There is currently a boom in used car exports from the UK to other left hand drive countries worldwide. This boom is happening for a number of reasons. The weakness of the pound sterling has made prices more viable. The lack of diesel powered cars from Japan has seen a decline in the interest for Japanese import cars. Some emerging economies in Asia and Africa have more expectations from a used car now and they no longer are looking for a Toyota. Customers in Ghana, Kenya and Suriname now want Mercedes and Audi.
If you want to purchase a car in the UK then the best place to source your vehicle is through one of the major auction companies such as british car auctions (BCA), Manheim Remarketing, Scottish Motor Auctions (SMA-Group) or The Fleet Auction Group (FLAG).
To get access to these auctions you will need to appoint an agent to buy on your behalf. The biggest used car export agent in the UK is Motorimports.co.uk who currently exports over one hundred units of used British cars a month.
Here is what they have told us to lookout for when buying from auction.
1/ Look for a service history and Mot records. Used cars in the UK are very well looked after and all should have a full service history. Try to find a car that has been serviced regularly and has only been fully serviced recently. Servicing on executive European cars can be expensive so one due a service will add pounds onto your bill. Cars get a MOT (Ministry of Transport) check every year in the UK. Make sure your car comes with all the old records showing the correct mileage each year.
2/A car purchased from a British car auction will come guaranteed that it is not stolen. They will also guarantee that the bank is not owed any outstanding money on the vehicle. However by using a professional company like motorimports.co.uk you can have extra assurance that they have checked the vehicle for Rust and accident damage. They can also tell if a vehicle has been previously repaired or of the former owner was a smoker.
3/Like Japanese car import auctions many car auctions in the UK can now be watched live on the internet. BCA, Manheim Auctions, SMA and Flag all have live online bidding systems and they also have catalogues online for you to choose your vehicle in advance.
4/ The Auction companies in the UK will provide a general check of the car with a short description of damage and some photographs to assist. You should only use this information as a guide though. It is highly important that you use a professional exporter like motorimports.co.uk to inspect and bid on the car for you. Auction grades are not very accurate and will only tell you the basic facts about a car.
5/UK car Auctions will provide a guarantee if the mileage of a car is warranted. Make sure to only buy a car with warranted mileage. Winding back of odometers or “clocking” is a serious offence in the UK so it is very rare but make sure you are safe.
6/ UK cars are currently travelling to many markets worldwide. Traditionally British cars got exported to Southern Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. But now with cheaper prices and better stock British used cars are going to New Zealand, East Africa, South America and Asia. New markets are opening up all the time and even some eastern European countries can accept Right hand Drive cars.
7/Cars sold at auction can be 20-30% cheaper than cars advertised in the Auto trader magazine or EBay motors. Also many business use cars in the UK are VAT Qualifying, this means that if you are exporting the car outside of the EEC then you can legally reclaim a further 20% back off the purchase price. Making UK used cars much more affordable.
8/ The market in the UK can be seasonal so winter time is a good time to buy a convertible or sports car and summer time is the best time to a used 4x4 like a BMW X5 or Audi Q7 or even cars like Toyota Rav4 or Suzuki Grand Vitoria.
9/UK Cars have much higher spec than Japanese cars so you can expect Leather interiors and Sunroofs, Satellite Navigation etc. Safety is also a greater concern in the UK so British cars will all have ABS and Airbags and will have passed very stringent Euro Ncap safety crash testing.
10/ UK Roads are salted in the winter which can lead to some surface rust forming on exposed metal. This is nothing to worry about only cosmetic. The actual bodies and chassis of European spec cars have been extensively treated and protected and you can expect your used car to remain rust free for decades.
According to motorimports.co.uk the business for used British cars is only going to increase. Worldwide the quality of British cars is now being sought after and there is a greater choice of Diesel and Petrol models so you can expect to see more UK car Exports on the road near you soon.