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Looking to buy, Is an import a bad plan?


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So I've rummaged around the forum as well as trying to do some research on other sites but I'm still unsure on this. So for those who have owned imports, or even both.

 

Is it a bad plan for a first time Z buyer? 

What are the real world disadvantages and how many arguments will I have to have with insurance/tax and so on?

Should it be a red flag for me if it's listed as an import. 

Honestly I am just struggling to find much good information from owners.

 

Cheers !

 

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Welcome along :)

General consensus is to buy UK spec if you can, there are always plenty for sale. But the one main thing is buy the right Z not just any Z. Always test drive a few and be ready to walk away :thumbs:

Oh and stay well away from Junction 17.... 

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1 hour ago, Willsy1980 said:

Welcome along :)

General consensus is to buy UK spec if you can, there are always plenty for sale. But the one main thing is buy the right Z not just any Z. Always test drive a few and be ready to walk away :thumbs:

Oh and stay well away from Junction 17.... 

Yeah It's going to be my first "nice" car so I am willing to pick and choose. My concern will be remembering the entire buyers guide from here when I go to look.

 

Is it due to insurance and parts availability for avoiding imports?   

Not sure on the junction 17 reference?

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Junction 17 is a garage that are professional at selling polished turds for stupid money, if you buy a z off someone on here you’ll get the history or atleast some idea from the members, or post up the add and we will try and dissect it when we can etc? not all cars are bad but not all cars are good, at the same time people are willing to sell you a money Pitt if it gets them out of theirs 

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If you can get a good deal on an import that's been in the country a while with a decent history then go for it. Check how it was imported and came through a reputable importer who did all the work on making it good for UK roads and to be honest its no different to any other car UK or otherwise. Just note that imports have a number of different specs, they are not just GT and non GT so check each on their individual specs. The insurance thing is a myth, I have owned an imported Celica GT4 and an imported R33 Skyline and both when I was getting them insured and chatting with the specialist insurers said the difference was negligible and made no difference for me getting it insured - maybe if you go via Elephant dot crap or something like that, but use a specialist and they will look after you. Parts wise it will be the same parts, you can replace like for like the forum has a shed load of traders here who can help out. 

 

Dont be worried about taking a list along with you to view the cars, you are the guy spending the money, dont be ashamed to be thorough, its nothing personal against the seller to go over it with a fine tooth comb! When I bought my Celica I took a notebook with a whole list of stuff and literally ticked it off as I went along. The guy seemed to appreciate that I was a genuine buyer and had done my research.  

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The biggest problem I can see with an import these days is the electronics, specifically the immobiliser and other random body ecus. We’ve had a couple of guys on here who have had issues with theirs and have had major problems sourcing replacements, whereas UK cars are a much easier fix. That alone would put me off tbh, as having a bricked car isn’t much fun when there is no solution to fix it. Mechanicals are easy to do, electronics much less so. 

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There's a lot of strange negative press on the JDM import, with little to no reasoning other than preference or opinion rather than facts. The fact of the matter is, its what you want that counts. I wanted an Auto box, so i was out of options on getting a UK spec as they are not available in Auto.

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19 hours ago, coldel said:

If you can get a good deal on an import that's been in the country a while with a decent history then go for it. Check how it was imported and came through a reputable importer who did all the work on making it good for UK roads and to be honest its no different to any other car UK or otherwise. Just note that imports have a number of different specs, they are not just GT and non GT so check each on their individual specs. The insurance thing is a myth, I have owned an imported Celica GT4 and an imported R33 Skyline and both when I was getting them insured and chatting with the specialist insurers said the difference was negligible and made no difference for me getting it insured - maybe if you go via Elephant dot crap or something like that, but use a specialist and they will look after you. Parts wise it will be the same parts, you can replace like for like the forum has a shed load of traders here who can help out. 

 

Dont be worried about taking a list along with you to view the cars, you are the guy spending the money, dont be ashamed to be thorough, its nothing personal against the seller to go over it with a fine tooth comb! When I bought my Celica I took a notebook with a whole list of stuff and literally ticked it off as I went along. The guy seemed to appreciate that I was a genuine buyer and had done my research.  

 

 

Just the kind of thing I was looking for in a reply, I will probably aim for Uk spec as it just seems to be the simpler route, therefore I am less likely to miss something when looking or getting it all sorted. 

Thanks to everyone on the replies, especially concerning J17, though I prefer to buy and sell privately as I've never had great luck with any car dealership. 

On the massive plus side I've just got in from selling my bike so that's some of my budget ready to go! 

11 hours ago, Ekona said:

The biggest problem I can see with an import these days is the electronics, specifically the immobiliser and other random body ecus. We’ve had a couple of guys on here who have had issues with theirs and have had major problems sourcing replacements, whereas UK cars are a much easier fix. That alone would put me off tbh, as having a bricked car isn’t much fun when there is no solution to fix it. Mechanicals are easy to do, electronics much less so. 

Yeah where I had a look through the forum for posts about imports I saw a few of these and electronics in cars are my biggest fear. 

 


 

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Have fun on the hunt, if any questions pop up when you start viewing cars the wealth of knowledge the good folks on here have will be able to answer them. 

One to note, if you see PE05 UVU Gun Metal Roadster, up for sale, stay away from it, was mine that got written off last year and went through Copart ;)  

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On 07/04/2021 at 19:27, JDRegius said:

So I've rummaged around the forum as well as trying to do some research on other sites but I'm still unsure on this. So for those who have owned imports, or even both.

 

Is it a bad plan for a first time Z buyer? 

What are the real world disadvantages and how many arguments will I have to have with insurance/tax and so on?

Should it be a red flag for me if it's listed as an import. 

Honestly I am just struggling to find much good information from owners.

 

Cheers !

 

Hi.

If you need any help with insurance at all then please feel free to drop me a line.

Regards,

Dan.

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If you need help with insurance, we specialise in imported vehicle insurance and modifications at A-Plan Insurance | Specialist Vehicle, drop me a pm if you have any queries or call our team directly on 01635 874646. We are an advised service with qualified staff so should be able to answer your insurance related questions :) 

 

Carlie

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