It's no secret that with the Canadian-U.S. exchange rate, the cost of new cars can differ greatly between the borders.

An Ottawa man crossing the border into Canada from the U.S. last month tried to scam a car into the country to avoid paying import costs, only to get caught red-handed at the border. The resulting fine is sure make the culprit second-guess any sort of deception in the future.

According to the Toronto Sun, the 45-year-old man was returning from a trip in New York on January 15, and after declaring $300 worth of goods, he said the electric vehicle he was driving - which had American plates - was lent to him by a friend. Agents at Canada Border Services checked the man's phone, and found emails and documents showing proof of the car being bought in the U.S. It wasn't long before the man confessed.

Reports say the car was worth $12,084. In order to get the vehicle back, the man had to pay not just for the car itself, but also a $6,646 penalty - more than 50 percent of the cost of the EV (which, based on the price, and the fact it had to be driven from New York to somewhere over the border, could presumably be a used Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf). That's on top of the $700 for duty and taxes, and $295 fee to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. A costly lie, indeed. Considering the agency had the right to impound the vehicle and simply not return it, the man should actually consider himself kind of lucky.

To add insult to injury, the man's Nexus card was revoked. That, combined with the infraction, means he could be waiting a long time when travelling in the future.

Leanne Sullivan, chief of operations at the Prescott, Ontario port of entry said in a release that "The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer."

It's no secret that with the Canadian-U.S. exchange rate, the cost of new cars can differ greatly between the borders. The process of actually buying a vehicle in the U.S. and bringing it back to Canada can be a huge headache. Not only that, there are added costs involved with bringing a car into Canada, which often negates any savings that occur from buying in the States.

Let this be a lesson to anyone else being "honest" about "borrowing" a car from a "friend" in another country. Those quotations could add up real fast.

Photo: Shutterstock

Source: Toronto Sun, CBC

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