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Old 21st July 2009, 14:24   #1
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Default Help Decide - Import Merc E270 on a TR or buy used in India

I am putting my dilemma to the forum members and hope to reach a decision based on advice offered.

I am currently based in UK and will be returning to India (Bangalore) on a permanent basis in couple of months time. I currently own a Mercedes 270 CDI Avantgarde, bought brand new from the showroom in Dec 2004 for 30000. The car has been maintained by MB all along, only has 33K miles on the clock and has no problems at all. And I love my car.

I am now torn between importing this car to India on TR or buying a similar Merc in India (or for that matter a brand new sedan/4X4 in the 20-30 lac budget). Rather than take an emotional decision, I would like to take a commercial view on this. Here are some numbers that I have come up with:

Depreciation till Sep 09 using Customs rates (54%)
Depreciated value of the car - 16,200 or 13lacs INR
Insurance and freight on the car - 1.5Lacs
Customs Duty @103% 13.35 Lacs
Road tax and Registration in India (No idea on how much and what cost will this be worked out)
Plus other costs like agent's fee etc.

I would therfore need to pay an additional 15 lacs plus reg costs to get this car to India. I will also have to forego the money I can recover (about 12Lacs) by selling the car in UK and avoiding all the hassle.

So the question is is it worth paying effectively 30 Lacs (1.5+13.35+12+Reg costs etc) and drive a five year old car with the peace of mind that you know the car or instead buy a used E class or a brand new car for same price.

Also, I am aware with the new E class launch in India, price of the current model will drop significantly more and faster.

Any advice/thoughts will be welcome.

Also, what should one expect to pay for a similar car (4-5 year old, low mileage E class) in India.

Thanks in advance
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Old 21st July 2009, 16:33   #2
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I thought the advantage of getting a car here on TR is that you pay less duty. Am I missing something obvious?
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Old 21st July 2009, 16:57   #3
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Boss 2004 E270 CDI rates in Mumbai are going for anywhere between Rs. 16 to 20 lacs that to for cars hardly run 10 to 20k miles
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Old 21st July 2009, 17:19   #4
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There have been few changes done in the cars sold in India to suite our road and traffic conditions. These are not merely related to ground clearance or suspension, but related to the relianbility of the engine and common rail systems e.g. fuel filter and fuel pump designed to cope with possible bad diesel.

What I just wanted to say is don't base the decision purely on the economics sense - there are more dimensions than we can imagine. You could also ask Mercedes Benz UK - but most possibly they won't answer.
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:28   #5
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Sell off the car & buy a used E270 / E280 in India. Advantages:

- Far lesser hassles, channels & paperwork.

- Could work out cheaper. As canonball mentioned, you should be able to get a clean example for 18 lakhs. Handful of lakhs more, and you can drive a stonking E280 home.

- Localised for India car (suspension, air-con & cooling system).

Budget upto 30 and an S320 CDI is yours
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
I thought the advantage of getting a car here on TR is that you pay less duty. Am I missing something obvious?
Well, I know, even I am quite surprised by the high duty rates. I have looked up the rates on some of the other forum discussions/links. I do hope some one proves these rates are incorrect.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 10:18   #7
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103% is the basic customs duty. Besides the basic duty there are other levies which when added up totally works out to about an average of 167%.
There is a very common misconception about TR rules in India. One common one being that there is 0% duty or low amount of duty on a car when it comes on TR. A TR is the only way a used car is allowed to be imported to India. There is a no other way that a used car can be imported. Fot this privledge the Government charges very high import duty. @ Immortalz, When you say that getting a car in on TR the duty is less, but lesser than what? There is no other rate of duty to Import a used car.
@ Car fanatic. dude do not even get into importing a car by TR. Too many hassles and too much red tape. Have a 2006 E280 Cdi with 27K on the clock for 24 lakhs and a 2007 E280 CDI with 36K on the clock for 28 lakhs. Both cars are in pristine condition.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 10:42   #8
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As far as my knowledge goes the TR system was abolished, so now anyone can import a car at a flat duty rate. I might be wrong but am confirming this. The duty was 108% to import a car and it cannot be more than 3yrs old. There always are the extras that would have to be payed and the hassles you would have to go through. There would also be a penalty that would have to be payed for an older car.

S600Benz how did you come upto 167%?? Are you catching even the bribes,Freight, stocking charges in this?

Car Fanatic your better off selling the car there and useing the money here to get yourself another Mercedes. As per your estimates you would end up paying somewhere in the region of 33 odd lakhs. In that price you have a choice between a brand new 3 series, Audi A4 and the C class. If you dont mind the second hands then the 5 series, E class, S class.
530d 2008 model done 19k kms asking was 32, 2005 S 350 with the AMG kit with low kms asking was 35 lakhs.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 15:11   #9
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One go,sell your baby & buy a used one here in India for the same price.
Hazel free.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 15:30   #10
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I think the answers are clear. Other aspect is that your car is conditioned to use on smooth roads etc. A sudden change in usage patterns might hasten wear and tear.

If you were bringing back a classic sports car or a heavily depreciated secondhand car (VW Phaeton / Range ROver), it might be worth considering. However the customs valuation is always the big unknown
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Old 23rd July 2009, 16:04   #11
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Folks

Thanks a lot for your inputs and advice.

As mentioned by Ajmat, the verdict is very much one sided to sell the car locally in UK.

@S600Benz - even I read some where that after adding the levies etc. the duty rate is indeed close to 160% (as if taking a decision to not import even at 103% duty was difficult)
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Old 25th July 2009, 10:56   #12
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@Speedy. Came up with 167% cause I know people who used to import on TR and also few years ago have dealt in a few cars which had been imported through this route. Will try to look up if any old Bill of Entry lying around or will also try to get one from some dealer and scan and mail it to you so you can understand the intricacies of the duty structure.
Also if you will note Car fanatics last post he has also figured out that the total of all Levies does indeed work out to around 160%.
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Old 25th July 2009, 12:28   #13
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Default Not worth it

I agree with every single post on this thread. Its just not worth the hassle. Theres a s320 2001 model going for 30lcs negotiable here. Makes no sense importing your car. these customs formalities are totally convoluted. Only meant for crooked car importers etc.
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Old 26th July 2009, 17:33   #14
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See below the link to the section of Customs Duties applicable for TR Imported Cars.

The Duty rate is more on used car and less on brandnew unregistered cars. But for new the price will be as decided by the rate list of Customs and not the actual purchase invoice (that is a Catch)

This is what is available on the Indian Consulate website in Dubai (links). May be its changed somewhat since.

CF, best route for you is to sell in UK and buy a new one. If you are to get INR 12 Lac for the old one in UK and savings on Duty INR 15 Lac, you re only short by a small margin to get a 2009 model car in India.

(I was thinking on these lines a couple of months ago and the feed-back from the forum has made me change my mind.

But for bike it will be another game altogether for me (my dream machine)

Take care and Drive Safe

Ram



JEWELLERY
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:37   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
See below the link to the section of Customs Duties applicable for TR Imported Cars.

JEWELLERY
Just went through the link.

So does this mean that if someone imports a brand new vehicle from abraod, without regn, then the duty on it is 103%, and if a used/registered vehicle is imported one has to pay 160% duty?
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