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Importing a Car From the UK – a Case Study

Posted on October 2, 2014

Importing a Car From the UK – a Case Study

We look at the experience of one (out of hundreds) of McCullough's happy clients who appreciated  the company's help importing a European car so much, he wrote in to tell them about it and share photos of his new Audi.

It's not often you hear the phrase: “It has been a pleasure!” bandied about when it comes to buying, shipping or importing a car.

In fact you're far more likely to hear words like: nightmare, tedious, and drawn-out.

But, “Absolutely fantastic. Great stuff, it's been a pleasure” is exactly how Oamaru man Ken McKeown described his experience of dealing with McCullough.

As anyone who has ever tried to import a car can tell you, buying, shipping, clearing customs and MAF, getting NZTA accreditation and dealing with VAT claims, can all add up to the kind of headache which will suck the joy out your new car. Most people don't even know where to begin, while others valiantly make it halfway through before giving up and handing the job over to the professionals or throw the towel in completely.

Fortunately when Mr McKeown hit on the idea of buying a new car while on holiday in the UK, someone put him straight onto McCullough.

With the New Zealand dollar now being so competitive against the pound, more people are taking advantage of this and importing cars from the UK.

However, in Mr McKeown's case there was no choice because the Audi RS7 Sport-back he had his eye on is not even available in New Zealand yet.

As Mr McKeown was short of time and didn't want to spend his holiday chasing up dealers, he decided to hand over the job of finding and purchasing the Audi over to McCullough suppliers and agents based in the UK.

Getting McCullough to purchase a car on your behalf, means they will sort out the VAT refund for you. For a new or near-new car the VAT refund will be 20 percent of the purchase price. This can add up to a saving of $20,000 to $30,000 on a high end car.

However, if you buy it yourself from a dealer, the dealer may not be particularly interested in helping you get the VAT back.

After making the purchase on Mr McKeown's behalf, McCullough organised the car to be transported from the Audi factory to Felixstowe Port in Barking and found space for it on a ship bound for Lyttleton in New Zealand. The sailing took about 40 days via Singapore. Because McCullough ships so many cars, it was able to have the Audi packed safely in a container for the whole trip, for the same price as simply driving in onto the ship and parking it.

While McCullough took care of all the documentation, insurance and freight, Mr McKeown simply sat back and used the internet to track the progress of the ship carrying his Audi across the ocean. McCullough enables all its customers to follow their vehicle's journey virtually  by supply them with a bill of lading.

Once docked the car is unloaded and the fun of making sure all the paperwork is in order and getting it through customs and MAF inspection begins. Again McCullough took care of all this and then had the car delivered to one of the compliance centres it uses to get the car certified to New Zealand safety standards.

McCullough kept Mr McKeown updated and informed via email throughout the whole process and were even able to surprise him, by having his Audi ready to pick up in Christchurch and drive home a few days early.

There is no doubt that using McCullough for the whole process saved Mr McKeown a whole lot of time, energy, and stress, but it's also likely that even including McCullough's fee, it ended up being cheaper to go through them, than try and do it himself. With the company's contacts and experience they are able to get prices which a layperson would be hard pressed to find.

In the words of Mr McKeown, McCullough and its associates have helped him turn his “dream car into reality”.

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