In recent years, a range of foreign vehicles at competitive prices has become widely available in Pakistan. This has not only provided consumers with more options but has also introduced advanced technology and features to the local market.
Graana.com discusses the different challenges and benefits of importing cars to Pakistan and lists down the top 5 imported cars in the country.
History of Imported Cars in Pakistan
The history of imported cars in Pakistan can be categorised into two waves.
First Wave of Imported Cars in the 1980s
The first wave of imported cars arrived in the 1980s when Japanese cars flooded the market. At that time, the demand for cars in Pakistan was growing, and the local auto industry was not able to meet that demand due to limited production capacity and a lack of resources.
Japanese cars were popular among middle-class families because of their affordability and fuel efficiency. Many of these were reconditioned or used vehicles, which were brought directly from Japan. These dominated the market during the 1980s, and the most popular models at that time were Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sunny, and Mitsubishi Lancer.
Second Wave of Imported Cars in the 2000s
The second wave arrived in the early 2000s when the government allowed the import of cars that were more than three years old. This decision led to many people importing cars from different countries, including Japan, Europe, and the United States.
The second wave of imported cars was different from the first wave because it included high-end luxury cars and sports cars, which were not available in the local market. These cars were also equipped with the latest technology and safety features, making them more attractive to buyers.
Popular models of the second wave included Toyota Land Cruiser, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche. Although these were expensive, many people were willing to pay the premium price for the luxury and status that came with owning such vehicles.
Challenges Faced by Imported Cars in Pakistan
Here are some of the most significant issues regarding imported cars in Pakistan.
High Taxes and Duties
The government imposes a high tax on imported cars to protect the local auto industry and generate revenue for the state. The taxes and duties can sometimes be as high as 200% of the car’s value, making them unaffordable for many people.
Lack of Infrastructure and Support
Imported cars require specialised maintenance and repair services, which are not always available in Pakistan. The lack of infrastructure and support can make it difficult for the owners of imported cars to find reliable and affordable services, which can impact the car’s performance and resale value.
Competition With Local Car Manufacturers
Local car manufacturers in Pakistan, such as Suzuki, Honda, and Toyota, offer a range of affordable and high-quality cars. They have a strong market presence and are preferred by many people because of their reliability and cost-effectiveness.
The competition with local manufacturers makes it difficult for imported cars to establish themselves in the market and gain popularity among the masses.
Benefits of Importing Cars in Pakistan
While imported cars face several challenges in Pakistan, they also offer many advantages that appeal to buyers. Here are some of the biggest advantages of owning imported cars in Pakistan.
Higher Quality and Features
Imported cars are known for their superior quality and more advanced features, as compared to locally produced cars. They are often equipped with the latest technology, safety features, and advanced engineering, making them more reliable, more efficient, and safer to drive. They offer a better driving experience, and many people are willing to pay a premium price for these benefits.
More Variety and Options
Imported cars come in different sizes, shapes, and styles, offering various features and customisation options. This offers more choice and flexibility, and buyers are able to choose a car that best fits their needs, preferences, and budget.
Better Resale Value
Imported cars often have a better resale value compared to locally produced cars. This is because they maintain their quality over time, and are usually in higher demand. This is an attractive feature for buyers who want to invest in a car that retains its value and offers a good return on investment.
Top 5 Imported Cars in Pakistan
Following are the most popular imported cars in Pakistan:
Toyota Vitz is a subcompact hatchback car with a 1000cc engine that offers good fuel efficiency and reliability. It has a stylish design and spacious interior that can accommodate up to five passengers. It also comes with various features such as power windows, airbags, ABS brakes, climate control, and a multimedia system.
Toyota Vitz is available in different models and colours that suit different tastes and budgets. The average price range of Toyota Vitz in Pakistan is between PKR 1.8 million to PKR 2.5 million.
Toyota Aqua is another popular imported car in Pakistan that belongs to the hybrid category. It is a gasoline-electric subcompact hatchback car with a 1500cc engine that delivers excellent performance and mileage. Toyota Aqua can run on both petrol and electricity modes, depending on the driving conditions and preferences of the driver.
It has a sleek design and comfortable interior that can seat up to four passengers. It also has many features such as keyless entry, a push start button, a rearview camera, a navigation system, LED lights, and alloy wheels.
The average price range of Toyota Aqua in Pakistan is between PKR 2 million to PKR 3 million.
Daihatsu Mira is another popular option, especially for those who are looking for an economical and eco-friendly car. It is a 660cc hatchback car that offers low fuel consumption and low emissions. It has a simple design and compact interior that can fit up to four passengers.
Daihatsu Mira comes with all basic features, such as power steering, power windows, air conditioner, CD player, and central locking. It is available in different models and colours that appeal to different segments of customers. The average price range of Daihatsu Mira in Pakistan is between PKR 1 million to PKR 1.5 million.
Suzuki Every is another popular imported car in Pakistan that serves as a multipurpose vehicle for both personal and commercial use. It is a minivan with an 800cc engine and a spacious interior that can accommodate up to seven passengers (or two rows of seats can be folded down to create more room for cargo).
It comes with standard features such as power steering, power windows, an air conditioner, a CD player, and dual airbags. The average price range of Suzuki Every in Pakistan is between PKR 1 million to PKR 1.8 million.
Honda N One
Honda N One is another attractive option among imported cars in Pakistan that combines style, performance, and safety. It is a retro-styled hatchback car with a 660cc engine that offers a smooth driving experience and good fuel economy. Honda N One has a unique design and cosy interior that can seat up to four passengers.
It also has many features such as a smart key system, hill start assist, emergency stop signal, LED headlights, and alloy wheels. The average price range of Honda N One in Pakistan is between PKR 1.6 million to PKR 2 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are imported cars becoming popular in Pakistan?
Imported cars are becoming popular in Pakistan due to their competitive prices and their advanced technology and features that may not be available in locally manufactured vehicles.
What are the factors to consider when buying imported cars?
You can base your decision on factors like price, brand, features, and availability of after-sales service.
What is the process of importing cars in Pakistan?
Importing cars in Pakistan involves obtaining a permit from the Ministry of Commerce, following import regulations and customs clearance procedures, and paying applicable taxes and duties.
Are there any restrictions on importing cars into Pakistan?
Yes, there are certain restrictions on importing cars in Pakistan, including regulations on the age, condition, and safety of imported vehicles.
What are the taxes and duties on imported cars in Pakistan?
The taxes and duties on imported cars in Pakistan vary, depending on factors such as the value and engine capacity of the vehicle, but typically include customs duties, sales tax, and other applicable taxes and fees.
Can imported cars be serviced and maintained in Pakistan?
Yes, imported cars can be serviced and maintained in Pakistan, although there may be potential difficulties with parts and maintenance, depending on the brand and model of the vehicle.
What impact do imported cars have on the local automotive industry in Pakistan?
Imported cars can potentially have a negative impact on the local automotive industry in Pakistan, as they may compete with locally manufactured vehicles and lower their demand. However, imported cars can also provide competition and drive innovation in the local market.
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