Ok so I've decided on an '85 200Tdi 110 in the UK. Now what?
It's got some typical rust issues (doors need to be rebuilt; maybe the pillars). Stated as current V5.
We've decided on price (no haggling in the UK I guess) and the dealer (independent) is going to hold the vehicle a bit for me to collect some parts for the shipment. He seems pretty easy going so far, and said no problem to it sitting while I collect some bits to ship with the 110.
So here are my questions; let me know if I'm missing something important!
Who should I use for brokerage/customs work in the US?
I exchanged (one) email with a rep here in the US to help me with the process, but they have haven't responded to emails or phone calls since Tuesday. Maybe he's traveling or on vacation, but I'd really like to get talk to someone about the process before I send a deposit, and the seller is waiting. Shipment will be to Houston, so should I get someone there with LR experience in case I run into an issue at customs?
Should I expect one?
I requested a purchase agreement before I send a deposit, and basically I got nothing back but "buying 'x' for 'y'". At a minimum I'm going to write an email back stating they will deliver to port of departure etc and not charge for any storage for say, 30 days (reasonable?) while I collect bits (seller has no problem with me shipping stuff to his shop).
The deposit isn't huge (500GBP). For those have imported before, are there any conditions that provide for a full or partial refund of the deposit that I should include in the "purchase agreement" I write back? Should I have the RO/RO quote in hand before I send the deposit?
What's the best way? Seller requested money wire or paypal; vehicle was originally listed as "classified only" on ebay.uk, but they don't provide protection for vehicles so nothing gained by "buy now" on ebay. So does paypal protect me if I use a credit card for the transaction? Seller also lists that he takes credit cards on his website, but didn't email that back as an option, but I'm thinking that might be best?
Seller got a quote for RO/RO of $1800 to Houston. Sounds reasonable to me, but I assume I should expect the seller to take care of any paperwork in the UK and transport to the shipper as part of the vehicle price? If not, what's a reasonable payment to the seller for such services?
PARTS TO BUY?
So I'm thinking of getting door parts, some seals, and possibly a roof rack (basic galvy box); what else should I pick up? Any 200Tdi specific items I need to consider?
I'm sure it needs at a minimum bushings and shocks, and I'm thinking about a 2" lift; should I buy in the US or UK? Any recommendations on spring/shock/bushing combos would be helpful!
Is there some sort of shipping insurance I should request (is it included in RO/RO?) and how do I cover the vehicle until it gets to my doorstep?
HOW DO I GET IT HOME?
I live in Dallas, and shipment is to Houston; how do I get an unregistered truck back to Dallas? Ship it or do I get documents that would assuage any peace officer that might pull me over for driving home without Texas plates?
I assume I'm 50% there once it clears customs. Anything special I need to know about when I walk in to register it in Texas?
I assume "I'm getting what I'm getting" and won't know 100% what I have until it gets into my garage. Is there anything I'm forgetting before I pull the trigger? What am I forgetting?
If anyone needs some parts shipped to Texas feel free to make a request; as long as there's room inside I'm happy to help out!
Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance from a "nervous import-newbie".