A display of luxurious vehicles, representing the pros and cons of importing used cars.

Pros and cons of importing used cars

Last Updated: November 18, 2020By Tags: ,

Cars are a necessity in today’s world. Deciding on not only the model but the type of a car is not always easy. Moreover, not everyone has the same budget and can afford the same quality. A lot of people turn to importing used cars from abroad instead of buying a car at home. Is that a double-edged sword, or is it a safe bet? Let’s see the pros and cons of importing used cars and how to get one for yourself and not pay a ton of money! Keep in mind that the situation may vary from country to country, so consider all aspects before you make the final decision.

The first benefit of importing used cars – a wide choice!

Let’s focus on the positive sides first. The number one reason people turn towards a foreign market instead of looking at cars at a local one is that they have more models to pick from. Furthermore, some countries do not have local car production, so they must import from abroad. This is a good way to find what you want and buy it, especially if you have enough money.

Access to quality

Depending on where you live, foreign cars might be of better quality. They are usually in better condition, but that still requires additional checking.

A yellow Audi.

Finding quality used cars abroad should not be an issue.

You can get value for money

Buying a cheaper, used car at a local market is not always a better choice, especially if you can afford a bit more expensive foreign car. Since we mentioned that foreign vehicles are usually of higher quality, the value for money ratio plays a crucial part.

Carefully consider whether you want to buy a cheaper local car, fix it all the time, or pay a little more initially and get more value for your investment.

Better loan conditions

A few years back, you could not get a loan on importing a used car. This type of purchase was too risky. However, today we have a wider choice of options, and you can actually get a better loan on an imported car.

Spend an hour browsing the internet and look for companies that offer loans, and you might just find what you are looking for.

Imported used cars are more affordable than new cars at home

If you are considering buying a new car, you must know it is a hefty investment. As a matter of fact, importing a used car might often be a better decision. New vehicles are unreasonably expensive, so an imported used car in good condition might be a better deal for you.

Cons of importing used cars

Let’s now look at the disadvantages of importing used cars. It is crucial to get a full picture before making a decision.

You cannot check the vehicle yourself

When importing used cars, you don’t have the option to look at the car yourself, unless you travel to that country. That can be an expensive trip, especially if you are saving money for the car.

The only option you have is to look at it online. This is not always the right approach because you don’t know if the photos or the video are current or not.

If going for this option, the best way to do it is to get a live tour of the car, not a recording. Furthermore, spend some time online looking at car reviews. You might learn a lot of useful information that will help you with picking the one for yourself.

The importation process is as tedious as it gets

If you buy a car at a local dealer, you get it as soon as you pay for it. However, if you opt for a foreign market, there is a waiting period before you can drive your new wheels.

Cars lined up for shipping on a ship

Importing a car from abroad can take a lot of time.

You need to assess the car, identify and modify it for shipping, get all the paperwork done. Nevertheless, there is a good workaround for this issue. You can easily find professionals to take care of a few important things and do that heavy lifting for you.

Beware of the frauds

Many people get tricked when importing a used car from abroad. If you are buying a car online, make sure it is from a verified dealer. There are so many auctions of “virtual carts” that don’t even exist, and after you make a purchase, the seller magically vanishes into thin air.

With that said, you should not completely drop the option of importing because of scams. Finding an official dealership is easy, just look for recommendations of people you know, or search for the best dealers in the country of your interest.

You may not get a warranty on a used car

As opposed to buying a car at a local dealer, importing a used car might not always come with a warranty. This is one of the hardships you have to deal with if choosing this type of purchase.

A car engine under the hood.

Finding spare parts for imported used cars may prove to be harder than it seems. Check if your local car dealers have the parts before purchasing the vehicle.

Finding spare parts

Even though many countries sell car parts for cars that are usually not sold locally, getting a spare part for an imported vehicle can sometimes be a hassle you don’t need.

Now, this does not mean it is impossible. But, before you buy a car from abroad, consider how rare the parts are in your home country, or what the price is.

Key takeaways

Let’s do a quick summary to help you make an informed decision. The pros of importing used cars are:

  • wider choice of models
  • access to quality cars
  • getting value for money
  • better loan conditions
  • a better option than buying a new, local car

On the other side, the cons are:

  • it is harder and more expensive to check the vehicle yourself
  • the importing process can take a long time
  • there is a possibility of a fraud
  • there is often no warranty
  • it may be harder to find spare parts

These pros and cons of importing a used car may vary from country to country. Some have better local production but higher prices, while others have affordability over quality. Consider both when making your decision. Good luck!

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