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World Car Culture Review Taiwan
Fast Car

World Car Culture Review Taiwan

Posted Wednesday, 1 April 2015   |   971 views   |   Aviation & Transport   |   Comments (0) Jap motors, particularly Subaru Impreza’s, are always going to be your modding staple over here. That’s for obvious reasons – Japan is just a stone’s throw away.

They aren’t cheap though, due to high import duty and limited supply. A 15-year-old classic WRX in decent shape will set you back at least four grand and a new-age WRX like my PB Brakes’ ‘Blobeye’ will put you around 12k in the red (two to four grand in the UK).  That’s why all the cool kids have turned to tuning the Toyota Yaris or Nissan Tiida these days – they’re made locally in Taiwan so there’s no import tax. Now all this may make you wonder why a British bloke like me would live out here, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

Insurance is dirt cheap for a start. Your absolute basic road legal (but covered for about six English pence and no third party damages) comes in at around 30 quid a year on a WRX. And because you insure the car rather than the driver in Taiwan, it doesn’t matter who’s driving, where you live, how old you are, anything! It’s a fl at rate dependent only on the engine displacement. So you could be cruising around in a twin-turbo Supra at 18 years old and still pay the same as a 50-year-old woman in a Nissan Cefiro!

And then there’s fuel prices, which are tax-free at the pump. Standard 95-octane unleaded costs a measly 54p a litre and, if you’re feeling a bit frivolous, you could splash out 59p on 98-octane super juice. Modifying cars is a way of life here, whether as trivial as switching your Toyota badge to a Ferrari one (no joke, people do that), or welding up the rear doors on your GC8 to make it look like a 22B. The average salary is less than half that of the UK, so as you can imagine a car is a big purchase and people cherish and adore them. There’s loads of shows, meets and motorsport events to get stuck into, too.

Although Taiwanese people generally start modding cars within 24 hours of purchasing them, technically speaking it’s illegal to fit any aftermarket part – only OEM parts are allowed. However, usually a back-hander of about 20 quid is suffi cient to convince the MoT tester to turn the other way. Engine swaps are more troublesome and require a bit more grease to be applied to the palm. If you own a car that was imported more than seven years ago however, the busy bodies at our DVLA will have neglected to write down engine numbers on the registration documents. It’s like having a diplomatic passport – you can do anything you like. It comes in handy...

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