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Blackiev Dec 16th, 2009 07:10 AM

vehicle shipping
Has anyone recently gone through the process of shipping or transferring a vehicle, (suv), from the east coast of the US to France ?
My thinking is, if its too pricy and too much bureaucracy involved, that I may just sell it and buy a vehicle there.
Any thoughts or advice either way ?

Oh, and by the way, Thanks to Kerouac for the thoughtful advice on my previous post !! Very helpful !!

Thanks, Blackie

Coquelicot Dec 16th, 2009 07:15 AM

No help at all from me, I'm afraid. Just wanted to say I'm glad to see you're moving right along, Blackie.

hetismij Dec 16th, 2009 07:40 AM

Apart from the expense of shipping and importing the vehicle you should also consider the availability of parts and servicing for it. Most US models are different from European ones and it may be hard, and very expensive, to get any parts it may need in the future. Plus it's re-sale value in Europe will probably also be considerably less than in the US.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

hetismij Dec 16th, 2009 07:42 AM

I just found these links which may help :

Blackiev Dec 16th, 2009 08:36 AM

Thanks Coquelicot; I'm still very determined and excited about the move.

hetismij: i probably should have mentioned that the vehicle is a new BMW manufactured in Germany, so parts and service availability should be adequate. Thanks for you advice

ribeirasacra Dec 16th, 2009 08:59 AM

there are still differences between the models in Europe and in your case The US.
Just check with BMW what is what before you go to all of that expense.
Personally, unless it was very very special I would not do it as they are very common here. Besides you may or may have to reimport it back to the US.

Blackiev Dec 16th, 2009 09:13 AM

Thanks ribeirasacra on your advice. I'm fairly sure that I would be better off buying a new vehicle when I arrive in southern France, rather than having my BMW shipped. I just wanted some valuable feedback and any experiences in this matter.

nytraveler Dec 16th, 2009 09:20 AM

Before deciding to sell and buy in europe have a look at car prices there. Much higher than in the US for the same vehicle - where available. You would probably want one much smaller anyway to save on gas - but prices can be a real sticker shock.

Blackiev Dec 16th, 2009 11:52 AM

Thanks nytraveler, good food for thought. I may have to look for a "flintstone mobile" to get by with if prices are that high!
Thanks again, much appreciated.

kerouac Dec 16th, 2009 10:59 PM

Well, if expense is a consideration, don't forget that fuel runs at least US$6-7 per gallon in most European countries.

There are also additional yearly eco-taxes on SUV's already in place in a number of countries such as France based on the CO² emissions of each vehicle.

And if you are still thinking about retiring to a "village" in the south of France, you shouldn't want an SUV at all, because they don't fit on a lot of the roads. You can read quite a few horror stories on these sites about people who rented one and got stuck trying to squeeze through a village or get around a bus.

Blackiev Dec 17th, 2009 04:43 AM

Thanks Kerouac, You bring up some very insightful points. I had forgotten how tight some of the streets are. I am trying to keep my operating costs down to provide for more exclusive travelling, so I may have to look at other more common sense methods of getting around. Although, since my goal is to live in a small semi-remote village, I will more than likely need some type of transportation.
Thanks again, Kerouoac

kerouac Dec 17th, 2009 05:54 AM

That's why they sell Renault Twingos and Fiat 500's. :)

ribeirasacra Dec 17th, 2009 06:16 AM

By a 2CV, you will blend in then!!
By seriously a small car will do you find for pottering around the country lanes. Purchase a car round about 1600cc(petrol) if you use a the highways a lot. But do not forget a lot of European use diesel powered cars plus France has a good network of GLP (Butane) stations.

kerouac Dec 17th, 2009 10:27 AM

More than 70% of the cars in France are diesel (which is cheaper than gasoline).

mpprh Dec 18th, 2009 01:03 AM

Don't underestimate the difference between EU and US spec. Virtually every part (even light bulbs) has an EU code number and the vehicle is certified to meet different crash and emission tests. Some of the BMW 4:4's are built in US not Germany and parts could be a problem.

Diesel is up to 15% cheaper than petrol (gas). The real benefit is that the diesel engine delivers around 25% more mpg.

I have a 2006 Renault Megane diesel estate. It has a range of 1000+ kms on a long run at 80mph using cruise control. Fuel consumption is 4.9 litres / 100km - about 55 mpgIMP or 47 mpgUS.

Being a French make, it is cheaper to service and insure than an import whilst also holding a higher 2nd hand value.

70% of new car sales are diesel, but in the 2+ litre class it is probably 90% and cars with large petrol engines are difficult to sell.

The bible for car specs with new and used car prices is L'Argus :

If you want to save money by importing look at EU markets such as Spain and Germany who have cheaper 2nd hand prices than France.


ribeirasacra Dec 18th, 2009 01:32 AM

mpprh knows his stuff, he posts on car forums too.

I would hate to think that French second-hand market is dearer than Spain. The expats here always say it is so expensive. That is just an observation.
I too would suggest Germany as there are a lot of Spanish cars which were imported from Germany.
But if you do not know the rules it can be complicated. For ease maybe stick with a French reg. car.

klondike Dec 18th, 2009 06:52 AM

Had you thought of a long-term lease with the buy-back guarantee? We have leased through Renault and love their program because the paperwork is super easy, insurance is included in the price and and you order the car with the features that you want/need. (my husband would do almost anything to get his hands on a Kangoo!!!)

kerouac Dec 18th, 2009 08:53 AM

I think the Kangoo is a great little utilitarian car, a very honorable replacement for the stalwart and legendary R4.

(In my own neighborhood, a very large number of the used cars still have a <b>D</b> decal on the back, indicating where they were bought.)

klondike Dec 19th, 2009 12:10 AM

Blackiev: Something else you would need to consider if this is your only vehicle/means of tranportation is the transit time required. We delivered our car to the port of Dallas and it took over 6 weeks for it to arrive. You will also need to check for any recalls, since even newer cars can have defects, and have proof of manufacturer repair before the port authority will accept your vehicle. We were surprised to find 2 recalls on our vehicle we didn't even know about and luckily were able to get them fixed in time.

kerouac: 1) It is amazing how much luggage will fit into the Kangoo and how well thought-out (love the overhead storage bins, side door pockets etc) and comfortable they are!

2) Yes, I have to admit to being the owner of a Deutsch "hooptie" myself. German people, on a whole, take very good care of their autos I believe. It may not be the newest/prettiest BMW but she just keeps on purrrring down the autouroute.

mpprh Dec 19th, 2009 06:55 AM

ribeirasacra on Dec 18, 09 at 11:32am

"I would hate to think that French second-hand market is dearer than Spain. The expats here always say it is so expensive. That is just an observation."

My Megane started life in Madrid ! I saved about 30% over the French price.

I think it is used cars in general as I see many transporters moving Spanish registered cars into France (I live near the Spanish border).


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