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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!

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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.

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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 autoport-koeln.de 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.

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The new Street Magazine is here!


For all US-Car enthusiasts among you, here is a small overview of what the upcoming Street Magazine has to offer!

"THE mandatory reading" for all fans of US cars, muscle cars & Co.

Content Street Magazine No. 2-2013:

35 RAT ROD FIAT | Falling Apart? Ha!

'61 BUICK ELECTRA CUSTOM | Lowrider is a little higher ...

'56 COMMER PICKUP CUSTOM | Uncommon Pickup ...

72's PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA | Muscles and Sexappeal

70's CHEVROLET NOVA SS | The Sleeper - Compact with Power

'77 CHEVY CAMARO LT | Now an Exception

'69 PLYMOUTH GTX | Big Block Boss ...

FORD 1928/ 1932 HOT ROD | Model A and B in one?

MUSCLE CARS II | Mustang Mach1 Boss, Cobra Jet 1969-71

ON TOUR | With Camaro private on Route 66

TECHNOLOGY | Carburettor overhaul

TÜV | Street Legal?

DRAG RACING | Tierp Drag Racing Arena, dates

SATIRE | Helges Punks and Cars

Plus meetings, appointments, scene, classifiications, and so forth...

In stores April 2nd, 2013!

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STREET MAGAZINE American Cars, Lifestyle & Scene


Read it – experience it: “STREET Magazine“ and “STREET Mag Shows“ – the perfect couple, when it comes to American car culture and the newest trends in the scene!

For nearly 20 years, the “STREET Magazine“ is the specialist magazine of the German-speaking world, when it comes to the American car scene and those associated lifestyles. If you are interested in the many-faceted American car culture – such as hot rods, customs, muscle cars, lowriders, new-age cars, NASCAR race cars, dragsters, or whether you prefer classics from the twenties to the seventies, –, the “STREET Magazine“ is a strong recommendation for you.

In addition to the very detailed and informative articles about the finest American cars of the decades, or to the many sought out vehicles from Europe, such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria and many more, this also including from the United States, the “STREET Magazine“ also offers an excellent overview of all kinds of lifestyles associated with the German and international American car scene. From Rock ’n’ Roll to tattoos, and pinup-art to the latest trends, you're sure to find something that keeps you wanting more!

On top of that, you get exciting photo reportages about all the American motorsport sectors. Including information on the German and international trade shows, useful hints from our tech specialists, and a detailed overview of all the well-known used and new American car dealers. As well as auto shops, importers, parts and accessory suppliers, and even event hints. Or maybe you are looking for an American car, a rare part, or simply want to sell some parts or even your car– and for that we have a large classified section for you to browse through!

The “STREET Magazine“ is the only specialist magazine of the German-speaking world, hosting a series of events within Germany, Switzerland and Austria every year – and with remarkable success for more than two decades. But the “STREET Mag Shows“, involving more than 2,000 American cars and motorcycles all over Europe– just know, that these are not your regular American vehicle events.

Our diverse program includes many events such as: a moderated stage presentation, a car contest with an expert panel, live music, show acts, drag racing performances, and different American foods. The “STREET Mag Shows“ are always an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Not to mention a must for everyone who is enthusiastic about the American way of driving, thundering Harley-twins and that unique sound of big-bore American V8 engines!

The “STREET Magazine“ is packed with more than 100 pages, comes out six times a year and is available to you in gas stations, kiosks, newspaper stands at airports and railway stations, and at the periodicals rack in the supermarket in the German-speaking world. In case you prefer the easy way (especially if you are not from Germany, Switzerland or Austria), you can also order your subscription worldwide, and you will always find your newest copy waiting for you in your mailbox.

And don’t forget to visit our website!


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Port handling and unloading of vehicles


In order to keep the risk of damage down as much as possible during shipping and unloading from the container, we placed particular importance to professional loading in the USA and unloading without the aid of forklift trucks. Since the majority of the unloading companies in the Netherlands unfortunately do not forego the use of fork lift trucks, we have switched to importing all vehicles to Europe via Bremerhaven. In addition to the cheaper costs for port handling and possible stand fees, we can thus guarantee our customers proper unloading. Of course, when importing via Bremerhaven, there is also the option of customs clearance at reduced import taxes for vehicles that are more than 30 years old. Customs clearance takes place at the Dutch border in the course of delivery. The costs incurred are the same as the costs for an import via the Netherlands, but with the reduced risk of damage we strive for and the full control of the entire import process.

Should you have any further questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email!

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Customs clearance of vehicles (vintage cars) in France or the Netherlands


Since we have received some inquiries regarding customs clearance in France and the Netherlands, we would like to draw your attention to the new regulation again.

Since July 1st, 2012, the Netherlands have reintroduced the old regulation for vehicles over the age of 30. This enables customs clearance again at reduced import duties of 0% customs and 6% import sales tax.

Of course, customs clearance in France is still possible. The import duties amount to 0% customs and 7% import sales tax. Since the costs for customs clearance in France are considerably more expensive than in the Netherlands, we recommend customs clearance for imports from the USA to the Netherlands!

Since vehicles only have to be cleared once in the EU when they are imported from third countries, the ultimate place of delivery for the vehicle is not important. The advantage here is that any higher input taxes in other EU countries are of no consequence for a US import and there is a considerable potential for savings.

Of course, we are always happy to answer any further questions by email or phone.

Your USCar Trader Team

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US Cars, Muscle Cars, Oldtimers and American Cars on USCar-Trader.com


We are thrilled about the successful start of our portal and would like to thank all users and dealers for the consistently positive feedback!

We have already noted some suggestions from users for the further development of the portal and will incorporate them. You are welcome to send us further suggestions for improvement, as we are grateful for your praise and criticism.

If you have any further suggestions, use our inquiry form or send us an email to info@uscar-trader.com. Of course, we can also be reached by phone at any time.

Your USCar Trader Team

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The Street Mag Show Hannover will start in just a few days.


As always, we expect these great highlights:

  • '59 Cadillac Pro Mod Dragster "Badillac" from Sweden! The strength of 3,000 hp in a cool package!.
  • An Impressive lowrider show with spectacular vehicles.
  • Awards for the best and most original show cars by an expert jury in 22 trophy classes. Presented by Otto Meyer-Spelbrink.
  • Sexy Car Wash
  • Live music with the "Red Back Spyders"

The Red Back Spyders perform wild rockabilly, as well as well known Rock 'n' Roll pieces from the early 50's to today! The lifestyle, but also the goal of creating your own is the basis of these energetic shows!

We looking forward to seeing you there and hope to, as always, have perfect weather and sunshine!

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Start of USCar-Trader.eu, the marketplace for vehicles from the United States


We are pleased to welcome you to www.uscar-trader.com!

Search vehicles directly at the portal or send inquiries to our registered dealers to locate your dream vehicle.

We are constantly striving to improve our service. Therefore we're always pleased to receive feedback or suggestions for future development of our website. Write us!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for more information and future updates.

Please contact us if you have further questions, we're always happy to help.

Your team of your USCar Trader

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