Importing a used car to Germany from the UK

66 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi All,

 

Sorry if this has been discussed before- I did a bit of searching and it seemed that most of the previous topics revolved around importing a car from the U.S.

 

My question is: If I move to Germany with a car I bought used (1995 model, let's say), but I owned it for less than six months in the UK before taking it to Germany, will I get nailed to the wall with taxes and/or customs, even if I don't sell it for several years? To what extent would I be charged?

 

Thanks!

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Posted

You won't have to pay any duty or VAT on a 1995 car, transferred within the EU. Theoretically, they could ask for proof that VAT was paid in the UK but they seem to be uninterested (from a tax point of view) in cars that are more than six months old.

 

You will have to get a special TuV though (when you want to transfer from UK to German plates) - I think this costs 180 Euros. You are allowed to keep the UK plates for up to six months in Germany but not many UK insurers want to cover the car for that long outside of the UK and German insurers are not usually interested in insuring a foreign registered car.

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Posted

Many thanks, that is brilliant! Are you 100% sure about this though? I could have sworn that you can get nailed if you've owned the car for less than 6 months in your prior country, even if it's used...

 

Thanks

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Posted

Sun King,

I think you refer to the UK laws which were tightened during the late 80's due to the number of Grey Imports brought into the UK, due to high dealer prices within the UK.

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Posted

Hi

I have just completed this for a UK registered 1997 EU spec car. I had owned it in England for 7 years before hand.

I registered in Munich, so used the rules available from there, but I guess the same rules apply all over germany. Check this link for information:

 

http://www.landkreis-muenchen.de/landratsa...atsamt_6626.htm

 

This states that the 6 month old thing only applies to new cars - It is to do with VAT. If your car is from 1996, then there should be no tax to pay on this.

 

So, to registeer the car you need:

 

Proof of residence for your address in Germany (less than 6 months old)

 

Passport

 

Your V5 for the UK vehicle (only give then the left hand side - you need the right hand side to send the export section back to the UK once completed).

 

A reciept for the car (I guess you could make one if you have lost it, as they hardly look at it)

 

Proof from Flensburg (where the german DVLA equivalent is) that the car has not been registered in Germany before, or stolen. A pdf to send off for this is on the above link. You just need to fill in your address, a few vehicle details (main one is the chassis number), and when the postman comes with the reply, play 14.10€. - this takes about 2 weeks to get, and once sent out to you it is only valid for one month, so make sure you complete the registration transfer in this time.

 

Fit LHD headlights, and also new rear light units if necessary, or at least supplementary rear fog and reversing lights so they are on the correct side (if you have only one of each in the UK, they will probably be on the wrong side. If you have one on each side, you will be ok, and don't need to change).

 

Go to your local TÜV testing centre, and tell them you need a paragraph 21 test, HU and AU for an English registered car so you can then register it in Germany. I think this cost 165€, and al they seemed to do extra over the normal HU was weigh the car, read the chassis plate, check the tyre and wheel sizes and check I had "E" on the headlights. It is no more tricky than an UK MOT (actually, apart from the extras listed they seemed to check less than an UK MOT)

 

Get a quote for German insurance - there will be no problem if you explain that you will be registering it in Germany, and they will give you a temporary cover note, suitable for registering the car.

 

Take all the above to your local registration office (Zullassungsstelle), queue for ages, and hand over the documents. Tell them you no longer have the original plates. They give you a receipt. Take this and pay (cost me 65€), Take the reciept for that and get the plates made (16.95€ each). Go to yet another counter and get the tax, insurance, and emissions stickers fitted, and install them on your car...

 

You should then be registered...´

Send of the UK tax and V5 export section, and you are done.

 

Good luck :)

 

p.s if you have a problem with your English insurance in the mean time, you can buy basic third party insurance over the counter at the ADAC (you must be a member) for foreign registered cars. If is expensive (~100€ per month, depending on the car), but means you can still drive your car around while the process is ongoing.

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Posted

Excellent, thanks so much for your help! Now all I need is a job in Germany to justify having a good car there! :blink:

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Posted

Wow, you still don't have ajob in Germany? Maybe you need to look into some education and skills - with those it should be no problem!

