Import Cars, What You Should Know Before Purchasing

Imported cars are vehicles that have been brought over here from another country and can make great purchases.

These cars are not officially sold in the UK and are unique in their style and features. Frequently people will purchase an imported car from overseas in order to save themselves some money. Imported cars are typically placed into three different categories, Personal, Grey and Parallel imports.

Purchasing a Personal Import Cars

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 Purchasing a Grey Import Cars

Grey imports, often Japanese imported cars, 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 import 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 Japanese imported cars 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 Imports car Information

Parallel imports are vehicles that have been purchased from another European country. These parallel 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 import s 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 Import 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. Call us on 01480 402460 for a quote.

Where to Purchase an Imported car 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 imported cars 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.

If you have imported a car into the UK we'd be interested to hear your experiences - please leave a comment below.

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