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How to import USA Cayenne into Europe (France)

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This is my experience. Info may have changed since July 2008 I am under no obligation to update this post.

Car tested - Cayenne 2008

New car– Dealers will not sell new car to a non-USA person


a. find good friend/relative with USA address

b. arrange insurance (if mandatory in state of purchase)

c. pay at dealer for car, sales tax (no way to get refund), registration, plates

d. dealer gives you plates (NY state) – car is now on the road

e. dealer sends docs to DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle)

New title in some states like NY can take up to 3 months to arrive from (DMV) ! It will be in your friends/relative's name!

Two options while waiting for a title to arrive:

1. storing a car straight away, returning plates and canceling insurance

2. keeping plates, paying insurance, driving around

Second-hand car –

Do (c ) from above

Get title at dealership/from private seller with your name on it.

Drive (in which case do ( b ) above) or use flatbed to get car to warehouse

Call shipping brokers after 4-5 quotes you will get idea of cost. Ask about container availability, docs required cancellation charge. You cannot ship car without Original title. (Don't trust brokers who say they can do it. Once you sign up with them there is no easy way out after they tell you: "we tried but things changed" )

I used Sterling international to ship (good but expensive). At the end remember they are just brokers so if something lost/broken they will call the shipper and deal with shipper (something you can do yourself if you want to save money). Bought marine insurance – had no claim so no comment.

Car at warehouse (check-in: take pictures, get condition report similar to rental car form, warehouse will have them. kiss your car - with current weather pattern it may become good diving reef. throw in a set of jumper cables as battery could be dead at the other end, dont cover car - it makes no protection inside container but will damage paint as is shifts during sail)

Send title and sale contract to broker, car is custom cleared, put on boat (http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shiplocations.phtml).

Receive title and contract back from shipper by mail

Forward docs to local broker (I used one for sending and another for receiving car at terminal and doing customs papers. for ease USA shipping broker can do both ends for you (they will still subcontract local broker but you dont have to deal with them))

Container arrives at port

Pay EU taxes through shipping broker: Import (10%) plus VAT (15-19% depending on country and based on car price + Import duties).

Law says taxes should be paid on purchase price in USA+shipping+insurance+cost of modification. Think of making a sale contract which states purchase price in Euro (currency hedge) and delivery at your country port. You then have a ground to pay taxes on basis of price in contract (who pays insurance and transport you decide with seller but for him there is no extra tax on that).

Take car

In France http://riviera.angloinfo.com/countries/fra...otoregister.asp

longest wait is letter from Porsche France Euro 170 and takes 3 weeks. Get it while car is on boat have to send them a copy of title

For Cayenne 2009 letter stated:

1. Visual (lights) – don't conform

2. Seat belts – ok

3. Windows – ok

4. Rear view mirror – don't conform

so.... what to do:

A. Lights front: marked DOT – no good. Has to have letter E in circle (beam patterns are identical between DOT USA Xenon and Continental Europe. DOT USA lights have no switch for beam for LHD-RHD). Had to buy new (ebay has plenty, bought for GBP450 and sold for GBP500 - so free change for me here). (btw i didnt see any external "DOT" or "E" marking at all on Gen1 headlights)

B. rear turn signals have to be yellow not red (you can put yellow bulb or buy new set which is silly as external appearance is identical. E and DOT mark cannot be seen when installed)

C. Side marking lights on the front have to be set in PIWIS as directional indicators, put yellow bulb if plastic is clear or keep yellow plastic which is ugly (no rewiring).

D. Right mirror – get European right mirror glass (less curvy than USA version and no text on it). Left is OK.

NO other changes were required for my car to register in France

Other known to me obvious differences EU vs USA which were irrelevant to registering:

1. key transmitter and homelink frequency is different (get couple new keys in the USA– cheaper there anyway)

2. analog dashboard in MPH (digital speedometer could be switches to KM/H from PCM

for ethtetics I bought KM/h dials at e-bay for Euro60, changed myself, please PM if you need instructions on how to change dials)

3. Radio – adjusted to EU format by itself in my case

4. Rear door - shape for number plate is square and doesn't fit well European plates – esthetics issue (can buy on e-bay from junk yards about gbp400)

5. Navigation- new maps from porsche DVD disk Euro380

Conclusion – 15 days after car arrival at port have new plates (could have done all in 3 days but had to make appointment with technice contrlle (MOT/TUV equivalent) two weeks in advance to confirm that I made changes. )

Cost of homilogation:

Headlights - zero

Rear lights - zero

Mirror - Euro80

Navigation E380

Edited by SA321
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