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Importing a Model S into a Non-Tesla Country

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Ames, May 14, 2014.

  1. Ames

    Ames Member

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    #1 Ames, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
    I am very close to ordering a P85 from Europe and shipping it to the UAE. I think I will be the 3rd or 4th person here that will get one, and unfortunately I have not been able to contact other owners.

    For you intrepid Model S owners in non-Tesla countries, how did you deal with the following:

    • Engine number. The local registration authority will ask for an engine number. Does Tesla provide such a thing?
    There is an engine number, it is placed on a sticker inside the trunk lid.

    • Getting a 3G Sim card installed from your local provider. Did you send it to Tesla before delivery? What kind of card should you get?
    Tesla has confirmed that I will get a Sim that will work in Europe, and that they will not install one I provide. So long as I have an internet hotspot (e.g. via a USB dongle), all of the regular internet connectivity will work including Internet Radio.

    • Getting Insurance. Can you get full comp insurance when there is no locally available authorized body shop, agent, or dealer to repair the car?
    No insurance company or broker based in the UAE is willing to sell me full comp. for this car. 3rd Party no problem.

    • XM Radio: would this option work/is it available outside Europe/US? I’ve never seen a car here with satellite radio.
    XM Radio is not provided. Instead they provide DAB; and this won't work in non-DAB broadcasting countries such as the UAE, but it will work while I'm in Europe.

    • Payment: can we pay the balance of the car cost via online bank transfer?
    Yes, and I can pay over a few installment to overcome any daily allowance limitations, e.g. pay 5 installments of EUR 18,000 over 5 days. The only requirement is that the full amount is paid before I take delivery of the car.

    • Delivery: will I be able to drive the car in Europe for a few days prior to having it shipped?
    Yes, a temporary registration can be arranged so I can drive it before it gets shipped. My 2014 European Supercharger Vacation is in the works :). The validity of the temporary registration is 14 days.

    • Shipping: is there anything special I need to tell the shipping company or is it just the same as shipping any other car?
    Tesla gave me a PDF called "Lithium-Ion Battery Emergency Response Guide, Model S". Just give that to the shipping co. PM me if you would like a copy; I can't attach it to this post.

    Note: I will be asking Tesla to help me with some of these questions so I’ll update the post when I have answers. I think I have nailed down my configuration which is a European P85, MC Red/Tan with all options except:

    • P+: no twisty mountain roads, don’t want staggered wheels, more inclined towards luxury, the later production P suspension is much better.
    • 21” because I’m going to get aftermarket TSPORTLINE Silver 21’s (see pic) and add Michelin PSP (not PS2).
    • Performance Seats: for Tan I didn’t like the suede inserts or colored piping.
    • Rear Facing Seats: I don’t have children.
    • Dual Chargers: they will never be used. Cannot get enough amps in my garage, and there are just 2 public charging stations in the whole country, daily driving is about 70 km / 43 mi.
    • Security Package: car theft not a problem here.
    • Subzero: +10 C / 50 F is about the coldest it gets here.
    • Prepaid Service: no service center.

    tsportline-project-rosso-2.jpg
     
  2. Irish Model S

    Irish Model S New Member

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    I'm based in Ireland which doesn't have a Tesla presence and I'm also having multiple issues in importing my Model S.
    My plan is to collect my car in London and then arrange shipping to Dublin at the end of June.

    My insurance company is happy to cover me to drive from London to North Wales and thought that Tesla would give me a temporary number plate but Tesla are not saying anything.
     
  3. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I know it can be done. Mario Kadastic managed to get one in Estonia...I'm sure it will be a bit of bother but we'll see. I have spoken to Tesla in Europe recently and they have changed their position from "not a good idea" to "we'll help you"...so let's see. Two important things have changed...1) I now have a budget, and 2) I grew a pair...:tongue:
     
  4. Irish Model S

    Irish Model S New Member

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    For anyone thinking of importing a Tesla into Ireland be warned you will not qualify for the €7000 Irish government grant nor will you be eligible for the "FREE" Home Charger".
    The SEAI who administer the grant are big fans of the Car Dealers and have rejected the Tesla Direct to Consumer model.
    Elon Musk met Prime Minister Enda Kenny last November and Mr Kenny drove the Model S and also invited Elon to open a factory in Ireland.

