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TRUST IN THE DEALERSHIP IS KEY, GOOD ADVICE FROM THE FORUM


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I am new to this forum, and now in the market of considering buying a Toyota Alphard 3.5 V6 L or a Vellfire 350 G with business seating (captains chairs middle row). I been to 3 dealerships so far and I have been rather disappointed with there experience of the cars they are selling. I have read the guidance note on the forum page and must commend you for providing this to members as it has lots of good advice.

 

I thought I had found the perfect car at one of the dealers, the right colour, the right spec, condition. I had inspected it and it drove nicely, and the price was fair. All appeared good until I ran a Auto Check on the car and found the auction sheet provided within the advert had been doctored. The dealer was surprised to learn this and went away and immediately confirmed the sheet had been changed, he acted immediately to change the advert but now the relationship is somewhat tainted. The original sheet was found in the car documents and I am sure he will look into how the sheet was amended. Oh dear, someone is not going to be happy!

 

The point is it remains a risky business if the dealership's themselves do not do their homework and check the documentation.

 

I really like to hear from those members that have had similar experiences and a short list of importers/dealers that one can have confidence in, I yet to find one, still searching!.

 

  

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Let's be clear there is no such thing as an TOYOTA Supported ALPHARD/VELLFIRE dealership in this country or for that matter in Europe, the majority of ALPHARD. VELLFIRE Vehicles imported into this country are from private business who have never owned a vehicle Manufacture  supported Dealership most of them do not employ mechanic's and from my experience, they tend to shy away from this subject so in the majority of cases you could be on your own when problems occur however the 'Alphardclub' forums must be commended for their support and helpful advice.

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Just to add my little bit.

 

I agree with Larry.

 

However, there are a few Toyota official dealerships that will work on your vehicle.

Although they are supported by Toyota, they are not, as Larry says, supported by Toyota on Alphards and Vellfires (but some parts are common with other models).

Snows, in the South West is one such dealer that will support the vehicles.

They will order parts from Japan, if necessary, and fit them; although this may not apply to all work.

They are a main dealer, so the work will be done well, but not cheaply.

 

I would recommend a full inspection prior to purchase by the RAC or AA, or other qualified vehicle inspector.

In the case above, the Auction Sheet has been falsified; not withstanding that, I would not recommend any Alphie being purchased without sight of the Auction Sheet.

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On 1/15/2024 at 2:51 PM, Garryt007 said:

I am new to this forum, and now in the market of considering buying a Toyota Alphard 3.5 V6 L or a Vellfire 350 G with business seating (captains chairs middle row). I been to 3 dealerships so far and I have been rather disappointed with there experience of the cars they are selling. I have read the guidance note on the forum page and must commend you for providing this to members as it has lots of good advice.

 

I thought I had found the perfect car at one of the dealers, the right colour, the right spec, condition. I had inspected it and it drove nicely, and the price was fair. All appeared good until I ran a Auto Check on the car and found the auction sheet provided within the advert had been doctored. The dealer was surprised to learn this and went away and immediately confirmed the sheet had been changed, he acted immediately to change the advert but now the relationship is somewhat tainted. The original sheet was found in the car documents and I am sure he will look into how the sheet was amended. Oh dear, someone is not going to be happy!

 

The point is it remains a risky business if the dealership's themselves do not do their homework and check the documentation.

 

I really like to hear from those members that have had similar experiences and a short list of importers/dealers that one can have confidence in, I yet to find one, still searching!.

 

  

 

 

Yes, I tried to buy one from a few of the import dealer specialist guys.

Not all are entirely honest, some pretend it was a Grade 4 or whatever, but it wasn't, they don't want to pay the Japanese hammer price for the really really nice ones!

They were asking about £15k for one like mine back then.... I got mine direct from japan for about £10k

 

I just resorted to bidding on one in japan myself using japancardirect.com
I put down my bidders deposit, we bid on a few that we didn't win.

Then I won my white 2010 Vellfire 3.5 4x4 for a reasonable price.

The full spare set of alloy wheels in the boot and the gear knob were stolen during transport, but this is mega common...

Its called the "Japanese knob robber".... that's why there are so many gearknobs for sale on yahoo auctions JP 🤣

8 weeks later I picked up my van from Bristol docs!

No middle man, no dealers profit margin, no badly bodged fog light wiring etc.

 

I'd totally recommend buying one direct if you dare 😉

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2 hours ago, threepot said:

 

 

Yes, I tried to buy one from a few of the import dealer specialist guys.

But they are mostly toe rags! They pretend it was a Grade 4 or whatever, but it wasn't, they don't want to pay the japanese hammer price for the really really nice ones!

They were asking about £15k for one like mine back then.... I got mine direct from japan for about £10k

 

I just resorted to bidding on one in japan myself using japancardirect.com
I put down my bidders depost, we bidded on a few that we didn't win.

Then I won my white 2010 Vellfire 3.5 4x4 for a reasonable price.

The full spare set of alloy wheels in the boot and the gear knob were stolen during transport, but this is mega common...

Its called the "japanese knob robber".... that's why there are so many gearknobs for sale on yahoo auctions JP 🤣

8 weeks later I picked up my van from Bristol docs!

No middle man, no dealers profit margin, no badly bodged fog light wiring etc.

 

I'd totally recommend buying one direct if you dare 😉

 

The Auction Sheet will declare the Grading.

A VAT registered dealer will have to levy VAT on their sales price.

Which obviously inflates the price by 20 percent.

 

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13 hours ago, threepot said:

 

 

Yes, I tried to buy one from a few of the import dealer specialist guys.

Not all are entirely honest ! Some pretend it was a Grade 4 or whatever, but it wasn't, they don't want to pay the japanese hammer price for the really really nice ones!

They were asking about £15k for one like mine back then.... I got mine direct from japan for about £10k

 

I just resorted to bidding on one in japan myself using japancardirect.com
I put down my bidders deposit, we bid on a few that we didn't win.

Then I won my white 2010 Vellfire 3.5 4x4 for a reasonable price.

The full spare set of alloy wheels in the boot and the gear knob were stolen during transport, but this is mega common...

Its called the "Japanese knob robber".... that's why there are so many gearknobs for sale on yahoo auctions JP 🤣

8 weeks later I picked up my van from Bristol docs!

No middle man, no dealers profit margin, no badly bodged fog light wiring etc.

 

I'd totally recommend buying one direct if you dare 😉

My thoughts exactly, will be buying direct when my vellfire starts failing me.

Can be a scary thing to go into but you can save a lot of money in the grand scale of things.

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8 hours ago, Rojie said:

 

The Auction Sheet will declare the Grading.

A VAT registered dealer will have to levy VAT on their sales price.

Which obviously inflates the price by 20 percent.

 

 

We all have to pay VAT on import.

 

A vat registered car dealer claims it back, then adds it back onto the retail price.

 

Thus you are paying the 20% of the resale price from a vat registered car dealer.

 

While when you import it you only pay the 20% VAT based on the japanese auction price + shipping + fees.

 

As for the auction sheet.....  I found a few of the resellers were presenting "modified" grading sheets, they had doctored the grading and the KM's of the vehicle.... one of them got very aggressive when I emailed him over the original sheet 🤣

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3 hours ago, threepot said:

 

We all have to pay VAT on import.

 

A vat registered car dealer claims it back, then adds it back onto the retail price.

 

Thus you are paying the 20% of the resale price from a vat registered car dealer.

 

While when you import it you only pay the 20% VAT based on the japanese auction price + shipping + fees.

 

As for the auction sheet.....  I found a few of the resellers were presenting "modified" grading sheets, they had doctored the grading and the KM's of the vehicle.... one of them got very aggressive when I emailed him over the original sheet 🤣

 

I agree with you on the VAT issue; and the VAT on their costs and margins can be significant.

 

On the Auction Sheet issue I suggest you consider reporting those resellers to Trading Standards as I believe they are committing Fraud, among other offences.

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We got our vellfire from just Japanese and I couldn't have been happier with the sales and the after sales, properly above and beyond. 

 

Yes I know I could have got one cheaper by doing it myself but I wanted one now and couldn't wait, also the. At was exactly what my wife wanted (it's her daily), so the additional cost was worthwhile to me.

 

I would certainly consider bringing one over myself next time though, now I know the pitfalls and what needs doing I'd be comfortable doing it myself.

 

Depends on what you want, and how much messing you want to do. If you want one turn key and ready to go, just Japanese would certainly get my vote.

 

 

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On 1/15/2024 at 3:41 PM, ThuMentaliss said:

Let's be clear there is no such thing as an TOYOTA Supported ALPHARD/VELLFIRE dealership in this country or for that matter in Europe, the majority of ALPHARD. VELLFIRE Vehicles imported into this country are from private business who have never owned a vehicle Manufacture  supported Dealership most of them do not employ mechanic's and from my experience, they tend to shy away from this subject so in the majority of cases you could be on your own when problems occur however the 'Alphardclub' forums must be commended for their support and helpful advice.

  JUST an update to this cash cow !    Vehicle just failed its MOT.. broken rear suspension spring which was fitted Thirteen months (1020 miles) ago to replace the lowered springs (causing the vehicle to bottom out at every pot-hole) and now we have an engine oil leak, (camshaft housing to the Cylinder head )... The interior heater does not heat up. Sorry the love affair has ended, the previous Japanese owners probably had the best time with it !  As a retired IMI Master craftsman I should have known better Not a good investment, anyone interested in purchasing this ?

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2 hours ago, ThuMentaliss said:

  JUST an update to this cash cow !    Vehicle just failed its MOT.. broken rear suspension spring which was fitted Thirteen months (1020 miles) ago to replace the lowered springs (causing the vehicle to bottom out at every pot-hole) and now we have an engine oil leak, (camshaft housing to the Cylinder head )... The interior heater does not heat up. Sorry the love affair has ended, the previous Japanese owners probably had the best time with it !  As a retired IMI Master craftsman I should have known better Not a good investment, anyone interested in purchasing this ?

 

Hello Larry,

 

So sorry to hear of your recent woes.

 

If you have any idea of the location of the pot hole that broke your spring, you could contact the local Council (as they are responsible) especially if the event occurred on an unlit road in the evening or at night.

 

Probably not worth the trouble but ...

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2 hours ago, ThuMentaliss said:

  JUST an update to this cash cow !    Vehicle just failed its MOT.. broken rear suspension spring which was fitted Thirteen months (1020 miles) ago to replace the lowered springs (causing the vehicle to bottom out at every pot-hole) and now we have an engine oil leak, (camshaft housing to the Cylinder head )... The interior heater does not heat up. Sorry the love affair has ended, the previous Japanese owners probably had the best time with it !  As a retired IMI Master craftsman I should have known better Not a good investment, anyone interested in purchasing this ?

Springs brake, try owning a Merc Vito/viano, the fronts are an annual service item, heater not working is probably a sticking thermostat, oil leak seems more invasive but at worst a used replacement head can't be that much, few being broken on eBay.

 

To add Just Japanese undertook mechanical work to mine prior to purchase and after in terms of warranty work, collecting and returning the car from Leeds (to Wigan), new springs all round, sorted the steering box worm gear, numerous electrical bits and bobs. Not all importers are equal.

 

You don't mention how old yours is, the mileage, or how long you have had it, it's a used car though, they do tend to need maintaining, some more than others depending on what kind of life they have led. 

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44 minutes ago, big_boz said:

Springs brake, try owning a Merc Vito/viano, the fronts are an annual service item, heater not working is probably a sticking thermostat, oil leak seems more invasive but at worst a used replacement head can't be that much, few being broken on eBay.

 

To add Just Japanese undertook mechanical work to mine prior to purchase and after in terms of warranty work, collecting and returning the car from Leeds (to Wigan), new springs all round, sorted the steering box worm gear, numerous electrical bits and bobs. Not all importers are equal.

 

You don't mention how old yours is, the mileage, or how long you have had it, it's a used car though, they do tend to need maintaining, some more than others depending on what kind of life they have led. 

you ve picked the wrong person to preach to,  I Have owned a Merc, Jag, Corba,  Several fords. plus in the good old days raced with Surtees............ suspect Ive been around a bit longer than you..😁

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5 hours ago, ThuMentaliss said:

you ve picked the wrong person to preach to,  I Have owned a Merc, Jag, Corba,  Several fords. plus in the good old days raced with Surtees............ suspect Ive been around a bit longer than you..😁

Lol

 

Grew up in Silverstone, spannered for race teams, including Jordon, various formular Ford and TC teams, owned classics all my life and happily will pull an engine for fun. Had dinner at the Coulthard's and given Eddie Irvine a few lifts over the years.

 

Your life experience should therefore tell you that what you have is not a lemon rather a car that needs a few somewhat minor fixes (head not withstanding) to get sorted. Otherwise go buy a new car.

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