How to import a JDM vehicle

If you want to import a JDM vehicle to Canada, you can follow this step-by-step guide.

In short:

  • Place a deposit with B-Pro Auto JDM Imports
  • Browse the auctions for your favourite JDM car (We’ll send you options daily as well, from Auctions & dealers)
  • We bid on your favourites until we win
  • The car is sent via Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping
  • Pick it up at a port or ship overland to your location

 

1. Deposit

To get started, you would provide us with a $1,000 deposit.

This can be done using any of the available payment methods.

 

2. Browse the auctions

We check the auctions and dealers daily and send you options.

You can also browse the auctions yourself, check out some selected auction picks, and contact us about any good finds.

(Note: We also have access to dealer stock and private sales in Japan. If we find one you like, we can skip to Step 6: Full Purchase and Shipping )

 

3. We gather more information about the car in Japan

More information is gathered about the vehicle and pass that on to you.

This can include additional pictures and a translation of the auction sheet, which can detail any damage or some additional features or modifications that the car has.

 

4. We bid on your next JDM vehicle!

If it’s a dealer or private unit, it’ll have a set price and you can Just say yes or no. If it’s an auction unit, You choose what maximum total ‘cleared customs’ price you want to pay, and we bid up to that maximum.

If the auction is won at a lower price, you keep those savings!

 

5. We have the vehicle re-inspected

For auction units, once a bid is locked-in, we have a third party check it again.

If a hidden issue arises, we cancel the bid. If it’s a dealer/private unit, we get all the info we can and pass it along to you..

 

6. Full purchase and shipping

The full vehicle and shipping costs are paid, typically within 10 days.

This is where you can sit back and relax! It takes 4-6 weeks to get to Vancouver or 8 weeks to Halifax by ship.

 

7. Customs clearance

We make sure all the paperwork is completed for your car to clear customs.

Once the paperwork is filed (usually while the vehicle is in transit) and the vehicle landed, it can take up to 5 days to clear.

 

8. Pick up or delivery

Once your JDM vehicle has cleared customs, it is ready to pick up at the port.

Alternatively, we can arrange for you to pay for the vehicle to be shipped overland to a destination of choice.

 

Importing a JDM Vehicle – Definitions

Total ‘cleared customs’ price

All costs required to get your vehicle to Vancouver, through customs and ready to pick up yourself or by a shipping company. This includes the costs of the car, ocean shipping, customs and deposit.

Customs

This includes the CBSA, CFIA inspections, terminal fees, customs brokerage fee, duty, excise taxes – everything is included.

Ro-Ro (Roll-on, Roll-off)

The standard method of shipping your vehicle, where the vehicle is driven on and off the ship. Your vehicle is not in a container.

OOP (Out of province) Inspection

Vehicles new to your province will need to be inspected before they can be registered and insured. Common required items include daytime running lights (DRLs), approved headlights, tires with DOT stamps and wear items like brake pads.

Shipping

Vehicles are strapped down securely, without risk of other vehicles colliding into them and have full ICC-A ocean shipping insurance coverage. Vehicles take about 4-6 weeks to arrive at the Port of Vancouver. Once it has cleared customs (~5 business days) it can be picked up or shipped across Canada.
This is the method of shipping by which all the brand new vehicles manufactured in Japan are sent overseas. It is much safer than container shipping.

Note: Vehicles can be shipped to Halifax instead of Vancouver. Make sure to contact us if you wish to make this change. It takes closer to 6-8 weeks to ship to Halifax.

 

Year-round pre-servicing

If we buy from auction, you have the option to have use send the vehicle to a shop in Japan before heading to port ( +$360 ). You can also have us send the vehicle directly to the port if preferred. In the winter, if you request it to be sent to the shop in Japan, the coolant can be changed to ensure the cooling system doesn’t freeze upon arrival. The oil can be changed at the shop before it leaves Japan as well, and a bunch of extra pictures can be taken! This is a great time to ask for additional work to be done to take advantage of parts availability and local knowledge of your JDM vehicle.

