Cars in the USA

Koiviston Autotal USA cars blog post image

Zau, after the EU car blog, I got some enquiries about US cars, so I decided to do a blog about them too. If you've been thinking about buying a car from America, or buying a car imported from there - this blog is for you.

The US is known for its big SUVs and pick-up trucks and V8 petrol engines. Fortunately, there are many other interesting things to see. In fact, it's usually not only the moving trucks that are imported, but also quite unique cars, rather than the so-called mass-produced cars.


It's a big area, so it's clear that the conditions are different. For example, the sun and the maritime climate bring their own challenges for cars. Older cars in sunny areas may have exceptionally poor paint finishes, or the maritime climate may have caused corrosion in odd places.

However, I would keep the history of the car under a magnifying glass. Obtaining historical data on American cars is also easy and inexpensive, often even free. 


The US is happy to sell cars damaged in one way or another to Europe and the rest of the East. If you are not consciously buying one of these "Salvage Title" cars, dig as deep as you can into its history. Or even if you are knowingly buying a car that has been in a minor collision, for example, do your research. High-quality reports will also be able to tell you about any previous damage. The simplest report providers may not take these into account. You can get a good quality report for €50. Cheaper reports costing €10-20 have often been shown to be incorrect in many respects. You can find pictures of the reported damage free of charge by browsing the web.


Unfortunately, in the US, documentation of car maintenance is quite poor. Cars with an electronic maintenance database are usually quite well documented in terms of maintenance. Unfortunately, older cars rarely have a proper maintenance history. Fortunately, the use of cloud services by service stations to record miles and the date of the service visit has become more common. However, these have not yet developed to the point of providing clearer explanations of the actions taken. CarFax, for example, is one proven reporting provider.


Registration in Finland and its ease is very car-specific. My own experience with cars less than 10 years old is that they have always complied with these European regulations, i.e. registration and registration have gone smoothly. However, there are cases where cars have not been registered at all. Check the registration certificate, the type plate and any emission sticker carefully before you buy and make sure that there are no obstacles to registration. Please note that the stickers are on the engine compartment as well as on the door panels, so the stickers may be worn. However, the texts should be legible. If no emission sticker can be found, this may not be an obstacle to registration, but in this case the tax value will be applied according to weight. Such cars may include "Canada spec" cars.


Costs on top of the purchase price of the car include, presumably, the broker's commission, currency exchange, forwarding services/port, freight costs, customs duties, VAT, registration and inspection costs + car tax when registering in Finland.

The cars are shipped to Finland in sea containers, the car will be on the road for about 2 months, so you should put salt bags or something else inside the car that absorbs moisture. If you are worried about the car tax, you can check the tax information on the tax .fi website for the price information service or the tax values applied.


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