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Cost difference Between dealer and Importing

Discussion in 'Mini Lounge' started by Dmscar, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    My questions goes as such, as pure costs what the biggest prices differences if we were to include a rough entirety of buying a importing a 25 year old Honda or Subaru Mini truck and paying any and all fees to get it here through the port vs the seemingly average price point between 5-7k buying one from a dealer.

    I only ask because I’m a younger guy with health issues so I try to be as frugal as possible because it seems the drs keep wanting my money. Ha I just want an awesome Mini truck to haul my dualsport to various trails here in Colorado.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  2. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    You save a lot by importing. Keep in mind the 25% chicken tax.

    For trucks, I would recommend Be Forward.jp They make it simple and you can even pay with paypal now. You can find a truck for well under $2k and then spend under $1k importing it.

    Most truck dealers buy the cheapest of cheap. I bought a dealer truck, and I also imported a Jimny myself. I'll never buy another dealer truck.
  3. Bobacuda

    Bobacuda Member

    I went through Pacific Coast when I imported my 1990 Sambar with AC. Cost about $3,500. Search my old posts, I posted all the costs.
  4. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Yeah the “chicken tax” is pretty dumb, but it is what it is I suppose.

    I really appreciate the responses regarding the prices and how a lot of dealers buy low grade trucks. That’s good info because I was eyeing one dealer but the costs were still kinda high.

    I figured that a dealer selling at 5-6k wasn’t buying the best of the best because then they couldn’t make the best profit.

    I really want an ultra clean truck I can keep for a while.

    I’ll search those posts now, thank you sir!
  5. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    Depending on the dealer, you can work with them to import very clean vehicles for you, and they do it often enough they know the rules and don’t get inadvertently caught up in the system.
  6. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    It's not that difficult. Just use a broker. A dealer will still have his profit margin so $5-7 could turn into $10k
  7. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    I honestly think I’ll just use a broker and bring one in. I prefer the idea of being able to bid on the ones I like the most, opposed to just picking whatever a dealer has in stock. Granted a dealer could get me what I want but I’m the kinda person where I’m more willing to spend my time researching something and saving myself money. Granted time is money so it’s all relative. Because I doubt a mini truck will be the only vehicle I plan to import. I’d like to also get a Nissan Pao at some point and dealers prices are crazy where as auctions they don’t go for too much.

    I’m thinking of starting the process in January and seeing where it goes ( assuming life doesn’t interfere ).

    I’m just happy there’s this site here where you guys are willing to answer my questions. Thank you!
  8. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    I would recommend Be-Forward as an export dealer ( they are in Japan but give shipped prices as all in and they are good prices ). You can view the auction sheets and their in house check sheets as well as multiple pictures for your viewing pleasure. For a broker, Davidson and Sons I would recommend 100%. You just forward them your CAP link, make sure they are on the notify party and take care of the rest. I might not buy a Nissan Pao from Be Forward, but a Kei truck is a pretty safe buy
  9. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Very good to know thank you!

    Do you know if most exporters translate the registration and other documents that your receive with the vehicle so you can get it registered. I was reading somewhere recently that some do and some don’t I just don’t know how accurate that is.

    Yeah I gotta do a bunch of research on the Pao and where to get it but it’s not on my to do list currently.
  10. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    Be Forward does a translation, I know that Pacific Coast Auto does as well. Everything other than the export certificate will be in english. The freight bill, and invoices will be in english.
  11. Bobacuda

    Bobacuda Member

    I give Pacific Coast a thumbs up. PCA translates everything and has a good auction website to check out the auction sheets and see photos. You will be dealing with English speakers (native) as well. They translate and provide all the paperwork, other than the stuff Davidson and Sons provides. In addition, they gave me good advice and have provided some after-the-purchase translations for me.

    If I were buying another vehicle, I would use the again. Check out their website and their YouTube site.
  12. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    Oh good to know. I was looking at Pacific Coast Auto and like how you can easily bid at different auction once you placed the deposit. Their site is a little easier to navigate then the Be forward so I think once I’m ready to buy Pacific will be my first choice. I think their site states you can choose from a whole slew of auctions as well which would be good.

    I know there’s a chance I could find a early to mid 90’s Blue Honda Acty truck in 4wd I would love to have. I’d be willing to wait a good bit to get one too if need be.
  13. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    I just realized that I’ve probably watched twenty or more of Pacific Coast Autos YouTube videos without realizing it! They helped get that crazy awesome looking 4wd RV I’d love to have.
  14. deshet

    deshet Member

    What is this 25% chicken tax? Are you certain that it applies to 25-year-old trucks coming from Japan?

  15. Bobacuda

    Bobacuda Member

    In a nutshell, the Chicken Tax is a retaliatory tax that was placed on trucks coming into the US in 1964 under President LBJ in response to high tariffs placed on US chicken by France and Germany. At first everyone thought it would cause taxes on all sides to be lowered, but US Automakers realized they could raise their prices (who couldn't see that coming) and still be competitive because they did not face a 25% tax. Since chickens were involved, the "Chicken Tax."

  16. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    Yup, and yes it applies to the invoice cost. If you buy with Be Forward it would be the invoice cost of the vehicle and if you bought with Pacific then it applies to his invoice
  17. Dmscar

    Dmscar Member

    That’s good to know about it applying to the invoice I’d receive my Pacific. That’s who I plan to go through.m anyway.
  18. deshet

    deshet Member

    When I imported my 1987 Landcruiser last year I paid $125.
    The guy did say that he was supposed to charge me more.
    I wonder if I got taken care of because I bought it in Canada and towed it across the border myself.

  19. matt167

    matt167 Active Member

    it would depend if it had a Canadian title or not. There are different import laws from Canada- USA where you might not need EPA certification/ DOT HS7 to get it through if it has a title.. There is also a $400 exemption as your allowed to have $400 of stuff duty free from Canada. I think that means the first $400 of the purchase price is exempt. A land Cruiser would be 2.5% and at $5,500k would be $127 with the $400 exemption. Not sure what you paid
  20. Maximal

    Maximal Active Member

    my Toyota Crown got bought/shipped privately and my Sambar through an importer, Sambar i just told him what i wanted and when i won the auction i got a envelope with all the paperwork in English, full final cost including shipping from BC to my door, and his connection for a OPI to get it to pass. no headaches, and $7k to my door/passed inspection, 40k km, rust free, mint shape was worth it

    the problem is trucks/SUV and performance cars can get bagged on and you get a lemon so its better to go through a dealer/importer, cars especially luxury cars more often than not are in good shape and its sometimes worth just hitting the auction yourself and hoping to get it for under $2000

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