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  #21  
Old 21.08.2009, 12:54
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Re: car import from USA

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I basically have the same question, but the car I would be bringing is a German car - BMW. I would hope this would make it easier to service. Am I right in my assumption?
Jobo,

I have the same situation as you. I just imported my BMW to Switzerland from NY. I know the front parking lights need to be modified (as in the states the parking lights stay on constant when the headlights are on, here they are not supposed to light up unless you are turning). I have been told that this might be just a programming issue wit the car's computer, otherwise the alternative is to replace the entire unit, which would be a bit more expensive.

The radio and GPS work flawlessly. Even the bluetooth works great with my european phone.

The speedometer already has km/h readout below the mph readout, so no need to change that. you can switch all other computer readouts to Celsius and kilometers rather easily under settings (though my odometer still reads in miles, but I'm sure there is a vay to change that as well, I just havent looked through the manual yet).

Also, I have it on good authority that any repairs would be much cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland. Depending on where you live in CH, it may be just a short drive across the borderto get all the work done.

Good luck
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  #22  
Old 21.08.2009, 12:56
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Re: car import from USA

... also, I had no problem insuring my car with Zurich, and not only is it a US spec car, I still have my NY plates on it.
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  #23  
Old 21.08.2009, 13:06
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Re: car import from USA

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I imported my MB ML from East Coast US to Switzerland in December 2008 as part of our household goods. If you want to import as part of household goods, the car needs to be imported within a year of moving here.
We bought another car here in Zurich in November 2008 and that car dealer was so kind as to take care of all concerned with regard to the imported car.
My GPS does not work here and I cannot set my clock to CET. The dashboard shows miles, however I can switch to a screen where the speed is shown in KM and that was approved by the Strassenverkehrsamt. My radio works fine. Biggest cost for me was the purchase of winter wheels and winter tires.
There are some steps that need to be followed and it took a couple of weeks to get all done.

I do not regret importing the car; I would have lost money selling the car in US and buying the exact same one here.

I guess it depends on the make of the car whether it is worthwhile or not; one needs to do his homework beforehand.
Regarding your GPS, I know this question is going to seem silly, but did you get an updated European map cd/dvd?

I brought my BMW from NY and as soon as I popped in the new map dvd into the system, it picked up my location and worked flawlessly. If you still have your US map in the system that could be your problem

Otherwise, you may need a firmware upgrade. the car dealer should be able to upgrade the firmware for you in a matter of minutes. but the GPS equippement should work. Fundamentally, there are universal standards for GPS equipement, therefore the equipment is the same whether made for the US or Europe, or any other part of the world and should work regardless of location.
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  #24  
Old 12.09.2009, 19:56
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Re: car import from USA

Hey,

I'm looking to import my audi from the east coast to Switzerland. Can anyone give me any advice on what paperwork needs to be done, and recommend any shipping companies?

Thanks so much!
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  #25  
Old 12.09.2009, 22:11
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Re: car import from USA

I just shipped from NJ to here using www.rinkens.com

no issues

reasonable price
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  #26  
Old 17.09.2009, 17:57
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Re: car import from USA

While this story is not a USA import into Switzerland, it points to some of the issues one can face that always make me wonder why someone would go through the hassle.

A colleague decided to bring his CLK from Japan. It was a left hand drive, and the value of the car, here, was much more than his was worth. He knew he couldn't buy one here due to the cost, so he shipped his in.

Converting it to Swiss plates required the expertise. He ignored my suggestion to get an expertise done to identify areas that need fixing. He took it to Mercedes to have it prepared for the expertise and paid $700. He failed the inspection.

Since cars drive on the opposite side of the road in Japan, his headlamp lens are wrong. That cost him $4000 to fix...on top of the other difficencies identified in the inspection. The whole experience cost more than $5,000.

On a positive note, another colleague imported a 2004 Maserati 3500 from Florida with 32,000km on it. Paid USD45,000 and delivered it to his door for $2400. Passed the expertise with flying colours. No problems. The street value for that car is roughly $70-80,000 CHF
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  #27  
Old 17.09.2009, 18:05
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Re: car import from USA

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Since cars drive on the opposite side of the road in Japan, his headlamp lens are wrong. That cost him $4000 to fix...on top of the other difficencies identified in the inspection. The whole experience cost more than $5,000.
They're expensive headlights! It is the same UK/Irish spec cars (designed for driving on the left-hand side of the road). Headlights also need to be replaced or modified (depending on the type of car). For some cars purchasing a set off eBay and having them fitted by someone who is handy may be sufficient. For example:

http://cgi.ebay.de/Opel-VECTRA-B-CC-...d=p3286.c0.m14
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  #28  
Old 17.09.2009, 18:26
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Re: car import from USA

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the date you picked up the car, so loan contract date.

But

As for no fee's LOL, yes there will still be plenty!! we just imported our uk car, the total for all the paperwork, the import 'test' etc etc came to just under 5k chf.
£5000 - is your car under 6 months old ??
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  #29  
Old 17.09.2009, 18:52
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Re: car import from USA

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A colleague decided to bring his CLK from Japan. It was a left hand drive, and the value of the car, here, was much more than his was worth. He knew he couldn't buy one here due to the cost, so he shipped his in.
I was considering doing the same thing with a LHD Porsche from Japan. I was aware of the headlight change (although, unless they are Xenon, replacements should not cost $4000!).

