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Common Questions
What is the car Auction Grade and what does it mean? 
Auction grade can accurately tell you the overall car condition. 
After that we look at the car map to see marks and flaws locations on the car. 
Then we look at Auction List description and email you translation. 
That alone can tell you a lot about the car. 
How do I know about the condition of a car?

We translate the Auction List for you. We choose cars from checked auction houses only. Japanese are high integrity people and describe cars very accuratly. 
Is my car available in Japan? 
There are hundreds of thousands of cars getting sold every month at Japanese Car Auctions. 

However, there are still some cars that are rare or too new to be widely available or just not sold on the Japanese market. 
How long does it take to import a car?
1.5 to 2 months. 2-3 weeks freight. 1 week to deliver car to compliance. About 1 week for compliance. 

Is the car insured?

Yes, your car is insured all the way from the Auction House in Japan to a Compliance Center in New Zealand.

How long does it take to find a car?
Keep in mind - might take 1-3 weeks to find and buy the car.    
For some customers - if they want a rare car - we look up to 3 months we buy one. It's well worth it and we don't mind. If you need a car faster - you can consider another car - or rising your budget, or buying with a bit higher mileage or lower auction grade. Alex will guide you through.
Can you tell me how soon car arrives once auction is won and payment is made?
It will take 3-4 weeks to ship the car after we have bought it.
After we buy a car, it will be de-registered and prepared for shipping, and we will update you with an arrival date in a week time.
We have two ships leaving Japan monthly.
Also, pictures from the port will follow.
When a car arrives to NZ shores, will take 2-3 days to deliver to the compliance centre.
And 2-3 days for compliance.
Sometimes can take longer, or faster. 
How much do you charge for your services?

We charge $800 commission for the importing service. GST included. 
Are there are any extra costs?
In Japan - cost of the car is variable; if we buy a car for less, we will recalculate and you pay less. Vehicle Compliance is another variable cost - it's like when you take your car for the WOF. We work very close with our Compliance centres and they don't overcharge us or our customers and will only do what is required. 
How do I pay for the car? 
First payment is paid after we have bought the car. We will email tax invoice after 2-5 days for the cost of the car, customs gst, freight and our commission.
Pay to our ANZ account, can pay by Credit Card as well (2.9% fee apply for C.C.) 
Last payment is for the Vehicle compliance and Registration, paid directly to compliance centre, after your car arrived. 
What is the time difference? 
Time difference between Japan and New Zealand is -3 hours, 1 pm in NZ is 10 am in Japan. So we have time to place bids and win your car.  
What cars can not be imported into NZ
- Any car between the year 2000 to 2004 - these years does not meet NZ Emission Regulations. 

- Some left hand drive cars. 
Do you import old sport cars? 
Sport cars like GTR, Silvia, Evo, WRX etc.. They are expensive there - bidders from USA, UK, AUS putting ridiculously high bids on them. 
Like if you are after Supra turbo - look at $25,000 just to start. Some GTR go for over 100,000 NZD!
What cars you don't import or are not worth importing?
Some NZ New cars are cheaper to buy locally. 
If you see on TradeMe most of the cars have a registration plate number - means cheaper to buy locally. 
If many cars don't have a plate number or a fresh import - we can import them too. 
Can I import a car for parts only?
Yes! Any car can be imported for parts, does not matter what year etc. Don't need to pass/pay for Compliance and Rego, just pick up the car from Compliance Centre - that's all!
Can I import a car for the track or farm only? 
Yes! If you are going to pick up the car and use it on track only or just drive it on your farm - can import any car, any year - and no compliance - just take it home)
What cars are not available in Japan?
Korean cars.
Chinese cars.
Some NZ New cars - those which are built only in Australia.

It's easy to check - after you subscribe for Auction Access - go to the Sales Statistics to check if your car was sold before or not. Sales Statistics will show you the last 3 months of sales history. Also, it shows how much cars are sold for. Great reference point to start.
Do you overbid on the car?
Yes - it's a normal practice to overbid by 10,000 to 30,000 JPY more then actual bid. It's done to secure the car or/and to have a buffer in case if bidding went a bit too far. 
It takes just 30 second for a car to get sold at Japanese Auctions - so the bidding happens really fast.  
But in most cases we buy cars for less then you have asked us!
And we always bid in small amounts - to win a car for less. 
Do I need to make a deposit?

Yes, when you are ready to buy make a $1000 refundable deposit to our ANZ account or by PayPal. We will email you all the details. 
Is there a guarantee that the vehicle will not come with scratches on the panels or rips in the seating?

We base our buying decision on what's written in the auction list. Japanese people are very honest and when it comes to the car description, they are very meticulous as well.

Auction list can tell a lot about the car.

On the car diagram you can see the marking like A is a scratch and A1 is a very small scratch, will come out after wash, A2 will need a cut n polish and A3 might get away with cut and polish and touch up, or might need painting.
Same goes to the U marking - U is a dent.
Please find Inspection Guide attached. 
What is a Car Diagram and how to read it?

Car Diagram comes with every Auction list and can tell you a lot about the car. Basics are that marking A stands for the Scratch, and U for the Dent. A1 is small - will come out with cut and polish. A2 is also can be polished. A3 might do with touch up or needs paint. These are the basics. An example is given below. 
Why some cars are cheaper to buy Locally in NZ?
It's true - some cars do not worth importing - they are already cheaper in NZ. 

- NZ New Cars - we have an internal market for registered NZ Cars like Mazda 3 or Toyota Camry - they always cheaper to buy locally.

- Cheap cars like $5500 to $6000 NZD. Like Toyota Vitz, Mazda Demio, Honda Fit, Toyota Corolla 2004-2006 - they are cheap in NZ - because there are a lot of them.
Can I import a car with auction grade 3.5 - does it worth it? 
Yes, 100% worth it. Because grade 3.5 cars sell much cheaper than grade 4 or 4.5. By $500 to $4000 cheaper. Still, a nice car - but would have more marks around the body - like scratches or dents. I am talking light "supermarket" scratches here - nothing serious.   Some marks can be cut and polished or be done with a touch-up. Dents can be removed with paintless dent removal for $60 (some).
To paint a panel is $150+
Many dealers buy grade 3 and 3.5 and bring the car to the better state in NZ, you can do the same - and save even more. We can guide you and explain to you about the car condition. We have imported grade 3.5 cars - so can suggest which car is ok to import and which one is not. 
It's not for everybody though. Some people prefer a car in excellent condition - and we can easily find one. 
On the other hand - some people don't mind about a wee scratch here and there - they know they will add more to it - then 3.5 grade and associated savings is a way to go. 
Here is a good example. A2 is a light scratch. B1 is a small pin dent. 
What I would do:
- Paint left front bumper half: $120 (have big size A4 scratch there)
- Cut and polish and touch up left rear door (have size A3 scratches) and do the same for the rear bumper. (have size A2 scratches)
- Right seal have small size B2 dent - it's not that visible - cut and polish and touch up. 

Same color paint can be bought at any car paint shop. So you can walk around the car and touch it up. 
Sounds like what you would like to do - consider grade 3.5.
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML
What is the meaning of the letters on the car diagram (map). What does it mean?
Inspection Sheet Codes 

The numbers 1,2,3,4 are used to qualify flaws and damage as approximately minor, small, medium, or serious. 

The following letters represent the type of flaw or damage.
A Scratch marks
B Bend/distortion or dent
BP Panel repair
C Corrosion or rust
E Dimples or dents
F Film/tinting on glass
G Chip in glass
H Hole
K Flaw
M Mark
P Paint damage
R Rust
R Repaired crack in glass
RX Repaired crack in glass that needs to be replaced
S Rust
T Temporary spare tyre
U Dents
W Wave in paint (Often caused by repair work)
X Damage
X Crack in glass
XX Body-part replaced
XXX Body-part replaced
Y Crack or hole
Any more detailed information about flaws description? 
Size of the flaw is measured by 1-2-3-4. 
In most cases size 1 will come off after car wash and waxing.
Size 2 can be removed with cut and polish.
Size 3 and 4 would require panel to be painted - however still can mask it with cut/polish and touch up - if you not fused about look of the car. 

Also, there are some strict auction houses, Like Toyota TAA, Nissan NAA, and Honda - their markings of A1 or A2 will be hard to notice when you look at them car. 
Also most marks like A1 or U1 - you would need to get very close to the panel to be able to see it.

