Shipping a car from the U.S. to Germany

How, and is it worth all the costs?

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Entropy
I will move to Germany in a few days and remain there for at least two years. I wonder if it is economical to ship my car, a 2000 Toyota Avalon, there. I am confident that this car will run without any major repair for the entire duration that I will spend in Germany. The quote for shipping cost for that car from NY to Germany is around $900. That price excludes the shipping cost for the car from where I am to NY. From reading other comments on this subject, I understand that I must pay an additional sum for import taxes and other required modification/repairs. If I have a car, I would drive my car for commuting to work and traveling in Europe during weekends and holidays instead of taking trains or fly. Please share your experience, if you have any, or your comments in this matter. Thank you. Entropy
leky
Well first off the shipping costs don't seem all that realistic to me, does that also include marine insurance?

Germany/Europe has an excellent public transportation system (except when they're on strike) so it's very easy to get around & as for taking your car/truck on holidays, I think you'll find that it's much easier and in a lot of cases cheaper to just fly or take the train.

If you get here and decide you really need a car you can just get an old banger to use fro a coupla years.
Darkknight
Having many friends that have shipped their autos between the US and Germany, I can say that $900 is way to low.
The min. going rate is around $2000-2500 or more depending on shipper,insurance and the ships travel dates (Arrival Time).

You most deff. want to get as much Insurance as possible, as Some of these autos were a total write-off due to (Salt) water damage
and mold. Something that will give you 100% coverage is reccomended.

As for the rest, Europe has great public transport systems, and you may find that having your car here is not really needed.
Add to that US autos are gas pigs and gas prices around 6-7 Eur a gallon, insurance is more than in the US, Import taxes, conversion
and testing (tüv) fees and you will see that it doesn't make much sense to import for only 2 yrs.
evi
Not completely important, but a Toyota Avalon isn't a small car. You would still get around here alright, but it is my experience that it's a bit annoying to manouver bigger cars through the smaller roads. Parking isn't my idea of a good time either. It might not really be worth it to spend all that money getting here. The transit system is usually quite good.
Entropy
The quote is from Neptune International for shipping a Toyota Avalon from NY to Bremerhaven.

Here is a brief detail of the quote sent to me
Shipping $850
Documentation fee $ 25
Insurance ~ 2.0% of value of the car
Personal and household items can be placed inside the car with documenation fee $ 65

I realize that the avalon is not a small car but it is extremely reliable and has decent gas milage, with an average of 29mpg highway. Another issue that I did not mention is car insurance. How much does it cost for a thirty something years old per year? Furthermore, is driving record in the US a factor in determining the cost of an automobile insurance policy? As always, thanks for your input.
Entropy (increasing steadily)
Darkknight
Insurance will run you 400-1000 Eur Per Year and its usually based of the make/model of the Auto..
Don't forget Car tax as well.. Based off make/model and Pollution level. Prob. another 100-300 Eur per year
Bumpy
is driving record in the US a factor in determining the cost of an automobile insurance policy?
Of course.

Get a letter from your current American insurace company showing how many years you've driven and claims that you've had. You should present this back to your new Insurance company here. This will allow you to negotiate your rates when you apply...

I haven't read through the other posters, but ensure that you have a drivers license from a US state which has reciprocity with the Germans. If you don't have one then get one. It will save you shit load of hassle...
Darkknight
and about 1500-2000 Eur in drives classes and testing.
ThePigsInBlankets
Not to be snarkish, but to me, bringing a car to Germany because you're not sure if you can get by on public transport is like bringing your own cow to the Old Country Buffet because you're not sure there'll be enough meat.

Driving here costs many times what it does in the U.S., and the public transport is of unsurprassed quality. You'd be best off selling the car, the revenue from which would cover a good chunk of all your travel costs while over here. Then when you go back, buy a newer-but-slightly-used Toyota and you'll be right back where you started from, without have to hassle with the car while you're here.
Timmeh
I think you'd be better off leaving it behind and seeing how things go when you get here. You may decide you need a set of wheels, then so be it, buy one, but you may also discover that you don't need one after all, and the cost of having a set of wheels here may very well convince you that you don't need one.
cinzia
Don't ship a car to Germany unless someone else is paying for it.

At any rate, you'd be without it for awhile when you first get to Germany, unless you ship it ahead. In the meantime, while the car is in transit, you would likely discover that you don't much need it anyway, and here you've gone to the bother and expense of shipping it and then getting it checked for driving in Germany.

Do check on the reciprocal driving license thing, though. You may have to rent or borrow a car occasionally, and the less hassle and expense to get your license, the better.
BadDoggie
The car is too big. It's a high-end sedan which is almost 2m wide, 5m long and has a wheelbase of 2.8m. You'll barely fit in normal-sized lanes and there are a lot of streets you'll get caught in due to bends and parking. Speaking of parking, you'll find few places to put that beast.

The car has a 70l tank; that'll cost you around $120 to fill up. The fuel economy is shit at almost 11l/100km (although it's better than a BMW 5 series).

With a 3l engine at 268 horsepower it'll cost a fortune to insure. It's a luxury car; Vollkasko (complete) insurance will be even higher. Plus car tax. And parking

The car isn't built for the EU, only the US and Australia. That means they didn't have to design in all the EU requirements. You could be looking at having a lot of parts replaced, including electrics, glass, catalytic converter, filters, and anything else the schlub at the TÜV decides he wants you to get in order to punish you for being so stupid and arrogant as to bring that thing here.

You're better off putting your car in storage in the US and picking up something here. In many places you can avoid cars and all their related costs and use the excellent public transportation. On the occasions you need a car you can pick up rentals cheap from the no-name local firms. Nice cars, I might add.

Just saw cinzia's post and want to add: you'll need to get a German driver's license if you're here longer than 6 months. If at all possible, trade yours in NOW for a VA license. Virgina's is fully reciprocal and requires you to take no tests.

woof.
Jarek
ok...so here is a dilema...moving to Germany from US. I have a Bmw 645ci...it is a 2005 fully loaded. These things are pricey in EU.
I can take it to Europe and sell for way more than here is US. Also, I can have a nice ride while touring Europe. I'm a car guy BTW. Company is offering me a car ...some piece of shit VW...not sure of Jetta or Passatt.
What should I do? I would never be able to afford such car in Germany...even used...

Your thoughts?
yoyo
If I was to dump 50-60,000 Euro for a BMW 645ci, I certainly would not buy a reimported USA version of the car (which you'll be able to see on the Fahrzeugbrief). Dump the BMW and take the "piece of shit VW". Look at BadDoggie's port...he is spot on.
Mik Dickinson
As far as i can remember you will have to have the brakes and the lighting changed here after a certain time,to comply with the EU Regulations.
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