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Posted

You can drive your drive your car here for up to 12 months with UK registration plates before you are supposed to register it here, (even longer if you take it back to UK for a holiday.) There are some old britboard threads on this topic which you might be able to find using the search feature.

 

As far as I recall a car that you have owned for at least six months is exempt from tax as it counts as personal belongings when you move. Maybe you could have temporary accommodation for a while before moving your personal belongings.

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Posted

Hi All,

 

I did do a search on this, and found quite a bit of info but I saw contradicting answers unfortunately! :D

 

So, could someone please clarify: If I move to Germany permanently and bring my car, how long can I legally keep it registered as a UK car before going through the TUV nightmare etc.? One person said 6 months, another said 12. I suppose that as far as insurance is concerned, that will mostly depend on my particular company- I think they have a time limit geared more toward vacationing abroad (30 days probably), but that should give me enough time to find a good German insurance company. Then again, will they insure a UK registered car?

 

Thanks in advance for your advice

 

Topics merged by admin

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Posted

While trying to bring my UK GSXR over here, I was surprised to see how quick it was to get a quote for insurance! But, it struck me as remarkable that all they wanted to know was the bikes horse power and they didnt ask once for the make, type, value, storing location (i.e. on road or in a garage etc). Isnt that a bit odd?!?

 

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they do take NCB from the UK, you just need a letter from your last insurer. My bacis insurance (TPO) then reduced from 407 euros to 101 euros. That was for a 150ps bike, seemed pretty reasonable. They quoted an additional 351 euros for "Taikasco" insurance which i believe is theft (though maybe fully comp, we didnt get in to that level of detail).

 

They told me that the process would be:

1. Me bring the bike over here using a UK insurance company (i.e. my current insurance), using my green card.

2. Get my bike TUV checked/converted

3. I agree to the insurance quote and they send me a letter with a 7 digit reference, which i then take to the local Zulessungstelle (registration agency)

4. The Zulessungstelle then gives me the DE number plates and i am then insured to drive.

 

Well that was pretty much what i understood from our broken conversation. Seems quite straightforward really... though of course it wont be. If anyone is interested what agency I used it was: http://www.europa.de/de/htm/home/home.html based in Cologne. They are on +492215737200, best to call in the evening when the students are operating the phones though (if you dont speak much German, like me)!

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Posted

 

Proof from Flensburg (where the german DVLA equivalent is) that the car has not been registered in Germany before, or stolen. A pdf to send off for this is on the above link. You just need to fill in your address, a few vehicle details (main one is the chassis number), and when the postman comes with the reply, play 14.10€. - this takes about 2 weeks to get, and once sent out to you it is only valid for one month, so make sure you complete the registration transfer in this time.

I am in the process of buying a car in the UK. It is actually a LHD car that was imported to the UK from Germany from what I can gather, by this I mean my cousin's pronunciation over the phone of 'Fahrzeugbrief' and this 'German piece of paper that looks like a log book' - my cousin owns a garage and found a good deal on this car for me. He is going to fax me the paperwork today so I can get a look. So does this mean that I will have problems with Flensburg as the car has been registered here before? The car currently has UK plates and a UK log book, but it seems to also have a German 'Fahrzeugbrief' in the paperwork too. I would however assume that this is now void if the car was de-registered in Germany.

 

But does this mean I don't need to get the EU certificate of conformity? Will it be more complicated that I don't have an original certificate of registration from the UK?

 

I was just wondering if anyone can help me on these points? Otherwise I think I know what else I need to do - headlights, receipt, paperwork etc.

 

Perhaps somebody could offer some advice?

 

Thanks

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Posted

I am moving to Germany from Australia in May 2011 and buying a Vauxhall Monaro from the UK to bring to Germany. Have any of the rules changed since this discussion was opened?

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Posted

Are you sure that's a good idea? Driving a RHD over here isn't much fun, parts would have to be imported, insurers wouldn't really know what to do with it and you'd have to re-export it in order to sell it.

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Posted

 

I am moving to Germany from Australia in May 2011 and buying a Vauxhall Monaro from the UK to bring to Germany. Have any of the rules changed since this discussion was opened?

 

Hi akratz,

welcome to Toytown.

