As Jalopnik’s resident car-buying expert and a professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve picked a few of your questions and will try to help out. This week we are talking about whether or not it’s better to wait until the new Maverick hits the lots or get an order in now and if it’s possible to import a “similar” car from the Canadian market.
Is it better to try to get an allocation for a new model now, or wait until they arrive at dealerships?
“I am looking to get a Ford Maverick when they hit the dealers. I have been debating with myself whether I would get a better deal waiting until they hit the lots and hoping that the dealership is motivated to move a number of them in the first month or two they are out. Or
whether the potentially high demand/low supply in the first few months would mean there’s no deals to be had and I would be better off reserving one now and being sure I’d get the trim/options I prefer.”
The Maverick is an all-new car with a lot of excited potential buyers. Combine that with production/inventory problems due to the microchip shortage and I don’t think you are going to find too many “motivated” dealers within the first few months of launch. It is far more likely that if you wait, it will be a challenge finding a truck at all. Most folks that are serious about this truck have likely already gotten in line with their local Ford dealership to get an allocation. Doing this means you aren’t to get any kind of “deal” but we probably won’t see significant discounts on Mavericks until they’ve been on the ground for about a year.
Next up can you import a used Canadian car that is “similar” to but not exactly the same as US market model?
“I understand, due to some arcane manufacturer agreements, that new vehicles in CAN cannot be sold directly to a US buyer. But used vehicles are an entirely different ballgame - so called “grey market” cars.
I believe if you find a 1:1 vehicle offered in the US and CAN, you’re unlikely to have any issues with the registration in the US.
But what happens if you come across that slightly unique case, say the Mercedes c43 estate, built in a US plant in Alabama on the same platform as the c43 sedan, with the safe emissions, safety, and engine components. Could this car be registered in the US without a special exemption?”
So, if the C43 sedan was sold in the US why wouldn’t the C43 wagon qualify? It’s basically the same car just with more cargo space. You can get lost down the rabbit hole of NHTSA and US Customs regulations, but to put it simply, unless that specific body style was federalized for sale in the US market you can’t bring it over here until it is 25 years old.
Got a car buying conundrum that you need some assistance with? Email me at email@example.com!