Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: older cars with low kms?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Atlanta USA (soon Dunedin)
    Posts
    37

    Default older cars with low kms?

    This might be a very stupid question, but I'm not car-oriented, so please bear with me ...

    I've been scanning trademe.co.nz and autotrader.co.nz to get an idea of our auto budget once we arrive in NZ, and it strikes me that there are a number of older model cars (1996-1999) with oddly low kms on the odometer (around 40-50,000). Seems a number of them are shipped from Japan?

    I'm wondering what the deal is since you would hardly ever see a 10 yr old car in the US with such low kilometers. Are these a good deal, or is there reason to be suspicious? We don't need new or fancy, just reliable ... are we better off looking at newer cars with more kilometers in the same price range?

    By the way, we just put our CRV up for sale (first big step toward the move before we list our house next week). This is starting to feel real, now!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The People's Republic
    Posts
    548

    Default

    From experience, cars in Japan are typically low mileage, expecially if they come from Tokyo. Family cars simply don't get used during the week, because very few people commute by car. My car has about 15,000km on it and is 3.5 years old (we're bringing it to NZ with us).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Browns Bay, North Shore
    Posts
    863

    Default

    Cars in Japan are a status symbol, especially if you have a parking space, so often they are used to commute very short distances.

    I have just bought a Honda station wagon at auction for $5300, 1996, with only 70,000 KM on the clock, the distance has been verified by the AA.

    There are a lot of Japanese imported cars in NZ, there are regular boats importing them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The People's Republic
    Posts
    548

    Default

    Actually, Japanese cars in Japan are cheap, and lots of people have them; they're not really a status symbol. European cars are the status symbol, and that's kind of slipping these days. Car parks at work basically don't exist in Tokyo, because people are expected to use public transport. Indeed, commuting fees - typically a rail or bus pass - are paid for by most employers. Paying your own parking fees in Tokyo can cost up to $5 NZD... for 12 minutes. So, people typically only use cars at the weekend for recreation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Auckland; Milwaukee, Surabaya
    Posts
    859

    Default

    I bought my honda civic 1996 for about 6500, with 40Ks kilo...
    It says AA certified, so I guess it's legit...I HOPE hahaha
    so far so good...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The People's Republic
    Posts
    548

    Default

    I forgot to mention something else. The inspection on cars is at 3 years in Japan, then every 2 years after that. They're expensive and they're tough to pass - basically they're designed to force older cars off the road, so that people buy new ones and prop up the car industry. So, car disposal at 3 and 5 years is pretty routine. Of course, the car importers in NZ (and you) can take advantage of that to get a low km, well maintained, 5 year old car for a very good price.

  7. #7

    Default

    I bought a 95 Nissan Lucino Japanese import with only 27K for $5,750 NZD from a dealer, the car has been great, just needed routine maintenance after 6 months, I had to have the brake pads replaced to pass the WOF.

    I also bought a 2001 Mitsubishi Diamante V6 Advance with 170K for $4000 NZD from turners auction, I had to put about $1000 NZD into it, new tires for WOF and I had to take it to the dealer because it was stalling, they cleaned the throttle body and it no longer stalls (just idles rough), so for $5000 NZD I have nice car.

    Just a warning, NZ does not have a lemon law (that I know of) nor do they do much to regulate finance companies, so buyer and borrower beware, if your not careful you will get ripped off, for instance, the written inspection that Turners does indicated the tires were ok, when I took it for the WOF they found metal belts showing through, the inspection is a bit of a sham, as for the financing, I was approved for financing by Turners but told them to forget it after they added a whole bunch of warranties that I specifically told them not to, they also wanted a fee over $500 just to write the loan, they must be used to getting away with it because they were shocked when I declined the loan and paid for the car on my own.

    I also sold a 1990 Mitsubishi Mirage through Turners, they sold the car quickly, however I was a bit disappointed, they collected $1,200 from the buyer, by the time they got finished deducting their fees I ended up with about $650, the fees they quote do not include GST like most other businesses do in NZ, then they mailed me a cheque from Auckland that took a week to arrive and another week to clear, I guess they do this so they can collect interest on other peoples money for as long as possible.

    Also, many car dealers write insurance on behalf of different insurers, the quotes they gave me were more than double what I ended up paying at State Insurance, the dealers are also the worst place to have your car serviced as they charge outragous fees.

    You need to get a WOF every six months if your car is over 6 years old, unless you know and trust a mechanic your better off getting the WOF done at a place that just does WOF and oil changes, they have no incentive to lie to you since they wouldn't be doing or profiting from any repairs.

    My advice is to shop around, ask a lot of questions, read the fine print and don't be afraid to say no thanks.
    Last edited by constablechuck; 28th September 2007 at 11:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Auckland; Milwaukee, Surabaya
    Posts
    859

    Default

    One more thing to know, if you're planing to keep the car forever or till broke down by itself...getting a jap imports is not a bad idea, since it's cheaper. However, many people have told me that if you're intending not to keep it long, buying NZ new cars is better for resale value.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wellington NZ
    Posts
    239

    Default

    Thanks for the info (chiba). Firsthand knowledge!

    I believe emissions law compliance is also a factor - if a car fails in Japan, no worries, in NZ no one cares about such matters so there is salvage value from exporting it.

    The most irritating aspect of such cars IMO is that the FM radio bands here and in Japan overlap only a little. You can get an inline frequency convertor but the frequency your radio shows is not accurate (at least you can get most stations).

    Parts seem not to be an issue. There is a business niche in supplying manuals, too. Whew.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •