PCSin to Germany... Car Questions..

Discussion in 'U.S. Military Services & Veterans' started by ArmyGuy45, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. ArmyGuy45

    ArmyGuy45 XDTalk 10K Member Founding Member

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    So I bought my wife a 2001 Cherokee and plan on taking it with us to Germany. Anyone know the right steps and the easy way to doing this?

    Should I send the Jeep empty? ( tools and jack )

    What docs do I need?

     
  2. UofHdevildog

    UofHdevildog XDTalk 5K Member

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    Did you really mean to say "easy" way?
     
  3. billxdm

    billxdm XDTalk 500 Member

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    Hmm, it might be cheaper and easier to just leave it here or sell it before you leave and buy something out there


    If not you might want to contact a car shipping place for some info

    some info i found with GOOGLE

    Cars

    Be aware of possible difficulties with finding parts or even just service stations for rare cars; rare being defined by the German market. Of all US car manufacturers, only Ford is presently in the German market to a sizable share. To get parts for a Chevy or Pontiac could prove very expensive. Japanese and Korean cars should meet fewer problems in Germany. Of course, practically all European car manufacturers also sell to the German market.
    Whichever way you get your car to Germany, you will very likely have to make changes to comply with German safety standards. The checking is done by, among others, the TÜV. Their experts on car importing issues seem to be Herr Gayk, phone number +49 89 5190 3109, or Herr Schmidt, phone number +49 89 32950 931. Make sure that you can make your car the inspection before you ship it !
    The following are quotes from readers of soc.culture.german.
    To ship your car over, in very broad terms, there are two ways of going:
    • shipping your car door-to-door with your furniture
    • shipping it separately.
    I chose the latter because it is much less expensive. When they ship your car with your furniture, you need a big container and in my case that would have meant wasting a lot of space. Another thing I did to save money is to drop off my car at the port and pick it up at the port in Germany. Finally, I learned there are potentially two middle men on the sending side - the moving company and the freight forwarder. I decided to eliminate the moving company and go directly to the freight forwarder.
    The freight forwarder does things like store your car until the next shipment and fill out paper work. The one I used is called Sea Bridge in Baltimore.
    No matter which way you go you'll need three copies of your title notarized front and back. Note that some readers report they didn't need this. In my case, the freight forwarder is going to make those notarized copies for me.
    In my case the charge for sending my 1992 VW Jetta GL from Baltimore to Bremerhafen is US$744 plus the insurance. The insurance costs 1.5 % the estimated value of your car. If I'd gone through the moving company, the insurance would have been 2.5% the value.
    I understand that when I go to pick up my car in Germany I'll need to pay some German port taxes. The agent at Sea Bridge advised me not to get an agent on the German side. He says that I could do the paper work myself in about 2 hours.
    I shipped a car to Paris. There are three ways to do it. First, you can have the car sent on a car-carrier. This is the most expensive way. Would have cost me about US$2000 to have the car delivered to Le Havre, France.
    Second choice, have the car shipped as if it were household goods - ie, in a 40 foot container. This way they deliver it to your city, and maybe even to your home. Cost runs about US$1000.
    Final way, and the way I did it - I had the car shipped in the 40 foot container WITH my household goods. Ran me an extra US$600 and I simply picked the car up at the shipper's warehouse in Paris.
    Call any major moving company for details. In Washington, try Security Storage, Victory Van, or Colonial Storage.
    For shipping cars US -> Europe you can try Sunship International Harry Zaki (?) 1-800-344-9428 Aug '92: US$900 ​
    in 1992 I selected pick-up at home (in the US) and delivery to the harbor in Antwerp; it did cost around US$ 1000. I had it organized by Rainier Movers(?) (somewhere in Washington state); can recommend them. ​
    Last year I shipped my Mazda from Portland, Oregon to Bremen, with the following costs:
    • Truck to San Francisco: US$250
    • Ship from SFO to Bremen (via Panama): US$800
    • Handling in Bremen: DM300
    • Customs and Tax (Umzugsgut!): zilch
    • remodeling for Tüv: DM600
    Transport: Bossi & CO. Inc., 80 Park Avenue, P.O. Box 69, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, tel +1(201)659-4471, fax 659-4325. Customs: Since I had owned the car for more than 6 months, and my residence was in the US, I was exempted. Otherwise it would have been 15% tax, 10% customs (22% for pickups) based on the value of the car. Insurance: my German insurance insured the car temporarily for remodeling.
    Remodeling: the car is a Mazda Miata, 1990. It's sold just the same in Germany. I had to change: bright lights to H4, turn signals separate from parking lights, brake lights need individual fuses. 1995-3
    British vehicles need to change headlights ... and still have the steering wheel on the other side. But can't do the TÜV without having the headlights converted to continental type. Before also strict emissions testing ...1996-1
     
  4. sdprof

    sdprof XDTalk 5K Member

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    Get all the info from your Transportation Office. It's been a while since I've done this, but you should have the choice of a few different ports to drop off the car - Bayonne NJ, St Louis MO, probably one or more down on the Gulf.

    All you should need in the way of documents are the car's registration/title and your orders.

