Owning an exclusive set of wheels that will keep the neighbors and friends envy can be a great feeling. The vehicle need not be a pure-bred red Italian or some ultra luxury coach from England. What I meant are every day cars but not officially offered by local authorized car dealers. The vehicles in mind include the Estima, Elgrand, Alphard and Impreza WRX STI from Japan or some BMW and Mercedes with special features unavailable on our localized variants. Of course, not everyone can afford the price to have it purchased, taxed, shipped and registered here. Luckily there’s a group of dealers that specialize in bringing in reconditioned units complete with paper work to get it on the road.
For starters, owning a rare ride can be a dream come true even though it has been used. The feeling itself cannot be summarized by numbers or reason. That alone can be the sole reason to possess it. Often followed closely is the price. This is made possible because it has already suffered depreciation as most used cars. But compared to a typical used car, a majority of these have been carefully selected, cleaned, restored and serviced to be as new as possible. Some of the grey-imports also feature gadgets and gizmos that guarantee boasting rights. Sunroof, moon-roof, Heads-Up Display, a proper integrated refrigerator and full scale air bags capable of cushioning almost every part of the body are just some of the stuff deemed too unfeasible to be officially fitted for us. Also depending on model, some unique reconditioned cars will hold their resale values better than expected as time goes by.
But despite all this, having a really special vehicle can be the beginning of a nightmare. Because not all the original documents are likely to be brought over, there is a reasonable cause to question its claimed history. There have been reported incidents where some were actually stolen vehicles, had their mileage tempered, or brought in through the wrong channels. The next issue is warranty. A typical new car would come with at least 3 years of manufacturer warranty compared to a stingy couple of months or the most, a year from a dealer with limited expertise and tools. This comes to the next question – post warranty ownership. If the car is really rare here with plenty of unique wear and tear parts, it could become a headache. Besides that, there is the possibility of it being not properly localized without upgraded cooling system, seals or anti-rust to suit the local hot and humid climate. Finally bottom line, a reconditioned car is still a used car. This means that it could be suffering from damages, wear and tear which will need attention.
Even so, getting an unregistered vehicle can be the wisest choice made in vehicle ownership. We just need to pay a little more attention when inspecting the car. As a guideline it is always best to approach reputable grey-importers like Naza World. Being in the play field for years, they could be your best pal in maintaining your second biggest investment. Next up, do your homework. Make sure you are weary of ownership cost and effort required. With Mr. Google, the much needed information is merely a few clicks away. Lastly being a used car, make sure it is screened properly before signing the dotted line. Otherwise there’s the option to bring along a trustworthy mechanic or expert. Just remember to at least treat him a decent set of meal.