Direct import - How it works.
You want to buy a US car at a reasonable price without having to travel to the United States? A direct import might just be what you are looking for. Since such an import isn’t subject to a reseller commission, you can easily save a few thousand Euros. There are, of course, some formalities to take care of before the car of your dreams can be delivered to your doorstep. US Car Buddies will assist you with all direct import activities. Please find below a detailed breakdown of the procedure and our services.
Found an interesting US car?
We regularly showcase US vehicles that we can import for you on our FB page. Maybe you've already found a car on Craigslist.org or Ebay.com that you would like to buy and import directly. We will guide you through the entire process up to your dream vehicle’s delivery to your doorstep.
Step 1: Request further information about the vehicle
First, we will contact the seller and gather more detailed information about the vehicle including photos and video footage in order to get a more accurate impression of the vehicle’s condition. We will then share this information with you. If you are still interested in the car, we will set up an appointment to inspect the vehicle.
Step 2: Vehicle viewing appointment
Please only ask us to arrange a viewing if you have a genuine interest in making a purchase. This takes several hours to complete and ideally results in a purchase agreement as there are always several potential buyers, and good vehicles tend to get snatched up quickly. To cover travel and inspection expenses we ask you to deposit an advance of € 1000 into our German account. As soon as the amount has been credited to our account, we will arrange to visit the seller.
If possible, we try to schedule the visit for a time when you are available too. We will stream the vehicle’s inspection via WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. This gives you the opportunity to assess the vehicle’s actual condition yourself and ask questions. If you have specific questions regarding the vehicle or would like us to show you certain parts, we can do that on the spot.
We will share with you the exact condition of the vehicle without sugarcoating possible defects. In case the inspection does reveal any defects we will inform you right there and then. If the condition of the vehicle is nothing like indicated in the ad, we would also discourage you from buying.
Step 3: Make buying decision now
You should be ready to make a purchasing decision right after the inspection.
Option 1: You want to buy the vehicle. Our office in Germany will issue an invoice payable within one day, with you transferring the amount into our bank account in Germany. Afterwards, we will complete the purchase and take care of everything else right away: Ship the vehicle to the port of departure, handle customs clearance in the United States and shipping to Germany, arrange customs clearance and unloading in Bremerhaven. The vehicle will be delivered to you with its American Certificate of Title (equivalent to the German motor vehicle registration certificate) and a clearance certificate. Both documents are essential for the approval of US cars in Germany. Provided you don’t commission any repair work in the United States, the entire delivery process usually takes between 6 to 8 weeks.
Option 2: The vehicle doesn’t match the seller’s descriptions or you don’t want to buy for some other reason. In this case we will immediately refund your deposit minus the inspection and travel costs (flat rate of € 200).
Other services subject to a surcharge:
Vehicle repair work carried out in the United States by a German mechanic
Following the purchase of the vehicle, you can opt to have the vehicle checked out for any defects by our experienced German car mechanic in the United States and, if necessary, have them fixed on-site. It’s a lot easier and faster to get spare parts in the United States. Also, the mechanic can carry out a proper inspection and prepare the vehicle for the TÜV examination. That way the vehicle will already be in very good condition when it arrives in Germany.
Delivery to your doorstep
Once the vehicle has cleared German customs you can pick it up directly at the port in Bremerhaven. Or, you can have your US car delivered straight to your home. We will gladly make you an offer for any of the above services.
Do you have any further questions about the process? We are looking forward to your call or your email.