    EV sales in Ireland in 2013 were 59.
     
  5. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I wouldn't expect any help from Tesla on this one, I think you'll be in DIY territory. This also means you'll be a bit stuck if you ever need warranty work or service.

    That said, if you're willing to take the risks, go for it. My last two cars were models not sold or supported by any local manufacturer and I loved them. I'll try to give you a quick rundown of my experiences...
    - insurance, you'll have to shop around, some places will be fine, others will blow you off, might help to look for an insurance company that specializes in antiques and custom vehicles (like hot-rods) they tend to be the most accepting of "different"
    - Can't help you with engine number as I've never run in to that requirement, I would expect VIN to be enough
    - SIM card, there are pictures on this forum somewhere of how to get at it, it requires some disassembly of the dash, and to my knowledge nobody has yet proven if a different SIM will work in the Tesla, that said, it seems likely. Worst case on this one you could get a cellular hotspot and connect the car to that by wifi and ignore the built-in SIM.
    - Maintenance, this one could be a real trick. Without a Tesla service centre, and outside of ranger area, you'll be on your own. Luckilly it shouldn't need a lot, but if it does, I'm not sure who you'll get to work on it. At least my "different" vehicles were still a familiar technology to the shops, and even then I can only find 1 shop in 20 that will touch it.
     
  6. Ames

    Ames Member

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    I'm not so worried about service, Tesla will fly in a ranger at my expense and I can always ship the car back to Europe. I'm counting on that as I plan to have a supercharger European holiday every 1-2 years...

    Thanks for the tips on tethering and insurance...I'll look into that. I think if the car is connected to my 4g phone it will work faster anyway...
     
  7. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    @Irish Model S - Couldn't you just register it in the UK pick it up in London, drive it back home and then re-register it in Ireland? It would make insurance and number plates very straightforward for starters. MW
     
  8. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Just posted an update in the main thread; having just spoken to Oscar in the Netherlands I now have 2 of my questions answered. So the plan is that I will be ordering from the Tesla Motors website under "Other Europe". I will then collect the car from the factory in Tilburg, Netherlands, drive it for a few days and then ship it out to the UAE :biggrin:. What could possibly go wrong? I'll post updates when I get more "official" answers to my questions...

    Alex
     
  9. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Additional requirement: sense of humor.

    Glad you have that one covered:cool:
     
  10. Ames

    Ames Member

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    @JohnQ - I was inspired by the guy on the forum who was asking around if anybody could lend him their $100,000 car to test out his new home garage electrical setup.

    Update to main thread: 5 / 7 questions now tackled by Tesla - sliding into the Order Button Abyss :scared:. I think Insurance may be the last stumbling block for me.

    I have a shipping quote at around $2,180 for The Hague, Netherlands to Jebel Ali, Dubai (Port to Port, without insurance)...seems a little high when compared with the US at around $1,700. Need to shop around a little more...
     
  11. Ames

    Ames Member

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    A couple of updates to the main thread;


    • Tesla have confirmed that they will not install a different SIM card than the one they provide, but all functionality dependent on internet connectivity will still work if I have an internet hotspot via my phone or a USB dongle.
    • XM radio is not provided for European cars, instead they provide DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting). This will only work in countries that broadcast DAB, which does not include the UAE.

    On the Order page when working with "Other Europe", I noticed that you have to provide a delivery country. The Netherlands is not one of them, so they told me just choose any country and they will update the system internally to make sure the car is delivered in Tilburg and intended for the UAE. I think I will put Turkey just in case they do deliver it there it might save me a little on shipping.

    So really now I just need a decent insurance quote, to bang my head on the wall a few times and get serious about what I'm about to do, and then click on the Order button; this is how the small print next to that button looks to me right now...

    place order.png

    Alex
     
  12. LuckyLuke

    LuckyLuke Model S P85DL

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  13. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Thanks LuckyLuke. My guess is that it didn't work or we would have heard something back. I prefer the USB dongle solution; I plan to get a permanent 4G data sim for my internet hotspot which should be faster than the 3g card. In addition, while I am in Europe I will still be connected so effectively I get coverage in both Europe and the Middle East.
     
