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  #61  
Old 10.10.2010, 20:27
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Re: car import from USA

Anyone had any experience driving on US plates. Just saw a car today on California license plates. The tablets were under a protective glass/film, i assume so they wouldnt be stolen or vandalized
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  #62  
Old 10.10.2010, 20:29
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Re: car import from USA

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I have to disagree Sir.

The garage I went to only had one mechanic. He ran the shop and did all the work.

Its all about who you know here, isn't it.
I'm sure you know best.
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  #63  
Old 11.10.2010, 17:32
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Re: car import from USA

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I have to disagree Sir.

The garage I went to only had one mechanic. He ran the shop and did all the work.

Its all about who you know here, isn't it.
Steve is correct...my former BMW Garage offered to take my car in to do the inspection. Standard service they offer as they get lots of imports to be serviced.
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  #64  
Old 11.10.2010, 18:02
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Re: car import from USA

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Steve is correct...my former BMW Garage offered to take my car in to do the inspection. Standard service they offer as they get lots of imports to be serviced.
And did you BMW garage only have 1 mechanic too ? It makes no sense to send a qualifed and highly paid mechanic to do the apprentice's job. Here a garage will charge you about Chf 120.-- to 140.-- per hour, irrespective if he's at the test centre or giving open heart surgery to a gear box. That makes it expensive to send a qualified guy to drive a car to a test center, wait for the test and drive back again with absolutely no use of his skills.

The fact "he knows someone" is totaly irrelevant as you have no idea who will examine the car when you get their, it's the computer who decides which lane you go in, respectively which tester does the test, not the the guy doing the testing. In addition to this the test centers also have inspectors who make spot checks and no mechanic who works at the test center is going risk his extremely cushy job to think about issuing a dodgy certificate.

Sure there are exceptions all the time, the mechanic needs to go to town/test center/whatever but in general, this is apprentice work.
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  #65  
Old 11.10.2010, 18:08
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Re: car import from USA

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And did you BMW garage only have 1 mechanic too ? It makes no sense to send a qualifed and highly paid mechanic to do the apprentice's job. Here a garage will charge you about Chf 120.-- to 140.-- per hour, irrespective if he's at the test centre or giving open heart surgery to a gear box. That makes it expensive to send a qualified guy to drive a car to a test center, wait for the test and drive back again with absolutely no use of his skills.

The fact "he knows someone" is totaly irrelevant as you have no idea who will examine the car when you get their, it's the computer who decides which lane you go in, respectively which tester does the test, not the the guy doing the testing. In addition to this the test centers also have inspectors who make spot checks and no mechanic who works at the test center is going risk his extremely cushy job to think about issuing a dodgy certificate.

Sure there are exceptions all the time, the mechanic needs to go to town/test center/whatever but in general, this is apprentice work.
Did not check into the qualifications or number of mechanics. In my case it was the service advisor who would take the car in. This was not some greasy monkey place you might be thinking of..this was a proper BMW dealer/service shop. Emil Frey BMW in Oerlikon to be specific.
I did it all myself. I went to the test center with all of the docs needed (including CoC) and passed it all with no issues. I recommend that approach even it chances are you will fail. What you get is a list of exactly what is needed to be done and just complete those items.

I will import a US spec car again. It will be a higher end car like a 911 4S as that is where you really see the savings come in.
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  #66  
Old 11.10.2010, 18:12
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Re: car import from USA

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Did not check into the qualifications or number of mechanics. In my case it was the service advisor who would take the car in. This was not some greasy monkey place you might be thinking of..this was a proper BMW dealer/service shop. Emil Frey BMW in Oerlikon to be specific.
I did it all myself. I went to the test center with all of the docs needed (including CoC) and passed it all with no issues. I recommend that approach even it chances are you will fail. What you get is a list of exactly what is needed to be done and just complete those items.

