USCar Trader in the VOX Spotlight: Revolutionizing North American Car Imports

USCar Trader in the VOX Spotlight: Revolutionizing North American Car Imports

USCar Trader, was recently featured in an informative documentary of VOX Automotive Magazine, broadcast on December 10, 2023. This program provides a detailed insight into our innovative approach to importing vehicles from the USA and Canada.

USCar Trader's Comprehensive Service

With access to over 4 million vehicles, USCar Trader is revolutionizing the traditional vehicle import process. As shown in the VOX Automotive Magazine, we offer a service that resembles local vehicle purchase, simplifying the car buying and import process from North America.

Why Choose USCar Trader for Importing?

Over 50,000 dealers from the USA and Canada present a wide spectrum of vehicles on our platform, from the latest models to classic vintage cars. This diverse offering makes USCar Trader the first choice for importing American vehicles.

USCar Trader Focus at VOX

The VOX documentary emphasizes that our service goes far beyond a simple online marketplace. We provide complete support in purchasing and importing vehicles, ensuring the process is safe and straightforward for our customers.

Summary and Invitation to Further Explore

We are excited to invite you to learn more about our services and our extensive range of vehicles. Discover on our website how we make the process of car buying and importing from the USA and Canada safer, more efficient, and customer-friendly.


Buying Classic Cars: What do car buyers need to know?

Buying Classic Cars: What do car buyers need to know?

 Who doesn't dream of driving a classic American vintage car? In the United States and Canada, there is a wide range of attractive models that you can import to Germany or any other EU country together with However, when buying a vintage car, you should be aware of some important things. We will clarify and help you avoid mistakes.

Ford Fairline

Finding a vintage car can be challenging when car buyers desire a specific vehicle with high rarity value or simply want to fulfill a dream. Often, it is worth looking abroad to buy the desired vintage car. Here, you can find interesting vehicles like the Mercedes SL R129, which should still be considered a young classic. However, there are some things to consider when importing, especially if the car is purchased outside the EU, such as in the USA.

Don't forget the important paperwork!

To be allowed to import the vintage car to Germany and to avoid any problems during registration later on, you should not miss the required documents and papers. These include not only the purchase contract but also all vehicle documents that should be available as proof of ownership from the seller when purchasing. Although a title (comparable to the German registration certificate Part 2) is not necessary for older vehicles in some states, it should be clarified in advance whether the available documents are sufficient for both export and later registration in Germany, Austria, or any other EU country.

For vehicle registration, you will need the original vehicle registration document, the purchase contract, and a full inspection according to § 21 StVZO. The latter is necessary because imported vehicles from third countries generally do not have a general operating permit in Germany.

In addition, a customs receipt, i.e., an import duty notice or a customs clearance certificate, must be submitted to prove that the import duties have been paid.

Customs declaration is necessary

If a vehicle is imported from a non-EU country, which is the case when the vintage car is purchased in the USA or Canada, registration with customs is essential. Customs clearance can be done directly at the border crossing into the EU.

From a customs perspective, imported goods only need to be cleared once in the EU. A German import duty notice is admissible in every EU country as proof and for registration.

Commercial importers who are not resident in the EU country where the vintage car crosses the border into the EU also have the option of fiscal customs clearance. This allows for import without any import duties under presentation of a valid VAT ID number. Proof of the vehicle's transfer to the final receiving country is necessary and should be available to the customs authorities upon request.

However, any importer is free to use a T1 transit document to transport the vehicle to any other country for customs clearance.

Classics from the USA and Canada with discounted import duties

As a "collectible" with discounted import duties

Germany is one of the most attractive countries when it comes to import duties for vintage cars. For vehicles at least 30 years old, customs duties are waived, and a reduced import tax rate of only 7% applies.

The so-called "Customs Tariff 9705" is anchored in Chapter 97 of the EU's Combined Nomenclature. It states that a vintage car must be at least 30 years old and in its original, unaltered condition to be considered a collectible. Furthermore, the respective vehicle model must no longer be in production, which is almost always the case with a minimum age of 30 years. Exceptions apply, for example, to racing cars with a special history.

