Importing a car from UK to Germany

42 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi,

I have researched this but most threads are about US cars.

I would be very grateful if someone could help me as I am very confused.

I am relocating to Germany from the UK at the end of July and would like to take my dad's car with me as he no longer can drive.

I currently have no insurance for the car, but plan on getting short term insurance with European coverage from the RAC. Then drive over.

Will I need to pay at the border control? The car is from 2005.

Will I then need to get the German TUV straightaway and would this be expensive for any modifications? The car has just passed its MOT in England.

Is the whole thing worth it or just buy new in Germany?

I am very grateful for any input!

Many thanks!

Sharon

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Posted

Hi Sharon,

 

while it's true that most threads are about importing US cars, not all of them are. Threads on the subject of UK and Irish car importing have been active quite recently but I've given up trying to remember the variation of titles chosen by all the different thread starters. You could find your search results improve if you try using just 2 - 3 key words then, when only a few or no suitable ones appear, use the google-powered site search button. That option pulls up threads which have posts containing your key words. Some of the best posts are hiding on those pesky US car threads.

 

Anyway the short version is; no, you won't have to pay on entry. (WTF's border control?) :lol:

 

As long as the car is legally insured, taxed and registered in a EU country you can drive it in Germany for the mean time (you can get away with 6 months although others have done so up to a year). Once you have undeniably established permanent residence you are legally required to register it on the German system. There are no technical modifications needed for cars which have been supplied new with an EU CoC (Certificate of Compliance). This would include any standard UK model 2005 car. By the time you are getting ready to register it you will have found, read, and understood several of the relevant TT threads regarding the paperwork you'll need.

 

Bring it with you. Cars are much more expensive here than in the UK and you'll not beat your dad's price with a big stick.

 

Drive safely and don't trust dem Joymanz on ze roadz... evah!

 

2B

 

PS: Mods may merge this thread if they spot it.

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Posted

I have to correct an error in the above post due to a slight oversight on my part.

 

 

There are no technical modifications needed for cars which have been supplied new with an EU CoC (Certificate of Compliance). This would include any standard UK model 2005 car.

I was forgetting that with it being a 'right hooker' there would be one relatively simple technical modification required. The headlights'd need to be changed to suit LHD traffic conditions. If the car's a popular model you could find low cost used replacements through specialist vehicle dismantler network internet sites. I have several bookmarked and could do a search for item links if you re-post, or PM me, later with the exact car details. (Year, make, model, name or style, body type, colour and VIN number may all play a part in ID-ing the correct headlight units.) However you may have to buy new from a dealer if the car is a less popular or luxury model.

 

2B

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Posted

Hi 2B

Thanks for the info. Very helpful!

The car is nothing flash but free!

2005 Ford Fusion light blue colour. Sorry what is a VIN?

Really appreciate your help!

Many thanks!

Sharon

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Posted

VIN = Vehicle Identification Number.

 

The VIN is a 17 digit alpha-numeric unique identification code which is listed on the MSO (Manufacturers Statement of Origin), all registration documents, a prominently displayed plate under the bonnet (hood) and stamped on 14 places on bodywork parts on most (all US market) passenger cars. In the UK people commonly refer to it as the chassis number although that's archaic and has been technically inaccurate since the 1950s as only a handfull of low volume sports car makers (eg. Morgan) actually produce cars with a separate chassis. The VIN identifies Country of origin, Maker, Model, Engine, Transmission, Year, Production Plant, Bodystyle, Trim level, Manufacturers line series, Vehicle Sequential position. To assist insurers with fraud control and to help eliminate 'ringing' all US, Japanese, Korean and most EU makers have included a check digit since 1981 with which any police officer can verify a car identity and cross-check the legitimacy of its registration.

 

Here's a link to Wiki Books on European Ford VINs and another one to Mad Moles VIN Decoder for Fords to help you find your own VIN and see what else you can learn from it.

