Our US Subaru Outback Purchase – Part III – Financials

This series of posts outlines how we saved $9364.47 importing a 2011 Subaru Outback Limited in the United States as a vehicle import.  The following is the purchase details of our purchase.

Subaru Outback Financial Details

Here are the numbers:

Total Cost: $27,293
invoice (MSRP in brackets)
$26270 invoice for car ($27995)
$695 destination fee
$309 for PZEV
-$300 dealership discount
$110 State Fees
$52 – rear bumper cover ($80)
$84 – splash guards ($129)
$34 – rear cargo net ($52)
$39 – all weather mats ($69)

Assessed price (in CDN for taxation purposes – assessed at customs): $28,288
$1,514.42 GST + AC tax
$2273.05 PST

$220.35 RIV

USD Exchange hit: $1,037.89
Exchange Rate: 1.0380

Toll CDN: $7
Toll US: ~$10.00 CDN
Big Mac: $3.94 (lunch)

Driving in Dad’s car at his speed to save gas: $29
Hyundai gas: $30

Vehicle Safety + Clean Air Test: $132.21
Vehicle Registration: $0

SubTotal: 32,550.86
-$300 for 2010 price
TOTAL: 32,250.86 (give or take – exchange rate not included on these last discounts)


$36,371.75 (MSRP  + accessories)

TOTAL: 36,371.75 + 1725 destination
= 37896.75

HST: $4870.60 *** according to Subaru on line pricing

CDN + TAX: 42823.33

CDN Price = $42,823.33
CDN Adjusted* = $41,615.33 (less moon roof and navigation which are $1658 worth of options @ the dealership)
USD Price = $32,250.86

If we’d bought our USD back when we were at par we would have paid even less – at par, the total cost for this car would have been:  $31,402,97

So we paid 77.5% of the CDN price.

(would have been 75.7% if we’d gotten our USD at parity)

14 thoughts on “Our US Subaru Outback Purchase – Part III – Financials

  1. Great series of posts – thanks! I had a question about your numbers though – did you have to pay NY state tax on the new car or how does that get factored in? I’m trying to determine if it makes any sense to travel a bit further to New Hampshire for my outback purchase as that state has zero state tax.

  2. Amazing discrepancy in price! Posts are an eye-opener.
    Maybe I missed it, but how did you pay for the car without US dealer financing?
    If not by cash, then were there some cost differences involved there in using a Canadian bank car loan?

    1. Hi David, we paid cash (well, money order) for the car. Paid in full. We used an f/x company to do the exchange. They did an electronic transfer to our CIBC USD account and we got the money order (free of charge) from our CIBC branch.

  3. Thank you so much for answering my queries. This wil be invaluable to me. A few final points- does the Subaru come with daytime running lights? I understand they must be hard wired and not switchable) and if not will the dealer install them? And do you have a list of known US car dealers who will sell to Canadians. I had problems with both Honda and Nissan and understand the big 3 US manufactures have restrictions.

    1. I can only speak on the Outback – it is fully compliant with Canadian regulations (3 of them – the lights, proper child seat anchors and one other that eludes me right now).
      Drop me an email via the contact form and I can tell you the 3 or 4 Outback dealers I know deal w/ Canadians – that is, if you are based out of Ontario or Quebec.

      Also, at the top of our site to the right you will see an “All Things Auto” category – if you navigate to the start of that category you will see all 6 of our Subaru / import articles.

  4. Egads! That car costs forty three thousand dollars in Canada? Logically, you should be the only one in the entire country driving one, except for other people clever enough to do the import!

    I will definitely share your useful story of this import around with other Canadians – although I’ll still push them towards a nice used mid-2000s Outback for $7500 or so from a Western state (no road salt) instead of a new one.

    1. That $7500 is over $10k here in Canada (30% more for everything!). Even then, when we were looking @ used Outbacks in Canada a 2004/05 was going to run us over $13k.
      The older OBs are gas guzzlers too which adds to the total cost of ownership. Either way, we’re happy with the decision we made and we’ll drive this car into the ground for about 15 years.

  5. Great series of articles. We’ve been looking at the 2014 Forester, and I noted that if we buy in the States we have to add 6.1% duty or about $1700. Started looking at Outback options to avoid, which lead me to your article. For 2013 rates, the savings to buy across the border for the Outback is still $10k. $7100 savings on the Forester.

    1. Great to hear an update for 2013 Elspeth – thanks for providing one. We will buy our next car south of the border when it is time for a new car, or, a 2nd car. I just can’t justify buying locally when this much money is at stake. We buy local for most everything we can but there feels like there is some corruption in the Canadian vehicle sales industry which I simply can not stomach.

  6. Thanks for all the info. I still can’t believe how much savings this represents..

    I’m located in Montreal and would be interested in importing the 2013 Outback from the US. Could you please let me know about these dealers who will sell to people from Canada? Thank you.

  7. Hi, I am looking to import 2013 outback. Please let me know of US dealers near Ontario who would sell to Canadian. Thanks Nandy

  8. Hi, I am also interested in importing a 2013 Outback. Could you please let me know of dealers. I live in Quebec. Thank you, Michele
    PS, Thanks for your articles… got me thinking about saving money!

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