Buy your car from Japan

The advantages of buying your vehicle from auctions in Japan:

Left-hand wheel vehicles are considered to be a display of social status in Japan.

The Japanese car culture makes the vehicles, sold at auction, to be very well maintained and very affordable.

  1. Vehicles have low kilometers/mileage (For example, the perception of 100 000 km in Japan is equivalent to 200 000 km in Europe).
  2. Cars with minor body damage are considered unsafe.
  3. The many taxes in Japan push Japanese drivers to change cars frequently (about 4 000$ of taxes every two years).
  4. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, it is mandatory to have a parking space (measured to the nearest centimeter) to have a vehicle.

All these factors, push Japanese drivers to change vehicles often and keep their vehicles in a very good condition so that it could sell well.


It is therefore very profitable to buy your car from Japan. You can save up to 10 000$ on the purchase of your next car.

Get to know the auction process

Every day hundreds of left-hand drive vehicles are auctioned in Japan. And thousands of right-hand drive vehicles are also available.

You can see which vehicle is currently being auctioned by clicking here.


Here’s how vehicle auctions work in Japan.


These rules apply to those who have paid a deposit.

For professionals, it is possible to bid and buy vehicles without limits.

For individuals, the limit of vehicles to buy over a calendar year is four.

To be able to bid on a vehicle, it is necessary to submit a deposit that will allow you to submit bids.

The amount of the installments * for the various offers of purchase:

  • 3 000 $ – For offers up to 1 000 000 ¥
  • 6 000 $ – For offers up to 2 000 000 ¥
  • 9 000 $ – For offers of 2 000 000 ¥ and more


After you’ve put down your deposit *, we will contact you via e-mail or Whatsapp.

We may not be able to reach you immediately. Please note the time difference with Japan, UK, and France since our offices are located in Tokyo, London and Paris.

* (You can retrieve your deposit at any time unless you have won a bid.)

When you put a BID, we assume that you have read and understood the auction guide, the Q&A and our conditions that we have shared on our site and by email.

If not, take a look at it.

You must submit your BID the day before the auction fate of your car. You have three days of visibility for the coming auctions.

For example, If your car is auctioned on Tuesday, you have until Monday Midnight to submit your BID.

If you have won the BID and you decide not to buy the vehicle, you will lose your deposit.

Before submitting your BID, please check thoroughly all aspects of the vehicle following the guide that we give you access to on our website.


Some of our customers are looking for damaged vehicles to recover vehicle parts. This is possible, please check the vehicle notation when submitting the BID.

It is important that you notify the maximum amount you are willing to submit for a vehicle when you provide a BID.

This does not mean that you will buy the vehicle for that price. It is possible that you win the BID for less than the amount you have put in, therefore you will be charged the final auction price.

The auctions are done with a click system. The amount of a click varies from one vehicle to another. For 300 000¥ vehicles, each click corresponds to 5 000¥, while for vehicles of 2 000 000¥, one-click corresponds to 30 000¥.

It is possible that at the auction, we add an additional 20 000¥ to guarantee the acquisition of the vehicle.

You can award an offer up to 5 vehicles per day.

If you want to buy a single vehicle, you need to group them into groups. (Grouping)

You can bid up to 5 vehicles per day.

If you want to buy a single vehicle, you need to group them into groups.

If you want to buy one care out of a handful of cars that you like, please follow as said below :

Groups are formed from 07:30 Japanese time.

Vehicles sold after 17:00 Japan time can not be included in a group.

Automatically, you wont be able to group your cars after 17:00 Japan time.

After 17:00 Japan time, the computers manage the auctions and they do not detect the grouping.


In this case, all vehicles placed in a group may be purchased. Therefore, please check your grouping according to the schedules specified.

How to form a group to avoid buying multiple vehicles?

For that, you have the possibility to put your bid in groups. (A, B, C, D, etc.)

Let’s say you are interested in two vehicles, but you only want to buy one.

So put these two vehicles in group A, then choose 1 as the option.

That means you only want one vehicle in group A.

The first vehicle’s BID won will be bought.

The official bidding vehicle results after 17:00 Japan time will be announced at 9:00 am Japan time the next business day.

From the auction, you are buying used cars.

Technical experts inspect vehicles on a short distance.

All cars sold at auction are inspected and rated according to certain criteria.

Here is the translation of the data sheets.


Date of first registration 初年度登録
Year 年式 (Generally, the year of first registration and not the year of manufacture)
Vehicle Shaken (Japanese Technical Inspection validity period) 車検
Imported vehicle 輸入車
Direct import ディーラ (Vehicle imported directly by and from the vehicle brand)
Parallel Import 並行 (Vehicle imported directly by an individual)



Auction Lot Number No.
Serial Number シリアル No
Registration number (license plate) 登録 No
Chassis number 車体 No



Direction (steering wheel)
Driving on the right
Driving on the left



Number of places 乗車定員 ex. 4 = 4 places, 5 = 5 places, 6 = 6 places, 7 = 7 places etc
Load capacity 積載量





Odometer reading 走行
Vehicle History 車歴
Vehicle History 整備手帳
Private vehicle 自家用
Rental car レンタカー


Vehicle shape 形状
Vehicle type 型式
Number of doors ドア数 ex. 2 doors, 3 doors, 4 doors, 5 doors, etc.


