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      01-30-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
5980
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Help! M3 Import - UK to US

Hello everyone,

I've spent a great deal of time quietly trolling this site and have been very impressed with everyone's perspectives and experiences. One that i haven't come across, but am now facing myself, is the task of importing a right-hand drive, UK-spec M3 from London to the US. Clearly not the optimal or most efficient path to US M3 ownership, but i've been thrown a curveball three months after purchasing my M3 in the UK (which I absolutely love by the way!). There seems to be a fair amount of (mis)information on the internet - which has been confirmed in my conversations with so-called specialist importers. So, i'm reaching out to this forum to see if anyone has a comparable experience or any helpful advice. I'm very much in need! Thank you all in advance for your help.

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      01-31-2010, 06:55 AM   #2
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free bump.... sorry I have got nothing though..
I feel sorry for you though
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      01-31-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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This could be challenging but it can be done. First you need to find out the nearest Shipping yard/port in London. You need to make sure who ever delivers the car to port has the Title and Bill of Sale with all your information on it.

From past experience I shipped car to and from Finland because it so much cheaper, but you might need to find a tow truck to deliver it from London to Finland.

Also where are you going to be shipping it, do you live somewhere next to coast. If you live in west it might be easier to ship it to Jersey and again ground transport it to west coast, because to directly ship the car to West coasts is additional $1500.

Be ready to spend a good chunk of money, my estimate somewhere around $3000. You also want to make sure the shipping company offers insurance for the full price of the vehicle purchasing price, because a lot of accidents happens during the shipping process and sometime the loading people are careless.

If you be more specific from where to where you shipping it be a lot easier. Hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions.
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      01-31-2010, 10:30 AM   #4
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Why not sell the car and buy a new one in the US? Yes there will be a depreciation hit, but I wouldn't be surprised if the lower cost in the US made it relatively small. RHD in NA is a pain in the ass. Left turns at major intersections will be a major hassle, and some insurance companies won't cover RHD.
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      01-31-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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You're probably not going to have much luck getting it registered since it doesn't conform to US DOT standards with regards to the tested/approved ride height, crash testing, lighting, because it's right hand drive.

Seriously, it's going to be WORLDS easier to sell it and buy a new one in the US or buy a US spec model from a GI in England and ship that.
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      01-31-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Your best bet is to sell it and buy a new one here in the states.
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      01-31-2010, 12:29 PM   #7
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I wouldn't import it. Getting it reconfigured to meet federal and state regulations, while doable, will cost you money and a great deal of agrevation.

However, if you are only going to have the car here for one year or less I believe you can bring it in as-is keeping your MOT registration. You will have to certify and subsequently prove the vehicle was exported by the of that year. This is all from vague memory but it might be your compromise solution. Who knows, you may not like living here.
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      02-01-2010, 05:52 AM   #8
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~Thank you

Thanks to those who replied. While not precisely what i was hoping to hear, it confirms my suspicion that importing my RHD M3 permanently to the US is very difficult and potentially uneconomical as well. What a shame...i will repost when I am ready to sell a near-new, 2,000 mile garage-kept M3...it hurts to write those words....

Cheers

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      02-01-2010, 07:49 AM   #9
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For what is is worth, you may find the occassional used M3 for sale (in US spec form) within Germany or other European countries that are home to US servicemembers of the armed forces.

You will not be able to purchase a truly new from US military sales within Europe, as there are requirements in place to prove eligiblity. There should be a mechaninsm to buy one used, though, and typically the cost will be less than a comparable vehicle in the US. There is the cost to ship though, although you probably figured this into your vehcile.

Just a thought at the cost of used, may offset a potential lost on your 2010.
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      02-01-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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A couple more questions...

...as an American expat in London, the move home likely is a permanent one so i'm afraid the one-year option won't work. While my final US destination isn't determined, i suspect somewhere on the west coast, although i would happily ship to the east coast and fly out to collect when the conversion is complete. While it does't look promising, can anyone recommend a trustworthy US importer (i assume i'm allowed to ask this??)?

As an aside, is there a way to repost this thread on the UK forum? I'm afraid i may miss some valuable insight parked under the global Preowned M3 Pricing, Ordering, etc....

Thank you all again for your help and insight. Very, very much appreciated.

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