Nick Malaperiman Medindie, SA

Thanks for cutting to the chase with the news story about Australian car imports.

You rightly concentrate on what this means for buyers who want to being in early Nineties used cars, because when I started to run the numbers on bringing in a new car as a ‘grey’ from the UK, I just couldn’t make the numbers work for me.

A case in point. A Ferrari 488 Spider will be $527,000 here. In the UK it’s £204,400.

When customs duty, GST, luxury car tax, shipping, and inspections are taken into account, the number that came out of my calculator was $572,714 and that’s for a car with no local warranty. No wonder dealers don’t seem particularly perturbed by this new legislation. Luxury car tax makes up $119,000 of that figure. Without LCT, it might be a viable option for a collector looking for a car to lay down as an investment, covering minimal miles. As it stands, LCT would appear to render this legislation meaningless.

ED: An interesting point.

Much of this has to do with exchange rates and the dollar isn’t doing us too many favours against either the pound or the yen, the two markets that have been ‘approved’ for grey imports.

We’ve undertaken a similar exercise here at Unique Cars regarding new car costs.

We get nowhere near on cheap cars and LCT kills the viability for pricy ones.

Cars coming in around the LCT threshold seem to be the sweet spot, so if you’re looking for an entry-level 3 Series or Audi A4 to being in, you might be able to make an outside case.