New Cars Frequently Asked Questions

As a parallel importer serving our clients in Singapore, we understand the exciting and often times, uncertain journey many of clients go through when buying their first car. Over the years, we’ve encountered similar cases where we had to guide our clients in buying and choosing a new car they will love. That’s why we’ve included some of these commonly asked question to help you in your journey with us.

What happens if you do not have the car that I want?

If we do not have the car you want in stock, usually there are two ways to go around this.

1. We can try to search within our network of dealer partners to see if anyone else has the car that you require, and then proceed to do co-broking etc.

2. If you are able to wait, we are able to place an order from our suppliers to bring in the car for you. However, usually this process will take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

Is it possible to test drive the car? I heard most PIs do not allow?

Yes, we do allow test drives at VAuG.

However, we do not allow our clients to take the car out to the main roads for test driving, as there is an issue with insurance and liability. (Technically if the client signs an indemnity form to take full liability, we would allow, but we would not want to put our clients in such a position)

Our test drives are mainly done within our compound, and most clients can get a good-enough feel of the car to make a decision on whether they like it or not.

Is it compulsory to take a loan? What is the minimum amount?

No it is not. However, we do want to impress upon our clients that our advertised prices are after finance discounts, which are only applicable if our clients take the maximum allowable loan (60% or 70%, over 7 years).

As such, in the event that our client chooses to pay full cash, we would have to revert back to the “list price”, which excludes the finance discounts.

What is the payment process like? Regarding deposits, balance payments etc.

We usually collect a $15,000 deposit up front for guaranteed COE packages, of which $10,000 is for COE bidding, and $5,000 is the deposit to reserve the car of your dreams.

The balance payment (selling price – deposit – loan amount (if any) + 1st instalment (if any) + insurance premium) is payable before registration of the car, which occurs when we have the VAC ready, as well as have already secured the COE for our client. Once we have confirmed receipt of the balance payment, we will proceed to register the car and handover the car will be ready within a week.

Do you do trade-ins? How does it work?

Yes we do!

You can request for a quote by
1) Going to the Used Cars > Sell your car
2) Going to the bottom of the page and click on the “Trade in value” button

You can use the trade in value credits (less any outstanding finance on your previous car) to offset the remaining balance payments for your new car.

What is VITAS and VAC-ready cars?

VITAS (Vehicle Inspection & Type Approval System) is an LTA system that handles new car registrations.

When a car gets imported, LTA needs to be informed and they will proceed to do checks on the documents & paperwork to ensure that the car is roadworthy for Singapore. This process can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, to 1-2 months, depending on the number of cars in queue, and also on the make/model of the car itself. In the meantime, the physical car can be in the showroom/storage, but they are not allowed to be registered. At the last stage of VITAS, LTA will require dealers to send the cars for inspection, afterwhich, usually within a week, the VAC (Vitas Approval Code) will be released to the dealers.

If the client already has the COE secured, together with the VAC, the car can now be officially registered. As such, VAC-ready cars are sometimes known as “ready stocks”, as they can be registered anytime once the client has already secured his/her COE.

What is the difference between guaranteed and non guaranteed COE packages?

All new cars require a COE (certificate of entitlement) before they can be registered. A COE has to be bidded for, and as with all auctions, nobody will know what the final price will be.

Usually, a car dealer will sell you a new car at a price that is inclusive of the COE, and it is known as a guaranteed COE. However, some dealers have packages that include non-guaranteed COEs, and they are usually cheaper. The reason why is because it is non-guaranteed, it means that at the end of the slated number of bids, they are not bounded to secure the COE for you. Essentially, it is gambling that the COE value will drop (which is why they can price is cheaper).

What happens with the warranty of a parallel imported car?

As the cars are not brought in via the official distribution channel, the local authorised agents will not honour the warranty for the car. As such, the obligation lies on the parallel importer to provide the warranty for the car to the client.

At VAuG, we own our own motor workshops, and as such, we are able to provide warranty (3 years, or 100,000km, whichever comes first) for the parallel imported cars that we sell to our clients. However, in order to enjoy the warranty, we require our clients to service/maintain/repair their cars with us during the warranty period.

What is a parallel importer, and how are they different from authorised agents?

Parallel importers are car dealers that directly import cars from the source country (eg. Japan, UK, Hong Kong etc), and then resell the cars on the local market. The reason why they are called parallel importers is because the cars are brought in via a channel that is parallel to that of the authorised agents distribution channel.

Most of the time, there are no restrictions to the make/model of the cars that a parallel importer can import (as long as they pass LTA’s specifications), so essentially parallel importers provide consumers with more choices compared to the authorised agent’s lineup.