I suppose you know the Holden versions of this car and the US marketed Pontiac GTO. AFAIK it was only ever sold by GM in these 3 countries. You should check the Wikipedia entry on the model history. As bal00 suggested was not supported by the GM Opel franchise network. I am aware that the current Vauxhall Monaro is not the same body style as the previous Holdens or Pontiac GTOs, but the motor and much of the other technical hardware are not interchangable with any Opel models. Finding a good workshop willing to educate themselves for 1 owner is only one possible problem you may have to solve. Convincing the German TÜV to recognise it at a reasonable cost even if you do obtain a CoC from Vauxhall may not be easy. I can't imagine where you might find E-marked headlights for LHD traffic regulations to say nothing of the potentially exorbitant costs of compliance. You may want to read about this enthusiastic gentleman GTO owners plans for your amusement before you actually try this out.

 

 

Are you sure that's a good idea? Driving a RHD over here isn't much fun, parts would have to be imported, insurers wouldn't really know what to do with it and you'd have to re-export it in order to sell it.

 

Hey bal00, did this remind you of the putergod, too? :)

 

2B

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Posted

Hi guys

 

Thanks so much for your input. I know the tuv in Germany is very particular and there can be allot of beaurocracy to get things done. As far as I know there are a few monaros running around Germany already along with the Pontiac gto equivalents, so my curiosity is, how did these cars get complianced. Surely the vauxhall version has some sort of euro standard that satisfies the tuv. Lhd headlights can be ordered from the US. I'm trying to make efforts also to make contact with the former chief of Holden who helped develop the monaro, who originally came from Germany and now lives back in his hometown of Wiesbaden. He brought a monaro with him which is driven daily. Far as I know it was gto specified but the exhaust was kept to Australian standards in order to comply with tuv regulations.

 

I'm not so worried about parts; living in Australia has taught me to be patient whensit comes to that. Here, it takes ages to get parts for almost any stupid car and I've owned American cars previously so I guess I'm just used to it now. Having said that, does the tuv require support for interchangeable parts from GM/opel in Germany to allow this car to be registered? Forgive my ignorance but have I misunderstood this?

 

I would have thought it's as simple as importing any other car like a mustang or corvette and so on, which seem to be imported and complianced on a regular basis over there.

 

I guess the trick will be to make sure I can get hold of a non modified version of the monaro/vxr, get the lhd gto headlights (surely there is a euro spec version of these for the gto's that are running around there already), get the speedo in km/h from Australia and clearly found out from the tuv what they require for the car to pass. I suspect they would need a manufacturers sheet to run through their checklist for for comparison.

 

I know there's a way through the German beaurocratic spaghetti, I suppose this is a question of arming oneself with the right info. Especially with insurance, I'm assuming it would be a matter of finding out which insureers would insure it under the same conditions as a gto

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Posted

The US headlights, while LHD, are not ECE compliant either. You can get them tested and certified for glare, light distribution etc., but that'd cost thousands, so realistically you'll have to find someone with a German-registered GTO (or Monaro with GTO headlights) or an importer who already had the lights tested and would let you use his cert (for a fee).

The Tüv doesn't care where the parts are coming from, but it would certainly be inconvenient.

 

The main difference between this and a more common gray import like a Mustang is that all the certs are relatively easy to come by, and even then it's quite a hassle to do this privately, rather than just paying an importer to do the paperwork. Insurance could be an issue because it's RHD and because the GTO, not having been sold here officially, is not in their database either, so some companies may not want to touch it, and those that are willing to work with you will be looking at somewhat similar cars to come up with a quote. Could be expensive.

 

Then there's the question of resale value and convenience. Most Germans will not touch not RHD car with a 10 ft pole, because driving one in a city with multi-story car parks would be an endless source of frustration. In essence you'd have to bring it back to the UK to sell it, or pretty much give it away.

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Posted

Thanks bal00

 

so let me get this straight. The lights could cost thousands?? If there are GTOs complianced and driving in germany with approved EU headlights, why would i need to get my LHD lights tested if they are the same. Logic would dictate that if an existing GTO were complianced, that if indeed another showed up at the TUV with the same specifications, then it should meet the same result in order to get a sticker. Again, if a GTO already registered there was on their database, then the next one should simply meet the same result to get approved. Is it the position of the TUV that two cars that have the same specifications (in this case headlights), that they would expect a difference? One would think that they would test to make sure it operates within those standards and then simply pass it. If this were not the case, then every german that had to take their car to the TUV, would have to pay thousands for their 'approved' cars everytime they were put through roadworthy inspections. In other words, if one has been approved, then so should the next one as long as it has the same equipment, just like a local car. If this car were a one off import, I could understand the rigorous procedure, but these cars (GTO) are there, and should therefore be on the database logically.

