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Old 26.08.2010, 20:10
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What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

Hello Everyone

With so much interest in importing cars, I thought this post would be important. Please share your experiences so that we can benefit from each other. Note: if you write a long email, its better to do it in MSWord and paste it because you could time-out and lose your info !

Perhaps worthy of a Sticky Mr/Mrs Moderator?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Make: 2002 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
Imported: March 2009
Office: Zurich
Mods Rqd:

1/
Front headlights were not giving a clear image on the chart. Due to having an older car, the plastic headlights seem to get dull. I used Meguiar’s PlaticX and it cleared them out nicely. Cost $ 20CH

2/
I had window tint on all windows except the front. They made me remove the driver and passenger side. They said I could do whatever I wanted with the other windows. Cost $0

3/
I had put EBC performace rotors on my car before coming here. They are not OEM so they wanted paperwork to prove those rotors are safe. I found the local importer who sold me the homologation papers for $120 CH

4/
Abgas done at a local Subi dealer. $70CH

Other $:
1/ 2 tests done at Zurich Strassverkasmt = $280CH
2/ Plate fees and road registration = $260CH

Total Import Cost = $680CH

Your Story:

The car was old but ran good and it could be shipped here for free, so why not? Zurich Connect can insure a car with plates from Canada. I did the import process myself and went to get the car checked twice. The first time, they checked the car and gave me a list of what needs to be changed. I did all that and it passed the 2nd time. There was one person in the office of the Zurich Strassverkasmt who made the experience difficult. He purposely tried to make it hard on me. The first time he would not speak English to me and I later found out he could speak just fine. He also changed his story regarding what the rules were just to make it more difficult. My Swiss colleagues verified this since I had them call at different times to confirm this. One elder colleague apologized and called him a ‘bad man’. Regardless things were smooth after we got past him.

Veridt:

I would do it again if I wanted a new car. It was a little bit of a headache but worth it. Next time I would go to the Winterthur office though.

Best regards
Anwar
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:30
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

21 years ago I imported my wife's 60 hp Fiat from Germany. Big tip from me is to import the car together with the other family stuff. That way it is imported as family effects and not as an individual car, so no duty had to be paid.

I then went to the car inspection in Fribourg. A big problem was to get the information about the exhaust levels for the anti- pollution test. The inspector sanded the rust off the engine block so we could read the model type. We then searched all through a catalogue of engines (Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Citröen) for our engine. It was a 60 hp 4 cylinder petrol, that had never been imported into Switzerland. Inspector advised me to ask my garage to write to Fiat in Turin Italy for the engine exhaust gas specification. This was done and I was able to go back to the tester and present the figures with the new exhaust gas certificate / green label. After that it was straight forward registering.

Last edited by Ittigen; 26.08.2010 at 22:04.
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:32
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

Jeep Wrangler: details are on EF
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Old 26.08.2010, 21:23
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

This could well be a very useful thread, although there are quite a few similar threads containing the same information. It would be good to know from where each car was imported as country of origin can have a significant bearing on the degree of pain of the importation process.
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Old 27.08.2010, 15:40
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

I found that many of the threads are talking about the pros and cons of importing a car. I didn't find one that collects collects all the details I mentioned.



thx
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Old 27.08.2010, 15:42
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

MG ZS180

total cost around 5k chf, I was never brave enough to add it all up, that did include a lot of garage work, new headlight, re-attach the cat, chassis clean etc etc and the certificate of conformitiy and import duty.
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Old 27.08.2010, 15:43
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

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I found that many of the threads are talking about the pros and cons of importing a car. I didn't find one that collects collects all the details I mentioned.



thx
Definately at least one.
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Old 30.08.2010, 22:37
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

After one year and one day in the country I finally got my ZH plates for the VW Passat Variant 2.8l Petrol I imported from the USA.

Cost to bring over : 950$ for boat from NJ to Bremehaven. 360$ insurance. 510EUR for transport on truck from Bremerhaven to Embrachport. 405EUR for all customs formalities. No tax as this was part of my household move. Total 2400/2500$.

Insured the car with the VIN number (the unique identifier of cars for the US market, etched on various parts of the car). No issue whatsoever with Zurich Insurance.

Insurance, emissions test : not counted as would have needed for any secondhand car. I assume I will have to pay reg tax and more SVA fees, but again, probably same as buying a car here.

Had to request an appt for inspection by mail, most paperwork I had (18.44, 1320 from Customs, title). Technical data I just copied the User guide. Manufacturing date, I got some emails from VW in the US and my dealer, that was enough. The SVA checked the paperwork, found a missing stamp, importer got me a new copy.

