In my previous article, ‘Imported car buying guide’, I tried to discuss and explain how you can buy a car from Japanese auction house and have it shipped to the Karachi Port here in Pakistan. In order to gain a good understanding of the current subject, the prerequisite for this article is you should read that article mentioned below.
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Importing a car on your own leaves you no doubt about the actual condition and mileage of the car. Once you are bidding in a live auction, you have viewed the original auction sheet, and you know the car inside out. You can be assured that the auction sheet is not doctored. Moreover, you have access to a wide range of cars, giving you all sorts of regarding color, condition, car grade, mileage, etc.
Many readers of my previous article commented that importing a car on your own isn’t that simple. Well, that’s true! Let me explain how things might go forwards when the car reaches Karachi Port.
On reaching Karachi port, the car is in hands of customs officials. Now the real hassle starts off while getting customs clearance for your car. So in order to handle the process of customs duties and customs clearance, you are supposed to hire a customs agent. Once you have hired a customs agent, you will be at his mercy. The agent fee is around 18k-25k primarily depending on the customs fee of the car. For around 15 days, from the date of arrival of the car, there are no port rent charges applicable. Just like most departments in Pakistan, unfortunately, things don’t move smoothly without a slice of bribery. Same happens in customs clearance as well. If you don’t bribe your customs agent, the customs clearance of your car lingers on to a stage when heavy port rent charges start adding to your bill. Just because you don’t want to bear heavy port rent charges, you will have no other option except bribing your customs agent.
Now the sum of the auction price, C&F (Cost and Freight), import duty, agent fee, passport charges, transport charges and bribery amount exceeds the showroom price of the same car. If you want to avoid hiring a customs agent, there are several custom clearing agencies offering custom clearing services but the company fee is relatively higher.
Most of you might think that how do car importers and dealers make huge profits out of this business? Let me clear out this ambiguity as well. If you are importing a single unit, you will have to pay almost 1100 USD (110,000 PKR) freight for a 660cc car. Profit-makers do not import single units but prefer to buy cars in bulk, and that reduces the overall cost and freight to a huge extent. I know some professional importers and bulk buyers who pay a fixed C&F of 14,500 PKR for a 660cc car. The difference of freight for a single unit and bulk is the profit earned by importers. Moreover, professional importers and bulk buyers have fixed their prices with either custom agents or custom clearing agencies. Hence, they do not face trouble getting their units cleared from the customs departments. Furthermore, professional importers also devise ways to import a car through gift scheme that leaves them huge profits.
If you are looking forward to import a car, make sure you have strong references in customs, or you personally know some trustworthy custom agent. Otherwise, pay some extra bucks and hire a customs clearance agency to get your car cleared from the port within due time. In my next article, I will explain the process of importing a car through gift scheme along with exact import duties and charges for all types of cars that will help you calculate the accurate price of getting a car to your doorstep.