Used Car Market Vocabulary

Speak the “auto dealership” language. As you browse along Japanese used car auction, you’d find unfamiliar abbreviations and words that are commonly used within the industry.

However, you don’t need to feel alienated by these not-so-common English terms. With the help of our Japanese used car market glossary, you can break down dealership-language barriers and make the best buying decision.

Pricing Terms

nissan note pricing
Please note that the data above is just a sample.

Free on Board or Freight on Board (FOB)

FOB is a pricing term that pertains to the total cost of the vehicle, along with transportation, insurance and loading costs from the manufacturer’s location to the port of departure in our case, to the port in Japan.

NOTE: FOB does not include shipping freight and insurance costs once the vehicle is on the port of delivery. Once the shipment is in cargo, the buyer is fully liable for costs and risks for vehicular damage or loss.

Cost and Freight (C&F)

C&F, also known as “Cost and Freight,” is a term which means that the stated value of the goods or the vehicle is inclusive of all costs and freight fees that may apply during the importation of the vehicle to the buyer’s desired port of destination.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)

CIF is inclusive of the price of the vehicle, the insurance cost during delivery and the shipping freight. The seller pays the freight and the cost of shipping the vehicle from the port of delivery to the port of destination. However, the risk of either vehicular damage or loss, along with extra fees, is transferred to the buyer after the time of delivery.

Commonly Used Terms (Alphabetical Order)

Arrival Date

The arrival date is a specific date on which the vehicle is due to arrive at the port of delivery.

Auction Sheet

The Japanese auction sheet, also called USS auction sheet, is the first point of inspection performed for used cars available in the Japanese market. The auction sheet displays vital car information including crash history, first date of registration, exterior and interior condition (ie rusts or dents), chassis number and oil leaks.

Bid Price

A bid price, which is simply called “bid,” is the highest price a bidder (also known as the buyer) is willing to pay for a particular merchandise.


B/L is an abbreviated term meaning “Bill of Lading,” which is an official document verified and signed by the car agent, the captain or the owner of the vessel. It displays pertinent information on the overall quality and quantity of cargo in transit from one point to another. It also represents ownership of the cargo.

Car Auction

A car auction, commonly known as auto auction, is a marketplace for new and used vehicles. In Japan, the Japanese used car auction is a method of selling used vehicles via the auction system. During an auction, several buyers place a bid on a vehicle. The bidder who placed the highest bid wins the auction and is granted the right to purchase the vehicle.

Cargo Insurance

Japanese used cars are commonly shipped by sea. A cargo insurance covers all loss or damage while the vehicle is transited between the point of origin and the port of delivery.


The consignee is the recipient stated on the B/L. The consignee is fully responsible for picking up the vehicle after delivery.

Date of Registration

The date of registration is the specific date a vehicle was registered with a government authority. It is used for identifying vehicle ownership and establishing a link between the vehicle and the owner for either crime detection or taxation purposes.


A dealer is a person who either sells or buys vehicles or other goods.

Become a Dealer


Dent is a slight hollow visible in hard surfaces. It is usually a result of either a strong blow or pressure applied by an external force.

Final Price

A final price, also known as closing price, is the final price or fee for a merchandise. It is usually the C&F or CIF price.


In the Japanese car import industry, freight refers to vehicles transported by sea.

Local Agent

In the car industry, a local agent typically pertains to an authorized person who acts on behalf of an insurance company or a car company. The local agent is usually an independent contract that works within a specific territory.

Logistics Service Provider

A logistics service provider offers managerial services for goods that are transported from one point to another. Depending on the merchandise and the number of goods shipped, the scope of work of a logistics provider can include shipping, performing an inventory, warehousing and conducting security measures during shipment.

Manufacturing Date

The manufacturing date includes the month and the year the vehicle was manufactured. Typically, car dealerships receive the vehicle around 1 or 2 months after the manufacturing date.

Port of Discharge

The port of discharge is the point where the ship is off-loaded and the shipments in cargo are released to their respective consignees. Also known as the “port of unloading,” the port of discharge may also be the cargo’s port of destination.


Rust is a product of oxidation, which is a chemical process that results to the flaking of iron or steel. It is either yellowish-brown or reddish in color, and it can continue to accumulate in the presence of moisture.

How to Remove Rust


In the Japanese used car auction, stock pertains to the number of goods/vehicles available for sale. A stock is audited by a merchant, a distributor or a manufacturer.

View Stocks 6,795 Cars


The shipper is the owner of the vehicle in transit.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is a specific amount of money that acts as an initial payment during the purchasing process. A security deposit is held under trust, which is a secured payment system governed by law.

TT - TT/Copy

TT is an abbreviated term for “Telegraphic Transfer” or “Telex Transfer,” which is the process of transferring funds electronically. Often used for overseas wire transactions, TT is usually accompanied by a transfer charge imposed by banks.

Vehicle Inspection

A vehicular inspection, also called car inspection, is a procedure where a vehicle is thoroughly inspected to ensure that it conforms to all road rules and vehicular standards enforced by the government. A vehicle inspection is mandated by subnational and national governments.