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Topic # 24857 5-Aug-2008 09:10
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OK... me again! Sealed

Ok, car buying...

I've just been having a discussion with my wife about car buying in NZ... it's a good 10 years or so since she bought a car, so, to be fair she's just going on what she knew back then...

"New Zealand New" ???, Ok, so i understand that this is a car that was first registered in NZ, and has been there since... but there seems to be a price difference between NZ new and Import cars.... and also a bit of a stigma with ones that aren't ?

Is buying an import car at all risky ? If you stick to the brands that the cars are pretty much identical between NZ and Japan (so parts are the same etc ?)

Thoughts / Advice ?

Cheers ! :)

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  Reply # 154200 5-Aug-2008 09:17
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Sorry this doesnt answer your question however this site is fantastic when you come to look for a car, www.carfax.co.nz

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  Reply # 154207 5-Aug-2008 09:39
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NZ new is low risk.

Imports from places such as singapore or malaysia, even if 2 years old, will tend not to last as long as the climate there is terrible on cars.

If you know what to look for imports are fine, but a lot of them are crash repaired


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 154244 5-Aug-2008 11:15
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Another issue with imported cars is that they may be fitted with equipment which is non-standard or different to cars assembled for the NZ market.  Getting spare parts can, in some circumstances be quite difficult or take a long time.  Having said that, if you see something you like, get it appraised by someone who knows what they're on about.

Is buying an import car at all risky?

Buying any car can be risky.  My parents brought a Jap import Mazda 323 sedan a few years ago.  Has a 1.8 litre engine instead of the 1.6 and it goes great.  I know a few other people that have brought import cars as well and had no problems.  I think it all comes down to doing your homework on the vehicle.

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  Reply # 154245 5-Aug-2008 11:19
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Also the reliability of what is actually recorded as the milage may vary signifantly on a "used import"

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  Reply # 154285 5-Aug-2008 12:50
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slyguy: Is buying an import car at all risky ? If you stick to the brands that the cars are pretty much identical between NZ and Japan (so parts are the same etc ?)


I bought an imported car straight from a dealer at the end of last year and (touch wood) haven't had any issues.  I did get an AA check to make sure everything was sound.  Also pays to keep up with regular services to extend the performance and lifetime of your car.

On a side note, with gas prices as they are, you may be better to go for scooter - nothing like $20 to fill up! Cool


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  Reply # 154314 5-Aug-2008 14:07
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Toyota Signature Class is a nice compromise. You pay a premium over a standard import but get the support of Toyota and a very tidy car. (Toyota import them themselves then give them a spruce up and sell with a warranty etc)



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Geek


  Reply # 154356 5-Aug-2008 15:42
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nate: On a side note, with gas prices as they are, you may be better to go for scooter - nothing like $20 to fill up! Cool


I actually looked in to this... so that i could commute in to CBD direct, and not have to worry so much about parking etc... or even use it as a method to get to the nearest train station... However, it seems that you guys have got quite a process to allow me to ride a bike of pretty much any kind over there, what with Learner, then restricted etc.. If I understand correctly, i'd be looking at a 50cc bike to start with, after taking a small test, and i'm 100KG..... so can't see that mix going too well :)


Thanks for the Advice on NZ New.... So, the mrs wasn't talking complete crap after all, thanks for clearing that up !!! :)

Does anyone one know of any good cheap reliable dealers in Auckland area then, either for NZ New or Import (i figure if you are more careful about the dealer, you've got more backup if it does go wrong too ?)

Possible Cars on my list are

Honda Accord
Mazda 6
That kinda thing, and around the <$15k mark



I must say, these forums are providing a fantastic resource for information for me... so cheers guys, i really appreciate the help !!!

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  Reply # 154374 5-Aug-2008 16:43
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scottjpalmer: Toyota Signature Class is a nice compromise. You pay a premium over a standard import but get the support of Toyota and a very tidy car. (Toyota import them themselves then give them a spruce up and sell with a warranty etc)


... then bang on the personalised plate of a particular Kiwi band you've been stalking? Cool

Sorry slyguy, completely OT, but had to be done.

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  Reply # 154379 5-Aug-2008 16:48
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Other good resource for getting an idea on the price of cars in NZ is TradeMe http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Motors/Cars.aspx

Obviously it's a case of buyer-beware, but it does give you an idea of what sort of price to pay when you go to the dealer.


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  Reply # 154401 5-Aug-2008 17:41
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right here's the deal: it's all about risk of repair and overall cost when you buy a car

Imports and NZ New
- insurance
- wear and tear (if not new) eg 4 farmer/student owners vs 1x 60yearold woman owner
- performance
- fuel consumption
- depreciation eg ford focus (huge) vs honda jazz (much less so)
- etc etc

NZ New
- generally parts are readily available - pricing depends on make/model: a honda accord L front headlight costs $1200
- apparently NZ road conditions are more easy on the car. apparently jap import car travelled 100,000k = 160,000k on NZ roads- how true? who knows!!!
- higher resale value in an appreciating economy (in a recession everything is bad so choose carefully)
- in some models more highly equipped eg subaru legacy gt here comes with heated leather seats (etcetcetcetcetc) whereas a jap legacy gt is actually quite barebone in comparison
- generally easy to get a history on the car

Import
- surprisingly jap cars are fitted with very weird tendered parts even if from factory, and looking for an anomaly diamante ball joint can mean importing it via a specialised supplier and costs a bomb as i've found out
- unreliable history via the dealer
- people just dont want to buy it off you later! why? who knows!
- there are some very reliable imported cars however for example toyota corolla signature class or any newish cars shouldnt be that bad. 10000ks in jap roads surely cant be much more than 16000ks NZ roads if you use above calculations. surely not.

