Owning a Canadian grey market vehicle in the United States may not seem like a huge deal, especially when it comes to getting serviced by your local repair shop. Many don’t know that owning an imported vehicle comes with legal and safety issues due to the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, resulting in mechanics turning drivers away.
Plus, owning a Canadian grey market vehicle can void your factory warranty that originated in a different country and make it hard to obtain one in the States. Luckily for you, there are now extended warranty options that not only offer unrivaled benefits and eligibility, meaning there’s something for everyone. Introducing our newest protection plan, EnduranceAdvantage™, which offers breakdown protection and maintenance coverage in one. Request a free, no-obligation quote today to learn more.
Grey Market Vehicles vs. Standard Vehicles
Even if you already own one, you may be unfamiliar with the term “grey market vehicle”. These vehicles aren’t Canadian specific but rather cover any vehicle manufactured overseas that wasn’t built to meet U.S. safety and emissions standards.
At first glance, buying a used car from Canada may seem as easy as buying a used car here in the United States. You may believe you are simply buying a car as you would with an import.
However, the vehicle you’re buying may never have been approved or manufactured for sale in the United States. The automobile market is far more extensive than just what’s for sale in the United States. Some of the most historic cars are even banned here in the states.
Your standard American or foreign import vehicle is made to meet certain safety and emissions rules put in place by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and are sold by an authorized dealer.
A grey market vehicle also gets its name, though, from how the vehicle is purchased. You are likely familiar with a black market, where the goods are illegal, and the seller is unauthorized. Grey markets, however, are legal goods being sold through an unauthorized channel.
Your purchase is legal, but certain aspects of what you’re buying may be restricted. In grey market vehicles, constantly changing regulations regarding safety and emission standards cause those restrictions.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a Canadian car in the U.S., but 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. 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:
- Your vehicle is over 25 years old
- It is purchased with the intent of being used as a show car
- Modifications to make the vehicle meet DOT standards are made by a certified professional
If your vehicle is over 25 years old, then you’re in luck. All you need to do is head to your local DMV and go through acquiring a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
However, if your vehicle is newer, 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. Having your grey market vehicle modified to pass state safety inspections can be costly depending on your purchased vehicle.
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. Choosing a warranty option that can partially cover these costs, however, can help.
Are Warranty Options Available for Canadian Grey Market Vehicles?
Yes! Grey market vehicles may need serious modifications or parts installed to meet U.S. standards. The last thing you want is to be unable to import your new vehicle because you cannot pay the associated costs.
In prior years, finding reliable warranty protection was difficult for those who owned a Canadian grey market vehicle. Times have changed, and now it’s easier than ever to get premium breakdown protection with access to a whole network of reliable, ASE-certified repair shops.
When looking at which extended warranty 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.
Unlike other providers, we feature an extended warranty plan that can help you cover your Canadian grey market vehicle.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for An Extended Warranty
When shopping for an extended warranty on your vehicle, asking the right questions can ensure you find the right coverage for you.
- What’s covered in my policy? Third-party providers offer various levels of coverage from powertrain to exclusionary coverage. When initially being quoted, knowing what’s covered can help you determine if the one you chose protects all vital components.
- How long is coverage available? If you plan to keep your vehicle for a long period of time, then a longer plan makes more sense for you. You can also use this opportunity to ask if the plan is transferable in case you decide to sell your vehicle in the future.
- 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 help alleviate the costs of oil changes, battery replacements, and more.
Protect Your Canadian Grey Market Vehicle With EnduranceAdvantage™
Turning your Canadian grey market vehicle into a legal vehicle for U.S. 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.
With our newest product, EnduranceAdvantage™, you can get unrivaled protection for your vehicle. Unlike other providers, your Canadian vehicle will be protected for up to $3,500 in maintenance protection with EnduranceAdvantage™. Our plan has something for everyone with customizable features and benefits.
Don’t wait years for your Canadian grey market vehicle to become legal. Request a free, no-obligation quote today and see how Endurance can help.