Reimporting an RV8
Where do you buy an RV8?
A good selection of RV8s is advertised for sale on the RV8s for Sale webpages on the V8 website and there a several well known RV8 specialists who actively trade RV8s and regularly get good member satisfaction reports - in the UK Clive Wheatley mgv8parts, Brown & Gammons and Classic and Sportscar Consultants. In Australia there are James Brown at the MG Car Centre in Tasmania and Stuart Ratcliffe at RV8 Cars Australia in Sydney. The supply of RV8s reimported from Japan is a very important factor in both the UK and Australian markets, but how do you go about getting one?

Well there are three options:
1
Should you play safe and buy from a specialist UK based RV8 reimporter so you can inspect the car before making a payment?
2
Commission a UK based specialist to find an RV8 for you in Japan that meets your requirements?
3
Should you be more adventurous and use a local trader or agent in Japan to get your RV8?

Where can I get more information on RV8 reimports?
More information on RV8 reimports. More
List of specialist RV8 reimporters. More
Using a local trader or agent in Japan
Commissioning a local trader or agent in Japan to find an RV8 for you is a route that needs careful thought. The clear advantage here is that the local trader is on the ground in Japan and can attend the auctions with relative ease. An experienced local trader acting as your agent will have a good knowledge of the RV8 model and be able to identify key condition features from their pre-auction inspection. They will also understand the information on the auction reports and service records which are of course in Japanese.

The local trader should have a good knowledge of the recent "knock down" prices for RV8s and have a close understanding of the price levels achieved at auction for various grades of condition and quality. Where a UK enthusiast engages a local trader to act as his agent and bid for an RV8, clear agency instructions will need to be issued and confirmed regarding the bid price ceiling, the agent's fee and any other costs so you will be able to feel confident over the final purchase costs. You will also need to clarify the condition and quailty of the RV8 you are seeking - not easy at long range, but it's an important matter to cover thoroughly.

It is fair to say that some RV8 buyers have saved substantial sums by dealing direct with commercial organisations in Japan, but unfortunately we have also heard reports of some bad experiences. So if you do opt for that route, it is wise to proceed with caution! (17.10.08)
Caution with buying sight unseen
Two key features of this purchase route are that a UK enthusiast is buying "sight unseen" and you are remitting funds to the local trader or agent prior to obtaining either ownership or physical possession of the vehicle - shipping from Japan takes several weeks, sometimes months. In these cases normal prudent considerations of credit risk exposure arise as a substantial sum of money is transferred to the trader's or agent's account. Buying sight unseen and remitting funds in this way involves an essential reliance on the integrity, skills and care of the local trader or agent. It is essential you are completely satisfied on those two counts before entering into any arrangement with a local trader or agent in Japan.

Caution of over paying deposits
Any deposit paid to a local trader or agent should only be paid with clear conditions agreed between the purchaser and local party regarding the terms upon which they hold the deposit and the circumstances when that deposit may be used in whole or part by the local agent to offset his costs in the event of a failure to find and purchase a
suitable RV8, an aborted purchase or a termination of the engagement. Most purchasers will feel it would be prudent to obtain legal advice to ensure the engagement of a local agent or trader and the matters relating to any deposit are clearly set out in a document to be exchanged with the local party which would then become the legal agreement between the parties.

Useful consumer protection when buying in your home market
In a V8 Bulletin Board posting, Alan Rennie commented "I would prefer to buy a reimported RV8 from a UK based specialist reimporter who had local inspectors in Japan who can check cars out at the auctions to make sure the quality of the car is what I had ordered and wanted. Plus with a UK based reimporter you can inspect the car before paying for the car and have the benefit of UK consumer protection law too. That will be a similar consideration for members downunder I feel sure. Problems with long range secondhand car deals where you are buying without sight of the car can be difficult to resolve. If it should come to it, disputes are very difficult to litigate overseas as in any case by then the funds will have been paid over."
V8 Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts at www.v8register.net