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Old 12.03.2010, 22:19
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Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Dear all,

I would like to know if anyone has imported a BNW X5 from US to Switzerland and has encountered any major problems.

Thank you very much in advance!
Patrick
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Old 16.03.2010, 15:15
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Hi Bripa,

There are loads of threads on importing cars from the US to Switzerland on here- do a search and see. But the general advice that we all keep saying is- don't bother unless you have something particularly exotic, rare or collectible. The amount of hassle (lots of bureaucracy!) and cost (several thousands of franks) you will go through to get your car suitable to be registered with the Authorities will make it pretty much not worthwhile. And you will find selling your car on at a later date problematic; even insurance is likely to cost you more, just because your car is not of Swiss-import origin. To give you an idea, at the very least, you'd have to change the lights, speedometer (to read in KMH), your radio probably won't work, navigation unit too; possibly other additional costs too. The Swiss motor authorities can be quite creative in these areas!

Factor in the additional cost of transporting over from the US, and import duties that may be owing, and it won't seem like such a great financial disadvantage. Obviously, cars in the US cost a lot less than they do here, and of course selling on before moving to Switzerland will probably see you lose a bit of money too in the current economic environment, but it would be an awful lot simpler to start from scratch buying a car once you move here!
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Old 16.03.2010, 15:33
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

You might also want to consider the size and parking for the car. As I understand the X5 is a fairly large 4x4, at least by european standards. While you do see them here, you may want to consider where you will live and the parking facilities available. Many underground car parks and ones associated to apts., esp. in cities, are very small. Even exterior parking is quite small. If you have a individual house here with private garage, it would be probably ok, but most people coming here generally live in apts. that may or may not have parking spots. If they do, you generally have to pay and for an X5 you might need to pay for 2 spaces, which may not be available.
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Old 16.03.2010, 18:13
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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You might also want to consider the size and parking for the car. As I understand the X5 is a fairly large 4x4, at least by european standards. While you do see them here, you may want to consider where you will live and the parking facilities available. Many underground car parks and ones associated to apts., esp. in cities, are very small. Even exterior parking is quite small. If you have a individual house here with private garage, it would be probably ok, but most people coming here generally live in apts. that may or may not have parking spots. If they do, you generally have to pay and for an X5 you might need to pay for 2 spaces, which may not be available.
I'd assume the US X5 is the same size as the European one (I think they're all built in the US too). So it won't need 2 spaces - it's the same size as a 5-series estate.

Importing should be easy-ish, will cost and your vehicle might need some parts replacing. If the engine is available here and parts are mostly the same, it should not be too bad. Even switching miles to km should be software-based but the speedo might need replacing.

Whether it's economical is down to the costs involved. Resale value might not be as good as vehicles bought here.

YOu have one year on foreign plates as long as you have insurance.
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Old 16.03.2010, 18:25
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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Hi Bripa,

There are loads of threads on importing cars from the US to Switzerland on here- do a search and see. But the general advice that we all keep saying is- don't bother unless you have something particularly exotic, rare or collectible. The amount of hassle (lots of bureaucracy!) and cost (several thousands of franks) you will go through to get your car suitable to be registered with the Authorities will make it pretty much not worthwhile. And you will find selling your car on at a later date problematic; even insurance is likely to cost you more, just because your car is not of Swiss-import origin. To give you an idea, at the very least, you'd have to change the lights, speedometer (to read in KMH), your radio probably won't work, navigation unit too; possibly other additional costs too. The Swiss motor authorities can be quite creative in these areas!

Factor in the additional cost of transporting over from the US, and import duties that may be owing, and it won't seem like such a great financial disadvantage. Obviously, cars in the US cost a lot less than they do here, and of course selling on before moving to Switzerland will probably see you lose a bit of money too in the current economic environment, but it would be an awful lot simpler to start from scratch buying a car once you move here!
not true...when you compare the pricing of both cars in CH and US and after you add for duties, taxes, transport and perhaps headlight/rear light changes you will still be saving big time...do your homework first and do not mislead people...
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Old 16.03.2010, 18:28
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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I'd assume the US X5 is the same size as the European one (I think they're all built in the US too). So it won't need 2 spaces - it's the same size as a 5-series estate.

