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Car Purchase 8 - EU-Re-imports

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The expression 'Re-import' is not always quite accurate. It is actually only valid then, when a vehicle returns to the country from which it was delivered. Whereby, there is also a difference concerning where the vehicle was finally assembled.

Of course, you're right, far too complex for the explanation of something which is basically, quite simple. When buying a new car, one would like to save some money, no more and no less. The procedure has already been around for a long time. It is based on the still differing taxation in the various EU-countries, partly, in the meantime, with a premium-system for certain exhaust emission standards (e.g., The Netherlands).

Imported cars are cheaper here, because the varying taxation forces the manufacturers, to waiver a bit more of their calculated profits, to remain competitive in countries where car-buying is taxed more heavily. Large manufacturers simply can't afford not to show a presence in any particular country. In the case of re-imports, the foreign taxation is basically withdrawn and the national tax is applied.

Now, before it gets really complicated, first of all we'll recommend one of the number of companies which can can carry out the re-importing for you. There you may even be able to take your choice home with you right away. Should it not be exactly what you were looking for, the purchase could possibly be made more attractive by an additional discount. Indeed, most of the time you can also order your dream car here.

However, be careful, the fittings- or extras packages can often vary. This also makes a comparison with local or internet offers difficult. This is why we can only consider the direct method of 'bought as seen' to be without problems. Since of course, any accompanying pamphlets may be in a foreign language, if you can get hold of any at all.

For specialists, with plenty of time on their hands, there is an even more complicated method, ie., travelling to the country where your dream-car comes from. This now means, that you also have to include the travel- and hotel expenses into your calculation. The simplest thing to do in a foreign country, is to visit the sales showroom directly, However, the reactions of the sales people may be somewhat restrained if you're dealing with someone who doesn't speak your language.

It becomes a lot more uncomfortable, when you have to mention that you are not a resident in that country. Normally they have little experience about selling across national borders. There are even manufacturers, who allocate certain areas to their dealers and others, who forbid cross-border sales. According to EU-laws, this is not allowed, but which dealer would take the manufacturer of the product he's selling, to court?

If this is still what you want, the next questions are about the fittings and extras which are permitted in your home country. You could perhaps, disconnect some of them, indeed, what about the functions that are mandatory to have the car registered in your country? For a long time, e.g., the light-range regulation was not required all over Europe, in Germany however, it was. What few people knew, was that this equipment did not necessarily have to be installed, in Germany one could get around it by paying a certain sum of money to the TÜV (MOT).

So, either you know exactly the make and model of the car and where you would like to buy it and you've already asked the autorities about the registration, or you can base yourself somewhere near to the border and commute back and forth. If you choose the latter method, the you've almost solved the problem, of getting the car transferred from the foreign country. All in all, you would save the expenses of the company who are offerring re-imports, minus of course, your own time and additional costs, but only if everything goes off smoothly!

All together, modern cars don't need inspections as often as before and in the meantime, according to EU-laws, you are not required to have the work done by an appointed dealer, so in the case of a new car, you need not worry about any disadvantages in this respect. The same as when you buy a car 'normally', the uninterrupted verification that the car has been regularly serviced, is important, just in case you have to make any claims covered by the guarantee. 07/13

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