Today we´ll continue where we left about a month ago. I´ve found the car worth all the trouble, now it´s time to get it here and get it imported before the end of 2011. How strict will they be when it comes to importing a nearly 40 years old Toyota? What will it cost? How much time will it take to get everything sorted out and receive my papers? Let´s find out!
So, after buying the Crown; I had to get the Toyota home. My own daily doesn´t have a tow hook, so I needed to find either a company who did these kind of transports, or I had to rent a trailer; since I´ve got enough relatives/friends with cars who do have a towing hook. After doing a little research on the internet, i found several companies which were a lot cheaper than renting a trailer myself. I found a guy advertising which such low prices, I began wondering why and how he could do that so cheap. I decided to give him a call, and find out what kind of guy he was. Turned out he was a guy who got recently unemployed, started his own business(buying and selling cars), and was doing a little transports on the side as well, just because he loved doing that and was able to make a small side income with that. After doing some more research I only found positive stories on this guy, and since he was the only one who could get this car for me on such short notice, I decided to take the chance.
Turned out the be one of the best choices I´ve recently made. It was one hell of a guy, and he seriously knew what he was doing. It wasn´t just a guy transporting a car, he knew HOW to transport it and get it home safely. It saved me a lot of cash, and I´ve made a good contact for the future, because i´m surely going to use his services again! After getting her home, i did a quick check up to see what still needed to be done, before I could make an appointment at the RDW, who takes care of importing vehicles in the Netherlands. Turned out to be next to none, and the few minor rust issues it has weren´t even close to becoming a problem for importing it. I made an appointment and requested a one-day license plate(a license plate you´ll receive for driving your car legally to the nearest RDW station which is only valid for one day), and the best thing was that this plate was free of charge. I received the one-day paperwork in the mailbox a few days after and the license plate had to be made with black letters on a white background, and the letters had to be `solid´ , which meant they may not be able to be ereased by rain or whatever.
At the RDW station, everything went as smoothly as can be imagined. The guy doing the work was a Toyota fanatic, so things were settled before he had even seen the car. The Toyota passed without any problem(s) and I drove her home. Costs? €100,50. Add a little extra for the insurance of the car that one day, and a bit of gasoline; and you’re done. That’s it. That’s all! I imagined the import being a lot more difficult, and more expensive as well. All together, I had the car home and imported, papers in the mail and official license plates made for less than €500 extra! As i’m writing/typing this, I’m waiting for the license plates to be finished and I’ll be calling my insurance company tomorrow to add this Crown to my insured vehicles. I’m very happy with the outcome of importing this magnificent Crown to the Netherlands. Less than a month after buying the Crown, I’ve got her home, imported and (almost) ready to go. Give it a couple of days extra, and this Toyota will be cruising the streets of the Netherlands for probably one of the first times in it’s life. It was definitely cheaper than buying thesame car in the Netherlands(when I was able to find one; that is), but there sure was a lot extra hassle and paperwork involved. Doing this the first time, it sure took me a lot of time doing research and filling in files; but it sure was worth it!
What’s next? Cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. Oh, I almost forgot: a lot of cleaning! The car surely hasn’t been washed in the last 10+ years, other than the rain may have done(or not). The more I washed the Crown, the more crap came of the paint. So the next few week I’ll be very busy with washing, cleaning, polishing, waxing and things like that. The engine is a little rough, and it’s obvious that it just stood in a garage for nearly 10 years; but every minute the engine runs it runs better and better. Obviously all the fluids and filters were changed, and I intend to do it all again within a few 1000 miles. There’s a lot of crap in the cooling system which didn’t come all out with flushing, and the oil filter will have a hard job the next coming miles as well. As well as the oil itself of course.
The next update will be full of high-resolution pictures, and a lot of close ups. I’ll have a complete speclists to show, and I will be pointing out the weak spots of this Crown, and how I intent to solve those ‘problems’, or how I already solved them. Prepare for both some eye-candy, as well as some work-in-progress pictures. By the time we reach the final episode of this importing story, the car will be a pristine example of a ’73 Toyota Crown. Even though it’s already a very nice and pretty good car, it still is going to need quite some cash and labor to get her back in showroom shape again, but we’ll get there!
Gearheads united, from all over the world!
- Have YOU ever imported a vehicle in the country where you live?
- If so, how easy/hard was it? What kind of vehicle was it, how expensive was it?
- And if not, any particular reason why not?