One wrong button hit and the whole post is gone
. Sorry when the answer is a little shorter now.
The import process itself should be explained by an import shop. To name a few:
GL Imports, TJ Imports, RSC Revultion Sports Car, ...
They bid on your wanted car, and if successfull, handle the whole process, incl. shipment.
What you roughly require:
- agreement for sale
- export certificate
- import certificate / bill of landing
- proof/certificate for paid duty and taxes
As I bought a Skyline which was already imported this list can be incomplete.
When the car is in Germany you require german documents for the car. To get these you require a "Gutachten gemäß § 21 StVZO", which means "certificate according to § 21 street regulations".
Just special trained TÜV people may create these. TÜV=regulations here in Germany.
It makes sense to go to one which has experience with Skylines, which speeds up the process. The import shops normally have the required general documents (f.ex. emissions), which saves you alot of work to obtain these. Let them handle this process.
Some modifications are required, for example headlight conversion (for right lane driving), addition of a rear fog light, and some more things.
Normally the regular inspection is then also executed. If not this also has to be done (breaks, lamps, tire tread, ... the usual).
It you have the certificate §21 and inspection you take all the mentioned documents to the Straßenverkehrsamt (road traffic licensing department). They then create the german documents and you may get your license plate.
You can do all steps by yourself, but it makes sense to let import shops take care of all the steps up to the road traffic licensing department. They can do that for you too, but that last step really is a piece of cake.
So what's your options:
- buy a car from UK/Japan and run through all the mentioned steps (time consuming)
- buy a car which has been imported, but has no german documents and no certificate §21
- buy a car which already has german documents (easiest route)
If you want to drive a modified car and have teh moneyz point 1 or 2 should be the route to go, if possible. Why, you may ask ?
If a car has german documents all modifications have to comply to german street regulations. That doesn't sound special at first. Problem is that EVERY aftermarket part (exhaust, coilovers, steering wheel without airbag, wheels) then requires a TÜV certificate for the car to which they are mounted.
Easy for cars which have been officially sold in Germany. Non-existant for the Skyline.
Which means you requite an exception certificate for every modification, which can get costy. Also that's not possible for all parts.
1) steering wheel without airbag: Totally possible before creating the certificate. When you already have german documents then the airbag is mentioned there. Replacing the airgbag-steering wheel with a non-airbag steering wheel reduces the safety of the driver, which makes it almost impossible to drive that legally.
2) wheels: Require a TÜV certificate where the Skyline is mentioned as approved, so you may mount them on your car. If you have none (which WILL be the case) you require an exception approval, which is expensive. If they're already mounted on the car before creating the certificate you shouldn't need that exception approval.
I can write an endless list of examples, but I guess you get the point. So if you get a car which has no german documents and NO certificate acc. to §21, there is still not everything possible, but alot more.
The most well-known shop which helps with TÜV and certificates is RHD-speedmaster.
They created alot of exception certificates for aftermaket parts.
A guick search brought me to that site:
Didn't read it in detail, but seems informative.