How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Vehicle to Canada?

Whether you’re relocating to Canada or just have an extended stay planned in the country, you likely want to bring your vehicle along for the ride. While there isn’t much issue with driving your car to your final destination in Canada, there are plenty of reasons why this option is not possible or undesirable. This is when most people look to a professional international auto transport company to ship their car to Canada instead.

While in most cases you’ll likely spend more money hiring a transport company to move your car to Canada, this option reduces wear on the vehicle, saves time and gives you the peace of mind that comes with a professional managing the job. Not to mention, you may actually save on fuel, lodging and other expenses you would’ve had to pay while driving the vehicle yourself.

The first question most people have when considering having their car professionally shipped to Canada is, how much is it going to cost? The final price will vary slightly depending on total distance, the chosen shipping method, make, model and size of the car. Regardless, according to the A-1 Auto Transport website, the average cost to ship a vehicle to Canada is between $700 and $2,500. Let’s dive in a little deeper and explore all of the individual factors that will influence the cost. We’ll also provide you with some general tips for shipping your vehicle to Canada.

Need auto transport to or from Canada? We recommend getting shipping costs using our cost calculator, or use the one on compare prices.

Is my vehicle an import or not?

During the planning process of shipping your vehicle to Canada, the first question you should ask yourself is whether or not your vehicle is considered an import. If Canada is going to be the vehicles final destination and it is going to stay there for good, then it is an import. Additionally, if you’re a Canadian resident and the vehicle will be your daily driver, it is also considered an import.

On the other hand, if you’re just visiting the country, you’re a foreigner attending school or a foreigner working on a temporary visa, the vehicle is not an import. For an imported vehicle, Canada requires that you pay dedicated taxes and dues upon entering the country. Depending on the distance the car is traveling, these fees can end up being as much as $2,500. Also, keep in mind that oversized, luxury or antique cars may have an additional cost added onto the standard transport fees.

How does vehicle size affect the cost of shipping to Canada?

Oversized SUVs and large trucks that are unable to fit within the standard trailer space will cost you more to ship than a sedan or other compact vehicle. Depending on your auto transport company, they will usually have a particular size cut off for when they start charging as oversized.

When initially gathering quotes from auto shipping companies make sure that this is one of the questions that you ask!

How does distance influence the price of shipping a vehicle to Canada?

Distance is by far the biggest influence on the cost of shipping a vehicle to Canada. Most auto shipping companies charge on a price per mile basis. Although the price per mile is typically lower for longer distance routes, you will still pay a higher cost. For instance, your shipping company may charge $1.00 per mile for a trip distance of 500 miles but then 50 cents per mile for a 2000-mile transport. You’re still paying much more money for your vehicle needing to travel a longer distance. This is obviously due to the fact that shipping companies need to account for the extra fuel and services required for longer distance trips.

Also, keep in mind that if you’re aren’t in close proximity to a major Metro area and you’re far from interstates, you’ll pay more money for door to door services. Since drivers use major interstates to transport vehicles, you’ll be charged more for them to get to your location. To avoid any extra fees, consider dropping off and picking up the vehicle yourself from the vehicle hauler.

What shipping methods are available for transporting a car to Canada?

When shipping a vehicle through an auto transport company, you have two options for shipping methods. You can either have the vehicle shipped in an enclosed trailer or an open-air trailer. An enclosed trailer is great for antique, rare, exotic or any type of vehicle that requires extra protection. However, this is a much more expensive option than having your car placed on a trailer and transported with multiple vehicles.

With open transport, you will pay less since a lot of the costs and fees are shared among multiple customers. However, since your vehicle is not covered during the trip, it is exposed to the elements and at risk of being damaged. Though it’s a minor risk, depending on your preferences this may be a deal breaker. Regardless, if you’re looking to save the most money possible, elect for an open trailer over an enclosed trailer to ship your vehicle to Canada.

Other Factors to Consider When Transporting a Vehicle to Canada

Although fairly common, shipping a vehicle to Canada isn’t always straight forward, especially for first timers. The following points will help shed some light on the process and provide you with a good basis for planning your vehicle’s shipment to Canada.

  • In Canada, you must register your vehicle. Prior to shipping your car from the US, it must be registered with the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV).
  • Your vehicle must meet safety & emissions control standards. Canada has very particular safety and emissions standards and the vehicle that you import must meet these.
  • Double check the vehicle recall list. You will not be able to import your vehicle to Canada if it’s on any sort of safety recall list. Determine the VIN number for your vehicle and consult the manufacturer for any recalls that may be placed on it.
  • Confirm warranty coverage. It’s very common for car manufacturers not to honor the warranty on a US-bought car in Canada. Contact your vehicle’s manufacturer to verify their policy on warranty coverage.
  • Is your car 15 years old or older? Good news! Vehicles that are 15 years old or older are permitted to be shipped into Canada without registration or duties with RIV.
  • Acquire a customs broker. When you ship anything over the US/Canada border, you need to be in contact with a customs broker.

Hire a Reputable Auto Shipping Company!

Although this may seem like a lot of information to digest and manage, hiring a reputable auto shipping company to transport your car to Canada is the best thing you could do for your move to Canada. Choosing the right company means that you will have assistance through the entire shipping process and help with the majority of the paperwork.

It’s also essential that you hire a company that has shipped vehicles to Canada before as this will help avoid any issues getting through customs and through the border. Thankfully, Ship Vehicles has over 30 years of experience in the auto shipping industry and much of this includes transporting cars to and from Canada. Give us a call today to help answer any questions you have about shipping a car to Canada and provide you with a free shipping quote.