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I want a Volvo 850 T5-R - what are the pitfalls of buying a Japanese import

When I was a cop in the 90s, I considered the Volvo 850 T5 to have been the best ever police patrol car, and always hankered after buying one. Bringing up a family made that dream impossible, but at nearly seventy years of age, unless I do it soon it will never happen. I know precisely what I want, an 850 T5-R saloon in Gul Yellow, but to find one would involve buying a Japanese import which appears to be a very affordable option at around £8k. Is it too good to be true, and what are the difficulties and pitfalls of such a plan please?

Asked on 16 January 2019 by KEN SPENCER

Answered by Keith Moody
By the time you've added 20 per cent VAT, 10 per cent customs, port costs, DVLA costs and whatever you have to pay in shipping, I'd be amazed if you get much change out of £3000 taking your total costs to about £11k. I know that everyone wants a gul yellow T5-R but there are ways to keep the price down. You could choose a different colour which will keep the cost below £10k, or go for the 850R which replaced it. To be honest, even just the 'basic' T5 is a corker and if you're into modifying you can easily eek a bit more power out of it. Failing that, what about a rear-wheel drive 700 turbo? Another great car if you're willing to compromise. Sadly, you missed the boat on T5-Rs as prices have shot up over the past four or five years.
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