Apart from emissions test and engine cleaning (cost 65CHF) I did not do anything to the car prior to taking to inspection. It was a good move as (good news) they did not find anything wrong with the US aspects of the car (after all, it was built in Wolfsburg Germany) yet (bad news) the inspection is so thorough (maybe only for imported cars) that they found some defects (brakes shot, internally-rusty lights and leaking differential). I was surprised they did not object to my red rear-side lights nor the absence of a rear fog light but hey, won't complain.

My original plan was to get everything needed done in Waldshut Germany across the border at the VW dealership, but I found out that I only had 15 working days (I have not seen any mention of this on any post on EF or elsewhere - definitely something to take into account in the project schedule) to get the car in conformity. As I was going on vacation, I had to have it done locally and it costed me 3150 CHF. A lot of money (especially the front lights 680CHF just for the parts) but after all, I would have had to fix the brakes and the leak. It would probably have costed half that in Germany. The follow-on inspection was successful and after getting a second insurance confirm to SVA, I got the plates and registration no issue.

Anyway, counting or not counting this, additional costs are inspection and re-inspection (I think 250CHF in all).

Total : 2500$ to bring over, 3150CHF of repairs (but not all linked to import and registration), 320CHF inspection prep and inspection.

On the benefits front : one year of use without registration tax, a couple of camera flashes without consequences, the joy of driving with a personalized Illinois plate for a year in Europe. I had tried to sell the car in the US for 9,000USD and had zero interest. At the time, same car with 1.5 the mileage was listed at 14.000CHF on Autoscout.

Voila.
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Old 30.08.2010, 22:44
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

Jesus. I'm sending mine home and selling it on Craigslist if it's that bad.
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Old 30.08.2010, 22:49
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

You said 680CHF for the front lights... The headlights?
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Old 30.08.2010, 23:00
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Headlights

Jawohl, full Scheinwerfer @345 a pop. Sbdy just posted today about his or her VW repairs in Germany, this confirms to me that Germany is 50% or more cheaper than blessed ZH.

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Old 30.08.2010, 23:02
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

There are no EU (E-code) headlamps for my car. They don't exist. I'm curious to see how they'll handle this.
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Old 30.08.2010, 23:12
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About number plates...

Do number plates depend on where you live (canton)? If you move to another canton are you supposed to change plate??
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Old 30.08.2010, 23:19
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

Easy on the groans....
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Old 30.08.2010, 23:53
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Re: About number plates...

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Do number plates depend on where you live (canton)? If you move to another canton are you supposed to change plate??
Within two weeks, yes.
The various STVAs have more information on this subject.
Swiss people love to complain about us Germans not changing license-plates into Swiss ones, even though there are much more cases of Swiss people not changing their own license-plates after moving to another canton.
Especially, if the new canton has higher taxes, people often "forget" to register.
Other's have psychological problems with certain cantons (and the associated plates)....
;-)
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Old 30.08.2010, 23:55
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Re: About number plates...

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Do number plates depend on where you live (canton)? If you move to another canton are you supposed to change plate??
I think what pabcbc meant to say was, yes, you are.

Have you decided where you live yet? You seem ... undecided.
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Old 31.08.2010, 00:04
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

About "but I found out that I only had 15 working days"

This is standard practice with any car inspection here. If it is not fixed in 15 days you phone up & ask for a time extension; I had to extend the time for my Mustang twice due to hard to find parts.

I think, but do not definitely know - that if you foresee a repair that will take a long tine then you can hand in your number plate temporarily. So far as I understand the short time for repair is to inhibit people driving around with faulty cars, but I could be talking bo**ox
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Old 31.08.2010, 00:12
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Re: About number plates...

Actually, I meant : pls post off-topic in another thread or start your own.
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Old 31.08.2010, 00:31
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

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I found that many of the threads are talking about the pros and cons of importing a car. I didn't find one that collects collects all the details I mentioned.
You are right, thanks for sharing the info. I have not yet imported a car (but bought an import at a dealer here instead). I plan to import the next car myself, so this is very helpful. In return: The 70 CHFs for the Abgastest sound pretty much to me, I paid around 35 for my A4 last time at a "free" garage that is not the official brand dealer...
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Old 31.08.2010, 00:33
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Re: What car did you import? How much did it cost & real experiences only

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Actually, I meant : pls post off-topic in another thread or start your own.
Fair enough, good point.

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About "but I found out that I only had 15 working days"

This is standard practice with any car inspection here. If it is not fixed in 15 days you phone up & ask for a time extension; I had to extend the time for my Mustang twice due to hard to find parts.
I guess the period varies by canton. Here in Basel Land (and I think also in BS), you're given a month to fix any defects -- so around 22 working days.
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