    Leave the bare minimum of stuff in the car - just the tire changing tools. Especially if you have one of the commercial shippers handle it for any part of the trip.

    In Germany, you are not subject to TUv inspection, but the military will do inspections that are comparable - and way stricter than anything ever done in the US. This inspection is annual with your license plate renewal.

    You will have to get a USAREUR drivers license, which requires passing a stiff test on driving in Europe, and military regs as well. Again, way stiffer than anything you find in the US. If you stay over long enough to need to renew the license, you'll have to test again!

    AAFES garages on the larger bases stock normal parts (belts, hoses, etc) but won't have much in the way of model specifics. Best to keep in touch with a dealer in the States to ship you such items. Or have a family member/friend you can rely on to get parts. A couple of the bases used to run large salvage yards where you might score some parts.

    Wish I was still there!!
    Hahn AB, 79-82, 87-92
     
  5. insatiable ONE

    insatiable ONE XDTalk 4K Member

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    Pm sent
     
  6. cce1302

    cce1302 XDTalk 4K Member

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    1. Talk to TMO.
    2. Do you really think it's a good idea to ship a 10-year old vehicle to the other side of the world? Or is it just something that your wife "has to have?"
     
  7. ArmyGuy45

    ArmyGuy45 XDTalk 10K Member Founding Member

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    Rather ship that than a new one. I heard they might get beat up on the travel overseas.

    There are Jeep dealerships in Europe now so parts will not be a prob
     
  8. cce1302

    cce1302 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Why not sell the jeep and buy a different vehicle while you're there? Is it necessary to take one with you?
    I've never been stationed in Europe, only Okinawa and US. In Oki, used vehicles are a dime a dozen. a $500 car was good for a 1-year deployment, a $1500 car was good enough for 3 years.
     
  9. ArmyGuy45

    ArmyGuy45 XDTalk 10K Member Founding Member

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    I know that this Jeep is reliable to transport my wife and newborn on post or off.

    Hate to take that gamble with a 1500 3 year only car.
     
  10. CPTKILLER

    CPTKILLER XDTalk 1K Member

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    Get with the post transportation folks and find the closest port to where you will leave and from where you will return eventually when you PCS. German roads are a mixed bag. Generally streets in town are often narrow and can be rough and slick when you run into cobblestone roads. The Autobahn is extremely fast. Make sure you have all weather tires because it can be rainy or snowy based on your location.

    Based on the condition of your car (Jeep), keep it if it is OK. If not, make friends with a unit maintenance person who will moonlight working on your vehicle. If you can afford it, consider a smaller reliable car with good gas mileage. If and when you buy gas in town you will be floored and realize why small Diesels in cars are popular there.

    Watch the speed limits. Off of the Autobahn, they are 100 km on the roads between towns and 50 km in town. I got nailed by the Politzei doing 100 km in a unusual 80 km zone. Some cops run radar traps near the gate on some bases and have roadblocks at night to catch drunks near festivals.

    In any case, I never got to enjoy Germany and Europe that much because in an Armor unit we lived in the field. Don't make the mistake that I made. I pcs'd with 55 days leave. Take time off and see Europe when you can afford it. You have a career but you also have a family. In the long haul your family should come first. Mine didn't, bad choice on my part!

    By the way on some bases you can shoot on base. Go to the Rod & Gun Club and find out is going on. I did some shooting on weekends.
     
  11. Planedr

    Planedr XDTalk 1K Member

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    A 1500$ car here is a lot more reliable that a 1500$ car in the states because of the inspections. I have seen cars fail because of rust on the quarters or something as simple as a leaking power steering hose. I bought a 98 BMW 740i for 2K$ when I got here and my wife ganked it from me so I am looking at a 95 525 for 1200$ BMW's are dirt cheap here.
    Remember gas is around 3.10$ a gallon on post this week and about 7$ a gallon on the economy. A small 3 series or Mercedes with a 4 cyl. would probably be a better choice for gas mileage and they are easy to get worked on.
     
  12. titaniumskull

    titaniumskull XDTalk 1K Member

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    +1 , all in a nutshell
    Fulda, Neu Ulm, Schweinfurt. 1985-1993
     
  13. nalioth

    nalioth XDTalk 2K Member

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    FYI, the military ships cars for it's service members.

    No need for out-of-pocket expenditures, or dealing with Luigi.
     
  14. imafireman

    imafireman XDTalk Newbie

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    i got bounced all over the world but like a couple other guys had said bringing the car with is probably more expensive than just selling and buying a different vehicle. usually you can find someone who has had a vehicle and is ready to get rid of it for various reasons. officers are a good place to start
     
  15. titaniumskull

    titaniumskull XDTalk 1K Member

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    Rust hole big enough for a pincky can be a failed inspection. An oil wet spot ok but a drip hanhing is a fail.
    That's why you won't see as many cars broke down on the side of the road in Germany vs the US.

    Autobahn is fun and not boring like in the states. But it can suck the gas out of you quick. I know. I been on every one of them except any new extensions after 1993. Great scenery. Road rules in Germany make intersection accidents rare compared to the States.

     

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