Importing a big American car to Europe is a dream of many folks living abroad, but there's a reason why it isn't common practice. American cars, especially older ones, can be tricky to maneuver across borders for various reasons. That being said, it's not impossible, as an American YouTuber by the name of Kerleem recently documented.
Kerleem lives in the Netherlands but he decided to buy a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis while in Florida. The ultimate goal was to bring it across the Atlantic so he could use it as his personal daily car. He eventually managed to do it and the big Panther-platform car looks hilarious amongst the cyclists in Amsterdam. You must know, however, that such a treat cost him big bucks.
How much, exactly? The final price to get the fancy Grand Marquis shipped, imported, and registered to Europe came out to 8,200 euros, or about $8,400 at the present exchange rate. Kerleem used a company called SCL Rotterdam to get the car across the ocean. It handled most of the process from start to finish, which Kerleem said was a big help for someone who has never done something like this before.
Kerleem bought the car in Florida in mid-March and drove it to port in Savannah, Georgia. After some paperwork, it was across the ocean by late April and on dry land soon after. Things got a little tricky after that.
Inspections in Europe are generally more strict than those found in the United States, as some states don't even require inspections. Kerleem's car wasn't equipped with side-marker lights or a rear foglight from the factory, for instance, so they had to be retrofitted. Things like the steering, brakes, and headlights also all had to be "adjusted" in order to pass inspection. The YouTuber claims the Grand Marquis had too much play in the steering to be considered safe for Dutch roads, which I get a kick out of. The thing isn't even that old.
Europeans also love to tax the heck out of everything, so they taxed the heck out of Kerleem. Luckily, his car was too old to qualify for emissions tax, but he still had to pay a 21 percent VAT tax as well as 10 percent import duties. Both of these taxes are based on the vehicle's value on the bill of sale, so keep that in mind for any future imports you might make into Europe.
Kerleem doesn't state what he paid for the Grand Marquis, but 8,200 euros to get any vehicle road legal in Europe is pretty steep. That being said, Kerleem says that more commonly imported cars go through the process smoother. In a nutshell, if you want to bring over the Camry you bought from your brother for $500, it'll likely be pretty straightforward. If you buy a Corvette from a dealer, it's probably going to get expensive. An '04 Mercury is somewhere in the middle, I suppose.
In any case, it's cool to see a big, body-on-frame V8 American sedan on the roads in Amsterdam.
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