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Old 29.10.2010, 10:39
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Check points: buying second hand car

I am planning to import a second hand BMW 5 series from Germany(ofcourse because of price difference with swiss BMWs).I am paying all the money upfront.
This is about 4 years old and 40k done.
I want to buy a trouble free car and wanna keep it for atleast 5-6 years.
I have very little knowledge on cars

I seek advice from Auto veterans on points to check
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Old 29.10.2010, 10:47
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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I am planning to import a second hand BMW 5 series from Germany(ofcourse because of price difference with swiss BMWs).I am paying all the money upfront.
This is about 4 years old and 40k done.
I want to buy a trouble free car and wanna keep it for atleast 5-6 years.
I have very little knowledge on cars

I seek advice from Auto veterans on points to check

Then buying in germany and importing it here really isn't the wisest idea.

Yes they are more expensive here, but it will also sell for more when you want to sell it, without all the agro and paperwork involved in importing it (and you'll also have to pay import tax)
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Old 29.10.2010, 10:48
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

Mind if I tag along? I am looking at a Freelander 2008 HSE Td 2.2, 36K miles on it all options expect sunroof, private party sale. What is the low down on this suv from peoples perspective here? current ask price is 44K but I would only go for 37K so waiting to see if they sell at their current price. I think the Santa Fe from Hyundai looks nice as well and seems to get a bit better reviews, any thoughts on this car as well from any owners?

Thanks.
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Old 29.10.2010, 10:50
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

In Switzerland you could take it to one of the TCS facilities and have them check it out. Maybe ADAC in Germany have a similar service.

Google is your friend.
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Old 29.10.2010, 10:52
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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Then buying in germany and importing it here really isn't the wisest idea.


Yes they are more expensive here, but it will also sell for more when you want to sell it, without all the agro and paperwork involved in importing it (and you'll also have to pay import tax)
I will get the German VAT 19% back while the Swiss VAT= 7.6% and import duty =4% , which means still the price is lowered by 7.4%

and the price difference is about 8-10 k chf which makes it interesting to me...donno may be I am wrong

Last edited by TradeTicker; 29.10.2010 at 11:13.
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Old 29.10.2010, 11:37
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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I will get the German VAT 19% back while the Swiss VAT= 7.6% and import duty =4% , which means still the price is lowered by 7.4%

and the price difference is about 8-10 k chf which makes it interesting to me...donno may be I am wrong

you sure about that? I didn't think there was VAT on 2nd hand goods, but you would still need to pay the import duty here, plus get hold of a certificate of conformity, and officialy export it from germany, with the correct form (eu1?) otherwise they will charge you even more import duty, like they did to us.
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Old 29.10.2010, 11:49
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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you sure about that? I didn't think there was VAT on 2nd hand goods, but you would still need to pay the import duty here, plus get hold of a certificate of conformity, and officialy export it from germany, with the correct form (eu1?) otherwise they will charge you even more import duty, like they did to us.
I have just searched the car on Mobile de , called the Dealer he said VAT is refundable but only after I send him the letter (aus**** something, forgot the name) from Switzerland after importing the car.
Only other thing Dealer told was that he will issue a export number plate for 200 Euros and I should be good to go.
Also what are the german terms for the forms you mentioned above.

Looks like I am underprepared at the moment.
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Old 29.10.2010, 12:02
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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Then buying in germany and importing it here really isn't the wisest idea.

Yes they are more expensive here, but it will also sell for more when you want to sell it, without all the agro and paperwork involved in importing it (and you'll also have to pay import tax)
I disagree. The OP talks about a four year old car which he wants to keep 6 years. When he will sell it, it is a 10 year old beater worth depending on the kms something between 10 and maybe 20k CHF - even if it has all options and what do I know. The people buying ten year old bmws will look far more at the car itself and its condition than the people who buy a 2009 Porsche and want it to be "Swiss" instead of German... and even if they would value a "Swiss delivery" by paying 10% more for it - that would be then 1k CHF while the OP could now save far more.

I am a lazy person, so I did not import my car myself - but there are plenty of Swiss shops offering imports at better rates than the local BMW dealer.
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Old 29.10.2010, 15:08
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

Hi,

Give us more details....what body type? (limousine/sedan or SW?)
what engine? (petrol, diesel, size?)
what features you want to have?
Do you want an automatic one or manual?

Maybe I can give you some tips...
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Old 29.10.2010, 15:30
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

actually there are two that I have shortlisted
both about 40k and four years old and automatic
523i and 530d
523 come with advantage packet
sunroof , navigation, leather seats ,auxiliary heating etc.
530 has about the same set of features but a touch expensive than 523.
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Old 29.10.2010, 16:13
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

Ok, so it took me some time to write that much:

Engine: For petrol engines, the most reliable is 2.5 or 3.0 (power vs. cost) and the 3.5 for diesel (if you would also like some performances out of it). The cheapest ones are the 2.2 petrol and 2.5 diesel. These last ones are a little bit lazy but you can live with it if you are not that interested in high performances and you are more cost oriented.
520 takes aprox. 14.5 in city (so I would definitely exclude this one). 525 has the same price with 530 but the last one has more power and torque.

