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Loans for Nissan Skyline and other grey import vehicles

How do you finance a Nissan Skyline (or other grey import)?

In Australia, most lenders will not approve a secured car loan for a “grey import” vehicle. These are vehicles that are not sold as “new” in Australia and are instead imported from Japan, the United States, or areas of Europe as used vehicles for sale.

There are a few reasons lenders will not approve secured car loans for these vehicles:

  1. The vehicle is already used and may be difficult to value
  2. The age of the vehicle may only make it eligible for short-term loans
  3. The resale market for these vehicles is already limited
  4. They are high-performance vehicles and more susceptible to damage
  5. Very high insurance premiums often lead to a lack of coverage and an inability for the lender to reclaim any outstanding debt.

These factors alone make approving secured finance for these vehicles very high-risk for lenders.

Combine this with a borrower demographic that is generally on the younger side, and applying for a secured car loan for this type of vehicle can be (at best) a waste of time or (at worst) a negative experience that impacts your credit score.

Thankfully, it is possible to get finance for a Nissan Skyline or other grey import vehicle, and borrowers can easily compare offers and find the best available rate if they know what to look out for.

Read on to find out how to compare your options and choose vehicle finance in the section below.

How do you finance a Nissan Skyline (or other grey import)?

You can finance a Nissan Skyline with an unsecured personal loan.

Financing a grey import with a secured car loan is possible, but the number of lenders that will offer this is very limited, and the included fees and rates will often be very high due to the relatively high LVR (Loan-to-value ratio), either putting them out of the price range of most borrowers, or making them an overly expensive and unsuitable option.

LVR with Nissan Skylines and other grey imports

Your vehicle loan LVR is simply explained as the cost of your loan vs the value of your purchased vehicle. The higher your LVR, the higher your rates and fees will be to compensate for the risk to the lender.

Your LVR can increase if:

  • Depreciation cannot be assessed on a used vehicle
  • The vehicle cannot easily be resold
  • The price of the vehicle is relative to buyer interest and not objective value
  • You need to include other, additional costs in the loan (such as aftermarket customisation or insurance premiums)

You can generally reduce the LVR on a car loan by providing a deposit, or using a major asset (e.g. property) as security on the loan. However, as most buyers of grey import vehicles are in younger demographics, they are generally unable to provide either.

Other factors that can affect loans for grey imports

  • As import vehicles generally range between 5 - 15 years old, they are less likely to fit the criteria for car loan approval, which requires the vehicle to be a maximum of 12 years old at the end of the term.
  • Car insurance for high-performance imported vehicles is usually quite expensive. Many of these vehicles - including the Toyota MR2, Toyota Supra, and Nissan Skyline - are modified for high-performance driving, and are more commonly a write-off in traffic incidents and targeted for car theft.
  • Insurance premiums reflect this increased risk, which can make them difficult to maintain for younger buyers.

Unlike a car loan, an unsecured personal loan can include additional costs in the borrowing amount (including insurance costs), which means borrowers can finance the purchase of a vehicle and ensure they have adequate coverage in the case of an accident or theft.

Which import vehicles are difficult to finance?

Not all imported vehicles classify as grey imports and, if you are buying privately, you will need to check the vehicle’s history to determine whether it was sold new in Australia or imported as a used vehicle.

This is common with specialist, high-performance vehicles, although can also include some cheaper, reliable vehicles such as a Toyota Corona or Nissan Terrano.

If you’re considering the purchase of a second-hand vehicle from the list below, make sure you conduct all relevant checks on the vehicle before applying for finance.

Common grey import vehicles for unsecured personal loans

MitsubishiMitsubishi Delica, Mitsubishi Galant, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi RVR, Mitsubishi Starion
NissanNissan Elgrand, Nissan Silvia, Nissan Skyline, Nissan Terrano
ToyotaToyota Corona, Toyota Cressida, Toyota Crown & Caldina, Toyota Estima & Grand Hiace, Toyota Hilux Surf, Toyota MR2, Toyota Soarer, Toyota Supra
Other CompaniesChevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, Honda NSX, Ford F150, Shelby GT350R, Shelby GT500

Importing your own vehicle

You can learn more about how to import your own vehicle and also view a list of eligible import vehicles listed on the Register of Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles.

If the vehicle is not included in the list, you may be able to apply to have it added to the register, otherwise you can check if the vehicle is already ineligible (along with the reasons for exclusion) to save yourself the time and money spent initiating an unsuccessful import process.

Finally, if you are planning on importing a left-hand drive (LHD) vehicle, make sure that you are eligible to register the car as a personal vehicle in the state you live in.

Most states will either ask that you modify the vehicle to right-hand drive, or only allow LHD of a particular age to be registered (between 15 and 25 years old).

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