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Importing from Europe

Cptn PantsCptn Pants Registered User regular
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm thinking about importing a car from Europe, the Honda Civic S-type. I get I'd have to pay extra due to the Euro to Dollar conversion and also some sort of shipping cost but does anyone have any idea what kind of taxes i may have to pay. Also I've heard that some cars would need to be modified to meet american standards, any idea if this model honda would require that kind of modifications or how much they might cost?

Keep in mind I'm just looking into it right now and I doubt I'll have the cash to do this little plan of mine anytime soon. But any advice would be very helpful! Thanks!!!

Cptn Pants on

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    TetsugenTetsugen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Get ready to pay an arm and a leg, trying to legalize a car that wasn't available for US consumption means getting it ready to meet US Transport standards. The best advice I can give you (coming from someone who owns a Skyline) is to ask on Honda-tech and just read up on importing and legalizing kit cars.

    Tetsugen on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    What kind of car, just out of curiosity? My dad imported a... 1971? VW van that he bought new in Germany before I was born. Back then, it cost a fuckton to have it shipped over. Somehow though, he got it registered. It may have been easier then than it is now.
    Are you actually in NJ now? I'm in freight forwarding, and we have an office in New York. I can try asking our import department if they know anyone who handles cars. Our company won't bother with them, because there are so many regs for moving the things, it's just not worth our time or effort. Drop me a PM if you want me to check into it.

    chromdom on
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    ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Is there a deadline for this? Does it have to be done soon?

    Basically what I'm asking is, is there a Final Countdown?

    ben0207 on
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    Cptn PantsCptn Pants Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It won't be anytime soon, it's more of a when I'm ready to buy a new car I'll be looking into it. I was more just wondering what kind of tribulations i'm going to have to go through when i decide to go through with my scheme. I'm looking into getting the European only, Honda Civic S-Type. Honda_Civic_Type-S_003.jpg

    I've always loved honda's and smaller sized cars in general but I get a little agitated when I see the same model car as the one I own, one day i saw 23 Chevy Cobalts (my current car) on my way from woodbridge to Brookly. I also love the way the s-type looks and it's been getting top notch reviews.

    Cptn Pants on
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    KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Well, I am going to have to be the first to say this is a terrible idea. I wish it wasn't because I like the Euro Civic design much better also even though I do not agree with what they did to the rear suspension, but I digress.

    Before you even ship it, if you were to buy this car in Germany new with the current exchange rate this car will cost you just below 37,000 dollars. Shipping will cost you somewhere around 1500 dollars. You will probably pay 2.5% import duty on top of it. Making it street legal shouldn't cost too much on top of that. Maybe a few grand although you might have problems because the car was never crash tested in the US. Insurance is going to be expensive and you will have zero warranty.

    Seriously, buy a used M3, a used 911, some Japanese sports car if you feel so inclined.

    KMFurDM on
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    What side of the car would the steering wheel be on? Living in Japan, I've known a couple people who ended up really loving one kind of Japanese car or another and wanted to take it back with them, but having the steering wheel on the right side is an instant fail for being street legal.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
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    CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    i can tell you this right now it is not going to happen. Importing a car that is not already sold in the US is near impossible unless you have some extremely deep pockets and know who to bribe in the DOT and customs. Say you do get it approved you will have to bring it up to US standards at a shop so expect to pay about $15k- $30k for that. Plus you have to put down 150% of the cars value into a special account that the government holds until you can get the car up to standard. If you get to this point get ready for the fight of your life to try and get it registered with its Euro Vin most DMV cannot process them so. Same when it comes to insurance most places will not cover them unless you pay for general coverage of say $30,000.

    edit. oh yeah you will also probably need to buy 3-4 more to have them crashed tested to prove they meet that standard as well.

    CooterTKE on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'll chime in with a no here as well - this is going to be a huge pain in the ass. Since it's a new car (not an imported antique) it will have to meet safety standards, etc. A lot of work for a Honda Civic - find something that you can actually buy in the US that you like: there are plenty of cars out there.

    tsmvengy on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Yeah, I would opt for simply buying a more uncommon car. Drive around your area and make a note of each kind of car you see, see which one is at the bottom of the list, and try to find cars that you like that aren't on the list. Of course there's a lot of Chevy Cobalts on the road; that's like saying you see a lot of Tauruses or Corollas or something, which are all common cars.

    But remember, too, that for most any car you buy, a bit of Grand Theft Auto syndrome happens -- meaning that whichever car you're in, you suddenly see a lot more of that car on the road than you did before. Partly it's cos you know what your car looks like, so you recognize it easier.

    EggyToast on
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