The Dutch Provide a “Second Life” for Saab Cars

Saab 9-3x Estate MY06 in Laser RedSaab 9-3x Estate MY06 in Laser Red, after facelifting

There is a very interesting company in the Netherlands that deals with even more interesting things. And their basic concept is to give exceptional (SAAB) cars a chance for a “second life. All That happens at Saabpartners company in Meppel – a wonderful example of a circular economy.

Anyone who visits Saabpartner’s business premises in Meppel might think that the company is dealing with car waste – junkyard. This is partly true, but if you look further, you will see a very modern company. A company that has proven itself in the field of corporate social responsibility for years and is led by the two ‘Saab freaks’ Dirk Koppen and Bas Smit.

Car Waste is Our Chance

It’s a very nice Saab story. After the bankruptcy in 2011 of the well-known car brand Saab, shoe dealer Dirk Koppen from Koekange makes an offer to buy the spare parts stock of the Swedish company. The offer is accepted and together with Bas Smit, a technician who has gained his experience in the “Zwolle Saab” world, Koppen comes into possession of hundreds of Saab engines, gearboxes and other parts that they sell online via worldwide.

Saab 9-3x in the process of renovation is stripped "to the skin"
Saab 9-3x in the process of renovation is stripped “to the skin”

A “Second Life” for Saab Cars

So, a plan has actually been created to enable dedicated owners of Saab models to continue using them for many years to come. And one led to the other. As a great Saab enthusiast, Koppen knows better than anyone how solid the Saab are – “With proper maintenance you can drive a million miles with it”.

But yes, you will of course notice that at some point. The interior is starting to show signs of wear, the technology continues to function well but no longer feels ‘new’. The paintwork deteriorates and the alloy wheels deteriorate due to damage and corrosion. You can drive fine in such a car, but it is no longer very representative. And yes, then you start looking for a new car. Preferably a Saab, of course, but yes, that is becoming difficult nowadays, isn’t it?

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The Saab Idea – The Old is the New

It gave the entrepreneurs the idea to build ‘new’ Saabs 9-5 based on good, used Saab cars of fifteen years or older with the large parts stock they already had in their possession.

In recent years, many Saabs 9-5 have been completely stripped in Meppel and then completely rebuilt with new and / or overhauled parts. With a new engine, gearbox, wheel suspension, alternator, brakes, starter motor and everything else that is subject to wear.

Saab 9-3 Cabrio MY05 in Arctic White, after tidying up in SaabYoungtimerLease workshops
Saab 9-3 Cabrio MY05 in Arctic White, after tidying up in SaabYoungtimerLease workshops

And of course the car will be exactly as the customer wants. New upholstery? No problem. “We build an’ old car ‘completely new to the wishes of the customer. Together we look for the Saab as the customer wishes. Everything is negotiable“, say employees of this company.

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How things work in the Netherlands

Particularly attractive is that the Saabs, which are all fifteen years old or older, are eligible for the unique and financially favorable addition scheme for cars that are at least 15 years old. Particularly attractive is that the Saabs, which are all fifteen years old or older, are eligible for the unique and financially favorable addition scheme for cars that are at least 15 years old. ‘If people drive the so-called’ young timer ‘that they lease from us for business purposes, the addition amounts to only 35 percent of the relatively low current value determined by an appraiser. We do this to prevent our clients ‘conflicts with the tax authorities,‘ explains Koppen.

In The Netherlands, there are some peculiar fiscal rules on car ownership. You can either register your car on private plates, in that case you are the (private) owner. As a private owner, you simply must pay all expenses, including value added tax (21%). An alternative fiscal route is to register your car as a firm car. You either need to own a firm yourself, or you need a friendly boss. In that case you can compensate a lot of taxes and expenses. The simple result is that driving a car becomes quite cheaper.

However, you are only allowed to drive your car for the company (including your trip from home to your work area). In principle, you are not allowed to drive the car for private trips. In case you do, you do have to add extra income to your annual income and thus pay extra income tax.

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In The Netherlands, the fiscal authorities call this added-calculation. This extra-tax is 22% of the new value of the car. And new prices are quite substantial in The Netherlands due to high taxes. So, if the new price of your firm car is 60.000 euro, you will have to add 13.200 euro to your annual salary. And with an average 50% Dutch income tax, you pay roughly 6.600 euro extra tax per year, that is more than € 500 per month.

Now after 15 years, this Dutch calculation method changes. Suddenly you do not have to charge 22% of the new value, but you can use 35% of the present value.

After the treatment in this Dutch company, old Saab cars get completely new functions and possibilities
After the treatment in this Dutch company, old Saab cars get completely new functions and possibilities

How it works on the example of a Saab 9-3X

So, if your Saab is now valued at 4.000 euro, your added-calculation is 35% over 4.000 = 1.400 euro with net tax expenses of 120 euro. Now paying 500 euro per month or 120 euro is quite a big difference. No wonder that 15-year-old luxury cars are quite popular in The Netherlands.

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Now what if you are a Saab 9-3X enthusiast and you want a nice local fiscal arrangement? You pick an older Saab 9-3 and you create a newer 9-3X.

Completely restored Saab 9-3x
Completely restored Saab 9-3x

Those interested then contact Saab Youngtimer Lease and get the opportunity to drive new-old Saab cars with a multitude of accessories. Just look at a few examples on this page of how a company like this has made a real make-over of shiny, preserved Saab cars. In this way, Saab car enthusiasts have “new” vehicles, and the SaabYoungtimerLease complements the chosen business model of a renewable economy.

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.


  • Wow, needs a lot of work to “facelift” 9-3SS/SC.
    It’s so much easier with NG9-3CV: you just replace the whole front and the rear bumper but you don’t have to alter the sides anyhow (with the exception of painting the side strips if your car is not black).

    A Saab enthusiastic I know has also done the aforementioned procedures for his NG9-3CV but he also planned to make a dashboard facelift. Well that’s a bit harder because of CAN-bus in MY2003-2006 cars.

  • Im the proud owner of a Saab from Saabpartners they do an amazing job! The service is excellent and what they did for my Saab 97x is next level. If your looking for a reliable youngtimer I advise them 100%

  • As a saaber as I’m, myself and the other saabers in Taiwan are also quite lucky because the SAAB car dealership company, “商富” has been still providing the excellent service for saabers in Taiwan since SAAB was out of the market in 2012(?).

  • For the Love of the car, we keep them going. I call my 2006 Saab Aero 93 “she is my friend.” As long as I keep going, she will keep going. Just discovered this site, surfing for new mats. Not a difficult search. I was so proud when I was able to buy it new, from Kerbeck Autos in Palmyra, NJ. I still remember when they called me to say that it was just delivered, it was still wrapped in shrink-wrap. Several days later, when I took ownership, and was driving home in it, I was a nervous wreck. Could not believe that I finally found car that nothing else could replace in my search and test driving. I still get compliments on it. Yes . . . you take care of a car that has been a best friend. I do not use the Turbo too much, but it’s there “just for the fun of it.” Be safe, and smart. LT

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