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Old 08-13-2002, 10:04 PM   #1
Somber
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Question moving to England? take my Subaru?

I have a 2002 WRX that is at a modified Cobb/APS RT Spec - plus lots of other suspension work, etc... I'm really enjoying the car, and would like to keep it for the long term... that being said:

I just got a call letting me know that I was chosen for a 3-5 year stint in England - WHOOOHOOO... (tho not for everyone, I'm very excited)...

now I have a big decision to make:

1. ship car over? (work will pay)

2. store car in states, lease while in England? (work will pay)

3. sell car, buy something in England? (work will pay some)

please understand - tho I have a decent job, I can't afford to keep making payments here in the states - add a car payment in England - and still have the money I want to do the traveling I hope for while in England...

what I'm hoping to get from you all is a feel for a couple of things:

how much of a pain is it to drive a left drive car in England (or vice versa - right drive in US)?

any of you that have gone through a similar situation - which route did you choose - and did it work out well?
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Last edited by Somber; 08-14-2002 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-13-2002, 10:13 PM   #2
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I would ship it over. You should see a couple of LHD cars there because a lot of people buy their cars at dealerships in Europe for cheaper and have them shipped. Hence LHD
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Old 08-13-2002, 10:58 PM   #3
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Default I may end up in the same predicament

I would ship it over. Sometimes while I was driving over there the thing that freaked me out the most wasn't the driving on the other side of the road thing, it was just the oppositeness of the steering wheels and shifter. I felt like I could have done better with a car I was used to.

Probably a bit of a problem when passing on 2-laners, but folks drive old British sports cars over in NA all the time and seem to get by (no pun intended) ...
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:26 PM   #4
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thanks for the info...

i was hoping for responses like these...

really would like to take my car...

any idea bout emissions type stuff?

Last edited by Somber; 08-14-2002 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:33 PM   #5
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Your car should pass their emissions with flying colors, bringing a euro car to the states is where emissions problems usually happen.
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:32 AM   #6
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I Pm'D you and my view its not worth it.

Would be costly to run fuel and insurance wise
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:41 AM   #7
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Wheels brought up some very valid concerns... my age and the car type would probably make for some dreadfull insurance costs...

anyones thoughts on not having a car? or motorcycle?

and please, anyone else, continue to chime in on the initial questions...
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Old 08-14-2002, 03:10 AM   #8
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Your going to england? Buy a STI or 22b!!!!!!

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Old 08-14-2002, 06:51 AM   #9
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Thumbs up Congrats!!

All the advice etc. is IMHO, and since it has been ages since I was there, somethings may have changed...whichever way you choose to go, hope you have fun!!

OK, here goes - whether or not you can live and have a life without a car depends very much on where you live, and what you do for breakaway time.

Centre of London - fine to be without a car, parking is a PITA unless you live in a place with off street space (same goes for work), theft & vandalism is nasty in general (although not just in the capital). Getting away, or drives in the country is a pain without a Scoob, as it is almost like they were built for each other!

Living anywhere else = no car, pretty much no fun, unless you can walk to work - public transport is a mess, even in the cities, so take your humour pills.

If you take your car, make sure you get a Clifford alarm system, Blackjax (anti-car jack system) and a Tracker (satellite tracking).

Options:
If you lease, modding will mean risking warrantee issues etc., but that could be a fun option if they have the STi on their list (many places do not, so confirm before doing anything). Otherwise you may want a BMW 330d - easy on gas, diesel fuel is also cheaper, and it is still pretty quick (but forget it if there is ice or snow, and it won't be as solid in the wet as a Scoob - and there is LOTS of rain there ).

If you store it, you will be paying for it & it will be depreciating all that time you are away

Buying in the UK is an option, but, as has been mentioned, since cars are more expensive there, don't get a shock if you can't get what you expect. Research prior to going is the way to go...

IMHO, if I were you: take the car - get all the mods you can in the UK - enjoy it! There will be costs though - considering you'll be there for a few years, you'll want UK lights (dunno how much they are, but a few hundred stg for sure). You'll also need a rear foglight (unless you already have one).

+ if you have mods on your current car, you can take most of them (or all of them) with you

The UK is infested with speed traps, so you'll need to invest in some serious stuff - origin blue-i, or geodesy (both GPS based systems for fixed cameras), a radar detector, and maybe a laser "avoider" (coz most detectors are pretty hit and miss against the newer guns). Keeping your license is a serious biz

Finally, check out Scoobynet - heaps of info and a lot of good people there...

