7 great cars you can import to Canada right now


In the United States, there’s an arbitrary (but in the end, great) rule that lets us import a vehicle that is 25 years old or older, even if it was never approved for sale in the U.S. when new. That means that every year, an entire world of nifty and unusual foreign-market cars suddenly becomes available to those of us willing to pony up the cash and do the paperwork.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/02/22/cars-you-can-import-to-canada-right-now


It’s all well and good to advise Canadians that they can import vehicles that are 15 years old however in Ontario at present they will have to pass clean air tests every two years when there plate validation is due. This requirement is for any auto or truck build in 1987 or newer. I can’t imagine buying a vehicle and it not passing the e test. Vehicles built in Italy such as the Alfa or Ford and Holden in Australia, what would their emissions testing be like and would they pass Ontario testing easily or cause us night mares? Just something to consider when purchasing older vehicles. Might be a topic that Hagerty might want to investigate and provide information on my conserns


Excellent point. It was cancelled a couple of years ago, but we had emissions testing here in Vancouver and I had heard there were a couple of cars that had a hard time passing, especially a rare, modern Lancia. They eventually got it to pass. I’m not sure what was done, but it probably cost a lot of time and money. Also, I don’t know if it’s as strict as other provinces, but here in BC, every import must be MVI’ed (Motor Vehicle Inspection) and this is a very thorough inspection, which components like glass/windows and lighting MUST have either SAE/DOT markings, or European E-Code markings. There are a few Japanese imports that can’t be certified because either the lighting or windows don’t have those markings (especially headlights, as they’re designed for RHD beam patterns). There were a few Suzuki Cappucinos, Honda Beats and Toyota Seras that have been imported, but they can’t now because the headlights don’t meet the requirements (and I’m unaware if LHD units are available).


The Ontario emissions test was found to be almost universally unnecessary. Cars kept passing, the owners kept griping and the politicians eventually listened. There was always an out that let owners attempt to make repairs up to a certain dollar amount, and if their efforts were still unsuccessful, they could receive a conditional pass. Not really very effective at removing polluting vehicles.

I had a harder time getting my 1974 military pattern Jeep through the safety inspection than I expected. It has floor drains, which according to the checklist were holes in the floor. I had to weld up all the designed drainage features, including the acid drains in the battery case, before the inspector would sign off. He did require I remove the back seat if there weren’t seat belts for it, and was amused at the little inline washer pump and toggle switch. Not factory correct, but required. And, no need for a licence plate light because it wasn’t standard in 1974.


Terry, if I were you I’d have taken it to a different mechanic for the inspection. There are a lot of idiocricies with the new inspection laws in Ontario open to a broad interpretation. Sounds like this CLASS “A” mechanic is one of the few who take what it says litterally…a bafoon…and I’d say it to his face!!! There is a movement to repeal this new inspection criteria or make the language more precise so these type of senario’s don’t exist. Most of the good ones know the difference. A few "A"s don’t it seems…And now the e-test btw is of course suppose to be FREE? But they raised our sticker prices…by about 40 a year…which is about the cost of the e-test…so not removed yet…that day should come soon. I am sick of having my 90 MKI having to be done every 2nd year…and a lot don’t have the sniffer now to do them…anyway hope you don’t run into any more trouble with your Jeep or any other vehicles you plan on purchasing in future…


Does anyone know if Morgans were imported to Canada in 2003 or a bit earlier? I was wondering what cars could be imported into the US from Canada.


I bought my 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 that was imported from Japan to Ontario years ago. No issues getting it certified and E-tested every two years. Passes with flying colours, they put it in as a “Volvo-Other.” If you import from Japan or Germany, where the best quality cars are from, then you will have no issues. Even better, go through a company that gets the car Ontario legal for you for minimal cost (DRL lights, etc.) like Ontario-based Gentry Lane or RightDrive.