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The time had come to buy a new car. I broke open my piggy bank and counted my pennies. Armed with a reasonable deposit I set off into my local area to tour round the car dealerships to see what took my fancy.
After many test drives and pushy salesman, I finally decided to buy a Hyundai coupe 2.0 SE. The salesman was in the process of counting his commission, and writing his name at the top of the sales chart, when I popped the question to him "Why shouldn't I import one of these and save money?” His face fell, sweat appeared on his forehead, and he whipped out his book of car sales excuses. "You won't get a warranty, no one will service it, and it's a lot of hassle with tax and customs etc."
Not convinced, I decided to do some more research and walked out leaving behind a grovelling salesman offering me free car mats, and a stereo upgrade if I signed now.
I had seen a lot of stuff about importing cars on the TV and in magazines, but I didn't really want the hassle of flying over to Europe to buy, and having to pay import tax and registering the car in this country. Surely there must be a company out there that did all of this for me?
I turned to the internet for information. After punching in my criteria into a search engine, I found myself on the Motorpoint of Derby website. Within seconds, I had found a Hyundai Coupe listed in their ever so easy to use stock list, for £13,999, £4000 less than my local dealer.
The only problem was, they didn't have one in silver. My local dealer had told me that silver would cost extra as it was metallic paint, so I was prepared to pay a bit extra for the colour of my choice. I decided to call Motorpoint to see if they could get me a silver coupe. The lady on the end of the phone was very helpful, and informed me that she could get one for me in three weeks (2 months at the local dealer) at no additional cost. She talked me through a finance package at very reasonable rates, and said that all import taxes and registration costs would be paid, and are included in the price. All I had to do was turn up when my car was ready, hand over the money (of course!) and drive away. They would even include 12 months road tax for me.
I asked about warranty and servicing to see if Arthur Daley in my local dealership was right. Motorpoint would provide their own warranty for 12 months, however there would still be a 3 years manufacturer's warranty as well. "Why did Motorpoint go through the added expense of an additional warranty?" I asked. Some local dealers, may get a bit funny with an imported car, and might try to wriggle out of doing any warranty work, so the extra warranty was a 'just in case'. I was soon to put this to the test.
In terms of servicing, she assured me that my local dealer would only be too happy to relieve me of lots of money for routine servicing if I so desired, however under new rules, any qualified garage may service the car without affecting the warranty as long as they follow the manufacturer's servicing schedule and used genuine parts, once again saving me money.
Suitably impressed, I placed the order, and sure enough, three weeks later I received a phone call informing me that my car was ready for collection. After sorting out insurance, I jumped on a train up to Derby to collect my pride and joy.
Motorpoint greeted me with a much needed coffee, and showed me round the car before any paperwork was signed. They gave me English manuals (as the car had come straight from Korea via Cyprus), and most importantly a European Certificate of Conformity. This certificate is vital, as it is your proof that the vehicle conforms to EU regulations with regards to emissions and safety. Don't buy an imported car without one. Five minutes later I was driving home in my brand new Hyundai Coupe.
A couple of months later, I noticed one of my front brake callipers was leaking, it had contaminated the brake disk and alloy wheel. Time to try out the warranty at the local dealership.
The service manager greeted me in his friendly yet false way. I watched his smile turn to a scowl as I informed him that I have an imported Hyundai Coupe with a warranty claim. After a couple of phone calls to Hyundai UK, he reluctantly informed me that they would honour the warranty, but as the warranty was direct from the factory in Korea and not from Hyundai UK, I would not be entitled to a courtesy car. Would I like him to call me a taxi? Instead I called Motorpoint.
Helpful as ever, Motorpoint arranged for a hire car to be delivered to me within half an hour, completely covered by their warranty.
Overall, I would recommend Motorpoint to anyone wishing to buy a new or nearly new car. It will save you a lot of money.
i was thinking of getting a import now ive read this im definitely going to get one
SNOWY1976 26.01.2005 03:59
Good review, as i brought my mg zr from motorpoint and saved £3k il write a review of my experience with them when i get time--Adam
marcushand 24.11.2004 18:03
This review has clearly been written by somebody with a personal interest in the fortunes of Motorpoint Derby.
Whilst there is no denying that their prices are cheaper than UK dealers, they do not sell the same product. Most foreign manufactured vehicles enter the UK as donor vehicles and are then built up to UK specification here. They might well meet European conformity but they are not tailored to UK tastes or comfort levels.
Any savings made at the front end will be off set when the vehicle is sold on at a later date, because a prospective purchaser can't be sure what they're buying.
The point made about UK dealers not wanting to undertake warranty work is rubbish. A UK dealer would be happy to carry out the work and bill, in this case Hyundai, for the parts and for the labour charges. UK dealers make money out of warranty claims. It is a revenue earner for them. An aftersales manager does not car where the customer bought their vehicle. The reviewer's point on Motorpoint's warranty is also false. Any UK dealer will honour a European wide warranty regardless of where the car was purchased from.
What this bogus reviewer should concentrate more on is the question as to why hydraulic fluid was leaking from the brakes so soon after delivery? There have been numerous cases reported of the wrong fluids being put into these imports and Hyundai are not known for their unreliability.
Uk dealers are experts at what they sell and what they service. Motorpoint salesman are raely described as 'helpful', instead falling on the UK dealers for support when things go wrong, and they will.
In my opinion this review is a blatant attempt to promote the cause of Motorpoint whilst ignoring the facts and harsh realities of dealing with this company.