Phew - have fun over there m8!!
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:52 AM   #10
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well to expand on whats said. Trains we all know suck. Buses are run buy diffrent companies all over the place. Gas is about $4.70 a gallon give or take 5 cents. Insurance on an un moded car for a 30 year old (Subaru WRX 2002)

OK I have no driving convictions 26 years old married 1 child not been refused insurance nor had any accidents in the last 3 years and Eagal star quoted me for a 2002 Subaru WRX no mods 8-10k miles a year 2 years no claims driving 8 years and my quote for 12 month is 2,580 pounds or 250 a month in $ thats 3947.40 a year. If any mods are installed they must be notified for a policy adjustment if you fail to let them know they can refuse payout. For aftermarket rims of a value of 1200 dollars the policy would rise by 250 a year. thats with a deductable of 1,500 dollars too.
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:36 AM   #11
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thanks for all the info, please keep it coming...

btw - I just realized that I missed the shift key on the E for England when I titled the thread... didn't want people to think I purposefully chose not to capitalize the country...
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:39 AM   #12
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If you're going to be there for 3 to 5 years, I'd sell your car and lease something cheap over there. 3 to 5 years is a damn long time. When you return to the states, who knows what will be out then? You may be able to buy a Skyline or something at that point. I wouldn't commit yourself to the WRX if it sounds like it's going to be a hastle.

Use your time over there to save some money so you can return to the states and buy whatever you like.
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:47 AM   #13
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One other thing...if you don't own your car outright (i.e. you're still making payments), you would do well to check not only with your lender, but with importation laws in England. Your bank/finance company may not allow you to take the car overseas, because it becomes impossible for them to recover if you default on payment. Also, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if you will be required to show proof of ownership before you can import the car to England. Obviously, if you are still paying on it, you do not actually own the car, the leinholder does.

Just something to think about...
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:54 AM   #14
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You will completely void your warranty if you take it over and have it registered in England. If you read you warranty info, SOA will void the warranty if the vehicle is taken out of the Unites States. But as you said you have done quite a few mods so maybe warranty isn't even a concern for you. Just something to think about.

But by the time you come back the car will probably be out of warranty anyway. I would ship the car over if they're paying for it. I would want my own car, especially after all the work you've done to it.
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Old 08-14-2002, 11:30 AM   #15
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If it was I, who's going and company is paying for the bills or partially...

I'll sell my current car. Move to England, buy another car (EVO, STi, Skyline, etc...) Make sure the company will cover your transition back to the state. Ship the car you acquired in England back to the state and you'll have a unique car that no one else have... whether it be a Skyline, EVO IV/V/VI, STi... etc.

There's some hoops to jump through, I'm sure it can be done.
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Old 08-14-2002, 11:40 AM   #16
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As far as actually driving it is concerned....

When I lived in Edinburgh, my Croatian flatmate had a Volvo S40 that he brought with him from Germany. He let me drive it numerous times and it was never a problem at all.
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:12 PM   #17
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wow - lots to consider...

Layman
what comes later - I truly doubt that I will ever want to get rid of my WRX, after all the work I've done (and paid for), I'd like to keep it... certainly I'll probably grab other vehicles down the road, but I think I'll want the WRX around - maybe as a track car... selling, leasing, and buying when I return is probably the "smart" choice... but I'm attached to the car, and really like how I have it pieced together... certainly I could replicate the process again if I needed/wanted to, but my gut feeling is that I'd like to find a way to keep the car no matter which route I choose...

Mike M
the lender - definitely a major consideration - the job I'm taking is still with the Dept of Defense (who I work for now) - and the lender is a Federal Credit Union used to dealing with people who get overseas assignments - so if anyone would be willing to make it happen - they will - but they certainly may say "get bent"

anotherB4
lots of good info... as far as where I'll be - I'll be living in Lakenheath, and supporting Lakenheath and Mildenhall RAF bases (mostly supporting the tenant USAF units, and transit aircraft that come through)... I don't mind on relying on public transportation, but I definitely understand the benifits of having a car... also, I don't think I get the "car allotment", if I don't have a car (mine or lease) - so I'd just be ignoring the opportunity for them to help make my life more convenient...

cwb124
warranty - don't care - I killed all hopes for warranty a few months out of the box...

YoSmiley
grabbing that type of car over there would be awesome, but doubt I can make it happen with my budget and still do all the stuff I want to do while in England...

