Fleet News

Grey import change may help fleets

##CAPsml--left####Martin Ward--right##ALTHOUGH imports from Japan do not necessarily compete with fleet cars, it is interesting to note that recent developments could help fleet disposals as it becomes more difficult to import them.

According to our Grey Book editor Robert Hester, changes in the regulation surrounding grey imports are preventing sub-standard vehicles from entering the country. The personal import rules were tightened as from February 1 this year.

Previously, this route was favoured by many as an easy import method, as the single vehicle approval (SVA) test could be avoided. Now personal importers have to prove that they have lived in the country of export for at least 12 months, and used the car there for at least six months - or put the vehicle through the SVA test.

The second change, due in August, will enhance the SVA test. It will take into account stricter emission controls, security systems and various other items. The quality of cars being imported has already improved and we have witnessed the virtual disappearance of the back street trader who was only in it to make a quick buck.

Well, the days of the quick buck are all but gone, and those who are left are the ones who take the job seriously and are prepared to make the investment to ensure that only quality cars are brought into the UK. This can only be good news for the rest of the industry.

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