Any advantage on importing from Europe?

Muppet

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Hope this is in the right area?

If I'm going to buy a new GS, is there any advantage to getting one imported from say Germany or Denmark (heard they're cheaper there), or going over and buying one and riding it back as a personal import?

Or if I was to consider a used one, again, any cost advantages to getting one outisde of the UK? And are there any differences in the specs between UK and no UK bikes, especially power outputs?

It's a while off as I won't be getting one till next year, but I'm doing all my homework early:D

Thanks guys.
 
Muppet

I bought an imported Adventure from South London Motorcycles. No problems - the speedo had been changed and it came with a two year warranty and one year of BMW assistance. Was very competitively priced compared with SPC, who also bring in lotsa imports. Only downside was a euro-spec dipped headlight which looks a bit odd when rotated for driving on the left. Of course, as a bl**dy big stone recently smashed it, who cares?
 
Importing a new bike

You may find

http://www.hmce.gov.uk/forms/notices/728.htm
http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/exptimpt.htm

helpful. Then again you may not!

I looked into importing one about three months ago from a main dealer in Frankfurt where for nefarious reasons I could get a substantial discount. Unfortunately the movement of the Euro against Sterling meant that the net savings after adjustments for VAT etc were less than £300 despite the discount. And since you have to pay German VAT, then pay UK VAT and then claim back the German vesion there's a not inconsiderable hassle. The dealer was very helpful and well stocked beyond any UK firm I've seen.

Denmark is considerably cheaper, I believe, because local taxes are high
 
Thanks for the replies guys and the links Waterhouse, I'll read them and have a think, but it seems to be a lot of hassle for perhaps not a lot of saving.

Cheers for the help.
 
Where is the hassle -
you pick up a great bike, ride her back home having a great time getting to know each other and you pick up loads of cheap fags and booze on the way.....oh and get a cheaper bike.....
on second thoughts you may be right sounds like a load of hassle to me :confused:
 
Re: Importing a new bike

waterhouse said:
You may find

http://www.hmce.gov.uk/forms/notices/728.htm
http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/exptimpt.htm

helpful. Then again you may not!

I looked into importing one about three months ago from a main dealer in Frankfurt where for nefarious reasons I could get a substantial discount. Unfortunately the movement of the Euro against Sterling meant that the net savings after adjustments for VAT etc were less than £300 despite the discount. And since you have to pay German VAT, then pay UK VAT and then claim back the German vesion there's a not inconsiderable hassle. The dealer was very helpful and well stocked beyond any UK firm I've seen.

Denmark is considerably cheaper, I believe, because local taxes are high

Waterhouse my ol' mate - you were badly advised on the German VAT. You were given the FOB off treatment by making it sound not worthwhile. Standard B*W sales procedure designed to discourage parrallel imports I'm afraid.

Option 1 , The best you could have done is buy it pay the German VAT which is 15% then ride home. Having paid VAT in one EU country you would not then have to pay UK VAT so long as you can prove the VAT has been paid. Think about it - you can go to France any time you like and buy what you want and take it home - VAT paid - same applies to bikes. Once paid - it's paid everywhere in the EU.

Option 2 is to have put the bike onto transit plates and paid excluding German VAT then paid the UK VAT at 17.5% when you get back .....but why would you want to pay higher VAT when someone is letting you get away with 2.5% less ?

I still recommend anyone doing this gets independant advice because laws change and governments just love plugging tax loopholes .
 
VAT

Gecko, is correct I purchased some panniers from Germany, checked with HM Customs about VAT / Import Dutiesand there reply was

Mr Watson

Thank you for your email of 8 March regarding the above subject.

As Germany and the UK are both Member States of the EC, you will not have to pay import duty or UK VAT on the panniers which you have purchased tax paid in Germany.

Regards

Bernard Stather
Written Enquiries Team
H M Customs & Excise
Reading Business Centre
Eldon Court
75 London Road
Reading RG1 5BS

Tel 0118 908 4200 Fax 0118 908 4206
email : enquiries.sec@hmce.gsi.gov.uk
 
Re: Re: Importing a new bike

Gecko said:


Option 1 , The best you could have done is buy it pay the German VAT which is 15% then ride home. Having paid VAT in one EU country you would not then have to pay UK VAT so long as you can prove the VAT has been paid. Think about it - you can go to France any time you like and buy what you want and take it home - VAT paid - same applies to bikes. Once paid - it's paid everywhere in the EU.

