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Does an Extended Warranty Cover Canadian Grey Market Vehicles?

BY: Adam Karner
Canadian Vehicle Extended Warranty

Owning a Canadian grey market vehicle in the United States may not seem like a huge deal, but that’s not always the case. While these vehicles may seem similar to any American-made vehicle or those purchased at a dealership in the US, many drivers don’t know that owning an imported vehicle comes with legal and safety issues due to the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988. Due to this, many owners of these vehicles can often find themselves stuck without help for unexpected repairs and breakdowns, as mechanics will have to turn them away. 

Not only that but owning a Canadian grey market vehicle can void your factory warranty as your vehicle originated in a different country, meaning finding coverage will be even harder to obtain in the United States. However, there are still some ways you can find coverage and peace of mind when it comes to your Canadian grey market vehicle.

Grey Market Vehicles vs. Standard Vehicles

Even if you already own one, you may be unfamiliar with “grey market vehicles.” In fact, while many drivers in the US may have heard of a Canadian grey market vehicle before, grey market vehicles aren’t specific just to our neighbors to the north. Instead, the term “grey market vehicle” broadly covers any vehicle manufactured outside of the country that wasn’t manufactured to meet US safety and emissions standards

A grey market vehicle also gets its name from how it’s purchased. Specifically, a black market is a common way to describe the illegal trade or sale of goods, meaning the seller is unauthorized. Grey markets, however, are legal goods being sold through an unauthorized channel. Instead, your standard American or foreign import vehicle is made to meet certain safety and emissions rules by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is sold by an authorized dealer. Your purchase is legal, but certain aspects of what you’re buying may be restricted. In grey market vehicles, constantly changing safety and emission standards regulations cause those restrictions.

This means that while buying a used car from Canada can seem as easy as buying a used car here in the United States, that’s not the case. Some of the most historic cars are even banned here in the states. So, while there’s nothing wrong with buying a Canadian car in the US, if it’s a grey market vehicle, you need to be aware of what you are buying and the strings that may be attached.  

Why Grey Market Vehicles Need an Extended Warranty

Some grey market vehicles are illegal to drive in the United States because they don’t follow the DOT emissions regulations. 

Additionally, if you are purchasing your used Canadian vehicle directly from the former owner, there may be unknown parts installed that can potentially void your factory warranty or any extended coverage you may have purchased. That’s because sometimes aftermarket parts for vehicles can turn a legal model into an illegal one, so knowing every aspect of your purchasing vehicle is essential.

With this in mind, there are three ways to own and drive a Canadian grey market vehicle legally:

  1. Your vehicle is over 25 years old
  2. It is purchased with the intent of being used as a show car
  3. Modifications to make the vehicle meet DOT standards are made by a certified professional

If your vehicle is over 25 years old, you’re in luck. All you need to do is head to your local DMV or check out their website and go through acquiring a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). 

However, if your vehicle is a newer, late model vehicle, it’s not likely that you want to wait years to drive. Assuming your new Canadian vehicle isn’t intended as a show car either, your only option is to have licensed professionals make modifications that allow it to pass a proper inspection.

This is why extended warranty coverage can help. Depending on your purchased vehicle, having your grey market vehicle modified to pass state safety inspections can be costly. So whether it’s making slight modifications or installing entirely new parts, getting your new Canadian vehicle to your garage may not be as cheap as you think. However, choosing a warranty option that can partially cover these costs can help.

Are Warranty Options Available for Canadian Grey Market Vehicles?

When looking at which extended warranty (also known as a vehicle service contract or VSC) provider and package may be right for your situation, try to determine what needs to be done on your vehicle to get it stateside. Some warranty packages may not include the specific coverage you need. However, while Canadian grey market vehicles may need serious modifications or parts installed to meet US standards, owners can still find peace of mind with Endurance’s Advantage auto protection plan

With this comprehensive plan, you can be certain your Canadian grey market vehicle can find coverage and get repairs done at hundreds of certified repair facilities or ASE Certified professionals across the country. You will also be able to save up to $3,500 on the cost of essential maintenance services, including up to two oil and filter changes, tire rotations, alignment checks, state safety inspection services and more. Even owners of salvaged or rebuilt title vehicles or those who use their car for commercial use, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or other rideshare and delivery services, can get coverage with Advantage.

Each Endurance plan will automatically come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage and rental car reimbursements. You’ll even be eligible to enjoy a full year of Endurance Elite Benefits, including up to two tire replacements or repairs, key fob replacements, collision discounts and more. Simply choose the Endurance plan that’s right for you, pay a small activation and enjoy your year’s worth of extra perks and savings.

Questions to Ask When Shopping for an Extended Warranty

When shopping for an extended warranty or VSC for your vehicle, asking the right questions can ensure you find the right coverage for you. So to help you, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • What’s covered in my policy? Third-party providers offer various levels of coverage that can range from powertrain to exclusionary coverage. Knowing what’s covered can help you determine if the one you chose protects all vital components when requesting a quote.
  • How long is coverage available? If you plan to keep your vehicle for a long time, a longer plan makes more sense. You can also use this opportunity to ask if the plan is transferable such as in case you decide to sell your vehicle in the future. In fact, most coverage plans are transferable when you have Endurance, helping you upsell your vehicle to any potential buyers.
  • Is maintenance coverage included? Especially now that some protection plans offer maintenance coverage in addition to breakdown protection, knowing everything that’s covered can help you save on car expenses in the future. Some providers and plans, such as the Advantage plan from Endurance, can help alleviate the costs of oil changes, battery replacements and more.

Protect Your Canadian Grey Market Vehicle

Turning your Canadian grey market vehicle into a legal vehicle for US roads can be an expensive but rewarding journey. Ensuring you have the proper protection to get your vehicle out on the road should be your top priority, as most extended warranty providers won’t help cover the cost of repairs for Canadian Grey Market Vehicles — except for Endurance.

With the Advantage auto protection plan, you can get unrivaled protection for your vehicle, including Candian grey market vehicles, salvage or rebuilt title vehicles and even commercially used cars. You’ll also be covered for up to $3,500 in yearly maintenance services and several other special, one-time services, including a battery replacement, cooling system maintenance, and more.

Each new and existing Endurance customer can also enjoy complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance and more while also being eligible for a full year of Elite Benefits, including collision discounts, tire replacement or repairs and more for just a $20 activation fee.

Don’t wait years for your Canadian grey market vehicle to become legal. Request a free, no-obligation quote today or call us at a call at (800) 253-8203 to learn more from our award-winning customer care team about how Endurance can help you. By visiting the Endurance blog, you can also find more answers to your extended warranty FAQs, expert auto advice, DIY maintenance tips, vehicle buying guides, and much more

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