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Thread: Car importation

  1. #1
    Rookie มือใหม่
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    Default Car importation

    Hi could anyone tell me who does the valuation and inspection of imported cars, is it a third party organisation. What is the criteria for determining the value, and is the inspection done in the country of origin?


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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Do you mean importing a car TO Thailand?

    If that is what you mean - let me give you some advice.

    When I first became involved with Thailand I started looking into getting my car/motorbike there. I could write for hours on the subject but to put it simply - forget it. They use their own valuation if its not available in Parker's guide. Even if you are prepared to pay the 200% + of the valuation that you will be charged, your problems will not be over. Your car is likely to be impounded on arrival for some spurious reason and you will no doubt have to pay a hideous amount of money to get it back. Even if you pass those hurdles you will then have to pay 100,000 baht to register it.

    Believe me, unless you are very well connected in Thailand, it ain't happening. There are some seriously well connected Thai's who's cars have been impounded and finally auctioned off. I also know one Brit who thought he'd met a customs official that could 'help' him - they could, for 1/2 a million baht - his E Type ended up going back to the UK.

    I've given up on the idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    Do you mean importing a car TO Thailand?

    If that is what you mean - let me give you some advice.

    When I first became involved with Thailand I started looking into getting my car/motorbike there. I could write for hours on the subject but to put it simply - forget it. They use their own valuation if its not available in Parker's guide. Even if you are prepared to pay the 200% + of the valuation that you will be charged, your problems will not be over. Your car is likely to be impounded on arrival for some spurious reason and you will no doubt have to pay a hideous amount of money to get it back. Even if you pass those hurdles you will then have to pay 100,000 baht to register it.

    Believe me, unless you are very well connected in Thailand, it ain't happening. There are some seriously well connected Thai's who's cars have been impounded and finally auctioned off. I also know one Brit who thought he'd met a customs official that could 'help' him - they could, for 1/2 a million baht - his E Type ended up going back to the UK.

    I've given up on the idea.
    Thanks for the advice, I knew it was a difficult situation
    , but you finally made me make my mind up..


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    Not only about the import problems, uk cars are set up different, UK aircon not suitable, radiator not suitable, you would have remove the car's heater thats a big job, if its petrol the ecu would need adjustments for Thai fuel .

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    I used to do it 18/20 years ago. Old Jap mot failures, rammed into a container. Made some money sure but the hassle was to great. Last one was my VW Toureg. Cost an arm and a leg with import tax but was cheaper to pay than bring back. Swallowed the hit and that was even in my wifes name as a personal import.
    They use a ‘world’ valuation book. It has every car ever made (probably on-line now) and they use a seven factor points (1-10) on condition to value the car. Always the high side though.
    There are still ways for older ‘classic’ (not out and out collectors) cars. Removing interior and engine etc, etc.
    Petrol isn’t a problem, diesel is strangely enough. Just not as refined as here. Older oil burners would be ok.
    Heater not a problem. Simply disconnect the fan/ blower and leave the heating matrix plumbed in. Helps with cooling. Only cars assembled there come without heaters.
    AC, worked fine with the Toureg.

    Overall, its simply not worth the bother unless its your love of your life and you intend to be there a long time.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    I imported a car to West Africa left heater as was and the aircon worked fine climate hotter than Thailand also. One chap imported an old landrover to Hua Hun and added the engine etc later but definitely not worth the hassle
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    The reason for removing the heater is to avoid the tax, i am speaking from experience, and I am 100% correct the UK aircon is not powerful enough, you would need to have it flat out all the time.
    I do this for a living, 40 years in vehicle development covering all aspects and working for all the major motor manufacturers
    I have been involved with preparing numerous cars that have been shipped to Thailand, from memory two E Types Jags, one mclaren, four porsches, and a austin healey 3000.
    Last edited by Yo & Dave; 17th Mar 2017 at 19:14.