I will import a US spec car again. It will be a higher end car like a 911 4S as that is where you really see the savings come in.
If it was the official BMW garage it certainly wasn't the mechanic who took the car to the test center and quite liekly neither the apprentice. The big garages usualy employ somebody for general duties, and the test center falls under general duties.
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  #67  
Old 11.10.2010, 20:25
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Re: car import from USA

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Headlights need to be e-codes no matter what, so if your car doesn't have them
Where did you hear this? Nobody has been able to give me a definitive answer on this question.
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  #68  
Old 11.10.2010, 23:40
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Re: car import from USA

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It is really easy to import your car, don't listen to anyone that tells you it is not. It just comes down to money.

If you have xenon headlights, you have to have headlight washers and also the automatic suspension compensation.

If you have halogen lamps, all is good.

I can recommend a mechanic who was good and knows the people at the inspection place. Don't take it there yourself, you will get screwed.

I did not needed to have the automatic suspension compensation. It was noted but not a prerequisite for passing the test. I do have the headlight washers, but disabled it as soon as I passed the test.
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  #69  
Old 11.10.2010, 23:42
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Re: car import from USA

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Anyone had any experience driving on US plates. Just saw a car today on California license plates. The tablets were under a protective glass/film, i assume so they wouldnt be stolen or vandalized
I drove my Florida plates for almost a year (with no front plate). No issues other than many curious watchers. Police passed by many times, but in a city where you see many exotic cars with Dubai plates I guess they are used to it.
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  #70  
Old 11.10.2010, 23:44
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Re: car import from USA

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Where did you hear this? Nobody has been able to give me a definitive answer on this question.
My headlights are Xenon's for US market including orange lights on the side that are always on, I had no issues.
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  #71  
Old 12.10.2010, 00:39
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Re: car import from USA

Note I have NOT read the thread, and this is based on my experience only.

One of my car is a Spanish Honda. We brought it when we moved in, maybe cause we are lucky, but process was quick, painless. Some paperwork, but that's expected. A visit to customs, guy had to check the car was the one on the paperwork. Then get ready for the technical inspection, which is more thorough than any I've seen anywhere else. Note the car is not new nor perfect by any means, has 'lived a hard life' with young kids and quite a bit of dents and 120,000 kms on it. Local Honda dealer got it clean and ready, fixed one defect (rear bumper sticking out) by keeping it in with an unsightly rivet (!!) and with that went to the technical inspection and it did not pass. The reasons where some of the things the dealer had told me 'we won't change fix these things to see if it passes but it might not' - change wipers, remove old vignettes, fixed another bumper that was misaligned. This did not meant going back to have another inspection - the dealer had to send a letter saying they had changed them. Overall cost was acceptable. Now it's 'Swiss'. I did this all by myself, no german, no expat relocation company helping me.

My other car is an american Honda Odyssey. This, I bought already made Swiss. No idea how the process was for the owner, I bought it with 90,000 miles on it. But I want STRONGLY to buy a new one some day. The owner of the Honda dealer, which I have come to trust, tells me they can bring it for me and do so for 5 or 6 customers per year (not this model always of course). He tells me he has a company that does the shipping and the paperwork. Only problems is the navigator that will not work here. Paperwork nightmare, modifications, etc, he tells me paperwork is routine, expected, predictable (so Swiss), modifications depends on model but they already know exactly what needs to be done on each model to get it passed and it's never a big deal.

The bottom line is this: yes there are many costs and it will take 2 or 3 months over all. But from the numbers I run, it will end up costing about the same, maybe slightly less, than a similarly equipped equivalent car you can get here. So, Chrysler Voyager, Renault Espace, etc, with that equipment, cost roughly the same.

So the opinion I've had, and confirmed this with some friends, is that this is worthwhile only if you want strongly to get a specific car model that is not sold here, and that you plan to hold for many years (because yes, resale value will drop and will take long to sell), and not because of the cost savings. For me, this happens to be the Odyssey, since it's the most comfortable family van for me (have to check the new Toyota Previa though).