  14. LuckyLuke

    LuckyLuke Model S P85DL

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    Just for complete information sake (others that are reading this thread): I actually think it worked, I just checked his other FB photos and he posted a google maps location (in Armenia) on the center screen without having the wifi on, seems only 2G access there because the 3G symbol is missing:
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1400663904.862564.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1400663925.578428.jpg
     
  15. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Wow; you may be right. Well that's a good backup plan for me in case I can't find a USB Dongle that works...
     
  16. Ames

    Ames Member

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    So I am still (patiently) waiting for an insurance company to bite. There are two brokers searching for me, and I have also inquired with the insurers of my current vehicles. It seems the only case where an import gets insured is when it is virtually indistinguishable from the same car sold locally at the dealer, the caveat being that you don't tell them its an import!

    What about 3rd Party? No problem getting 3rd Party, but how will I manage the risk? Here are some thoughts:

    - Create an insurance fund for the car.
    - Keep current vehicle for daily driving so as to avoid daily rush-hour traffic. Very occasionally you could use it for the office run when schools are out.
    - Do not under any circumstance be tempted to get into a drag race with anybody (this will be very hard).
    - Keep car garaged at all times, both at home and (on occasion) at work.
    - Do not drive it in inclement weather.
    - Choose parking spots obsessively with no risk of dings from either side. Get used to walking long distances. Drop off passengers then park.
    - Never let anyone else drive it, especially the often-to-be-requested test drives.

    :frown: Oh well. I am not really convinced that 3P insurance is a good idea to protect my investment. Any thoughts? Does anyone else insure their car this way?
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Keep calling around. While I can't say how things work in the UAE, I know here in Canada I have an imported vehicle and many insurance companies refuse any coverage over the mandatory liability coverage. but if you keep calling, you'll find someone who will cover it. tricks in general are to look for companies that insure hot-rods, antiques, etc. They aren't afraid of different and realize that insuring it is no big deal. (and don't limit yourself to 2 brokers, most brokers have a list of a very few companies they deal with (often only one!) and won't check outside of that. keep calling around)
     
  18. TylerCA

    TylerCA Member

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    Here in the US, in situations where car collectors tend to have a difficult time insuring multiple vehicles of high-value, we just use an umbrella policy that will cover it all. green1 is right, at least here in North America, you will have to seek out insurance co with high coverage points.
     
  19. Ames

    Ames Member

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    #19 Ames, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    @TylerCA & @Green, Thanks for the suggestions.

    I have been trawling around some UAE forums looking for leads on insuring classic cars. I noticed that a few people managed to fully insure imported classics. One company in particular was AIG. Their main switchboard will give you a flat no for imports, however if you ask to speak to an underwriter associated with their Private Client Group they tell you “no problem so long as the car is worth more than $95,000.”

    By this time I was Euphoric having not only found an insurer, but more importantly, having a proper justification for speccing the extended leather dash, yacht floor, and lighting package.

    My Euphoria proved to be short lived. After sending off the details, I later got back the following e-mail:

    mail.png

    WTF? They will insure a hybrid or a flame-throwing ICE vehicle, but not a battery operated vehicle? How do they underwrite all those cars with that 12 volt thingy nestled precariously next to massively super-heated fuel combusting engine? Maybe they think I'm trying to import a $120,000 toy car?

    :cursing:
     
  20. emir-t

    emir-t Member

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    Sorry to revive an age-old thread if it is a felony but, what came out of this Ames? I also live in a non-Tesla (yet, soon to change hopefully) country which is Turkey and I want a clear idea on how it works/what it takes.

    As far as I know;

    - You order online using other Europe option as country.
    - Pay via regular means also online I think. (I haven no idea how financing would work, or how much you'd need to pay in order for the order to be approved for manufacturing)
    - Finish payment completely by the time car is ready to be delivered.
    - Book a trip to Tilburg/NL to pick up the car.
    - After picking it up and getting a 14 day European permit to drive the car there, drive or ship the car to your own respective country.
    - Pay your own respective customs and registrations fee.
    - No idea about insurance.
    - No idea on what to do in case of an accident or a minor issue requiring service such as the famous 12V battery replacement or any other problems that might occur. (or periodic service even)
    - Do you even lose the warranty? I called Palo Alto Tesla Motors call centre 1.5 years ago and they said importing the vehicles to non-Tesla countries destroy the warranty. However someone else who has talked to the European Tesla a few months ago denied that. So it really is unclear.


    Thanks in advance for all possible replies.
     

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