Questions you might ask yourself
1. What is a “grey imported vehicle” and where do they come from?
Vehicles that come into the country through non-authorised channels are called “Grey Imports”. Most are used vehicles which come into the marketplace from a variety of sources; historically the majority have come from Japan, however, there are also vehicles coming in from the UK at present.
2. Why are they coming to New Zealand?
The New Zealand Government allows parallel importation and the trade in used vehicles into the country and the used importers see a sales opportunity. From time to time different countries exchange rates may mean there is a short term “opportunity” for used vehicle traders.
3. Who can bring cars into the country and what experience is needed?
Both private individual’s and licensed motor vehicle dealers can import varying quantities of vehicles – there are regulations that govern both, however no experience is needed and no on-going support is required post the initial sale to a local buyer.
4. Are the vehicles the same as the ones imported by the manufacturers?
If the vehicle is from the UK, their standard specification is generally below the equivalent New Zealand vehicle, so additional features will need to be added to be an equal comparison.
Additionally the UK specified vehicle/model may not be sold in NZ which will lead to parts and service issues in the future. There have been occasions where an option fitted to an overseas imported vehicle is not legal in New Zealand. This could result in the vehicle not being compliant with New Zealand regulations and not being able to be registered. It is the owner’s full responsibility to check that a vehicle complies with New Zealand law prior to importation.
5. Is, or has the vehicle been registered?
Any vehicle imported must be registered in the original country of origin first categorising it as a used import, so any New Zealand customer is at least the second owner.
New Zealand new vehicles are unregistered before sale.
6. What are the warranty implications?
There is a worldwide 2-year warranty on all vehicles from the date of initial registration (i.e. in the UK) which will be honoured locally.
To facilitate the processing of an International Warranty, the owner or importer will be required to supply certain information to an authorised BMW Dealer. Once the authorised BMW Dealer has received notification from BMW Group New Zealand Limited that the vehicle details are correct, the warranty claim work can be carried out by the authorised BMW Dealer, and a warranty claim will then be facilitated by the authorised BMW Dealer and BMW Group New Zealand Limited.
The authorised BMW Dealer may require the owner or importer to pay for the full or partial repair upon its completion (at the authorised BMW Dealers discretion). Once the claim is processed and accepted, the owner or importer will be reimbursed the amount credited to the authorised BMW Dealer by BMW Group. Any value not credited by BMW Group must be absorbed by the owner or importer and is at their risk.
Any additional local overseas service or extended warranty programs are not covered locally and any claims under those policies should be directed back to the original vehicle importer.
Clarification of the warranty on imported vehicles can be obtained from the authorised BMW Dealer Network.
7. What are the service implications?
All imported vehicles require standard servicing and maintenance items as per the service handbook and the cost is handled by the owner directly.
All New Zealand new vehicles have a full 3 year BMW Service Inclusive maintenance package which covers almost all service, maintenance and repairs during this time, at no cost to the original retail customer. A full description of the Service Inclusive program can be obtained from the authorised BMW Dealer Network.
8. What are the “Goodwill” implications?
Where an imported vehicle which is covered by the International Warranty has a part or vehicle defect which is not covered under the warranty terms of the country of origin, BMW Group New Zealand Limited will not accept the claim. No goodwill claims will be accepted on imported vehicles and this includes wear and tear items, or items requiring adjustment.
All New Zealand new vehicles continue to have supportive goodwill throughout, and in many cases, beyond the 3 year warranty period.
9. What are the Roadside Assistance implications?
For imported vehicles, any roadside assistance programs will need to be purchased separately from an aftermarket supplier and paid for by the owner.
All New Zealand new vehicles are covered by a 3-year 24/7 program nationally.
10. What about recall and service campaigns?
Imported vehicles will be included in any manufacturer safety recall, only if the vehicle is known to exist in the local market.
All New Zealand new vehicles will automatically be covered under any manufacturer safety recall or service campaign and all costs will be covered.
11. Will overseas satellite navigation systems work here?
Imported vehicles may have navigation and driver assistance systems, however these systems will not automatically work in New Zealand and they sometimes cannot be retrofitted.
New Zealand new vehicles have been supplied with a compatible system which includes localised navigation maps with planned regular updates.
12. Can the speedometer reading of imported cars be relied upon?
As with all imports of used vehicles, there is evidence of both true and correct mileage and incorrect (wound back) mileage readings - the onus is upon the buyer to be comfortable with the mileage shown and for the private importer to validate the true mileage.
UK cars arrive with the odometer reading on miles per hour rather than kilometres per hour, this can be changed, however, the cost can be high depending on if new parts are required.
13. As a customer am I protected under the Consumer Guarantee Act?
Yes you are if you have purchased the vehicle from a licensed vehicle trader. If you purchased from a private importer, then you are not covered by the Act.
All New Zealand new vehicles are supported by the authorised BMW Dealer network and BMW AG as well as all relevant NZ legislation.
14. Will the imported vehicles hold their value in the marketplace?
Due to the limitations of imports they will naturally have lower market value than their New Zealand new counterparts.