Self import cars cheaper?

Is Self-Import of Cars Cheaper?

Is self import of car cheaper than getting a similar car from a local parallel import dealer or the authorised dealership in Singapore? Read on to find out the answer.

Everyone knows that Singapore has one of the most expensive cars in the world, reason being due to the exorbitant government registration taxes (and this includes the infamous Certificate of Entitlement COE). These taxes were meant to control the vehicle population in land scarce Singapore. So is there any alternative car ownership solution?  Well ... there are ... depending on the make/model of the car. Typically, the cost saving is higher for a more expensive car.

We shall use the Mercedes-Benz make as the case study for discussion. How do one get the most bang for your buck?

As all knows, Mercedes-Benz is retailed here by the local authorised dealership, Cycle and Carriage (or C&C in short). Understanding the supply chain structure, with the car passing through the hands of a middleman, the cost of the car is jacked up to cover the dealer margin and overheads. Therefore, common sense tells us to skip the middleman and import the car direct from the manufacturer. But, the manufacturer will not sell you the car. The next best alternative will be to purchase the car from a Mercedes-Benz dealership in a country with right-hand driving system (e.g. United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia). Of course, it's even better if you can get the car direct from Germany, but it has a left-hand driving system.

Can one directly purchase a car from the Mercedes-Benz dealership in say United Kingdom? Well ... by all means you can purchase it yourself if you do not mind losing the 20% VAT that can be claimed from the car purchase in UK. In order to purchase the car less VAT, one has to engage an export specialist in UK to purchase the car from the Mercedes-Benz dealership. The UK export specialist will charge you the UK car cost less VAT plus his export margin and shipping fees. He will ship the car to Singapore and you have to do all the work in order to clear Singapore Customs and obtain LTA approval before registering the car with LTA.

By skipping the local dealership, one can save a significant amount of money (probably 15%-20%, depending on the model). But there is no free lunch in this world, and you have to do all the importation procedures on your own. Thankfully, there is a best of both worlds solution, which is to engage an experienced local import specialist ( who can do all the export and import procedures on your behalf and save you all the hassle.

Conclusion: Explore the self-import route if you want a more cost effective car ownership solution. Self import of car can be cheaper by at least 10% compared to what you can get locally. However do take note of the time-consuming importation procedure that you have to follow through before you can even drive it on the road. Engage our company to save you all the hassle.


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