The reality of importing a car to the USA

The reality of importing a car to the USA

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Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

147 months

Monday 9th September 2013
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dvs_dave said:
Nothing to stop you importing a roller, then putting an engine from another type approved car that you've purchased in the US and then using that vehicles title. That then falls into the kit car/specially constructed vehicle. Difficulties arise if you want to use the original Speed 6 engine.

Take your pick, something with an LS, or to keep it British, Jag have a couple of solid power trains that could be dropped in.

As an FYI all the later cars have DOT approved glass (my Tuscan does) so that's that particular difficulty handily solved. smile
Sure there is, its called federal law.

Specifically its illegal to import a previously assembled car, remove the engine and import it as a kit car. As far as the DOT and EPA are concerned, unless the car is sold by the manufacturer as a kit car (Noble) then it is not a kit car. And as far as the DOT/EPA are concerned there's no way you're importing that car as a specially constructed vehicle.

Not legally anyway.

Now, CAN you import one? Sure you can, just like cocaine. Doesn't make it legal.

Captain Cadillac

Original Poster:

2,974 posts

147 months

Monday 9th September 2013
quotequote all
dvs_dave said:
The first two pics are of cars either with a Florida plate or in what's almost certainly Florida based on the palm trees. Its pretty much common knowledge that its rather easy to get almost anything registered and titled in Florida. That doesn't mean the car is here legally.

The black car has a dealer plate on it, that certainly doesn't prove that its here legally. I have dealer plates, I can put them on whatever I want.

fatbutt

1,887 posts

224 months

Monday 9th September 2013
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dvs_dave said:
Are any of them yours? Any of them could be temporary imports. Custard test please.

dvs_dave

5,974 posts

185 months

Monday 9th September 2013
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Captain Cadillac said:
The first two pics are of cars either with a Florida plate or in what's almost certainly Florida based on the palm trees. Its pretty much common knowledge that its rather easy to get almost anything registered and titled in Florida. That doesn't mean the car is here legally.

The black car has a dealer plate on it, that certainly doesn't prove that its here legally. I have dealer plates, I can put them on whatever I want.
Purple and black cars were/are in CA, the silver was in FL, now CA too (but damaged as we know).

Viper_Larry

4,301 posts

216 months

Monday 20th January 2014
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Hi, I have a slightly different scenario I would like advice on. I moved to California 5 months ago and left my Dodge Viper GTS that I've owned for 11 years with a friend in the UK. It's now crunch time, either I put it up for sale or ship it to the US. I've read lots of rules a regulations, but my car does not generally meet the scenarios I read about.

The car was manufactured in the USA and standard left hand drive. However, it was manufactured for export to Europe. There was a batch of 10 that were officially imported to the UK/Europe in 1997 of which mine is one. As such, it is listed as a Chrysler Viper and has a km/h speedo. It also featured an air intake restrictor and a restricted exhaust to meet the stricter European emissions at the time. Apparently my car was 379bhp instead of the standard 450bhp in the US. I have removed the air restrictor and replaced the exhaust with a Mopar exhaust.

So, how difficult and expensive do you think it would be to import? As it was manufactured in the USA, would it be a lot easier? It has an EPA sticker in the engine bay. I don't have the original exhaust, but still have the air restrictor if smog test was an issue.

Any advice. Need to decide this week :-(

Loach1

430 posts

101 months

Monday 20th January 2014
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Does it have a sticker stating 'This vehicle was manufactured in compliance with all Federal standards, blah blah blah? If so, it should be a straightforward repatriation. Chances are the customs guys aren't going to even look at your car, let alone check for modifications. Your local inspection might require that you revert the emissions related stuff back to original, depending on your state. I would suggest getting a broker to help you if this is a one-off for you, shouldn't cost more than $200 or so.

Good luck!

ssaf

28 posts

83 months

Sunday 20th April 2014
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Viper_Larry said:
So, how difficult and expensive do you think it would be to import? As it was manufactured in the USA, would it be a lot easier? It has an EPA sticker in the engine bay. I don't have the original exhaust, but still have the air restrictor if smog test was an issue.

