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Old 06-19-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
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Location: SoCal
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My Ride: 04 330Ci SMG
Transporting a USA car to Europe.. Thoughts/Tips?

Hey Guys,
First off, let me excuse myself for not being an e90 guy.. I own a 2004 BMW e46 330ci with an SMG trans.

I was wondering if any of you could help me out possibly. Next summer (Summer 2011) I am coming over to Switzerland and doing a year abroad. If Europe sits well with me, I would transfer after my first year abroad and do my senior year in Europe as well.

I have told my parents that the only thing I require *better phrased: would like* to have a car to explore my native country. They are in agreement and said they would go 50/50 on shipping it over to Germany.

From what i've read I can have temp plates for 6 months. After that there is a 16% VAT tax? Do all I have to pay is a portion of the value of the car, and viola i've got a car to drive? I know the swiss, which makes me think there has to be something else....

Is there an inspection my car has to go through? -- My car is bone stock, except for the following:
-DDM Tuning HID 6,000k Xenon low beam upgrade from Halogen
-Coil-overs (Very small lowering.. I liked stock ride height, so I kept it as close to it as I could)
-Blacked out side marker lights (Tinted them using tint spray)
-Vinyl Roof (Gloss black)
-Sway bar upgrade (f&r)
-Angel Eyes - Thin lines chromium (because of the facelift headlights)
DICE iPod integration
Red Needle DIY
Window Tint = 35% front and 5% rear vents and rear window

Hopefully someone can help me, I know its a year away but i'd like to be prepared. I know some will say just to buy a car over in Switzerland, but I dont like whats in my budget range for used cars.

My plan is basically drive this car for upto 2 years that im in Europe, and then as my grad present, im buying something similar to todays 2011 335i coupe. Driving around Europe and then shipping it home, along with my e46 330ci if someone doesn't buy it from me in Europe.


Current Setup

- 2004 330Ci SMG, Sport pkg, Cold weather pkg, and Premium pkg. CCFL Angel Eyes, K&N CAI, Koni FSDs, 7000k Fog lights, LED License Plate Lights, DICE iPod, HAWK HPS/BMW Performance Rotors all around.

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Old 07-16-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Location: Netherlands - Holland
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I came across your thread and would like to share some idea...

by the year that you are in Europe, you can find reasonable priced second-hand e46, will vary from 8 to 15 thousends euro depends upon the engine and options of the car, without paying extra tax which will vary upon the weight and age besides the milage on dashboard...

Roughly speaking, minimum costs of transporting your car to Europe is 1500 euros (somebody correct me if wrong)...
then tax will be another 2200up to 3000 since your car is considered luxury (big engine) in Europe...

so in the best senario you might end up paying not less than 4000 euros plus headache.

If I were in your shoes, Instead of spending those mentioned 4000 I will keep the e46 in USA for my visits back home, and pay some little amount on top of that to buy another second hand one with swiss plate number.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Germany
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My Ride: E46 330Xi, E36 320i
True, im here in germany. Insurance is off the chain here in germany. And you will want to lose the front tint depending on where you go.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:55 PM   #4
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Location: PRT
Posts: 120
My Ride: BMW e46 320cd
What is your idea, to bring the car and put an european licence plate and register?

If that's the idea depending of the european countries most of them you have to pay huge taxes to import a car and generally those taxes encrease on Vehicles from Non European community countries.

My advice is; sell your car, bring the money, go to Switzerland, then take a small trip to Germany it relatively near and buy your self another 330ci or a nice m3 with the money that you make with the sale of your car.

Check this German site for BMW's

If after this you still want to bring your car you can do that and run him on european roads with an US plate, but the only person that can drive the car is the owner and the owner if not you has to have active residence in US.

Hope it helps
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