Below you will find a detailed description of the vehicle’s inspection report :

For category 0 or *** vehicles are unusable, those vehicles have been submerged or have failed. The expert report does not include any details, the risk belongs entirely to the buyer.

In such vehicles, the problem can be basic or very complex. The risk is 1% to 100%.



To access the auctions:

It is necessary to pay the access commission (20 $ per month).

And to send us your 3 000$ deposit (which is refundable at anytime*)

*Bank transfer fees might be deducted according to your bank’s policy.

Thus, you will have access to the auctions and will be able to submit your BID to acquire the vehicle you want.

To better understand the technical sheets of the auction vehicles and make the purchase that suits you.

Check out our detailed description of the elements of the inspection reports.

There are two ways to transport your vehicle from Japan.

Transport by container:

  • Container 20 feet (1 vehicle)
  • 40HQ container (2 vehicles)
  • 40HQ container (4 vehicles)*

* Vehicles on the second floor of this container are lifted using a forklift. (This can slightly crush / damage vehicles.) Therefore we recommend not to put more than 2 vehicles in a container.


Transport in RORO*:

RORO transport is by ferry boat where vehicles are parked.

Please check our Q&A for more informations.

  * The shipment of damaged or non-motorized vehicles is not possible in RORO.

After winning the bid:

You will be notified directly and our “service commission” bill will be sent to you.

You have two business days to pay Automobile-Center’s fee (detail here) through a bank transfer or paypal.

After paying the our fee you will receive the invoice for the total cost of the vehicle (purchase price and transport).

You have two business days to pay the total amount via bank transfer only ! (to shorten payment delays and avoid problems with the auctions).


Once the payment has been received, the vehicle will be sent to our yard within 7 to 10 days (The vehicle can come from different auction houses all over Japan).

Once in our park, we send you complimentary photos of your vehicle.

We will reserve the next available ship as soon as the vehicle is paid for.

Once the vehicle is on board, you will receive all the documents, the tracking number, the logbook and the emergency key (if available) before the vehicle arrives at the port of destination.

 When the boat arrives at the port, the forwarder will call you to clear customs and pick up the vehicle.

 If you have chosen our “home transport” option we can deliver your vehicle to the chosen address.

It is possible to buy cars in stock (otherwise called One Price).

The total price of these vehicles is directly indicated and these vehicles do not go to auctions.

Understand the Inspection Report

Vehicle inspection results from reports and datasheets.

It is important to understand this datasheet before bidding as it describes the condition of the vehicle.

General Notation
S New 1 The engine was changed or the car was under water.
5 Almost New R2 The car is accidented or roughed or rusty
4.5 Really good grade, great quality. R/0 Parts with accident history, replacement or repair are shown on the paper.
4 Good grade, nice quality. RA Minor accident and repaired.
3.5 Quite good grade, may require some repairs. RB A lot was repaired.
3 Average grade, repairs are almost necessary. RC Many repairs to predict.
2 Bad Grade *** Does not work, accident, need the forklift to move. Risky and extra expensive

* We recommend buying vehicles with a rating above 4 (to limit the risks).

* A 3 or 3.5 can be a good bargain if you are a connoisseur of cars.

Interior Notation
A Excellent Grade C Average rating, with some apparent flaws.
B Good note with minimal defects. D Bad Great
Notation of the car's bodywork
1 Small defect, almost imperceptible (example A1, U1) 3 Medium or higher defect (example A3, U3)
2 Small defect but noticeable (example A2, U2) Consequent defect (Large)

* We recommend buying vehicles with a rating of 1.

Expertise details
A1 Little scratch. P Trace of paint.
A2 Scratch. H Faded color.
A3 Big Scratch. X/0 Part to be replaced.
E1 Slightly stained. XX Part that has been replaced.
E2 Moderately stained. B1 Small hollow (size of the tip of the thumb).
E3 Very stained. B2 Hollow (up to the size of the hand).
U1 Small bump (size of a small pebble). B3 Large hollow (size between the hand and the elbow).
U2 Bump. Y1 Small hole or small crack.
U3 Big bump. Y2 Hole or crack.
W1 Trace of repair which is difficult to notice Y3 Big hole or crack.
W2 Trace of repair. X1 Small crack of 1cm on a window.
W3 Trace of repair which is easily noticed. R Crack that has been repaired on the windshield.
S1 Rust. RX Crack on the windshield that has been repaired but needs to be replaced.
S2 Substantial Rust. X Crack on the windshield to replace.
C1 Decay. G Trace of scratch on the glass.
C2 Substantial decay.
Manual Transmission F5, F6, MT, 5MT, 6MT (Manual) Automatic transmission AT, FA, FAT, CVT (Automatic)