JOHOR BARU • Scrapped luxury cars in Singapore are being sold, illegally, at good prices in Malaysia.
Malaysian middlemen buy the vehicles at bargain prices across the Causeway, bring them into Malaysia and then sell the cars with forged papers, apparently with help from some corrupt officials.
Malaysian buyers are willing to take the risk to get their hands on luxury cars, as they are still far cheaper than the ones sold by registered car dealerships.
The cars are, on average, priced almost 10 times lower than the market price of a similar model in Malaysia.
A businessman, who wanted to be known as Mike, said: "It is so much cheaper than buying a second-hand car in Malaysia. The Singapore cars are usually just over five years old and still in good condition." He said a second-hand Mercedes-Benz that costs about RM80,000 (S$26,100) here would cost only RM10,000 if illegally brought in from the Republic.
It is up to the buyer if he wants to duplicate an existing car registration number or do an under-the-table registration with the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
Mike said although "cloning" the registration number of another car is much cheaper, the risk is higher.
"Usually, they look for a similar car model and colour, preferably from a different state, before duplicating the plate. With inside help, the dealers are able to get an original print copy of the road tax. However, the car will be without valid insurance," he added. Buyers would have to wait for the original owner to renew the road tax before it could be reprinted.
As for registering with JPJ, he said buyers would have to fork out about RM15,000 to get a licensed car importer to issue an import permit for the car. A JPJ officer can then help register the car.
Mike claimed that he received an average of three to five customers monthly, and that most of them were willing to spend an average of RM25,000 for a variety of luxury cars, especially Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK