Questions & Answers - As at April 2012
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 licenced 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 NZ vehicle, so additional features will need to be added to be an equal comparison.
Additionally the UK specified vehicle may not be sold in NZ which will lead to parts and service issues in the future.
5. Is, or has the vehicle been registered?
Any vehicle imported ex-UK must be registered in the UK first categorising it as a used import, so any NZ customer is at least the second owner.
NZ new vehicles are unregistered before sale.
6. What are the warranty implications?
There is a global 2 year warranty on all vehicles from the date of initial registration (ie in the UK) which will be honoured locally. When warranty work is carried out by an authorised dealer, the warranty costs will initially be paid for by the owner and then reimbursed by the authorised dealer when they have been reimbursed by Audi AG. Any additional UK service or extended warranty programs are not covered locally and any claims under those policies should be directed back to the original vehicle importer.
All NZ new vehicles have a full 3 year warranty, fully covered by the authorised dealer with no cost to the customer.
7. What are the “Goodwill” implications?
All Audi vehicles globally have a 2 year warranty as standard and as such we will honour any associated goodwill requests from the authorised network. However there will be no goodwill accepted on UK (and other country) imports post the 2 year period.
All NZ new vehicles continue to have supportive goodwill through the 3 year warranty period and in many cases beyond this period.
8. 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.
NZ new vehicles have a full 3 year service and maintenance plan as standard, with no charge to the original retail customer.
9. What are the Roadside Assistance implications?
For UK imported vehicles, any roadside assistance programs will need to be purchased separately from an aftermarket supplier and paid for by the owner.
All NZ 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 recall and service campaigns, only if the vehicle is known to exist in the local market.
All NZ new vehicles will automatically be covered under any manufacturer programs and all cost will be covered.
11. Will UK satellite navigation systems work here?
UK sourced vehicles may have navigation systems, however these UK systems will not work in New Zealand and they cannot be retrofitted.
Where applicable NZ new vehicles do have localised navigation systems and regular updates.
12. Can the speedometer reading of UK 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.
13. As a customer am I protected under the Consumer Guarantee Act?
Yes you are if you have purchased the vehicle from a licenced vehicle trader. If you purchased from a private importer, then you are not covered by the Act.
All NZ new vehicles are supported by the authorised dealer network and Audi AG as well as all NZ legislation.
14. Will the UK imported vehicles hold their value in the marketplace?
Due to the limitations of UK imports they will naturally have lower market value than their NZ new counterparts.