Are Gray Market Cars in the US still a thing?
March 28, 2014 3:18 PM Subscribe
Back in the 1980s, I remember a lot of older (richer) friends in Southern California were obsessed with gray market cars, importing special German versions of BMW and Porsche cars to the US and driving them. I haven't heard the term used in ages and there are TONS of Euro-spec cars I wish I could get in the US. Does this still happen? Or is it prohibitively expensive on both ends these days? Or is there some other reason?
posted by mathowie to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mostly, this is me wishing I could get more diesel versions of cars than the ~dozen or so available here (in Europe, everything comes in a diesel option). Some of the really exciting options are stuff like Volvo's plugin hybrid diesel
you can't buy here.
Is it a problem of regulations for air emissions? (I'm in rural-ish Oregon where we don't have smog checks at all)
Is it a problem of cost? (too expensive over there plus shipping costs on top?)
Is it a DMV issue? (will I be able to get license plates for it or will they block it as a non-US car?)
Is it that cars are way too complex now? (servicing would be impossible since dealers aren't trained for non-US models and parts would be too expensive to replace?)