How Much Does It Cost to Import a Car from Japan?

Avishka Chandeepa

Posted 10 May 2024


Importing a JDM car from Japan is an exciting journey that offers access to a wide range of high-quality vehicles that are not always available in local markets. It can be known as a complicated process for a first-time customer, but having an understanding of the costs and Japanese Auction process makes room for smooth sailing in importing a vehicle from Japan. 

In this article, we will break down and explain the various charges involved in obtaining a vehicle from Japan and how we can assist you in easing the process for you. We will also show you the complete transparency that we offer, regarding the charges and the process of obtaining the vehicle.


Auction Process


We mainly source and export vehicles through the Japanese Auto Auctions since it enables us to provide more options for our customers and acquire vehicles for much cheaper/wholesale prices. You can get started by registering and browsing upcoming vehicles on our auction site and contacting us on WhatsApp or via Email.

All vehicles in the auctions have an auction sheet describing their current condition along with any modifications, issues, and advantages. It’s always in Japanese but we are always there for you to translate them for you. WhatsApp makes life easier because it lets us receive auction sheets or links to listings and aids us in contacting customers through real-time messaging with translations, additional photos, and videos of the vehicles, payment receipts, and just discussing vehicles in general.

We also have a guide that enables you to understand most of what is written in the Japanese auction sheets.


To start the process with us, we go through vehicles together and search for vehicles that are to your preference. We require a fully refundable deposit of 100,000 yen which serves as a commitment. Once we find a vehicle you prefer, we share a translation of the auction sheet along with extra pictures. Then we proceed to bid and purchase the vehicle for you. It might require a few tries and a lot of browsing and translating, but we will be there to help you through all of it.

We have a detailed guide on the auction process, showing its transparency and how we streamline the process for you. 


WhatsApp Image 2024-05-10 at 15.45.28 (1).png



Export fee breakdown

The export fee pricing will be 130,000 yen for a vehicle less than 2,500,000 yen. For vehicles above 2,500,000 yen, the export fees will slightly vary but not by a lot. The export fees cover everything from auction fees, inland transport fees, documentation fees, ZervTek charges, and port forwarding/customs clearance in Japan.


We can ship with containers or RoRo (Roll-On, Roll-Off). RoRo is the most popular, and accessible to individual customers. The shipping cost will vary from country to country and there will be other factors that will affect it. A proper breakdown cannot be given but for example, the shipping cost per m3 to be landed at Southampton is currently 155 USD/m3. The total is calculated by multiplying the cost per m3 by the size of the vehicle.

Please note that there can be unavoidable circumstances like when the Suez Canal got blocked, so ships had to travel all the way around. Fear not, we will always ship as soon as possible, or alternate ways to ship like sharing a single container amongst 3-4 customers' vehicles. 

The total up to the destination port will be:

Zervtek JDM Export fees


Additional Fees

  • Any additional fees that could occur can be for inspections and such. Inspections are a process where inspectors head down to the auction site on the day of the auction and photograph the vehicle obtaining in-depth information of the vehicle. Please refer to this article on inspections for a more elaborate explanation of why inspections are important and how they are conducted.
  • There could be additional charges if the vehicle breaks down, but this would apply as a worst-case scenario.

Since shipping costs and fees can be revised, please contact our agents through the below contact points and refer them for the pricing.


Comparing Prices

Below is a table of charges comparing our charges against some of our competitors. All of the charges are for a Nissan Skyline R32 GTS-T that was coming up in the Japanese auctions at one point. 


Export Fees

Shipping Cost


ZervTek Co., Ltd




Exporter A




Exporter B

99,000 Export Fees + 5% of Car Price = ¥174,000



Exporter C




Exporter D




While some exporters break down their charges to make it seem like it's cheaper (and allows them to change charges later when invoicing), it's always best to add up the charges to get a full picture before comparing.



Thank you for reading through this breakdown of all the charges associated with our services! Please let us know if you have any questions regarding purchasing a JDM from Japan. Happy Hunting!

Getting Started