Looking for 1.2tdi abroad

Rod davis

Member
I have been perusing adverts for the 1.2 tdi, which is the version I have always wanted. I have noticed that some prices seem reasonable in Holland at around the £1000 mark possibly due the the high road tax which is about £600 a year. Does anyone have experience of buying in Europe and possibly converting the car to RHD?
 
I have been perusing adverts for the 1.2 tdi, which is the version I have always wanted. I have noticed that some prices seem reasonable in Holland at around the £1000 mark possibly due the the high road tax which is about £600 a year. Does anyone have experience of buying in Europe and possibly converting the car to RHD?
Cost of converting not economical.. And what’s always put me off buying one very few people over here understand that car..with the exception of a couple on here ...that’s my understanding ..
 

TYP 8Z

Member
Buying in Europe is relatively straightforward, lots of information over the internet.
LHD to RHD conversion.... nothing these days is impossible but it will be financially prohibitive.
Being such a small, narrow car, driving a LHD in UK should not be a problem.

I have myself considered buying a 1.2 from Germany many years ago... eventually I gave up mainly due to the lack of technical knowledge and support in the UK when it comes to the gearbox, which after many years and miles will inevitably develop faults... The 1.2 was never sold here so it will be a total mistery to any garage.
 
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Erlingtheelder

A2OC Donor
Buying in Europe is relatively straight forward, lots of information over the internet.
LHD to RHD conversion.... nothing these days is impossible but it will be financially prohibitive.
Being such a small, narrow car, driving a LHD in UK should not be a problem.

I have myself considered buying a 1.2 from Germany many years ago... eventually I gave up mainly due to the lack of technical knowledge and support in the UK when it comes to the gearbox, which after many years and miles will inevitably develop faults... The 1.2 was never sold here so it will be a total mistery to any garage.
Tbf they sold plenty of ‘normal’ A2’s here and they’re also a total mystery to many garages, especially many Audi dealers!!!

I can’t speak from absolute personal experience but my father purchased and imported new a 1.2 from Germany and is still running it 16 years on. It’s not been without it’s challenges however it’s done in excess of 270,000 miles and (aside from looking a bit tatty externally) is still providing exceptional economy and comfort. The LHD thing really isn’t a big issue driving it and I certainly wouldn’t bother spending the time or money converting it but it is a VERY different animal to drive than a ‘regular’ A2. If you do loads of miles and admire its engineering give it a go.

A good independent garage who are willing to research and learn or a business like WOM who have experience are always available for the bigger challenges like gear box issues and there are lots of knowledgeable and really helpful folk on here willing to lend a hand or pass on knowledge. In short, try one first and if you like it, go for it!!
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
There are no RHD versions of the steering racks used for the 1.2Tdi. Wiring harnesses are also not available.

RAB
 

Menno

A2OC Donor
I have been perusing adverts for the 1.2 tdi, which is the version I have always wanted. I have noticed that some prices seem reasonable in Holland at around the £1000 mark possibly due the the high road tax which is about £600 a year. Does anyone have experience of buying in Europe and possibly converting the car to RHD?
When it was introduced in the Netherlands it was free of road tax, because it was a clean and environmentally friendly car...... How sad it is currently, extra road tax nowadays because it's now classified as an old dirty diesel and banned from cities/centre's around the Netherlands.
Owners are fed up (except the hardcore 3L lovers) and not because of the car itself, but of the national rules here in Holland and looked at like they're a criminal still driving a filthy old diesel monster......so people get rid of it, just how the government wants/likes it!

If you fancy one, go for it till it's banned from the world completely!
 

bretti_kivi

Member
I still wouldn't recommend it unless you're either prepared to get your own hands dirty or have deep pockets. VCDS is essential. It's the most complex of all A2s and the age pushes them to be the most likely to be break, too... wouldn't be surprised if they had astronomical mileages either, but I suspect that's mainly in Germany.

- Bret
 
I wonder if there would be a way to do the conversion where you take all the bits off a 1.2 LHD and fit them to a RHD car? I am far from an expert so there is a good chance that this is not possible.

Might Car Mods did a similar thing on their youtube channel with a mira that they wanted to import from japan but couldn't keep the original body shell.

