What are Grey Imports?

A grey import is a vehicle that enters the country through channels other than the maker’s official distribution system and can be sourced from any country. Most grey imports are used vehicles, originating from countries such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia or Singapore. These vehicles typically do not have a manufacturer warranty or aftersales support, unless a third-party warranty is provided.

Who can import these vehicles into the country?   

In New Zealand, there are no regulations around the experience needed to import grey vehicles into the country. There is also no requirement for importers to verify the authenticity of the vehicles that they import. This means that there is a risk of these vehicles being sold as “new” even if it has been used and registered prior to their export from their country of origin. In the past there have even been incidents of vehicles that have been crashed, damaged or stolen, before being repaired and imported into New Zealand as a “new” vehicle, as seen in NZ Herald. To learn more about this, Consumer Protection NZ has some great information about parallel imports on its website.

Are these vehicles of the same standard as the ones imported by an authorised retailer? 

Grey imports are not of the same standard or specification as a New Zealand new vehicle. Typically, grey import vehicles require added features that will be needed to bring the import up to the same standard as new vehicles. New Zealand’s new vehicles are created with the market and roads in mind, making it easier to service, source parts, and support throughout the vehicle’s life.  

Will a grey import still be covered by warranty? 

No, grey import vehicles are not covered by any manufacturer warranty. All mechanical failures and services will be a direct cost to the vehicle owner. 

Will imported vehicles satellite navigation systems work in New Zealand? 

Grey import vehicles may have navigation and GPS-driver related assistance systems; however, these systems may not automatically work upon arrival in the country. There may be an option to retrofit a local solution that allows these systems to work in New Zealand, but this may come at a cost and may not function as completely as an in-built system designed for that particular vehicle.

Will grey import vehicles hold their value in the New Zealand marketplace? 

While every buyer is different, it’s possible that the resale value of a grey import vehicle may be lower than the resale value of a new vehicle purchased from an authorised dealer in New Zealand due to concerns over provenance, authenticity, and limited warranty protection. “NZ new” is often amongst the top ten keyword phrases used by people looking to buy a car on Trade Me.

What are the benefits of buying a New Zealand new vehicle? 

Audi New Zealand are a great example of the benefits of buying new, coming standard with; 

  • 5 year/150,000km warranty*
  • 5 years/150,00km Roadside Assistance 
  • 3 year/150,00km Audi Cover Motoring Plan 
  • Guaranteed vehicle origin with full provenance on the relevant vehicle
  • Use of Audi certified and factory trained technicians, who only use genuine factory parts with a 1 year warranty (unless covered by the original warranty)
  • Exclusive access to diagnostic and Audi factory expertise
  • Configuration for NZ driving conditions with correct fuel and emissions ratings
  • New Zealand wide coverage from our authorised Audi dealer network, including use of courtesy vehicles 

*Whichever occurs first

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, it’s important to be aware of all of the information before making your next purchase decision. Although grey imports may come with a cheaper price tag, the benefits of buying NZ new far outweigh the monetary savings in the long run. NZ new vehicles are designed with New Zealand roads in mind, parts are easily sourced and they come standard with a manufacturer warranty to make sure you’re looked after during your vehicle ownership.

Check out our new vehicles to learn more about buying NZ new, or view our range of largely-NZ-new used vehicles.

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