For first time buyer Importing a used car

Caution! Some common problems when importing a used car

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When importing directly from Japan, you can get a cheap and good quality car. But in the process, there are occasionally unexpected problems.

This time we will introduce some common issues that may occur when importing used cars. Knowing these in advance, you will be able to avoid these problems.

It may cost more than I thought

In the first case, there may be costs that you could not have thought at the time of purchase will come up later.

We did not receive pre-export inspection

In some countries, it is necessary to pass the Pre-export Inspection defined by the importing country before departing from Japan. It is to prevent cars with bad condition from being imported.

If you do not know about this inspection but import it without pre-export inspection even though the country decides it, you have to pay the penalty, or in some cases, you cannot import it.

Ask exporters or national agencies to check if Pre-export Inspection is necessary and ask exporters to inspect if necessary.

I did not think that tariff would take so much

When importing cars in all countries, custom duty is charged. Although it varies depending on the year of the car and the displacement, etc., there are many countries with roughly 60-100% of the CIF price (vehicle main body price + freight).

If you mistake the calculation of tariffs or you do not know that customs duty will apply, you cannot afford tax even if you import cars at all, in the worst case the car will be forfeited.

Let's check the tariff amount firmly in advance.

Faced with fraud

Next, due to the issues associated with second-hand car import, the most serious damage or problem you will encounter is fraud.

Making payment to an agent

There are many brokers who have arbitrarily appointed official agents of famous websites such as Beforward, SBT, CardealPage and so on. In many cases, there is no official personal agent in Japanese used car export company.

Most cases the broker is using the logo of each exporter without permission as an agent.

Even so, brokers are still business, it is often the case that you do not have any problem if they receive money from you, but there are some scammers who take money only to run away.

The most reliable way, even if you use a broker is to send money to the bank account of the trader. If you really give money to the broker, let's make sure they are trusted people.

I sent money but the car has not been sent

Unfortunately, there are fraudulent companies in the world. There are two major approaches we should look out for.

  • Pretend to be a famous export site and you will send money to the fraudster's account
  • Maybe claim to sell it as an exporter at the WEB site etc, but disappears when they receive the money

The way not to be fooled by a trader pretending to be a famous export site is to check Invoice's account information.

Basically the name of the bank account is Be Forward if Be Forward, CardealPage if CardealPage. It is a danger signal when a name different from the name of the website you are trying to purchase is a bank account holder's name.

Also, the way not to be deceived by a merchant that disappears after paying money is to buy from a company where someone has already purchased from or purchase through a portal site such as CardealPage.

Many Japanese used car exporters post inventory on CardealPage and sell it. In case of maybe when purchasing a car from CardealPage, first transfer money to the bank account of CardealPage, then after each dealer leaves the car from Japan, CardealPage will transfer the payment to that dealer.

If exporters do not send their cars, CardealPage will refund your money so you can trade with the another supplier with confidence.

A car with bad condition arrives

I hear the problems that the car with bad condition normally arrives with can vary depending on the particular issue it’s having.

These are the most common pattern

  • There was a problem not reflected in the picture at the time of purchase
  • There was an issue with the engine and the engine system
  • Equipment and parts were gone
  • And so on.

The problem that is not reflected in the photograph at the time of purchase, in fact, there are cases where the exporters have not posted pictures of that part intentionally.

For example, if you purchase a car after looking at up to 30 pictures of the car but found out that the inside of the door on the driver's seat side that is broken was intentionally left out in the pictures.
If there are places that are not unnaturally reflected in the picture, be sure to check with the exporter before purchasing.

Depending on the exporter, there are many cases where the office and the yard are away from each other, there are cases where they do not take additional photos. Even in that case, you'd better ask the salesman in charge to confirm that there is no problem.


Next, when the engine, maybe a case where troubles of the engine system are discovered. Since this is not shown in the picture, there is no other way to check with the salesperson before purchasing, but you can avoid unnecessary troubles by paying attention a little when you pick up the car.

The main point to check is the amount of engine oil and the degree of deterioration. By properly replenishing engine oil before running, engine trouble can be prevented.

Also, since the car has been stopped on the ship for several weeks, there is a possibility the engine malfunctioning. if you start the engine, please allow a period of about bout 10 minutes and do not start running immediately after starting the engine for the first time.


Lastly, it is the case that equipment and parts are lost. If that happens, immediately contact the exporter and Port Authority at the local port and check at the time of departure and arrival to see if the lost equipment or parts were not at that time. Let's make proper arrangements.

Unfortunately, the problem of losing these accessories and parts is mostly the case of being stolen at the arrival port. Let's put complaints through the clearing agent.

Faced with fraud and hacking

You may have accessed a dummy site on a well-known site, hacked Japanese sites and your own mail address, or you may receive suspicious emails from hackers.

Again, in the end, we need to distinguish whether Invoice contains suspicious account information. Absolutely don’t pay to a bank account which is not the account name of that site name.


As you can see, there are many points you need to be aware of when importing used cars from Japan.

However, knowing this kind of things in advance, be careful, you can get a cheap and good quality car.
Let's remember and always be cautious of the risks we introduced here.

If you buy a car through CardealPage, CardealPage will conserve your money until the car is departed correctly.
Please purchase a car with confidence at CardealPage by all means.

Find your car here at CardealPage

-For first time buyer, Importing a used car

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