Unlike other warnings, an imported flag on your vehicle history report is not as concerning as you may think. Provided you understand the implications, you may want to proceed with the purchase of this used car. We’ll help you understand this warning from the DVLA, the two status options and their meanings:
- Pass - Essentially, this is not an imported car. It’s domestic. This is great because it means you can trace all of its histories via government databases. Here is what a passing result looks like.
- Warning - While you can purchase this car, it may be more costly to repair or insure. You might not be able to access all the data on it prior to import. Depending on your purposes, this may be a risk you’re willing to take. A warning result looks like this.
What Happens If You Buy an Imported Car?
Well, it may be hard to find spare parts for it. This is only likely to become more expensive after the UK leaves the single market. Also, it’s possible that your insurance will be more expensive too. According to USwitch, “Insuring an imported car can be more expensive because insurers will need to spend more time when calculating how risky they are. If your car is imported you will need to shop around for specialist car insurance.” Those aren’t insurmountable things, however, and if you weigh up the costs, you may still want to purchase that used car.
What Are the Different Import Categories?
If your car report shows that the vehicle is imported, there are two possibilities: parallel or grey import.
- Parallel Import - According to RIAS, “Parallel imports are cars that are built and bought within the EU and brought over to the UK. This means they will conform to the same EU regulations and standards that apply to cars sold in the UK.” This is the best kind of imported car.
- Grey Import - These are cars, available in the UK market, that are made in non-EU countries and not subject to the same rules. You may get a higher-performing vehicle, but it’s best to source these cars from a reputable dealer.
Should you buy an imported car?
If you’re buying from a dealer, it’s probably completely fine regardless. (Provided you are prepared for the higher cost of parts and insurance.) If you’re considering a private purchase, do your research. If it’s a grey import, you’ll need to have an IVA done before it can be insured. You won’t have the same issue with a parallel import, however. If you see an import warning, investigate thoroughly before making your purchasing decision. Oh, and it goes without saying that an EXPORT warning vehicle should never be purchased. That means the car isn’t supposed to be in the UK at all.