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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ok, so almost two years later I finally got French plates! Yay!

Here's what I ended up having to do:

1) Swap out headlights. They didn't have the E-mark on them so the French authorities wouldn't accept them as is. I just bought the Abakus brand one for the EU version of the car off This was about 800 euro for both. I couldn't figure out how to get the adaptive headlights to work on the new lights so I disabled it in the car programming to turn off the error codes.

2) Swap out the tail lights. Although they did have the E-mark, they had red turn signals which I thought was illegal in europe. This was 200 euro.

3) Change the headlight switch in the dash to the EU version. This was to enable the rear fog light. I got it used off ebay for 40 euro.

4) Reprogram the lights. There were a few things: for example the side markers blink differently when turning for the EU than the US and the high beams work a little differently. Got the Veapeek OBDC thing for 45 euros along with the BimmerCode app.

5) Get a partial certificate of conformity from BMW. 250 euro. Basically said everything but the lights were up to spec in europe so that's all the French authorities needed to verify.

6) Install a EU style manufacturer plate. I first had the BMW dealer install one but they screwed it up by mixing up the numbers on it for my car with the EU version of X1. I removed it and instead got one off this site for 30 euros:

7) Register the car itself. This was close to 2k euros. Yes it was a lot but I tell myself its ok because I would have had to pay that anyway if I had gotten a car here in Europe. A big chunk of that was the French tax on anything that can go 0-60 in less than 10 seconds.

And that's about it. Thanks to everyone here for the advice and help.

Next step, a French driver's license...

1 Posts
Hey Shoe!
Great post - - It's really tiring reading comments from people who are so negative when asking about doing this sort of thing - thank you for showing that it could be done.
  • I have a 1983 Porsche 911sc in California - sadly I never drive it and it's just sitting there waiting for me to get her up and running again.
  • I am an EU citizen, resident of Spain, but am from California
  • What do you think my chances are for importing this car to Spain? Do you have any recommendations for a "Customs Broker"? I don't know if I have the stones to do this myself.
  • Would you do this again?
  • I'd love to ship over a m340i xdrive to Spain - - - they are way too few and far between / can't be found over here.

In any case - thanks for a great write up.
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