Dealer question

jason_247, Feb 18, 6:15am
So im looking at getting a newer car for the mrs
likely a legacy wagon 05 or 06 ish spending 7-8k (dont want any opinions on the car thanks)

having a look at a few on trademe through dealers who import them.

they are all fresh imports and tidy with aa reports done etc.

1. this dealer does their own aa reports as they are qualified, should i trust that they will act impartially or should i get an outside report/inspection done.
2. many cars are at 90-95kms, ive been told its common for dealers like this to do a cambelt change as its very nearly due. they advertise having ex dealer mechanics as staff so is this reasonable to ask for this to be done or can i expect to have to fork over $1200 within the first few months.

3. if i ask will they give me access to the pre auction report from japan as ive heard they are very fastidious with inspections. (mrs speaks japanese so no language barrier)

thanks guys

kazbanz, Feb 18, 6:22am
1) they aren't worth the paper they are written on.-they are not a full inspection and you will NEVER find a bad one ALWAYS get a comprehensive pre purchase inspection -AFTER you have done the other due diligence checks
2)THAT is up to you to sort out the individual deal.if its soposed to have been done you need a receipt to confirm it. it also pays to ensure its on the VOSA -if not then budget for it.
Now not decrying your choice of vehicle but remember at about those km's the rocker cover gaskets are also likely to be starting to weep
3) DEFINITELY- you need as much information as you can possibly get.
if they suddenly can't find the report--well need I say more.
Incidently its unusual to have it as a paper report more normally its on a computer.
I'd also be wanting to see the compliance report -make sure its on yellow paper not a photocopy that could be altered.

franc123, Feb 18, 6:42am
Eh waaht? Dealers falsify compliance certificates that they show to potential buyers if they wish to see it? Good grief. Yes anyway definitely ask to see the paperwork to make sure the timing belt job has been done properly.

kazbanz, Feb 18, 6:48am
smartass--yep unfortunately there are still pond scum in this industry.
Buying low grade and accident damaged cars and working on the theory most people are warehouse buyers buying totally on price.
One BIG importer does that.I genuinely cringe at the utter rubbish they buy--and sell off to the unsuspecting public.

topgear01, Feb 18, 6:56am
1/ How can a dealer do an AA report? Surely only the AA can do them?
2/ One thing to keep in mind when a dealership has done a cambelt replacement "in house", is to check that they didn't just do the bare minimum, i.e. cambelt only, ignoring waterpump, tensioners etc. Presumably they can provide a workshop jobsheet/ invoice confirming what was actualy done.

kazbanz, Feb 18, 6:59am
1) the "inhouse" inspection is indeed done by the AA its called a vehicle appraisal but is not a full and comprehensive inspection and you will NOT find a bad report on any car. You work out why for yourself.--I refuse to have them preferring to recommend a full PP inspection
2) sorry dude but even Subaru don't as a matter of course replace all that stuff.It gets assessed on a case by case basis.

marmar1, Feb 18, 7:13am
Good choice of car ,I would get the local Subaru agent to check over the car.

westwyn, Feb 18, 10:24am
The paperwork trail is not quite as easy to source as it sounds in many cases- and often due to no fault of the dealer.
Many (read: most) dealers who stock imported vehicles these days buy off large Japan-based export agents (or wholesalers) who have already purchased from domestics supply channels (like auction) and offer an aggregated supply to NZ buyers, who simply pick 'n choose off the websites. "Condition reports" (or what we old-timers know as "auction sheets" are simply not available, and in many cases, vehicles are cosmetically reconditioned prior to listing in Japan anyway so an auction sheet would be considered irrelevant. For many dealers, it's a much simpler and transparent way of buying stock, since the car is a known quantity and there's usually guarantees to the dealer associated with that.

There are also a number of wholesale outlets in Japan that don't use auction sheets at all- tender sales for one (usually fleet stock) and also quite a few larger fleet direct deals, where an export agency will buy up an entire fleet direct, BEFORE they're traded and sent to auction instead.

Taking it a step further, many of the larger agencies operate through to New Zealand- a true "E2E" scenario (end-to-end) where the stock is supplied to the Dealer's doorstep here landed, complied and groomed- ready for the yard. Again- no previous paperwork trail, not because anyone is trying to hide anything, but simply because the process doesn't involve the Dealer or his chequebook / input.

It's very unusual for a compliance shop to provide a copy of the compliance inspection report. Yes, some will do it, but most of the time the inspection check-sheet (written up by the TSD inspector, so AA, VINZ, VTNZ or Drivesure) will be retained in the file held for submitting to NZTA. Although it's accessible (i.e. it's not a restricted-access document) it's simply not considered relevant for the Dealer to retain.

I should point out- I'm one of the "minority" who still buy in Japan the old-fashioned way- either a good old-fashioned buying trip, or using my agent to physically 'walk the stock" I've selected in auction in Japan. I retain ALL my auction sheets, and wherever possible, I ask for my compliance checksheets too, although I end up getting less than 50% from the compliance shop I use.

The issue of accident damage etc on auction sheets is a REALLY grey area- on one hand, it could have had a sizeable hit requiring repair- in which case the NZ compliance process is robust enough (in 99% of the cases) to deliver a product as good as the original product. On the other hand, the criteria for "damage" can be very minor- the sort of stuff we Kiwis leave on your cars for years (like a dent to a wheelarch dogleg, or scrape to a sill) can leave a car tagged as "imported as damaged" for life.

It's anything BUT a perfect system, but there are so many opposing pressures and agendas at work, it's not surprising really, it could be a lot worse.

Best way- Ask the dealer about the car and it's known history. And get an independent PPR (pre purchase report). You're buying what it is now, not so much what it may have been.

jason_247, Feb 18, 10:36am
Awesome. Thanks guys.

franc123, Feb 18, 10:42am
Wasn't being a smartass, it was genuine surprise that such an official document would have information either omitted or changed on it. OK it may not be so important if there were issues and they were rectified properly and it was obviously signed off but there is still an element of deception about it. Especially in view of some of these alleged corrupt practices going on between importers and compliance centres.

kazbanz, Jun 11, 10:06am
fairynuff matey-Reality of life is that no matter what sort of business you are in there will be dishonesty within the industry.
What is scarey is that the bigger the importer the more commercial weight they can bring to bear on otherwise honest people within an industry.

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