Tax Free cars - Good or Bad idea

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by smart_sapper, Oct 22, 2003.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Soon to be returning to Germany after several years.

    The rules have now changed slightly as I believe has the second hand car market. Does anyone have any advice on whether it is currently:

    a. A good way of getting a nice new car.
    b. A great scam and guaranteed money spinner.
    c. A dead duck sure to loose you money.

    Any particular horror or success stories?
  2. I know people who are raking in fortunes from doing it. It isnt a scam, the're acting well within the law and rules.

    If you have a wedge of ready cash, its a good way to make money. Go for high end cars (beamers, mercs, audi etc), keep milage as close to the limit as possible and sell at sometimes a considerable profit.

    If you dont have the ready cash to buy outright, you are likely to wipe out a large proportion of your profit with interest on the finance for the car. Also, i know some who set up their car deals with a particular dealer in the UK and plan their purchases over a year in advance, to what the dealer wants to buy back - its not illegal, but i suppose it could be seen as an abuse of the system.

    If you can get the right deal, i say go for it. You get to drive around in a posh motor for a while, and then make back a few grand before going onto the next one - aint germany hell :D
  3. Tax Free cars in Germany are still a good buy. Don't even look at Fords/Vauxhalls etc as they are cheaper in UK with normal discounts than they are here. Merc SLK/CLK always a good buy.

    Now just to correct a slight error in the last message I read when the author claimed it not to be illegal to purchase a car with the intent to sell back to a dealer at a profit...... well actually it is and if he or she reads BA (G) Standing Orders then they will see that it is illegal to buy a car with the intent to make a profit.

    There again, unless you declare this - who would ever know. I know lots of people who buy top end Mercs etc with the intent of losing money on the deal only to find to their disappointment that they end up making $1000s.

    Get a mate in Germany to send you a recent edition of Sixth Sense as it is 75% car adverts.
  4. I would like to thank SIB_GOD for pointing out the error in my last post - i am aware that buying with the intent to sell is against the rules - i just didnt put it very well - like you say SIB, who's going to know?

    Can i expect the feds to come knocking my door down now? :wink:
  5. Just one piece of advice:

    Ensure that the duty free vehicle you purchase is full European specification and has a Certificate Of Conformity (COC). Without this it will require you to have the vehicle Single Vehicle Assessment (SVA) tested at some small cost (@ £ 150.00) on top of registration, MOT (If over 3 years old and Road Tax. Plus if this was not enough, the majority of Insurers inflate their premiums considerably on 'grey import' cars.

    I went through the ballache of trying to import a Jap Import into the UK from Cyprus, believe me it wasnt worth the hassle.
  6. Ensure that the vehicle comes with four wheels and headlights. I've heard some right stories of people being ripped off.
  7. Unfortunately, the days of the easy buck are over. When you could change your car every 6 months, it was a lisence to print money. Now, however, with you having to hold on to your new car for a year before you can sell it, there is less to be made. There is still the possibility of making a fair bit of money though if you do your homework.

    Even with a little knowledge, you can break even i.e. get a one for one swap after a year. When the 5 Series BMW came out, Park Lane were offering a guarranteed 1 for 1 swap at the year point.

    The most important thing to check is desirability. It's pointless getting an expensive car if they are more common than spots on a wh**es bum. I got burned with a BMW because every man and his dog had a 3 series. However, do a little research and you can make a fortune. Whenever BMW or Merc bring out a new car, you can guarrantee everyone will want them. Get your name on the waiting list (sometimes 6 months in advance). The Z4 was a prime example. Get one of these babies when they first come out, you can bet dealers will still pay over the odds a year later because they will still be rare. BMW limit their production to make them more desirable!

    Another good bet is an X5. You can make £7000 profit on each one after a year (maybe a bit less now but check with a dealer as to what they would give you).

    Big Mercs are a good seller but we are talking SL 500s.

    You don't even have to go down the tax free route. Because tax is much higher in places like Belgium, the base price of the car is much cheaper. You can then export it to the UK the following day, pay the UK VAT on it and still make £10,000 plus on a 500 SL. This is totally legal as long as you declare the profit to the tax man. You have to be careful that you don't do too many a year though or it will be classed as a business!!
  8. Try the new BMW mini X5....think its the X3. Sholud be a nice little earner.
  9. Glad to see you can still make a profit out of it , even though your not trying to !!!!
    In the mid seventies was the envy of a lot of officers (and senior ranks) in the garrison, when as a full screw I was driving a Porsche for a year followed by a Lotus, thanks to co operating car salesmen who at first thought all "squaddies" were thick and an easy mark :lol:
  10. yes and i have asked about tax free cars the in vogue company at mo is they offer there best price the first time..they work on little margins and have a lot of contacts for used and new car dealer groups in the UK I have been told.. 8)
  11. sorry got to disagree on this point. I have made a healthy profit on two different Ford cars thank you very much.

    Word of warning though, when I left Germany about 6 weeks ago I knew a few people who were losing out big style (losing over £7000) on their large cars (Range Rover and Merc C Class for example) because the road tax for these cars is due to go up massively next April.