Importing a used car to the USA


I purchased a new 2003 Hyundai Sonata GLS in Saudi Arabia. It has less than 25,000 miles on it, and is in like new condition. Now I am ready to leave and move back home to the US, but can’t get more than $7000 for it if I try to sell it locally. I would like to know what’s involved (govt permits, inspections, emissions retrofiting, airbags retrofiting, customs duty, shipping costs, etc) with bringing my car back with me to Texas.


It’s probably impossible to legally bring this car into the US unless it was built to US standards at the factory. It will be impounded by US customs at the port.

Unless the car conforms to all US safety and emissions rules applicable when it was new, it cannot be imported.

Retrofitting is not economically feasible. Sell the car for whatever you can get and buy another car when you get home.


Here is a pretty good website. Note that the first thing is to gain EPA approval of the emissions system. Good luck on that one.


It’s near impossible to do something like this without spending a fortune.

If I was in Saudi Arabia and someone offered me 7 grand for a 5 year old Hyundai Sonata it would have been sold and gone already.
You may easily spend 7 grand making it compliant for the U.S.


That’s about what you’d get in Texas if you sold one that meets US regulations. Sell it. Just the freight would be too much to justify bringing it back. You could buy a replacement 2003 Sonata GLS for about the same money when you get home.


The blue book price of this car is a bit higher than $7k, but you’ll have all kinds of trouble getting it “legal” in the states. How much will it cost to ship? I think you had better bite the bullet and sell it for what you can get. Rocketman