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    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    I am 100% correct the UK aircon is not powerful enough, you would need to have it flat out all the time.
    Well it worked fine in Cote D'ivoire and when I designed the logistics system for the ford galaxy VW sharon from memory the same unit was fitted across europe , that said my memory is not what it was. THe car in question was a peugeot 504
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    Ash, Peugeot 504 from my memory never had Air conditioning, it never evan had power steering, i could be wrong though, unless someone personally fitted it.
    most of my work has been on cooling systems heat transfer technologies.

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    Well they sell spares for the 1981 model and it was a pretty cool car I owned 2 and before that a 404 estate.

    My african car was a citroen no air con no doors no radio nothing a great car none the less

    Baby brosse my first car.jpg
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    The route of removing parts is known as CKD - completely knocked down. This is supposed to reduce the import tax to around 20%. However, in practice the customs department make it extremely difficult for people trying this route with cars often impounded for years. I suspect that many of the imported luxury cars you see around Bangkok have been imported this way - on paper that is. I somehow think that all that is actually removed is the ash tray and the brown envelope. Unless you are seriously well connected, I can't see CKD being a viable route.

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    I would love to bring my old merc in. It has no engine or gearbox and is litterally in bits! I would restore the steel work, primer it and bolt the doors ect back on. The rest would still be in boxes. Ive owned it for ten years and its a 1963 mercedes saloon. They sell for around 1million baht in LOS for a solid nice example. I would be looking to source the new enging and box from LOS, probably a more modern W124 set up. What are the odds on something like this? IMG_1597.jpg

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    I have a classic BMW that I'll hate to leave behind but read my post earlier - its just not worth the agro. Since writing that I've met another couple of people who've tried and given up. Some people 'find' their way to a customs official who gives them an idea of cost but then reneges on the deal when the car arrives - I guess they think you're stuck and will have to pay what they ask.

    I haven't looked at the rules for a while but there used to be something called CKD (completely knocked down) where if the car is stripped there is a huge reduction in tax. Might be worth looking into but I also heard (not from a reliable source) that it is no longer possible to import classics.

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    There are quite a few of the fintails (same as mine) at the buffolo skull temple in BKK but I think they would just prefer to let them sink into the mud I never will get my head around how they can just letthem sit and rot there. Maybe a large donation will perswade them to let one go but I think because somebody donated the vehicle for merit, its a no no.

    There are 1930s MG`s there and all sorts.

  15. #15
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Mask, gun and car trailer at the ready!!!

  16. #16
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    I think this is a worthwhile project if you are in love with your classic. I understand that it is much cheaper to have the wheels and running gear off that in a 'rolling shell' configuration.
    There is a company just off suki that specializes in importing merc classics. He runs a kart race team.
    I will try look him up and pm you. A nice guy and full of knowledge. His wife is German

    Oh, I would keep the body panels off and send them separately.
    Remember there are lots of 'parts' legitimately being imported every day. I imported a 2nd hand vw wing for the toureg and it cost me 600bht that I paid to the delivery company for tax
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Yes but can you register 'parts' Ian?

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    Ah, I see where your going Phil.
    In Thailand the have a system like our 'Q' plate except they use 3 ways to identify the year and apply registration docs and 'appoint' a year.
    Assuming the car is in 'bits'
    1; a registration document
    2; engine number
    3; chassis number
    Any combination of these. If the shell is a 1962 the registration will show 1962 irrespective of engine year of manufacture.
    There is believe it or not a huge classic mini following in Thailand. Mostly minis from Japan. Parts for these are freely available on the net and shell are brought in for rebuild. Only the hard core collector will worry about correct age matching the chassis etc. The point is they do it so I think its a question of listening to horror story's and being cynical. There must be reputable specialized import companies that will give a fixed quote. Probably (again) at a premium.

    Start here; www.thaiclassiccar.com
    drop them a line.........
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    On the flip side, what happens ten years down the line and you wish to return it back to the UK?

  20. #20
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    Friend of a friend was recently contacted in UK by a Thai national to see if he wanted to make a few grand by signing on the dotted line against a UK export into Thailand, so seems there are some scams certainly going on, Im guessing it would have been a stolen uk high value car.

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