki Carry into Canada

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by mtslesse, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. mtslesse

    mtslesse New Member

    Everywhere I go, I get asked about how hard was to import my truck, so I can only imagine others are asking too, and trying to find the information online. So here it is. If the image I uploaded disappears in the future, send me a Private message, and I'll get back to you with what I know.

    I have written up a cost break down sheet for anyone considering to Import a Mini Truck for themselves. I went through Japan Car Direct, and many of the costs are broken down on their website, and are exactly what I paid. This break down was my experience nearly three years ago, and looking online today little has changed. I would recommend Scott to anyone, although his company has grown, I doubt his service is anything less than what it was, phenomenal.

    Send me a private message if you need help with parts, and I can help point you at least in the direction I took locally. I'm Scottish which means I'm cheap, but I don't like doing things twice, so I generally spend wisely. And as a side note, I buy all my oil filters and other maintenance parts through Scott, at what I think is a fair price for genuine Suzuki parts.

    After you have looked over the cost breakdown, consider this. The $3,395.65 (Canadian) is a fixed cost unless you do your own customs paperwork. To me it was worth getting the broker, especially considering I didn't live in the Vancouver area. If you do live near the port your truck is coming to, and you have time, maybe you'll want to jump through those hoops yourself. Shipping from Japan to Canada may also vary, but it'll be close to what I wrote. Also the closer your chosen truck is to Chiba, the less you spend to have it transported in Japan to get it to Chiba, mine was pretty far away...of course...lol

    So what this means is the variable is the price of the truck you chose. You can spend more, or spend less, but in the end the $3,395.65 will be tacked on to whatever it is you find. Now this is only my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I think that sometimes if you pay a little more up front for a nice clean vehicle you will end up saving money in the long run. This and you won't be spending hours online, and underneath your vehicle trying to figure out how to fix your new mini truck. If we aren't on the same page here, let me explain. Usually well cared for vehicles that need nothing but a tank of fuel to run, demand a higher price. So if you find something that seems like a great deal because it's cheap, you might find yourself paying for repairs that the photo didn't reveal.

    Which kind of brings me back to my above suggestion, go with Scott at Japan Car Direct and avoid that issue all together. As an example, he refused to let me purchase four vehicles I had selected to buy before getting me the one I bought because they did not meet my wish list. Before we started Scott had me fill out a wish list to help him short list vehicles, if you write down 9.5/10 for condition, he won't let you buy a 8.5/10 Remember Scott lives in Japan, he could have sold me any vehicle at anytime, and never have to look me in the eyes to come up with an excuse for taking my money to sell me a lemon. Instead he told me, I'm not selling you a car, I'm selling you a service to buy a car, and If I do right by you and find you what you asked for, you will tell your friends. Well turns out I'm telling the internet nearly three years later. My truck has not had a single issue, not one.

    ...back on track, About the inspection process

    The inspection required me to install a Day Time Running lights module, reflectors on the sides (amber), and rear (red), and I needed DOT tire. You will have to adjust your lights to aim properly, and may have to replace them with DOT lights. For tires I found that tire choice was FAR better with 13" wheels, so I bought wheels at Summit Racing for $42.00 US each (4x100 black steel wheels 62 Series - 5.5 inches wide with a 4.125 inch backspace). I bought Hancook Ipike winters, and run them year round, and they still look new three years later....love it!! I also swapped out my battery, and did a coolant flush to make sure it's mix ratio was good for Canadian winters here in the Kootenays.

    Regular operation

    Not related to the export at all, but I found this very interesting. The truck does not need premium fuel, but from the research I have done, the fuel delivery system doesn't like Ethanol. So either find an Ethanol free station, or step up and buy Shell 91 Octane, or other equivalent premium fuel to avoid getting the Ethanol blend. My truck did not run well at all with Ethanol blended fuel, and there is information out there that suggests you will potentially have fuel system (ie.fuel pump failure) problems down the road with the Ethanol blended fuels. Something to consider if you don't have access to Ethanol free fuel in your area.

    And lastly, and sorry for this importer guys

    Don't believe any of the stuff you read online about odometer roll backs, burnt out engines, and repairs gone wrong. Obviously these things exist, but if you do your homework, and buy from a reputable broker in Japan you will be fine. These guys make a living finding people what they want, they can't afford to start messing around. And lastly, don't be scared of the import process, it was easy. And to be honest, it was almost fun, but maybe that was because I never really knew if Scott was going to rip me off, and I'd be out all my hard earned cash, and stuck with a piece of junk. So yah, my heart rate was always up, buying from some guy I didn't know from across the globe.

    Anyways, good luck to anyone thinking of importing a truck, I had a lot of fun, and love my little truck.

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  2. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    You don't need a broker my wife and I imported our hijet 2 years ago. She did all the paperwork and running around.

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