IMPORTANT: There is no guarantee that the reduced tax rate will actually apply, as the final decision lies with the responsible main customs office. Kit cars with a chassis from e.g. 1965, including the corresponding title, are no longer recognized as vintage cars.

For young classics that have not yet reached the full 30 years, the import duty is 10% of the vehicle value plus the applicable shipping costs. In addition, car buyers must pay the import sales tax, which is usually 19%.

Oddity from Switzerland: If the vintage car is in poor or restoration-worthy condition, the customs clearance will use the vehicle's value after restoration as the basis for assessment, not the purchase price.

If there is no current value, there is even the possibility that customs will initiate a value inquiry at a later date to determine the customs fees retrospectively.

Containers in the harbor

Additional costs: Don't calculate too tightly

When buying a vintage car and having it shipped from abroad to Germany, you should expect additional costs. Apart from age-related problems that may cause additional expenses during the TÜV inspection, vintage cars are generally a cost-intensive hobby.

Speaking of costs: In addition to the applicable customs duties, car buyers should not forget the other expenses. Not only transport costs make the vintage car purchase more expensive when importing, but there may also be costs for the disposal of non-importable refrigerants (R12) or a possible CPA (X-ray of the import container) or a conventional customs inspection. It is advisable to inquire about possible fees in advance. is happy to help.

Buying a vintage car: What should you consider?

When buying a vintage car, especially abroad, you should know the relevant basics. This prevents unnecessary trouble, especially since buying a vintage car often involves an increased risk. It is important to know that the law of the country where the purchase contract was concluded always applies. If hidden defects appear later, it is usually difficult to hold the seller liable.

It is therefore advisable to ask in advance if the vintage car may be examined by an independent expert. If the seller refuses this request, caution is advised. Ideally, payment should be made through an escrow service when interested parties buy a vintage car. This offers the greatest possible security. A down payment of up to $1,000 is not uncommon. This ensures the seller that there is actual interest in the car and no intermediary sale occurs. Nevertheless, car buyers should pay attention to appropriate protection.

Conclusion: Buying vintage cars in the USA/Canada!

Buying a vintage car in North America (USA/Canada) may seem complicated and time-consuming. However, with some experience and expert support, it is worth buying a vintage car abroad. will accompany you and make importing vehicles from the USA and Canada especially easy. From vehicle checks, purchase processing, and escrow services to shipping to Germany, we will take care of all necessary tasks for you.

Proper Care for the Convertible Top and Preparation for Winter

Proper Care for the Convertible Top and Preparation for Winter

Convertible owners have every reason to rejoice when the sun shows its face in spring and the folding roof can finally be opened after a long winter break. Often, the convertible remains in the garage over the winter months, leaving noticeable marks on the fabric roof. To ensure that the convertible top shines again and remains beautiful and especially watertight in the coming years, car owners should not neglect the important care of the convertible top. reveals what matters!

Convertible top opened for cleaning

Car wash is possible, but hand washing is better

Generally, visiting a car wash with a modern convertible is no problem. The material, whether fabric top or hardtop, is not damaged by the soft brushes and cleaning agents. However, the use of hot wax should be avoided as the wax settles in the pores of the fabric, resulting in unsightly white streaks.

Depending on the car wash, there are even special cleaning programs for convertibles, where the brushes move over the car with less pressure. However, this option is rare and can only be found in large car washes. Those driving a classic, like Mercedes SL R129 or BMW Z3, should avoid car washes. Hand washing is much gentler on the convertible and therefore better suited. Car owners can decide how intensive the cleaning should be and which care products are really necessary.

Important basic rule: A high-pressure cleaner can damage the fabric roof! Therefore, it should not be used for cleaning the convertible top. Instead, it's sufficient to first remove coarse dirt with a soft brush. Alternatively, a sponge can also be used, always rubbing in the direction of the fabric structure to avoid leaving marks on the material.

Beware, avoid aggressive cleaning agents!