Provided I can get a European Certificate of Conformity (shouldn't be a problem, as the Porsches in Japan are all RoW models), are there other major expenses I should be aware of?

Reverse / fog lights need to be reversed...

...and the famous emissions test.

Anything else?
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  #30  
Old 17.09.2009, 18:54
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Re: car import from USA

My 1995 UK Jeep passed the Emission test with flying colours.
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  #31  
Old 17.09.2009, 18:57
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Re: car import from USA

Is it tested based on the standards of 1995? Or must it meet the standards of newer cars?
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  #32  
Old 18.09.2009, 06:03
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Re: car import from USA

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Reverse / fog lights need to be reversed..
You might get a way with that one. A friend didn't need to switch his fog/reverse lights on his RHD Nissan Micra when he imported it (however it was discussed at the MFK test) and there's a RHD Ford Focus parked on my street (Swiss registered) that also hasn't had the reverse/fog lights switched.
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  #33  
Old 18.09.2009, 09:48
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Re: car import from USA

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£5000 - is your car under 6 months old ??

Nope that was 5k chf all in, paperwork, work, headlights, tax etc.

the garage had the car for a full day giving it a pre-test, fitting the headlights, and cleaning it. The it took them 1/2 day to take it to the test centre and argue with the testers, ours was a little different as that model was never available here, so we always knew we where going to have problems.
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  #34  
Old 18.09.2009, 10:54
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Re: car import from USA

I've been trying to get my car imported and registered as well and mine is from EU. It's such a pain that at the moment I'm looking for options to sell it in the old country, even though I would lose money. So I agree with what was previously said, unless the car is incredibly special, just sell it and get another one here. Time and your mental stability is money too
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  #35  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:01
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Re: car import from USA

I said it before and will say it again: if the monetary bit adds up and it makes sense to keep the ride then the rest is really not that hard.
DO NOT go to a garage and ask them to adapt the car to CH specs! GO to the test with a CoC (issued by the manufacturer) and ONLY do the parts which are noted as not being up to standards.
Then do not be lazy and just run to a garage and let them just do it all. Do some work and search for parts on the web. You will likely find your parts and save a ton of money. After you get all/some of the parts than compare costs and even go to DE to have the replacement/programming done...

Too many of posters are doing it the wrong way around...be smart and you can save cash...the technical inspection depends on the tech performing it...you might luck out and your headlights will not even be an issue...and again...compare...do not be stupid and drop 5k on lights without investing some time in searching around...even around junk yards...
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  #36  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:26
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Re: car import from USA

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I said it before and will say it again: if the monetary bit adds up and it makes sense to keep the ride then the rest is really not that hard.
DO NOT go to a garage and ask them to adapt the car to CH specs! GO to the test with a CoC (issued by the manufacturer) and ONLY do the parts which are noted as not being up to standards.
Then do not be lazy and just run to a garage and let them just do it all. Do some work and search for parts on the web. You will likely find your parts and save a ton of money. After you get all/some of the parts than compare costs and even go to DE to have the replacement/programming done...

Too many of posters are doing it the wrong way around...be smart and you can save cash...the technical inspection depends on the tech performing it...you might luck out and your headlights will not even be an issue...and again...compare...do not be stupid and drop 5k on lights without investing some time in searching around...even around junk yards...
Agreed. This is the way I would do it but I've got some spare time to kill. However, 5k for some people is not that much money and if it's worth it for them to make it relatively stress-and-hassle free, I wouldn't call them stupid.
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  #37  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:29
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Re: car import from USA

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Agreed. This is the way I would do it but I've got some spare time to kill. However, 5k for some people is not that much money and if it's worth it for them to make it relatively stress-and-hassle free, I wouldn't call them stupid.

well if 5k is not much money for some then why would they bring a car from US? why not just pay double here? why would they bother posting here instead of just hiring someone to take care of it for them? why?
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  #38  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:44
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Re: car import from USA

I can assure you 5k was a big deal for us! But there is no way we would have been able to argue with the test centre that the factory fitted standard body kit was in fact standard, or that they should test the speedo again. We would also not have been able to clean the underside of the car etc

We sourced the parts ourselves, but as with most cars nowadays the whole front end of the car had to come off to change the headlights, not somthing I wanted to attempt myself (the neighbours would have gone mental!) and of course once fitted they needed setting up, again not somthing I have the tools to do.

It all comes down to time, yes we could have taken it to the centre, but as we had to wait nearly 8 weeks for the test that would have meant 1 day off work for the test, fail, do the work, wait for new test, another day off work etc etc all the while paying for a car we cannot use.

Which is why I would say unless the car is worth a lot of money (ours isn't) or a bit special (which ours is, being quite rare and also my wifes 30th birthday present) I wouldn't bother importing, the amount of hassle was pretty unbelievable!!
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  #39  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:54
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Re: car import from USA

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well if 5k is not much money for some then why would they bring a car from US? why not just pay double here? why would they bother posting here instead of just hiring someone to take care of it for them? why?
I guess you are right then; they must be stupid.
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  #40  
Old 18.09.2009, 11:59
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Re: car import from USA

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I guess you are right then; they must be stupid.

well its not somthing I would want to do again!!
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