Car Question

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by DJ, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. DJ

    DJ New Member

    Hi All! I am an American moving to the Czech Republic from Germany to live with my wife there. I own an American-made 2003 Ford Focus and it is with me here in Germany. I love this car! My wife says it will be very difficult to import the car to Czech. Does anybody know what I need to do to import the car or where I can find information on this matter? I know that people own this type of car in Czech. However, since my car is built to American Specifications, does anybody know if this will make it more difficult to have the car serviced? I am no mechanic, but I think the basic difference between American and European cars is the emission standard.... Finally, I heard that since my Focus is an American design that I would need to change the lights to the Czech standard? Is this true? Like I said, I love this car and I have paid for it in full, so I would hate to have to try to sell it! Please, if anyone has any ideas or answers, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thank You!

  2. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    I am no expert in this, but I suppose if your car is allowed to drive in Germany, Czech limits should be little problem.

    I even suppose, with this European Union thing, that once you have a car allowed to drive in one EU country, driving it to the others should be no problem at all.
  3. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    CR may have different rules, but I know that in Estonia several Americans have had trouble registering their imported cars (and you have to do that if you're staying for more than a few months) because of the all-red back lights. Then again I've seen a few on the streets with Estonian plates, so probably there's a back door somewhere :)
  4. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    we have American man. cars here. It used to be that we were issued different license plates, denoting us as foreigners, now that has changed (youd get pulled over alot, for money)!

    Never heard about the lights issue. Many have their cars serviced here, I wouldnt sweat it, but be prepared to pay a heafty duty tax to get it in, and once in, it is useless to try to get it out ( far too expensive) you end up selling them here...
  5. DJ

    DJ New Member

    Thanks for the quick responses!!!! I have been reading these boards for several months and have noticed how friendly and helpfull everyone has been! Really, I greatly appreciate your assistance!

    My wife mentioned that there may be a problem with the lights, but that we could have it fixed in Czech. The only reason I am able to drive the car in Germany with no problems is because I work for the U.S. Government there. If not, I would have to change the lights to the German standard.

    Do any of you know if I sold my car to my wife if that would make importing it cheaper since she is a Czech citizen?

    And KJP, you mentioned that I could sell the car in Czech.... how difficult is it to sell a used American Spec. car? Do you know if a Ford dealership in Czech would take my American spec. Focus as a trade in?

    I know, so many questions that you may not have the answer to...... but I thought I would give it a shot!

    Again, Thanks all!

    Take Care,

  6. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member


    There are Ford service and showrooms here. As far as selling it to your wife (ouch, arent you supose to be giving it to her :)I am not sure that that would help, Czechs usually don't look to take their cars into Germany on a permanent basis, of course we can drive across with Czech plates, stay and just keep it registered in Cz.

    I would like to ask you about your position in the governement, but think that email would be best for this type of question, might you email me at ?

    I'd appreciate it DJ. Let me know if I can be of any further help. I sugest your wife investigate this link:

    for professional help on the topic...
  7. Sam

    Sam Active Member

    We went through exactly this, we moved here from United Arab Emirates and brought a US made Ford Escape with us. We registered the car into my wifes name in UAE first (she's Czech, I'm English), because the car was registered to her and as long as she didn't sell the car within 1 year of importation into CR, there was no duty at all to pay.
    Regarding conforming to Czech standards we had to take the car for an inspection and take the papers to Ford Motor Company HQ in Prague. Ford have a special department where they charge you a ridiculous fee for giving you a certificate which you then present with the other papers to register it. It's a fair bit of running around, but it isn't the drama you might think it could be and economically it is well worth it.
    We certainly didn't have to change any lights or other parts.
    Good luck if you need any more help feel free to email me:
  8. Sam

    Sam Active Member

    I forgot, regarding servicing;
    the Ford Escape isn't sold in Czech at all let alone in US spec, but we've had servicing carried out by the Ford dealer in Brno, they've been great, we just give them notice of when it needs servicing and they order in the parts in advance by using the car's chassis number on their computer. They've been very helpful.
    With a Ford Focus I'm sure you wouldn't have any problems at all if you make a trip to the nearest dealer and explain the situation to them.

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