Ship it or flip it?

Hi, I’m moving to Taipei from Tennessee and am thinking of shipping my car. It’s a 2000 BMW and is fully paid off. It’s been a terrific car - no major issues - and has 120,000 miles. I think it’ll go way past 200,000 miles. I like the car and am familiar with it. I think it’ll cost about $2,000 US to ship it and it’s worth about $4,500 US. I have a wife and 2 young boys, 1 and 3. People tell me that gas is reasonable, insurance is cheap, and parking is a nightmare, but with young children and being an ex-pat, I’ll want to cruise around a bit. My thought process is this: why would I sell a great car that I like to drive for $4500 and then turn around and buy a hooptie in Taiwan for the same price? Or have to shell out big bucks for a Toyota or Volkswagen that’s not as nice as my car? Wouldn’t it make more sense to pay $2000 to ship it and if it needs a thing or two, spend $1000 to get it fixed up great? Then I’ll have spend $3000 to have a great car in Taipei, rather than pay $5000 - $10000 to have an ok car in Taipei. Thoughts?

There have been already several conversations about this topic in the forum, if you do a search you will find them. The outcome is always the same: importing cars/bikes from abroad will cost you so much money and energy that is much easier just to buy a new one locally

That car will not pass present importation inspections. It will also cost too much in taxes to warrant the importation.
It won’t be an okay car in Taiwan as the plastics will disintegrate at an accelerated pace and it will very likely require constant and expensive repairs. Trust me. I work with these cars all the time, and a car at that age is practically worthless here to most professional buyers as its problems are very well noted.
My best advice is to sell it there and then purchase something useful for Taiwan, which will almost certainly be a Japanese design.
Good luck with your move. If you need any advice, then drop me a mail. I’ll be happy to help.

Seriously, why would anybody need a car in Taipei, even with a family? Parking is indeed a nightmare. Except that nightmares are free.

You will want to protect your kids, I imagine, and the best way to do that is to keep them away from Taiwanese drivers. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain herding tiny kids onto a train or an MRT, but before you know it they’ll be old enough to do it without hassle. And taxis are extremely cheap. You could spend NT$300 every day on taxis and it would still be cheaper than the aggregate cost of owning and operating a car.

I find its a pain to get to many places without a car. Shopping trips are easier. School runs easier. Excursions are far more fun. When it buckets down I don’t need to wait for a taxi. I can go anywhere on a whim. I can carry so much more stuff in my own car if I need to without the hassle of carrying it. I can think of a multitude of reasons that a car is more practical. But then so many people do, which is why ownership rates are quite high.
Of course for some it’s convenient enough to use public transport, taxis or scooters, and that’s fine too. I don’t expect everyone has the same kind of lifestyle however.

fair enough … I’m just saying, Taiwan isn’t the US. If I lived there, I would undoubtedly choose to own a car, because it’s pretty much the only choice. Likewise if I lived out in the boonies. But I suggest the OP should live here for a bit and assess his options carefully before investing (again) in something that absorbs so much cash, time and worry. Of course, he may still decide on the car - as you say, each to his own - but here doesn’t work like it does there, and you can save an awful lot of money by not owning your own transport.

sell the Beemer. A 2000 BMW will break everything next week. Everything. Lucky it’s lasted this long, really.

and I say that as a BMW owner.

flip it, and buy a piece of crap in Taiwan.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

There is not a chance in hell that I would take a toddler on scooter. yes, you could get taxis all the time but that’s a PITA also.

the OP didn’t say what his job was. Cars are fine to own but if he’s teaching English then it will be a substantial monthly expense. If he’s working for an American firm and earning an American salary then it’s not a very big deal.

i agree that he shouldn’t import the car. I don’t think the import cost is accurate. I think the only cost that he has estimated is the shipping but there are significantly more costs if I’m not mistaken.

I will keep it simple. Flip it. I once looked into bringing a car over, wanted a decent manual. Import costs are ridiculous and hefty in paperwork.

[quote=“urodacus”]sell the Beemer. A 2000 BMW will break everything next week. Everything. Lucky it’s lasted this long, really.

and I say that as a BMW owner.

flip it, and buy a piece of crap in Taiwan.[/quote]

HEED this advice, young Luke.
Even at 2x Stateside cost, it’s cheaper to eat a crap sandwich than import exotica … your E46 or whatever may rust away in an impound lot for failure to pass inspection.

Sell it and buy something here. The import taxes alone will cost waaaaay more than it will be worth. I looked at shipping my motorcycle from Japan and they wanted something like 40% of the original sales price just to bring it in, despite the bike being several years old.

…gotta protect Taiwanese industry from all those dirty foreigner scams to bring in the nice vehicles and undercut the locals :unamused:

It will be way too much trouble to ship it in. Just taxi around and keep up your sanity.