Fleet News

'Back door' imports threaten residuals

GREY imports of cars from Southern Ireland and Japan are threatening the residual values of some of the best performing vehicles in the used car market. Residual value specialist CAP Motor Research and Glass's Guide have both identified significant numbers of scarce vehicles arriving in recent months from right-hand-drive overseas markets.

These imports are extremely close in appearance to UK specified cars, and could potentially upset the delicate supply-demand relationship of some of this country's most sought after models. 'With the pound remaining strong against many other currencies an increasing number of 'grey imports' are now finding their way on to the used market and threatening the fine line between supply and demand,' said Jeff Paterson, Glass's car editor.

He said 'back door' imports from Southern Ireland were up to £4,000 cheaper than British counterparts, while Japan was providing a ready source of rare and niche cars. Japanese versions of the MX-5, Toyota MR2, and Honda CRX are up to 25% cheaper than original UK registered cars, according to Darren Wiseman, CAP executive section editor, who said the imports often feature lower mileages and better specification than UK stock.

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