How to recognize an eu-reimport – car?

Often, when buying a car, the question arises as to how it can be recognized whether it is an EU-reimport, or an EU-import. Import car deals.
First of all, it should be said that a vehicle may not be identifiable as an import vehicle by the layman, or it may be very difficult to do so. Also the purchase price is often only an indication. However, there are several factors which, if present, make it possible to classify a car as an import vehicle without any doubt.

First, the difference between the country of manufacture and the country of destination should be made clear. The country of manufacture is usually relatively easy to determine. There is almost never information about the market for which a vehicle was originally intended, but only about where a car was produced. A golf produced in wolfsburg can of course be destined for all kinds of countries. This means that the country of manufacture cannot be used to determine whether a vehicle has been imported.

The situation is different for the country of destination. The country of destination is the country for which the vehicle was intended for sale by the manufacturer. If the country of destination and the country of purchase are not identical, you are regularly dealing with an imported vehicle. In order to find out the country of destination of a vehicle, there are various possibilities and indications.

Obligation of the seller to provide information about import features

The first point of contact should, of course, always be the seller of the vehicle. A commercial used car dealer must inform a buyer that a vehicle is an EU reimport or import vehicle. If the dealer does not inform the buyer about the import status of the vehicle, the buyer can withdraw from the contract or reduce the purchase price. The dealer is then acting fraudulently, found the naumburg Higher Regional Court, 07.12.2005, az. 6 U 24/05.

But even a private seller must provide information about the import characteristics of a vehicle, according to a ruling by the regional court of dusseldorf on 22.04.2003, az. 24 S 548/02.

Service booklet and owner’s manual

In order for a vehicle to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, it is usually necessary to have a stamped service booklet. The manufacturer usually requires that the stamp of the initial inspection must come from the authorized dealer to whom the vehicle was delivered for resale.

If the first thing you see in the service book is a stamp from a foreign dealer, this is a sure sign that the car was imported from the country where the dealer is located. Indications are, of course, always provided by a foreign owner’s manual. Often the service booklet and the manual are provided in german language by a reimporter, but even then the stamp of the foreign dealer is still a good indication. Prerequisite is of course that the vehicle is accompanied by a service booklet at all.

Type code number (TSN) in registration certificate and vehicle registration document

In the case of EU re-imports, the type code number (TSN) is often "zeroed out". The type code number can be found on older vehicles under number 2.2. In the vehicle registration document and vehicle title.
For newer models from 2005 onwards in the registration certificate part 1 and part 2 also at number 2.2.

However, there are also imports where the type code number is not zeroed. The registration authority only "zeros" the key numbers if the vehicle deviates from the specifications listed in Germany at the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) (for example, because the German models have a different body shape than the Finnish models of a series).

At least within the EU, however, the manufacturers deliver almost only identical vehicles, so that the registration authority then enters the type code number in the registration certificate parts 1 and 2, even for an imported vehicle.

The equipment

Occasionally, a certain equipment configuration is typical/untypical or even only available exclusively in a certain country. Then you can conclude the country of destination by looking at the equipment of the vehicle. Provided that one knows the equipment customs of the different countries.


It is not always easy to recognize a reimported or imported car. However, with the possibilities described in the article, it is usually possible to find out for which country the car was once intended by the manufacturer.
On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly unimportant, at least within the EU, whether a vehicle has been imported, since manufacturers now deliver almost exclusively identical vehicles. For this reason, it is becoming more and more difficult to identify EU reimported cars, because differences in equipment are becoming increasingly rare within the EU.

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