Almost all used vehicles are bought and sold
through auction houses in Japan. By far the most
legitimate way of buying a used vehicle in Japan
is the auction house. These auctions are open
only for registered dealers and also need to be
a member. Its interesting to know that used cars
cannot be sold privately, the transaction will
have to pass through a dealer even if its sold
to the neighbor. All registered cars have to pass
through a strict and a complete inspection before
Over all, the automotive policies in Japan is
very different from North America. The vehicles
entering an auction should meet several criteria
and they are graded accordingly. Its important
to note, cars which don't pass inspections end
up at used car dealers without going through an
auction. These cars are mainly exported as they
can not be registered in Japan. It is very important
to buy a used vehicle directly from an auction.
Every auction house has their own inspectors.
The inspections are standardized using methodical
procedures which covers the complete car.
Our agent in Japan can review the inspection
sheets for the cars we are interested. Its good
to know that the vehicles receive an unbiased
inspection from inspectors working for the auction
house and not for the vehicle owners or dealers.
The inspectors and the auction house's vested
interest is to provide quality service. Their
growth and business depends on repeat dealers.
All these makes the auction house the best place
to buy cars. Compare this to North American auctions
with "buyer beware" policy !
The inspectors in the Japanese car auction houses
are reliable and professional. All vehicles sold
at the auction are given grades. Often the exterior
and interior are graded separately. The grade
of the exterior condition ranges from 6 to 0 ,
and the grade of the interior condition ranges
from A to D. Most of the Japanese auction houses
generally use this system. Auction houses' inspectors
fill out description sheets, and they give the
cars two grades (interior & exterior) which
indicate a cars' condition.
Grade: Exterior / Mechanical
6 or Higher: As good as new or new. Exterior
and interior are in immaculate condition. Some cars
in these grades have never been driven.
5: A car doesn't need repair. A car has been
repaired slightly, and the repair is in very good condition.
No body parts have been changed.
4.5: A car has been repaired slightly, and
the repair is in good condition. It becomes a grade-5
car with slight repair. There are a few slight scratches
4: A car is in good overall condition, but
there are a few scratches or dents.
Note: As we are in the market for 15 years or older
vehicles from Japan, we focus on importing grade 4 or
3.5 vehicles. Grade 4 cars are sold on the higher end
of the price range, if you are in a budget we recommend
vehicles with Grade 3 and above.
3.5: A car has some conspicuous scratches or
dents. Some cars' head-light support panel or back panel
have been repaired.
3: A car has many conspicuous scratches or
dents. A car has some paint blemishes and may have minor
Grade 2: A vehicle is in very bad condition,
Grade 1: A car which has following
: 1. An aftermarket turbo 2. An automatic transmission
converted to manual transmission 3. Flood damage
Note: Even new cars gets Grade 1, due to modifications.
Some buyers like such upgrades. We do not recommend.
Vehicles with rust and bad overall condition are also
rated as Grade 1.
Grade RA: A car which has had accident
damage which can be ranked MINOR, and has been repaired.
Note: Some times good cars come across with Grade
RA. Even minor accidents get RA. If you consider this
Grade, advice us so we can send vehicle information
with Grade RA. But we do not recommend any vehicle
below Grade 3.
Grade A, 0 or R: A car which has
had accident damage, and has been repaired.
The auction definition "A car which has had accident
damage" is a car where some parts or panels have
been repaired or replaced or need to be repaired or
replaced (or has some visible marks from frame damage)
1. Lower Tie Bar or Frame
2. Windshield Pillar (A Pillar), Center Pillar (B
Pillar), Rear Pillar (C Pillar)
3. Strut Housing
4. Roof Panel
5. Trunk flooring Panel
6. Floor Pan
Note: This will give you an idea, the type of inspection
and grading methodologies adopted by the auction house.
By far buying a car from Japan is safer than your
local used car dealer. We do not recommend this grade.
***: A car which has had accident damage,
and has NOT been repaired yet. Or a car with an engine
that does not work with major engine trouble.
Note: Importing accident vehicles for parts is a profitable
business, provided you are currently in that trade.
Grade A: Immaculate
Grade B: Slightly
Grade C: Slightly dirty, and has
a few cigarette burns and stains.
Grade D: Dirty, and has some cigarette
burns, stains, and wear.
When considering used car trade in North America,
where the dealers buy cars from auction's without
any certified inspections, looks can be deceiving.
Most used car dealers adopt practices with higher
profits as their vested interest. Most used car dealers
use used parts to fixing up cars, paint touch ups
to hide damages are all tricks of the trade. You the
consumer may notice quality and accident problems
when it is too late for any claims.
When there is a superior choice in acquiring high
quality used cars at affordable prices, directly without
a middle man, why not consider JDMcars.ca. The added
bonus is you get to choose from 150,000 cars a week.
You will not buy a car because the seller has it in
stock. When you consider models that were never sold
in North America that too at whole sale prices directly,
you can not go wrong! As simple as that. Import dealers
are selling these unique diesel SUV's for thousands