Things You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Car from Japan

When buying cars from Japan, you want to be armed with comprehensive research that can help you make the right decisions.

Regardless of the type of vehicle you want or your budget, you would be doing yourself a favor by studying the market. It will allow you to gauge what it has to offer before making a purchase. It will help you find the best possible option according to your needs as well as your budget.

Consider how much you are willing to spend on cars before making a purchase. First, you will need to be aware of the cars available in the market at your price range. After that, you will need to shortlist them according to their value for money.

You can either import cars yourself or through online car dealers based in Japan. Regardless, you must know what cars are available in Japan and their prices before making a purchase.

You need to be aware of the cars you could buy from auctions and those available through dealers. Both options could vary significantly depending on which cars you want and your budget.

This blog will discuss some key points you need to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Do Your Research

It is the first step you need to do before delving further into your car hunt.

Never start your search without having a clear idea of what type of cars you are looking for. It would help if you could determine the year, make, model, and even engine size that you want. Also, keep in mind that cars manufactured before 1990 will be difficult to find.

After narrowing down the cars, take out an hour or so and spend some time reviewing them online. This research will help you get an idea about the average prices depending on specifications.

For instance, if a particular model has variable specifications all around the country. Then spend more time learning about it before deciding which one to buy.

Choose a Trusted Dealer

You should always consider buying cars from Japan auction sites as they provide detailed background information.

The seller should provide you with complete background information about the vehicle, including registration status and any legal issues. Never settle for cars without proper documentation.

In addition, if there are legal issues regarding ownership of a vehicle, then request all essential documents. And do not proceed until you have everything you need.

Request Car History & Proper Documentation

When talking to your car dealer, do not forget to check cars for accident history, cars under finance, and ex-owners history when it is up for auction.

Furthermore, have the car inspected by a professional mechanic. It will help you learn more about its quality and market value before buying.

For instance, if there are inconsistencies between the information provided on paper and what an inspector tells you, do not hesitate to walk away from that deal.

Always buy cars that come with clean titles free of fines or unpaid loans.

If it has any damage, make sure you get this noted down by an inspection agency. So you can include repairs in your budget when making payment arrangements for cars.

Look for cars that meet the following conditions:

  • No accident history
  • Regular services and maintenance
  • No damage or rust

For cars with lots of rust, always request pictures beforehand so you can determine how much work will be required to restore the car to its original condition.

Research cars thoroughly for their usage before making a purchase. You are better off not buying cars that have been used for racing or have been involved in accidents with serious body damage.

Car prices

Japanese cars are usually more expensive than cars in neighboring countries, especially those not popular locally. Therefore, once you find a suitable vehicle, it is important to know how much to expect for payments before making any commitments.

Furthermore, the price of cars often differs by factors like the demand and the age of the car model in question.

Import duties

Car buyers can be charged import taxes when their cars enter the country. However, you will need proper documentation when importing cars from Japan.

This way, you can avoid paying hefty taxes upon delivery at port or airport. However, if you fail to research import duties, your purchase will lose its value much faster than anticipated.

Lastly, you have to keep a keen eye on the transportation of your car. You have to ensure that there is nothing wrong with your vehicle or in the process when it crosses into Japan through customs.

Otherwise, your car can be at risk of being confiscated.


If you are buying cars from Japan, be sure to find out if the seller has included a warranty for the cars they are selling.

Warranties will protect buyers against any cost incurred due to product malfunctioning within the given period outlined in the agreement.

Some sellers also offer extended warranties, which can help protect your purchase further down the road.

If your car is not equipped with an international warranty, you should inquire about the manufacturer’s domestic warranty coverage to understand what protection you have when driving cars in Japan.

Keep in mind that this may vary according to prefectures where cars are registered or used after being imported.

Registration issues

If you buy cars from Japan and plan to import them into your country, you should know the registration process when cars travel across the border.

Make sure you do not run into issues with getting cars registered in different countries. So that if problems do arise, you can take prompt action before they get out of hand.

Consult with car dealers or an independent mechanic who has experience with cars from Japan. It will help you handle any challenges that may come up when driving cars from Japan, registering imported cars, or changing cars’ plates if needed.


Before buying cars from Japan, consider whether there is a market for them in your country.

If demand is low and there is no use for cars from Japan in your region, you will get cars cheaper than if there were a high demand for cars coming from Japan.

Think twice before buying cars that are not popular in your country. And only do so when you have already considered all of your options and believe it is the right call.

Key Takeaways

There are very few cars up for auction that match Japanese cars in terms of high performance, speed, and other specifications. However, this does not in any way mean that cars bought from an auction aren’t good.

To get the best possible offer for the car, you have to ask questions upfront when you feel like something is wrong.

Several key takeaways should be considered when buying cars from Japan.

  • You should only go ahead with purchasing cars from Japan if they meet your requirements and are worth the asking price.
  • Cars bought from auctions are generally cheaper but make sure you only go ahead with cars in good condition. Because investing in cars with lots of damage or rust will result in hefty maintenance costs.
  • Do not forget to estimate your budget before contacting dealers online. Especially if you want cars that come free for inspection, then crunch those numbers and see for yourself how much you can spend.
  • Cars bought from Japan require proper car insurance policies before registration because most cars need customization according to their specifications before being registered in any country.
  • All cars manufactured outside Japan should have high-quality catalytic converters installed so they do not affect cars’ overall performance.
  • Always ensure cars have a high-performing catalytic converter before buying cars from Japan because cars without a good converter do not meet environmental standards and can be prohibited under the law in most countries.

Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on the matter are that before you seal the deal, check the cars for accident history, proof of service, regular maintenance, damages, rust, and mileage.  Make sure that you double-check every fact and figure and perhaps talk to a professional who has imported cars from Japan before.

However, if all this process seems a lot of work to you, visit our site today, get in touch with our trusted car distributors, and buy the best car.

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