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Old 08.01.2014, 12:01
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Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. After some research I found way too many older topics that got me confused regarding importing cars from US, so I would like some insight if any one knows.

I have bought a luxury German car here in the California 2 years ago and only drove it very minimally. Now I need to sell the car, but the resale price in the US has got a sharp drop due to low demand.

Since I also travel to Swiss quite a lot, and own a house there. I thought why not ship the car to CH, and then sell it there since since these cars has more cash value in Switzerland .. (the same car sells for almost 40% more in CH)

Can I do that without going through problems? Can I sell it based on the actual car price in Switzerland, or they will take into consideration the original paid price in the US? Do I have to change the specs of the car to Swiss specs before selling it? or can I leave that task to the new owner? Also, do I have to pay CH taxes if I sold that car since its a foreign one?

Can you please give me some insight about this topic.
Many thanks.
Max
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:20
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

Are you resident in Switzerland?
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:31
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

Nope I'm not a resident as I come on Tourist visa. Despite the fact I own a house there and go to swiss at least twice a year
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:38
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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Nope I'm not a resident as I come on Tourist visa. Despite the fact I own a house there and go to swiss at least twice a year
Nobody is going to buy a car in Switzerland that hasn't been swissified unless it's super cheap.

I'd save yourself the hassle and expense and sell in the US. I'm not even sure it's possible to import the car if you aren't resident here.
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:44
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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Nobody is going to buy a car in Switzerland that hasn't been swissified unless it's super cheap.

I'd save yourself the hassle and expense and sell in the US. I'm not even sure it's possible to import the car if you aren't resident here.
I have imported a Porsche Cayenne few years ago for my own use, I was able to bring to CH once I declared the car for personal/liesure use and I had no problem (So I could import a car) however, making the car swiss was troubling. So I could import the car, but is it illegal to sell it before making it swiss? and would the authorities agree that I bring the car in with the intention to sell it? thx
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:45
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

In any case second hand cars actually sell for 60% of original asking price on the forum so I guess you will do better selling in the states. Import duties, shipping & changing to Swiss legal spec could easily cost 10k
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Old 08.01.2014, 12:52
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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I have imported a Porsche Cayenne few years ago for my own use, I was able to bring to CH once I declared the car for personal/liesure use and I had no problem (So I could import a car) however, making the car swiss was troubling. So I could import the car, but is it illegal to sell it before making it swiss? and would the authorities agree that I bring the car in with the intention to sell it? thx
since you are not moving, I am assuming you would have to pay taxes to import it because you want to sell it. I really think you are not thinking this through, all the paper work just gives me the creeps
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Old 08.01.2014, 14:48
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

There are several issues not mentioned that will affect the price of this endeavour. I understand that you visit Switzerland often and the car sells for 40% more here, but also:

- you say that there is little demand for this German car in California but higher demand in Switzerland. True, but at the same time there will be a greater supply in Switzerland (with Germany next door).

- also, your car will always have a disadvantage, as the paperwork will always show that it's an import from America, not a car that has lived all its life in europe. Buyers may be more reluctant. Also, expensive cars tend to sell from garages not privately from a tourist (unless significatly cheaper), as repairs can be expensive and the former provide guarantees etc.

- do not underestimate the effort and cost to make it fit for use in Europe. For example, gas in USA has a lower octane and has 10% ethanol, so I'm not even sure that it will work out of the box with European fuel. Also US engines run with mineral oil not synthetic oil, that's they require oil changes every few thousand miles, not every year (or more) like in europe.

- importing yourself (if possible at all, as not a resident with a swiss address) will be expensive, you pay 8% of the value, plus some fixed charges, plus the shipping costs. So this will not be cheap, and very riskly if there is no guarantee for a quick sell. If you need to make modifications these will be also expensive if the car is expensive to start with. Also importing is time consuming (many tasks to do), and may not be possible to do all on a one-off short visit. Do you know anyone living here that can help take the car for testing etc., if your appointment is scheduled a month later than you thought?


I would also consider these options:

- find someone in Switzerland (eg advertise when you are here) who intends to move to California and needs a car and sell it to them.

- find a company/garage that specializes in imports (there are many here and in France) and sell it to them and they can deal with all the modifications and import procedures. You save a lot of hassle and dont need to find a buyer. Of course you will sell cheaper, but maybe higher than in the US. But again, these garages often specialize in American cars that are hard-to-find in Europe, not mass-produced european cars that had been sold in USA.
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Old 08.01.2014, 15:03
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

Here is a idea how you really can make some money.
1. Buy a Camaro, Mustang, or Charger.
2. Own it for at least 6 Months in the U.S.
3. ...
4. Profit.


PS: Point 3 is actually import it to Switzerland and Sell it here.
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Old 08.01.2014, 15:28
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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- do not underestimate the effort and cost to make it fit for use in Europe. For example, gas in USA has a lower octane and has 10% ethanol, so I'm not even sure that it will work out of the box with European fuel. Also US engines run with mineral oil not synthetic oil, that's they require oil changes every few thousand miles, not every year (or more) like in europe.

The octane is the same here as over the pond. The number on the pump have different units (MON in the US vs. AKI in Europe).

E10 is also widley us in Gemany (German Wikipedia on the topic) and it is more of a probplem to use a higher ethanol percentage than a lower one.

Motor oil. Most likely the cars maintenance book recommends non dino oil with a specific car manufacturer grade. This should be easiliy avaiable. Oil replacement cycle mostly depend on usage (short or long distance, stop and go or highway) and enviroment.
BMW, which has a oil change interval based on driving habit, as similiar numbers here as there. Still, some drivers still change oil as often as every 5000 miles (and some recomend even as low as 3000 miles, which is a waste of money.)

