Looking at importing a car, where do I start?
Facebook and Forums.. Full of posts asking about importing cars. With so many of the "DIY" brigage suggesting doing it yourself via an agent that will sell anything, to anyone it is no surprise we see posts and pictures 3 months later saying they bought a lemon..
"Ok, what grade was it?"
Did someone inspect it before you bid?"
No, should of been ok though. Grade 3.5 is ok right?
With any car that is more than a few years old, inspection is vital. We inspected this grade 3.5 on Friday morning. A good mileage BCNR33 GT-R V-Spec.
WTF.. That was our response..
Grading isn't a simple process. The overall grade is to determine the amount of work required to make it sellable. Once a car reaches a certain KM it automatically lowers a grade, the same was something that is a little battered (like this BCNR33) but has low mileage can climb a grade.
After inspecting this GT-R i valued it at 2.1m. Knowing it needed a spray over and some TLC on the underside. But when i saw it had fetched 2.35m I had a quick look at sold data and someone out there overpaid for this car..
So if you bought this on Friday at USS Nagoya, i'd cut your losses and put it back through auction and consider sacking your agent.
A lot more work goes into buying cars from Japan that just seeing it listed and sticking a bid in. We check previous sold listings for the car, check sold prices of similar KM and grade and often we inspect with our own staff on site. Often taking an hour to carry out an inspection.
The rate we pay for an agent fee, shipping to the UK and other fixed costs are cheaper than the single car buyer. When considering our starting fee of just £500 you aren't paying £500 more than if you had bought the car yourself.
The same for the OTR costs here in the UK. We charge trade price for underseal, detail, MOT and service costs. If anything, you probably save money using a reputable importer.
Now onto the horror pics..