Any advice. Need to decide this week :-(
For what it's worth, it would have been easy. First is that Federal sticker, and second is the EPA sticker. Tick box two on the form iirc. If it doesn't have the Federal sticker, speak to Dodge and get a letter of conformity off them stating that VIN abcde12345 conforms to Federal standards at time of build, and job done.

Really is as simple as that.

The jiffle king

5,950 posts

218 months

Tuesday 10th June 2014
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I've read this thread and feel sure that there is no way that I can bring my TVR Chimaera to the US and use it legally. It's a 95 reg car and was not a kit.

Just hoping that someone may have good news, but not expecting it?

Loach1

430 posts

101 months

Wednesday 11th June 2014
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If you are a non-resident, you can bring it over for 12 months with no trouble at all. That cannot be extended, but you might be able to repeat the process if you export and re-import the car, but I'm sure that would raise some difficult questions.

The jiffle king

5,950 posts

218 months

Thursday 12th June 2014
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Thanks for that. I'm going to be a resident which means that I won't be able to do this. Thanks for the information

Grantura MKI

808 posts

118 months

Thursday 12th June 2014
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Which state do you plan on living in?
Best,
D.

The jiffle king

5,950 posts

218 months

Thursday 12th June 2014
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Grantura MKI said:
Which state do you plan on living in?
Best,
D.
Going to be in Georgia... specifically Atlanta. Does that make a difference?

Loach1

430 posts

101 months

Friday 13th June 2014
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How about selling the Chim and buying a nice S2? As long as it's 25 years from the date of registration, it's very easy to import. They have a lot of parts in common with US market Fords, so parts are cheap and plentiful. The ultimate usable classic in my opinion. People love 'em too, even non-car people get excited when they see a RHD noisy little sports car!

fatbutt

1,887 posts

224 months

Friday 13th June 2014
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Or an SEAC!

Grantura MKI

808 posts

118 months

Monday 16th June 2014
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The jiffle king said:
Grantura MKI said:
Which state do you plan on living in?
Best,
D.
Going to be in Georgia... specifically Atlanta. Does that make a difference?
Easier than in California!
Best,
D.

gvagen

1 posts

75 months

Monday 29th September 2014
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I feel reasonably qualified to comment on this as I did import my car when I moved here in 2004, but it was over 25 years old, so I know that element of the process.

Hi mate i am interested to import car from Europe to US the car is made in 1988 so its older than 25years just wanted to speak with you what i need to do or what documentation to have to import that car ? car is mercedes GE280 petrol, thanks in advance.

Loach1

430 posts

101 months

Thursday 2nd October 2014
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gvagen said:
Hi mate i am interested to import car from Europe to US the car is made in 1988 so its older than 25years just wanted to speak with you what i need to do or what documentation to have to import that car ? car is mercedes GE280 petrol, thanks in advance.
Not much really, the V5 and Bill of Lading number, give them to a broker along with $200 or so, sit back and wait for a call to say it's ready to be picked up. It used to be easy to DIY, but the ISF 10+2 needs to be done electronically by someone with access to the system, so you might as well hire them to do it all.

Slow M

2,581 posts

166 months

Monday 20th October 2014
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I'm under the impression, that there used to be a once per lifetime exemption, to allow a resident to legally import a non-compliant (EPA & DOT) vehicle. Does this exist?

Best,
B.

Loach1

430 posts

101 months

Monday 20th October 2014
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Slow M said:
I'm under the impression, that there used to be a once per lifetime exemption, to allow a resident to legally import a non-compliant (EPA & DOT) vehicle. Does this exist?

Best,
B.
Unfortunately not.

jpf

1,287 posts

236 months

Tuesday 27th January 2015
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How difficult is it to purchase a 1980's "S" and bring it over to the USA?

Are parts relatively accessible? Do the chassis hold up or are we looking at the Wheeler Dealer Cerbera chassis replacement?