Importing a car

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bobafett
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Postby bobafett » Tue May 13, 2008 8:50 pm

hi guys,i own a 4.3 litre chevrolet/gmc astro safari dayvan, now this in the uk is classed as a commerical van ie cheap tax, going to take this to bg ,will it be classed the same or should i gas it. its not made in the euro zone but in the usa. have heard that the tax will be high, but how high and is there any way around this by takein out of bg then bringing it back. or is a commercial vechicle classed differntly when taking in to bg.

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Last edited by bobafett on Tue May 13, 2008 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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a day in the kat office

Postby translator » Tue May 13, 2008 8:51 pm

hi to all

i will tell u a story from the kat office.me and my partner bought a car from england and we wanted to registrate it in bg so the taxes are times cheaper.so we went to the office and everything was as smooth as butter.it was going so easy that u could feel that sth is gonna go wrong.and it did....
just before getting the plates somebody said that we had to get the KW checked.so we thought ok np.it occured that it is 152 KW which is about right cause the car is with cosworth engine.but what we didnt know that for cars over 120 KW u pay a tax at the customs and then u can registrate the car.that didnt sound that bad until they told us that the tax that we have to pay is 11000 leva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!because for every KW u pay 60 leva and that is without VAT.as u can imagine we are not gonna pay this and we are not gonna have the car registrated but which was even more anoying they made us buy a bg insuarance - 181 leva which is for the bin now cause the car hasnt got bg plates.so it all turned into a nightmare.i just couldnt believe it all and that the documents were checked by so many people and nobody said that we had a problem.but that is bg unfortunately. :cry:

niki

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Varna KAT

Postby JerBil » Tue May 13, 2008 9:58 pm

Interested in our experience at the Varna KAT? Then, read on…..

Well, we didn’t get up early on Monday so it was after 10 a.m. before we got to the KAT and it is only a 20 minute drive for us.

It was easy enough to find because it is at our end of town and on a relatively major junction (plus it says KAT in great big letters that you can see a mile away) but getting into the place was more difficult, especially when you don’t know exactly which part of the complex you are supposed to be going to.

After two trips up the opposite side of the road (a dual-carriageway), u-turn at the top and back down again, we pulled in and parked. Then a nice security guard pointed out that we couldn’t park in front of the building and directed us to apartment block parking across the other side of the dual carriageway. We found a spot and walked back across to the building that we had originally parked in front of and went into a hall full of people with about 10 windows with clerks behind them. Not knowing where we were supposed to go, we stood in line at one of them. After about ten minutes my partner decided to go and ask someone and she was led through a restaurant, out the back door and directed across a large courtyard to some other nebulous building somewhere in the distance. She came back and told me the story, we laughed, and at that moment the window became free, so I asked where we should go. A kind lady took us through the restaurant, out the back door and directed us across a large courtyard to some other nebulous building somewhere in the distance. Hmmm, we thought, perhaps that is where we are supposed to go, so we did.

This can’t be the place, we thought, there is no one waiting. We went in, explained to the first window what we wanted and the window asked for the documents. “Oh dear”, said my partner, “I have left them in the car”. Good start.

So, we went and got the documents and, as we are walking up the driveway to the building, we thought “why couldn’t we have driven in here and parked?” and we could have done.

This time we got “window number two” who, after looking at the documents, screamed something at us. My command of Bulgarian isn’t that great but, when it is screamed at me, my brain shuts down. A customer at the next window said “insurance”. In my best Bulgarish I said “I thought you got that after registering the car” but he insisted “insurance” and directed us across to another building.

Fortunately, insurance woman spoke good English and 126 bgn later we had insurance for an unknown, to be filled in when we received it, registration (now that is why I thought you would get insurance after registering the car).

“Window number 3” this time took the documents, sent my partner to pay 12 bgn at the cash desk and started to process them, stopped and muttered something. I expressed a lack of comprehension and then “window number 2” said “sign a contract” and repeated it a couple of times. A eureka moment, she meant that as the car was in my partner’s name we should have her sign it over to the company but, as I was trying to absorb the implications of that, they introduced “friendly technician” with as much command of English as we have Bulgarian and he said “come” so we went.

