Purchasing a used Nissan Leaf in the USA | Page 2 | Victoria and Area | Forum
April 30, 2015
Thanks for your email.
EV Club members:
After gladly answering another email about buying a Leaf in the USA I thought I would post the details for all to see as proof you can save some decent money going to the USA. See my email response to another reader that I responded to this morning January 28th, 2017.
Your question is it still a good time to buy a Leaf in the USA. YES, YES, YES! My Leaf almost got written off in an accident last month when it was hit hard while parked on a street. While looking at prices in the Canada and the USA I was shocked at the great deals still south of the border.
Here is a comparison with negotiating the price of the vehicles for two leafs that I just found today on line.
Paramount Motors in Seattle 2013 SL Leaf 18 000 kms (11 000 miles) was $12 000 US or $16 200 CAN. Taxes on the value of the car in Canadian dollars $1944 CAN ($16 200 X 12%), $125 CAN for air conditioning and tire fee at the border, insurance and Washington state road tax license CAN $150, RIV inspection fee at Canadian Tire CAN $175, plus changing head lights to day time running lights CAN $200. So the total is about roughly $19 000 CAN. A savings of $6000 for your time. That is a week in Mexico at an all inclusive resort.
Motorize in Sydney on the Island 2013 SL Leaf 30 000 kms is $21 900 plus 12 % taxes $2628 plus document fees $400 so about
$25 000 CAN
June 25, 2015
I was just looking at some of the LEAFS at paramount motors... WOW...some of the are only $6995 !!!!! even with the exchange that only around $10,000. When i look here in victoria, they are around 18K - 22K.....thats insane to what we they are paying across the border. I like to shop locally, but thats a HUGE price difference.
Thanks again for the incredibly valuable information on importing a vehicle into Canada.
June 20, 2015
Great thread. That all makes sense, as the US pricing is low. We have dealt with Paramount, and other dealers on several occasions. Rumrunner, the numbers you have listed are slightly misleading, for examples, the RIV installation fee at Can Tire are two different fees. $295 plus GST for the RIV fee, and $174 plus tax at Can tire for the provincial inspection. You paid too much for the daytime running lights, Motorize charges $139 installed. Nearly every Motorize car includes new tires, nearly every US LEAF needs tires. As you know, Paramount spends a little time cleaning their cars, but they don't polish and recondition their cars like Motorize does. Motorize has a local store with staff on hand to help you with anything EV related, always available for free. The others do not. Motorize sells vehicles with condition reports backed up by Nissan Motor co, and most US dealers don't have much history, as they are much less regulated. Comparing a car in Washington state with a car landed in BC, fully inspected and reconditioned is not a fair comparison. It's like saying you can buy a meal at the grocery store for less than it costs at a restaurant. True, but thats not the whole story.
Motorize has a product to service local customers who want to pay the lowest possible price for their EV's, and are looking at US vehicles. If a consumer is interested in a US vehicle on a dealer's lot, or wants access to the wholesale network of vehicles from Nissan or any other EV manufacturer, Motorize provides that. It's simply called a special order. In this case, the costs associated with transporting, insuring, inspecting, and reconditioning a car (if required) are all accounted for. The customer pays up front for the vehicle, all the costs are fixed and transparent. But the added security of a local business to stand behind the car is invaluable. Motorize competes with local, stocking dealer, and with US dealers offering "at source" pricing.
At the end of the day, we treat our customers like gold every time. We answer our phones and help the local community adopt EV's, and money spent at Motorize employs local people who spend their money at other local businesses. It does not cost more to shop local.
Julian Sale, Motorize - Your EV store. Call any time 250-655-3534.
April 30, 2015
Julian - thanks for adding your voice to this email thread. You are correct in that I might have missed one fee that totals $295 plus tax so for the sake of accuracy this is a valid point. Where you get you daytime running lights done is one of personal choice so my estimate of $200 was just that. For an accurate price contact Mobile Express in Bellingham.
I myself did not purchase a car from Paramount in Seattle I was just using their website to compare a car for sale in Canada to one similar in the USA for a member of this EV club who had emailed me privately.
For the reasons you listed and a sense of security I purchased my Leaf from the Nissan Dealership in Bellingham and received all the benefits you described.
