Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

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Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby horacebat » January 26th, 2016, 3:06 pm

Our Demountable Experience.
So we started looking at demountable about a year ago. We met Darren from Adventure Overland UK the distributor for Bimobil, and Jed (of Campervan Culture fame) at a few shows, and they gave us a tour of their Bimobils, which were absolutely stunning, but a new one was out of our budget at close to £80k to £100k.

We’d had bigger campers in the past, an Iveco 40.10WM and smaller ones, a LR with Roof Tents and a VW Syncro, but needed something that wasn’t as bit as a HGV (less than 3.5 tonnes), was allowed in the LEZ, was 4 wheel drive, and had the ability to live in for a bit with a shower and a loo.

We didn’t care if it was from abroad, and as we wanted to use it a lot in Europe, a left hand drive vehicle would be ok.

The research
There is plenty of advice out there, the demountable group is a good place to start (both FB page and Forum). Also we set some alerts up for eBay (in the UK and Germany), as well as mobile.de which had a good selection of demountables which you could also set an alert for. the brand you fancy. (I had a search going for Bimobil, Tischer, and Nordstar).

So after looking around at a few, we knew exactly the model we were after. The Bimobil Husky 230, the 2L Model with a loo, shower and flip up back that brought the outside in. We contacted a few, the older ones didn’t quite have the spec we were after. So we were quite fussy in that regard and you do get a gut feel about the seller and if they’ve looked after the vehicle. In our case, we met our new friends Gerhard and Nicole from just outside Munich. He’d owned it for 4 years, and had been to Brittany, the Alps and Wales for trips with his family. He was very straight about the vehicle, it had had a full Mitsubishi service history and we requested a lot of HD pictures, which showed it had been well cared for.

Within a few days and a back and forth, we’d booked our tickets to Munich with the intention of purchasing, a return just in case it wasn’t for us!, we’d also agreed a price, that if I wanted to take it away. Doing all this prep up front ensures that you have a smooth purchase.

So, having made the decision I was going to buy a demountable I purchased insurance a week before we travelled. We did have a shop around but Camptons were the most reasonable by far (circa £300 to be parked in central London in the road!). To insure a vehicle thats being imported you need to have the chassis number, and its this thats referenced on the cover note until you have a UK registration.

Also prior to the trip we did a bit of research (much of which is below!), one of them was to include requesting the required import forms from the DVLA (V55/5), this took about a week to come through (https://www.gov.uk/dvlaforms)

The purchase
In Germany ADAC is the equivalent of the AA in the UK. They can provide you with european assistance for a very reasonable price. They can also help with vehicle contracts. We used an ADAC contract, which has two parts to it, the vehicle details are entered on the form. You then sign something that says you agree to buy it, and once you’ve paid for it you sign the second half. There is an english translation equivalent too, which helps with the translation. Fortunately for us Gerhard was excellent in english, and where things were a problem, google translate came to the rescue.

We arrived in Munich at the beginning of November, the demountable was what we expected and more!, we were taken through the paperwork on the service history of the vehicle, gas certificates, tow bars, air suspension. The demountable bit of the vehicle has spent a lot of time in storage, where they’ve used the truck independently so was in excellent condition for the age. At that point we agreed to purchase the vehicle so signed the first half of the ADAC form.

Money wise, as we were on a tight schedule, and we needed to do the transaction quickly, we took cash with us, it was a little unnerving carrying all that cash around, but as soon as we got to hotel, it went in the safe, and on the day of purchase, we met Gerhard at the bank at 8am, and we duly paid the required amount into his account. At that point we signed the second half of the ADAC form. Another point worth noting is that is worth shopping around for foreign exchange. We found a place in central London that was a couple cents difference to the bank. A few cents isn’t much on one euro, but on 10’s of thousands of Euros its worth hundreds of pounds.

A point worth noting, you can take unlimited cash around Europe! but are limited to 10k Euros if you want to take it outside of Europe.

We then came to the German Vehicle Agency. in Germany, the number plates are registered to the individual rather than the vehicle, so change every time the vehicle is sold on. We found the the agency, is a very efficient place. Out appointment was at 8:30 in the office to seal the deal. At 8:30:02 the number came up and we went to meet the Frauline who was going to deal with our transaction. 45 minutes later, and a number of trips back and forth to the number plate place, everything was stamped in triplicate and we were relieved of 100 Euros or so for the import plates and some compulsory included insurance in Germany, the rest of Europe (but not France and the UK!). They didn’t like our insurance for some reason, they said it wasn’t valid.

After a load of form filling, we returned with the equivalent of the German V5 and the 5 day insurance.

We left Munich at 9:15am, after waving good bye to Gerhard and Nicole (and a few pictures of us shaking hands!), and texts to their children who were upset that they’d sold the vehicle. We promised to look after it!.

