Buying and importing the car

My Megane RS Trophy: Importing the car: 31 March 2012

Choosing the place to buy the car

After the deal for the Abarth was agreed I began the search for the place where to buy the Megane RS. The Finnish list price for the Megane pre-taxes was a little bit higher than in Central Europe and much bigger discounts are available on new cars in Central Europe. In Finland you might be able to get 5 to 9 percent discount on cash purchase of a new car but for example in Germany a discount ranging from 15 % to 25 % is quite normal.

In Germany and some other countries there are also a large number of online car dealers through which offer good discounts without the need for haggling.

Europemobile in Germany offered a good price on the Megane RS, but unfortunately if the car would’ve been factory ordered the delivery time would’ve been approximately four months. That would have taken too long to be able to import the car to Finland before the car tax increases in 1 April. Europemobile also couldn’t find a suitably equipped Megane RS with a shorter delivery time, so the search was to continue somewhere else.

I was looking for a car from the Netherlands, Germany or Austria. In addition to the Megane RS I was also on the lookout for the limited edition Megane RS Trophy which had been introduced in summer 2011. However at this point it became clear that the factory order for the RS Megane would not be possible in the required time frame and for the Trophy model a factory order was not even possible anymore. Therefore I concentrated on finding a suitable car which was already at the dealers or could be delivered on short notice. The main focus was on the RS Trophy.

 Renault Megane RS Trophy

Megane RS Trophy.

The RS Trophy model was available in four different colors: black, white, grey (metallic) and yellow (pearl). Number one colour for me was the yellow followed by the metallic-grey.

Eventually I found a yellow Trophy in Austria with suitable options and a fairly good price. I would’ve probably closed a deal on this car if the dealer would’ve come down on the price even a little bit. Unfortunately, this did not happen and the search continued.

A little bit later I found a grey car through Renault-Wien diplomatic sales and finalized a deal on that car at the end of January 2012. It would’ve been possible to pick up that car on a short notice but I didn’t want to pick up a car with summer tyres during the deep winter. Therefore a trip to pick up the car was planned for the second half of March. The salesperson in Renault-Wien diplomatic sales was Frau M.Kurzbauer from whom I got very good service in all stages of the deal.

The trip to pick up the car

The trip to pick up the car took place in March 2012 and it was combined with a little Central European holiday with my wife. We started the trip early on Saturday morning on the 17 March and spent a weekend in Vienna sightseeing, enjoying Wiener schnitzel and other treats.

On Monday morning, Frau Kurzbauer picked us from our hotel as agreed. At the Renault-Wien dealership we completed the paperwork first and then it was time to see the car.

Renault Wien

Renault-Wien dealership in Vienna.

My Trophy was waiting in a separate hall under cover. After removing the cover the car was revealed and Frau Kurzbauer started to go through the hand-over process which was very thorough and professional.  After a complimentary wine bottle was handed over it was time to head to the road.

Trophy under covers

My RS Trophy under the covers.

Megane RS Trophy

This was hidden under the covers.

Megane RS Trophy

Frau Kurzbauer explaining how stuff in the Megane works.

Megane RS Trophy

Another picture from the hand-over.

From Vienna we started our 330 km trip towards Prague. The highway between Brno-Prague was in a terrible condition for about 100 km but otherwise the drive was nice and relaxing. In Prague we drove the car to the secure car park on the excellent Hotel Unitas at the city centre.

RS Trophy on a break

A break somewhere in Austria.

Megane RS Trophy and Hotel Unitas

Megane parked on the Hotel Unitas parking lot in Prague city centre.

After spending a few days in Prague our journey continued towards Travemünde harbour in northern Germany, which was about 650 km from Prague. This part of the trip went also fine, only once there was a little traffic jam close to Berlin which was caused by an accident. On few occasions it was also possible to try how well the Trophy performs on German Autobahn with no speed limit.

Stau in Berlin

A little traffic jam caused by an accident near Berlin.

We arrived to Travemünde in the afternoon and spent few hours on the close by city of Lübeck. From Travemünde we took a 27 hour ferry to Helsinki after driving in Central Europe for approximately 1,000 km.

RS Trophy on the Travemunde harbour

On the Travemünde harbour waiting to get to the ferry among other self imported cars.

RS Trophy at home

Trophy at home.

The taxation and registration

Finland has very high registration taxes for cars and for a new Megane RS 250 without options the registration tax would be approximately 11,000 euro plus you have to pay registration taxes for all the options in the car too. Since the RS Trophy is not officially imported to Finland the amount of the registration tax will be determined by the Finnish Customs. In addition to paying the Finnish registration taxes I will have to pay the 23 per cent Finnish VAT so the car will be quite expensive once all the local taxes have been paid for.