5 Common Mistakes When Buying A Parallel Imported Car In Singapore

5 Common Mistakes When Buying A Parallel Imported Car In Singapore

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
12 Sep 2018

3.         We put our downpayments at risk

Outright cheating on the scale of Volks Auto isn’t so common, but you face other risks if you buy from a dodgy PI.

“What if you don’t get your car?” asked Steven. “The PI may say, “You already put down a downpayment? Return you lor.” But that is a very good scenario – at least they return you. What if they tell you, wait another three months. If you don’t wait, you breached your contract, not them. Now is you don’t want, not they don’t want. So they get to keep your deposit.”

In other words, you may be contractually bound to commit to the number of rounds of COE they provisioned for, tying up your cash for at least 3 months.

Steven reminded me that downpayments are not usually large enough sums to justify legal recourse. ““If you can’t wait, then you might have to forfeit your downpayment. For 1k you want to sue them? ”

Therefore, as much as possible, try to negotiate for as low a downpayment as much as you can. Also, try to have everything in black and white. Verbal consent and agreements do little in the eyes of the law. Be savvy with these things if you really want to get a parallel imported car!

4.         We waste time on non-guaranteed COE packages

“Then if you say you can wait – the reason they could not secure your car is usually because COE had started to go up. That’s why they could not get the COE. 3 months later, you’ll still not be able to get the COE, so you come out of the contract.”

“If you’re lucky to get back your deposit, you go to another dealer, which most likely will be more trustworthy. But the price would have gone up anyway.”

“Why not, 3 months before, you pay up?” asked Steven. “The dealer may charge you more, but you would have gotten your car.”

5.         We overfocus on the freebies

And of course, there’s the ever-distracting parade of freebies that parallel importers dangle before us.

“Sometimes people are just too focused on the wrong thing. Pricing, fuel consumption, freebies – you’re buying a car, you’re not buying freebies. Don’t go and compare too much on things like window films, touchscreen in-car entertainment devices – these are just good to know, but don’t overfocus on that,” advised Steven.

Or else, you might end up being jiak by a PI whose background is less than stellar, hooked by a price that’s too good to be true, strung along by a downpayment that ties up your funds for too long, and disappointed by a long series of COE bids that are knowingly inadequate.

Then after that, after having no car to show for all your troubles - good luck getting your money back, because you might need it!

That being said, it doesn't mean that purchasing a parallel imported car is always bad. It just means that you'll have to do your due diligence, lots of it! Also, be prepared that there are way more risks involved and even if these importers are recommended by your relative's friend's friend, it doesn't mean that they are trusted! Should you want to save all that trouble, then go along and purchase one from an authorised distributer!

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