Are you looking to get a new set of wheels? If you are, you should consider a European import instead of the regular, locally-sourced cars everyone else is driving.
Purchasing a European car can save you lots of cash. And you’re likely to get more for your money, too.
Buying imported cars from Europe is not only cost-effective, it’s fun too. Especially if you decide to pick up the car yourself.
But there are some rules and regulations involved, among other factors you should consider before purchasing a European car.
Keep reading for seven things you should keep in mind if you’re considering buying an imported car from Europe.
1. Do You Want New or Used?
You can buy used or new cars when looking at European imports, but the method of getting your car will change slightly depending on which kind you want.
To import a used car, you most likely won’t have to pay an import duty. But if the car is new, you’ll have to pay a “value-added tax” (VAT) at your local office. This must be paid even if you already paid this tax in the car’s home country.
However, if you did pay the VAT overseas, it’s possible to get that money back by proving that you also paid it locally. Either way, you will have to prove that the VAT has been paid in order to register your new car.
2. Know Conformity Requirements
Foreign cars must be certified, stating that they are safe to be driven. A European car must have a certificate declaring that the car follows the safety standards set forth by the European Union.
If you don’t have a certificate of conformity, you need to obtain one. Take your vehicle to be inspected by an official authority. They will present you with the certificate, as long as your vehicle matches up the requirements.
3. Quality Comparison: Foreign Cars vs American Cars
If you’re looking for quality, make sure you do some research first. Some reports suggest that European cars are inferior to American, while others report that the opposite is true.
Decide which makes and models you like, then learn all you can about them and their performance. Make sure you understand their reliability and quality ratings then consider what is important to you.
A European car may perform better, while an American one may be more reliable. Make sure you compare as you search.
If you purchase a used vehicle, it’s a good idea to get it serviced and to get any proof of service that is available. If you go with a new vehicle, make sure you locate quality auto care providers and perform regular maintenance to keep your vehicle running as long as possible.
4. Registration Details
When purchasing a European car it’s important to take registration into account. You’ll need a few more things than if you were buying an American made car.
In order to register your new vehicle, you’ll need several documents. Here’s a sample of what you’ll need:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- Proof that you’ve paid the import duty if applicable
- European Certificate of COnformity
- Proof that you own the vehicle
- The vehicle’s original registration documents
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it gives you an idea of what you’ll need. Before purchasing our vehicle make sure you know what you’ll need in order to satisfy the laws in your area.
Once you have everything you need, take all of your documents to your local registration office.
5. Make a Smart Purchase
When purchasing European import cars, treat them like any other car purchase. Do all the regular checks and research to make sure you’re making a good purchase, not just one that looks good.
Consider the style of the car you’re looking for, as well as the price, fuel efficiency, and quality. Lots of European cars are flashy, but you want a car that performs well, not just grabs attention.
Functionality and reliability should be considered. Don’t be afraid to ask about the vehicle’s history. Do your homework, just like you would for any domestically-manufactured vehicle.
6. Pick it Up Yourself
If you’re purchasing a European car, add an element of fun and pick up the car yourself! Many European car manufacturers provide delivery programs, where you purchase the car then come to Europe to get it.
These programs often include free or discounted airfare, as well as a complimentary hotel stay. After your arrival, you’ll pick up your car and get a tour of the factory while you’re there.
Once you’ve picked up your car, enjoy a pre-planned vacation! Once you’ve ordered your car you’ll have time to plan before the car is available so why not make the most of your trip!
After your vacation, drop off your car at a designated location for shipping back to the United States, and within a few weeks you can pick it up in your home country.
7. European Cars are Made Differently
When purchasing a Europen car, keep in mind that the cars of Europe are made differently than those made in the U.S. European roads and rules are different, so European vehicles were made with different goals than American ones.
Fuel costs more in Europe, so European cars are more likely to have smaller, more efficient engines than American-made cars. European car will have higher interior quality, but an American car will likely have a smoother ride.
Online sites are great for finding more information. To learn more about German cars, visit Auto Import Services.
Consider these, and other, differences, and make sure ahead of time than a European car is really what you want.
Buying Imported Cars: A Task Worth Doing
Buying imported cars can seem daunting, but the task doesn’t need to be hard. As long as you do your research, you should be just fine.
Make sure you know what you want and what various European cars provide, then get going on your search. Keeping a few things in mind will help make sure you get what you’re looking for, and that you have some fun while doing it.
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