Ask Jack: Cross the Pond or Ditch the Ride?
If you’re in Manhattan on a Wednesday night, you need to head to Arthur’s in the village and catch the 10 p.m. set by soul singer Allyson Williams. She has one of the all-time great voices, expressive and touching, and she has a rotating group of crack musicians backing her up.
A few years ago, I sprawled out in Arthur’s in the middle of a post-auto-show drinking binge when Allyson decided to cover Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire.”Â For a chance to be with you, the song says, I’d gladly risk it all. At the time, I took it as a personal rebuke from the Fates for having abandoned the woman I loved. Although I’ve returned to the scene many times since then, I’ve never heard her sing the tune again. Maybe I imagined it. Hard to say.
If you really love someone, you’ll endure a lot to be with them. And that’s the problem facing Eddie, although in his case it’s not a matterÂ of going “through the fire.” Rather, it’s a questionÂ of shipping across the pond.
Let me start by saying that I completely understand how Eddie feels here. I recently fell in love with the E90 for the first time on a long passenger ride to a motorcycle show. Hindsight has been particularly kind to this generation of Bimmer.
As Dominic Toretto would say, however, “You might be in my good graces / But you’re not keeping your car.” This isn’t because it’s terribly difficult to bring an American car to the UK, because it’s not. The Individual Vehicle Approval process is fairly straightforward. From what I’ve read, the biggest issue is usually headlight and taillight compliance, which in this case should be easy because UK-compatible lights are easily obtainable. It’s possible that you’d have to pay up to 30Â percent in duties and VAT, although the duties might be waived if you’ve owned the car for over six months, leaving you with just a 20-percent surcharge plus the cost of shipping.
And that is where we start to get into the meat of the problem. It’s expensive to ship the car, expensive to have it put through the IVA process, and expensive to be taxed on the total. The costs can vary wildly depending on relatively minor issues â€” and when you’re done you still have a car that is more expensive to insure because it’s LHD and has what the UK insurers consider a massive engine.
I’m thinking it would be considerably cheaper to sell the 328xi and buy something like this. You’ll want the better fuel economy in a country where “petrol” costs equal toÂ $5/gallon even today. It’s no trouble to find a manual-transmission BMW in the United Kingdom, as it’s still the default drivetrain of choice for 5 Series and below cars. It’s easier to operate a RHD car in the UK, particularly in traffic. And the process of purchasing and insuring the car is far more straightforward than the import process. It’s one thing to be an English hobbyist who is jonesing for a Corvette; it’s another thing to try to move your entire life to Great Britain and handle your car at the same time.
Last tip I’d offer: don’t buy a diesel. “Derv” is on the decline in the UK and pretty soon you won’t be able to drive a diesel-engined car into most population centers. Be smart and get the same thing you’ve got in the US â€” only a little bit less. It might hurt to leave your baby on the wrong side of the Atlantic, but take it from this formerly heartbroken man: time heals all wounds.
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
May 4, 2017 at 08:04AM
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