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Old 16.02.2020, 23:58
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Import car US with signed title.

Hi everyone,
I'm moving to Zürich on May, planning on taking 1996 Corvette, all stock.
I've read all the nightmare stories, so now I almost decided not to do it.
I have two main doubts that can destroy my plan.
So, the idea is to buy a California car on april, drive it to Texas, and ship it to Belgium or Germany, thats the easy part. The first problem is that I cant register the car on my name in the US before shipping it, because the title can take a long time to arrive, and the shipping companies need the title to clear customs in the US, on my name, or signed by the previous owner and me.

In the case of California (so in all the US) its legal to drive the car with the previous owner's registration PLUS the signed title, until the registration expires (stickers in the plate), as you keep the plates with the car.

So I have two options here, if I ship the car with the signed title I need to know if I can drive it in Europe and specially in Switzerland with the registration papers that dont have my name and the signed title.
Or wait for the car to clear customs, as they send me back the title, register the car in a place like NY or smt just to have registration for a year and a plate, and pick the car and put the ny plates and just drive it for up to a year like that (as I do everything that needs to be done to register the car in ch).
Does anyone has any experience with using a just bought us car with a signed title in the EU or in CH.

The second problem, as everyone says in this forum, is getting mfk to pass. I read a lot of posts and official documents, as I understand a car made in 1996 in the US with California regulation has to "fulfill the provisions Swiss exhaust gas conditions from 1st January 1997 until December 31, 2000" (https://www.tcs.ch/mam/Digital-Media...Fahrzeugen.pdf)

The car has the vehicle emissions information and everything stock.

Is it easier to pass mfk with a car this old? Or is it harder? If I understand correctly it should be easier as it has to comply with older regulations.

Thanks!!!
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Old 19.02.2020, 16:10
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

Welcome to the Forum. I don't know about signed title or not, but do be aware that if you've owned the car for less than 6 months you'll probably need to pay import duty as it's not part of your "personal items".

Hopefully some of our car experts will be along shortly to offer more suggestions.
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Old 19.02.2020, 16:15
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

When was the car first registered?

That is the date that matters for the applicable emissions and inspection, NOT the date of manufacture.

Tom
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Old 19.02.2020, 16:16
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

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do be aware that if you've owned the car for less than 6 months you'll probably need to pay import duty as it's not part of your "personal items".
Not 'probably'

It's 7.7% VAT and 4% duty.

Tom
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Old 19.02.2020, 16:19
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

take a look here

https://www.autoscout24.ch/de/autos/..._asc&vehtyp=10

don't know how expensive they are in the USA but they aren't exactly expensive here, so save yourself the time, hassle and expense and just buy one here.

ETA

Old cars are a nightmare to get through an mfk, any rust, leaks of any kind, non standard parts etc etc etc and its a fail and of course you still have to pass the emissions
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Old 19.02.2020, 16:22
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

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Not 'probably'

It's 7.7% VAT and 4% duty.

Tom
yank cars are a higher duty
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Old 20.02.2020, 06:22
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

Hi!
Im aware of the import duty taxes, no problem.
My main concern is whether I can drive the car in switzerland for a year (the time I have to get it registered) with the registration card that shows the previous owner's name.

The car first registration year is the same year it was manufactured in this case.

Im seriously considering just buying the car in Switzerland. Its just that the one I want is not available there, or its too expensive.

About the rust its not a problem because california, and leaks and all of that I can fix them all up in the US for cheap. I know the mfk can get really picky about replacement parts and aftermarket parts.
But the other doubt I have I which rules does a 1996 car has to comply with.

Thanks!
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Old 20.02.2020, 11:54
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

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Hi!
Im aware of the import duty taxes, no problem.
My main concern is whether I can drive the car in switzerland for a year (the time I have to get it registered) with the registration card that shows the previous owner's name.

The car first registration year is the same year it was manufactured in this case.

Im seriously considering just buying the car in Switzerland. Its just that the one I want is not available there, or its too expensive.

About the rust its not a problem because california, and leaks and all of that I can fix them all up in the US for cheap. I know the mfk can get really picky about replacement parts and aftermarket parts.
But the other doubt I have I which rules does a 1996 car has to comply with.

Thanks!

you have to comply with the the specs that got approved here when whoever paid for that make / model to be certified here, if that was the actual manufacturer then you're in luck.

If it was an importer then life gets tricky, you'll have to buy the documentation from them, for my mustang they charged 5k for them.

You speak a local language, right? none of the paperwork here will be in english, and the MFK testers won't speak it.

seriously, if you've not even bought the car yet just buy one here, if that model isn't available here then that probably means it was never certified here (for whatever reason) and you'll need a SERIOUS amount of money to sort it all out.
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Old 21.02.2020, 20:44
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

So, about driving with the registration on the previous owner's name and the signed title, under the Geneva convention on road traffic of 1949 (https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDe...dsg5&clang=_en) I'm allowed to drive the car in most of Europe and Switzerland.

Now its all about the mfk. Im seriously considering not taking the car, but havent decided yet. I have contacted an american car importer in switzerland that offers services to help with that.
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Old 21.02.2020, 21:02
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

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So, about driving with the registration on the previous owner's name and the signed title, under the Geneva convention on road traffic of 1949 (https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDe...dsg5&clang=_en) I'm allowed to drive the car in most of Europe and Switzerland.

Now its all about the mfk. Im seriously considering not taking the car, but havent decided yet. I have contacted an american car importer in switzerland that offers services to help with that.
However it looks like Switzerland hasn't ratified that convention...
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Old 21.02.2020, 21:20
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Re: Import car US with signed title.

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However it looks like Switzerland hasn't ratified that convention...
Damn
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