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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.

    Attached Files:

  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.
  3. DSlag

    DSlag Member

    Not to bump an (2 year) old thread but seriously looking into importing my own truck now.
    Being Canadian and after looking at trucks available locally (~25 YO and >120kkm) for $5000 I wasn't impressed. Not when the auction prices for 15 YO truck with 50kkm are coming up at under $3000. Adding the costs presented in this thread, it would still be ~$6-7000 for a newer, lower mileage, fuel injected truck.
    Any Canadians out there with jems to help?
    Will probrobably hire an import broker as well because I live way too far from Vancouver port to be present to pick up the vehicle.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  4. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    i have had my 95 for 4 years now. we went through Derick at pacific coast jdm for the auction purchase and export. we did all the rest here instead of getting a broker. the truck at auction was 1600, dericks fee was 1000 and the roro to halifax was close to the cost of the truck. then the taxes, port fees and such. registered and insured on the road we came in around 5000. but that being said our truck is a unique truck, low dump (factory box but dumps) with 5 speed, diff lock and ac. Similar trucks from a seller here is closer to 10g or so asking price. oh and there was someone in vancover that offers service to pick up from the port for you. there was no boat from japan to haifax when a friend got his subaru and went that route. had the person take it to the train and he got it in toronto i think it was then drove it to the east coast.
  5. DSlag

    DSlag Member

    Thanks ttc.
    For auction purchase and export, have been looking at Brave Auto (Mark) and TS Export. They both seem to be legitimate with lots of quality feedback. Their fees seem to be about $1225 all in to put the truck on the ship. (Shipping is extra of course.) The only extra is additional inland transport if required.
    For import broker, have been looking into Thompson Pacific Logistics, B-Pro, Vancouver Velocity Cars and JDM Import. From what I've read elsewhere, you need to be fairly close to a port where the ships come in if you want to deal with importation paperwork as not any CBSA office will do this. As you know, this includes not only the purchase/import paperwork but soil inspections, fees, taxes and release from port. Most importers indicate that they can put the kei truck onto a train to Toronto but would also be interested in who your friend used.

    If I'm understanding correctly, you had your truck shipped to Halifax but how did your friend deal with the paperwork from Halifax with the vehicle landing in Vancouver? Or did he use an import broker?

    Still wading these murky waters before getting too serious about what's on the auction sites.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  6. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    When we where looking Mark and Derick where the 2 people one of my other coworkers suggested (he only drives jdm) and as for my friend i cant remember who he got to deal with it. i am assuming he got an import broker.
  7. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    lol the trickiest bit was the soil sample... we have to fax some number in montreal to have it done. we dont have a land line so had to do it via the interent. think my wife did a month sub at a site that did fax back then it was a couple bucks so cheaper than driving somewhere to have it faxed.
  8. ShaneEM

    ShaneEM New Member

    I used Brian @ B-Pro Auto in Calgary Alberta to import my 97 Acty to Ontario. He was awesome and about the same prices listed above. BPro takes $1000.00CAD down, truck itself plus the shipping cost across the ocean - with all associated dock, customs fees and taxes was $3,595.00CAD. Then had to have it shipped by train to Montreal and on a truck from there to Ottawa where I am was about $1,700.00CAD. Brian sends copys of the paperwork via email and originals came swiftly in the mail. Biggest "pain" let's say was getting it registered as Ontario requires me to pass a provincial safety before giving me plates so I had to have it towed a few times- normally temporary plates can be issued on used vehicles. Emissions test are a thing of the past now in Ontario so with all the correct paperwork and safety certificate, vehicle is plated and good to go. Highly recommend B-Pro Auto.

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