Buying a car abroad is getting more and more popular. A lot of British people venture further afield nowadays when it comes to buying a new set of wheels. Many expect to get better value for their money but it should also be noted that this approach also has its drawbacks.
Many people are getting inspired by the show ‘Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up’. The show follows car expert Mike Brewer, who starts his mission of becoming the owner of a supercar with a budget of $3,000. He hopes to achieve this by trading with car dealers across the world and using tricks to add value to his car. However, the show doesn’t cover all the important aspects.
There are two different types of import for a car you buy abroad. The first one is called grey import. Grey imports are cars that have been bought in a foreign country (very often Japan) and that don’t meet UK specs. These cars are often a great deal as many of them come with features you’d normally pay extra for. However, grey imports can have drawbacks when you have to insure them, exchange parts so they meet UK standards or if you’re trying to find replacement parts.
The other import type is called parallel import. Parallel import cars have been bought abroad but they do meet UK specs. You should keep in mind that whether you make a bargain or not depends on the exchange rate and sometimes, non-UK car models later on won’t sell for as much as their UK counterparts. You should also think about whether you want to do this by yourself or if you want to employ the help of a UK vehicle importer. You can find some more information on the costs on Motoring on a Budget.
And finally, be aware of car buying scams. The AA has warned that consumers lose “£3 million a year according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)”. A site may looks genuine but you should always make necessary check-ups. Look for genuine email addresses and be wary of overly complicated transaction processes. Auto Shippers have some more tips for uncovering a scam.
Another thing you should look into is how to bring your car back. The cost of importing your vehicle could vary so you must search for the cheapest car shipping services before buying your vehicle.
If you want to buy your vehicle abroad, be aware of the pros and cons. Also first check that the car you want isn’t already available in the UK, although it may be a bit more expensive it may still be worth avoiding the hassle. Motors.co.uk have advised the following “be particularly careful if you are asked to send payment online, and that you are fully satisfied with the terms of the sale before committing to a purchase or exchanging any money.”