Light dirt, pollen, or sand can be removed with a dry brush. If necessary, some cold, clear water can help with cleaning afterwards. Only if stains remain on the convertible top after this process is it advisable to use a cleaning agent.

However, it is essential to ensure that it is a special top cleaner that is gentle on materials and acid-free. Aggressive chemicals can attack and damage the material. As a result, the fabric roof fades, becomes spotty, or even cracks.

Even if it's a special care product, it doesn't hurt to test the product in an inconspicuous place. Each fabric roof has its peculiarities, so damage can never be completely ruled out. At the same time, the effectiveness of the cleaning agent can never be guaranteed.

In any case, the manufacturer's usage instructions should be read and followed to carry out the cleaning as effectively and consequence-free as possible. The use of general stain removers, commonly used in households, should be strictly avoided.

An impregnation protects against dirt

Convertible top made of leatherAfter cleaning, it is advisable to apply a special impregnation to protect the convertible top from new dirt. The material should first dry completely to ensure the best possible adhesion of the impregnation. It is generally important to let the convertible top dry after each cleaning and rain in the closed state to prevent mold or mildew stains. Also, odors in the vehicle can be prevented this way.

It is advisable to choose an impregnation with UV protection, which also protects against fading from sunlight. A convertible top has many rubber seals that absolutely need to be cared for. Special care products based on silicone are suitable for this. This prevents the rubber from becoming brittle or cracked over the years, making it leaky.

Depending on the convertible model, there is a plastic window in the rear part of the top, which also shows signs of wear over time. The material usually becomes cloudy, brittle, or scratchy, which not only affects the optics but also safety. Unfortunately, replacing the plastic windows is not easy, so it's better to focus on early care.

What matters in top care

  • Remove dirt as soon as possible
  • Avoid car wash, perform hand wash
  • Remove light dirt with a soft brush
  • If necessary: use as little cold water as possible
  • Aggressive cleaning agents only in an emergency!
  • Thoroughly dry the top after cleaning
  • An impregnation protects against new dirt
  • Don't forget seals, frame & windows

A hardtop makes convertible care easier

Owners of a convertible with a hardtop, i.e., a steel roof painted in the car color, have significantly less work. Visiting the car wash is no problem, and there are usually no differences compared to a classic coupe. If necessary, even polishing the paint is possible to achieve a radiant shine.

However, even owners of a convertible with a steel roof cannot avoid caring for the mechanics. The frame is usually more complex and more robust because a steel roof has a much higher weight than a light fabric roof. Regular lubrication is recommended, but the manufacturer's specifications must be strictly adhered to. A look at the corresponding convertible manual provides information about the need for care.

Cabrio mit Hardtop

The convertible top frame as a necessary basis

The convertible top frame has a significant influence on the functionality and tightness of the convertible top, so the care and inspection of the mechanics should not be forgotten. In the first step, the frame should be cleaned of dust and dirt with a soft cloth. The convertible top box should also be cleaned, as leaves and other dirt usually accumulate here.

If necessary, the joints should be greased. The correct procedure can be found

CAR-IMPORT: VAT reduced from 1 July 2020

CAR-IMPORT: VAT reduced from 1 July 2020

The corona crisis has made it possible for vehicle imports from outside the EU, a lower sales tax, which applies starting from July 1st. This general reduction of the VAT is part of the 130 billion euro economic stimulus package of the German government which also includes import sales tax.

This makes car imports cheaper for end consumers. The standard tax rate will fall from 19% to 16%, the reduced tax rate - interesting for classic car imports - from 7% to 5%. It is important to note that the tax reduction is limited until the end of the year 2020. Until then, the import must be completed. It is therefore worth considering buying a car in another EU country - or within the USA and Canada - in the second half of the year and fulfilling a long-cherished car dream. You save money!

US car imports and exports - What do Trump's punitive tariffs mean?

US car imports and exports - What do Trump's punitive tariffs mean?

One thing you can't blame Donald Trump for - that he doesn't keep his promises from the US election campaign. All those who had relied on moderation and a "natural grinding down process" in office have been proven wrong. On hardly any other point is this more evident than in Trump's trade policy. Barely a week has gone by without new headlines in the international trade dispute since the US President initiated the first punitive tariffs in February. Car imports and exports from Europe to the USA and vice versa are, so to speak, in the middle of the action.

The German car industry has a bad feeling about it, at least since Donald Trump declared in April during the visit of French President Macron, that he would continue his trade policy until no Mercedes could be seen on New York's Fifth Avenue. At the same time as Macron's visit, an inspection order was issued to the US Department of Commerce to check whether vehicle imports threatened US national security. If the results of the check were positive, the US president would have the power to impose punitive duties on cars almost single-handedly.

Customs policy and protectionism - not only by Donald Trump

Only a few days ago, Donald Trump repeated his threat of punitive duties on European cars. In one of his infamous Twitter messages, he waved a 20% penalty on car imports from the EU in response to the European customs sanctions on some US products, which in turn were in response to US punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe. This is what an escalation spiral looks like.

[Tweet from Donald Trump]

Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it's great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018]

Should the punitive tariffs become reality - whether 20 percent or 25 percent, as already been read - this would be a severe blow to the German automotive industry. Last year, Germany exported vehicles worth 22 billion euros to the USA. A total of 1.35 million vehicles from German production were sold in the United States in 2017. However, the majority of these were produced in their own factories in the USA - where punitive tariffs would probably not apply. But around 493,000 vehicles came across the Atlantic to the United States, and some manufacturers such as Porsche or Audi are even 100 percent dependent on this route as they have no US production facilities. Penalty duties would make car imports significantly more expensive and have a negative impact on sales - an effect Trump wanted.

Despite all the criticism of the US President's approach and justified doubts as to whether protectionism can even be effective - customs policy is by no means an invention of Donald Trump. The EU has always been a master in controlling trade flows via customs duties. There are also remarkable "inconsistencies" - especially when it comes to car trade with the United States. For passenger cars, the EU levies an import duty of 10 percent on US car imports, while in the opposite direction, the duty is currently only 2.5 percent. The "customs balance" is more balanced for many pick-ups and light trucks. Here, the EU demands 22 percent for US imports of certain pick-ups, while the US demands 25 percent for vehicle imports from Europe.

Incidentally, the 25 percent rule has a history. In 1963, the then EEC had imposed punitive tariffs on chicken meat imports from the USA. The Americans retaliated with higher customs duties - including on flatbed trucks and light trucks from Europe. The import duty here was raised from 8.5 percent to 25 percent. This hit the VW Bulli, which was very popular in the USA at the time, particularly hard. The dispute cost Volkswagen an estimated 50 million D-Marks. The customs tariff still applies. The "chicken war" could even be considered a blueprint for new US punitive duties on vehicles. It is probably no coincidence that a 25 percent rate is again being discussed. Trump has the argument on his side in the case of car tariffs, that the EU has so far burdened US car imports more than vice versa.

TTIP would have been a chance

But it is not only customs duties that hinder free car trade across the Atlantic. US car imports to Germany are subject to an additional 19 percent import turnover tax, because the tax is also levied on the customs duty. But these are by no means the only import costs. Not to forget, that these are not inconsiderable costs for technical conversion, such as tests, expert opinions, proof, permits, etc. for the operation of US vehicles on German roads, and can easily add up to around several thousand Euros. It remains to be seen whether the extensive regulations for conversion, operation and approval are exclusively factually justified or whether the intention behind them was also not to create non-tariff trade barriers. One thing is certain though: US car imports to Europe already present hurdles that not need be necessary.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would have offered an opportunity to remove such obstacles. With the establishment of a free trade area between the US and the EU, tariff and non-tariff trade barriers on both sides would have been removed in the long term, and would have opened up completely new prospects for car imports from the US. The history of TTIP is well known. The negotiations were launched in 2013, and by October 2016, no decisive breakthrough to an agreement had been achieved, while at the same time, resistance to TTIP was spreading in many EU countries. With the election of Donald Trump as the new US President, further negotiations became obsolete. Since then, TTIP has officially been on ice. Many even believe that the agreement is dead for good. Today, some would be grateful for such free trade agreements.