Zola
thanks for the thoughts on left drive - good to know
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:20 PM   #18
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Well, it's obvious what you want to do. Do what makes you happy, man.
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:26 PM   #19
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Mike M just brought up the biggest point. You will not be able to take a car across an international border (Canada doesn't count) without a cleared title. Furthermore, you will have to register your car in England once it is there, so you will incur the taxes (VAT?) of about 18%. Therefore, your Subaru will have cost close to the same amount as buying one there but with worse seats and brakes. You will have to pay these taxes and register it in England because a foreign car can only stay in the country for a certain amount of time before it must be out of the country for x months. You have to realize that after you spend well over $1000 in transport to get it over to England (plus the cost of any modifications like rear fog light), you will either have to sell the car at a sizeable discount when you return to the states or pay another $1000+ to get the car back to the states if you like it that much. I can tell you from my experience that, when you go to another country, it can be nice to get a car that's unavailable in the U.S. Take advantage of the opportunity. I bought me a small Peugeot 106 rallye partly because it was something different. I'd get a Cossie over there.

To leave your car in storage for 3-5 years is a waste. It will be losing value all of that time, so you are paying to not be able to use your own car. You would be better off selling the car and investing the money or use it towards buying a car in England. If the car is going to depreciate, you might as well get to use it.
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:47 PM   #20
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I understand what you mean about being attached to the car, but you could do better by selling the car (part out the mods and sell the car stock). Though not in the US, I can get 1 year bank cd's at about 7%. If you could get 28,000 for your car/parts and compound that at 7% for 5 years, you would have over 39,000 when you got back. The "best" way (financially) would be to sell the car to invest and let the company pick up the tab for a car while you're there. You could easily have 34,500 after 5 years (27,000 at 5%/year). Did you know that you were going to want/get a WRX 5 years ago? That's a long time to know what you'll want in the future, IMHO. For Europe, the Renault Clio 172 is a hot little car (blows away, or at least better than, the Civic Type R).
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Old 08-14-2002, 12:55 PM   #21
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I'll chip again to agree with PPower. There are a lot of really fun, interesting cars available in the UK, and it would seem to be a shame not to take advantage of the chance to own one for a while. Everyone around here is hung up on EVO's and STi's and Skylines, but they are going to be truly expensive once you're there. A little further down on the cost scale, the little Pug's look to be truly entertaining cars, not to mention the little Alfa 147. Perhaps you could even find an older Escort Cosworth, although finding a non-modified version might be tough. And it's my impression that British insurance companies frown heavily on a lot of performance mods.

I fully understand your attachment to your car, but don't let an emotional response sway you towards making an irrational decision. That's where people really get themselves into trouble.
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:36 PM   #22
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I understand depreciation - but with a plan to keep the car for effectively forever - depreciation sorta goes out the window...

that being said, I do need to TRY to look at the situation objectively... I don't think that I'll have the time to part out the car before I go, so I'll most likely have to sell it straight out - which means I'll seriously take it in the pants for all the work and gear I've put into the car... however, getting out from under a car payment for 4 years (while the job pays my lease in England) is a worth a lot of money as well...

did I know I wanted a WRX 5 years ago? no, I wanted an SVX - but I'm a fairly big guy, and just don't fit well in them... I'm not a "wow, check out the next big thing" kinda guy... I don't expect that to play as big a factor in my life as a lot of others...

from what I'm hearing it sounds like:

1. taking the car with will most likely not be an option, both for financial and title issues (assuming the gov doesn't have some way around it, I seriously doubt all those military people I know over there have their cars paid off when they get there)

2. storing the car while making payments is not a sound financial decision

that leaves "sell the car, and buy/lease in England"...

sigh... may not be able to do what I want to do this time...

thanks for the input...
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Old 08-14-2002, 03:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Somber
sigh... may not be able to do what I want to do this time...
There is no doubt that sometimes reality sucks....
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Old 08-14-2002, 03:11 PM   #24
Jon [in CT]
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We were moved to Germany for a couple of years, back in '97. For us, the decision to sell our exiting cars was a no-brainer. Deciding what to do about our house was tougher. However, we weren't military.

Since the DoD will pay to ship your POV, your cheapest option is to let them ship your WRX to England. While you're still in the US, check with USAA about overseas insurance on your WRX. If your car isn't paid off, you need a letter from the lien-/lease-holder saying they give permission for you to take the car overseas. By now you should have read the Shipping Your POV pamphlet from the Military Traffic Management Command.

The only thing you'd be giving up is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to bat around England/Europe in one of those funky British roadsters like the Lotus Elise, Caterham, TVR, etc.

And don't forget that it's not always smooth sailing, even when the military ships your car:
http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/De...ardamages.html
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Old 08-14-2002, 05:57 PM   #25
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Somber,

A lot of good advice from PPower et al.
I'm from England but now live in the USA. My advice is:

1) Not to take your WRX over. Could prove costly taking it over and insuring (WRX is a group 19). Driving a left hand drive car in the UK will not be fun.

2) Since you will be going for 3-5 years sell it
- you don't want to continue paying for the WRX
- consider the depreciation involved in storing
- after 5 years you will lust after something else


- Rak
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