When it comes to buying a car in Malaysia, especially luxury cars, you’ll hear the term recon cars or reconditioned cars fairly often. In fact, recon cars such as the Toyota Alphard, Toyota Harrier, and Mercedes-Benz GLA250 are well sought after by Malaysian buyers as they can be over RM50,000 cheaper than an official brand-new unit sold by local authorized dealers.
If you’ve been considering buying a recon car in Malaysia but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, we’ve got the details you need.
What Is a Recon Car
However you spell it, a recond or recon car is a used car imported from countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom and sold by recon or used car dealers. These are often luxury or performance cars as they tend to be harder to find in Malaysia. Dealers usually acquire these cars from overseas suppliers or in auctions in the original country and refurbish them to fix any issues they have and ensure they comply with local laws.
Being used cars, recon cars are significantly cheaper than their brand-new counterparts. And while choosing a recon car allows you to save a good amount of money, do note that its mechanical components, user interface, and features are designed for its original market. That means if you buy a reconditioned Toyota Harrier from Japan, expect the infotainment system’s interface to be in Japanese instead of English.
How to Check a Recon Car’s Condition
Any recon car imported into Malaysia would have gone through an inspection in its home country and another inspection by the recon car dealer that you purchase it from. If possible, request an inspection report to find out its mileage and if there is significant damage to the car. Otherwise, you can purchase a report from providers such as scrut.my or recond.my by providing them with the VIN (vehicle identification number) of the car.
While a reputable dealer would only sell you a car that’s of good quality, some unscrupulous dealers could roll back the odometer or pass off a car that’s been damaged in an accident as an undamaged car.
What to Inspect on a Recon Car
It’s hard to determine if the mileage displayed on a recon car is accurate. However, seeing as the overall condition of a car often correlates to its mileage, you can check if the mileage has been tampered with by inspecting other components. Pay more attention to the thickness of the brake disc and the condition of the tires. If the brake discs aren’t as thick as you expect them to be or if the tires are more worn down than the displayed mileage would suggest, then the mileage could have been rolled back.
Also, inspect the overall condition of the exterior and interior of the vehicle. If the condition is not as you expect, especially on a low-mileage car, then it’s worth looking at the car in more detail.
What’s the Loan Interest Rate for Recon Cars in Malaysia?
Recon cars in Malaysia are sold either as unregistered or registered cars. An unregistered car is imported into Malaysia and is listed by a dealer without registering it at JPJ. Therefore, it’s considered brand-new, so the purchasing process and loan interest rates for it is the same as a new car. This also means it would have a lower interest rate than a loan for used cars.
A registered car, however, is usually a used recon car that has had a Malaysian owner and has been registered, so it’s considered a used car. That means you’d need to pay a slightly higher interest rate which is typically more than three percent.
More Recon Car Tips
Buying a recon car poses certain risks compared to buying a used car that was officially sold in Malaysia. Here are more things you should know about recon cars.
Do Recon Cars Come with a Warranty?
Recon cars typically don’t come with a warranty as opposed to some used cars sold here that still carry a principal warranty from the manufacturer. That said, some recon car dealers do provide their own warranty on the cars. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase a warranty package from third-party warranty providers.
On the other hand, reputable used car platforms like CARSOME provide a one-year comprehensive warranty on all CARSOME Certified cars for extra peace of mind.
Is There an After-Sales Service for Recon Cars?
The after-sales service for a recon car really depends on the dealer selling the car. Some dealers may only provide you support for up to a week or a month, while others may provide longer-term support such as servicing or warranty claims. That’s why whether you buy an imported recon car or a local used car, choosing the right dealer is essential.
How to Choose the Right Recon Car
Other than having an interface in Japanese, a recon car can carry more risk especially if you buy from unscrupulous dealers. Here are tips to ensure you buy a quality recon car:
- First, find the right dealer. The best way to do this is by reading reviews and finding out about a certain dealer through word-of-mouth.
- Don’t be enticed by recon cars that are supposedly accident-free and low mileage, but sold for very cheap. If you think the car is a steal, it’s probably too good to be true.
- While an inspection report is helpful in telling you about the initial condition of the car, you should still thoroughly inspect the car yourself. If possible, bring along someone who knows what to look for, such as a mechanic. However, if you don’t have a mechanic friend, check out these car inspection tips shared by our CARSOME inspectors.
A recon car can help you save money over buying a new car and gives you the opportunity to own exotic and luxury cars that you just can’t otherwise. However, choosing the wrong recon car could mean major headaches and a big blow to your wallet. That’s why you should be as thorough as possible in researching and inspecting a car before putting down your hard-earned money on it.
This article is adapted from the video “Recon Car 101: Everything You Need To Know About Recon Cars” published by Carlist.my.
Devan is a long-time writer who has dabbled in different fields from media to marketing. He enjoys some virtual driving on Forza Horizon and likes reading about various topics including cars.