Importing a car to finland

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kanachicken
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:11 am

Importing a car to finland

Post by kanachicken » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:25 am

Hello,

I will be moving to Sodankyla for work in February. For my job having a car is a must.

I have heard that importing a car from the US may be cheaper than buying a car in Finland due to the high taxes. Is this in fact true? Do any other people have experience with this? I would not be looking to bring in an expense sports car with a high margin of taxes, but rather a cheap daily commuter.

I have also read from older forum posts that your imported car must be in your possession for 6+ months in your previous country before it can be imported tax-free. If I do bring car to Finland, I won't have it bought until mid-January. So would I have to wait 6 months before I could have it shipped over to Finland?

Thoughts, advice and experience are greatly appreciated on this topic. I am looking to make the most economical decision here.

Paljon kiitoksia :ochesey:



Importing a car to finland

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Upphew
Posts: 9912
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by Upphew » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:34 am

kanachicken wrote:Hello,

I will be moving to Sodankyla for work in February. For my job having a car is a must.

I have heard that importing a car from the US may be cheaper than buying a car in Finland due to the high taxes. Is this in fact true? Do any other people have experience with this? I would not be looking to bring in an expense sports car with a high margin of taxes, but rather a cheap daily commuter.

I have also read from older forum posts that your imported car must be in your possession for 6+ months in your previous country before it can be imported tax-free. If I do bring car to Finland, I won't have it bought until mid-January. So would I have to wait 6 months before I could have it shipped over to Finland?

Thoughts, advice and experience are greatly appreciated on this topic. I am looking to make the most economical decision here.

Paljon kiitoksia :ochesey:
6 months before _you_ move, not the car. So you have to delay your move, not the car's.
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Rosamunda
Posts: 10609
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:07 am

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:05 pm

Imo probably better to buy a car here that is already kitted out for Sodanlyla roads and weather. How long are you staying here? Is it a permanent move?


brexit
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by brexit » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:25 pm

Upphew wrote:
kanachicken wrote:Hello,

I will be moving to Sodankyla for work in February. For my job having a car is a must.

I have heard that importing a car from the US may be cheaper than buying a car in Finland due to the high taxes. Is this in fact true? Do any other people have experience with this? I would not be looking to bring in an expense sports car with a high margin of taxes, but rather a cheap daily commuter.

I have also read from older forum posts that your imported car must be in your possession for 6+ months in your previous country before it can be imported tax-free. If I do bring car to Finland, I won't have it bought until mid-January. So would I have to wait 6 months before I could have it shipped over to Finland?

Thoughts, advice and experience are greatly appreciated on this topic. I am looking to make the most economical decision here.

Paljon kiitoksia :ochesey:
6 months before _you_ move, not the car. So you have to delay your move, not the car's.

I think both requirements must be met. You must prove that you have lived outside Finland at least for a certain period of time (My intuition says 1 year) and you must have owned the car in that country for at least 6 months before your move. However, please note that you can not sell the car for two years and if you still want to sell you need to pay the tax. If you get the shipping cheaply, importing a car from abroad is cheaper even if you pay the tax here. Make sure that you are importing a reasonably new car, then only you can make some profit. Please check Tuuli.fi for more and accurate information. They also advise you by phone if you call them.


DMC
Posts: 1230
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 am

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by DMC » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:26 pm

brexit wrote: I think both requirements must be met. You must prove that you have lived outside Finland at least for a certain period of time (My intuition says 1 year) and you must have owned the car in that country for at least 6 months before your move.
Unless something has changed, merely owning the car in the original country is not enough; you must have been using the car during that period. I wanted to import a car I had owned for 12 years but I had not been using for a couple of years prior to moving because I had been restoring it. The customs said the car had not been in use immediately before my move so it could not be tax exempt. I did eventually successfully appeal that decision but it took about 8 months for the case to be decided. During that time the car was sat on the docks in Finland, exposed to the Finnish winter and undoing much of my careful restoration work.


kanachicken
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:11 am

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by kanachicken » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:59 am

Thank you all for your responses. Does anybody know which finnish government website I can find information telling specifically that I need to have a car in my possession for 6 months outside of finland before I can import it? I tried the tulli.fi website but it was under construction.

Thanks.


priki
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:02 pm
Location: Tampere

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by priki » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:22 pm



PJG
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by PJG » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:19 am

By the time you factor in shipping costs, insurance, handling fees, winter wheels/tyres, block/coolant heater, interior heater, import inspection (which you pay for...about 300 euro), katsastus (annual inspection).... Then the fact you must keep the car for 24 months after it's 'cleared', the fact nobody else (except a spouse) may drive it, possible complications with spares (depending on vehicle make/model/specification)....

I've done it. From within the EU. Tax Free, as they say here. Honestly, I wouldn't bother doing it again.