Importing should be easy-ish, will cost and your vehicle might need some parts replacing. If the engine is available here and parts are mostly the same, it should not be too bad. Even switching miles to km should be software-based but the speedo might need replacing.

Whether it's economical is down to the costs involved. Resale value might not be as good as vehicles bought here.

YOu have one year on foreign plates as long as you have insurance.
speedo will show both and that is acceptable. Navi showing km and temperature to be shown in Celsius is a iDrive setting.

There is a company in Kloten which specializes in importing German cars from US...they sell only to companies in quantities...so it is worth it and it is done more often than you think...
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Old 09.08.2011, 13:06
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Hello All,

We have just moved to Switzerland from the USA and brought our vehicles with us. I brought my 2011 BMW X5 35D and it is currently having the minor changes done to pass the Swiss DMV inspections. Some lights had to be changed and other small things. All there went fine and we're picking up the Swiss license plate this week.

Now as for the GPS/Navigation system, that's a whole different story. BMW Switzerland dealers are not allowed anymore to give out the program CODE needed to change the GPS/NAV system to BMWs imported to Switzerland. We are completely annoyed with this because this is not a "Grey" import but a Haushalt import. So at this point my $2000 GPS/NAV is of no use. Totally ridiculous. We have been loyal BMW customers and this is in my opinion illegal of BMW to hold back this info. We were told by BMW USA that the GPS change should be no problem as all it is a code needed to change the programming.

If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
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Old 09.08.2011, 13:20
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

simply go dig into some of the BMW forums. there is tons of individuals with private scanners etc etc who will do this at a cost. might void your warranty etc etc but what is a warranty worth if you cannot use it. Many things are not allowed in Ch, thats why it nice to simply hop into Germany , France or wherever.
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Old 09.08.2011, 13:30
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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simply go dig into some of the BMW forums. there is tons of individuals with private scanners etc etc who will do this at a cost. might void your warranty etc etc but what is a warranty worth if you cannot use it. Many things are not allowed in Ch, thats why it nice to simply hop into Germany , France or wherever.
What is a "private scanner" and where can I find this person?
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Old 09.08.2011, 13:31
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Actually, BMW Europe will not supply the code to change the GPS/NAV, PERIOD.
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Old 09.08.2011, 14:37
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Im not talking about BMW
here is jsut one exampla of a fanatic forum bimmerboard.com you have tons of others. there will be people in G, F, Belgium...everywhere. you just have to look
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Old 10.08.2011, 17:59
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
Hi,

there is a company in Germany that does all the needed coding including GPS, radio etc.
www.cardcoding.de
Let me know, if they can help you, as I am planning to buy a X5 in the US and import it myself.

Last edited by vwild1; 28.10.2011 at 22:35. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 10.08.2011, 18:27
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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Hello All,

We have just moved to Switzerland from the USA and brought our vehicles with us. I brought my 2011 BMW X5 35D and it is currently having the minor changes done to pass the Swiss DMV inspections. Some lights had to be changed and other small things. All there went fine and we're picking up the Swiss license plate this week.

Now as for the GPS/Navigation system, that's a whole different story. BMW Switzerland dealers are not allowed anymore to give out the program CODE needed to change the GPS/NAV system to BMWs imported to Switzerland. We are completely annoyed with this because this is not a "Grey" import but a Haushalt import. So at this point my $2000 GPS/NAV is of no use. Totally ridiculous. We have been loyal BMW customers and this is in my opinion illegal of BMW to hold back this info. We were told by BMW USA that the GPS change should be no problem as all it is a code needed to change the programming.

If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
I am sorry to hear about the GPS. That bites!

How much did it cost to ship it over here? How old was the
car and did you have import duties?
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Old 10.08.2011, 20:31
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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Hello All,

We have just moved to Switzerland from the USA and brought our vehicles with us. I brought my 2011 BMW X5 35D and it is currently having the minor changes done to pass the Swiss DMV inspections. Some lights had to be changed and other small things. All there went fine and we're picking up the Swiss license plate this week.

