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The Basics of Importing a Car from Japan

JDM vehicles are renowned in the world for their unparalleled quality, distinct performance, and consistent reliability. Needless to say, there are many good reasons why people across the globe prefer to import Japanese used cars. It is worth noting that more than 50,000 used vehicles are exported from Japan to various countries, including Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Dubai, among many others. For consumers, buying a pre-owned vehicle has become easier, thanks to online used vehicle portals and used car auctions.

So, how do you import Japanese used cars? Well, in this article, we will teach you all the basics and make the process a lot easier for you.

Step 1: Choose a Reliable Used Japanese Car Exporter

When you go online and search for exporters of used Japanese vehicles, you will discover that you are spoilt for choice. However, not all of them can be trusted. You wouldn’t want to get cheated by a dodgy business and end up losing your hard-earned money. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to receive a vehicle with quality that’s less than what’s advertised. So, here are the tips in choosing a reliable used JDM car exporter:

  • Make sure you go through all the details mentioned on the site, including the company info, physical address, date of establishment, and used cars dealer registration number, among others. Getting these details will give you an idea of the company’s standing.
  • Of course, you have to verify the information you got from the website. Check the physical address on Google Maps. You can also call their Japanese registered landline number.
  • You can seek help from the Japanese Embassy, JETRO office, or Chamber of Commerce in your country to verify the registration documents provided by the car exporter.
  • Make sure that the online business is a member of reputable auction houses and exporters associations like JUMVEA, JETRO, and Chamber of Commerce, among others.
  • You also have to be cautious when you find sites offering prices that are suspiciously low. Dodgy businesses usually attract buyers, using extremely low quotes. Once they collect the payment, they will disappear.
  • You should also check if the stock on the website is regularly updated. This is an indication that the company is an active and responsive exporter.
  • Make sure you review whether the exporter is registered with used car portals like TradeCarReview, Japanese Car Trade, and Japan Auto Pages.
  • It would also be helpful if you search for feedback from previous buyers. If possible, you can also ask for references of customers from your country who already bought a car from the exporter you’re planning to deal with.

Step 2: Search for your Preferred Vehicle and Order

Once you’ve selected the used Japanese car company you’re buying from, it is now time to look for your preferred vehicle. If you’re planning to buy from used car auctions, you can use the auction tool available here at On the other hand, if you are ready to purchase an available vehicle, you can go through the online catalog.

Do not hesitate to contact the supplier and ask for more details about the vehicle you wish to import. They should be able to answer you promptly and send you a free quote. If you are satisfied with the quote, let the supplier know and they will send you a pre-forma invoice.

Step 3: Pay for your Used Car from Japan

Once the invoice is sent to you, it is advisable to settle the full payment within 48 hours. To make the transaction smooth and hassle-free, ask the supplier if you can send the T.T to their bank account in Japan. Typically, payment invoices are sent no later than two business days. Otherwise, your transaction should be cancelled automatically. Once you’ve completed processing the payment, you must send a copy of the T.T receipt either by fax or email. This is the faster way to process your purchase.

On the other hand, if you prefer buying from used car auctions via, you must settle a refundable deposit first. The amount should be proportional to the amount you want to bid. This is required for security purposes. It is worth noting that we would be using our own money to fully pay for the vehicle you bid on. So, without the bid, we will not be able to validate and process your purchase. Do not worry because the deposit is fully refundable. If you lose the bidding, you have the option to withdraw your cash or to use it for another auction.

Once we’ve confirmed your payment, we will reserve the shipping services. We will also de-register you pre-purchased vehicle for exportation. It is worth noting that the earlier you settle the payment, the earlier your car will be shipped. So, if you want faster transactions, it is advisable to complete the payment procedure early.

Step 4: Shipment and Pickup

Once the payment has been confirmed, the vehicle will be loaded on the ship. You will also be notified regarding the ship’s departure and arrival time. Here are the details you should receive:

  • Name of the ship/vessel
  • Departure date
  • Port in Japan
  • Expected arrival date
  • All the necessary documents will also be sent to your address. Keep in mind that these are the basic documents you might need when you import Japanese used cars:

  • The original commercial invoice
  • The original Bills of Lading
  • Certificate of Origin (contact the customs department in your country to know if they require this)
  • The inspection certificate from the Japan Auto Appraisal Institute (JAAI) (contact the customs department in your country to know if they require this)
  • The inspection certificate from the Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center Col Ltd. (JEVIC) (contact the customs department in your country to know if they require this)
  • Certificate for air-conditioning and de-gas inspection (contact the customs department in your country to know if they require this)
  • Original copy of the vehicle’s export deregistration
  • Ownership history certification (contact the customs department in your country to know if they require this)
  • Vehicle inspection sheet
  • Original copy of the Marine Insurance Policy
  • Get your Used Japanese Car from

    When you are searching for a reputable used JDM car exporter, look no further than the seasoned specialists at As a member of the JUMVEA, we always uphold transparency, professionalism, and credibility whenever we deal with prospective clients. We make sure that we never leave any detail out. So, you know exactly what you’ll get before you make a purchase.

    If you are ready to bid on a used Japanese car or you’re ready to purchase from our online catalog, contact today!

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    This Post Has One Comment

    1. Idriss Limo

      Thank you so much for this great and very important information!

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