It would be alot of work and like a say I'm no expert so likely near impossible, maybe someone with more knowledge would know the challenges.
 

bretti_kivi

Member
It starts with the lighter shell, the fabric wheelarch liners, and then you get to the aluminium suspension components. Then there's the fixed rear bench - not sure if the anchor points are the same - and then the mechatronics for the gearbox. Add in the fancy wheels with their non-standard rear drums, the different suspension setup, wishbones and all...and the wiring, as RAB pointed out.

With enough knowledge, yes, you probably could. But it would be anything but trivial and completely pointless for anything other than "because i can". you also then have to get it through SVRA or whatever the process is these days. I don't believe though that, for example, the master brake cylinder is in the same place and I would doubt that the fastening points are available for the "other side". Tuneko has dropped a 1.2 into his A8.... but again, he is thoroughly competent, builds his own vehicles for fun and is looking for economy.

I've driven lots with the wheel on both sides of the car in the correct countries and the wrong ones and I don't see it as being an issue except at carparks with a barrier.

The level of complexity of the 1.2 needs to be remembered here: there are actuators, pots and other components that are taken into account on every start, along with the mechatronics to drive them (read: hydraulics). A 1.2 is by far the pickiest of the A2s and requires more care and attention than even an FSI. Try reading the threads on the "Führungshülse" if you feel like it and then the procedure for the GGE, a Getriebe-Grund-Einstellung. The instructions are here in German: https://wiki.a2-freun.de/wiki/index.php/Getriebegrundeinstellung. Note that the only model which has its own subforum there is the 1,2.

- Bret
 

dieselfan

Member
I have been perusing adverts for the 1.2 tdi, which is the version I have always wanted. I have noticed that some prices seem reasonable in Holland at around the £1000 mark possibly due the the high road tax which is about £600 a year.
Does anyone have experience of buying in Europe and possibly converting the car to RHD?
@Rod davis
Without knowing how competent you are, technically and electrically, and having an idea about what kind of budget you are willing to put on the table, it's close to impossible to give you a clear advice.
Just the time you need to pick all the parts you will need.... would probably scare off 99% of candidates to perform such a job.

Is it doable ? Yes
Will it be expensive ? YES

If you go for it, my advice is to use the non servo steering and non AC version....

dieselfan
 

DJ 190

A2OC Donor
It is SO easy to look at the financial sense of projects like this : Your aim in purchasing the 1.2Tdi must be purely fuel economy? I can't see any other reason. I COULD do the sums, but based on a (typical) annual mileage of 10,000 miles and the average mpg of the two versions, it's possible to calculate the fuel cost saving over 1 year of motoring. I don't think that it will be TOO significant. I hope that after reading what I've said, someone can do the calculation!. What I've said is the very reason that I haven't converted my current Mercedes SLK to run on liquid LPG injected fuel (as my previous SLK was)

David
 

Erlingtheelder

A2OC Donor
I have been perusing adverts for the 1.2 tdi, which is the version I have always wanted. I have noticed that some prices seem reasonable in Holland at around the £1000 mark possibly due the the high road tax which is about £600 a year. Does anyone have experience of buying in Europe and possibly converting the car to RHD?
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Apart from the non-availability of certain required parts, why would you want to convert to RHD? Driving a LHD car in the UK, apart from overtaking, you realise that there are just as many advantages as there are disadvantages. For example, on a journey to a former workplace, the road joined another road to the left in a dip at an acute angle. In a RHD car, it was impossible to view the road from the left and the only safe way was to join the road to the right on the wrong side. In a LHD car you could see everything. For overtaking, if moving your head a few feet makes that much difference, maybe you shouldn't be overtaking anyway!

