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Oberbayer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just thinking: If I bought a car in the US and exported it to Germany - would I have to pay sales tax in America?

Would I have to pay it and get it back? Or not pay it all in the first place? Or is there no way to avoid US sales tax?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Happily Driving
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I believe that you would not have to pay sales tax on a car that is being exported.
 

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Registered
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Even if you do have to pay it, sales taxes vary greatly by state. Is there a sales tax on cars in, say, Oregon ? I believe it's zero ! Other states can be very low. Of course, there is no federal sales tax.
 

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Registered
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My info is a few years old..but no, you do not have to pay state sales tax in the US if you do not personally buy the car while in that state, personally take possession of the car in state, ship the car out of state by transporter, and have proof of all of this.

When importing into Germany, you might have to pay import duty, although years ago I re-imported Porsches from the US back into Germany. I did not have to buy duty on roughly 95% of the value. I broke down the cars by parts and their country of origin. (with 95%ish of the car's parts from Germany)

Hope that helps.
 

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Oberbayer
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)

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Premium Member
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Alfred,
It just so happen that I know about the State Sales/Use tax issue a little more than the average bear:D

While state sales tax is set by each taxing jurisdiction, in general, the only way one can avoid paying sales tax at the time of sales is to have a transporter (truck) show up at the dealership and pick up the vehicle and provide the dealership with a bill of lading indicating, as supporting document that the car is being transported to a destination that collaborates with whatever the underlying rational why the vehicle is exempt for sales tax.

Cheers,

beewang:bigpimp:
 

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Travel Fever
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2,745 Posts
Concur with Bee, if there's a clear intent for export, there is no tax. Make sure it doesn't get registered with any states.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Keep in mind there are retrofit costs to meet legal and TÜV requirements.

Some U.S. lighting is not legal in Germany and you might have to retrofit a lot.

This is one reason why the cars cost more, esp.when they are sold in small numbers.
 

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Registered
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Similar to importing a gray market car to the US, you are going to find it very expensive to legally export a late model US car to Germany. I know when I was stationed in Germany several folks tried to sell their US cars (usually a Corvette) to a German national and the deal almost always fell through because of the cost to retrofit the car to meet German specs, just as Herr Spira indicates. Good luck but I think you are in for a shock when you price out the cost of the changes that have to be made to legally register the car in Germany.
 

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Oberbayer
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all, I'm quit aware of these costs - which does not mean that I might not still experience a unpleasant surprise.

But still it might be possible to save a lot as this list (from 2009) shows.

e.g. Chrysler 300 C Hemi V8 US-price $25,000, imported to Germany EUR 36,000; List price Germany EUR 54,300
 

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Premium Member
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While I was downtown I received a pamphlet from Auto Magnus GmbH. It looks like they specialize in importing American Muscle cars and trucks. Their brochure has an optional warranty program listed. I've never used them, so I don't know anything more than what is in their pamphlet.

www,automagnus.de
 

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All Wheel Drive = Heaven
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343 Posts
Also beware some manufacturers have gotten wise about this. When we bought a MB GL550 in 2008, we had to sign a document that said that if the car were exported from the US and MBUSA found out about it, we would be charged (IIRC) 20% of the purchase price which in this case would have been $16,000. Not sure they could have enforced it (I think I scribbled "Mickey Mouse" for a signature on this particular document) but they know.
 

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John Firestone
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These days, the German auto makers discourage unapproved late-model, American-market reimports by decontenting the electronics if you ask them to reprogram a car for Europe. I don't know if any American auto makers are doing this. I would think not, but I can ask if you haven't already checked.
 

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Alpina Addict
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1,362 Posts
@Alfred - you might want to look into Canadian models in order to get metric instruments and gauges in the first place.

BTW did you ever compare the US MSRP for a current BMW 550i with what we over here have to pay for it? :rolleyes:
 
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