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Old 02-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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You think life is tough here to have a nice car??? Think again!

I just returned from Europe (France, actually) and of course I look for what people drive.

First thing I noticed -again- is that practically everybody drives really small cars like Fiestas, 205s, 500s. Families drive small minivans and then there are just commercial vehicles. Even the MD of the company I work with drives an A3 Diesel.

Another observation is that these vehicles are Diesel.

To have a nicer car is sooo expensive, I hardly saw a nice car like an S-class Benz, 5 or 7 series BMW or -gasp- a Porsche of any type.....

Gas is at least 4x more expensive. Nice cars are subject to luxury tax and CO2 taxes.

I am happy to live here in the US, people in Europe think I must have a lot of $$$ but when I tell them how things are over here they are really

To add insult to injury car prices here are MUCH cheaper! When I tell them what we pay for a nice -used- car......

Not only France but other countries like Germany are very similar.


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Old 02-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #2
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Oh but some are even worse... like Denmark's 180% car tax! (so a $50,000 car in Germany = a $140,000 car in Denmark)
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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but they do have a better selection.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Its not only Europe - here in Australia, a new base Boxster is over $120,000, and an S model is $150,000 before you start adding options.....
And no, the government won't allow you to import one either - that upsets the local importers whe have large lobby groups.
But, I've just seen a second hand 1997 base Boxster for private sale @ $24,000 - thats the cheapest I've evers seen a Boxster advertised.......
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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So if I move I can't take my Boxster? I would consider it at that mark up.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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I think you need to of owned it for 2 years first to avoid massive import tax
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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So if I move I can't take my Boxster? I would consider it at that mark up.

You couldn't even register it here as its a left hand side driver... plus nobody would wan't to buy it as its an import....
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #8
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So if I move I can't take my Boxster? I would consider it at that mark up.
Yes you can. It's call "Temporary import for personal use". There is NO tax however you are not allowed to sell the vehicle, it is a long process to get them plated (certificatessss, homologation, etc), and it has to leave the country with you. Some country (customs) will require a bond on the vehicle, not all.

I'm currently in China and have done this for one P car (needed plate) and 2 superbikes (track only, no plate). Not easy... but doable.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:27 AM   #9
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Well I guess I will take my "cheap" Boxster and drive it around the US on "cheap" gas until I am ready to buy another one.

Sorry it is just tough to think this is cheap around here. I am not doubting the previous post just haven't thought about it being cheap.

Have started to look around in Panama and Belize for retirement but mainly property and health care. Guess I should throw car ownership in the mix.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:01 AM   #10
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You'll find just about everything you want to know about moving to Panama here:

Panama Guide - Thousands of Articles in English

I didn't re-check but if memory serves you can import a car and up to 10 grand in household goods, one time only, if you are moving to Panama under the pensionado program.

There is a Porsche dealership and club in Panama City. You'll need to brush up on your Spanish. When I went there even the receptionist spoke very little English.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:39 AM   #11
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When I went to Jordan in the Middle East a couple of years ago, we rented the cheapest and smallest car because gas was $11 U.S. per gallon. Not all Middle Eastern Countries have cheap gas or oil. For those who don't know, Jordan is the country with the Dead Sea to the left of Iraq. We rented a 50HP Hyundai Atos. Same size as a Smart Fortwo. 50HP was barely enough on the highway and uphills and the clutch was so small, it only went in 4 inches.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
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I went through all the same thoughts when I was Ireland. I had a newer Z4 at the time and saw what they were selling for over there. I told my girlfriend that was going to box-up the Z4 send it over to Ireland and sell it...... buuuut no, took me 10 minutes of research to realize that wasn't happening. I do count my blessings living here in the midwest where things are really cheap!
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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the question you need to be asking is what the average persons wage is in these countries....I would bet that it would all even out...........


let me use a pint of beer for example, no matter what country I went to the beer usually ended up costing $5-$7 US per, regardless of the currency.

countries I have tested this theory in...
Australia (pitchers of VB were cheaper though)
Singapore (mmmm Tiger beer)
Hong Kong
Kuala Lampur

and even though fuel is expensive, last time I was in Germany I saw an awful lot of very nice cars on the road
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
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Even in Canada we pay a premium for gas, electronics, clothings and guns.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
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We get guns here for opening up a savings account
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #16
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Ekam comon, you're close enough to the states to wear poop clothes across and go back over looking like Thurston Howell III
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #17
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Toronto is ~2 hours from the Niagara border so the 4 hours back to back drive makes it a wash for day to day items but I do shop in the US for shoes and clothes.

Canadians who live in Windsor and Niagara Falls do drive over to buy gas and groceries.

Last edited by ekam; 02-29-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #18
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Even in Canada we pay a premium for gas, electronics, clothings and guns.
Yeah my cousins live in Mississauga right by Toronto. I played soccer there for a summer when I was younger.

Whenever my cousins or Uncle come to the U.S., they buy so many things. Mostly computers and electronics, but they also got their cars from here.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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the question you need to be asking is what the average persons wage is in these countries....I would bet that it would all even out...........
I really don't think so. I doubt that the average wage in Denmark is 2.5 times what it is in the U.S., etc. I KNOW that's not the case in France, where average real wages are lower than in the U.S. yet cars (and associated operating costs) are quite a bit higher than the U.S.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:14 PM   #20
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That's not the whole story though.
Wages and car prices in individual countries compared to other similar countries are not the litmus paper for affordability. Its disposable income.
The US has always had cheap(er) commodities such as cars, refrigerators, fuel, TV's etc etc, but relativly expensive costs like state / federal taxes & housing prices (pre GFC) compared with other affluent countries.
Many car producing countries (Italy, France, UK, etc) slap on import duties to protect their local producers. BUT that tends to allow the local car manufacturers to raise their domestic car prices at home so that the delta $$ between imports and domestic is not too large and make the locals look "cheap" ...and because they can.
Ask any ex-pat how well off they are working overseas and is not paying US tax - I know I was when working in Southern Africa and only paying 10% income tax....

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