Gentlemen of Japan - Ian Chandler
I am considering buying a 4x4 direct from Japan, doing the importing myself to save the money that would normally go into an importer's pocket.
It seems you can either commission a company in Japan to check a car, then bid for you at auction - or alternatively buy directly from a firm specialising in secondhand car exports. The vehicles are graded, so a buyer should have a fair idea of what they are getting.
Can anybody give me an idea of what sort of risks I would be taking by doing this? My feeling is that the Japanese would be fairly honest about this kind of transaction - and that the main pitfall would be possible damage or theft of parts during shipment.
Has anyone been bilked by a Japanese Arthur Daley? Or has anybody actually done this, and found any particular firm reliable and good value?
Any feedback would be most welcome.
Also, I understand that air conditioning systems were changed in about 1995 and that the refrigerant for systems made before then is now unobtainable. Does anyone know when the changeover was made in Japan? - I suspect that it would be sensible to get a car made after 1996.
RE: Gentlemen of Japan - honestjohn
You will find a link to car import guide in the FAQs on this website. Or buy the magazine from a news stand. Remember your vehicle will be subject to an SVA test, and if you can't get it back here by July it will be subject to a new, much tougher test which is likely to close off the whole grey import business unless the proposed regulations are loosened uip.

HJ
 

Value my car