Below is a general description.
In reality - have to go case by case, depending on the overall auction grade, auction house, car color (on black and blue colors flaws stand out more) etc.. 
We will advice you about each car.   
Auction Sheet Abbreviations

AC Air conditioner
FA/AT Automatic transmission
F5 Manual (5-speed) transmission
PS Power steering
SR Sunroof
AW Original alloy wheels
NAVI Navigator
AAC Climate control air conditioner
CA Column automatic transmission
F6 Manual (6-speed) transmission
PW Power windows
TV Television
KAWA Leather seats
AIRBAGU Airbag
How do you do bidding on the car. Do you bid my maximum price first or try to buy car for less? 
We always bid on the car in small amounts and trying to get it for as less as possible. We begin bidding from the start price, going gradually up. 
And bid up to your budget and then stop. It's a common practice to push bidding by $100 more then planned.
If we happen to buy car cheaper, we will recalculate accordingly and you pay less then we budget for. 
What time auctions start in Japan? 
Auctions start form 9 am and last up to 9 pm Japanese time. All days with Sundays off. 
Because of the 4 hours time difference with Japan - we check cars at night. 
10pm NZT is 6pm JPT - se we can see cars loaded into the auction system for tomorrow. We will email you mostly at evening time, and can have a quick phone call chat about the car too. 
What is a PayPal payment on your website?
PayPal have been around for 17 years, most acknowledged way to make online payments. It's secure and your credit card data is never shared with us.
Choose: Pay with debit or credit card.
If we buy car cheaper than my budget - do I pay less?
Yes - this is a beauty of the auction - that sometimes can get lucky and buy car cheaper then planned. We will provide you with auction final result - recalculate total amount to import which will be less. 
At the same time - good bidding strategy is to set high bidding price, in order to secure the car. 
How about underbody rust - how do we know if car or doesn't have rust in Japan. 
Auction grade 4.5 guaranty no rust. 
For the auction grade 4 - they describe rust on the auction list - and if i see rust - I don't recommend this car for you. We shop from mainland auctions, don't buy cars from Northern Auction where lots of snow.
We shop from checked and trusted auctions which display rust.

 ​
What happen if the car does not pass compliance in NZ?
​We did not have even one case when car does not pass compliance. All cars pass.

Keep in mind though that compliance is only one variable cost - they have independent inspectors who will check the car and might ask to change lower arm bushes or brake pads - same when you take your car for a WOF check. 
We work very close with our compliance centres and they don't overcharge - only do what is necessary. ​
 
Can I use loan and import car on finance? 
Yes, now you can only if you apply for the loan through HARMONEY. 
They can arrange an unsecured loan for you at great rates.  
You can apply for loan through their website only, takes 10 min to complete: https://www.harmoney.co.nz/
Do you import Skyline R32-34, Evo, STI, Silvia,Fairlady year 1991-1998.
We don't import these cars. Even though some can be imported - most of them have too many modifications and rust - so it's hard to pass compliance in NZ. Also these cars are cheaper to buy locally in NZ. 
Only if you are after some mint Supra or GTR and have at least 25K budget - we can look into it. 
What happen if the car does not pass compliance? 
After importing thousands of cars we never had even a single car not to pass compliance. This is the first thing we are making sure when choosing a car for you - that it can be imported into NZ and pass compliance and get WOF.
Are the vehicles insured whilst in transit?
Yes, car is insured all the way from Auction house in Japan - to Compliance Centre in New Zealand. We use second largest freight company and they are excellent in car freight.
How cars are transported - by container or other way?
To major ports like Auckland, Wellington, Littleton and Nelson we use a Roll On Roll Out (specialised car carrier ships). Cars are driven on the ship, positioned and tied, then driven off the ship in NZ.
We use container shipping for the Napier, Tauranga and for the Dunedin. Container shipping takes longer time because ship have stops at other ports (like Singapore or Hong-Kong) before going to New Zealand. 
Both are safe ways to transport a car. 
1
Is it okay for me to look for the car locally in NZ and try to import one from Japan at the same time?
We would prefer you to approach our company only if you want to import a car though us. 
Looking for the car in Japan takes our time, and we don't want it to be waisted )  
Just checking that cars would not have been written off in Japan in any way? Flooding, radiation etc.
There is no such thing as selling written off cars on Japanese Auctions. Japanese are honest people and would never do it.

They have special TAU system for flood or radiation, it's separated from main auctions.

At regular auctions, they sell cars with gradings like R or RA - damaged repaired cars. We don't buy these cars. 

Normally we shop for auction grade 4 and 4.5, and 5. Sometimes grade 3.5 - these cars are good too.