“Friendly technician” led us into the workshop and spent a considerable amount of time visiting offices and returning to us on a regular basis until he finally said that we had to go to Burgas. “Oh ****!” (another eureka moment) I thought, “the company is still registered in Burgas so the car has to be registered there”. But wait, I have started the process of re-registering the company, in parallel with an address change to Dobrina and had all the documents with me, which I gave to him. Excited, he went off to visit more offices, eventually returning with hand-written changes to the application form giving Dobrina as the company address. However, it was now 10 minutes past the start of his lunch break so he asked us to come back at 13:00.

We mulled over this while we ate at the food stand but, unless “friendly technician’s” ploy worked, resigned ourselves to having to go to Burgas, especially as a quick check with the lawyer gave us the news that the company re-registration people were snowed under and it would probably be three months before our address change was effective.

We moved our car from the apartment block car park to a strategic spot in front of the registration offices and returned to see “friendly technician” who led us back to “window number 3”. They had an argument, she insisted Burgas, he tried to reason with her and she insisted “Burgas”, so that was that. We left.

As we had visited immigration last week and needed to pick up our ID cards we decided to get them before we left town. Trying to find anywhere to park near immigration is impossible. However, twenty minutes later, after picking up our cards we were sitting having another lunch, eating an omelette, when I suddenly thought (another eureka moment) “why are we registering this in the company name (as per forum suggestion, as it is “easier”), why aren’t we registering in partner’s name as we now have ID cards and car is in her name anyway?”

So back to KAT, prime parking position out front. We went to insurance person and put proposal to her. “Oh, big problem, you have wrong insurance, will have to charge you to change”. “How much is big problem?” I said. “5 lev” she said. “OK” I said “but first we check with technician guy to see if this will work”.

“Friendly technician” was under the hood of a car when we interrupted him but he took time out to discuss our proposal. We showed him ID card. He had to mull it over and visit some more offices before coming back, unsure. He collared a colleague who said “Burgas”. I said “why? She has ID, she lives in Dobrina, the car is in her name?” Colleague says “Burgas”. We argue, they argue. “Friendly policeman” drinking coffee nearby is intrigued and steps in. “Of course it is ok” he says (in English and, I think, repeats in Bulgarian). “Friendly technician” and colleague look stunned. He tells them “she is resident, the car belongs to her, of course she can register it in her name” (in Bulgarian). Well, I think that is what he said. The two still look stunned as we headed off to insurance woman.

Insurance changed for 5 bgn and back to “window number 3” who says “Burgas!” or it might have been “Burgas?” expressing surprise that we had been there and back so quickly. I smile, show her partner’s ID card, show her name on registration, she looks even more sullen and beats the keyboard to death, while secretly smiling to herself that we have to pay another 12 bgn for a new application (and, actually, that extra 17 bgn might have got us to Burgas and back).

“What now?” we ask insurance woman. “We get plates?” “Oh no, you have to go to position number 2 and they won’t take you today, the gates are closed” and she was right. So that is more petrol to Varna and back tomorrow, which makes Burgas look even better.

Day 2…..

We got up a bit earlier and arrived at KAT at about 9:30 a.m. We waved our application at the gate guard and he let us in. A five minute wait and suddenly the cars in front of us started to move forward. We followed suit.

A technician and a gate policeman looked at the car, inspected the headlight stickers (it is a Nissan Micra with headlight covers that have a patch on them in order to comply with regulations driving in Europe) and asked what they were for. They didn’t seem interested in our explanation. The four vehicles in front had gone into lane #1 and we were asked to park next to the last of them for “fire safety inspection” which turned out to be a quick look at the fire extinguisher in the boot.

Meanwhile, lanes 2 and 3 filled up with four or five vehicles in each. Then lane #2 was let in to the building closely followed by lane #3. We waited. Ten minutes later they let us in.

As we had spent some time in the building the day before we had a fair idea of what went on in there. What hadn’t registered on us was how fortunate we had been to be, purely coincidentally, in lane #1 as that seemed to entail a document check, a vehicle number check and then on your way, whereas lanes 2 and 3 seemed to get the full MOT test (equivalent) process.

