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Case Study « Back to Index

2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean Imported from Port Angeles, Washington, USA to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Dec 04, 2007

USA Origin: Port Angeles, Washington State
Canadian Destination: Victoria, British Columbia
Estimated NET savings: Approximately CAD$11,600

The example below is from a UCanImport contact who imported a 2008 Subaru Forester (L.L. Bean Edition) from the dealership Koenig Subaru in Yakima, Washington, USA. 2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean

  • Model and Options: 2008 Subaru Forester LL Bean edition
  • USD Price Quotes: USD Price Quotes: 25,700 +/- $500 (see the US dealers I talked to below)

Purchase Notes

After currency conversion, GST and PST, inspection cost, and temporary insurance, the total imported cost was only $28,400.00. The same equipped vehicle in Victoria is about $40,000.00.

Dealership Notes

Mike Smith at Koenig Subaru was keen, bent over backward and had excellent communication:

  • He satisfied every query to my satisfaction;
  • I had some extras done on the vehicle; he arranged for all of it;
  • He obtained my trip permit, got the recall letter, dealt with the US export issue
  • He delivered the vehicle to the Coho ferry terminal. I jumped in - put it in the ferry line up; we then went back to the dealership did the paperwork and he dropped me back at the ferry terminal.

Comments for Fellow Importers

  1. I wrote a stock letter describing exactly what I was looking for and then went to a dealer/Washington state and then picked 12 dealers that were within reason for travel distance; everything between the border and Tacoma as well as the Olympic peninsula. I e-mailed or called for an e-mail address for all 12 dealers and got almost immediate replies from about 1/2 expressing an interest in selling me a vehicle. I stated that they had to assist with the process and be willing to answer questions with regard to the deal. For the same vehicle I got quotes from $25,188 to $29,000. Most came in at $25,700 +/- $500.

  2. Here is a sample of my stock letter to the dealerships:

    Nov. 9, 2007

    Dear [Washington State Subaru Dealer]:

    I am a Canadian citizen who's interested in purchasing a 2007 or 2008 Subaru Forester. I am a cash client who would like to travel to a dealership toward the end of November, pick up a vehicle and import it back to British Columbia.

    The Forester I am looking for must be manufactured before Sept. 2007 to be admissible to Canada. I'm interested in the 2008 LL Bean, Limited or the comparable 2007 model. A used 2007 must be in excellent condition. Colour preference would be Newport Blue, other colours considered. No preference for option packages. The dealership must be willing to assist in obtaining the necessary documentation for export, FAX me information on the vehicle in advance and assist with notification of American and Canadian authorities of the intent to export/import a vehicle and obtaining a recall clearance letter from Subaru of America. You must be willing to entertain some E-mail or telephone questions with regard to the vehicle, the purchase and the export process.

    If you have a vehicle that fits the above description (or several) and would like to sell it, please E-mail me with the specifics of the vehicle and the price as well as the terms of purchase. I'd like to pick up the vehicle on the19th -21st or the 27th to 30th of November, 2007.

    Please contact me by E-mail at [email address].

  3. I arrived in the US at 12:00 noon and took the 2:00pm Coho ferry back. Paperwork in Victoria Harbour took 20 minutes; I paid my fees and drove away!

Subaru Dealer Recommendations

Here were the stars of my experience (in no particular order):

Washington State Subaru Dealers with GREAT Service
Sales Member Dealership E-mail Address
Mike Smith Koenig Subaru - Port Angeles
David Ogle Subaru of Puyallup (best price $25,188)
Barry Mercer Walker Renton Subaru
Sonny Chaplins Subaru Bellevue WA
Phillip T Deck Peninsula Subaru Bremerton
Rhonda Potts Roy Robinson Subaru


I had a really positive buying experience; no regrets whatsoever and my savings on the vehicle from MSRP will end up being about $11,600. That's just unbelievable! I spent, in total about $28,400 for what was going to be about a $40,000 vehicle here in Canada.

The only residual items are that the odometer is in miles and the speedometer has miles/hr as the main gauge and km/hr minor gauge. I also have to pay for the warranty items and then get reimbursed by Subaru of America - which will be at a lesser rate. But I'm willing to bet not $11,600 less!

Good luck to fellow importers!