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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:33 PM
Alpagad Alpagad is offline
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Question Importing a US spec X5 xdrive 35d to Germany

I will be relocating to Munich in about 6 months timeframe. I am thinking of buying a X5 xdrive 35d here in US and importing it to Germany. I am wondering if anyone has had such experience and how was the all process of importing and registering a US spec X5 diesel? Did you had any issues? Anything you can share would be useful.

PS: I'm also planing on importing my old 323ic (E36)!
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2011, 08:56 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Why?
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2011, 11:05 AM
Alpagad Alpagad is offline
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Because for a few reasons it is much easier for me to buy this car here in US than in Germany!
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:13 PM
Sputnee Sputnee is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpagad View Post
I will be relocating to Munich in about 6 months timeframe. I am thinking of buying a X5 xdrive 35d here in US and importing it to Germany. I am wondering if anyone has had such experience and how was the all process of importing and registering a US spec X5 diesel? Did you had any issues? Anything you can share would be useful.

PS: I'm also planing on importing my old 323ic (E36)!
Why are you moving to Munich. I live in the Netherlands and work for NATO. I am eligible to buy TAX free vehicles through military sales and diplomatic program. I just bought a X5 35d with every option possible almost for less than 62k. I lived in Germany before coming to the Netherlands in 2009 and bought a 328. You save anywhere between 5k-7k on a vehicle. If you are eligible.

Last edited by Sputnee; 02-11-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2011, 05:56 AM
AM123 AM123 is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpagad View Post
Because for a few reasons it is much easier for me to buy this car here in US than in Germany!
Also, probably X5 in Germany is more expensive than its price in USA. At list for 36%. 1EURO = 1.36 $

But probably there could be some problems with (1) Celsium- Farengheit (2) Miles-Km (3) Radio in US models receive just an odd channels, say 100.1 but not 100.0 (4) TV is NTSC, in Europe Pal ( 5) might be some problems with Euro-4,5 stndards, I here in USA standards are higher (6) Europian models have soft-close door option, US doesn't have. Maybe some other options also are not available.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:00 AM
sigor111 sigor111 is offline
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I did it for my cousin 2 years ago and the process is not that complicated in the USA, but in Germany could be tricky.
Make sure that you buy a car that has cold weather package. There are some requirements for headlight washer I think that the car must have when doing certification.

In Germany you can drive it on US plates until you import it to Germany (I mean paperwork). In order to do that you must change couple of things on the car to meet Euro regulations like stop lights, and some other things. THen you will net to pay about 1500 euros for inspection process (I think ADAC does it) that will certify that you car meets Euro standards. Then you will need to pay customs and VAT (value added tax)

That would be it in general.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:14 AM
03BMW330 03BMW330 is offline
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US Warranty ???I read somewhere that if you do European delivery and happen to get you car serviced (M3 requires oil change at 1200 mls) you need to pay for repair and then get reimbursed by BMWNA when you come back. I can't imagine it would be any different if you went on you own.

I bet hole process will cost you easy $5000-10K shipping alone is $800-$1500
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Last edited by 03BMW330; 02-12-2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:08 AM
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SARAFIL SARAFIL is offline
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Originally Posted by 03BMW330 View Post
US Warranty ???I read somewhere that if you do European delivery and happen to get you car serviced (M3 requires oil change at 1200 mls) you need to pay for repair and then get reimbursed by BMWNA when you come back. I can't imagine it would be any different if you went on you own.

I bet hole process will cost you easy $5000-10K shipping alone is $800-$1500
It will cost much more than $1000 to ship a X5 to Europe-- you'll pay that much just to get it across the US on the back of a car hauler, so international shipment on a ship should be considerably more.

Also, once you get the car in Europe you'll have the "international" warranty, which is 2 years and does not include free maintenance.
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Last edited by SARAFIL; 02-12-2011 at 08:09 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:53 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Like I said, why? It seems to me to be a lot simpler to just buy a used one over there and then sell it when you come back. I imagine it will be hard to sell a US spec car over there unless you sell to a US serviceman, and you don't want to ship it back and have it reconverted. Don't forget the urea system which is not used in Europe. Sounds like a real money pit to me. You could get a nice economical diesel over there and save some coin to boot IMHO.

