Cars must be at least 15 years old to the month of manufacture for most of Canada. Quebec and PEI have enacted their own rules, requiring JDM vehicles to be at least 25 years old to the month of manufacture to be operated on public roads.
Cars must be at least 25 years old to the month of manufacture to import to the USA.
This includes all the costs needed to get your car from Japan to Vancouver, BC, ready to pick up. This includes the cost of the car, inland transportation, export fees, ocean insurance and shipping, import fees, customs clearance, our fee, duty and GST.
Larger SUVs and vans are about twice as much to ship compared to an average car, as shipping is calculated by volume and weight. More expensive cars cost more as Duty and GST are a portion of the vehicle’s value. Very expensive cars also usually have extra dealer fees.
Our modest flat fee is the only amount we charge for import. As we have access to any unit in Japan, if another importer is advertising a car we can access for less, we are always willing to adjust our brokerage fee to match.
JDM cars can be shipped to a local distribution node or to your door anywhere in Canada, provided it meets the federal import laws. This could include Victoria, Vancouver, Terrace, Kamloops and Kelowna, British Columbia; Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Grand Prairie, Alberta; through the prairies including Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba; centrally to Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Mississauga, Ontario; up north to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; and all the way east to St. John’s Newfoundland, and St. John, New Brunswick.
We can also ship across the entire United States for vehicles over 25 years old.
No. Radioactive vehicles are not permitted to be shipped and are always checked before shipping.
A special order is when you choose a specific car for a specific price, and either bid at auction for that amount (or sometimes winning it for less) or we find one at a source in Japan. Our fee is a modest $1,000 for brokering the sale.
The Japan stock is some inventory from partners in Japan that we have chosen and are ready to ship out in your name. The cleared customs price is already set and includes everything to get the vehicle to the Vancouver port, ready to pick up.
Japan is much smaller than Canada and urban areas very dense with well-used public transportation, both reducing the need for car use. Fuel, parking and traveling over many toll bridges have higher costs, discouraging frequent car travel.
Enthusiast vehicles sometimes have their odometers changed, but this is often noted on the auction sheet with an asterisk (*) or a dollar sign ($). It is common for cars with an automatic to manual swap to change clusters, or if they want to increase the displayed speed from the normal 180kph to one of about 300kph, as offered by tuning outfits like TRD, Nismo, etc.
Japanese people buy vehicles as a status symbol as much as for transportation. “Used things” are generally not valued as highly as we do in North America. With some of the largest automotive companies headquartered in Japan, there are also government incentives to buy new. When someone buys a car, it tends to be new.
There is also a strict vehicle inspection every two years called “Shaken”. It requires vehicles to be kept up visually, mechanically and pass emissions. Making sure the vehicle passes the test is expensive, leading to many used vehicles being auctioned, as a new car is cheaper than fixing the older vehicle. With low local demand, it has created a large export industry from Japan at a very low cost.
The main Japanese auction system has a reputation for being reliable and accurate. It is also accessible online, in many cases being able to browse for free. This leads to many people knowing about it, using it to sell, and knowing about it to buy, compared to other places to buy and sell used cars.
With our extensive experience importing Japanese vehicles, and our hundreds of satisfied clients, we can confidently say that there is little risk to purchasing your next JDM from Japan. We have developed a network of trusted contacts in Japan, and coupled with the auction sheet and second checks, the vehicle you buy is the one that will be delivered to your door.
Our contacts have been developed over many years, and can provide photos of cars at auction, can contact dealers and private sellers, and give us expert advice of each specific unit.
The standardized auction sheets are given to each vehicle consigned to an auction house and are a thorough examination of the car’s status. It includes an overall grade (for most used cars a 4 or 3.5 are good targets), and will display where there may be any blemishes, dents, scratches and rust. The inspector will also make notes of oil leaks, weird noises, or even some of the aftermarket parts that may be installed. These are all translated from Japanese to English for units our clients are interested in.
Once a bid is placed, we can apply for a second check by a third party. They can sometimes get extra pictures, can describe any issues in more detail, and can indicate if anything was missed on the auction sheet. If something unexpected was found we can cancel or adjust the bid accordingly.
Insurance coverage ranges from full, third party liability, comprehensive and collision only coverage. It is available across the country in some form to almost everyone, but depends on the vehicle, individual, location, and insurer. We strongly recommend contacting your insurance broker before making the decision to buy.
Parts availability depends on the vehicle. Some Japanese models have North American counterparts, with many body panels and other parts being available. Others from global manufacturers may have used the same engine and mechanical parts in many other vehicles, with parts ready over the counter.
These days there are established supply chains from tuning houses, to online auctions like eBay and Yahoo Auctions Japan and brokers that help search for small used parts or whole front-end cuts. We can often point you in the right direction.
Anything is possible and is more likely with a vehicle with a North American counterpart.
But it is not easy, and the economics of doing so make it unfeasible for most. If you are unsure of driving a right-hand drive vehicle, contact a local car club and see if any local enthusiasts will take you for a ride!
Toyota Supra RZ / SZ
Nissan Skyline GTS-T / GT-T
Toyota Aristo v300
Toyota Chaser Tourer-V JZX-100
Nissan Fairlady Z (350z)
Subaru Impreza WRX / STi
Subaru Legacy B4 / Touring Wagon
Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32, BCNR33, BNR34)
Honda Odyssey RB2
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Nissan Stagea WGCN34
Toyota Hilux Surf
Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205
Toyota Caldina GT-Four
Nissan Pulsar GTI-R
We would be happy to import a JDM vehicle for you! Please contact us to discuss the details of importing from Japan to Canada with B-Pro Auto, or to ask any other questions you may have! We would love to start the conversation with you.