RAB
 

Erlingtheelder

A2OC Donor
Hi Rod,
You're contemplating a Life Choice, not a mere car.........
The Dutch and Danish s/hand 1.2 TDi's are often the base model 3L 5 seat version - a little too 'hair shirt' for me!
This is a post from Erling the elder, (not the younger, my son), so it's the owner of A2's since 2000 and my 1.2 TDI since 2005 - bought new from an Audi dealer in Berlin as a personal export vehicle.
I needed an automatic and this was the only way to stay with the A2 car design. German dealer fitted Rhd headlamps, Mph Instrument cluster and some wheelchair user internal non A2 1.2 parts (grab handles fitted to other A2s). It's not the 5 seat super light 3L version of the 1.2 which doesn't have climate control, power steering etc - but the slightly less economical but still 3 litres per 100 klm economy 4 seat model that had climate and power steering in its basic spec. My car also had virtually everything I could get optioned, incl Winter pack heated cloth seats, mirrors, washer jets etc. UK personal import Homologation and Registration in 2005 was straightforward as I presented German Export Registration Documents, Vehicle Specific Homoligation Certificate, Dealer receipts, incl for installation of key essential items, showed correct fog & reversing lamps lit (wired both in), No VAT paid as new car adapted for wheelchair user and hence applied at zero rate. Car registered in Disabled Class when new, subsequently that was changed to ordinary car category when I bought another wheelchair adapted car. The car, like all 1.2 TDi imports, has remained in the £0 RFL tax category because of its 84 gm CO2 Diesel emissions homologation status.
I quickly fitted a double din dash to accommodate RNS E sat Nav head, o/side boot side trim and 6 cd auto change cassette unit, walnut and leather sports steering wheel, second front cup holder by relocating handbrake warning lamp to centre console tray front, cruise control (Mod to main Ecu to add extra speed output), leather seat covers (Audi OEM), extra 12 volt power sockets in handbrake tray and boot plus lots of little personal preference items such as the small centre screen sun blind and other long forgotten but still in use parts.
Now approaching 260k miles of generally trouble free use - first 180k daily commuting at around 25k per year and logged from brim to top refill record at jut over 84mpg, mostly achieved at speed limits during 35 mile return commute on A roads and M4 between South Wales and Filton Bristol. Serviced as per 1.2 Long Life Schedule - 30,000 miles or 2 years, whichever sooner.
The worst aspect of the early years, with Audi Warranty extended, was the poor knowledge base within the UK dealer network. During this time the car had:
- a brake light switch failure (very interesting effects on 1.2!) fixed by Audi call out Support van man,
- alleged Instrument cluster failure (dealer lost A6 coded RNS E setting and then got totally confused, blamed cluster etc I relented after two visits and agreed to replacement. Then it was the RNS -E unit blamed...........until another member recoded the car again!),
- clutch failure induced gearbox failure (release Bearing guide sleeve failed (circa 130k) damaging clutch and gearbox input shaft - new clutch assembly and gearbox fitted)
- nearside front door hinge attachment fatigue crack - warranty repair as Skipton campaigned for from Audi UK.
Over this time the car's needed all the usual consumable maintenance parts such as brake pads and front discs, rear shoes, cylinders and set of rear drums (cast iron replacing unavailable lovely aluminium), rear shock absorbers (Audi supplied steel shocks - one lovely aluminium Sachs unit leaking), front and rear wheel bearing/hub units twice now, one drive shaft outer, front springs - still slightly long at third set ordered (one original snapped at 240k), several sets of front drop links, one set ARB bushes etc.
Eventually I found Stoke Audi dealership who were great, on quality of work, price and service - including all the 1.2 specific issues such as having the correct parts in stock for planned work (cam belt/tensioners/water pump change and full service) always recalibrating clutch/change mechanism as part of service etc.
More recently (4 years) our local village garage have taken care of the A2, and have managed things very well - asking when in doubt is Mark's approach, and then listening and accepting help.
The A2 has acquired a number of scratched corners in its more recent life, reflecting a mix of drivers and the inherent blind spots inevitable from its design and my car's lack of park sensors front and rear (I'm reliably informed......).

Regardless of any warning such sensors would have offered, the M45 midnight 80mph badger strike in 2018 on the offside corner couldn't have been avoided. I was amazed how effective the underlying A2 impact energy absorbing structure design performed. The outer bumper section was broadly intact, lower front wing lip torn off, air filter body split and fractured, fibre inner wheel arch displaced, undertray torn, displaced and bits missing. Gaffer tape temporary fix of the Air Filter body, reshape, re-enforce and glued bumper and front wing. Replaced Air Filter body with used undamaged item and undertray with a non original copy part (no insulation and stiff plastic).

