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Canadian Dealers- Wholesaling in the U.S.

Updated: Apr 23, 2019


Many Canadian dealers are apprehensive to the thought of expanding/acquiring a dealership in the U.S. If you are a good used car operator, your likely selling your wholesale the same way as everyone else; Adesa, Manheim or Traderev. Or, maybe, you have got the wholesaler in your back pocket that pays a ton and does a lot of package deals?

If you have not done the investigation/analysis, you are missing out on a huge profit opportunity. High volume Canadian dealers should consider acquiring a smaller asset (at minimum) in the United States in order to gain access to the American used car auctions (DAA/Manheim/Adesa). Most of the U.S auctions are not/will not accept any further Canadian dealers due to the overwhelming volume of Canadian vehicles being sold down south. If you have a registered facility in the U.S, you now have a place to ship your wholesale vehicles, complete any required reconditioning and a place to store your vehicles while the import gets approved (up to 30 days). With your now secured U.S dealership, you can then utilize a Registered Importer and reap the rewards on the higher wholesale value/exchange rate that the U.S Market offers.


Here are a couple examples;

2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

U.S Sales*

With an average of 43,307 KM’s

(converted from miles)

Average Sale Price After Conversions:

$34,990 (1.31 exchange)

Canada Sales*

With an average of 43,346 KM’s

Average Sale Price: $30,796

Difference in CAD- $4,194

2015 Ford F-150 SUPER CREW XLT 4x4 3.5L V6

U.S Sales*

With an average of 40,699 KM’s

(converted from miles)

Average Sale Price After Conversion:

$36,893 (1.31 exchange)

Canada Sales*

With an average of 43,045 KM’s

Average Sale Price: $26,935

Difference in CAD- $9.958


What Are The Other Costs/Fees?

Depending on where you are located and how far you have to ship the vehicles, does impact the shipping prices as we all know. Also, the ability to fill a truck or not also impacts whether or not you’ll get the significant transport rate deduction (in my experience up to 30%).

For the average Canadian dealer, I have estimated the average shipping costs to be $1000. Now, once your vehicle has arrived in the U.S at a Registered importer, there are some additional costs that you will need to be aware of.

Registered Importer Fee’s breakdown:

  • $450 title preparation

  • $200 faceplate change (if not electronic- New GM's etc)

  • $250-$300 conversion cost (converting the odometer to read in Miles)

  • $650-950 USD- Total

**There is a 3% duty of wholesale cost if the vehicles vin begins with anything other than 1,2,3,4 or 5


The Quick Math

Jeep Wrangler

$4,194- Higher exchanged value

$950- Less Importer/conversion fees

$1000- Estimated shipping costs

$2194 CAD

Ford F-150

$9.958- Higher exchanged value

$950- Less Importer/conversion fees

$1000- Less estimated shipping costs

$8008 CAD

*Average values were pulled from & market guides based on a past 90 days sale history. The adesa analysis was a open search and was not specific to a single location but rather the entire countries. No further investigation was completed to determine whether each specific vehicle had previous accidents and hence were not included/excluded from the average sale price for either market based on accident history. On average there 10 vehicles included in each query to determine the averages. U.S sales averages where not calculated whether the vehicle was an originating Canadian vehicle or not.



As you can see there is a huge profit opportunity for wholesaling in the U.S.

  • How many vehicles does your store/group wholesale per month?

  • How many dealers in your market could you purchase wholesale from paying Canadian auction market averages?

  • What is your earning potential just in wholesale alone securing a small/medium or large dealership in the U.S?

Tim Lamb Group is North America's largest Dealership M&A firm with 90+ active listings and billions in annual sales. If you are considering buying or selling your dealership, we have countless qualified buyers and sellers. Feel free to contact me directly for more information

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