Summer savings

Vehicles can be transported to the port directly, and could save you around $360 from the total cleared customs price and about one week’s shipping time if you choose it. You can still get some extra photos from the port staff.

Worried about getting parts for your JDM import vehicle?

If you’ve imported with B-Pro, you’re always welcome to ask us for pricing on a part from Japan. We will quote you the price of the part AT COST. Air shipping takes only a few days as long as the part isn’t too big. Larger or heavier parts are pricey to air-ship… for those we can connect you with some partner shops in Canada that my have the parts from a parts container or a part-out.

Price Match Guarantee

We are willing to match the price of any competitor in terms of our import brokerage fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Canadian import laws for JDMs?

They must be 15+ years old to the manufacture month. NO EXCEPTIONS. Of course, they also much be soil / dirt free on the undercarriage otherwise they will fail the soil inspections during customs. Canada IS considering increasing the import limit potentially to 25 years at some point in the future, so that’s all the more reason to go ahead and get that JDM car you’ve always wanted!

What are your top selling RWD vehicles

  1. Toyota Supra RZ / SZ
  2. Nissan Skyline GTS-T / GT-T
  3. Nissan Silvia
  4. Mazda RX-7
  5. Toyota Aristo v300 twin turbo
  6. Toyota Chaser JZX-100

What method of shipping do you use? And should I worry about shipping damage?

The two methods of shipping are Ro-Ro and ‘container’ shipping. We always ship Ro-Ro as it tends to be much safer than packing vehicles into a container. We also put full shipping insurance coverage on the vehicles we ship. “ICC-A” insurance.

What kind of insurance coverage can I get on my JDM vehicle?

Well technically you can get full coverage from some companies, you will likely only be offered 3rd party liability coverage from the vast majority of insurers. Where you will find “collision” and “comprehensive” insurance, you’ll also find relatively high premiums. This is because the insurers don’t know where to find parts for the vehicles, so they require a large deductible because they calculate the potential repair/parts costs to be extensive.

Where can I get parts?

Local parts availability varies with the vehicle, but a lot of parts can be cross-referenced to North American parts, and there are some places that carry JDM specific parts in Canada. When you can’t find parts locally, B-Pro Auto can source them for you in Japan and import them at cost. Shipping takes as little as about 14 days via DHL. There’s a lot of parts to be found online as well.

Why are the KMs so low on JDM cars? Are they rolled back?

No, they are not typically rolled back… and if they are suspected to have been rolled back there is an indication on the auction sheet in the form of an Asterisk beside the km*. So we can know to avoid those cars. The fact of the matter is that Japan is much smaller than Canada and urban centers are extremely dense. So often times it makes more sense to take advantage of their highly developed transit/train system for commutes. Thus, fewer KM are put on their vehicles. Furthermore, the costs of fuel, toll bridges, parking etc. causes people to travel less. Furthermore, each vehicle must pass the incredibly strict “Shaken” mandatory and expensive vehicle inspection every 2 years in Japan to stay on the road means that people don’t want to put too many km on the vehicle.

Why are there so many used vehicles in the Japanese market?

Well first off, Japanese people tend to purchase a vehicle as a status symbol just as much as it is for transportation. Additionally, Japanese people culturally do not appreciate “used things” as much as we do. Something that has been used by another person is just not valued very highly… in fact, people could probably leave their bikes unlocked in a busy metropolitan area with little fear of it being stolen… why? Because nobody wants their used bike, there’s no value in it! The same principal applied to used vehicles. These two factors coupled with government incentives to buy new results in most Japanese vehicle buyers purchasing new every time they buy a vehicle. This is especially true as vehicles age because it becomes so expensive just to keep them on the road and continuing to pass the strict Shaken inspection every 2 years. Often times this means that it makes more sense to just buy new. So there is a flood of used vehicles on the Japanese market with very low local demand. This is why such a large export industry exists in Japan. This is also why they are such low cost.

Do I have to worry about radiation?

