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Hi All

This is really a follow on to some of the recent posts. Someone identified the french autotrader site and having had a look got me wondering about the problems and rules for importing a second hand foreign car. Anyone know? To date my only experience is the recent ebay sale of an XM that a Belgian buyer had failed to be able to export from the UK after buying it.
Is there a thriving market in secondhand XM spares at a french breakers yard just behind the hypermarket in Calais? Should I be taking day trips across there for spares.
On a slightly more serious note, what are the UK rules on conversions, where do I find the details? I have a 2.0 Petrol VSX estate with a very good body, interior etc and will have a spare good 2.5 engine, box,transmission, tank, fuel system and wiring loom. Both are aircon and around the 100k mark. Is two into one worth thinking about if my labour comes free?


If you are young, fit and able, you have all the necessary parts -near enough - what are you waiting for? Go to it and build another beauty which will appreciate in value over the years, which the petrol car will not (IMHO).
Hi XMexc,

It funny you know but I've been giving it some serious thought over the last 24 hours since I looked at the french Autotrader. There are loads of really late 2.5TD's over there. By their age it also means they are multiplexed too, oo err. And a few of them were Exclusives to boot. I have been drooling over the photos on the website myself.

Just going through the thought process out loud here's what I can think of so far:
New dash from donor RHD model
Possibly new pedal box from donor RHD model
New headlights or headlight glasses from donor RHD model.
Would you bother transferring the One-Touch electric window over? Probably not unless very easy.

Need to understand the following:
Is the wiring loom for both RHD and LHD models common up to the bulkhead and then a LHD or RHD loom plugs in at that point or is the whole car loom handed?
How much of the dash is multiplexed? There are no multiplexed donor cars in this country.
What are the laws against this as there surely must be?
Are all the standards the same in France as they are here? Would any other component have to be changed to comply?
What would your insurance company think about insuring the converted car?
The french cars hold their value much better than in the UK. Is it economically viable?
Are the airbag positions affected?
Just how much of the wiring loom is affected?

Its sooooooooo tempting. Please talk me out of it sad.gif


Noz go and get a long stiff drink ,and then perhaps two more then you will wake up tomorrow and think you had a dream.
Hi bobtee,

Funny you should say that, a bottle of Australian Shiraz is going down quite nicely as we speak ! hic !


noz cool.gif wacko.gif
ohmy.gif Noz,
that sounds like a short cut to a whole world of hurt!!
Just a spanner in the works here! - I phoned one of the Citroen breakers on ebay requesting a Mk2 wing, he said, roughly, 'we dont have many Mk2 spares here we can get twice as much for them on the continent' - Thought I had better mention it.

Hi Peter

Thanks for that, I had a suspicion that XM's and second hand bits from France was not on but thought it was worth asking particularly as some of the other contributors regularly visit France.

What colour and which wing are you looking for?



I'm lucky enough to live full time in France and the French believe that everything has a price! Secondhand cars are very expensive compared with UK and for older cars, mileages are astronomic(?) and the older the car, the greater the number of big dents despite the description 'tres bon etat'. The older generation believe in buying a car and getting full value from it, there was very little 'keeping up with the Jones' and number plates are not obviously date related. Things are beginning to change though with the younger generation. XMs are not common and estates even more so. Private sellers of cars for spares generally mean you buy the complete car and trailer it away. I haven't studied French Autotrader but have a look at Ebay France. Never but never buy a car sight unseen from France!

All that said, anything to keep these magnificent cars running must be good. I think both saloon and estate have timeless styling, the estate in particular, in my humble opinion, because it doesn't look like a saloon modified to an estate as an afterthought. My estate is up to 150k miles, has no engine leaks and pulls like a train (sorry to the purists it's petrol and manual).

We should be going to France in May. I must say I have never seen a breakers yard in France (or an XM estate for that matter) If anyone knows of any in east Brittany, I will have a look.

xmexclusive - Sorry John, its the drivers side front wing.

Not sure this is exactly of interest to you but I imported my XM from Germany in 2004. I bought it on the German ebay, unseen, and went there to pick it up. Overthere you need to register the car in your name, get a new temporary numberplate and temp insurance -they call those "export", they last for two weeks. Cost, 150 euros, a 2-hours job at the ADAC. Then you are off Germany. The process of registering it in the UK is pretty simple. It needs an MOT first (even if it had TUV) and an insurance then. The four conversions necessary for an XM to ride in the UK are three, the following two: sticking some tape on your headlights. Even if the speedo has no miles but only kph. On its second MOT now, all is fine, only that various bits and pieces underneath are rusting quickly...

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