A comment, have you tried searching for the car you want in autoscout24.ch? Some entrepreneurial dealerships bring 'american only' cars here and sell them at similar price to locally available counterparts (this in the case of the Odyssey, I guess its similar for other models) - most of the time you can find a couple new ones on sale.
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  #72  
Old 21.10.2010, 09:55
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Re: ecodes

i did not need e-codes for either my q7 or my a4. the NA spec lights with orange side markers were just fine. best to try here first passing the test, worst case, easier to get ecodes here from ebay, etc.
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  #73  
Old 21.10.2010, 10:31
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Re: car import from USA

Its a doodle.

I moved here in 2002 with my Ford Explorer V8 (thanks god it wasn't an Expedition!!!) included in my household shipment. It costed me 100 USD to add the car in the container, as I needed to double the size of it...

When I landed, I was able to get it out of the container immediately; the rest of the household stayed in storage (paid, but that is another story) for a bit longer. I drove with the US plates without problems for about 6 months, only requirement was to contract an insurance here or to have a letter from your US insurance that you are covered abroad.

About 6 months later, I took an appointment for the technical expertise, and had the local Ford Dealer do the job. They did the full service, changed some of the lights, and the car was up to standards for about 2000 CHF.

Should I point out that it saved me the cost of rental cars?
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  #74  
Old 21.10.2010, 12:06
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Re: car import from USA

See the other thread... I just put a 2008 US Honda Fit (Jazz) through the registration process. Total parts expense: $4 for a pair of front light bulbs. Changed them myself.

Of course, the garage is probably going to charge me $300 for handling the inspection process for me.
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  #75  
Old 01.11.2010, 12:08
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Re: car import from USA

we are in the midst of registering our 2004 Mazda MPV (imported with our household goods last year from the US). we've hit a stumbling block: we need to supply the maximum speed of the car, but this information isn't required in the US. So far, we've had no luck with the Mazda dealer here in Switzerland nor the Mazda dealer back in the US (nor Mazda's US customer service) in obtaining this information.

Importer of the Honda Fit (or others): where did you obtain the maximum speed information?

Thanks!
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  #76  
Old 01.11.2010, 13:32
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Re: car import from USA

I googled mine and got the specification sheet printed and took it with me for inspection. Your MPV, depending on engine size, could top 106 to 118 miles/hr. But Check out this link to make sure, could be helpful.
Good Luck

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test
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  #77  
Old 01.11.2010, 13:43
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Re: car import from USA

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Importer of the Honda Fit (or others): where did you obtain the maximum speed information?
Are the authorities requiring an official document from Mazda? Canton Vaud did not; they took my word for it when I put 180km/h on the paperwork.

My educated guess turned out to be correct; the car really does have a cutoff at 180.
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  #78  
Old 01.11.2010, 23:19
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Re: car import from USA - max speed

For my VW I got an email with the exact specs of my car (based on VIN) from VW USA. I then pasted on it an official looking VW logo, and showed it with the rest of the paperwork. That was all that was needed. I bet you can do the same with any specs found on the Mazda website or such.
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Old 07.11.2010, 16:57
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Re: car import from USA - max speed

For my MB, I simply sent a requiest (from their Swiss website, Contact Us section) asking to confirm the tech details necessary for the registration, and gave the VIN number. A day later, the e-mail came with a scanned copy of their letter with all tech details necessary for the registration. They even sent a hard copy!
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Old 16.11.2010, 18:40
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Re: car import from USA - max speed

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For my VW I got an email with the exact specs of my car (based on VIN) from VW USA. I then pasted on it an official looking VW logo, and showed it with the rest of the paperwork. That was all that was needed. I bet you can do the same with any specs found on the Mazda website or such.
Great advice, document forgery, way to go.... not.



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For my MB, I simply sent a requiest (from their Swiss website, Contact Us section) asking to confirm the tech details necessary for the registration, and gave the VIN number. A day later, the e-mail came with a scanned copy of their letter with all tech details necessary for the registration. They even sent a hard copy!
Doing it the right way is always best.
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