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Purchasing a car from Zurich, Switzerland - Exporting to US

Discussion in 'Europe' started by gimmea250swb, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. gimmea250swb

    gimmea250swb Formula Junior
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    Mar 8, 2007
    520
    Washington, DC
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    Taylor
    Greetings,

    I inquired about a car I thought was being sold in the US but it turns out the car is in Swtzerland. The seller claims he purchased the car in the US, had it shipped over and wasn't aware of the import taxes and it's cheaper to sell back to the US. Is there any validity to this? If I were to go through with this transaction, what's the safest way to do it?

    I'm not confortable with sending money directly to the seller without knowing the car will find its way to the dock. Is there a service that can handle the financial transaction as an intermediary? I've got a friend who lives in Germany who I could wire money to possibly. He could pay and take the car immediately. Then I'd have to get the car out of Germany. Are there any better options?

    People buy and ship cars overseas all the time but it seems there's a lot of risk when it comes to private parties. Maybe there's a way to work through a dealer?

    Should I worry about anything from the export perspective? What documentation is required?

    Can anybody recommend an export company?

    Is there anybody willing to confirm the car exists?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Taylor
     
  2. Simon

    Simon Moderator
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    Aug 29, 2003
    5,860
    Switzerland
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    Simon
    Hi
    On the first point, yes, the excuse is a plausible one.
    On the 2nd point, sorry can't recommend a shipping company.
    As far as inspecting the car, can you say where the car is in CH?
     
  3. gimmea250swb

    gimmea250swb Formula Junior
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    Mar 8, 2007
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    Taylor
    Hi Simon, Thank you for your reply. I believe it's in Zurich but haven't confirmed. I'll confirm with the seller.
     
  4. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    May 25, 2019
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    Memphis, TN
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    John
    Let me guess. The car is an incredible deal. I'm guessing this is a scam. There are lots of flavors of this same scam going on for every make and model of expensive car. Do you really think someone would go through all the trouble of importing a car only to find out after the fact there are taxes to be paid?

    Paste the wording the "seller" used to respond to you. Another thing you can do is to do a Google search of the images in the ad. Most likely, they are stolen from another car ad. If you can find the pictures elsewhere, it is definitely a scam.

    This falls into the "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is."

    Then again, what do I know?
     
    marky1 likes this.
  5. gimmea250swb

    gimmea250swb Formula Junior
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    Mar 8, 2007
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    Taylor
    Certainly could be a scam. I've asked for a lot of details (previous owner, title photo, VIN, shipping company he used, get a friend to come see the car, etc.) I'm treading lightly. I may never hear from him again after sending all the questions/requests...we'll see. I've got a friend at the PD who can verify the VIN.

    Here's the guy's message. It's certainly written like a scam. The original ad I contacted him by is no longer there...go figure...

    Regardless of how this plays out, I'm curious how people handle this when it's two private parties overseas and the seller is legitimate...
    *****
    The vehicle never been damaged with a clean title. It is in excellent condition both aesthetically, mechanically and very well maintained!

    I bought the vehicle in US and I shipped it to Switzerland, it is currently registered in US, clean title, there is no duty or cost to re-import the vehicle to the US, the vehicle is currently being stored in Switzerland.

    In Switzerland the import taxes are high, up to 50% of the vehicle value and this is the reason of the selling, Switzerland is extremely expensive to import into because they want to protect their local economy. I didn't know about the import taxes when I acquired the car. I tried to sell it at a higher price but I couldn't find a buyer because I realized he can buy the same vehicle locally at the same price so I decided to reduce the price to have a good deal and it will be easier to find a buyer.

    I can organize the shipping to your location and you pay after you get the vehicle.
    If you are interested please reply and I will send you the photos and more information.
     
  6. gimmea250swb

    gimmea250swb Formula Junior
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    It was a scam. The guy did call me from a Switzerland number though...
     
    EastMemphis likes this.
  7. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran
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    Apr 6, 2008
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    romano schwabel
    be carefull ! ! !
    germany is not switzerland and switzerland is not europe / not european union. the complete thing as you describe here smelles very bad to me.

    1st: where is the car now?
    2nd: what paperworks does the car have?
    3rd: where and who is the seller of the car?

    those 3 things you may have to check first
     
  8. gimmea250swb

    gimmea250swb Formula Junior
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    Mar 8, 2007
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    Hi Turbo, it was a scam.
     
  9. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran
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    Apr 6, 2008
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    romano schwabel
    I have read alraedy it was a scam before I posted. but sometimes even a scam seems to be not a scam. that is why I have written my post
     
  10. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 World Champ
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    Mar 2, 2005
    13,010
    What kind of car, please?
    Chassis number?
    Who is/was the "seller"?

    I live in Zurich, Switzerland.
    Marcel Massini
     
  11. Flavio_C

    Flavio_C Formula Junior

    Sep 7, 2012
    994
    Hello Simon. Why do you think that the import taxes excuse is valid? Aren't they low in Switzerland? 7,7% Mwst plus 4% vehicle import taxes... ?? If I am not mistaken, a car imported into the EU from the USA pays VAT ~19%-22% (Germany/Italy) plus 10% of import taxes.
     
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  12. Simon

    Simon Moderator
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    Aug 29, 2003
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    Hi
    This is moot anyway, as we now know it was a scam.
    My comment wasn't only about cost, but more generally about the CH import requirements for some vehicles from other markets

    You can buy a car cheaply in the USA, for example, import it and pay the taxes. But if it doesn't fulfill the homologation requirements, and many models didn't, be left with a car that can not be registered for the road. The authorities will happily suggest an unrealistically high financial outlay to fulfill those homologation requirements. In this case , best to cut your losses and repatriate the car.
     
  13. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran
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    romano schwabel
    there is alwas the possibilty with a dealer plate
     
  14. Flavio_C

    Flavio_C Formula Junior

    Sep 7, 2012
    994
    Ah, ok, now understand what you mean.

    Switzerland seems a paradise when it comes to importing classic/vintage/supercars because the taxes are considerably lower than in the other countries.
     

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