cars from usa

Imported car from USA – which brands are popular and what should you beware of?

7 March 2022

The popularity of cars from USA in the recent, uneasy for the automotive market, years is not declining. Quite the opposite, it’s growing. While in 2019 and 2020 there were over 33.000 of them imported to Poland yearly, in 2021 the threshold of 35.000 was exceeded. Ford, BMW, Audi and Chrysler belong to the most popular imported car brands. 

Among the Japanese manufacturers, Mazda is in popular demand, but Toyota and Honda are also popular. The wide range and attractive prices should not overshadow the possible issues, though. When buying a car from the USA, you need to be watchful, as you may find many car after accident among them. According to the autoDNA data, the vast majority of car from the US checked by the VIN number has lesser or greater bodywork damage.


Imported car from USA almost always have damaged bodywork

Popular imported models are e.g.: BMW 3 and 5 series, Ford Mustang, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Mazda CX-5 and Audi Q5. What’s usually the matter with such vehicles and what do they have in common? If there is any damage in these cars, it most commonly concerns the bodywork.

In this case, the autoDNA statistics collected in 2021 are merciless. While checking the cars from the US by the VIN, in most cases (over 95% of the cases) the bodywork damage was found. For almost half of the faults it was the front damage, which means e.g.: bumper damage, broken headlights, or even damaged radiator. This might indicate e.g. damaged side members, which, at least theoretically, should discard such car.

The next, after the front part, it is the back and sides of the car which may be damaged. Additionally, there is a risk of the airbags having been set off during more serious accidents. Therefore, while purchasing a car from the US, it is essential to check the car’s vehicle history, including the photographic documentation before importing the car to Poland.


Why are cars from the USA so popular?

The unflagging demand for the cars from the US indicates that it is still profitable to import them to Poland, despite the expensive dollar and the rising maritime transport costs. The condition remains unchanged – the cars must be damaged so that after shipment they get fixed and sold in Poland. Only this way, that is thanks to the lower labour costs, importing cars from the USA is profitable.

At the end of 2021 the US dollar exchange rate to the Polish zloty exceeded 4 PLN, which might be currently the barrier for the more expensive cars. What needs to be added to the purchase costs is excise (usually 18.6% due to the high capacity of the engines of the cars from the US), VAT (23%), duty (10%), as well as maritime transport costs and costs of the transport from the destination port in Europe to Poland. All this results in the rise of the car’s price – if a car at auction costs e.g. 10.000 USD, after adding all the other costs, its cost will amount to 20.000 USD (around 80.000 PLN) or maybe even more. The cheaper the car, which might mean more damaged in an accident, the lower the extra costs. The same applies to the dollar exchange rate – the higher it is (that is the dollar is more expensive than zloty), the more profitable it is to import cars from the US which cost not much. The structure of the import from the US reflects the Polish drivers’ preferences. This is why the German and Japanese brands are so popular. Volvo is also quite popular.


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Imported car from USA – which brands are popular?
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Imported car from USA – which brands are popular?
Ford, BMW, Audi and Chrysler belong to the most popular imported car brands. What does it look like in numbers?
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