Originally Posted by Grey Space
The site where my wife would most likely be based in France is in Haute Normandie, near Le Havre. I imagine it would be easier and somewhat less costly to own a car like the M3 in that region, as opposed to Īle-de-France. I am, however, very concerned about some of the items you mentioned - specifically, the high cost of insurance, and serviceability.
It seems that when the time comes for us to relocate, I might be better off selling the M3 here in the US, then taking the proceeds from the sale and buying a lesser car in France or Belgium. Does that seem wise?
Grey Space, there is a good forum/board in French of M car owners at
. I just joined it and they have been helpful on several issues. You might want to ask them there about servicing the car where you may be living. There may be a good independent shop to do the work. There are a lot of E46 owners on that forum.
Probably the most important thing--if it were me in your shoes--though would be to get an indication from BMW that the dealers in France would be allowed to work on your car, because with a US-spec car, you would need te dealer to reach out to BMW if you have a problem with the software/recalls etc.
Your situation may provide some other options though: if you wife is a German citizen, she may be able to return to Germany (EU) with a duty free vehicle on returning from overseas. If she then takes it to France, she may not need to register it in France for a while.
Also, I am pretty sure that BMW has a special purchasing program for certain executives/companies--you might want to ask BMW AG about that too.