Buying and Owning an American Car in the Heart of Europe

Chevy Camaro Prague
Yes, you can find a Camaro in Prague. [photos: Jan Dolezal]

How to Buy American in Europe: Czech Republic edition

The Czech Republic is a country which is well known for one famous car manufacturer all around the world. Everybody who is interested in automobiles knows Skoda. Skoda sells cars in the whole Europe and also Asia. It’s been well proven that owning a car like Skoda in Europe will cause you no problems. But what if you want to have an “exotic” car and decide to buy a product that comes from the other side of the pond?

You can buy cars like the Ford Mustang or Jeeps  almost as easily as Skoda because the dealers sell them officially in EU versions. For example my family owns a 2002 Chrysler Voyager minivan, which was also sold officially in the EU.

We bought our Chrysler four years ago as a used car. The Voyager is equipped with a 2.5 liter CRD diesel engine from VM Motori. This Italian engine produces 143 Hp and 236 ft lb of torque. Fuel economy is where diesel really shines. Our minivan gets 31 mpg combined which is an OK number considering that diesel costs $4.90 per gallon here. I cannot talk about reliability of this car very much. It would be irrelevant because we were in a hurry while buying this car, and we bought a one that had been in an accident. That was a mistake.

Europe has, in general, tighter parking spots than USA so sometimes you have to look around for a space that is not too tight for opening your door.

When buying a used American car in Europe it is important to check the car’s history for any damages. CarFax says that more than 60% of all imported cars from USA to Europe have a negative history. Most of the newer cars come from salvage auctions and are unprofessionally repaired at the lowest cost possible.

This risk of buying a repaired salvage vehicle will be nixed by buying a brand new vehicle. There are several companies in the Czech Republic that are experienced in American cars and can offer the right car for everyone’s needs.

People that love trucks are in most cases buying RAMs. Nobody wants to pay a lot of money for the expensive gas in the EU so many of these trucks have LPG conversions built into them. However there is a tricky part: you can drive a 1/2-ton truck with a regular driving license for cars, but if you want a heavy-duty truck you have to obtain a driving license for truck category “C.” And because of the towing capacity of the heavy duties your vehicle must be equipped with a tachograph (a monitor that records your speed and distance to a removable device like a jump drive or CD-R).

Trendy drivers looking for SUVs in most cases buy Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees. Yes, Mopar is a popular Amerian brand in Europe. American minivans also hit the roads of Europe quite often.

Big thanks belongs to Simix for allowing us to take pictures of the cars in their showroom in Prague and for having a great talk that has become a source for some useful informations in this article.

Interested in seeing a little bit of Czech Republic? Please watch the review below of the new Volkswagen Tiguan by Roman and Tommy with Czech subtitles!