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Old 03.11.2012, 20:54
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Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

Hi,

I need the forum experts to jump in and help me understand if its worthwhile to buy this car from Germany.

Here are the details:

This car is a 2008 Audi A4 1.8 TFSI (Limousine) with automatic transmission and 30K KM on clock sitting at a reputable dealer in Hamburg. The dealer agreed to sell it to me for 18000 CHF. However he mentioned that the car needs service (not sure what will an Audi need at 30K KM. Maybe Oil change, tires and brakes) and my German is not good to understand what he means by that. He said that there was no accident or paint job done on the car ever. Any ideas?

If my math is correct, I will have to pay 8% + 4% taxes (2200 CHF) so the car should cost me approx 21K CHF in the end.

A quick search on comparis shows similar car for 27K CHF. I am not sure if the prices advertised on Comparis are including taxes or before Swiss taxes.

Is it worth it to buy the car from Germany?

Any input would be helpful
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:16
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

For 6K difference? And you need to have it serviced? And travel to Hamburg (and maybe stay there for a night and, unless you wear diapers and do Hamburg-Lausanne in 10h like Google suggests is possible, another night on the way back) plus your dealer does not speak English....etc.
Maybe settle for a Passat from here?
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:41
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

And what about the import co2 tax? Or this car is not liable for that?
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Old 03.11.2012, 21:57
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

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And what about the import co2 tax? Or this car is not liable for that?
What is Co2 tax?
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Old 03.11.2012, 22:01
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

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This car is a 2008 Audi A4 1.8 TFSI (Limousine) with automatic transmission and 30K KM on clock sitting at a reputable dealer in Hamburg. The dealer agreed to sell it to me for 18000 CHF. However he mentioned that the car needs service (not sure what will an Audi need at 30K KM. Maybe Oil change, tires and brakes) and my German is not good to understand what he means by that.
Why doesn't the seller take care of the service?

What about warranty? For 4 year old car with such low mileage a Swiss Audi dealer would most likely offer a one or even two year warranty such as Eurogarantie.

Another point to consider: For Audis bought in Switzerland after October 1, 2008 service is included for up to 10 years or 100'000 km.

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And what about the import co2 tax? Or this car is not liable for that?
No. There's no CO2 tax for cars that were first registered abroad earlier than six months before being imported into Switzerland.
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Old 03.11.2012, 22:08
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

Not worth the bother.
http://www.autoscout24.ch/de/autos/a...08&yearto=2008
Unless you are looking for and excuse to visit the Reeperbahn.
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Old 03.11.2012, 22:19
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

My summary: the risk is all yours.
There is no value added tax on used cars. So you're paying the price a local would be paying......

30'000km in 4 years is not good treatment IMO.
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Old 03.11.2012, 22:39
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

The math on used cars is different than that of new cars.

It used to be very advantageous to buy new cars in Germany, since July 1st 2012 the CO2 tax on vehicles less than 6m old is put a significant damper on this. Used car are exempt, so you can still benefit from a price differential between the expectations of swiss sellers and the realities of the german market.

You are correct to point out that you will have to pay 4% duties then 8% VAT (yes, you pay VAT on duties too), but then also the costs of getting the COC (unless the dealer provides it), transporting the car (temp plates) and getting your car registered.

I would question the rationale of buying an Audi in Hamburg while Audi is the 2nd brand in Switzerland by sales volume, which means a healthy second hand market. Add to this the fact that a "reputable dealer" would not sell you a car that needs a service. I would only go to Hamburg if I can really not find what I am looking for locally, and that's unlikely for an Audi. Gauge the car against the german market. If it's an incredible bargain by german standards, it's surely not worth the Hamburg trip. If it's a marginal bargain compared to the swiss market, negotiate hard with cash in hand.

As for 30'000km in 4 years, you can't average these things, it completely misses the point.
A car that has run low yearly mileage with regularity will have absolutely no issue. A car which has been sitting on a lot for 2 years with 60K on the odo *could* have issues, but I would not lose sleep over it either. My two Ferraris, which are utter junk by Audi standards, show much lower average mileages and still run fine.
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Old 08.11.2012, 20:21
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

We've recently done some research on various brands and found that - before tax considerations - the average price difference for used cars is approx 10%. Hence, if you cannot reclaim the foreign VAT, you'll end up paying more after CH tax and import duty (+ you have the hazzle of having to import the car, which is not to be underestimated in terms of the effort involved). If however you buy a car for which foreign VAT is refundable (in Germany that's 19% currently) you will get a very good deal for your money. Look out for the tag "MWSt ausweisbar" (e.g. on autoscout.de) and check with the seller whether they will refund the local VAT.

You might want to look somewhere closer to home though - Hamburg is a bit off.

Good luck
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Old 08.11.2012, 20:24
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

there is usually no sales tax on used vehicles, right?
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Old 13.11.2012, 07:44
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

There is no VAT on used cars indeed (unlike sales/DMV taxes multi-dipping in the US).
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:37
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

Cars younger than 5-6 years depreciate so quickly that I don't think it will make much difference in terms of the car's value a few years down the line. On the other hand, you may save yourself a little bit of cash now, but it sounds like a lot of hassle for not much gain.

I've hmm'ed and haaa'd about this for a while and have settled for buying a car in CH, it saves so much paperwork and other general hassle, all of which I have enough of already!
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Old 16.11.2012, 07:11
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

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30'000km in 4 years is not good treatment IMO.
You think it's too high, or too low?

I'd say it's quite normal, and certainly not indicative of any sort of mistreatment. On most modern Audis this will be the interval required for its first service, although if it's not hit that point after a certain time the service is indicated anyway. And these things are determined by the car's ECU, so you can't ignore it easily.
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Old 16.11.2012, 08:50
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Re: Buying Audi from Germany - worth it?

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30'000km in 4 years is not good treatment IMO.
How do you reach that conclusion?

To the OP, I don't see a real saving to make the hassle/cost of going all the way to Hamburg to get a car, driving back, import and registering it, and sticking it through the MFK. At the end you'll still have a car that's an import which will have a lower resale value than a 'Swiss' car that you can get for similar money. Why won't this "reputable" garage do the service anyway? and you need to factor that into your costs too.
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