Depending on the fuel economy of your own car, you might rule it out entirely. Petrol is running at about Eur 6/US$ 6.50 per US Gallon at the moment, for regular, not premium. If you're doing anything more than short runs about town, much more than a 2L turbo may be much more expensive to run than you'd like.

Have a look on Nettiauto. Here's a listing for petrol (Gas) engined, automatic transmission Skoda Octavia's, up to 10 years old, just as an example:

http://www.nettiauto.com/en/skoda/octav ... yfrom=2005

I picked the Octavia as it's a common, popular model of saloon here. They're reliable, affordable for servicing and take mileage really well. They're very popular in many European countries as taxis, so you know they won't break the bank in running costs.

I can see a couple of great looking options there from dealers, all ready to go with summer and winter wheels and tyres, heated seats, winter pack setup etc. Don't be put off by higher mileage than you may see in the US. The very thorough annual inspection plus the long distances here mean cars are well maintained but accrue mileage more rapidly than in other countries/locations. 1000kms is about 600 miles, for reference, for someone else reading this later even if not for you.

Most will have textile seats or occasionally half leather types. That surprised me, but a leather seat is miserable to heat in the winter, so the smart Finn lets his ass do the thinking on this one and picks textile seats. I'm convinced. I'd rather give the seats a clean more often than have to freeze in a leather seat during the winter and roast during the summer. This may all be known to you, but I'm conscious others will read it for ever more on the internet...

The site is in English also, so you can have a look and play around with different cars/specs and see how it will all work out. Keep in mind that diesel cars attract additional annual motor taxes, so unless you'll be driving upwards of 25k miles or so, petrol will be cheaper.

I'd also avoid thinking that a US import will be attractive here, if it's a run of the mill family sedan/wagon. From what I've seen, Finns prefer cars which were originally sold in Finland as they know they're a full nordic spec car with all the associated options to make winter driving comfortable. It was around -18C today in Helsinki. That's must below 0F. A car without the full complement of heaters is hell here in the winter. Don't underestimate it. I did and it cost me a small fortune to prepare my Euro spec car for motoring over here.

Hope that's helpful.


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Piet
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Importing a car to finland

Post by Piet » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:45 pm

PJG wrote:By the time you factor in shipping costs, insurance, handling fees, winter wheels/tyres, block/coolant heater, interior heater, import inspection (which you pay for...about 300 euro), katsastus (annual inspection).... Then the fact you must keep the car for 24 months after it's 'cleared', the fact nobody else (except a spouse) may drive it, possible complications with spares (depending on vehicle make/model/specification)....

I've done it. From within the EU. Tax Free, as they say here. Honestly, I wouldn't bother doing it again.

Depending on the fuel economy of your own car, you might rule it out entirely. Petrol is running at about Eur 6/US$ 6.50 per US Gallon at the moment, for regular, not premium. If you're doing anything more than short runs about town, much more than a 2L turbo may be much more expensive to run than you'd like.

Have a look on Nettiauto. Here's a listing for petrol (Gas) engined, automatic transmission Skoda Octavia's, up to 10 years old, just as an example:

http://www.nettiauto.com/en/skoda/octav ... yfrom=2005

I picked the Octavia as it's a common, popular model of saloon here. They're reliable, affordable for servicing and take mileage really well. They're very popular in many European countries as taxis, so you know they won't break the bank in running costs.

I can see a couple of great looking options there from dealers, all ready to go with summer and winter wheels and tyres, heated seats, winter pack setup etc. Don't be put off by higher mileage than you may see in the US. The very thorough annual inspection plus the long distances here mean cars are well maintained but accrue mileage more rapidly than in other countries/locations. 1000kms is about 600 miles, for reference, for someone else reading this later even if not for you.

Most will have textile seats or occasionally half leather types. That surprised me, but a leather seat is miserable to heat in the winter, so the smart Finn lets his ass do the thinking on this one and picks textile seats. I'm convinced. I'd rather give the seats a clean more often than have to freeze in a leather seat during the winter and roast during the summer. This may all be known to you, but I'm conscious others will read it for ever more on the internet...

The site is in English also, so you can have a look and play around with different cars/specs and see how it will all work out. Keep in mind that diesel cars attract additional annual motor taxes, so unless you'll be driving upwards of 25k miles or so, petrol will be cheaper.

I'd also avoid thinking that a US import will be attractive here, if it's a run of the mill family sedan/wagon. From what I've seen, Finns prefer cars which were originally sold in Finland as they know they're a full nordic spec car with all the associated options to make winter driving comfortable. It was around -18C today in Helsinki. That's must below 0F. A car without the full complement of heaters is hell here in the winter. Don't underestimate it. I did and it cost me a small fortune to prepare my Euro spec car for motoring over here.

Hope that's helpful.
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