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Moving To Germany

I will be moving to Germany from the US in the next few months. I would love to ship my 2017 Tesla Model S over and have heard stories about the Model 3s being bought up in the US and sent over to car rental companies in Germany. I have been told by my salesperson that I should sell my car here and buy a new one over in Germany. He said that the charging port is different, the electrical system is different, and the radio will not work. He said I could have a charger installed at my house and could charge it there but the public chargers would not work due to differences in the European electric grid. Somehow these companies who are renting Model 3s must have overcome these barriers.

My biggest issue with selling the car here and buying a new one in Germany is that there is a 20% sale tax which would be a lot of money on a new Model S. I also asked if I could trade my 2017 Model S in Boston and take delivery of an 2018 in Munich. I was told that they are two different companies and that was not possible.

Any thought?


Model S 85 and 100D
Jan 23, 2011
Venlo, NL
Ok, your problems with a US Model S in Europe:

- Charging connector
- 3-phase vs 1-phase charging
- No SuperCharging
- No DAB+ (digital) radio
- No SuperCharging

I just wouldn't do it. If you are going to Germany for a longer period, sell the Model S in the US and buy one in Germany.

You can buy one in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, what you prefer and request plates in Germany.
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Born & raised in Munich.

I'm not sure whether you can actually get the car registered without retrofitting some of the parts (e.g. the rear lights), because they're not according to EU norms.

He said I could have a charger installed at my house and could charge it there
This would be a very slow charge since we're usually charging at 3 phases (like widodh already mentioned) over here while your Tesla is most likely only able to use 1 phase, which here will deliver a max. of 32A at 220V = 7kW. Do not know if the US version is actually able to consume 220V.

The sales tax argumentation I don't buy 100% since the sales tax will also increase the resale value of the car later on.

That being said, once you make it over the pond (or before), be sure to also checkout the German-speaking whatsapp group: Tesla-Freunde D-A-CH (very friendly and helpful people!) and the German forum: tff-forum.de


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In addition to what widodh and saniflash said, you would not have navigation, because your US car would not have European maps. Also, I am not sure what happens with warranty and roadside assistance - if you bring the car to Europe, Tesla in Europe would likely view it as a grey import.

Cars in Germany have a "TuV test" every two years, checking things like brakes, steering, lights and emissions but when you bring in an import, you have to have a special TuV (about 2 hours and 150 euros, if I recall correctly), in order to get the car registered. Then there's some documentation required in respect of import duty and VAT (sales tax).

Bringing a car from the US market to Europe is usually more trouble than it is worth. From my own experience, it is not even worth the hassle involved in bringing a car from Germany to the UK.

I lived/worked in Munich for a while - it is great place. I would suggest you sell your car in the US and get a used one (with all wheel drive). If you are going to drive in Bavaria in the winter time, you will definitely need a set of winter tyres (it is a legal requirement in Germany).
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Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 31, 2014
Nomad (mostly US)
I'm originally from Germany. Definitely not a good idea to take a US car over there. FOr all the reasons mentioned here. No navigation support as you are not connected to the internet. Different charge plug. No Supercharging. No warranty repairs. You can probably get it registered there but it's going to be a pain. If you use your car for business you can deduct the sales tax which helps a lot. Get a used Model S there and enjoy the ride!
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