.

Sounds good in theory, but the Uk VAT man wants his money and will gt it regardless of it being paid elsewhere in the EU. In fact he will suggest that WHEN (not if) you also pay the UK rate you could then attempt to reclaim the German VAT.

I imported mine through a third party three and a half years ago when it was almost impossible to get the bike I wanted in UK and was considerably more expensive here as well.

My experience had a happy ending but not without a bit of arm twisting inflicted on the third party.

Tim
 
Gecko said:
Where is the hassle -
you pick up a great bike, ride her back home having a great time getting to know each other and you pick up loads of cheap fags and booze on the way.....oh and get a cheaper bike.....
on second thoughts you may be right sounds like a load of hassle to me :confused:

Ok, you're right!! And reading your following post it seems it's a lot easier than I firs thought.

Thanks for the info Gecko:beerjug:
 
Re: Re: Re: Importing a new bike

timolgra said:
Sounds good in theory, but the Uk VAT man wants his money and will gt it regardless of it being paid elsewhere in the EU. In fact he will suggest that WHEN (not if) you also pay the UK rate you could then attempt to reclaim the German VAT.

I imported mine through a third party three and a half years ago when it was almost impossible to get the bike I wanted in UK and was considerably more expensive here as well.

My experience had a happy ending but not without a bit of arm twisting inflicted on the third party.

Tim

Tim
You are right - it sounds good in Theory but it does work in practice. Option 2 is the way to avoid any discussions - you get it on export plates (normally valid just 30 days) and ride away having not paid any VAT then declare the import in the UK - pay HM Customs their pound of flesh and your are free to get it registered in the UK.

Different rules apply to used vehicles by the way. Then you just buy and drive away. VAT is not an issue so if you can find a late demo machine somewhere you could do very well buying it in Germany because once it is registered in an EU country UK customs can't claim VAT from you. Thats fact :D
 
from my little knowledge of this stuff,

VAT rules for bikes (and other "means of transport") differ from, for example accessories or parts.

Put simply, bringing and registering a "new means of transport" into your home country (e.g. UK) from another EU Member State (e.g. Germany) will require you to pay UK VAT. On this basis, it would be important to have German VAT charged at 0% as an export, or if charged, refunded to you. Otherwise, you're paying VAT on the double.

In the case of a bike which isn't a "new means of transport", repatriation to your home country (e.g. the UK again) will not trigger a home (i.e. UK) VAT charge. Therefore, buying in a country with the lowest VAT rate is probably a good starting point as the benefit of that lower rate should be reflected in the price.

A "new means of transport" broadly means (in the case of a "motorised land vehicle")
(i) a vehicle which is less than 6 months old and
(ii) has travelled less than 6,000km.

But watch out, different countries may have slightly differing rules on this - for example in Ireland, its necessary to satisfy one (rather than both) condition to be treated as a "new means of transport". So the moral is, check out the exact position before you buy!!!

Hope this helps
 
While all this stuff about VAT is all totally fascinating the fact remains that at current exchange rates it costs more to buy the bugger in Germany than it does to buy it here.

Even if the VAT stuff all works out fine you've still shelled out more dosh. Seems a little pointless, especially the idea of running it in on an Autobahn...
 
waterhouse said:

Even if the VAT stuff all works out fine you've still shelled out more dosh. Seems a little pointless, especially the idea of running it in on an Autobahn...

Who says you have to use the Autobahn? I bought my bike in Germany and rode it back to Northampton the next day. It was a long ride without using dual carriageway, but the advantage was that it was ready immediately for its 600 mile service and then I could use it properly, bringing it up to North Scotland, again still avoiding dual carriageways because I wanted to enjoy the run.

I got mine on German export plates, without paying German tax and then handed the tax man a cheque for UK VAT after the bike was registered here. The whole procedure was so straightforward that I can't understand why people talk about the complications. Of course the day I collected it I was still living in Germany which meant I didn't have to make a trip out to collect it. Buying in Germany does also give you the excuse to go and visit Wunderlich and Touratech etc :)

This was 3 years ago, and I admit that apart from holidays I haven't really looked at exchange rates so can't say anything about the relative prices.

Iain L
 


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