The A2 1.2 TDi is a keeper doesn't owe me a penny and whilst I can still drive it now deserves a thorough refresh of its suspension, body work and potentially engine/turbo.
I've already sourced a used car set of 1.2 TDi lower front wishbones and mount blocks plus car set of front hub/strut leg/ steering knuckles to recondition ready for use.
I really want to stick with aluminium front legs and source replacement Sacs or equivalent shock absorbers inserts/units for all corners plus the correct length and rate springs, spring seats, mount bearings etc and drop links/bushes as needed. I have yet to establish the definitive parts list for this work and need to search the forum more carefully. I also need front brake dust shields as the ones fitted are more like lace curtains now and will probably disintegrate if removed.
I've also toyed with the idea of fitting a rear ARB to reduce roll during cornering which routinely gets the dash lights flashing and unwanted help from the 'stability control' system......Yes I know It can be 'muted', but that needs to be done every time you use the car.
I first need to check on the forum if anyone else has good experience from fitting their otherwise standard suspension 1.2 TDi with a rear Anti Roll Bar.
 
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gills

A2OC Donor
Hi Rod,
You're contemplating a Life Choice, not a mere car.........
The Dutch and Danish s/hand 1.2 TDi's are often the base model 3L 5 seat version - a little too 'hair shirt' for me!
This is a post from Erling the elder, (not the younger, my son), so it's the owner of A2's since 2000 and my 1.2 TDI since 2005 - bought new from an Audi dealer in Berlin as a personal export vehicle.
I needed an automatic and this was the only way to stay with the A2 car design. German dealer fitted Rhd headlamps, Mph Instrument cluster and some wheelchair user internal non A2 1.2 parts (grab handles fitted to other A2s). It's not the 5 seat super light 3L version of the 1.2 which doesn't have climate control, power steering etc - but the slightly less economical but still 3 litres per 100 klm economy 4 seat model that had climate and power steering in its basic spec. My car also had virtually everything I could get optioned, incl Winter pack heated cloth seats, mirrors, washer jets etc. UK personal import Homologation and Registration in 2005 was straightforward as I presented German Export Registration Documents, Vehicle Specific Homoligation Certificate, Dealer receipts, incl for installation of key essential items, showed correct fog & reversing lamps lit (wired both in), No VAT paid as new car adapted for wheelchair user and hence applied at zero rate. Car registered in Disabled Class when new, subsequently that was changed to ordinary car category when I bought another wheelchair adapted car. The car, like all 1.2 TDi imports, has remained in the £0 RFL tax category because of its 84 gm CO2 Diesel emissions homologation status.
I quickly fitted a double din dash to accommodate RNS E sat Nav head, o/side boot side trim and 6 cd auto change cassette unit, walnut and leather sports steering wheel, second front cup holder by relocating handbrake warning lamp to centre console tray front, cruise control (Mod to main Ecu to add extra speed output), leather seat covers (Audi OEM), extra 12 volt power sockets in handbrake tray and boot plus lots of little personal preference items such as the small centre screen sun blind and other long forgotten but still in use parts.
Now approaching 260k miles of generally trouble free use - first 180k daily commuting at around 25k per year and logged from brim to top refill record at jut over 84mpg, mostly achieved at speed limits during 35 mile return commute on A roads and M4 between South Wales and Filton Bristol. Serviced as per 1.2 Long Life Schedule - 30,000 miles or 2 years, whichever sooner.
The worst aspect of the early years, with Audi Warranty extended, was the poor knowledge base within the UK dealer network. During this time the car had:
- a brake light switch failure (very interesting effects on 1.2!) fixed by Audi call out Support van man,
- alleged Instrument cluster failure (dealer lost A6 coded RNS E setting and then got totally confused, blamed cluster etc I relented after two visits and agreed to replacement. Then it was the RNS -E unit blamed...........until another member recoded the car again!),
- clutch failure induced gearbox failure (release Bearing guide sleeve failed (circa 130k) damaging clutch and gearbox input shaft - new clutch assembly and gearbox fitted)
- nearside front door hinge attachment fatigue crack - warranty repair as Skipton campaigned for from Audi UK.
Over this time the car's needed all the usual consumable maintenance parts such as brake pads and front discs, rear shoes, cylinders and set of rear drums (cast iron replacing unavailable lovely aluminium), rear shock absorbers (Audi supplied steel shocks - one lovely aluminium Sachs unit leaking), front and rear wheel bearing/hub units twice now, one drive shaft outer, front springs - still slightly long at third set ordered (one original snapped at 240k), several sets of front drop links, one set ARB bushes etc.
Eventually I found Stoke Audi dealership who were great, on quality of work, price and service - including all the 1.2 specific issues such as having the correct parts in stock for planned work (cam belt/tensioners/water pump change and full service) always recalibrating clutch/change mechanism as part of service etc.
More recently (4 years) our local village garage have taken care of the A2, and have managed things very well - asking when in doubt is Mark's approach, and then listening and accepting help.
The A2 has acquired a number of scratched corners in its more recent life, reflecting a mix of drivers and the inherent blind spots inevitable from its design and my car's lack of park sensors front and rear (I'm reliably informed......).

