• Buying from Car Auctions

    Use our quick calculator to get estimated costs of importing a vehicle to the UK


    We offer 2 levels of service.
    We are happy to assist you when needed with finding a car to meet your requirements or are happy if you would prefer to do this yourself. We also have a mailing list which goes out to customers daily. You can chose to subscribe to this to keep up to date with our hot picks from Yahoo & the auctions. We have an agent in Japan who will assist us with getting more information on potential cars which you are interested in as well as translating descriptions where needed.



    Once you have found a car which you would like to bid on we take a £500 + vat deposit (£750 + VAT for vehicles with auction bids above 1.5M Yen). Once this has been taken we are happy to authorise any bids which you place.
    NB: We reserve the right to ask for a larger deposit if the car being bought is of a high value.
    When you win a car we will bill you for the car, shipping, maritime insurance, Japanese agents buying fee, transportation cost to get the car to the docks in Japan and our buying fee. Please note that there could be an additional charge for raising the car, should it be very low. This is not applied to every car though. This is everything you will need to pay to get the car to the UK.

    1. Car Cost
    2. Shipping – around 108,000 yen depending on the size of the car.
    3. Maritime insurance – 5,000 yen (unless its a high value car).
    4. Extra distance transport – this will vary depending on where the car is in Japan. Normally this will be around 35,000 yen, but can be more if the car is on an island for example.
    5. Low down car raising fee – 32,000 yen.
    6. Japanese agent buying fee – 130,000 yen.
    7. Our buying fee – from £500 + vat (£750 + VAT for vehicles with auction bids above 1.5M Yen)

    Your deposit will be deducted from the final amount payable. We will require this payment, also by bank transfer, within 2 working days.


    Before the car can be shipped it has to be de-registered and transported to the nearest port. Once the car is there and ready to be shipped we get a selection of more detailed photos provided to us by our agent which we then pass on to you, the customer. This can take anywhere between 2 & 4 weeks normally, although sometimes on a rare occasion it may take longer. When the car is booked to leave Japan & we know the name of the vessel the car will be transported on, we will provide you with a tracker & an estimated date which it will arrive into the UK.


    When the car reaches the UK there is VAT and duty to be paid to the shipping agent. We use Kleerfreight and this is who we would recommend to any of our customers. The invoice the clearing agent provides must be paid before the car is able to be released from the docks.

    Prior to the car arriving in the UK you will receive original documents as follows:

    1. Bill of Lading (3 originals and numerous duplicates).
    2. Invoice / Bill of Sale.
    3. Japanese Export Certificate (de-registration) in Japanese.
    4. Japanese Export Certificate (de-registration) translated into English.

    To clear your vehicle through customs Kleerfreight will require email or fax copies of items 1,2 & 4 only. We can send these to Kleerfreight for you or you can email them to [email protected] or by fax to +44 (0)1795 666611. They will also require your full name and address with contact phone number.
    To clear your vehicle through customs Kleerfreight’s fee is £95.00.

    Once in receipt of your documents they will calculate the taxes due, add their £95.00 fee and ask you to transfer the funds into their bank, from there they send them to HMRC to get the vehicle tax paid.
    Your taxes are calculated from the CIF price of the vehicle (Cost-Insurance-Freight). Duty is currently 10%, VAT 20%.

    • CIF Price of car £1000.00
      £1000 x 10% = £100 in Duty
    • VAT is calculated as follows
      £1000 (CIF price) + £100 (Duty) +£95 (Clearance fee) then x the total by 20% = £239.00 in VAT
    • Total payable to HM Customs in taxes would be £339.00

    Once customs cleared, your vehicle will need to be released by the shipping company, this is achieved by lodging with them the ORIGINAL bill of lading and paying the terminal handling charges. Terminal handling charges are typically somewhere between £75 and £100. You can then collect the car from the docks.
    HM Customs will then (within 7-10 working days) place your vehicle on the NOVA system which will tie up your vehicle as tax paid when you come to register it. Kleerfreight forward copies of your customs declaration/clearance by email along with an invoice once everything has gone through.


    We use LP Motors to collect our cars from the docks, his number is 07557 049 430. Leon would be happy to discuss your requirements. Just give him a call.


    If the vehicle is over 10 years old, it is as simple as putting the car through an MOT test, filling in a V55/5 which can be requested from https://www.gov.uk/dvlaforms. The cost of registration is £55 plus the applicable cost of tax for your car.

    If the car is below 10 years old it may require an SVA certificate. It may have to be taken to a test station for this.

    If require any further information, please contact [email protected] or call us on 01409231887.
    If you need any help with registering the car & filling in the forms, please just give the office a call, Rosemary or Natalie will happily help you with this.

    Understanding the Japanese Auction Sheet


    Grade S>6>5 – Brand new to perfect condition
    Grade 4.5 – very good condition
    Grade 4.0 – good condition
    Grade 3.5 – fair condition
    Grade 3 – average to poorer condition
    Grade 2 – spares/repair
    Grade 1 – modified vehicle
    Grade 0 / 0.1 / 0.2 – Accident repaired (see vehicle report for replaced parts)
    Grade R / R A – Accident repaired / with very clean repair – usually by the insurance companies.
    (Please note some Grade R or A or O might be just cosmetically repaired so dont rule these out)
    (* next to milege indicates – meter change history or aftermarket speedo fitted before or now – so don’t dismiss these)

    Any cars with aftermarket speedometer or speedo changed in Japan must be deemed incorrect milege unless we can verify – The current ODO display is what will be used

    Condition Markers

    A1: small scratch
    A2: scratch
    A3: big scratch
    B1: little dent
    B2: dent
    B3: bit dent
    W1: small repair mark
    W2: repaired mark (waved)
    W3: not well repaired mark (waved)
    C1: small rust/corrosion
    C2: rust/corrosion
    C3: big rust/corrosion
    X: need to be replaced
    XX: replaced
    H: discoloration
    Non Genuine (Not maker’s original)
    F: Front
    R: Rear
    T: Temporary (Tyre)
    W : double
    AC: air condition
    AAC: auto air condition
    WAC: double air condition
    FA: Floor Automatic transmission
    CA: Column Automatic transmission
    5F: 5 speed Floor manual transmission
    5C: 5 speed Column manual transmission
    SD: sedan
    HT: hard top
    PS: power steering
    PW: power window
    AW: aluminum wheel
    ST: stereo
    CD: CD player
    MD: Mini Disc player
    TV: television
    ABS: Anti-lock Brake System
    AFC: Air Flow Converter
    CPU: Central Processing Unit
    EVC: Engine Valve Controller (for boostup)
    G bird : anti-corrosive paint
    LSD: Limited Slip Differential
    SRS: air bag
    TRC (or TCS): Traction Control System
    VICS: Traffic Information Navigator
    Nox Regulation : Exhaust gas regulation applicable only in Japan

    If the above link doesn’t log you in, click here and use the following details:
    ID: japimportsuk