The wringing of hands in glee quickly diminished though. Well, I say quickly but it was a good ten minutes before they got to our car. They started to look for numbers and suddenly the accompanying police officer grabbed the application form, circled “63” KW and “1346” cc, muttered something about tests and walked off. I still don’t know what made him ring those numbers unless he was an expert on Nissan Micras but I suddenly realised that they were wrong. Having already checked what the KW for the car should have been, I knew it was 48 because the engine size was 1240 cc. “Window number 3” had had the last laugh, she had entered the engine size incorrectly and, of course, we hadn’t read the forms.

They checked the car, they agreed it should be 1240 cc, they didn’t know what the KW was, “48” I said, but yes it was 1240 cc and they changed the form, even changing the KW to 48. “Good”, I think, but too soon. “Friendly technician” from yesterday was commandeered to handle it. He led us out of the building and into a smaller building close by. We didn’t know why we were there. Two men behind the counter were, presumably, looking at terminals. They could have been reading newspapers for all we could tell but they were probably looking at terminals. “Friendly technician” gave one of them the UK registration papers. A few minutes later we were handed a printout. “10 lev” technician says. I look at piece of paper. Among other things I see “1240 cc” and “48 KW”. “Yes, that is correct I say. Why 10 lev?” “You have to pay” he says. “Why? It was your error not mine”, I say. “Not my error”, he says. “I know”, I say, “it was administration error but why should I pay?” “You don’t have to pay”, he says and gives piece of paper back to “terminal man” and says “come”.

So, we followed him back into the building and into arms of “friendly policeman”, from yesterday. “What is problem?” he says. “Administration error”, I say. “They have put wrong engine size on form and now they want me to pay 10 lev to correct it”, I say. Suddenly, he is not so friendly. “So, you don’t like it? You go back home”, he says and disappears and the moment is lost when I could have said “what, to Dobrina?” but I don’t think he meant Dobrina.

OK, so it is back to “terminal man” for the piece of paper. “It’ll be 20 lev now” says partner, before we walk in. “It is now 20 lev” he says, in perfect English, as we walk through the door. “20 lev?” I say in disbelief. “You are lucky” he says “they charge more at other places.” I say, “but it is not our fault it is their administration that put the wrong engine size on the form.” “They are police, I am private company” he says as he snatches 20 lev note out of my hand and stuffs it in his shirt pocket “this is for me”. We leave with piece of paper with correct details of car on it thinking Burgas would have probably have been a better bet after all.

Back into the workshops and to “friendly technician”. “What now?” we say. “Come”, he says and leads us to an office where another policeman sits, a miserable sod. “What is problem?” he says. “I don’t think there is a problem now but we have just had to pay 20 lev to correct a mistake that your administration made”, I say. “Why do you come here, if you don’t speak Bulgarian”, he says. “I live here”, I say, “I have to come here to register car. Actually, I don’t have to come here, I could drive around on my UK insurance and tax for a few more months but I am trying to be a good citizen and fit in. Anyway, what has my not speaking Bulgarian got to do with your administration error? It says 1240 cc on the form that I gave to you and your clerk typed in 1346 or didn’t bother to check whatever your system says against my documentation.” And so we were grilled, a lot. He was good enough to provide an interpreter but we had to tell him our life history (or the life history of the car, at least) until he was satisfied and sent us to “window number 8” with our GB plates to trade in.

Getting tired of this story? Not long now.

OK, so window number 8 has seating whereas the rest of the windows don’t. That tells you something about the wait at window number 8. Don’t sit down though because people see no queue and while current customer is off at the cash desk or somewhere else in the building getting more documentation others see an open window and take advantage of it. Fortunately “window number 8” gives them a nasty glare and tells them to wait their turn. And, no problem, eventually name was called, money was paid (58 lev) and it was 12:00 so everyone broke for lunch.

7.40 bgn for lunch, a trip to insurance lady to give her the registration of the vehicle and by then it was 13:00. Ten minutes sitting down in the workshop watching the afternoon queues of cars being processed (when you think about it, Bulgarians don’t do this all that often so it is as strange a process to them as it is to a foreigner) and then suddenly there it was, our plates and documents sitting on the table ready for us to drive through and have them fixed.

