Fleet News

Luxury LCV-style imports warning

AN emerging new trend for importing luxury LCV-style vehicles from abroad is likely to prove costly for operators. CAP reports a growing demand for high-spec LCVs not only from sources in Ireland and Cyprus, but also directly from Japan.

However, it warns that such vehicles are a dangerous investment and the premium price paid for them - often thousands of pounds more than for their run-of-the-mill counterparts - is unlikely to ever be recovered or even reflected in the resale value.

CAP Red Book head of department Tim Wilcock said: 'The commercial vehicle is a business tool. It must perform a set task efficiently with the minimum of hassle and come within a set budget. Overpriced toys will never take their place. The vehicles being brought in have very glamorous specifications, most of which are not available on UK models - but at what cost? Models such as the Toyota Town Ace, basically a Lite-Ace with six/seven seats, four-wheel-drive, automatic transmission, air conditioning, cruise control, metallic paint and a host of other little extras, are expensive luxuries. Vehicles like these carry a heavy price premium.'

Wilcock said most buyers in the used LCV market would not be prepared to pay over the odds for such vehicles, especially as many of them were classed as cars for VAT purposes.

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