Why getting a Skoda Yeti in Hong Kong is harder than you think...
Ever since me and my family rented a Skoda Yeti to go on a trip in Mainland China, I've been secretly looking at websites to buy myself a Skoda Yeti.
The Yeti is a very characterful car, from its looks, to the chassis rigidity, to the unexpectedly laughable nature when it corners. Since the day when the trip ended, I told myself, 'I just want a Yeti in my life.'
Yet I can't. I struggle to buy one in Hong Kong. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. Yetis aren't sold in Hong Kong...
I live in a strange city - Hong Kong, where there are many cars, but not many 'niche' cars. Hong Kong is a very small city, where parking spaces cost more than a Ferrari because of the consistently high demand and low supply.
Therefore, most cars imported into Hong Kong, are MPVs. Like my family's Vellfire. Simply because we don't have much space and we need to get the most out of our spaces. We need MPVs.
The only cars that are imported and are not MPVs, are considered 'niche' cars already. The Mazda 6 is considered niche here. Honda here didn't even import a Civic, nor an Accord.
And the Yeti is not an MPV. And it's even 'nich-er' than the niche cars in Hong Kong. Skoda doesn't even exist in Hong Kong. I've checked - there isn't a single Skoda in Hong Kong.
2. I can't import left-hand-drive cars into Hong Kong
You might say, 'well import one from where you drove the Yeti at the first place'. China that is. The problem is, as much as that is a good idea, we can't import left-hand-drive cars into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a very unique cultural background, where although it belongs to China now, it was rented out to Great Britain before 1997 for 99 years. That means most of the rules here follow the Brit's way. We drive on the left, we own right-hand-drive cars, that's it. Strangely enough, we never used mph as a unit of speed, we stuck with kph.
And because of that - I can't even import one from Mainland China, even though the border is only 50km or so from me.
3. I struggle to find much Yeti for sale anywhere
So that leaves me with just one option: importing one from right-hand-drive countries. Japan don't have Skodas, like Hong Kong. Which leaves me with two countries to choose from: the UK and Australia.
The problem with UK cars is that I have to swap the odometer round from mph to kph, and it's a pain in the butt. I also want the 1.4TSI engine, and UK cars were only offered a 1.2 engine, which sounds weak.
I searched everywhere in Australia, excluding the early 1.8 cars which are not very efficient, and excluding the diesel cars, which are illegal to import. I found six for sale in the whole of Australia. Six.
They are also scattered everywhere in Australia, so I can't exactly fly in, grab one and go home. What if one were to go wrong? I'll be utterly screwed. I can't afford to fly all the way to Australia and find out that it's the wrong one. I just can't.
4. I don't have space for a Yeti...
I told you - due to the expensive parking spaces in Hong Kong, our family can only afford one spot. And that spot currently, is occupied by the one and only - Vellfire.
We bought this last year, and we'd have to pay out all the finance side of things before we can sell it. It's part of the deal.
And I don't have that kind of money to pay out all of them at the moment...Plus we need to Vellfire to haul stuff around. The Yeti is practical, but it's no match for this barge of a car. It makes the Yeti look...diddly.
I can't afford to lose this one...I really can't.
5. I ran out of money...whoops
This is a very practical matter - I ran out of money. As you can imagine, the monster at home chugs fuel. Every tank can only lasts 350km, and it's only got a 55L fuel tank. It's nigh-on impossible to keep this thing running.
Luckily for me I have my family to back me up and share with me the fuel expense, since they drive it the most. But seriously, I have to work harder to save up some money to get the Yeti, because importing and buying a car isn't what you call - cheap.
With all that said, I am not going to give up. It might cost a fortune to ship one over to Hong Kong, but I don't care. I am going to work hard and get what I want to get. Because the idea of owning the only Skoda Yeti in Hong Kong sounds incredibly fun. I want one. I need one badly. More updates to come in the future.