February 27th 2013

Buying an imported vehicle

Buying an imported vehicle comes with certain pros cons. Imported vehicles are vehicles that are not manufactured or assembled in NZ nor are they assembled for the NZ market. These vehicles will often modifications or alterations to the body and sometimes parts. However a lot of these cars look really great and are models with extras we haven’t seen in NZ. If we couldn’t buy imported BMW’s for instance it’s unlikely you would see so many of them on the roads. If you are in the market for an import there are a few things you should take into account.

The Pros of imported vehicles.

  • Imported Cars often look great on the inside and outside: Imported cars are very popular, are often modified before they come into NZ, have hidden extras and are often quite souped up models. They look fast and very often are really fast too. This is why they are popular to buy here.
  • Imported vehicles can be modified inside and out: With body kits available online and instruction manuals for these vehicles, as long as you are not breaking the law, it is very easy to modify an imported car every which way. You can modify the engines and the interior. This also makes imported vehicles popular.
  • Imported Vehicles are often faster than NZ spec’d cars: Because of all these enhancements, especially in the engine, imported vehicles are often faster than their NZ new equivalents.

Some of the cons of buying an import car are:

  • Due to miscellaneous fees imported vehicles can be costlier than you expect: Apart from modifications there are often extra taxes to pay on imported vehicles, so make sure you cover everything off with the dealer and make sure there are no hidden costs to get the car on the road.
  • There are pitfalls buying privately: With so many imports out there you are safer to buy one of these vehicles from a reputable dealer rather than privately. Laws in NZ require dealers to offer warranties and force them to make sure the car is roadworthy and compliant to NZ vehicle laws. The only extra cost you should have is to register the vehicle if it hasn’t been registered in NZ before.

Our advice

Buy from a reputable dealer if you can. Make sure you get the vehicle checked over first by professionals, the AA or equivalent. It may cost $150 or so but in the long run there are so many expensive things that can go wrong with cars that are not immediately obvious to you. A mechanic will easily find things wrong with the cooling system for instance or the on board computer. Definitely get a warranty on any used vehicle you buy and barter with the dealer to add it or part of it to the price. A full 3 year warranty can be a real life saver if the transmission fails.

It is safe to buy imported vehicles as long as you do your homework first. Happy motoring!

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