Buying An Imported Car - A UK Guide

If you are interested in buying an imported car new or used, one thing that may be helpful is understanding that imported cars can be put into two major categories, Parallel Imports and Grey Imports. These categories are described below along with details on how you can make your purchase as successful one. There are several reasons why one would want to purchase an import, no matter if it is a parallel or grey import; these vehicles have special qualities that both car enthusiasts and everyday motorists alike happen to enjoy. They can have a unique look that can be very desirable to some people yet at the same time these unusual body styles and unfamiliar technical aspects may also be a key reason why others refuse to purchase imports and choose to only buy cars that are manufactured in the United Kingdom.

The Two Different Types Of Imported Cars

Parallel Imports

These are known as automobiles that have been purchased inside of the country either from a car supermarket or with the assistance of a broker. This is typically a very safe and easy process that allows you to finalize the deal quickly. However it is recommended that those who go this route check that all of the paperwork is completed and legit. You should also be aware of the conditions of the warranty and ensure that it reads the same as a vehicle that was supplied by the U.K.

To make sure that all of the details are in order, you will need to do a bit of research so that you will know everything about the vehicle you are purchasing. Speak with a professional dealer that you can trust who may be able to offer you some helpful advice or browse around online to see if you can obtain some helpful answers to your questions or concerns.

Another resource that you can use is your automobile insurance agent. They would be able to tell you what type of impact purchasing a parallel imports would have on your insurance premiums and advise you on the types of imports that would affect your premium the most as well as those that would affect it the least.

Grey Imports

Grey imports are automobiles that have been imported into the UK from Japan. Purchasing imported Japanese cars was once very popular in this country; therefore there are many used Japanese vehicles or Grey Imports available here for purchase. Some of these cars closely resemble vehicles made here in the U.K. while there are others that have clearly been imported, you can tell this by looking at the unique style of the car as well as the details.

If you are considering purchasing a Grey Import cars, you will need to keep several factors in mind. There will need to be a few changes made to your newly purchased vehicle in order for it to meet the vehicle standards in the U.K. Some of these changes include adjustments to the lights and possibly some replacing of the instruments inside. It is very important that you have all of this done as soon as possible so that your car will meet all of the specifications for automobiles that can be legally driven in this country.

Sometimes it can be difficult to obtain the vehicle history or any servicing records on the car that you are buying. If you are having more problems with this than you believe you should, it could be a sign that you have purchased a vehicle that is not in great running condition or one that has been in an accident that has caused a lot of internal damage. This is one of the main reasons why you should request to see these papers before you make your purchase.

It is also important that you understand the differences in specifications when it comes to Grey Imports and U.K. model vehicles. There are various differences in the type of equipment found on the inside of the vehicles and some noticeable differences underneath the hood of both types of cars as well. Some of the necessary replacement parts that you may require could be hard to find. This could mean that you car would be in the repair shop for several days or weeks until the new parts arrive.

The designs of the cars are also significantly different. Many of the Japanese imports that you find will not have an under-seal attached. This is an issue that will need to be fixed before you will be able to drive your new import on the roads in the U.K.

If you do decide to buy an import, be sure to find out all that you can about the vehicle prior to your purchase and also make sure that the car meets all of the standards so that it can be legally driven in the U.K.

Buying a Personal Imported Car

When you purchase a Personal Import, you are buying a vehicle that has been imported into the county by yourself, personally instead of with the assistance of a professional importer’s services. This process is similar to buying a car from another individual. You should always gather as much information as possible about the car and try to get a vehicle or accident report so that you will know all about the accident history and overall condition of the car. Usually whenever a personal import is purchased it will already be registered with the DVLA and be given a full inspection to ensure that it is legal to drive on all roads in the U.K.

Things To Remember When Buying An Imported Car - Grey Import Cars

Grey imports are those that have been transported to the United Kingdom from overseas. These cars are typically sold through a company that specializes in import sales instead of being brought over by an official car manufacturing company or a professional car dealership. Many of these vehicles are those that are often purchased by car collectors such as luxury sports cars that are popular all over the world. However you can also find grey imports that are classified as family vehicles or hatchbacks which are much more functional and affordable for everyday driving.

There are some reasons why purchasing a grey imported car may not be a good idea. Since they are imported from overseas, including from the U.S., there will be some cars that are set up for left-hand driving only. All cars that have been imported in outside of Europe will require further inspection and other tests to see if they can be legally driven in the country. Many times a respectable importing company or individual will already double check to ensure that this has been taken care of. But you can never been too sure! There may be times when it can be difficult to get all of a grey import’s accident history information. It is a good idea, if possible, to ask for this information beforehand so that you do not end up purchasing an unworthy car.

Finding replacement parts for a grey imported car may take longer than finding parts for a car manufactured in the U.K., so that could mean that your car will be in the garage for a longer period of time if it ever needs repair work done.

Insurance premiums can be more expensive and warranties may be impossible to find. You may have problems with the radio working properly and the instrument panel could read differently than those found in cars manufactured in the U.K.

Also the engine could be made so that it does not take the type of fuel that is normally sold here. You should check into all of the things before you make your purchase and see if any of them can be modified so that you will be able to drive your grey import car.

There are still some good reasons why you should purchase a grey import car. They are often a great type of car to invest in because they are able to provide you with exceptional performance and reliability for a reasonable price. If you are able to buy a used grey import car from a much warmer climate area, then it is likely that the car will have very little, if any rust on it. There are many rare and unusual models of grey imports since they are brought in from all over the world. Many times the Japanese imported cars will have plenty of equipment and gadgets that are not normally found inside of U.K. manufactured vehicles which make them particularly desirable amongst British car enthusiasts.

Parallel Import Car Information

Parallel imports are vehicles that have been purchased from another European country. These imports are an ideal buy for those in the U.K. because they will usually have all of the same components as a car that has been manufactured here, as opposed to grey imports. Many consumers choose to purchase a parallel imports because they are oftentimes more affordable. And if you buy one of these cars instead of one from a local car supermarket or dealer, then you will be more likely to not be put on any waiting lists. However you should also keep in mind that most imported cars will decrease in resale value and the money that you save by purchasing one of these cars could be affected by the exchange rate. You may also have some difficulties with the warranty specifications as well.

Insurance Advice for those Buying an Imported Car

It may be a good idea to speak with Lifesure who are specialist imported car insurance brokers before you purchase any type of imported car so that you will have a good idea of how much your new premium will be and we can also inform you on what types of imported cars will cause your insurance premium to go up the most. We can be contacted on 01480 402460.

Buying an Imported Car - Where and Last Minute Advice

You can normally find out about purchasing an import from a specialist dealer in your area. Many dealerships will have grey imports such as common Japanese vehicles in stock as well as popular American car models. While you will be protected by the same type of laws that other car buyers in the U.K. are, it is recommended that you deal with an importer that will provide you with all of the warranty and accident report information possible to help further ensure that you get what you have paid for.

What has been your experience of importing a car? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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