Regardless of any warning such sensors would have offered, the M45 midnight 80mph badger strike in 2018 on the offside corner couldn't have been avoided. I was amazed how effective the underlying A2 impact energy absorbing structure design performed. The outer bumper section was broadly intact, lower front wing lip torn off, air filter body split and fractured, fibre inner wheel arch displaced, undertray torn, displaced and bits missing. Gaffer tape temporary fix of the Air Filter body, reshape, re-enforce and glued bumper and front wing. Replaced Air Filter body with used undamaged item and undertray with a non original copy part (no insulation and stiff plastic).

The A2 1.2 TDi is a keeper doesn't owe me a penny and whilst I can still drive it now deserves a thorough refresh of its suspension, body work and potentially engine/turbo.
I've already sourced a used car set of 1.2 TDi lower front wishbones and mount blocks plus car set of front hub/strut leg/ steering knuckles to recondition ready for use.
I really want to stick with aluminium front legs and source replacement Sacs or equivalent shock absorbers inserts/units for all corners plus the correct length and rate springs, spring seats, mount bearings etc and drop links/bushes as needed. I have yet to establish the definitive parts list for this work and need to search the forum more carefully. I also need front brake dust shields as the ones fitted are more like lace curtains now and will probably disintegrate if removed.
I've also toyed with the idea of fitting a rear ARB to reduce roll during cornering which routinely gets the dash lights flashing and unwanted help from the 'stability control' system......Yes I know It can be 'muted', but that needs to be done every time you use the car.
I first need to check on the forum if anyone else has good experience from fitting their otherwise standard suspension 1.2 TDi with a rear Anti Roll Bar.
Amazing write-up, thank you! Good to know it's served you so well and you intend to refresh and keep the car. Hope it continues to serve you well for many year/miles to come!
 

maxufeiss

Member
Year ago when i was looking for 1.2, i rounded up cars in many european countries. Mostly skipping Italy for their scratched expensive cars and some other ones for distance or other reasons. Holland seemed mostly populated by basic 3L models with no extras, some had extras, but they also were priced higher. Found something i kind of liked in Austria and went for it. To be honest i eyed another car in Germany, but since this had colorMFA fitted and other modifications done that i can understand and would have done eventually, i gave it a chance. At test drive i even thought it as being too weird to drive (coming from A8) but went ahead with a deal. Had backup choices to check in Germany etc so i had committed to drive until one fits my taste.
While driving back home (1800km) with it, i was slowly being to converted to 3L owner, got used to driving it etc. After a while you get one with a car and can massage the accelerator so gearbox changes when and how you want. I did not even consider buying other A2 variants. Repair my own cars, so not worrying about specialists. Year later, and i still can't thank me enough for that nice idea of purchasing one.

First thing i did was looking for many websites for ads, made checklist about extras and negatives car had (like having separate winter tires on rims is nice thing to have in here, automatic climate was a must for me, bench seat was a minus, color, interior, condition, 34l tank is plus, original rims + wheel covers, false floor in boot etc.) and when i had nice list completed and duds removed, reality was that there were few cars i even considered. And cheaper ones had disappeared. At least you have A2, so you know already some things you'd want.
Cheapest two in my revised list were at 2100€, one of them had minor frontal accident but otherwise had many checkboxes listed, don't remember about other.
In Holland there were even 2 with cruise already fitted in my list.

Since i drive at the right side of road, i have no need for conversion, but i would not do it even if driving at the wrong side.

Sometimes i skimp over ads and think that it would be nice to have a cheap secondary 1.2, even the basic model would fit as secondary. But when i rethink, then getting cheap 1.2 might get pretty expensive. Since i don't have to pay mechanics, then i might go ahead with that idea someday anyway.
 
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