Smart cars as a toad?

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terry nathan

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We are busy planning our next trip back to the States - bringing our European RV with us.  We have a Smart Brabus car which we use as a toad and which fits inside the garage of the motorhome.

Question:  Is the Smart car now a legal on-road car in the USA?

Terry
 

BernieD

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Terry

I don't know how legal it is but I have seen one on the road in the US. It was in Indio, CA in a parking lot and it had Mexican plates on it.
 

Tom

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Terry

Do you mean all-electric or mixed energy? Both are driven here.
 

terry nathan

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The Smart is regular petrol (that was for your benefit Tom!!) or gas engine.  Bernie says he has seen one, but on Mexican plates.  My worry is US Customs may turn it round at Jacksonville and send it back to Europe.

 

Terry A. Brewer

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Terry

>>The Smart is regular petrol (that was for your benefit Tom!!) or gas engine.<<

A few years ago in A Las Vegas hotel shop where they sold Swatch's? they had a swatch(Smart) car hanging from the ceiling. There was talk of them importing them into the US...but I haven't seen any on the road. I doubt they would pass the crash tests.

Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

Carl L

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Tom said:
Terry

This Smart web site suggests they can be (or soon will be) bought and driven in the USA.

Here is The Word from the NHTSA website at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/TempInfo.html

As a general rule, all motor vehicles imported into the United States that are less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), or be brought into compliance with those standards by a Registered Importer. Vehicles temporarily imported in the following circumstances are exempt from this requirement and do not have to be modified to conform to the FMVSS. A DOT HS-7 Declaration form (available at ports of entry or at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import) must be completed for each vehicle imported.

NONRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

A vehicle registered in a country other than the United States may be imported for personal use by a non-resident of the United States for a period not to exceed one year. The vehicle cannot be sold while in the United States and must be exported within one year from the date of entry. This period cannot be extended under any circumstances. The importer?s passport number and the name of the country that issued the passport must be supplied on the HS-7 Declaration form. Use Box 5 on the HS-7 Declaration form.


Evidently they can bring it in, but they gotta take it back with them in a year.
 

Tom

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Ah so Carl san. Hope Terry sees that info..

Grasshopper
 

terry nathan

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Thanks for that info Carl, now all I need to do is find an answer to the ridiculous insurance quote ($6000 each way) to ship the coach across the Atlantic. 

Terry
 

Wolfgang

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Terry,
There is a shipper in Amsterdam by the name of Haul Autoliners which has super prices.  They run Ro Ro ships from Amsterdam to Baltimore, Maryland at least monthly.  I don't have their phone number handy but they are on the Internet.  The company is out of Oslo, Norway I believe.

Regards,

Wolfgang
 

terry nathan

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Thanks for that Wolfgang, and sorry to be so late coming back to you.  I'll e-mail them a bit nearer the time to get their prices.  I am reconciled it is going to cost around $4500 each way, which is OK.  It's the bloody insurance which is off the wall.

 

Jim Dick

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Hi Terry,

I don't remember if I told you or not but I saw a Smart car a couple of years ago in Tolland. It was just getting off the Interstate and had dealer plates. Haven't seen one since but I see no reason why you wouldn't be allowed to drive it since it should meet all our standards. The only hitch that might be possible would pertain to safety items such as seat belts.

 

DougJ

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If you were coming to Canada, Terry, I think you would be OK.  I see quite a few of them here in Vancouver, with BC licence plates which I think must mean that they are legal here.

However, I have no idea what the ins-and-outs are of bringing one with you into Canada.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Chet18013

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Hi Terry,

We've seen the several Smart Cars on the road in Canada. Why not ship the whole works to Halifax and then start your trip from there. I bet you'll have no trouble crossing into the US that way.  I can remember back in the 50's that there was a car, smaller than the Smart Car,---- from Germany, I think, can't remember the name--, that was sold across the US. I usually one or two of these per year on the roads in our travels around the US.

Chet18013
 

Jim Dick

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Chet,

I think you might be referring to the Isetta, a two passenger vehicle that was accessed by opening the front of the car! There's one in Tolland at a tool rental store.

 

BernieD

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Chet18013 said:
I can remember back in the 50's that there was a car, smaller than the Smart Car,---- from Germany, I think, can't remember the name--, that was sold across the US. I usually one or two of these per year on the roads in our travels around the US.

Chet

I remember two, the Isetta and the Messerschmidt <sp?>. Both were based on motorcycles and opened from the front.
 

John From Detroit

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There is an article in this month's FMCA magazine with a title something like "Why Tow It when you can Stow it?"

The story is about a person who makes custom mini-cars.  now these, I gather, are fully street legal mini-cars (cut down hondas mostly) which fit in the basement storage on his converted tour bus RV
 

John From Detroit

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The question was asked,,, Is a smart car legal in the us

http://www.usa.smart.com/brand/media/stage.html

Does not answer that question... Nor does it answer many of my questions (IE: Price) but it is an interesting site
 

Tom

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I saw that article too John. Have you seen Terry Nathan's setup? Click the Photos button in the toolbar above, then select the album named Terry & Liliane Nathan's custom Euro coach. The second photo shows their Smart Car toad tucked in beneath their bedroom.
 
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