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kernow

Parallel Import

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Hello,

I'm thinking of buying an IS 200 SE automatic from a London dealer that is a UK specification parallel import.

UK Lexus dealers have told me these 'parallel' imports are not UK specification and have varying differences. I've been looking at the car in question and can find no visible alterations. The only slight problem I've encountered is that some insurance companies class the import as a group 14 instead of the usual group 12 and charge a higher premium.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Kernow.

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Is there any difference in the alarm/immobiliser? That would explain the insurance difference.

Where is the car sourced from?

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Be wary of what the UK dealers say - obviously it's not in their interests for you, or anyone else for that matter, to get the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

I got mine from Denmark to full uk spec - only difference was mine didn't have the lip spoiler or the chrome exhaust tailpipe. This can easily be, as was, done once you get the car - saving you a lot of money in the process.

I haven't had any problems with insurance either - but depends on the insurance company. Lexus UK wouldn't quote for a car not sourced from the uk. :nugget:

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The key fobs and keys look the same as UK dealer supplied cars so I'm making the assumption the alarm/ immobiliser are the same?!

The car has come from Holland and again all the paperwork and manuals look identical to UK cars.

The only thing I've found out from an insurance company is that parallel imports don't have double deadlocking. I’m sceptical about this, any easy way to recognise a car with double locking apart from testing it?

Thanks,

Kernow.

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If the car was correctly ordered as uk spec from the factory then it will be identical to a car delivered to lexus gb.

The only differences will be what lexus gb do before passing it to the dealer. Things like ...

Locking wheel nuts, window etching, ecu cover ...

and 'sports' up to 2001, boot spoiler, exhaust trim, 'sport' emblem in rear door windows.

Mine's a danish supplied uk spec SE and has the correct alarm / deadlocking.

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Chaps,

This all sounds very promising. I think my mind is made up on an IS 200 SE import. Watch this space for the photo.

Thanks for your help.

Kernow...

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Out of interest how much is an IS200 SE import, I've seen them at circa £18000. Is that still about right. How long do you have to wait?

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The going rate (Motorpoint) appears to be GBP £17995 for an IS 200 SE manual & GBP £18995 for an SE auto. The above price includes metallic colours.

If you phone around some dealers have unregistered examples in stock so it's possible to negotiate a little more.

Kernow.

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I think it may be worth shopping around some of the U.K official dealers, as by the time you have paid R.F.L and first reg fee £180, and bearing in mind the cost of the missing 3 year Lexus Assistance (similar in value to the highest price R.A.C package , say £450, you may not actually be saving as as you think. And then bear in mind, you will find it harder to move on at a later date, and at a lower price it may be worth paying a small premium to buy a U.K supplied car. My guess is somewhere between £19500 - £20000 O.T.R, so maybe a £1000 ish premium taking everything into account, and then no dramas come sale time.

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And then bear in mind, you will find it harder to move on at a later date.....

I have experienced this to some extent but this is what annoys me about Lexus GB & Lexus dealers. There cannnot be any valid reason why a Lexus UK dealer can justify giving a lower trade in value for a car sourced within Europe and has extactly the same spec. as a UK car. (Aren't there laws stipulating that you have to treat all goods bought within the EU in the same way?).

At the end of the day, something is worth only what someone else is prepared to pay for it so I guess that's as far as it goes. It still annoys me that we in the UK should even have to pay a 'premuim' for the privelage of buying from a UK dealer.

Interested in seeing how an 'Authorised Dealer' views this.

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I think that in actual fact it isn't really dealers who have a problem, although different manufacturer's have different policies, which then affects your decision as to whether you would attempt to deal in imports. Most customers expect an import to be cheaper when new and they then expect the car to remain cheaper, which is a reflection on human nature rather than car dealers. If it isn't cheaper - why bother!

The savings on imports are not what they were either, and Lexus are not one of the importer's favourites, so not really a big issue. Mercedes imports account for circa 30% of all the cars registered in the U.K so the effect it has had on the market for those cars is to lower all the residuals, even on U.K cars. Interestingly, most of the posts on the forums are reference problems and/or service standards, so there have to be Lexus dealers in this country, and they have to make a profit to survive, so I guess until we join the Euro we will never get price parity. As ever it's your hard earned cash, with which to do with as you please! With regards to the law, I think that manufacturers must sell a car from any E.U state to someone in any other state, in either left or right hand drive, and indeed many have been fined for trying to make this difficult, although used cars in the U.K for example are worth what the market (i.e customers) dictate, and you can either accept or decline the price. It has to be said though that U.K supplied cars will retain more of their value as a general rule.

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.... and bearing in mind the cost of the missing 3 year Lexus Assistance (similar in value to the highest price R.A.C package , say £450, you may not actually be saving as as you think.

This is misleading ...

You get 3yr assistance with euro supplied cars too and it's MORE comprehensive than the RAC cover provided in the uk.

Things like business class air or first class rail to continue your journey in the event of breakdown ....

In fact, the whole EU gets this cover except the UK which gets RAC instead.

All rather superfluous though coz as we all know ...

Your Lexus just isn't going to break down anyway :rolleyes:

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Wasn't aware of that. Is it Mondial?

Although I still hold with the other points.

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Yes - Mondial Assist, that's the one ...

And yes i agree with Nick ...

If buying abroad, be thorough with your research.

Compare like with like to make sure it's worthwhile.

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Import Update!

I’ve taken the plunge and bought an import! IS200 SE Automatic in Astral Black. The car was already at a dealer so no 20 weeks waiting. It might not have been quite as cheap as doing it yourself but I still got a good saving on the UK list price.

All the legwork has been done for me and the car came with road fund license, a full tank of fuel and the dealer even fitted genuine Lexus mats!

The car drives like a dream and appears identical to UK supplied cars.

24 hours is too early to tell how my decision will fair. However I’ll post my experiences, good and bad so you’ll have an idea if an import could work for you.

Kernow.

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I just wondered as that is sometimes a issue with import companies that have the cars in stock, they are the first registered keeper.

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Hello everyone!

I have quite recently (10 days) bought a new IS 200, from motorpoint, Derby, a European import model. The specification dont seem any different from a UK one, except for window etching. It has double locking, locking wheel nuts...

I am waiting for the V5 document before going to a dealer to register for the warranty. I am a bit unsure of how the dealers attitude will be with an import model and issuing warranty. Any experiences?

Edited by Matthew_McNally

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When I had a new Toyota Celica from the Toyota dealer at The Hague, Holland in 2000 I found the following differences on putting it in part exchange:

Different Audio system from the Uk model

Different Alarm system from the UK model

Yet it was all listed as Uk spec.

I did however get a good part exhange value.

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Hello everyone!

I have quite recently (10 days) bought a new IS 200, from motorpoint, Derby, a European import model. The specification dont seem any different from a UK one, except for window etching. It has double locking, locking wheel nuts...

I am waiting for the V5 document before going to a dealer to register for the warranty. I am a bit unsure of how the dealers attitude will be with an import model and issuing warranty. Any experiences?

welcome to the club!

I don't think you should have a problem with servicing etc to be honest, although I'm sure there are other members here who have purchased from abroad that will be able to give you more advice.

Zee. :)

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When I had a new Toyota Celica from the Toyota dealer at The Hague, Holland in 2000 I found the following differences on putting it in part exchange:

Different Audio system from the Uk model

Different Alarm system from the UK model

Yet it was all listed as Uk spec.

but surely there must be a way of knowing beforehand when you buy the car? I mean the audio system, alarm etc?

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