I do agree that the Ecopia tires that come standard with the Leaf are generally not very good but I disagree with your generalizations about another dealership unless they have an opportunity to defend themselves publicly in the same forum. You stated that you "generally sell your Leafs with new tires" so this is a decision that Paramount must make also.
I am glad you are changing out tires for the people purchasing their Leafs from you. The tires, cleanliness of a car can all be negotiating points at the time of purchase.
Good luck to you and your service to the EV community in Victoria.
February 12, 2017
Rumrunner - many thanks for this post. I recently imported an off-lease 2014 SL from Seattle, and following your experience made the whole thing relatively painless.
I spent about 2 months researching and shopping around, hoping to find one locally within my budget, but eventually found one I liked through a dealer in the US. Even with the not-so-great CAD-USD rate, RIV fees, DRL install, inspections, the TCU upgrade, etc. I saved $6000 over the exact same vehicle at a dealer here (also imported from the US). All in all well worth it. The biggest source of stress through it all was planning the trip up from Seattle and knowing where to stop for charging :)
March 3, 2017
Just imported 2 Leafs from a guy in Portland STeve garity at a place called water house motors--- he was very helpful got an SL and an s model saved me a bunch but what was the best is that they did all the paperwork delivery brought it across the border it was very seamless--- i have imported a few cars over the years and this guy at wm did exactly what he said he would... if you are looking for a leaf check him anyone do business with him??
March 3, 2017
April 30, 2015
@leaf guy and @preppynation
What is a TCU upgrade?
Thank you for your comments in this blog post. The more information out there helps those on the shelf as to whether the can afford an EV car make the decision a lot easier. Can you share some of the costs you had to pay for having the car brought to you in Canada? This will help those who choose to go get there own car and bring it across themselves versus having someone else do all the work.
On March 3rd I was plugged in at the CHAdeMO charger behind the Surrey Museum in Cloverdale near 176th street the highway. While I was there a car hauling rig pulled up with four used Leafs on the back. The driver says he comes up once a week from the USA to meet Canadian purchasers who have bought these used Leafs. I met one owner while I was charging who said he bought the car in the USA and was going to charge it at the Level 3 charger before heading home. Nice to see the movement to buy out of the USA is growing and putting more drivers in an EV as their car of choice.
June 25, 2015
Leaf Guy and Preppy Nation....Just curious how you knew how much to pay for the Leaf's ??/ Did you haggle a bit on the price and then got them shipped up, Or did you look at them first and then haggle on the price. Im curious about how much to pay for a imported leaf from the US. It seem the prices can vary quite a bit...
February 12, 2017
@Rumrunner - the TCU (Telematics Control Unit) is what allows you to check battery status, pre-condition the cabin while charging, etc. via the Nissan Connect EV app. Pre-2015 LEAFs had a 2G TCU, and Nissan shipped them with AT&T SIM cards. At the end of 2016 AT&T shut down their 2G network, which also affected their ability to roam in Canada on the Rogers 2G network. Nissan offered owners of 2014 and older LEAFs the ability to upgrade to the newer 3G TCU for $199 US, while 2015 models got the upgrade for free.
I left my car at a secure storage facility in Blaine for a couple of days, and the owner said he had had at least 6 LEAFs in there that week. Also saw 5 sitting at the Canadian Tire in South Surrey, presumably waiting for RIV inspections. There's definitely a good number of cars making it up here from the US.
@England66 - I used a few different sources. Paramount Motors in Seattle, Campbell Nissan in Everett, and of course Craigslist. I compared those with various dealers here in the Lower Mainland to be sure that I was indeed saving money (which I was. A lot). I did eventually haggle on the price, and elected to bring the car up here myself.
May 18, 2017
July 3, 2017
April 30, 2015
Being born and raised in Victoria I think a good plan would be to take the Clipper to downtown Seattle. Rent a car and go view all the cars in your price range and model year. Then return to Victoria and start negotiating the price you want or need. Wire the money and pay for the car. Return again via the Clipper to pick up your car after it has cleared US Export customs (usually 3 days) and come home via BC Ferries.
A couple days work to save $5000. Don't let dealers in Victoria tell you otherwise but the time spent is worth the savings.
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