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Old 29th October 2005
Hartzpartz Hartzpartz is offline
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Default Are imported Saabs common?

I am looking to buy a 9-3 HOT Aero and have viewed two so far. It appears they both were imported when new, the 1st from Germany and the 2nd from Sweden.

Is this common with Saabs? Is this a problem? Will they be full UK spec? Both models are 2001MY.

Last edited by Hartzpartz; 29th October 2005 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 29th October 2005
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I imported all my C900's from the USA, mostly Vermont and New York. They don't exist on the used-car market in Montreal!
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Old 29th October 2005
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I think at the time, UK cars sold for a few thousand over the price you could buy the same car in the mainland Europe, it could be that the 1st owners were just taking advantage of this. Before then the manufacturers wouldn't supply a RHD car to a german dealer for example but the EC made this illegal, subsequently car prices in the uk have moved more in line with the continent, if only that would happen here . The spec might be slightly lower, post in the 9-3 forum to check the spec
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Old 29th October 2005
Hartzpartz Hartzpartz is offline
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I see. So nothing to worry about then?

I have just quizzed the owner of the second car and he confirms that he imported it through a broker, as you say, to get the car cheaper. He assures me that the car is as UK spec and has an upgraded sound system (6 Disc Changer in the boot?).
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Old 30th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last_straw
I think at the time, UK cars sold for a few thousand over the price you could buy the same car in the mainland Europe,
Or in Ireland. While waiting for the boat in Dun Laoghaire, I met an englishman who was bring home a brand new Renault. He had bought it in Ireland for export and thus had paid no VAT and no VRT {vehicle registration tax}. After paying the UK duties and VAT, he would be about STG3000 better off. This was due to the fact that the wholesale price of cars in ireland was significantly lower than elsewhere because of our high VRT...
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Old 30th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdaly
Or in Ireland. While waiting for the boat in Dun Laoghaire, I met an englishman who was bring home a brand new Renault. He had bought it in Ireland for export and thus had paid no VAT and no VRT {vehicle registration tax}. After paying the UK duties and VAT, he would be about STG3000 better off. This was due to the fact that the wholesale price of cars in ireland was significantly lower than elsewhere because of our high VRT...
A bit OT but, here in New York theres a neighborhood in Yonkers called McLean Ave and Woodlawn in the Bronx, and it is primarily Irish, and the pubs sponsor several rally teams, one of the teams has a Mitsu Lancer Evo, and it is RHD, the owner says that he actually imported it from Ireland because it would be much cheaper!
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Old 30th October 2005
Hartzpartz Hartzpartz is offline
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Interesting replies guys.

It looks like I won't be buying either of those cars now due to their general condition/ service history (or lack of).

I'll just have to keep looking and I'm sure it won't be long before another, better example, pops up.

In the mean time, can anyone point me to a link/thread relating to general 9-3 (1998-2002) buying advice?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 30th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAABotaged900S
...one of the teams has a Mitsu Lancer Evo, and it is RHD, the owner says that he actually imported it from Ireland because it would be much cheaper!
That's fine for a track car, but no car can be registered for road use in the US unless it complies with the DOT and EPA regulations for its model year.

Private imports like this are called gray-market vehicles, and cost huge amounts of money to bring up to spec (including mandatory RHD-to-LHD conversion) at certified facilities. Meanwhile, you have to put up a massive bond and wait for months (or longer).

The only way to import a car that was not built for the US market is to go for one made before January 1, 1968. This way, it's exempt from all DOT and EPA requirements and is assessed a very low import duty. I actually did this a few years ago, and it was a breeze
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Old 31st October 2005
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Hartzpartz asked:
Quote:
In the mean time, can anyone point me to a link/thread relating to general 9-3 (1998-2002) buying advice?
Here you go, by our very own Munki: 2nd hand buyer's guide. This covers '94 and up. Much of it is applicable to '98 through 2002, in the general mechanical sense. Many improvements were made between model years, most evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Engine management went from T-5 to T-7 after 1999 in the US, not sure about Europe (maybe sooner there?).
See also, Saab Site's 9-3 FAQ's. And, many Technical Service Bulletins available at Townsend. (TSB's give you a good idea of what the common problems are with a particular car and model year).

Last edited by Saabohème; 31st October 2005 at 08:04 AM.
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