No, we make sure the vehicles that are ordered are radiation free. This is always checked before shipment.

Can it be converted to LHD?

Not easily. It is possible, but the economics of it make it very unfeasible. It is expensive, takes a long time, and it`s hard to get a perfect job done. What do we recommend? Test drive a right-hand drive car and see how simple it is… better yet come take one of ours for a cruise to get a feel for it.

What's the law in the United States?

25 years+ in order to import a vehicle into the states.

What are the costs factored into the "customs cost" (included in the total 'clear customs cost')?

  • Customs brokerage
  • CBSA/CFIA inspection
  • 6.1% duty (of FOB cost)
  • 5% GST (of FOB cost)
  • Excise tax (if applicable)
  • Terminal charge

What are the main factors that mitigate risk with a JDM vehicle purchase

A) The auction sheet. Every vehicle in the auction goes through the auction inspection and receives an auction sheet. It will have a grade on it, and we usually recommend that we go for a vehicle with a 4 of a 3.5 grade to be safe. Additionally, we can see any blemishes, dents/scratches, rust, and other marks on the vehicle diagram, AND we have the auction sheets translated prior to bidding on a vehicle to make sure there are no concerning remarks from the inspector

B) We can apply for a “second check” on the vehicle in which we request that someone at the auction has a second look at the car to see if there are any issues spotted and if anything was missed on the auction sheet. This isn’t a super in-depth inspection, it’s fairly basic but it certainly helps to make an educated decision about whether to bid on the vehicle or not. It can help you be confident that there’s no rust, oil leaks, engine noises, electrical issues etc. with the vehicle before bidding on it. And if anything concerning is found and you don’t want to get that unit, we simply cancel the bid for you.

Why does it seem that vehicles in Japan are better maintained than what we'd find in Canada?

Vehicles in Japan must pass a strict renewal inspection every two years in order to stay on the road. This inspection is called “Shaken”. It will assess the mechanical condition of the vehicle as well as look at things such as emissions, exterior damage, wheel alignment etc. It’s known to be a rigorous and intensive inspection that costs the vehicle owner quite a lot. They basically have no choice but to maintain their vehicles in order to continue passing inspection. Of course, the vehicle maintenance that we see in Japan is also a cultural thing. There are “junk” vehicles that can be found too of course, but they are fairly easy to separate out from the gems.

Where are some of the places in Canada that you ship JDM cars & vehicles to?

We can ship to any of these cities! And almost anywhere in between…

Vancouver, B.C.
Victoria, B.C.
Terrace, B.C.
Kamloops, B.C.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Calgary, Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Red Deer, Alberta
Lethbridge Alberta
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Regina, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Brandon, Manitoba
Toronto, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario
Ottawa, Ontario
Mississauga, Ontario
St. John’s, Newfoundland
St. John, New Brunswick
Whitehorse, Yukon
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Deposit Payment Methods

There are many options for you to pay your $1,000 deposit.

1. Paypal

Please use the button below to send money through Paypal. Or you can manually send payment to brian@b-pro.ca.

 

2. Email Transfer ( Interac E-Transfer )

All major Canadian banks are now compatible to send/receive Interac E-transfers. This method takes approximately 20 minutes to go through. Please send the money to brian@b-pro.ca. Since some banks won’t recognize a dash in an e-mail, if that’s the case with your bank, simply send the payment to b.pro.rhd@gmail.com or to our business phone instead: 403-481-1065

3. Cash, cheque, debit, credit, or Money order

You can pay in person if you live in Calgary area. We love to meet clients face-to-face where possible. You are welcome to put a cheque in the mail if you like as well, just send an e-mail to request the mailing address.

4. Bank Wire or Bank Transfer

We can send you the B-Pro Auto bank account information or a blank/void Cheque, you can do a direct bank transfer to any TD branch, or you can do a Bank wire to the B-Pro Auto account from any other major bank in Canada

5. Credit Card over the Phone

Just call 403-481-1065, and we can process your credit card over the phone if that’s what works best for you!

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