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Trying to bring an approved used Mercedes to France.


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Well this should be a good laugh for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I live in the Loir et Cher and I want to buy an approved used Mercedes 220cdi estate right hand drive in the U K. Well I spotted one on the Mercedes website and I phoned the dealership for more info re number of owners and date of reg etc.

I said I would pay a retainer over the phone on my debit card (R B S UK) and they said it was ok and if when I got to the garage in Bromley I didn't like the car they would return my retainer.

I had meanwhile spoken to my bank to explain that I might be paying a large sum (the balance if I chose the car) by my debit card and the bank said no problem.

I asked about 1 weeks insurance to cover me to my home here until I could go to my broker to arrange cover.All well and good.

Well I received a call later from the dealer (official Mercedes garage) saying that they were very sorry but Mercedes would not allow them to sell me the car because my official residence was in FRANCE.

I sent an e-mail to Mercedes-Benz UK asking them to explain the situation and today I received a phone call from Mercedes FRANCE telling me that I could not export thr car to France.Wait for it!!!!!!!

He said I couldn't get a certificate of conformity because the steering wheel was on the right hand side and the lights would have to be changed etc .Also why did I want a right hand drive car and why didn't I look for a used car in France.

I made an enquiry for a Jaguar XF at a Jaguar dealership in the U K and went  into the same details as before and then asked would there be any problem for them because I lived in France and his reply was ''When you have paid us the money you can do what you like with it''

Have I missed something somewhere as I brought a Nissan over here 4 years ago and re registered it for a french number. Whatever happened to the EU directive of free movement of goods between member states?


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Hi Barrington,

I did exactly the same in Oct 2009 without any problems.

I looked at used cars here and the prices were very high compared with UK so I bought a 7 month old E220 CDI from MB Maccclesfield(09 reg). I used my daughter's address for tax and insurance. I told the salesman where we lived and he ok with using my daughter's address for tax and insurance.

There was a CoC in the handbook.

I had a new speedo and lights fitted here.

Overall I saved about £9000.

The only problem was an officious guy in the tax office who said I could not register it as it was less than six months old- rubbish. I went back with a fluent french speaking friend and there was no problem this time as we saw a very helpful woman.

I think MB are having a laugh.

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I have just called the MB dealership where I bought my car and I spoke to a salesman and yes there is a prohibition on exporting used cars from one country to another.

There is an embargo on selling MB cars to certain south-east asian countries but they have been getting round it by buying in UK and then taking the car abroad!
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There is no reason why you cannot buy an approved used Mercedes Benz in any EU country and bring it to France so I suspect there may have been some sort of misunderstanding on the part of your UK dealer.  As the new owner, you would be entitled to an EU certificate of conformity which will allow you to register the car anywhere in the EU.  The certificate must be issued in the car's country of current registration, ie by MB UK, so it's not clear why MB France became involved.  MB France will normally require a change of headlamps before they will issue a conformity certificate, but neither the position of the steering wheel nor your preference for a UK purchase are of any concern to them.

I bought an approved used Mercedes E220CDi just before Xmas.  I'd originally looked at MB France for a specific model but at the time, there was only a limited choice.  Buying from the UK was a non-starter, given that prices were actually higher over there and I didn't see the point of paying a premium to own a car built specifically for an offshore island where they drive on the other side of the road to everyone else in Europe and where the car's RHD configuration would mean additional import/conversion costs as well as diminished value and limited resale opportunities in the much larger continental market so I ended up buying one from a small family MB dealership Germany.

The dealer sent me full details of the car, photographs, service records and copies of the car's German title and registration certificates which included the previous owner's details.  He also supplied me with a full 12 months pan European factory warranty, EU certificate of conformity (in German), and arranged all the export documentation and transit plates.  No holding deposit required, just payment of the full invoice price by credit transfer direct into his bank account the day before collection.  As it turned out, heavy snow in South Germany meant I couldn't drive across to collect the car (no snow tyres on my Peugeot) so he offered to truck it across to Strasbourg and meet me off the TGV.   I never even saw the car until I drove it off the station forecourt and it was exactly as described.  Total cost to collect the car and bring it home was 35€ for a TGV ticket (with free upgrade to first class), 53€ in peage tolls, and a tank of diesel.

As the German transit plates only came with third party insurance, I'd asked my insurer (MAAF) to issue a temporary all risks certificate under the car's German registration number for the drive home then issue a full one once I produced my new carte grise.  The prefecture knew exactly what all the German documents were and my provisional carte grise was plonked into my sweaty palm.

Overall, the car cost me around 3,000€ less than if I'd bought the same model in the UK....[;-)]


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