Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
A local independent dealer is offering a 1998 323 1.5 GLX F for £3795.
I've had a quick look over the car and the bodywork appears to be in great nick, so I may take a test drive.
Are there any problems with this model that I should look out for? eg any history of grey imports etc?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Any Mazda experts out there? - Maz
Whereabouts in the country are you?
Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
I'm in Northern Ireland.
My insurer claims the GLX finished in 1996. bear this out, yet this car definitely has GLX badges on the side. I fear it may be a grey import. If I get finished at a reasonable hour I'll check out the paperwork this evening to make sure the VIN's match.
Any Mazda experts out there? - Maz
The V5 should tell you if it's an import. Obviously if the mileage is in km's (if that makes sense) it's virtually certain. I imagine that you're a little suspicious because of it's price (and the year/GLX badges conundrum)?

I wouldn't necessarily write it off just because it's an import, although check insurance.

As Mazdas are generally considered highly reliable but costly to put right, consider getting a Mazda dealer to look over the car. They do a very good check (they did my MX5) - certainly far better than my experience of AA/RAC tests.
Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
I can't say for sure if the price is right because list the GLXi only up to 1996; 1998 GSi seems to be the equivalent, and they list that as costing around £4k from a dealer.

The badge/year conundrum puts me off, and without resolving that I won't touch it. My insurer told me that an import "would be very difficult to insure".

Should the V5 state clearly if it's an import?
Any Mazda experts out there? - DavidHM
It shouldn't. Given that you're in Northern Ireland, I'd be willing to put money that the car was originally to Irish spec. If you can be bothered, speak to another insurer or a broker; some companies can be quite flexible. If not, walk away.

I'm not sure about Northern Ireland but a UK V5 will show only that the car was 'new at first registration' - which would be the case if the car was brought in from Eire having never been registered there - or not (i.e., the car came across the border with its owner).
Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
Hopefully my insurer will be able to deduce the origin from the registration. I've also asked Mazda UK to see what they can find out. If it's not a UK model I'll just wait for one that is - my car passed it's MOT last Monday so I can wait for the right car to come along.

Thanks for the advice.

Any Mazda experts out there? - Johnny20
I'm also after a 323 probably a 1.5 P-reg with about 70k.

Would it be as good and reliable as my current diesel Corolla?

Are parts even more expensive than Toyota parts? I have been shocked every time its needed something doing! The insurance and tax are cheaper on the 323.

Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
Parts appear to be fairly expensive but I'm hoping not to need too many! I'm also taking into account that I'll save about £9k on the actual purchase compared to the price of a new car, and so I'd regard myself as still in pocket even if it needs a few bits.

What year is P-reg?
Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
Well done sir! Car was purchased just over the border in County Monaghan. No service history and clutch felt ready for a change so I've declined it.
Any Mazda experts out there? - JohnnyBoy
Have struck a deal with another dealer for a 1998 323 1.5 LXi, 41k miles; £2700 with my 1993 1.6LX Mondeo thrown in, with the proviso that a few scrapes on the passenger & nearside rear doors of the Mazda are rendered invisible.

Autotrader seems to suggest that this is not a bad deal. I hope I'm right!

Value my car