 

Even in mid-model year changes occur in production which affect the after-market forever onwards. These can be for scheduled styling changes (facelifts), but also because of supply chain interruptions ranging from shipping delays to strikes to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) contract disputes. As car makers cannot afford long stoppages they are set up to switch to alternate 'just-in-time' OEM parts sometimes. When I was in the trade in the UK we would ask a customer or mechanic for VIN details only in the ca. 15% of cases where overlaps were possible. In Germany no parts tech, at a counter, on the telephone or on-line, will even begin to search without knowing at least the VIN (and often the emissions and taxation codes too!). I found this very frustrating when I first came here, but after realising the futility of my arguments when faced with the invincible logic of 've haff allffayz dunn it ziss vay' I capitulated. Nowadays, even if I only want oil and a filter, I throw the vehicle reg docs on the counter before 'Guten Tag' ing these guys.

 

2B

 

PS:@ Paul - thanks for keeping us posted, even though I'm sure nobody in this forum is the least bit curious *oh no, not us TTers* that you PMed Sharon. :P :D

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Posted

Hi,

I brought over an old 97 fiesta from the UK just as a run around to get the kids to school. As has been mentioned, you need to get new headlights but these are easy to find on ebay and also really easy to fit yourself although you will need to make sure they are aligned properly. I sorted mine myself and then got the garage to check them, and but they'll do this anyway when you get your Tüf (german mot). Check your rear lights too. If the reversing and fog lights are on both sides then you won't need to change them. If you only have one reversing and fog light, you'll have to change both clusters. Again ebay. But you will need to change the wiring. I did this myself but a garage might be able to help unless you know someone handy.

Then you'd need to get a Tüf. Your car is relatively young so they should have no problem getting the records for it.

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Posted

Hi,

 

I am moving form UK to Dresden late August and is hoping to bring my 2007 Ford CMax along. Any idea if getting insurance for a right hand drive would be a problem, or will it be much more expensive?

 

THanks.

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Posted

Once you have modified it, got the TÜV and registered it in the German system you will be given a code unique to the make and model which will allow German insurance companies to immediately give you a quote. There appears to be little or no additional cost in Germany for a RHD car compared to the local LHD equivalent, despite what some see (not me) the additional risk it might imply.

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Posted

Thanks for the advice. Do you think the process of modifying the car, registering it, is difficult and time consuming? In particular, I don't speak German. I'm quite tempted to drive my car from UK over to Dresden, since 2nd hand cars are much more expensive in Germany.

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Posted

Good luck - I imported a car - also a present from my Dad - about 10 years ago - I guess things have probably changed a bit since then. It took 6 trips to the Tüv before it was finally accepted. We had to add a new reverse and fog light but the worst thing was that they didn't want to accept that the paperwork matched the car because they couldn't find the catalytic converter - it was on the other side :wacko:

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Posted

I brought my car over here from the UK and it was a little bit of an effort but nothing that isn't managable. I live in Cologne and parking here is a nightmare especially if you don't have a parking permit. To get one I needed to register my car here and consequently no UK insurance company would cover me. To register the car it needed the TÜV (German Mot) and despite having my car MOT just before I left it didn't count here and I had to get it done again plus this Certificate of Compliance. Everyone I called in England didn't have a clue what it was, not even my car manufacturer and I drive a German made car! However in the end it wasn't a problem as long as you have all of the relevant documents for your car I found that the garage here were able to do everything and arrange all of the paperwork. The next step was just going to the relevant city council department and registering the car and they give you the emission certificate and new number plates. Once all of this was done I was able to get insurance (and the much sort after parking permit!).

 

A few other points maybe worth taking into consideration: I've read that some people have had to change their lights. I put those stickers on and the garage told me that is fine. Although I will probably change the lights anyway in the near future (I live in a city and do not really use full beam). Insurance was no different for left or right handed drive. TYRES - in Germany they are very particular about tyres and you must change your tyres by law in the winter/summer. I think it is around about November for winter tyres this year. However, you can get all weather tyres to save you worrying about it.

 

Hope some of this might help!

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Posted

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm curious and somewhat surprised that the TÜV accepted stick-on beam deflectors on your car. It will be interesting to see if they continue to accept this when it is re-tested after 2 years and another inspector checks it.

 

How must do you estimate the whole exercise cost you?

 

One correction to your text - there is no legal requirement to change tyres in winter. You are, however, required to have winter tyres if driving in snow or in icy conditions, but there is nothing to stop you driving with summer tyres during the winter when it is not snowing/sleeting and keeping the car off the road during the occasional snowfall. Alternatively, as you point out, you can use all-weather tyres all year round.