Last edited by UncleJ; 02-12-2011 at 08:55 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2011, 10:56 PM
Alpagad Alpagad is offline
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Thank you guys for all your answers. I appreciate it very much. Here are some findings on my side.
- Shipping an X5 from from the West coast to Germany cost about $1,200.
- It can be imported tax free, if the three following conditions are meant:
+ I have own the car under my name for at least 6 months before relocating to Germany.
+ I have been leaving outside of Germany for at least 1y before relocating.
+ I keep the car for at least 1y in Germany before I sale it.
- It will need some modifications to front & rear lights and pass all the different technical inspections tests to be able to be registered.

For a bit more clarifications, I am relocating for work to Germany with local German work contract for a small privately own company. I am not sent on a timed work assignment and I may end-up staying in Germany for many years to come. I have dual US & an EU citizenship. Buying a car here in US before relocating is for me much easier as I have money here in US, I can easily negotiate with the seller in English (I don't really speak German yet ;-) ) and it is quite cheaper here than in Europe even if the EUR/USD was at parity... The draw backs are that the 4y free maintenance program will be lost and the 4y warranty will either be reduced to 2y or even lost. So, the difference of the cost of the car is ~$66K (~48.5K) in US vs. ~72K in Germany, import & registration cost 3,500. Total cost for buying in US and importing is ~52K vs ~72K if buying in Germany....

Now there maybe more things that I don't know about like around the exhaust emission. Does anyone knows more?
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2011, 09:16 AM
sigor111 sigor111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpagad View Post
Thank you guys for all your answers. I appreciate it very much. Here are some findings on my side.
- Shipping an X5 from from the West coast to Germany cost about $1,200.
- It can be imported tax free, if the three following conditions are meant:
+ I have own the car under my name for at least 6 months before relocating to Germany.
+ I have been leaving outside of Germany for at least 1y before relocating.
+ I keep the car for at least 1y in Germany before I sale it.
- It will need some modifications to front & rear lights and pass all the different technical inspections tests to be able to be registered.

For a bit more clarifications, I am relocating for work to Germany with local German work contract for a small privately own company. I am not sent on a timed work assignment and I may end-up staying in Germany for many years to come. I have dual US & an EU citizenship. Buying a car here in US before relocating is for me much easier as I have money here in US, I can easily negotiate with the seller in English (I don't really speak German yet ;-) ) and it is quite cheaper here than in Europe even if the EUR/USD was at parity... The draw backs are that the 4y free maintenance program will be lost and the 4y warranty will either be reduced to 2y or even lost. So, the difference of the cost of the car is ~$66K (~48.5K) in US vs. ~72K in Germany, import & registration cost 3,500. Total cost for buying in US and importing is ~52K vs ~72K if buying in Germany....

Now there maybe more things that I don't know about like around the exhaust emission. Does anyone knows more?
There are no issues with exhaust emissions since US standards are more strict then Euro ones. you only need to replace lights as fa as I know.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2011, 10:13 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpagad View Post
Now there maybe more things that I don't know about like around the exhaust emission. Does anyone knows more?
I believe everything you've stated previously is correct but, in your case, there's only one thing that you really need to answer: Are you entitled to logistical support under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement? Your new employer will be able to answer this. If the answer is "Yes", gas, registration, and everything is cheaper and you won't have to mod the vehicle to German spec. If the answer is "No", you'll have to mod it to comply with German laws and, to the best of my knowledge, BMW will NOT convert any more vehicles so you'll never get it registered. There are conflicts with the way the airbags are wired and controlled on the two different versions and some bags on a converted US spec. model may not deploy in an accident. Therefore, for safety, BMW will no longer perform the conversion.

Although I believe I'm 100% correct when I state that, I encourage you to get the most updated info from companies that sell directly to Americans over here.

A possible alternative is a Volvo. Most, if not all, already comply with the rear fog light and yellow turn signal light requirements and, from what I understand, can be easily registered in the German system for only ~70 euros above the standard registration costs. And, you get to keep the 4 year warranty and possibly the free maintenance.

Mercedes can be converted for ~2500 euros. Audi and VW I don't know about yet but I can ask around. Not sure about the MB warranty but, VW gives you 3 years and Audi, 2.

Ask me any other specific questions and I'll try to get an answer for you. But, I'd forget about bringing over a US spec BMW until you know more from your employer about all of your bennies.
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