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View Full Version : Where is the cheapest country to buy a BMW?


bdb
12-20-2003, 02:03 PM
Thinking ahead 5 years or so, to moving back to Europe and will want to buy a Right Hand Drive Car, although I would like to buy one in mainland Europe.

I'll be moving to ireland which is horrendously expensive, so want to buy somewhere in Europe and live there 6 months, while I wait for the time to pass when I can bring the car to Ireland with no Tax. 6 months.

Anyone done this or thought about it?

Probably be an X5 3.0d at that point, that I would be looking at based on the 67 dollars it cost me to fill my ford mondeo in Ireland with Petrol.

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 02:09 PM
Robert, the only country, where you can buy a RHD car, would be the UK, I think.

bdb
12-20-2003, 02:11 PM
Alex,
To get RHD, I would need to order through an Irish or UK dealer yes? So I would need a very friendly dealer to do this for me. As I said it is 5 years away.

But I am in Vienna right now and have been thinking about it. Cars in Ireland are very expensive. And If I was not worried about LHD, I would probably just buy in the USA, as cars are pretty cheap there.

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 02:15 PM
Robert, any dealer in the UK or Ireland would be happy to take your order. Sure, if LHD was not a big deal, you could buy it in the USA. But keep in mind that a 'reverse' federalization might be required to import a US spec car to Europe.

bdb
12-20-2003, 02:17 PM
The biggest factor for me is not paying the VRT when bringing a car into ireland and if that means renting an apartment in any country in Europe and taking 6 months to travel then so be it.

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 02:22 PM
I have just checked the Ireland Revenue Dept. website.

Cars with an engine capacity over 1900 cc, the VRT is 30% of the OMSP.

Yes, you are right, it's very high.

bdb
12-20-2003, 02:25 PM
Yes it is, I was looking at for the sake of comparison the Cayenne Turbo.
85K Dollars in the US, and a lovely 180K Euro in Ireland, which with the current exchange rate would be well over 200K dollars.


So if I rented somewhere in Germany for 6 months at 1K per month, I would make out like a bandit.

Silly Ireland.

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 02:33 PM
Interesting, if you register the car in mainland Europe for six months, you wouldn't pay the VTR, would you ? Does it matter if you must be the first owner ?

Hmmm ..... Interesting ideas coming to my mind ..... :D

Usually european cars are very cheap in Italy. If being the first owner is not required, find someone in Italy, who is working in the Irish Embassy. He/she orders a RHD car from BMW (consulate employees do have a right to order country specific cars) and sells it to you. You live in Italy for six months and after six months you can import it to Ireland

:smokin:

bdb
12-20-2003, 02:34 PM
That is what I am talking about, so german cars would be cheapest in Italy :D

Yup no Tax if it was owned outside the country for 6 months, Big savings.

Tango
12-20-2003, 03:05 PM
I was just in Ireland and travelled pretty much the whole country. The whole time I was there I didnt even see one X5. In fact I only recall seeing a few SUV's mostly all Mitsubishi (truck/suv looking things). The locals thought the people driving them were crazy. We had rented a car while we were there and I found out why........ The roads are just too narrow. We had a ford focus and had to fold in the side mirrors to give us a little extra room on some of the narrower roads.:drive:

andy_thomas
12-20-2003, 03:33 PM
Robert, the only country, where you can buy a RHD car, would be the UK, I think.

You can buy a RHD car from any dealer in the EU. All you have to do is ask!

Irish-market cars are also RHD of course.

The strength of the euro vs the pound means that cars are considerably cheaper in the UK than in euroland*, especially when you consider that UK cars are now very well specified (they weren't always) and have proper three or four year warranties vs the ridiculous 1- and 2-year jobs that prevail in some parts of the continent. The sheer volume of cars sold in the UK means that good discounts are almost always available. But if the euro turns turtle and drops again, it will make sense to go to a dealer in e.g. Belgium or Germany and ask for a UK-spec RHD model, if that's what you want.

Note that RHD BMWs not officially imported by BMW GB *tend* to be harder to trade in. Dealers, and most private buyers, will know that you probably paid less to buy your RHD BMW from euroland at the time, and will find it easier to haggle with you on the trade-in value. The gap is closing, though.

* euroland - countries in the EU whose currency is the euro. Not every country in the EU has the euro as its currency, and not every country in (geographical) Europe is in the EU.

andy_thomas
12-20-2003, 03:37 PM
That is what I am talking about, so german cars would be cheapest in Italy :D

Yup no Tax if it was owned outside the country for 6 months, Big savings.

Bear in mind that to import a car into a country after having owned it for six months, you would have had to pay value-added tax (VAT, IVA, MWST etc) in the country of origin. Which, in Italy, is 16% - unless you can get away without paying it, which is probably quite likely in Italy.

List price differences between European countries usually reflect the overall running costs involved, which would include differing registration and purchase taxes.

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 03:45 PM
Just remembered, a fellow member, TC, imported a RHD 330ci from a dealer in Hamburg, Germany. He had said that he saved over £4000

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1506

Alex Baumann
12-20-2003, 03:48 PM
Bear in mind that to import a car into a country after having owned it for six months, you would have had to pay value-added tax (VAT, IVA, MWST etc) in the country of origin. Which, in Italy, is 16% - unless you can get away without paying it, which is probably quite likely in Italy.

List price differences between European countries usually reflect the overall running costs involved, which would include differing registration and purchase taxes.

You get the VAT back when you present the export documents to the customs. But he might also need to pay import sales tax in Ireland.

330d
12-20-2003, 07:28 PM
I did exactly the same thing early this year Alex with a 330d Sport (aka ZHP), bought from B&K in Hamburg. Saved over £4500 at the time. Current exchange rates, and the fact that BMW UK give 5 years free servicing on all 3 series diesels, means that the savings have all but disappeared.

imola325
12-20-2003, 08:39 PM
Is the warranty still valid in another EU country? My Canadian warranty says it is valid for cars “imported by BMW Canada”. If I exported it to the US, for example, I doubt BMW NA is going to warranty it for four years. I would think that would be the case for European countries as well because I believe that they're all different companies.

My warranty does say that an exported vehicle would have a one year international warranty.

Just a thought.

330d
12-20-2003, 09:50 PM
Warranty for any car bought in EU is honoured in any other EU country. Standard EU warranty is 2 years. BMW UK add an extra year, which you can do yourself for about £600.

bdb
12-21-2003, 01:09 AM
Thanks for the good info guys, I am aware of having to pay the local companies tax. and have a slight awareness of the potential for dealers to peg it as an imported car, even though it would be an irish or uk spec.

robert

andy_thomas
12-21-2003, 02:46 PM
I did exactly the same thing early this year Alex with a 330d Sport (aka ZHP), bought from B&K in Hamburg. Saved over £4500 at the time. Current exchange rates, and the fact that BMW UK give 5 years free servicing on all 3 series diesels, means that the savings have all but disappeared.

Indeed. I priced a 318i with various bits through BMW UK, and a dealer in Holland, around the time the euro dropped through €1.50 to the pound, and the prices actually equalised. At the current rate, the car now is considerably cheaper when bought in the UK. Bearing in mind the better warranty buying at home, it would only have been worth the effort if the car was, say, £1,500 cheaper.

Of course if would be different if it was 12 months ago and I was trying to buy a diesel derivative, which are always curiously good value on the continent :).