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Posted

 

I brought my car over here from the UK and it was a little bit of an effort but nothing that isn't managable. I live in Cologne and parking here is a nightmare especially if you don't have a parking permit. To get one I needed to register my car here and consequently no UK insurance company would cover me. To register the car it needed the TÜV (German Mot) and despite having my car MOT just before I left it didn't count here and I had to get it done again plus this Certificate of Compliance. Everyone I called in England didn't have a clue what it was, not even my car manufacturer and I drive a German made car! However in the end it wasn't a problem as long as you have all of the relevant documents for your car I found that the garage here were able to do everything and arrange all of the paperwork. The next step was just going to the relevant city council department and registering the car and they give you the emission certificate and new number plates. Once all of this was done I was able to get insurance (and the much sort after parking permit!).

 

A few other points maybe worth taking into consideration: I've read that some people have had to change their lights. I put those stickers on and the garage told me that is fine. Although I will probably change the lights anyway in the near future (I live in a city and do not really use full beam). Insurance was no different for left or right handed drive. TYRES - in Germany they are very particular about tyres and you must change your tyres by law in the winter/summer. I think it is around about November for winter tyres this year. However, you can get all weather tyres to save you worrying about it.

 

Hope some of this might help!

 

Hi motion music,

 

What you mentioned 'you have all of the relevant documents for your car', am I right to assume that the garage handled the certificate of compliance for you? If so, what particular documents are required to get the Certificate of Compliance? I bought my car second hand and only have the drivers handbook, logbook and owner's certificate. I did a quick search online for Certificate of Compliance for cars, but unfortunately did not return any relevant pages.

 

Thanks.

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Posted

All those documents you mentioned should be fine plus your full driver license and the paper work that goes with it. I just handed it all over to the garage and they gave me back the relevant German documents I needed for registering my car. I'm afraid I'm not 100% if it is any different for second hand cars. The best thing is to simply check with the garage if they can do that for you. Be careful about looking online for a certificate of compliance. There are a lot of websites that look genuine and claim that they can process one for you but personally I have only heard bad things about them!

 

To yorkshirelad…interesting about the tyres. I ended up getting all weather ones (€90 per tyre) but remind me to shoot the little birdie who told me they need to be changed! Like you I can't help feeling somewhat suspicious about the lights but I asked specifically about them. Either way, I'm still planning on getting them changed anyway unless I decide to sell up and get a left hand car before the end of the year. TÜV cost me about €40 and registration another €40.

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Posted

 

What you mentioned 'you have all of the relevant documents for your car', am I right to assume that the garage handled the certificate of compliance for you?

 

You should be able to get a CoC direct from the manufacturer or via a main agent. Worst case, look here - bit of a rip-off though.

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Posted

 

You should be able to get a CoC direct from the manufacturer or via a main agent. Worst case, look here - bit of a rip-off though.

 

I contacted Ford to get a CoC and they wanted to charge £84 for it. Nothing is free I suppose.

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Posted

At least Ford knew what it was. I contacted Audi and they hadn't a clue! Anyway, get the garage in Germany to sort it out as I'm sure it is cheaper.

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Posted

I have had my UK car here for 11 years without a problem. It is still registered in the UK and I get a UK MOT and Tax each year. I use Stuart Collins (as do at least 10 other expats I know of in Cologne) to legally insure the car for the whole year in Europe without any loopholes. It is not expensive and the only stipulations are that you need current UK tax and MOT (www.stuartcollins.com). I now have a tiefgarage with my apartment but for 7 years I had to use a parking permit with my car which I got without having to register my car in Germany. As long as you are registered in Germany, live in the correct area and can prove that you own the car then you will get a permit. Renewing it for subsequent years is even less hassle as you just pay when the reminder comes in and a new permit is posted out to you. Hope this helps...

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Posted

What you are doing is essentially illegal, on the assumption you are a registered resident in Germany and not here on military, consular or EU secondment (unlikely after 11 years!) and the legal owner of the car. Clearly having the MOT, tax and insurance are critical to keep it legally on the road, however the German law you are breaking in this case is tax evasion (as a resident car owner must pay German car tax) which most police are less likely to care about, let alone spot, even if you have an accident or get caught speeding.

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