Read the Brief (vehicle identification paper) to see exactly the engine size. For example 520i has a 2200 cc engine.

What to check when buying this model (E60):

Run-flat tires: safe indeed but unfortunately are very sensitive, expensive, very rigid and also noisy. Try to buy one car with normal tires.
Antitrap electric windows: sometimes you cannot close the windows by pressing the button only once, you will have to do it by 10 to 10 cm.
Electric features: try to download a manual and check everything which is electric on the car: seats, lights, signals, mirrors, AC, auxiliary heating system, iDrive, audio system, navigation. When you buy it, check all these and make sure that everything is working properly.
Heated seats: there are some problems with the heated seats on this model, check if everything works fine and make sure that there is no strange smell (signs of malfunctioning).
If it’s Steptronic, check what happens when you switch to PRND (should not bounce).
If the model has adaptive light, check if these are moving to left and right.
Make sure that you receive the DVD with the navigation, the manuals, service log book, etc.
If it’s necessary to perform any maintenance do it there at the dealer.
Check if both keys are working properly (lock, unlock, start engine).

And now, some advice if you buy the car from Germany:

Look only to big dealers.
Avoid the ads which are flagged as “nur fur export”. In some situations the cars are damaged and repaired, these are sold only to export so that you cannot go back and make a scene.
Try to avoid the ads from private sellers, even though they have competitive prices you get a lot of complications with papers and everything.
Avoid the ads in which they write : “we speak Russian, Turkish, etc.)
If they offer warranty for SH, ask exactly what covers as it might be very tricky.

My personal advice is not to set your mind only on 40k kms. If the car was well maintained, even if it has 100k km can still be in good shape and can still be a reliable car up to 300-400k km.
Nevertheless, if you want to double-check the history of the car, take the identification code and go to any BMW dealer. They should be able to provide a full history of the car. (accidents, maintenance log, etc.)

Good luck!
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Old 29.10.2010, 16:17
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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actually there are two that I have shortlisted
both about 40k and four years old and automatic
523i and 530d
523 come with advantage packet
sunroof , navigation, leather seats ,auxiliary heating etc.
530 has about the same set of features but a touch expensive than 523.
I do not think the question is what model you choose: Important is:

1. How much will you save on the purchase price in Germany? (to import the car is a hassle costing time and money, is it worth it?)
2. How long do you want to keep it and how much will it approximately be worth then? (If you plan to sell it after a year and it is still a substantial value, the Swiss car might be easier to sell, so I would be carefull to import something - if you plan to sell it when it is worth only 10k CHF, the difference between an imported and a Swiss car is next to nothing...)
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Old 01.11.2010, 15:35
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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I do not think the question is what model you choose: Important is:

1. How much will you save on the purchase price in Germany? (to import the car is a hassle costing time and money, is it worth it?)
2. How long do you want to keep it and how much will it approximately be worth then? (If you plan to sell it after a year and it is still a substantial value, the Swiss car might be easier to sell, so I would be carefull to import something - if you plan to sell it when it is worth only 10k CHF, the difference between an imported and a Swiss car is next to nothing...)
1.Price difference is about 5-7k though it will be without garranty and free services options that I can get here in CH
2.I dont plan to sell it quickly , may be keep it for another 10 years if it sustains.So yes at the time of disposal the difference between Swiss and imported one wont be much.
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Old 03.11.2010, 23:16
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

We are looking at importing a new car from Germany. We have found a car we like but wanted to get an agent to handle the importing for us given our limited knowledge. Does anyone know of any good agents that could arrange it all and get it to us in Zurich?
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Old 04.11.2010, 12:18
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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We are looking at importing a new car from Germany. We have found a car we like but wanted to get an agent to handle the importing for us given our limited knowledge. Does anyone know of any good agents that could arrange it all and get it to us in Zurich?
If it's a new car I would definitely go for it by myself.
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Old 22.04.2011, 10:17
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Re: Check points: buying second hand car

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I have just searched the car on Mobile de , called the Dealer he said VAT is refundable but only after I send him the letter (aus**** something, forgot the name) from Switzerland after importing the car.
Only other thing Dealer told was that he will issue a export number plate for 200 Euros and I should be good to go.
Also what are the german terms for the forms you mentioned above.

Looks like I am underprepared at the moment.
Hi!
I'm looking for the same information:
Second hand cars from the dealer in Germany seems to be variable:
It seems to be possible if its not a commission sale-

I dont know the details why, etc... but probably for more profit and less hassle for them.

So I don't know for sure yet if its possible.

Also I read on links above that they can pretend they will refund you the VAT, then after you are back in Switzerland they will ignore you. The trick is apparently to make them write a letter with the agreed amount of vat refund, but what for... the process is already long, what a letter will do?
(law? good luck to sue a dealer in germany for a small amount)
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