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Taking my car to Europe

I am relocating to The Netherlands. I would like to take my car: Honda Fit Sport (manual shift) '07. It has 60,000 miles on it. Would there need to be changes made to have it become legal and functional in Europe? If so, is it worth the cost or shall I sell it?

This only works if Uncle Sugar or your company is paying the shipping both ways…otherwise, buy a European car when you get there and broaden your horizons…

This may be useful.

Ed B.

Tough question Monique. Although the Fit is just the right size for Holland,and sold there, and it’s easy on gas, the European specs are a little different. Years ago my couisin in The Netherlands had a Dodge Colt (Mitsubishi Lancer), and my brother here had the “same car” (Dodge Colt). But here were many differences. The Fit is sold in Holland and is called the “Jazz” there. This needs to be explained to the customs officials, who may claim a Fit does not exist.

A typical Fit (or Jazz) sells for about 20,000 Euros in The Netherlands, a good deal more than in the US. That would be without automatic or air condtioning, of course. Many Dutch mechanics are baffled by those two things.

The US allows members of the Foreign Service and Armed Forces to import their cars when they come back to the US. If you are with the Dutch government, I would explore that line. If not, go to the nearest Dutch Embassy or Consulate and get the import regulations.

My experience with the Dutch burocracy is that everything has to go by the book, other wise your Fit will end up sitting on the dock in Rotterdam for a very long time.

Veel Geluk!!

Docnick, thank you so much for your thoughtful answer. I think (know) that you are right about the Dutch red tape mentality. Dankjewel en groetjes.

Some years ago, my daughter insisted on taking her Corolla with her to Spain for the Air Force duty. It didn’t fail a lot, but when it did, parts were a major problem. She had to pay air freight on the parts. Some she had local machine shops try to make them. She admitted it was a real pain. I believe she was allowed to sell it to another GI when she came back, not sure, but that is how I remembered it.

Also, modern US cars sometimes have very specific part requirements in the emission systems that may well differ from local Honda’s.

So, it all comes down to what your personal preference and choice is. I try to remind people that economic issues are highly relevant in car decision. It certainly is not our business what your economic status is, but it should be relevant to your personal decision making process.

My personal choice would be, if you can afford it without stress, to sell it here, and buy over there. Paperwork and freight will be significant, which is a major factor.

But, obviously if you can afford it, you can probably also handle shipping and legalization costs.

Also, just how much you are emotionally attached to it matters as well.

That link gave the answer. It refers to an expert in the Netherlands who specifically recommends against importing your own car, because of high taxes that must be paid, and major bureaucratic hassles. There is a 6 week waiting list just to get it inspected.

Ed B., thank you for the link. I think that we will buy a car there. There is a lot of other valuable info on that site as well. Thanks again

Yes we have decided to sell it here. thanks

Goede Reis!

I will be in The Netherlands this summer for a family reunion, and will rent a small car at Schiphol Airport to get around.