Posted Feb 20th 2013 11:30AM
You've likely heard the parable of the fly who landed in the vinegar, and thought it was the sweetest taste in the world. He hadn't tasted honey yet - that was the next jar on the shelf. There's a bit of a parallel here: Canadian consumers tend to think the local shopping is sweet - unless they've made a trip south of the border especially when it comes to cars!
The US versus Canada price gap is a hefty one - in some cases Canadian prices more than double those of our American neighbours. Don't believe us? Go check out book pricing at your local Chapters book store - you're sure to see significant price discrepancies and it's easy to spot: both US and Canadian pricing will be listed together on the sticker.
Move on to the topic of buying automobiles and the cost differential gets broader and far more serious. Getting stiffed over $3.75 at a bookstore is wrong but somewhat inconsequential - getting stiffed $20,000 on a new car is a very big deal, indeed.
So severe and so long in the tooth is this economic quagmire that many border-crossing Canadians are demanding answers. Back in October of 2011 the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance began an investigation into the cross border pricing differences, and their report was just released in early February of this year.
What were the findings? Click here to check out our price comparison gallery and be sure to hit the jump to get the facts and full explanation of the pricing discrepancy. Then have your say and voice your opinion by voting in our poll.
Related GalleryCanadian vs US Pricing Comparison and
At the heart of the matter is the fact that 2.4 million Canadians travel to the US every year for same-day trips - the majority of which include shopping. This ruffles feathers in Ottawa, because the government is losing millions of dollars from the coffers of the Canadian economy.
Many variables play into the cost discrepancy. The Canadian population spans great distances which increases shipping costs. Speaking of shipping, fuel costs are much higher in Canada, also increasing shipping costs (another issue in and of itself). Corporate expenses must be funded by a market much smaller than that of the US. The dollar exchange rate long played a part in the US/Canadian price gap - but the dollar has been at par since December 2010. Finally, taxes are much higher - namely our trade tariffs. When it comes to airplanes and automobiles we pay a 6.7 per cent tariff on foreign products while the US only pays 1.9 per cent.
But something still tastes awfully sour. Never mind a 4.8 per cent tax discrepancy - car buyers are sometimes paying 30 per cent higher purchase prices north of the border!
Which cars are the worst price-gap offenders? Flip through our gallery to find out. But we've also rounded up the cheapest cars in Canada if you want to support local dealers.
Once you've finished perusing through the gallery you'll likely have increased blood pressure and a head-ache - but don't turn to low-dose Aspirin for aid... it costs as much as 114 per cent more in Canada than it does in the US.
|Yes, considering the higher trade tariff and smaller market the price difference seems about right||25 (1.1%)|
|Not sure||29 (1.3%)|
|No, on many vehicles the price gap is unfair and Canadians are being price-gouged||2204 (97.6%)|