Ex UK versus Ex Japan Imports: The key points to help you decide | MHH International

Most days at least one of our customers will ask what the advantages are for buying a used car from the UK versus buying from Japan. This is what we tell them:

Importing UK Cars

Advantages of buying UK cars

  • They usually have a better specification
  • They have service history which is documented
  • HPI check will tell you if the mileage has been tampered with or if it’s been in a bad accident
  • Cars are prepared for retail so arrive ready to drive. (No additional work required)
  • Some newer cars can have their VAT reclaimed on export saving 20% on UK costs

Disadvantages of UK cars

  • Higher mileage (an average of 12,000 mls or 19,000 kms per year)
  • Oxidization on the underside of the car (this is usual easily reversed with a clean and Waxoil underseal)
  • European manufactured cars (E.G. Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, VW) have a reputation of costing more to maintain. But many argue that well maintained vehicles which are well driven, cost less to maintain over their lifetime than their Japanese competitors.
  • These cars are usually sold from retail dealerships and they have a dealer’s profit margin on them.
  • European cars start from around £12.3K (Ksh 1.8M / NZD 25K) and upward all-inclusive import and duties costs

Advantages of buying Japanese cars

  • Lower mileage cars available (but make sure it is genuine from the export certificate which show the true mileages at 3 and 5 years old). ·
  • Less or no oxidization on the underside.
  • Often bought at wholesale prices which make the overall cost attractive.
  • There are very many cars smaller low cost cars available for import.
  • Smaller Japanese manufactured cars are often considered cheaper to maintain.

Disadvantages of Japanese cars

  • Controls/media interface are not in English (sometimes this can be changed).
  • Often a lower specification versus UK cars.
  • Service records are not usually present.
  • As they are wholesale the cars are not prepared for retail so they often require work on arrival (sold as seen)

Petrol versus Diesel

The final point to consider the availability of Petrol and Diesel engines in the different markets. In Europe most of the 4x4’s are diesel and many of the prestige saloon cars have also gone that way. In Japan petrol is the fuel of choice and this means that all saloons and most 4x4’s are also petrol.

MHH International is one of the few companies that offer vehicle sourcing from both the UK and Japan. We constantly try to add value by finding UK cars that are VAT free or sold at a reduced wholesale prices. In Japan we also find cars at reduced wholesale prices and preparing them to the high quality retail condition our customers would be happy with. Kenyan customers can also benefit from our bank partnerships and spread the costs with asset finance from their local preferred bank.

If you would like any further information on any of the points made above please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to help you.

We hope you have found this information helpful and we look forward to hearing from you when you are ready to buy you next car.

Alistair Benn
Managing Director

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