If you have ever been car shopping, you have probably heard about domestic and import. But what does that mean? Is there a difference? Here we will explore the definition.
An imported car is a vehicle that was not made in the country that it will be sold. For example, a Toyota Camry made in Japan and sold in the United States is an import car. In comparison, a Ford Mustang made in the United States and sold in the United States is a domestic car.
Nowadays, the car you call an import isn’t manufactured exclusively in one foreign country. In this article, we will take a closer look at domestic and import cars, so you can make a more informed decision when car shopping. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about these types of vehicles.
What is Considered an Imported car?
By definition, an import car is a car that was not made in the country where it will be sold. For example, a Mercedes-Benz made in Germany and sold in the United States is an import car. In comparison, a Chevy Corvette made in the United States and sold in the United States is a domestic car.
Other common import brands include but are not limited to:
In order to cut costs, most of these brands have manufacturing plants in the United States. For example, BMW has a manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where they make the X3, X5, and X6 models.
In addition, Subaru has a manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana, where they make the Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, and Outback models.
So, even though they are considered imports from other countries, a lot of these cars are made with parts from the United States.
What is a Domestic Car?
A domestic car is defined as a car made in the country where it will be sold. For example, a Ford Mustang made in the United States and sold in the United States is considered a domestic car.
Other common domestic brands include but are not limited to:
These brands have manufacturing plants located all over the United States. For example, Ford has a manufacturing plant in Dearborn, Michigan, where they make the Mustang, F-150, and Explorer models.
In addition, GMC has a manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where they make the Acadia, Sierra, and Yukon models.
Just like an imported car, most domestic cars are made with parts from other countries. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average car has about 30,000 parts, and only about 10% of those parts are made in the United States.
Are Imported Cars Better Than Domestic Cars?
This is a common question with no definitive answer. It really depends on what you are looking for in a car and your personal preferences.
Some people prefer imported cars because they feel like they are better made and have more features than domestic cars. Others prefer domestic cars because they are more familiar with the brands and feel like they are more reliable.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to what you are looking for in a car and what your budget is. There are great options for both import and domestic cars. Do your research and test drive a few different models before making a final decision.
If you need some help, the most reliable brands that reach 200,000 miles or more are:
As you can see, there are great options for both import and domestic cars. Do your research and test drive a few different models before making a final decision.
Do Imported Cars Hold Their Value Better Than Domestic Cars?
Overall, imported cars do hold their value better than domestic cars. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
For example, luxury domestic brands like Cadillac and Buick have been known to hold their value better than some import brands. In addition, SUVs and trucks made by Chevy, Ford, and Dodge also tend to hold their value better than their import counterparts.
On the other hand, import brands like Toyota, Honda, and Subaru have a reputation for holding their value better than domestic brands. This is likely because these brands are known for their reliability and longevity.
Check out the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) 5-Year Cost to Own Awards to get an idea of how well a car will hold its value. This list includes the top vehicles in each category that are predicted to have the lowest total ownership costs over the next five years.
Is It Cheaper to Maintain an Import Car or a Domestic Car?
Generally, it is cheaper to maintain an import car than a domestic car. This is because import cars often have better fuel economy and longer service intervals.
However, if an import vehicle and domestic car with the same year, mileage, and repair history are compared, the cost of maintaining the domestic car will be cheaper.
This is because domestic cars often have lower labor rates and parts costs. In addition, many mechanics are more familiar with working on domestic cars, which can make repairs cheaper.
Some import cars can be difficult to find parts for, which can also make repairs more expensive. In addition, some import vehicles like german brands require extensive labor to complete simple repairs.
Should I Buy an Import or Domestic Car?
There are so many variables to consider when making a decision like this. The best way to make a decision is to do your research and test drive a few different models. Consider what you are looking for in a car and what your budget is.
For example, brands have good years and bad years. Some years, imported cars like Toyota makes great cars, and other years, not so much. In addition, some models are known to have more problems than others. So do your research and read reviews before making a final decision.
It is vital to get a CarFax report on any used car you are considering. This report will show you if the car has been in any accidents and if it has been properly maintained.
Also, inquire to see what mechanics in your area work on the type of imported car you are considering. They can give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of maintenance and repairs.
For example, if you live in a small town and no one can work on a Lexus, you may want to reconsider your decision. The last thing you want is to be stranded with a car that no one can fix.
In the end, it is up to you to decide whether an import or domestic car is right for you. Consider all of the factors and make the best decision for your needs and budget.
At What Point Is Not Worth Repairing a Car?
No matter if you own an imported car or a domestic car, there comes the point when it is not worth repairing it.
The best way to determine if a car is worth repairing is to get an estimate from a mechanic. If the repair will cost more than the car’s value, it is probably not worth fixing.
Another factor to consider is how long you have owned the car. If you have owned it for many years and it needs a lot of repairs, it may be time to start looking for a new car.
On the other hand, if you just bought an imported car and it needs a minor repair, it is probably worth fixing.
It is also important to consider how much money you have in your savings. If you can afford to buy a new car, it may be time to start looking for one.
However, if you are tight on money, repairing the car may be your best option. If push comes to shove, talk to your mechanic and see if they offer payment plans.
No one wants to be stuck with a car that needs repairs, but sometimes it is unavoidable. If you are facing this situation, take the time to research your options and make the best decision for your needs.
Should I Buy an Extended Warranty?
An imported car or domestic cars can come with an extended warranty if bought at the time of sale.
An extended warranty is an insurance policy that covers repairs after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. This can be a great way to save money on expensive repairs.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before buying an extended warranty.
First, check to see if the manufacturer or a third-party company offers the warranty. If it is offered by the manufacturer, it will likely be more expensive, but it will also be easier to use.
If a third-party company offers it, it will be cheaper, but more restrictions on what is covered may be.
You also need to consider what the warranty covers. For example, some warranties only cover specific parts of the car, while others may cover the entire vehicle.
Finally, you need to think about how long the warranty is for. The longer the warranty, the more it will cost.
An extended warranty can be a great way to save money, but you need to do your research before buying one. Make sure you understand what is covered and how much it will cost.
Only then can you decide if an extended warranty is right for you.
Before deciding whether a domestic or imported car is right for you, there are several things to consider.
You need to think about your budget, the availability of parts and mechanics, and the type of car you want. You also need to decide if an extended warranty is worth the cost.
No matter what you decide, be sure to do your research before making a final decision. This will help you avoid any expensive surprises down the road.
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