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Hi i was wondering whether or not you guys could offer me some advice!?

I am considering purchasing a corolla TSport, but am unsure whether to buy from an importer or a main dealer. an importer is by far and away the cheaper of the two options, but i have heard from dealers that there are some differences between imports and UK cars, e.g the alarm is not meant to be as good etc. is this anything to worry about and are there any other major differences?

i was just wondering what your view was on theis take and which would choose a main dealer or an importer.

also should i go for 3 or 5 doors??

thanks in advance


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The differences that you may care about:

1. The manual will be in Japanese

2. The speedo will be in KPH

3. It will be worth less than a UK car when you come to sell it

4. The license plate holders will be shorter

IMHO, unless your looking for a car you can't buy in the UK, don't import...

Oh, and for the doors, a T-Sport would hold it's value better as a 3-door..

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You may find that the car is built in the same factory to UK spec.

I'm not sure about the CTS but here's an example:

You can buy a :censor: Rover, imported from the continent for LESS than in the UK even though it is built in the UK, shipped to Holland, Belguim, etc. and then shipped back!!!!

You may be thinking about the Japanese market imports. These can quite different to UK spec and need changes to the speedo, etc.

If it's UK spec it should be 100% OK. Make sure you get a proper Euro warrenty. My old Toyota dealer said that they wouldn't put a 2nd hand import on their forcourt although I think that was just a line to stop me buying from Holland and get me to buy from them! :ffs:

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If your going to keep it for more than 2-3 years then import it. Ensure it's UK spec.

Yes the manual will be in Japanese....speedo will be in MPH if it's uk spec as will everything else....you can get exactly the same car abroad before it come to the uk...saveing around 2k. You get the same warranty...but make sure you get your certificate of conformity....and take several copies...uk dealers need to see this.

As previously said..delears don't like imports.....simply becasue they are cheaper..as they don't have flash showrooms to pay for like they do over here...coffee...TV/Videos...while your car is serviced....cost has to come from somewhere. Hence a second hand import is worth less than it's counterpart...even though it's the same car......at the end of the day...they are all imported!!! doesn't really matter how the hell it made it over here!

If you want to get shut/trade in within two years...you'll lose money...over the same model bought in the uk.


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I almost purchased my CTS via import brooker, got all the figures together, getting uk spec was no problem, but the thing to make sure of, is that you only pay the import brooker his commision, you pay any other money directly to the supplying dealership, as currently a number of large import companys are finding the strong euro a bit of a problem, last sundays time had an article all about this, a few big names have gone down the pan this year. By paying the supplying dealership at least the car is still yours just means if things go wrong it will be up to you to collect it.

Also try to avoid full payment prior to delivery, you can do this with some suppliers but not all.

Having sorted everying out to import I then went to speak to my local dealer, have had 2 Corollas and a Starlet off them. Told them what i was going to do, the Service manager was great explained how he has to opperate a money making department, so servicing and warrenty work would be no problem as the generate money for him.

Then he got the sales director to speak to me about the import, they then offered me a deal that got very cloose to the import price, as I was having every extra appart from sat/nav this gave them a better margin to play with. They where also able to get me the car with in 10 days, and as I was with out a car at the time, they gave me one of their trades in cars until the CTS arrived.

So just goes to show dealership loyalty pays off, and Toyota to try very hard to keep their customers.

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I saw a broker advertising a brand new not pre-reg UK main dealer supplied CTS for £13,685... and delivery within 2 to 4 weeks... only extra is metallic paint...

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I didn't get my import from a broker in the end but from a Garage who imports them. Ie they are already in this country and sat on the forecourt ready to take away. So there's no unexpected delays.

I'm happy with my choice...but not with the lack of service provided form Toyota. I'm not really surprised as they are servicing a car that they never sold...and it's tying up their mechanics who could be fixing/serviceing cars that are "really"for their customers. It's a reall ball-ache though taking in registration docs and import certificate's for every service/warranty cover. And it :censor: me off when they cross out the japanese text in the service manual and write it back in in English! Not sure why but over there the first service is at 13000 miles...where as here it's 10000 (both in Miles) Yaris TS


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