Importing from Germany..whats involved?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vlad, May 12, 2005.

  1. Vlad

    Vlad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Has anybody ever bought a 2nd hand car in Germany and brought it back to the UK....if so whats involved.

    1) As it's an EU car, am I right in thinking that I do not have to pay VAT at customs?

    2) What paperwork do I need to supply to customs at Dover and do I have to pay anything re the importation of the car

    3) What paperwork do you have to fill out to take the car out of Germany....is there a German registration document that I would have to complete? Do I have to drive the car on German export plates and if so how do I get these and how long does it take to get the plates?

    4) What paperwork do I need to complete to get the car registered in the UK...obviously I will have to get an MOT, but what else do I need to do?

    5) Anything I've missed????????

    I really hope that somebody has the answers to these questions.

    Many thanks in anticipation
     
  2. JohnC

    JohnC Active Member

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  3. OP
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    Vlad

    Vlad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for that link.....very useful...shame the DVLA use such a load of technical speak. I can see a trip coming on to my local DVLA office.

    Next.....does anybody understand whats needed from the German side of things?????

    Many thanks
     
  4. PJH

    PJH Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  5. Madferrit

    Madferrit Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've bought quite a few cars from Germany and registered them in the UK, the last being around 4 years ago.

    Firstly, Germany is probably one of the safest places to buy the car.. as the current owner has to de-register the car from his name, and put it into yours.. or he/ she is in trouble. This is a good thing as it means you won't end up buying a stolen car. But keep in mind you personally have to be sure that the car is mechanically sound.

    When you register the car in your name the current number plate will be taken off, and they will put on a special export plate. Its usually red in colour and will have 2 stickers attached to it (both given by seperate German Govt departments). I can't remember too much what they were for, but i think one is say the car is yours and the other to say that its insured.

    I remember when i used to bring cars over, the office that used to stamp my number plate would give me 6 weeks insurance cover (3rd party) to drive within Europe. This was pretty cool as it meant i didn't have to decide what i was buying before i made my trip.. i went to germany, chose a car and then drove it home. That six week cover is also the date which is put on your number plate.

    Things to look out for;

    If the car is newer than 6 months old then i believe you have to pay duty etc in the UK.

    Once in the UK you have to get the car MOT'd and depending on the car you buy, you may need to make a few modifications. Things that come to mind are, rear fog lights, (i had to order new lights when i bought an E500), and also ensuring your head lights are shining in the direction required for UK law.

    You'll need to take your MOT to your local DVLA office and fill out more paperwork (along with your german documentation) before you'll be issued with your new number plate.

    I'm sure there are some fees to pay, but i can't remember.. the links others have given above will have more info no doubt.

    Overall my experience from buying in Germany is that people have looked after there cars much more.. in the sense that they will have full service history.. a few of the cars i bought came with both, summer and winter tyres.. a rarity over here... and if they had modifications.. it was usually factory fitted. An example i can give is a Porsche 911 Carrera i bought.. with a factory fitted Turbo body kit :banana:

    Don't be put off if the person selling the car can't speak English, but i've found that when they realise that you mean business, they'll find someone who can, just to make the sale. I've had this happen a number of times :)

    Good luck with your search!! :)
     
  6. Madferrit

    Madferrit Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Type Approval is a document that comes with the car when bought new. I was given this every time but once from the seller from Germany.

    Luckily the car that didn't have the document was the E500 and my local stealer very happily sorced a copy from UK HQ. I can't remember exactly what it is for, but i believe it is something to say that the vehicle with that specific chassis number is the car that you have acquired.
     
  7. OP
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    Vlad

    Vlad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Madferrit,

    Excellent info.....many thanks......sent you a PM.
     
  8. Subyland

    Subyland Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Export plates cost €150 and you need to have a German insurance to obtain the numberplates. Red is the right colour, do not accept yellow ones.
    Check service history very carefully. Clocking a car isn't actually an offence in Germany and if you have not got a signed contract with your vendor where he guarantees your mileage you've had it. Make sure you are given the Fahrzeugbrief, the V5 equivalent. Any car registered post 1996 should have a European certificate of conformity which will help for the registration of the car, although it is not much more difficult with older cars. LHD lights is not a problem, as it is not a MOT failure point. Prefer dealers with the " Kraftfahrzeug Gewerbe - Gebrauchtwagen Vertauenssiegel" logo, they use a standard sale contract which is safe. Best bet is from a MB franchised dealer. Service and mileage will be guaranteed and the warranty is valid across Europe.
    Hope this helps.

    Good luck
     

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