Buying a grey import? How to ensure you’re getting a good deal

myPPSR Team|15/09/2017

If you are a lover of performance cars but don’t want to pay the high prices, grey import are a fantastic way to access performance models from overseas at a low cost.

While the idea of paying rock bottom prices for performance cars might be appealing, there is a down side to be aware of for potential buyers that we have outlined below.

If you’re new to the grey import market for buying cars in Australia, we have outlined a few things to be aware of.

What is a grey import?

First things first, what is a grey import? Mainly these are performance vehicles from Japan that make their way to Australia outside the standard import process.

Hey can be privately owned or commercial important and while they must meet Australian safety standard and certification before they are registered there are a few issues and considerations that potential buyers should be aware of before signing on the dotted line for a grey import vehicle.

Things to be aware of before buying a grey import

If you are looking to buy a grey import be sure to consider the following:

Parts may be difficult to access

Because the vehicles are from overseas and sourced internationally if you do need a specific part it can take a while. If you don’t mind being off the road for a while this is fine, however, you could encounter lengthy delays for a basic part, which can be annoying.

Much of the information for servicing and logbooks will be in a non-English speaking language

When it comes to reading logbooks to service history, the information will be in a foreign language, which can cause problems for mechanics and servicing. Consider this and possibly ask for a translation of all books and service information before buying the car, so you don’t run into this issue later on.

Insurance can be a challenge

Due to the uncertain history of the vehicles and the fact that some of the information does not translate well for grey imports many insurers will not cover the vehicle, which may drive up your insurance prices when you find an insurer that will cover your vehicle.

If there is a recall, you won’t have any locally based support

In the case of Holden’s most recent recall there was a national campaign, however, if a grey import gets a recall, you may not even hear about it as it will be promoted in another country or if you do hear about it there will be no Australian-based support to assist.

Updates to government regulations from 2018 for grey imports

As of 2018, the Australian government will change standards for grey imports that will allow for a greater range of makes and models to come into the country.

Cars will be right-hand drive and will have similar safety standards to Australia. As well as this, buyers can import one new car every two years and imports will be allowed from Japan and the UK as a starting point. To find out more click here.

Before you jump into the market and buy a grey import, it is important to be aware of the range of considerations for importing a new or used car. Insurance, servicing information and parts are the key considerations when buying a grey import and factors you should incorporate into your decision making before buying your new set of performance wheels.