MAKE/MODEL is probably your most important consideration more than import vs NZ new.
and then the price and how much you are likely to spend on it in the long run.

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  Reply # 155385 9-Aug-2008 12:11
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I went through this process at Christmas. Hadn't bought a car for same period. I bought the latest edition of Dog 'N Lemon guide from Whitcoulls. Found it a pretty good source of reference. I have a copy available for a good home at very reasonable price Wink PM me.

I also had a very good buying experience from the yard I ended up purchasing my car from. Very surprised as it appears attitudes have changed if you find the right car dealership. Again PM & I can give you their name.
 
One thing you definitely should do is get a professional inspection by an expert. Things can be hidden & if you don't know what to look for, you could end up with all sorts of dramas. $120 well spent, imo.

Also, test drive the car at open road speeds as imported cars' tyres can flat spot from prolonged periods of resting on the same area of rubber. It was something I did not see but was picked up by the inspection. I still decided on going with the vehicle & leaving the existing tyres on as I was told the car yard would put on cheap Chinese rubber that would only last 5000kms, then degrade very quickly & the issue was not that bad.

Finally, as the recession? hits, it is now a very time for big ticket items. You should be able to negotiate a stronger sale.

One final thing. Check the potential car's premiums with your insurer as they are beginning to apply surcharges to certain vehicl makes for excessive spare parts' costings eg. Suzuki Swift could be written off from a 10kmh noe to tail to nose fender bender.

http://www.state.co.nz/upload/Documents/State%20bumper%20release.pdf

There was an article on Campbell Live's website about it, but can't locate it.




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  Reply # 155809 11-Aug-2008 10:00
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I have had 5 cars since I moved here 5 years ago (presently still have 3 of them) as follows:

Subaru Lagacy GT - Japanese import

BMW 740i - NZ BMW genuine used

Nissan Navarra STX ute - NZ Nissan new

Audi Allroad 4.2 - NZ Audi genuine used

Mitsubishi Pajero - Japanese import


Apart from the warranty provided with the new/genuine used ones (which included servicing and WOF's for the two German cars for 2 years) and the fact that the FM in the stereos does not work here on the imports, I have had no major issues to tell between either. Dealer support is obviously better on the genuine items though - and you get the benefit of any recall notices and so on which can involve safety (the Navarra has had an airbag modification under this program, for example).

In the UK, where grey imports from Japan are completely unofficial, the main dealers will usually simply refuse to work on them. That does not seem to be an issue here. Also in the UK, car insurance is a legally enforced requirement and unofficial imports are usually difficult and expensive to insure - think at least NZ$2500 a year for the premium on a Subaru Legacy for a 40 year old driver (and don't even bother ringing them if you are under 30!).





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  Reply # 155842 11-Aug-2008 11:39
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Hi there,
whether this answers your question or not, i'll let you decide;

We own a import car company.
We import both Japanese and European used cars from japan.
So far, we've seen alot of interest in Mazda's (2,3,6)
Obviously we've had different cars over the last few years, and we've found that the cars last for as long as you treat them well.
Its just like an NZ new car. If you thrash the living life out of it, it's not gonna last.

For example,
We imported a Mazda 6 (Japanese name is Mazda Atenza),
2.3lt  sedan.

Absolutely lovely car.

From what I saw that was "extra" was the road toll machine that was plugged in (sometimes the japs dont remove them when they get the car exported). With that specific model we imported, it came with a 40GB HDD for copying your discs onto so you didnt need CD's.

Everything else looked stock standard and unmodified.

Everything in the cars are original and from what the MAzda dealer has told us, the only difference is bascially the name.

Mazda Demio = Mazda 2
Mazda Axela  = Mazda 3
Mazda Atenza = Mazda 6


As for being risky, it all depends i guess. If the company you buy it from offers a warranty then you shouldnt have any problems (Check what the warranty covers)

Being in the business, we offer a warranty for an extra cost.

So the risk involves the same whether NZ new or Japanese.

So far, we haven't had any issues with the cars we've had, the customers have been extremely happy with their purchases.
(from ranges of Porsche, Mazda, BMW, Smart, Mercedes) the list goes on.

So really it depends on what you want, the cost, and if like quite a few people in NZ you would know that Japanese cars USED to be bad for rusting, however, things have changed, and we have not come across one case yet that has had rust in the 4 or so years we've been dealing with cars.
So my experience has been very good.

Thanks, and hope this helps.







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  Reply # 155980 11-Aug-2008 18:24
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Cheers again for the infoo guys...

I'll be trying to put the above info in to action next week :)... Boy i'm going to be busy...

Have got myself what i think is a shortlist...

Honda Accord
Mazda 6

Was thinking about a Holden Commordore, but given the larger engines, I have to assume they're not as economical.


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  Reply # 155982 11-Aug-2008 18:27
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slyguy:

Cheers again for the infoo guys...

I'll be trying to put the above info in to action next week :)... Boy i'm going to be busy...

Have got myself what i think is a shortlist...

Honda Accord
Mazda 6

Was thinking about a Holden Commordore, but given the larger engines, I have to assume they're not as economical.



I can assure you, Mazda 6's are beautiful cars to drive!


We had a 2004 Honda Accord.. I didnt like it much, may have had leather interior and what not, but for some reason it just didnt fit with me. i think it was the shape of the car. and the engine was gutsy. (well, to what im used to)

Good luck!





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