Although it’s convenient to use public transportation in Singapore, it is still different if you have a car of your own. You get to go travel even at the far-flung places in the country. However, buying a car in Singapore is a luxurious investment because of the high COE prices. The good news is that you can still save money on your first car purchase when you buy from a parallel car importer in Singapore.

However, some people go against the idea of purchasing from a parallel importer or also known as a “car trader”. Several cases were recorded in the past in which some car traders have deceived their customers. It was even reported at The Straits Times that the car industry currently has the highest consumer complaints. But, even though these are facts, it doesn’t mean that all car traders are swindlers. So, beware of some of these common conceptions about parallel car importers:


1. They Only Offer Low-Quality Cars

Often, parallel importers will offer lower, attractive car prices compared to authorised dealers. It’s not because the cars that they are providing are the low-quality ones. They manage to give it for a lower price because they only choose cars that have a low OMV or Open Market Value. The Singapore Customs is responsible for declaring the price of OMV and it is based on the actual purchase price of the car and the freight costs of delivering it to Singapore.

Besides, before allowing them to sell the car, the local authorities will first have to inspect the car. Whereas, for bulk deliveries, they must obtain approval from the Singapore government. It is to make sure that the cars will meet all the legal requirements in the car market. With strict regulations in importing cars, you can rest assured that the car you bought from a parallel importer is in good condition and has good performance.


2. No Definite Guarantees

Most consumers complain about the guarantees or warranties that were offered to them upon purchasing a vehicle from a car trader. Usually, if it comes with a warranty, they can get their cars serviced for free. But, it turns out that the warranty doesn’t cover the repairs for certain car parts. In the end, they will have to pay more for the repair and maintenance costs.

However, you will still discover many reputable parallel importers in Singapore. They usually partner up with reliable third-party workshops while some even have an in-house workshop for different servicing requirements. So, always remember that you shouldn’t make any assumptions about what’s included in the warranty. Make it a habit to ask the parallel importer about its details.


3. Higher Possibilities of Getting Swindled

We can’t change the fact that car import scams happened in the past. Back in 2014, over a hundred consumers lost millions of dollars because the car traders didn’t deliver their ordered vehicles. Instead, they escaped and migrated to another country.

Don’t let the bad news from the past stop you from buying from parallel car importers. You can still score a car model of your choice with significantly lower costs from reputable car traders. Just make sure to do enough research about their company, and see to it that they belong to the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association or SVTA. Also, check if the car trader is not included in the alert list of CASE or Consumers Association of Singapore.


4. You are Required to Pay a Huge Cash Up-Front

It’s not always the case with parallel car importers. You will still find that some of them will only require you to pay fewer cash upfront costs. You could also try to negotiate with them that you’ll only pay a deposit for the COE. Doing these precautionary measures lower your chances of getting conned.

Although it’s easy to get discouraged from buying from parallel importers because of these misconceptions, try to take a step back first to evaluate things from a more objective perspective. Not all of the parallel car importers are scammers. Several reliable ones out there still exist!


Are you planning to buy a car in Singapore? Here at Carlingual, we can help you look for a valuable car at lower costs!