Also, every car is screened for radiation before the auction and before shipping to NZ by MAF - with radiation meter photographed and pictures emailed to us. Also, all cars have a compulsory odometer check done by MAF. 
So we are safe here. 
How about tempered odometer - do cars from Japan come with correct milage? 
The myth about incorrect odometers still stick around - well decades ago in 90s yes some cars had tempered odo reading. Not anymore. Like for 20 year no more ))  Now it's a DOUBLE SCREENING for odometer. Every single car odometer checked before auction by Japanese Auction House. And before shipping to the NZ - checked by MAF NZ. Every car we import comes with odometer certificate. 
Can I choose and buy a car from another company in Japan and use you just to import the car into NZ.
We buy cars directly from the Japanese Life Auctions. It's cheaper and Auctions show vital information for Vehicle Compliance in NZ. 

Auctions are obliged to inspect and write up a report for every car.
Information displayed in the Auction List: 
- does the car have under body rust
- any panels painted of replaced
- was car in any accident and repaired etc..

Companies selling cars from stock in Japan less regulated and do go to such extent to describe the actual condition of the car.

We find it safer to and cheaper to buy from Life Japanese Auctions. 

Even local Japanese companies trade their stock at Life Auctions - and sell it for less then from their yard. 
What is the most essential information do I need to provide to get an accurate importing estimate?
Please make sure to include these things when inquiring:

- Year
- Mileage
- Engine Size
- Your Budget

This information alone is sufficient.
Can I use a Japanese cable to charge up an Electric car?
Electric vehicles like Nissan Leaf, come with Japanese Cable which have to be changed to NZ Certified cable and charging station have to be arrange in accordance with Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Guidelines. We are not supplying you a car, but helping to import it on your behalf, so you would need to arrange cables and charging station etc.. 

For buyers who are not familiar with electric vehicles, we recommend that you get advice about the NZ charging cable (ie EVSE) that would be suitable for your car.
More information can be found here: 

Here a couple of companies which can help you with that:
www.juicepoint.co.nz
More common questions. 
On the auction sheet, 

Q) What do 'numbers' written right next to wheels mean? (e.g. 7 or 8)​ 

​This is shows how many percent of the tread left on the tyres. From 1 to 10. 5 is 50%, 7 is 70%.

Cars will 1-2 still can pass compliance and get WOF, but would need to be changed during next WOF. ​
 

    ​
Q) what does 'dot' generally on two doors mean? (it may look like number 0 as well.)

​This is a small scratch or imperfection.

 

Q) what does 'T' mean? generally on the bottom of a sheet.

Have a spare tyre.

Q) How do we know a bit details on interior? (e.g. Fabric or Leather, Reverse Camera and MP3 USB port, any options, etc.)

Interior condition always described in the auction list. We translate it for you after you place a bid and only buy if you are happy with translation. Many things can be seen form the pictures too. ​
 

Q) I believe when I place a bid, I will have to put a price, then I still don't understand how you can advise me of a car state and possible bidding strategy after a price has already been placed?


​Your bid is like an Expression of Interest. We check the car first - communicate with you, and when you are happy, do the actual bidding. ​


1. Grade 3.5 and above is good to place a bid.?

Yes we bid, have more imperfections around the body - still good to buy.
 

2. Before bid can i get a translation and more pic of the car.?

Yes we translate and for some auctions can get more pics.
 

3. If we missed / bidding closed then the same car will be relisted.? when.?

Yes - relisted next week same auction if was not sold.
 

4. How do we know and ensure car interior is good.? Example.. No stain or damage in none of the seats, foot rest carpet or dash board..

Auction list describe it all - Japanese are honest in car description.
 

5. How do we ensure Engine & Hybrid battery condition is good or average or bad.? Car Grade represents this standard.?

In Japan they take a great care in their cars - with all maintenance and charging cycles done properly, so many cars come in great condition.
 

5. When we would be checking if any other issues regarding importing & to get Rego as per NZ standard.? Before i bid or after i bid.?

Before we bid.
 

6. The excel sheet calculation is the final price including your commission.?

Yes, only vehicle comoliance is Variable Cost - same like you take car for a WOF, but they dont overchage us or our customers.
 

7. Could you able to help me to get only Vehicle Compliance & ORC done, if i prefer one of my friend (working & living) in Japan who provide biding and sending car to your address.?

We do all the bidding and arranging exporting etc..
 



Follow these to win a car at Japanese Auction 
Comunication
Get Access to Japanese auctions. Check "How to Bid" guide, watch informational videos. Ask questions, tell us your preferences. 
Get into action
Browse car auctions, place bids, request translations.
Timing
Try to place most bids one day in advance. Same days bids ok too. 

Get access to Japanese car auctions
Check Out Our  Car Knowledge Base Articles
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021 950789
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