Buying abroad? (EU)

HotJambalaya

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Just wondering about this, while day dreaming about a G Wagen

£87995 here otr

£63900 in europe (not sure if thats otr)

Firstly, how are MB with letting you order a RHD car in europe?

Secondly, how would it work in practise? I found an interesting post on another forum, but didn't quite follow it, in particular the not paying vat by keeping it 6 months before importing it:

Ok, lets just hang on a cotton picking moment. All EU countries have signed up to a free trade agreement as part of the deal. You can buy your car anywhere you want to as long as you pay UK VAT on it when you bring it in to the UK if it is new or up to 6 months old. After 6 months its tax free here.

Ive done it when I came back from working in Holland. Mercedes didnt like me doing it so I bought a high end Vauxhall.(= Opel). I almost bought a very nice Saab, but didnt want to splash out that much when starting a new job.

I saved about 30% on UK prices.

Google Mario Monti for more info, but many major car makers have been fined for free trade offences. This includes Mercedes when they were DaimlerChrysler AG and received a fine of $65.5 million for violating competition rules by restricting sales of its Mercedes cars in Europe.

All manufacturers use a market based pricing model for the EU countries. IF we assume that salaries are similar in EU countries, then that is the key limiter for how much people can pay. So the list prices you pay look similar. However, if you are buying in the UK that includes 20% VAT, in Germany 19% VAT, in Denmark a whopping 81% car tax, and in the Netherlands 48% car tax and VAT. So the net prices of the car itself is often much lower in say the Netherlands.

So you buy your car net of tax in Benelux, pay your VAT at the port of entry and bob's your uncle.

Disadvantages nowadays are that you will pay more in EU for a RHD car - my Vauxhall was about £150, but BMW wanted about £3,000 iirc. You have to secure payment in Euros - whatever the exchange rate is at the time and you have to have your car made to order while you wait, and see the exchange rate rise or fall during the 3 months or so you are waiting. Language is not a problem, as most car dealers have someone who can speak English.

You wont get much of a saving in Germany, Benelux is your best bet.

You might also like to have a look at the car supermarkets who pre-register RHD cars abroad and bring them in at 6months age to avoid 20% VAT......

Manufacturers, btw have to give you the warranty wherever you source the car from. If you source from EU it's usually 2 years, not 3.

Bold bits are mine...

So could I buy, excluding any european VAT, store the car out of the country for a few months, then import it, not paying any VAT?!

If that £64k is including german vat, then its potentially even cheaper? That can't be right???

Edit: in fact it appears that the german price ex vat is €75565 or just over £53k....
 
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jonthetourist

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Verboten subject?

Probably a very minority interest subject, and you haven't given very long for people to think about it.

Incidentally I imported an older car from ireland, MOT'd it, then had to wait 3 weeks for the paperwork from DVLA during which time it just sat on the drive.

Cheers

Jon
 
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HotJambalaya

HotJambalaya

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interesting, thanks.

However, I don't want to pay uk prices ex-vat, since they're still significantly higher then european prices including vat!

The G350 works out at £74166 uk price ex vat, but £63900 INC vat in Germany.

jonthetourist it might be a minority interest subject, but with the cheap euro right now, I'd suggest more people get interested in it, these are not small sums here. If the wind is all aligned correctly a saving of about £30k wouldn't be something to sniff at.
 

jonthetourist

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interesting, thanks.

However, I don't want to pay uk prices ex-vat, since they're still significantly higher then european prices including vat!

The G350 works out at £74166 uk price ex vat, but £63900 INC vat in Germany.

jonthetourist it might be a minority interest subject, but with the cheap euro right now, I'd suggest more people get interested in it, these are not small sums here. If the wind is all aligned correctly a saving of about £30k wouldn't be something to sniff at.

True, but how many people on the forum are thinking of spending 60k on a car they need to keep overseas for 6 months?

Jon
 
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HotJambalaya

HotJambalaya

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you appear to be missing the point

uk price £87995 otr

Eu price imported immediately with UK VAT paid £63600.

Forgetting the 6 months, thats still a £24k saving (probably more like £22k after tax etc)

With regards to the who, there are plenty of people here buying GL's, AMGs and other pricier stuff that could save a hell of a wedge on this.
 

