Importing a van from Germany...is it that difficult

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Judge Mental, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    I have been personally importing vehicles from Europe for 20 years, at last count 9 considering another at the moment. Have never has a problem driving home on temp German export plates and fully comp on VIN till I get it registered.

    just interested in other personal import stories? As there are bound to be a few on here.....for and against
     
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  2. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Same as you really.. Only did one but a total doddle and the savings were in the thousands (y)
     
  3. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    is it also cheaper to get the van abroad when we change ours im looking at a lhd
     
  4. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    In all honesty I MUCH prefer LHD.
    In the UK you are driving in a known environment so can easily compensate, and going abroad you have the advantage of at least being on the right side of the vehicle for conditions ! :)
     
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  5. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    the fact that we do most of ours abroad john a lhd would be better for us
     
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  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    have always had LHD and also prefer it, not only for the far better prices but ease of use in Europe...
     
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Having imported from Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Belgium, Norway and the US have never had a problem. The only problems I ever had was on the odd occasion I exported back out from the UK. We in the UK are very lucky when it comes to importing vehicles from the EU, there are few requirements compared with other countries. Personally, I have found it much cheaper and generally better quality motorhomes are found in Germany than the UK.
     
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  8. Sheddy

    Sheddy Funster

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    Currently going through the process at the moment, there are a few possible pitfalls to be aware of especially if importing a second hand unit.
    Make sure you have the Original COC from the converter. It will be needed to obtain the VCA certificate.
    The German export plates provide only the minimum insurance, I and Darren from AIB could not find a UK insurer that will provide fully comp cover on the VIN number for the journey from Germany to the Ferry. There is a Dutch company that would provide the cover for £640!:Eeek:

    My applications to both the VCA and the DVLA have been plagued by the incompetence of the people dealing with the paperwork.
    The VCA returned my Mutual Recognition application on ' The lack of sufficient written evidence from the Garage' who checked the Headlights, Speedo and rear High Viz lights. They only looked at the receipt from the garage and not the detailed stamped and signed description STAPLED to the receipt.:doh: Application returned with no changes and certificate issued ( 1 week wasted ), Oh and they charge £100 for this service :rofl:

    Last week the DVLA rejected my registration application on there being no evidence of a NOVA application on the HMRC site, and in the rejection advised me to contact the nice folk at the PTU (part of the HMRC).
    As advised I contacted them they looked up my VIN Number and confirmed all was correct and that also the DVLA had actually looked at the details last Tuesday, which was no surprise to me as I had a copy of the NOVA confirmation email, oh and so did the DVLA because I had put a copy of it with my original application :madder:
    On contacting the DVLA customer service, they were a little confused by the rejection, put me on hold for 10 minutes and then advised me to resubmit the application with no changes :swear2:(at least another week wasted)
    I await the outcome, but am not holding my breath.
    With luck we will be on our way to Benidorm soon (or not) :)
    (To be continued)
     
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  9. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    I would also have been issuing them with a invoice +vat for all the time & labour expended for their inability to do there job correctly.
    If you aren't self-employed or have own business then issue proceedings in small claims court.
     
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  10. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I must admit that it was with some trepidation I imported the last van from Germany. My local DVLA office had closed down and I had to deal via snail mail with Swansea. My fears were completely unfounded and I was on the road in just over a week from when the wheels touched ground in Dover. The problem now is that you have no choice but to deal with Swansea and you cannot make a personal visit.
     
  11. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    tremybach I had a similar experience back in Feb with DVLA. Swansea were dropped in it big time and completely out of their depth! previous years dead easy..

    They gave mine a 2012 plate instead of 2013! I had to write to the director only, then got a result as bumped to a different tier of staff...the front of house staff were in most part bits of kids reading from scripts......clueless!lol

    Hope the situation has improved and they have found their feet! :whistle:
     
  12. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    What happens in the UK if you haven't got a CofC ?
    Nightmare here without one.
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    And that is the reason I have not put a personal plate on our van.. Just do not trust them to get it right
     
  14. Sheddy

    Sheddy Funster

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    We wanted to transfer a personal plate on to the import, the DVLA said they could do it at the same time as the registration, however I didn't want to complicate things, so didn't bother, good decision I think, they can't even get the registration right !!!!!!
     
  15. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Many seem to get anxious if not downright hostile to the idea of driving home with 3rd party cover only. I'm amazed at the justifications thought up for not self importing ( not on here) anyone ever had a problem or been stopped by police? I have never, usually treat the return trip as a mini break, and stop off at a few places.....:)
     
  16. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Many insurance companies will insure on the VIN number only if you explain what you are doing. I know AF and Comfort do, as I have used both for them for the job in the past. The only stipulation is that it is for one month only to give you time to register in the UK.
     
  17. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    question
    is it true that a lhd is best bought in the uk as they are cheaper here due to rhd being the norm
    and if bought abroad is there a inport tax on the van or any tax ?
     
  18. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    No duty! We are in the EU? If used and has covered 6000 miles no VAT to pay either. If new you pay the vat to hmrc here.

    LHD are cheaper here or abroad, so yes I guess they are cheaper then RHD version of same vans.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  19. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Don't know about Mhomes but lhd cars in UK are normally a fair % dearer than rhd comparable ones. Always have been. There are dealers I know from 40 years ago, up in the midlands, that still sell nothing but lhd.
    Rhdrive will always be cheaper as the market ,apart from the UK, is far more limited.
     
  20. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    The £100 VCA charge is nothing short of extortion! have to be careful getting the compliance letter from local MOT station as well (5 minute check and a short letter confirming headlight change etc...to be sent to VCA) One wanted £100! but shopped about and a really nice guy did it for £20
     
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