Honda Civic Hybrid to Europe: Is it worth it?

Dear Forum,

We’re contemplating shipping our lovely Honda Civic Hybrid to Europe. We’ve checked online and it seems like the shipping part wouldn’t be that bad. BUT, we’re not so sure what it would cost to pay taxes and possibily modify the vehicle.

Does anyone have any insights?



I am assuming you are going to a country where they drive on the right side of the road, i.e. not England, Scotland, Ireland, etc. If not, just forget about it.

Ususally this type of thing does not work out well. European cars have very tough CO2 emission standards; 140 grams per kilometer. Your car may or may not meet that. Your safety gear is probably OK.

I would contact the company you are going to work for, or the US Embassy, and have them send you the import requirements for new vehicles and personal use vehicles, both for possible taxes, and tecnical regs. Without a complete familiarization, you may be asked to make some very expensive modifications.

Also, hybrids are not making much of an inroad in Europe, since most cars are available with very frugal diesel engines at only slight extra cost. Honda can tell you whether they can provide hybrid service in Europe.

I once tried to help a friend to bring his Mazda 323 home from Venezuela. This car was assembled in Colombia and lacked a number of safety features, such as rear seat belts, and crash resitant bumpers. The modifictions required were more than the car was worth.

This is a complex issue, and you really have to do your homework!!

Good luck!

Just checked the European Price List and Honda Hybrid with a 1.3 liter engine sells for 23,990 Euros in Holland. So it is sold there and service should be available.

Where will you live?


Bringing your car to Germany should be no problem-- people in the military do it all the time. Be sure you check ahead of time that all your paperwork is in order, but it should likely be no problem at all.

That said, how long are you going to be living in Europe? If you’re actually moving there permanently, I’d sell the hybrid before you leave. As Docknick pointed out, hybrids aren’t very popular in Europe because of the avaliability of more efficient diesels-- you yourselves might want one of those instead-- and consequently if you’re there for the long term you might have issues getting it serviced, not to mention that you probably won’t be able to sell it if you decide it’s not a good car to have in Europe.

Figure out the costs. The truth is there are incredible diesel cars over there that get mileage on par if not better than the Hybrid and diesel is cheaper fuel than gasoline.

I would make sure that US military and diplomatic personnel don’t have special dispensation in bringing their vehicles into Germany. If you go as a private citizen, different rules may apply. In any case, I would sell the Civic for a good price in the US, if you are going over for any length of time, and buy a frugal diesel in Germany. There is an abundance of biodiesel over there, so you will be environmentally correct.

Good Luck!@