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How to Export and Buy Used Cars from Japan

Japan has become a rich source of used cars. For several years people go to Japanese used car dealers and each day hundreds of people buy cars directly from Japanese car auctions.

Benefits of Japanese Used Cars

There are many benefits:

Reliability, Good quality, economical, and popular Japanese brands such as Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi.

Mileage (Low)

A majority of cars come within 100,000 KMs on the clock

Good internal and external condition

Regular repairs and servicing on account of strict Government safety checks in Japan.

Several options

Many car owners choose different options. Therefore, your car will be yours with the feature-packed.


Cars can start for 1 yen at auction; although you probably will have to pay a little more than that.

In this blog, we will cover some useful points to help you understand the used car market in Japan. Through this information, you can make an informed choice about buying a used car from used car exporters Japan to your country.

We will breakdown the information into two halves:

  • Japanese used car dealer
  • The acquisition and importing process

Used car dealers Japan

The process of purchasing and importing used cars has become easier with the increased use of the internet. There are hundreds of dealers operating in Japan and around the world. They have websites offering second-hand cars they have in stock.

They also offer a customized car search option where they get your specifications and search the auctions, till they find the car with your exact needs.

There is a variety of export car dealers. A few dealers have become huge companies dealing in large car volumes, while others are sole proprietors. Of course, the bigger the company, the larger the overheads, so you end up paying more in dealer fees. However, you feel more secured from dealing with an established Japanese used cars dealer. The choice between reliability and price is yours.

Government Regulation

The government of Japan has recognized JUMVEA (Japanese Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association) who maintains a list of companies which was formed to address this issue of poor quality cars and dealers. Now you get cars of excellent credentials and high credibility through the JUMVEA website.

However, there are companies that do not have JUMVEA membership. So before acquiring cars from any non-member do the following checks:

Confirm if the car exporters’ bank details are registered on the website

Call the exporter company once. Ask them questions you might have in your mind. Bonafide export companies will have no issues with talking to you. However, be patient with their English ability!

Ask testimonials from them

Check the response quality to your inquiries. If your dealer is dodging or obscuring an issue; move on

In general, apply a sense check and if something looks suspicious or doesn’t feel right, don’t proceed further and find another used car dealer.

The acquiring and importing process

Check the law of your country

Before importing the car, check the rules of your country for importing Japanese used cars to ensure you are allowed to import. Many countries have relaxed laws and are concerned with emissions and environmental safety standards.

However, these can add extra to the expense of importing so ensure you research the similarity of the model you need with laws in your own country. If you pick a car that is outside the cutoff points then you could be spending an enormous amount to make it compliant.

Check the car dealer and your local motor vehicle department; if in doubt. Avoid being left on the import docks with a thousand dollar bill to conform the car before you can clear and take it home!

Sending the car request

If the used car dealer has an inventory of cars you can request shown on their website. So, in that case, you would know the purchase price and car detail

However, if you are searching for a specific car, then you will need to send an email to the dealer and describe to them what you want. Most used car dealers have some type of request form on their site.


If you are purchasing from stock then you will normally get a quicker affirmation of procurement. If you demand something different then the seller should look for what you mentioned at closeout and send you costs and specifications’ details. It is then dependent upon you to affirm or request a different model etc.


Once you decide on a car and purchase price, now you have to pay for it. Methods and amounts will vary dealer by dealer.

Some car dealers require 100% upfront payment via bank transfer; before you buy the car at auction or readied for delivery. Others need a bit less deposit amount and then a balance on purchase completion at auction or when the used car is ready for delivery.

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