Be cautious when buying a used car that's notched up a few years
In the USA vehicles happen to be not as well maintained and serviced as in Germany. Sometimes, not even a recent check in a repair shop guarantees that further repairs can be avoided - requirements in Germany are quite a lot stricter.
Californian vehicles are not necessarily free from rust. Some American mechanics are geniuses at applying body filler and spray painting is relatively cheap, so always take along a small magnet when you take a look at older cars.
In the USA, the model year is a key criterion when buying new vehicles. Generally, the major vehicle manufacturers change their models in autumn, i.e. the models on offer in the year 2007 are already in the shop windows in autumn 2006. In some cases, models are even changed in spring!
New cars from the previous model year that have not been sold by then are sometimes offered at considerable discounts and are real bargains! Amateurs can easily find out the model year via the vehicle identification number.
By the way, all US vehicles as of the 1971model year can take unleaded fuel and do not require lead substitute petrol additive .
Since 1972, the engine power of American vehicles has been quoted in net SAE HP, roughly corresponding to our DIN HP; before this year, engine power was defined in gross SAE HP which was considerably higher than our DIN values.
Should you have any questions on vehicle import, please don't hesitate to contact us at TÜV SÜD. We will be pleased to be of service!