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Guide to buying a car in a different province

Costs and other factors to consider before traveling out-of-province to buy a vehicle.

After a long search, you’ve finally found the perfect car! There’s just one problem — it’s in a different province. While buying a car over provincial lines can be more complicated, it’s not impossible. You might be able to get a car loan to cover all of the costs involved.

Can I buy a car in another province?

You can buy a car in another province. However, it’s not as simple as buying a car closer to home and it might actually cost you more. You might have to pay extra to:

  • Transport your new car home. You can choose to pick up the car yourself or have it shipped to your location, but either way, you’ll need to account for the price of getting your car when setting your budget.
  • Transfer the title and registration. When you bring the car to your province, you’ll have to pay to have the title and registration transferred to you. Below is a list of the number of days each province allows buyers to have the title of their cars transferred to their name:
    ProvinceNo. of Days to Register Your Vehicle After Purchase
    Alberta14 days
    British Columbia10 days, as long as sale meets the following conditions:

    • – The vehicle the buyer is switching plates to is registered in B.C.
    • – The buyer has sold or disposed of the old vehicle.
    • – Both vehicles fall into the same category (i.e. passenger vehicles).
    • – The plates are valid B.C. license plates.
    • – The buyer carries the signed Transfer/Tax Form for the vehicle, the original registration, the still-valid insurance papers for the buyer’s old vehicle and proof that the buyer sold the old vehicle.
    Manitoba7 days
    New Brunswick(No time limit specified)

    The buyer cannot drive their vehicle until they present the Certificate of Registration to the New Brunswick’s license issuing office. The seller must’ve signed the back of the Certificate of Registration and the buyer’s name, address and date of birth must be on the transfer document.

    Newfoundland & Labrador10 days
    Nova Scotia30 days
    Ontario6 days
    Prince Edward Island7 days
    Quebec(No time limit specified)

    Buyers and sellers are advised (but not required) to sign a contract or a bill of sale to recognize the transaction. Standard forms may be found online or from auto insurance companies in Quebec. At this point, the seller must declare any “latent defects” in the vehicle that make it unfit to use or that would’ve changed the buyer’s mind about either the purchase or the purchase price of the vehicle.

    Both parties are also advised (but not required) to go to a SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) service outlet to show identification.

    Saskatchewan7 days
    Northwest Territories(No time limit specified)

    The buyer and seller must fill out a bill of sale (buyer does not sign the bill until all documents are presented for registration). The seller must sign the back of the Certificate of Registration and give it to the buyer along with the bill of sale. The buyer should then take these documents, along with proof of residency and valid insurance documents showing coverage of the purchased vehicle, to a provincial government office to officially register the vehicle.

    Yukon14 days (for vehicles purchased out of the province; different requirements apply for vehicles purchased within the province.)
    Nunavut30 days (as per the CONSOLIDATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES ACT current to April 5, 2007)
  • Be covered by insurance. A new car could come with a higher premium than you were previously paying. Each province has its own minimum insurance requirement, so make sure your car is covered before transporting it.
  • Follow provincial taxes. You might need to pay your provincial taxes if you don’t buy your car from a dealer. Depending on the cost of your vehicle, this may be hundreds or thousands of dollars — not usually an amount most people have on hand. When not paid at a dealership, sales tax is usually paid at the provincial office where you register the new ownership of your car.

Can I get a loan to buy a car in another province?

Although each lender will have different rules about how the loan is applied, in most cases, you’ll likely be able to use a car or personal loan to purchase a car in a different province. However, extra expenses like the cost of brining it home and extra taxes likely won’t be covered by the loan so make sure you can pay out of pocket before signing up.

Compare loans to buy a car in a different province

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount APR Fees Loan Term Min. Credit Score
$2,000
$10,000
43% (British Columbia and Ontario) and 34.9% (Quebec)
None
1-5 years
N/A
LendingMate offers loans to Canadians with poor credit with no credit checks.

Compare up to 4 providers

    5 steps to buy a car in another province

    Click on the sections below to learn what an inter-provincial car purchase takes.

    Bottom line

    When you find the perfect car, the fact that it’s in a different province doesn’t have to stop you from sealing the deal. There are plenty of ways for you to bring your car home, and you can easily sift through your options to find one that suits your needs so you can finally get the car you really want.

    Frequently asked questions about buying a car out-of-province

    Picture: Shutterstock

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