Purchasing a new vehicle while overseas, the do's & don'ts

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by greeneagle5, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 5-Year Member

    Dec 5, 2007
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    Are there serious financial advantages to consider purchasing a new personal vehicle while on an overseas assignment ? My NAVY LTjg departs next month for a shore duty stint in a Persian Gulf country. I have offered to try to sell his old Jeep GC while gone in the hope of him possibly coming back to USA after his tour with a new Audi , BMW, etc.. What are some of the major " ins and outs" of purchasing abroad ?

  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    There are plenty of programs with US auto manufacturers for purchase at a good price while overseas and take delivery back home. There are also US-specs programs with foreign auto manufacturers, where you order, buy, drive and ship. One proviso is you usually have to comply with the POV shipping entitlements on your orders.

    There are many programs out there, and your DS will hear all about them. Many military folks have done these, and there will be abundant advice.

    One of my friends did the BMW program where she ordered the car, flew to Germany, drove it on a nice vacation, and they shipped it to the dealer at her next duty station, shortly before she PCS'ed.

    Both USAA and NFCU have new/used online auto purchase programs, with discount.

    I sold my beater car in Hawaii (bought it from rental car company annual fleet sale), flew into LAX on PCS orders, taxied to dealer, picked up new car and drove XC to VA. Hawaii's sun, humid salt air and iron rich soil are not kind to nice cars, so during my two tours there, I bought used cars that were used to sand.

    Makes sense to sell the car and not have to pay auto insurance.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  3. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2009
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    I would not consider it a serious financial advantage but we bought 2 cars in Germany. One a Ford made in the USA from the US Exchange. The other a BMW made in Austria but purchased at the Canadian Exchange in Germany near Kaiserslautern/Ramstein. Shipped the US made back on our orders. The BMW was shipped to the US as part of the original purchase contract but we drove it for a year in Germany.

    Advantage for us - No tax at all and priced under the US price. We found a few states in the US that allowed us to register the vehicles without paying the taxes. Some states require you to prove tax has been paid or they charge the local rate upon initial registration. Choices for registration/tax consideration upon return to the US were home of record or state of next assignment....so, we had four state choices between us as we we had different state HOR and assignment locations. Two would allow us to register without paying the taxes, two would not. We went with Illinois as they only required us to prove the vehicle was previously registered elsewhere (US Army Europe) to avoid the tax hit.

    Read your orders and the associated Travel Regulations and authorizations to determine if the government will pay for shipment of a vehicle for you back to the US or if you have to include the shipment back to the US in your purchase contract.

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