Retrofitting a 2003 Jeep Libert Limited to meet European Specs

I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty Limited which is in good mechanical condition. I am the only owner, car has 107000 miles. Car has 60% hail damage as of 18 Aug 03 when it was in a tornado. Paint is intact and no rust - car just has golf ball like dents. I am moving to Germany. Is there any advantage to retrofitting the car to meet European specs and keeping it? Have been trying to sell it without success - other option is to donate to charity. What do you think?

What did you get paid for the hail damage by the insurance company?

The economics of converting a vehicle from one set of standards to another is prohibitively expensive, if not impossible. In your case, definitely not recommended. I would take the insurance money, sell the car for parts, and buy something used in Germany while you are there.

We get many posts from readers who are either trying to import a vehicle into the US or are going overseas, and nearly always we recommend against it.

If you were going to a country with little or no vehicle standards it might work. Germany is one of the toughest countries in the world and the inspections are very thorough.

Dump the Jeep… Once in Germany, you will have so many fine vehicles to chose from…To bad you can’t bring one back…

the cost to ship the vehicle alone might exceed the value of the vehicle. multiply that a few times and you might be able to retrofit it to Euro specs(right hand drive, moving the pedals, instrument panel in the dash, ignition module, etc.)

Euro specs are not the same as UK specs.
Cars in the UK are driven on the left side of the road, but in all countries of continental Europe, they drive on the right, just as we do in the US.

Thanks, I think you are right. Appreciate your response.

Can you recommend a German car to buy?

Guess I’ve been watching too much Top Gear then. :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m still pretty sure the shipping charges will be prohibitive though. Though I think I read somewhere you can have the vehicle for up to a year, then it either has to be converted, or scrapped.

One family we visited in 2004 all owned Ford products. The other family owned Opels. I rented an Opel Astra and thought it was a good car. When I was stationed in Germany in the 70’s, owned German Ford and a Fiat that did well. Seems that folks who owned Peugeot, Citroen and Renault all had more problems than the ones who stuck with Ford, Opel, Fiat.

My advice would be to shop the car dealers and make sure that the car you choose will (dealer guarantees) pass the TUV (German vehicle inspection). As an American soldier, we had a different (more lenient) inspection process, so I am unfamiliar with all the TUV requirements, but they are very strict on body rust as well as the mechanics of the car.

Toyota and Honda both have made in-roads into the German car market, so you could probably purchase one of these brands and be OK. Obviously, sticking with German brands will make sure you can get the car fixed if you break down “out in the German boonies” sometime.

By the way, I forgot to answer your first question. I got $11,000 from the insurance company in 2003.

If I can keep the car in Europe for one year without having to retrofit it, and the shipping is free, should I take it with me?

I am getting free shipping. Will check about keeping the car for one year without retrofitting it. That’s a really good tip. thanks,

Are you in the military? BMW makes some really cool Diesel 3-series cars. Fiat makes some nice ones to. Your beat-up Jeep might attract a lot of unwanted attention…Check German fuel prices before you go…

If you are either in the military, or a civilian who is doing a permanent change of station to Germany, then the whole conversation needs to change. You may not need to change anything to German specs, due to status of forces agreements.

I am retiring from Army as a civilian, and Army will ship the car for me as it is cheaper to Germany than to my home of record. Am going to Germany for pre-retirement visit to set household up. Will ck with Jeep dealer, Tuev, and customs to see what they recommend. I give it less than a 50% chance.

Others have recommended Fiat to me also.

thanks for your help.


Have you actually looked into what it will take to convert it to Euro specs? I don’t think it will take much, if anything. You do know that they actually sold these in Europe right? (Although almost all of them came with the Mercedes turbodiesel engine).

Other than the fact that you’re not going to want to be driving a gas-guzzling SUV while paying European fuel prices, I don’t think it should be an issue (and assuming Uncle Sam is paying to ship it).

Congratulations and thank you for your service as a member of the Department of the Army team.

Since you will be paying market prices on fuel, looking for an economical new or slightly used car would probably be your best choice.

Best wishes on your retirement.

Lose the Jeep…Don’t even THINK about it…Don’t get hung up on the “free” shipping. Milk the cow from the other end…

Take the car with you if you get free shipping. You likely can dump it after a year or likely sell to a US military person who is exempted from euro standards.

If US military at least in Italy they did not pay Euro taxes on fuel via vouchers. Basically price was close to back home.

Apanane; you are looking forward to some peace and relaxation in your retirement. Owning a dimpled and traditionally unreliable foreign car in a perfectionist country like Germany spells many sleepless nights. Like, for instance, finding a German mechanic to fix it.

Once again I strongly recommend against taking this vehicle. Once you become a civilian there, the full force of the German law will apply.

Get rid of the Jeep and buy something locally that does not guzzle fuel.