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Old 02-11-2011, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Question Importing a US spec X5 xdrive 35d to Germany

I will be relocating to Munich in about 6 months timeframe. I am thinking of buying a X5 xdrive 35d here in US and importing it to Germany. I am wondering if anyone has had such experience and how was the all process of importing and registering a US spec X5 diesel? Did you had any issues? Anything you can share would be useful.

PS: I'm also planing on importing my old 323ic (E36)!
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:13 PM
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I think there are all sorts of issues.....of course the most obvious being different gauges (miles/kms), you will buy a very $$$ car in the US, take it to Germany and have NO warranty. BMWNA will not pay for repairs in Germany. Just software updates can be very expensive. Radio and Satellite, I think will not work. Parts, ie; blinkers and bulbs are different for US and German models.

I think, IMO, this is a very bad and expensived mistake!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:23 PM
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X5/X6 are popular in Russia, and many have been imported from US. Surprisingly, people manage to get them fixed there under some 'BMW worldwide warranty'.

But even w/o warranty, the price difference will cover a long list of repairs and whatever conversions required (I suspect it's limited to just buying emergency kit and a triangle).
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:05 PM
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Just the duty at the border will cost you another X5.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:07 PM
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I've had a US spec model in Germany for 1.5 years, and have had no service support issues - hardware or firmware under warranty - from the local BMW dealer. The overseas warranty is shorter than what BMW USA offers - two years versus four, IIRC. You'll want to check transferability, but it will be less coverage.

My import was through the US military sales program, which incorporates a reduced customs/duty process. If you're eligible under US government/contract employment, it's worth investigating. For a regular expat, as folks in this thread warn, the import duty could be considerable.

True you have no Sirius/XM satellite radio, except through a smartphone.
2009 X35d Space Grey
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:15 AM
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If you are relocating you can import it free of tax but you need to prove you have owned and registered it for at least 12 months before you arrive in Germany.

There is some other stuff but it is straight forward. The above is key.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:26 AM
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Instrument cluster is no problem and will pass the TÜV requirements since it has km/h and can be user-changed to have metric. You will need new taillights which have amber as the turn signals.

You will need to do some coding to change the radio region, headlights (the front amber turn signal is NOT permitted to stay on with the headlights), and enable the rear foglights and buy a new headlight switch. It would also be useful, but not required to program the cruise control to metric units. However, vehicle coding isn't too hard to find in Germany, much easier than it is here.

BMW Assist and Sirius will not work there. Sat Nav will work, but the hard drive needs to be reloaded with the Europe map. Traffic Info may not work.

You'll also need to pay the 19% VAT on the value of the vehicle upon registration.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:35 AM
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I imported US specs X5 to Europe, did exact same changes AZNMpower32 described, no issues except that I am missing headlamp washers that are mandatory with xenons here.

I would suggest to take the "cold weather package" , it solves this issue
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:13 PM
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Dont forget about Germany's local EPA / Emmission issue...
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by southwold View Post
Dont forget about Germany's local EPA / Emmission issue...
I always thought US emission standards are higher/tougher than EU/Germany, no?
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35d, germany, importing, us spec

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