Buying a car from Japan

A bit left of centre, but after being told by 3 car yards today the wait for a new car was 12-36 months i thought about something i had read about in the past, importing a car from Japan.

They are right hand drive and used car prices are super low Vs aus.
Does anyone know even the slightest bit about it? Know anyone who has done it?

It is a big rabbit hole to go down but it seems you can get them here within a few months and at very cheap prices… albeit with a fair degree of risk

I know many that have done it and yes it can be very competitive prices provided you get all the import approvals. Shipping at the moment you would be looking at closer to $4k and if you are lucky you will see it in 6-8 months

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Cars are big in Japan

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Aceman you should start your own business organising Japan car imports

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No thanks. Too much red tape and things that can go wrong. I’ve known a few people who have been in the business and it’s full of cowboys

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I have hired obviously ex-Japanese cars from rental companies in NZ. I’m led to believe that’s a major source of their vehicles.

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Pretty sure has to be over 25 years old or cannot have been sold domestically. Which is why you saw lots of supras chaser mark2s aristos etc.

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There’s a mob that import used EVs from Japan: . A bit pricey if you ask me, but I guess they do all leg work with the imports.

There’s also Cars | Import Monster , who are based in Japan, but specialise in sending stuff to Australia.

You’d also want to check with your insurer whether they’ll provide cover. My wife and I looked into buying an imported Subaru at one stage but insurance looked like it might be complicated so we gave up on that idea.

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Having been there recently, it was refreshing to see so few of those massive ■■■■■■ utes that are everywhere in Sydney. Reckon i saw maybe 3 in the month I was there. But I don’t think that’s what you meant by “big”.


It would have to be cheap, and special !

You can get a Tesla 3 delivered in 2 weeks and Model Y is about 4.

Currently? Friend just got his and it was a year.

Torn on Tesla. Models are a bit old and tired but everyone says best csr they have had… then there is Musk. Genius, but should b3 in jail for securites fraud and no a puppet of authoritarian regimes…

At least historically there were legal reasons NZ imported stacks of second-hand Japanese vehicles, and Australia did not.



Probably keep in mind, all the infotainment/ Tech will be in Japanese etc.

Have you considered a car that’s already been imported? Heaps making their way over, like newer Toyota Crowns

I have had a bit of a look. If you are into cars and know what you are doing it seems cery interesting… but a hour or two of research has led me to the conclusion i am only going to find myself in a mess doing it.

There is a big business opportunity there though to bring cars in via permanent migrants from japan… who can bring a car in each

There are already blokes out there with a lot more money than you or I doing this. Pretty cut throat industry

Yeah, no interest battling it out with those guya

I got mine last Sept, and about three months from ordering. Probably they are clearing current Model 3, as Shanghai has stopped making them and new model 3 which is allegedly a big upgrade at a cheaper price is on the way.

If you get an EV, get the longest range you can

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On top of the transport costs and import costs there are substantial compliance costs which can make the benefits marginal. Another thing to look out for is if the engine management system and GPS has english rather than Japanese.

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From memory it used to be that you could bring in cars over 25 years of age ‘vintage’.

But I reckon around the time the Australian car manufacturing died, the government made it that you had to live in the country the car was from, and own the car for 12 months before importing. Making it pretty impractical to bring them in.

There’s a bit of a Japanese domestic market scene here.

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