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To import or not to import?!?! from a newbie


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Hiya guys and girls.

Im Rj and obviously a newbie. Im in the market for a new car early next year and have had my head turned by a fresh jap import 2004 forester sti, so im sure irl be asking alot of daft questions of you lot over the next few weeks, what to look out for with them ect ect. Look forward to chatting to you all. 

Rj x


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Fresh imports will have zero paperwork with them. try and get hold of a copy of the auction sheet, will tell you about it, bodywork its had etc. Also assume it will need a full service inc cambelt etc.


Pound being as weak as it is at the min means prices are pretty high on fresh imports, plus you can find some in the uk already 

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Welcome on board!

I listed out some pros and cons 5 / 6 years ago about fresh import vs one residing here in the UK already on another forum. This list is not exhaustive but probably covers most points. Here are a few to think over:-



- Cars are graded and are generally in good condition. 
- You generally get what you pay for. Pay for a Grade 4/5 car, you get a top notch car.
- The Japanese people don't drive them in the same way as we do. The cars are speed limited and mileage is minimal.
- My experience from purchasing 2 grey imports from importers is that you could eat your dinner off the engine. Roast lamb - lovely - just mind the fat doesn't get on the drive belts!:biggrin:
- Also my experience - I have covered 27k miles in 7.5 years in my RSK. Never been in any salt and is confined to summer driving only. The GTB we purchased this year is cleaner under the engine bay and reminded me of how my RSK was in early 2003 before the summer weather got to it. Yes - UK summer weather has tarnished all the alloy under the bonnet. 
- Also, the GTB still has lower mileage at 10 and a bit years old (10 of them in Japan) vs my RSK (4 yrs in Japan and 7.5 yrs here) even though I have only added 27k miles.
- No salt/grit laid down on the roads in Japan.
- The importer generally provides warranty cover for the first 3/6 months. Its value though - not known by me. 

- You will pay more
- Often no service history
- Can be a gamble given neither you or importer know anything about the car.

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Cheers for this! We had an import impreza a few years back and your right about them turning up imaculate. Unfortunately mine will not be confined to summer driving as im trying to cut down on the cars I own. Not easy when you like cars as im guessing you all know. Iv got my eye on one thats been in the country for 6months and is over a grand cheaper then the freshest imports. I understand the risks too. A pal of mine spent alot on a honda import and has been dispapointed. I guess its the risk we all take though. :)

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