 

Finding an insurer appears to be the challenge though as you've mentioned. As with 'uncommon' cars here, they can be insured but you generally have to go to a specialised insurer who would deals with imports or muscle cars etc etc.

 

This is definitely an interesting set of conditions that you have given me to investigate. As history has shown, the TUV are a formidable foe who can tie you up with allot of complication, but their regulations have a logic to them that does allow for answers - otherwise there would be no imported vehicles there, or unique cars at all. But as you've all mentioned, it pays to know the potential hurdles lest there be difficult surprises.

 

My parents live in Germany and my father has told me of how difficult it could be, as he is also an enthusiast of unique vehicles. I think the next stage will be to employ useful contacts within the TUV and compliance sectors like ADAC to find out what this car needs in order to get on the road by defining the difference UK approved specs together with the GTO approved specs already achieved with current imports. It does however explain the price difference between the GTO and UK Vauxhall equivalent. If each of these cars has had to undergo this process, then the dollars are added on.

 

Given your explanation bal00, I am sure that my understanding of the TUV process requires more attention so I thank you again. Theres nothing worse than nasty surprises.

 

As far as selling it is concerned, I dont have a problem trying to sell it back in the UK - I live in Australia, so the distances between the EU and UK are of little consequence to me. Unique vehicles of a more US stature go across our state borders all the time due to people just wanting them and we also have different compliance regulations that are a nightmare in each state - but it doesnt stop the process

 

As far as driving RHD in a LHD country, not really fussed about that either - I havent had hassles with driving LHD in Australia - you just get used to it. The biggest problem is leaving a parking spot and seeing what is coming from the opposite direction. This problem is generally solved with cameras (like reversing cameras) installed in the passenger outside mirror to view oncoming traffic through an LCD mounted in the car and used for overtaking purposes also.

 

If anyone knows Peter Hanenberger's email address (Wiesbaden), he has a complianced, insured Australian Monaro (except LHD) in Germany.

 

As with anything, someone has the answers to an easy solution; I just have to get the info.

If anyone has more solutions on process etc, then I am all ears. I'd really like to see this through.

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Posted

 

so let me get this straight. The lights could cost thousands?? If there are GTOs complianced and driving in germany with approved EU headlights, why would i need to get my LHD lights tested if they are the same.

You don't, if you can get a copy of their compliance testing report. Someone probably got the GTO lights tested at some point, but you will have to track down this company or individual and obtain the test results from him. That's the difficulty with rare cars. I just checked autoscout24 and americanct.de seema to have listed a GTO for sale. Maybe they have the necessary paperwork for the GTO lights.

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Posted

Ahh I see, that makes sense. The COC from the UK only gets you halfway across the mark, then the rest is based on the rarity of the cars available reports from existing owners or approved TUV testing company/organisation.

 

So it really is a case then of finding someone kind enough to do this. Is this a common practice?

 

Must the report be an original or can I supply a copy from an original? I'm curious if this will be ok should say I have a report from a car that is of a different year than one I will buy. All model variants from 2001 through to 2006 have the same body construct and headlights/tail lights, so this would be logical yes? Theoretically the report should only be relevant to the lights though shouldn't they, as long as not fitted to a car with different body specs.

 

I'm wondering if there is some sort of pre-approval process whereby if I can get the right testing paperwork, would they by rights say " ok, this will work ", or whether they will say, " no, we can't say anything until you have the car AND the reports ". Because that would be the risk ultimately, wouldn't it?

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Posted

 

so realistically you'll have to find someone with a German-registered GTO (or Monaro with GTO headlights) or an importer who already had the lights tested and would let you use his cert (for a fee).

 

Would this fee be an agreed fee or is this a legitimate process? If so, then can said reports be purchased from an issuing test authority who has indeed tested the lights or anything else on the car beforehand

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