Red C220

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You have to be very careful with specification. I looked into this when the exchange rates moved in favour of sterling earlier this year.

Euro cars come with very little indeed, many items which we take for granted and by the time you add all the items that would make your car an equivalent spec to a UK model you often find it's not worth the ball ache of importing.

The Europeans don't expect cars to come loaded like us Brits and they set the list price for the bare bones, then you pay for what you want to add.

Think of it more like Porsche specifications, a £67K Cayenne Diesel is very rarely much less than £80k but the time you've added Nav, Bluetooth, leather, alloys, paint etc etc.
 
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flango

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I've just done this ordered a top spec vw golf in Germany to uk spec and saved a fortune.Its dead easy and even easier and cheaper if you order it via a business to business deal.The Germans are good at this process but just be sure the price and spec you have is available to order in uk spec and type aproved
 
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C240Sport97

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I've just done this ordered a top spec vw golf in Germany to uk spec and saved a fortune.Its dead easy and even easier and cheaper if you order it via a business to business deal.The Germans are good at this process but just be sure the price and spec you have is available to order in uk spec and type aproved

some details would be really interesting
 

Red C220

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I'm also interested.

Do Mercedes play ball with this or do they get "funny" about supplying UK spec cars from the continent?
 

pmw103

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I wonder what happens re warranty as well, although for mercades I believe it's Europe wide. I wonder how it works in practice
 

markjay

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Importing RHD cars from the continent was very common up to around 10-15 years ago.

The advantages were that the cars were cheaper when ordering through a European dealer (and surprisingly also British-made cars shipped to Europe and then back to the UK were cheaper...), and that the waiting list was shorter.

The disadvantages were that UK trim level and spec were generally higher, and that UK-sourced cars came with additional two years of warranty on top of the obligatory one year in Europe.

So if you ordered your RHD car through a European dealer, it was cheaper and you got it quicker, but it missed a few options and had only one year of warranty.

Not sure if it is the same today though.
 

C180CGI

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Whats the point, when someone HPI checks the car (for when you sell it) it will flag up as re-registered and imported which will lower its value, it all comes to same price as UK spec as you will lose quite a bit.
 

markjay

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Whats the point, when someone HPI checks the car (for when you sell it) it will flag up as re-registered and imported which will lower its value, it all comes to same price as UK spec as you will lose quite a bit.

Correct as far as second-hand value is concerned, i.e. buyers know how to spot EU imports (no dealer plates etc), but the cars are not pre-registered - in Germany you get a Zollnummer ('Tax/Duty Number') which is a temporary plate, so when the car arrives in the UK and gets local plates from the DVLA you are the first Registered Keeper.
 

flango

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Correct as far as second-hand value is concerned, i.e. buyers know how to spot EU imports (no dealer plates etc), but the cars are not pre-registered - in Germany you get a Zollnummer ('Tax/Duty Number') which is a temporary plate, so when the car arrives in the UK and gets local plates from the DVLA you are the first Registered Keeper.

Its not classed as an EU import in some cases it depends how the manufacturer handles it. Mine is a UK spec car no difference in trim level at all. Just ordered in Germany paid for in Euros car gets delivered into UK via VW UK so it shows on the dealer network and no one will ever know where the car was purchased. VW UK show as receiver into UK and I show as first owner job done.

Anyone buying a car cash and buying it in the UK must have rocks in their head at this exchange rate.

I've no doubt though Mercedes as a manufacturer will probably make a drama out of this but VAG and BMW don't
 
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Red C220

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What saving did you make over a UK broker discounted price for the same car?

Was this a business to business transaction and if so how was the VAT handled?
 

flango

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What saving did you make over a UK broker discounted price for the same car?

Was this a business to business transaction and if so how was the VAT handled?

Saved just short of £7.5k on a £35k car, purchase was a B2B transaction, car was purchased with no German VAT and UK VAT will be declared on arrival in the UK for which I will receive a bill and accounted for under the businesses normal VAT returns. Car is on a long lead time so took a gamble and paid for it when the £ hit 1.41 against the €. Will have to see how the rate moves but more than happy with this saving
 

Red C220

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I've specced a couple of Mercs up on the .de website and even at 1.4 fx rate they still work out more than UK prices when brought up to standard UK specification.

What was the £35K VW you bought available for via a UK broker? Or was the 35K the broker price?
 

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