importing a cheap merc... - mercman
for a while now i've been looking to buy a 5-10 year old e-type merc. I've been told that buying from abroad is the best option. Have any of the more experienced buyers out there got any thoughts on:

a) buying from europe - i'm told that an average LHD import from europe will cost 2-3,000 less than buying a normal RHD in the UK. Is a LHD on UK roads really that much of a problem and is it a problem trying to resell a LHD car later on?

b) Also, have been told that due to their 10 year scrapping Law, singapore is a great place to source cheap, relatively modern and most importantly RHD Mercs. Has anyone gone down this route and can they advise if the benefits of a cheaper car are outweighed by wait, import costs and shipping costs?

Or, should I just bite the bullet and buy something from my local merc dealer!?

Thanks for the help!

importing a cheap merc... - stefanta
The only problem I can think of is overtaking when you\'re NOT on a motorway, you won\'t be able to see round the vehicle in front - especially if its a truck.
importing a cheap merc... - mercman
very overtaking experience on Euro roads with a RHD has always been a bit hairy when tractors/trucks are involved.
importing a cheap merc... - THe Growler
The Sing Mercs find a market in Malaysia and Thailand, both of which have RHD and of course they can drive 'em over the bridge into MY and TH without shipping costs. They are not hard to sell (obviously) and will undoubtedly be in good order due to strict Sing laws. So they won't be that cheap.

You're talking a 20 foot container, freight and packing and handling and a good few weeks' wait. If your 2-3k cheaper than the same in UK is right, and I would test that, because SG car costs are much higher than UK's in the first place, you will spend most of that on freight and handling.

I imported 2 cars in the past from Asia to UK but I was able to get away with declaring them as personal effects, since I had owned them for at least 12 months before shipping, also I had to keep them at least 1 years to avoid import duties. So you need to get on to HM Customs to find out how much they'll screw you for as well.

Further you won't know what you're buying if it's sight unseen and you won't have any comebacks. Bottom line IMO is no saving worth the effort, but I'm willing to debate.

importing a cheap merc... - mercman
Thanks for that - very interesting.

I had thought that the Singapore "deals" would probably be snapped up by more localised buyers than the uk market. Now I think of it, the person giving me that info bought his car whilst living there (a car 2 yrs off the scrapping date with 80,000 miles on the clock but at a very reasonable price. he then brought the car back here after moving home)

I was also a little worried about the unseen disadvantage which you highlighted yourself.

I think I may go the easy route and pay that little bit more for peace of mind and no delivery costs within the uk!

importing a cheap merc... - Bagpuss
Here is an online car market centred in Germany but including other Continental European countries (and obviously in German)

I've never found it problematic driving LHD cars in the UK and it's actually nice to step out of the driver's side on to the pavement. I think the prices are lower than in the UK and I've also noticed that used cars in Germany don't seem to suffer stone chipping as badly as in the UK.
importing a cheap merc... - Dave N
Go to trade sales in slough, they've sometimes got some indian made ones. See other thread in technical.
importing a cheap merc... - T Lucas
There are quite a few Mercs,BMW's,Audis and some Rovers coming to the UK from Singapore(i have had 2 Lexus GS300 in past 6 months).Condition is usually very nice,service records are in English,speedo's are in KM and although they are to a European spec you will need to SVA.UK gov seem to think Singapore is a third world country!
importing a cheap merc... - brambob
In the late 90s there were quite a fair number of RHD Mercs (W124 shape) brought in from India. They were mainly E220 petrols and E250 diesels and were all manual gearbox versions as far as I am aware.

I bought one of these cars and did over 100K miles in it. There were one or two teething problems at first, mainly with electrics, but from 20k miles onwards I found it completely reliable. The independent Merc agent where I had it serviced told me that the overall build quality was superior to current German built Mercedes cars.

The model I had was the E250 diesel. This was very slow acceleration wise but was very comfortable and very relaxing once up to speed. I found the manual gearbox very smooth even though everyone tells me that Merc manuals should be avoided like the plague. It did around 42 mpg during the time I had it.

Eventually I succumbed to my wife's persistence that it looked old fashioned and traded it in but I have regretted it ever since and really wish that I still had it. I have seen one or two advertised in Autotrader and been very tempted. So if you can put up with the old shape this may be an alternative to importing, as most of these cars were built between 1995 and 1997 (from kits shipped over to India, I believe) so are within your timescale.

I hope that this may be helpful


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