Soon EU punitive duties on US car imports?

How can things go on now? If Donald Trump makes good on his threat and actually imposes punitive tariffs on car imports from Europe, the EU is likely to respond with countermeasures again. Then car imports from the USA could also be burdened with higher duties. The acquisition costs for popular models such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Camaro, Dodge Charger or Ford Mustang could then rise noticeably - by ten percent or more, depending on the penalty duty chosen. Real US car fans will certainly not be frightened by this either, but the penalty duties would be painful.

But, this would not mean more than a pinprick for US foreign trade. Last year in Germany, just over 19,000 imported vehicles from the USA were registered. Vehicles from US production have a negligible market share of 0.6 percent in this country. This contrasts with the almost 500,000 cars from German production, which are heading in the opposite direction. This is where the German trade surplus with the United States is particularly noticeable.

It remains to be seen whether there will actually be a further escalation. It is difficult to assess the actions of the US president - as well as the European reactions to them. In this respect, much is currently speculation. It would be wrong, however, to see Trump's announcements and threats exclusively as "momentary inspirations". There is already a deliberate policy behind them. The fact that Trump is determined and has no consideration for others, should have become clear since the last G7 summit.

Rising dollar makes US car imports even more expensive

In addition to the discussion about punitive tariffs, the dollar has gained significantly in recent months, while the euro is weakening. Compared to the beginning of the year, it has lost 2.7 percent against the dollar, and even 6.6 percent against the euro from its high in February, when the euro was just over 1.25 euros, and as a result, US car imports have become more expensive. The strength of the dollar is primarily due to the flourishing US economy and rising interest rates in the United States. In Europe, on the other hand, interest rates remain at zero and uncertainty is growing. Against this background, the euro could become even weaker. Therefore, now would be a good opportunity for US car imports, before the dollar becomes even stronger and punitive tariffs are possibly added on top. The issue of free trade between Europe and the USA will probably only come up again in the post-trump era.


New EU cars as an alternative

Ford is one of the traditional brands in the automotive industry in Germany. The US car manufacturer entered the German market as early as 1925. Today, new Ford cars are manufactured in Europe at the main plant in Cologne and other EU production sites. With models such as the Ford Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta, Ka and many others, Ford offers its customers primarily mid-range and small cars in numerous equipment variants.

Reimports: thanks to differentiated pricing policy

Re-imports are now used by many car buyers as a low-cost alternative than buying through the local dealer. This also applies to new Ford cars. Reimported cars were originally produced for other EU markets. Car manufacturers pursue a differentiated pricing policy in the individual national markets, depending on purchasing power or tax regulations, vehicles are often offered there at significantly lower prices than in Germany. Reimports allow these price margins to be exploited despite the transaction costs, and a re-imported new Ford car can therefore be significantly cheaper than a normal dealer's vehicle despite the discounts granted. The price advantage can be in the range of 20 to 30 percent.

Watch out for EU vehicles

It is important for re-imports that the vehicles are EU vehicles. Then, thanks to the EU regulations regarding warranties and guarantees, the same regulations apply as in Germany, with the buyer receiving the usual two-year manufacturer's warranty. With other re-imports, the situation is different. Incidentally, re-imported Ford EU new cars do not differ in quality from normal Ford vehicles. Only the standard equipment may vary slightly depending on the conditions in the original target countries. If necessary, longer waiting times for ordered vehicles may have to be accepted for re-imports.

Ford EU new cars: there are many possibilities

There are many dealers in Germany who carry new EU cars in their range or who have specialised completely in such re-imports. EU vehicles at for example, the customer can even take advantage of a wide range of services.

The advantage of buying from an EU vehicle dealer is that many models are in stock and can therefore be purchased without long waiting times. Many dealers are present with their offers on the Internet and you can even find some search engines with which you can search online for new EU cars.