Lovely guys who fix the plates, screwed on new plastic frames, installed new plates, great conversation and then suddenly we’re off home, like the policeman suggested we should do.

If you are well organised, you should be able to do this in well under a day, rather than two days. Make sure you have all the documentation, get the insurance on-site before you go in to get the application form, I recommend you get your residence id cards and register the car in your own name rather than the company name (especially if it is a two hour drive to where your company is registered), make sure the details are correct before you leave the registration office with the completed application form, buy a complete description of your model of vehicle at one of the on-site offices and don’t argue with anyone.

So, 126 bgn insurance, 12 bgn for the registration and 58 bgn for the tax and plates (and £180 refund for UK tax and insurance). However, it cost us another 12 bgn for 2nd application (personal as opposed to business), 5 bgn to change the insurance, 20 bgn for the car description and 11 bgn for lunch for two days. Experience, priceless.

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Postby lyn » Wed May 14, 2008 4:10 pm

I read this this morning and spent ages chuckling - until I realised that we will probably have to go through the same thing! Ours will be Kiyustendil vs Blagoevgrad though. I'll let you know if we fare any better. :lol:
(A brilliant post, though! )

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Postby MOD » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:37 am

Blakey asked:
when you first reg your car in bg, and get your bg plates, you receive the docs with all details, on the doc it has the date of registrastion example july 2007, does the car need to br re registrated, every 12months, also what is personal liabilaty insurance, is it a necessaty and if so where do you get it from


Leedarkwood replied:
Yep you have to go back to the kat office for your 'mot' and new proof of insurance. Make sure you wash the car and clean the engine compartment first, and get there early to be in the queue! You will need the car's Talon and all your insurance cards we think, we are doing this during this week, will let you know.

Lee


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Postby mathew » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:12 am

Jerbil

Next time you need to go to KAT bring a Bulgarian person with you, it took me only a 3 hours to get everything fixed.

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Postby scot47 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:17 am

Mathew is right.For this you need a lot of patience and someone who can read,write and speak Bulgarian.

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BG REG OR NOT

Postby nitwit » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:21 am

have just been reading through the registration storys and am very confused ,is it complusery to re register a GB car to BG plated now BG is in the EU i thought not ,but if not why are these people putting them selfs in this nightmare ,I only ask because we have a BG car and had no intention of re registering ,we have purchased mandatary insurance for BG from KAT Bourgs ,we have been stopped twice by road check police with no problems but now i am wondering inview of the posts if i am missing something ,because as Slap Head says why bother if not nessasary :?

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Postby leedarkwood » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:38 am

If you have a bg car on bg plates no problem, you just need to go to KAT once a year for the 'mot' sticker.

If you have a car on non bg plates, you can't insure it here in BG, you need BG plates. That is european law. I don't know how long you can keep a non BG plated car here, but if you have to buy the insurance outside the country the cost of that will more than outway the trouble of a day waiting around at KAT. Take a book and if you are really organised, a small folding stool!

Get your insurance documents sorted out before you go to KAT, and have them in hand, it saves you some queuing while you are there, and you can choose your insurance deal. Otherwise you are stuck with whatever the insurance company at KAT want to charge.

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Postby derek42 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:15 am

leedarkwood wrote:

If you have a car on non bg plates, you can't insure it here in BG, you need BG plates. That is european law. I don't know how long you can keep a non BG plated car here, but if you have to buy the insurance outside the country the cost of that will more than outway the trouble of a day waiting around at KAT.


Hi Lee

Just to let you know, we have 2 cars here, one which is registerd and the other is a British Reg car and have had for 5 years. We renewed the insurance last week with no problems and it did cover breakdown and Green Card, not expensive at 350lvs a year. This does prove much cheaper "at the moment" than the €6,000 import tax that KAT keep quoting me. As for the validity of the insurance, I had to claim 6 months ago when someone rear ended me and it was all cleared up and paid for in 3 weeks.


I do agree with you that registering the car here is a better option, only if it is under 143kw, over that then face the wrath of the import police.

Registering here also makes for an interesting grin on your face when you drive back to the UK with your £25 road tax :D


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