A lot of people tend to buy vehicles locally, so they won’t have to go through all the import processes. They also get to see the car physically, and go for a test drive before making their final decision. However, there are still some people who think importing a Japanese vehicle would be a better option, as it would be cheaper, there would be more variety, and because technically it’s not that difficult to import.
If you, or someone you know is wanting to import a Japanese vehicle for themselves, here are some important things they should clearly keep in mind:
Not every dealer gives what they show. Like any other dealer, they might lie about the quality, meters, damage, or even about the existence of the car. Although you might catch them in-person to prevent yourself from any fraud, it would be very difficult if you’re importing the vehicle.
In some cases, the dealer gets their payment before giving the car and just disappears; and you can’t do anything about it. You don’t even know if the person you were talking to was real or not. Even though importing is beneficial, it can quite risky.
It’s not uncommon for people to finally get their vehicle delivered and find out there are damaged parts. It’s usually simple suspension issues, which can be fixed without spending a fortune. Most vehicles from Japan are rather easy to repair, so if you like to work on your own vehicles this shouldn’t be a huge concern.
Import Duty and Tax When Buying a Vehicle from Japan
The Japanese vehicle itself might be cheap to you, but don’t forget to take into account the import duty and tax you will have to pay along with it. Every country will have a different duty and a different tax, so don’t confuse yourself. There is a probability in the end, that the Japanese vehicle will cost you what it would locally, and that you wasted so much of your time in the import process. Make these calculations prior so you can make a wiser decision.
In many situations, the consumer is importing a car from Japan that they can’t find in their country. Not every vehicle you import will be cheap. Pay attention to the import fees and taxes to make sure you have enough money to actually get the car you desire.
Age Of Vehicle Is Determined by Registration Date
Normally, you age something based on when it first existed. Well, that’s not the case with Japanese cars! Japan ages its cars based on their registration date; you might already know this if you have bought Japanese cars before. Hence, if you buy a 2018 car, don’t actually think it was made in 2018, as it could be a 2015. Pay close attention to the details when importing a car from Japan.
Japanese Car Options Available
You might search about vehicles on your local street and check how you can get them from Japan at a better quality and lower rate because that is what everyone limits themselves to. Japan itself has a huge variety of models, different sizes, and unique colors of vehicles that people from other countries must have not even seen. Try to expand your research and see what new and high-tech Japanese vehicles you can buy!
Risk: Vehicles From Japan Might Be Cheap for a Reason
You might be very excited to know you’re getting a great Japanese vehicle at a relatively low price, but since dealers are not always honest, there is a high chance of hidden damage. You never know if a car has been through a flood or a great crash. Hence, it’s better to have it checked by a trustworthy person already present in Japan to save you from wasting your money.
Buying a vehicle from Japan can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily, there are many helpful guides you can find online to help you with the entire process. Make sure you’re purchasing from a trustworthy seller by checking their reputation. It can be challenging at first, but once you get that car you’ve always dreamed of, you will find that it was worth the trouble.
Mechanic with over two decades of experience working on vehicles. Started out at a tire shop, moved to a dealership and now running my own repair shop. I love working on cars and helping others by writing about my experiences.