Converting Car US to EU

11 posts in this topic

Hi all, new on here. Need some advise. I’m bring my 1999 BMW “M” Roadster to Berman on a ship in a container. It’s in route now and I know I need to have a conversion done on it. The shipping company had given me a conversion company name, but they have been far to slow in response. No quote or time the conversion would take. I also asked if they could receive the car prior to me traveling over to Berman for this task. No answer!

So, I’m looking for a conversion company in Berman that’ll reply with these simple questions. Do any of you have recommendations of any reliable companies? Would love to hear from those.

Thank you in advance.

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Go to the BMW workshop of your chioce and ask for Gutachten nach §21. (Heard horror stories about the pricing, tell me how much you paid and for what exactly!) Take all car related paperwork to an accredited interpreter to get a German copy of your evidence of ownership and with that, all the papers from the car dealer, your car's (European) insurace police and your registration confirmation you go to your local vehicle registration office.

 

If your American lic plates are valid and the car is still insured you can ride that car on it's own wheels. It's also not permitted to drive to MOT center (the car dealer) and to the vehicle reg office without any lic plate if you take the direct way and the car's insurance is valid. But you can be sure, every cop will stop you and ask what the hell you are doing. In that moment you should have all the paperwork I wrote above and a certificate that you have a date with the MOT guy and the reg center. Mark: You can never park the car w/o lic plates on public roads!

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Our car was a UK model that we needed to get converted and these guys did a grand job for us,

http://www.opelmeyer.de/index_lilienthal.html

They did all the registration stuff as well as the actual mechanical work, we just paid them and they sorted it all out.

Obviously they are an Opel shop and you have a BMW so you may not want them to do the work, in which case go with what Journeyman says and see a BMW dealer.

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I had my car converted at a BMW dealer. They only thing it needed was the rear fog light capability. In order to make it function they had to change the light switch, the instrument cluster, and re-program the computer. They handled the TüV inspection as well. I believe it was around €700 - course it was in 2004 and I've slept since then :)

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I want to thank all of you for writing your experiences on converting a foreign US car in Germany. This is what I’ve found out, taking it to a BMW shop is ludicrous because of the cost. Taking it to a reliable shop in Germany will cost between 1500 -2000 Eur’s. Most of which is just document cost. The labor is only one day, but you can wait from 2-6 weeks before the TUV approves of your vehicle. I had my car transported to Berman as most might have, it’s an “M” Roadster convertible and will only be used for the warmer weather period. I live these months in Bulgaria because of a house I have there. Finding a conversion shop in Bulgaria is easy and by far cheaper then what the German government wants….300-450 Eur.

I’d gladly pay this vs. the German government damn doc work and get the job done in a weeks time frame in Bulgaria. So I’m gonna buy the 5 day red tag pass and drive to where the cost makes sense. Once the car is converted I’ll issue a 2 month red tag in Bulgaria and when the New Year approaches the taxes will drop dramatically on my “M” and I’ll register it in Bulgaria under a EU plate. Does this make sense to everyone? If not, I’d like to hear your reply as to why!

Thanks again all.

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If you will be living and working and paying tax in germany you will have to Reg the car in Germany or have it crushed

Stu

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You can drive on American plates for six months. This is what I found out too late way back when. You also have that amount of time to get it converted. Don't panic and don't take it to a BMW shop. They charge you an arm and a leg. Go to an independent shop that can work on BMWs and save yourself a lot of money.

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Update: Seems the time to convert has been limited to 90days now.

 

http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/driving_in_germany.html

 

 

All cars receiving German plates must be registered and pass the Technical Inspection (TÜV) within 90 days of the car's arrival in Germany.

 

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Update: Seems the time to convert has been limited to 90days now. http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/driving_in_germany.html

 

True enough, however it also states ""D" decal Deutschland. You must display the "D" decal on the rear of your car when traveling outside Germany." Which is not correct. Maybe they forgot it's now on the license plate.

 

I think some of the info on that site is dated. I can't give you an official answer but I drove my car for 6 months with US plates and at the end I got it converted and registered and nobody at the TUV or registration office complained about the fact I had missed the "90 days".

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That is only if you have EU plates and not everyone does. Of course new cars are going to get EU plates and yes some of the info on the Gov site is outdated. When I got here 12 years ago, the time allotted was 6 months (but the TÜV people neglected to tell me that) and I rushed around for three weeks trying to get my car converted which ended up costing more than it should. <_<

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I had my Miata converted at the Mazda dealership.

What a nightmare.

I had to PROVE that the car was made and intended for an American market.

And had to pay extra for the American sized license plates, and get my lights all EU compatible.

Not to mention the off centered fog light gouged out of my back fender! Ouch!

 

The cost was expensive, but I love my car and sucked it up and paid for it!

 

Good luck.

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