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Auction and Grade
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Auction and Grading System
About Japanese Auction:

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 renewing registration.

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.


Auction Grade: Exterior / Mechanical
Grade 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.
Grade 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.
Grade 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 or dents.
Grade 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.

Grade 3.5: A car has some conspicuous scratches or dents. Some cars' head-light support panel or back panel have been repaired.
Grade 3: A car has many conspicuous scratches or dents. A car has some paint blemishes and may have minor rust.

Grade 2:
A vehicle is in very bad condition, rust etc.

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.

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.

Auction Grade: Interior
Grade A: Immaculate condition.
Grade B: Slightly dirty.

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 above cost!

Click Here for Detailed Inventory Listing

Benz G-Class 300GEL
Bentley Eight

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