Now as for the GPS/Navigation system, that's a whole different story. BMW Switzerland dealers are not allowed anymore to give out the program CODE needed to change the GPS/NAV system to BMWs imported to Switzerland. We are completely annoyed with this because this is not a "Grey" import but a Haushalt import. So at this point my $2000 GPS/NAV is of no use. Totally ridiculous. We have been loyal BMW customers and this is in my opinion illegal of BMW to hold back this info. We were told by BMW USA that the GPS change should be no problem as all it is a code needed to change the programming.

If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
As a start, I would go back to your US dealer to get the code. They have the codes (or can get them). A friend bought an X5 recently and had the code changed in the US before the import to CH.
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Old 13.09.2011, 12:07
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

I'm planning on bringing the exact same BMW to Switzerland, US version in November this year. Could you share with me what I need to change to get it through the Strassenverkersamt?
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Old 13.09.2011, 13:00
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

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Hello All,

We have just moved to Switzerland from the USA and brought our vehicles with us. I brought my 2011 BMW X5 35D and it is currently having the minor changes done to pass the Swiss DMV inspections. Some lights had to be changed and other small things. All there went fine and we're picking up the Swiss license plate this week.

Now as for the GPS/Navigation system, that's a whole different story. BMW Switzerland dealers are not allowed anymore to give out the program CODE needed to change the GPS/NAV system to BMWs imported to Switzerland. We are completely annoyed with this because this is not a "Grey" import but a Haushalt import. So at this point my $2000 GPS/NAV is of no use. Totally ridiculous. We have been loyal BMW customers and this is in my opinion illegal of BMW to hold back this info. We were told by BMW USA that the GPS change should be no problem as all it is a code needed to change the programming.

If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
Since your car is new, I am assuming that you have not made any
repairs yet.

What is the policy on the warranty? Will the BMW dealers in
Switzerland honor the warranty?
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Old 14.09.2011, 14:40
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Speak to Patrik at www.carprofit.com, will take care of all your import needs and deliver a swiss spec car for good discounts, he is having a bumper year thanks the strong CHF, he's my landlord, really nice guy, mention my name Arsalan, very trustworthy and down to earth guy, sold my car for me commision free as I am leaving Switzerland
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Old 28.10.2011, 22:17
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Alternatively, you may want to consider checking the following forum. It is possible to do it yourself, but it requires some refined computer skills... It might bring you in contact with people that can help you out.
www.bmwcoding.com

Good luck. Regards, Marc

PS - I sent you a private message with questions about importing your X5 into Switzerland.
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Old 11.03.2013, 11:04
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

Hi,

I have just moved back to Switzerland as well and imported a 2011 X3.

DMV ok EXCEPT, yellow headlights need to be turned off.

I'm really strugelling with that, BMW garage won't do it...

Can you help me? Where did you get your lights changed?

Thanks a lot



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Hello All,

We have just moved to Switzerland from the USA and brought our vehicles with us. I brought my 2011 BMW X5 35D and it is currently having the minor changes done to pass the Swiss DMV inspections. Some lights had to be changed and other small things. All there went fine and we're picking up the Swiss license plate this week.

Now as for the GPS/Navigation system, that's a whole different story. BMW Switzerland dealers are not allowed anymore to give out the program CODE needed to change the GPS/NAV system to BMWs imported to Switzerland. We are completely annoyed with this because this is not a "Grey" import but a Haushalt import. So at this point my $2000 GPS/NAV is of no use. Totally ridiculous. We have been loyal BMW customers and this is in my opinion illegal of BMW to hold back this info. We were told by BMW USA that the GPS change should be no problem as all it is a code needed to change the programming.

If anyone has any new info or update on this GPS matter, we would greatly appreciate it!!! If I find out something new, I will post again as well.
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  #20  
Old 11.03.2013, 11:21
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Re: Importing BMW X5 35D from US to Switzerland

yellow headlights?
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