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Old 29.10.2011, 15:27
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Bringing our beemer from California - our experience

After driving around with the CA plates here in CH, insured by Zürich Direct, the time had come to get the car street legal for CH. We found a specialist in St. Gallen, http://autozulassung.ch/, that has quite some experience in making the necessary conversions and get foreign cars MFK approved. Our car had xenon headlights and no headlight washers - a no go here in CH. This company managed to get the car MFK approved in just under 10 working days; they are quite busy that's why it takes a bit of time. It wasn't cheap, we paid CHF 3000.- for everything inkl. the approval from the MFK, but putting in those washers is a bitch and takes apparently more than 8 hours of work. If one brings a car that only needs the lights to be adjusted I assume it would cost considerably less. This garage can even do the Typenprüfung for cars that are not sold in CH. That of course is only worth it to the business if they can expect to bring in several cars of the same type into Switzerland. I can whole heartedly recommend this company, ask for Mr. Fayad, he is very friendly, helpful and speaks English. After all, I would bring in a (European) car again but next time either with the washer or without xenon lights.

I have one question for the folks that brought in cars from the US, specifically from CA: do I need to send the CA plates to the DMV or can I save myself the effort? We have declared our car last year as non-operating but I did not do the exporting documents because I did not export it to sell and was worried that the DMV would want the plates and I wouldn't be able to drive in CH without any plates.
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Old 29.10.2011, 15:50
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Re: Bringing our beemer from California - our experience

I had a slightly different experience in that I imported a CA Porsche 993 but tried to be smart by first registering the car in the UK and then driving it into Switzerland on UK plates, the assumption behind this that the car had already been approved by an EU state and that it would be plain sailing..... ERROR!

As I was unable to get a certificate of conformity (being a US spec car that has some engine differences over the European version) I had to take the car to Biel for the driveby noise test to ensure it met the 75db limit (on a 15 yr old car!). First time round it failed. Long story short is that after new clutch (major heart surgery on 993 - engine out!), exhaust, steering components, various bits of documentation for non-conforming parts, tyres it eventually passed the MFK and I got my plates. One major saving grace is that the Swiss model of the 993 has the same taller gear ratios as the US version! Fluke.

Was it worth it in the end? Probably yes if I consider what I paid, spent and what I have been told is the value of my car now in CH (and the fact it is an awesome automobile) but would I put myself through the stress again....? Never!
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Old 29.10.2011, 22:05
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Re: Bringing our beemer from California - our experience

We did not have a certificate of conformity either for our car but that did not seem to be a problem at all. Noise test? Did you bring your car in as a part of your moving goods? We did, it was already a few years old, I think that makes a difference.
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Old 10.11.2011, 23:17
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Re: Bringing our beemer from California - our experience

Zufi:

DMV14

REG256 section G (declaring that the vehicle has been exported).

A photocopy of the foreign registration (the grey card).

I'd call the DMV a week later to verify that they have received the paperwork and processed it correctly.
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car import, car import usa inspection, car insurance, mfk




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