Lets’ start with COST – Selecting your own car from Japan and importing it yourself allows you to avoid the profit margins of ‘middle-men’.
Now QUALITY – You can choose to pay much less for the same quality car, OR put some or all of the savings into buying a much better quality car.
Most end users prefer the latter option – they simply do not want the cheaper car once they see the true condition.
A very cheap car is priced less for a reason – it may not be as safe to use and will cost more over the years in repairs and maintenance.
The below graph compares auction buy price, dealer profit margin, our service fee and import costs (such as shipping and taxes) on a car costing $20,000 to import – highly simplified of course but you get the idea -> save money or buy a better car, your choice.
So, is it cheaper to import your own car ?
We are asked this constantly. The answer is almost always, YES, for the SAME QUALITY car.
YOUR SAFETY – The used car business is one of the most deceptive and competitive worldwide.
Exporters based in Japan and importers / dealers in other countries make a living from selling cars for more than they paid.
Winding back odometers, falsifying auction reports, and hiding poor condition and past repairs are all common practice to increase profit margins – done so professionally that the average person would not know.
The lax import laws in most countries together with international transport through a number of hands makes it easy for these deceptions to go unnoticed.
That means a 1st time importer with no idea of how the car import industry works has virtually no chance of avoiding being taken advantage of one or more times along the way.
This can be very stressful and expensive but can be easily avoided by engaging a professional import agent with a good track record.
Top 10 Mistakes Made by the 1st Time Car Importer
Buying a car with false km or misrepresented specifications (wrong year or model)
Buying a car with poor condition / accident history that needs expensive repairs
Receiving no car or the wrong car after sending money overseas
Buying a car that is not eligible for import to their country
Shipping a car without an Import Approval
Overcharged on the auction price or agent fees in Japan, shipping, import taxes etc.
No idea of the import process and costs
Getting hit with unnecessary local charges for Quarantine cleaning
No idea of import laws for airconditioning gas and asbestos
Claiming a falsely low purchase price at Customs clearance