More of a concern is that the car will never be a European one. Some parts may be different from the Europe models as it is impossible to produce a car that will meet U.S. and European standards at the same time.
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Old 08.01.2014, 15:54
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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- do not underestimate the effort and cost to make it fit for use in Europe. For example, gas in USA has a lower octane and has 10% ethanol, so I'm not even sure that it will work out of the box with European fuel. Also US engines run with mineral oil not synthetic oil, that's they require oil changes every few thousand miles, not every year (or more) like in europe.
This is nonsense.

Tom
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Old 08.01.2014, 15:56
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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Here is a idea how you really can make some money.
1. Buy a Camaro, Mustang, or Charger.
2. Own it for at least 6 Months in the U.S.
3. ...
4. Profit.


PS: Point 3 is actually import it to Switzerland and Sell it here.
2.a Move to Switzerland and keep it for at least one year after importing to Switzerland to avoid paying Swiss VAT and customs charges.

Tom
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Old 31.05.2016, 23:37
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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Here is a idea how you really can make some money.
1. Buy a Camaro, Mustang, or Charger.
2. Own it for at least 6 Months in the U.S.
3. ...
4. Profit.


PS: Point 3 is actually import it to Switzerland and Sell it here.
So, after two years I managed to stumble upon your post, and as I intend to do just that, sell my mustang that I was driving for 4 years. Here in US I would need to sell it for peanuts, and over there it seams like it would be much better price.
And if not, I can still drive it there for a while and sell it for the same price as I could here now. I am EU and US citizen moving to Switzerland this summer.

What is your thought on that?
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Old 01.06.2016, 00:15
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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There are several issues not mentioned that will affect the price of this endeavour. I understand that you visit Switzerland often and the car sells for 40% more here, but also:

- you say that there is little demand for this German car in California but higher demand in Switzerland. True, but at the same time there will be a greater supply in Switzerland (with Germany next door).

- also, your car will always have a disadvantage, as the paperwork will always show that it's an import from America, not a car that has lived all its life in europe. Buyers may be more reluctant. Also, expensive cars tend to sell from garages not privately from a tourist (unless significatly cheaper), as repairs can be expensive and the former provide guarantees etc.

- do not underestimate the effort and cost to make it fit for use in Europe. For example, gas in USA has a lower octane and has 10% ethanol, so I'm not even sure that it will work out of the box with European fuel. Also US engines run with mineral oil not synthetic oil, that's they require oil changes every few thousand miles, not every year (or more) like in europe.

- importing yourself (if possible at all, as not a resident with a swiss address) will be expensive, you pay 8% of the value, plus some fixed charges, plus the shipping costs. So this will not be cheap, and very riskly if there is no guarantee for a quick sell. If you need to make modifications these will be also expensive if the car is expensive to start with. Also importing is time consuming (many tasks to do), and may not be possible to do all on a one-off short visit. Do you know anyone living here that can help take the car for testing etc., if your appointment is scheduled a month later than you thought?


I would also consider these options:

- find someone in Switzerland (eg advertise when you are here) who intends to move to California and needs a car and sell it to them.

- find a company/garage that specializes in imports (there are many here and in France) and sell it to them and they can deal with all the modifications and import procedures. You save a lot of hassle and dont need to find a buyer. Of course you will sell cheaper, but maybe higher than in the US. But again, these garages often specialize in American cars that are hard-to-find in Europe, not mass-produced european cars that had been sold in USA.
"Also US engines run with mineral oil not synthetic oil, that's they require oil changes every few thousand miles, not every year (or more) like in Europe."

So many things wrong with this statement that I do not know where to start.

US auto manufacturers require mineral oil changes for "heavy duty use" at 10,000 miles; much longer intervals for normal use.

Synthetic oils were used in USA long before Europe.

All US auto manufacturers have built "world" engines that are used in their autos worldwide for many years. For example, Chrysler offered Mitsubishi engines in many US vehicles since the 1980's; they also had an Austrian engine plant and offer Italian diesel engines.

Since 1990 Ford supplied UK built engines in many US models and Mazda built engines.

I just like answering ancient posts
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Old 01.06.2016, 11:04
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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So, after two years I managed to stumble upon your post, and as I intend to do just that, sell my mustang that I was driving for 4 years. Here in US I would need to sell it for peanuts, and over there it seams like it would be much better price.
And if not, I can still drive it there for a while and sell it for the same price as I could here now. I am EU and US citizen moving to Switzerland this summer.

What is your thought on that?
That your citizenship has absolutely no relevance. Other than that go for it if there is an easy option to turn off the Knight Rider Style turn indicator (if yours has one of those).
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Old 19.07.2016, 18:25
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Re: Importing a german car from US to sell in CH

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Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. After some research I found way too many older topics that got me confused regarding importing cars from US, so I would like some insight if any one knows.

I have bought a luxury German car here in the California 2 years ago and only drove it very minimally. Now I need to sell the car, but the resale price in the US has got a sharp drop due to low demand.

Since I also travel to Swiss quite a lot, and own a house there. I thought why not ship the car to CH, and then sell it there since since these cars has more cash value in Switzerland .. (the same car sells for almost 40% more in CH)

Can I do that without going through problems? Can I sell it based on the actual car price in Switzerland, or they will take into consideration the original paid price in the US? Do I have to change the specs of the car to Swiss specs before selling it? or can I leave that task to the new owner? Also, do I have to pay CH taxes if I sold that car since its a foreign one?

Can you please give me some insight about this topic.
Many thanks.
Max


Hi Max


Do you still have your car?


Bst. rgds, Sam
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