We then drove the 700 miles back to England, via the channel tunnel, Customs on the French side had a nose, asked a few questions about where we’d bought it from, we headed to the Channel tunnel, and got back to London at just before midnight.

In the UK

Once back in the UK the fun starts, as the insurance company hope you get the registration completed within a couple of days, in reality this whole process took around 8 weeks, some of this was due to our not understanding the process, some of this was just due to red tape. After a while we were informed that it was best that we had better not drive it until the registration was completed.

The first thing you need to do when you arrive in the UK is register this as a new vehicle via the governments NOVA scheme. This is relatively simple. Just a matter of taking the German ownership form and interpreting what each element it says on the form, and rekeying it into the government form.

You then need to fill in the V55 (which is a carbon copy form!) with a black pen. The V355/5 guide to completing the form is actually a help (Application guide to filling in a V55/5 ) This requires you to complete a lot of the information that you’ve keyed into the NOVA online form plus also supply the following:

1. UK MOT - our local chap is excellent, and helped get an MOT just for the chassis number. We have put RHD lights on the vehicle.
3. Type Certificates from Mitsubishi Germany (Mitsubishi UK were not very helpful), they initially wanted to charge £120 for a certificate, but it turns out you need to get one from the place it was first registered. Mitsubishi Germany however were excellent, and provided a national type certificate. Mitsubishi Germany also spoke perfect English.
4. 2 x cheques - £55 new import duty and £225 - tax for 12 months
5. 2 bits of the German Registration (the equivalent of the UK V5)
6. The completed V55/5
7. Insurance with the chassis number noted on it
8. MOT with the chassis noted on it.
9. Photocopy of Passport
10. Photocopy of Gas / Water / Council Tax

It took about a month to get this together, and we diligently sent this off to the DVLA.

A week later it was all returned, requesting that this needed to be a PLG and not a light vehicle, and that the cheque / payment needed to be an extra £5. We then sent the paperwork back with the new cheque, and within a week (23rd Dec), the new V5 came through. I do need to change the GVW on it as it has air suspension at the back, but that will be a battle for another day.

Would we do it again
So, would we do it again?, you bet we would, the rate of exchange was 1.38 at the time, which has mean’t that the purchase was excellent value. Demountables in the UK are relatively rare compared to Europe, and by doing so we now understand a lot more about our demountable and how the import process works.

So now you can see that its relatively simple process with a bit of patience, you could save a lot of money against the UK market should you wish to have a go at importing a vehicle.

I’m also happy to answer any questions if you have any. thanks PB.
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby AdventureOverlandUk » January 26th, 2016, 4:54 pm

Great!

Don't forget that it 'didn't really happen' unless we see pics of your great new rig!

Hope you have many adventures to come!!

Darren.
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby zildjian » January 26th, 2016, 7:16 pm

Brilliant write up, just the sort of thing anyone needs to read through and take notes as they peruse sales, having a helpful MOT ally must have helped an awful lot,
and yes as Darren says.....
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby rubberrat » January 26th, 2016, 7:47 pm

Good stuff. Although I am pretty clued on this stuff, its a minefield for many. Maybe this should be copied into our essential info section.



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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby horacebat » January 27th, 2016, 12:07 am

Cheers chaps, I did promise this a while ago, but I've not seen any information all in one place on what you had to do and the pitfalls. Its certainly added to the spice of the adventure.

Pics -

Image

trusty tools,

Image

proof we went to Munich and our new friend Gerhard.

Image






Darren - thanks, any Bimobil specific tips and tricks would be appreciated!.
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby derestrictor » January 27th, 2016, 1:49 pm

Im guessing thats a dam meter in the middle :)
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby AdventureOverlandUk » January 27th, 2016, 3:53 pm

Looks like you have a really nice Husky 230 there!!

And with the added bonus of an extended tow hitch (expensive option)! and an outside shower point too!

If you want to change anything, think about fitting a set of BF Goodrich A/T tyres as they will improve the ride and handling, I did the same on mine, when I had exactly the same set-up as yours....I still miss it now!!

Darren.
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby TrueDink » January 29th, 2016, 2:10 am

Excellent work and thanks for sharing.

Incidentally it was the Husky that got me interested in demountables in the first place. The rear tailgate was a winner for me but I couldn't justify the cost of a new one.

I've ended up with the next best in my opinion. Tisher next though.
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby zildjian » January 29th, 2016, 10:26 pm

both threads merged for ease (bit messy) my mistake :mrgreen:
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Re: Importing a Demountable - Our Experience

Postby Alexd » January 30th, 2016, 7:47 pm

an interesting read, some good points there worth jotting down before you get carried away with bargains in Germany, this of course concerns both camper and truck, presumably buying camper only would basically be like arriving back at Calais with a trailer or caravan and attract litle attention hopefully.


good read though all the same Horace and a very smart looking combo well done
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