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How To Import Japanese Cars

How To Import Japanese Cars

We've a full guide coming soon on how to import Japanese cars, but in the meantime here's a comprehensive walk-through of steps a dedicated Nissan 180SX owner has taken:

Why Import a Japanese Car?

If you are planning on importing a Japanese car to the UK but don't know how to buy a car from Japan, we'll show you a complete guide on how to buy a used car in Japan, and the steps it takes to import it over to the UK.

Many people from western countries choose to import Japanese cars straight from Japan for many reasons. This can be a long, costly, not to mention risky process, but the benefits of importing a car from Japan far outweighs the risk involved.

JDM cars, or "Japanese Domestic Market", are vehicles produced by Japanese manufacturers solely for the Japanese market. Often, these can be rare cars and may include limited editions of popular cars that are very hard to source outside of Japan. One reason people import Japanese cars is so that they can own one of these JDM models, and have pleasure in the knowledge that the car is particularly rare in their location.

Another popular reason for Japanese imports is due to the condition of the JDM car. In many western countries we have frequent adverse weather conditions that may deteriorate a vehicle over time. Salt and grit is often used in harsh weather to increase road traction and safety, but salt is a particularly nasty corrosive substance that over time can promote rust and other structural issues to vehicles. Japan do not use salt on their roads, so in most instances a Japanese counterpart vehicle will have much less rust and corrosion than a western vehicle.


Costs! Please remember that this isn't a cheap process. The Japanese Yen is stronger than ever (as of 2013), and the taxes and fees involved in importing a vehicle can be tremendous - about 30% of the vehicle cost in Tax and VAT alone! Not to mention customs fees, shipping fees, registration fees etc.

Before importing your Japanese car, we recommend gathering a sample of insurance quotes on your chosen vehicle. It's a known fact that imported vehicles, not necessarily just from Japan, have higher insurance premiums when using your typical 'well known' insurance companies. Some insurance companies even flat out refuse to cover imported vehicles.

However, there are a variety of companies in the UK that specialise in insuring imported vehicles, so make sure you explore all the possibilities to get the best price.

Last but not least, do you even need to import a car? I know it's common sense, but there are already a wide variety of vehicles that have been imported to the UK. It may be hard to find the exact car you want, but try scouting various owners clubs and specialist websites to see if there is a car matching your desired specification already in the country.

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