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      06-19-2010, 10:16 PM   #1

Drives: e46 330ci
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California, USA

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Bringing car from USA to Switzerland HELP/TIPS?

Hey Guys,
First off, let me excuse myself for not being an e90 guy.. I own a 2004 BMW e46 330ci with an SMG trans.

I was wondering if any of you could help me out possibly. Next summer (Summer 2011) I am coming over to Switzerland and doing a year abroad. If Europe sits well with me, I would transfer after my first year abroad and do my senior year in Europe as well.

I have told my parents that the only thing I require *better phrased: would like* to have a car to explore my native country. They are in agreement and said they would go 50/50 on shipping it over to Germany.

From what i've read I can have temp plates for 6 months. After that there is a 16% VAT tax? Do all I have to pay is a portion of the value of the car, and viola i've got a car to drive? I know the swiss, which makes me think there has to be something else....

Is there an inspection my car has to go through? -- My car is bone stock, except for the following:
-DDM Tuning HID 6,000k Xenon low beam upgrade from Halogen
-Coil-overs (Very small lowering.. I liked stock ride height, so I kept it as close to it as I could)
-Blacked out side marker lights (Tinted them using tint spray)
-Vinyl Roof (Gloss black)
-Sway bar upgrade (f&r)
-Angel Eyes - Thin lines chromium (because of the facelift headlights)
DICE iPod integration
Red Needle DIY
Window Tint = 35% front and 5% rear vents and rear window

Hopefully someone can help me, I know its a year away but i'd like to be prepared. I know some will say just to buy a car over in Switzerland, but I dont like whats in my budget range for used cars.

My plan is basically drive this car for upto 2 years that im in Europe, and then as my grad present, im buying something similar to todays 2011 335i coupe. Driving around Europe and then shipping it home, along with my e46 330ci if someone doesn't buy it from me in Europe.


Current Setup

- 2004 BMW e46 330Ci: SMG 6spd, bone stock
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      06-20-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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Dackelone's Avatar

Drives: N54 e82
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bayern, Germany

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I would sell your car and then buy one locally IF you plan to stay longer than six months. You also know gas cost $7 a gallon over here! Plus you will get taxed on how much your car pullutes (CO2 % in grams/kms). This would probably be about 230 euros for your car per year.

Your car will not pass a saftey inspection(TUV) the way it sits now. You would need TUV certifcation for the coil overs and HID lights. And for the HID's they would also want you to put height leveling sensors and washers - something that is required by EU law.

THEN IF your can would pass the TUV you would need to pay the TAX on your car. In Germany that is 19% VAT. I don't know what it is in Swiss. But it is really more than 19% when you consider the other "fees" they will hit you up for importing a car.

I know in the past when I ordered stuff from Amazon UK, and had it delivered to my local German addres, I got hit up for about 27% of the value of the goods. They even tax you for shipping over here! And that was back when the German VAT was 16%!

Keep in mind you will spend about $1,600 US dollars to ship a car over here. It will take about two to three weeks to get here. You will need to post a substantial bond (so you ship your car out of that country) plus the saftey inspection(TUV) will be a few hundreed euros too. Most likely 300 euros for a "full TuV". The simple ones run about 80 euros every year. But you wll need an TUV engineer to document your car... and believe me they will pick it apart what ever was not stock. THEN you will need papers and TUV certificates for what is non OE. Heck you might even need to buy EU tires, IF your tires don't carry an EU stamp on them. Are they under five years old? Tires are $$$ over here too. A liter of oil costs 23 euros too.

Your car will also need some minor safety items, like a first aid kit, warning triangle and rear fog lights. You might even have to install height adjusting headlights bc that is EU law too. This is used when you carry alot of weight in the trunk or are twoing something. This is why EU cars have that switch to dip down the healights. Some TUV will also want you change out your windhsield... but that depends on which TUV you go to. I know it is that way over here. Each German state has its own rules. But ALL TUVs are ok. So you can go to another state and have the TUV done... then come back to where you live and register the car.

That is another thing... you will pay about 150 euros just for plates! I guess what I am saying is there are ALOT of hidden costs that might eat you alive!

take care
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      06-23-2010, 02:58 AM   #3
Schm's Avatar

Drives: e90 330i
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Missouri

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Like David said, I think it's pretty difficult and expensive. You should look at a long-term rental, or maybe a lease (not sure what type of leases they have over there?)
2006 E90 330i.
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