021950789  |   098899556
info@importyourcar.co.nz

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Last updated on February 2020

Q) How much I can save?
Up to $10,000! If you import a car which cost $40,000 - your Savings are $10,000. 
Savings on a car which cost $10,000 is around $2000 - $3000. And savings on a  $20,000 worth car is around $5000+
Q) Best advice on importing? 
Importing a car is about same as buying from the TradeMe. But you get ten times more selection and better prices. Our best advice - start bidding. Found a car you like - place a Test Bid - learn by doing it. 
Q)  What are the two main reasons to import?
1. Rare and hard to find in New Zealand car. Often car you are after can not be found anywhere and Japan got it. 
2. Import and $ave. You want a car with lower mileage and newer year and better specs, for the better price. Japanese Auctions is the way to go. 
Q)  HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAR IS AVAILABLE AT JAPANESE AUCTIONS?
After you apply, you can check Sales Stratistics with 2 million sold before cars and prices. It's a good starting point. Or ask us, and we will reply by email or call, to let you know if your desired car can be imported or not. If not, we will offer other cars, or you might think of some other cars already. 
Q)  HOW TO FIND OUT THE PRICES?
You can see - Average Price. Or check Sales Statistics. Or we might reply with a quote. 
Q) What are the next steps?
Register then Bid and Win. Place test bids, learn by doing it. We will take it from there. 
If you haven't registered yet - then register first, becasue then you can view Japanese Auctions. 
Q) How much does your service cost? 
We take $1000 commission - GST included - for the importing service. We help you to find a car at Japanese Auctions, buy it, prepare it for shipping, arrange freight and customs clearance, and organise Vehicle Compliance when the car reaches new Zealand Shores. We keep you updated with pictures from the port and arrival date, and email car pick up instructions etc. 
  • 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 accurately. 
  • 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 rate or too new to be widely available or just not sold on the Japanese market.
  • How long does it take to import a car? One to two months all together. 1-3 weeks to prepare car for shipping. 2-3 weeks is for the freight, 2-5 days on delivery to Compliance Centre and another few days to pass 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. 
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. 

Q) - 2010 cars with 20,000 kms? Really? 
Yes - this is true - and only in Japan. 
Imagine living in cities with 10,000,000 population! Imagine commute hassle. Imagine parking for $100 per day. Imagine Toll Roads fees of $300 per month. This is a daily reality for Japanese - so the car is not for A to B but from Home to Train Station Parking lot in Japan. So now we solved the low mileage dilemma on Japanese cars. Buy with confidence. 
Want to add more mileage to almost new Japanese car?  Import one from Japan with us.

  • How much do you charge for your services? We charge $1000 commission for the importing service. GST included. 
  • Are there are any extra costs? In Japan - cost of the car itself is a variable; if we buy a car at auction for less, we will recalculate and you pay less, exactly for how much car is sold at auction. 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 after 2-3 days we have bought the car. We will email tax invoice for the cost of the car, customs GST, freight and our commission. Payment is 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 -4 hours, 1 pm in NZ is 9 am in Japan. Auctions are open from 9am Japan time. So we have time to place bids and win your car.
  • What cars can not be imported into NZ? - Any car between the year 2001 to 2003 - these years does not meet NZ Emission Regulations. Left hand drive cars. Cars without ESC - all cars must have ESC - Electronic Stability Control, we check for it before we buy. Keep in mind, we can import ANY car which is 20 years and older. So cars from year 2000 down, like 1999, 1998, 1989 and so on, can be imported! No ESC required for these cars. Very easy to import.   
  • 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 50,000 NZD!
  • Looking for a factory 1994 or 1995 Toyota supra RZ twin turbo manual with very little modifications. Can you help?  Yes we can. Many stock Supras in Japan, with one owner and service history, low mileage and high auction grade 4+
  • ​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 other dealers don't import them, means these cars are cheaper to buy locally.  If cars cars on the TM don't have a plate number, they are a fresh import - and 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 or we can even deliver it directly from port to your home - that's all!
  • ​Can I import a car for the track or farm only? Yes! If you are going to 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. Also some cars are just not available in Japan. It's easy to check - after you subscribe for Auction Access - go to the Sales Statistics to check if these cars were selling before or not. Sales Statistics will show you the last 3 months of sales history. Also, it shows for how much these cars are going for in Japan. 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 high. 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! 
  • 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.
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General Rules to import a car into the New Zealand
  • Emission Code: Cars must have a triple emission code. We check for it after you've placed a test bid online. 
  • ESC - Electronic Stability Control: All cars must be equipped with this feature. ESC is similar to traction control. We check if a car has it before we buy. 
  • Years which can be imported: 2004+ for petrol. 2008+ for diesel. Can not import cars from the years 2001 to 2003.  
  • 20 years and older: Any car which is 20 years and former can be imported. No rules apply - easy to import. 

   We know what cars can be imported. Register and start placing test bids online. We will confirm if a car can be imported then. Or suggest similar makes and models.  

Q) WHAT ARE THE PAID OPTIONS? 
You can Buy one or all of these options: 
1. Access to All Online Japanese Auctions - $17
2. Training Course "How To Use Japanese Auctions" - $37
3. Three Secrete Bidding Techniques - $29
4. Priority Importing - $79
5. High End $30,000+ Car Importing - $197
All are one-off payments.  Email us what Options do you wan to avail. 
Q) WHY THERE ARE PAID OPTIONS?
Normally we reply with a Quote and Search for your car Ourselves and Offer you Suitable cars for buying. It's effective because we know how to search and what cars to choose. It's also time effective. 
If you want to select cars at Japanese Auctions your-self - we have a paid option and encourage you to buy a Training Course. Like with everything new, learning is required. We don't have the capability to teach everybody one-by-one, it takes time. That is why we prepared a very well planned course, so you can master our Online Japanese Auction System and search and select cars and place bids by your-self. We will assess your bids and if they good to go we will make them a Live bids. 
Q) can I use a non-paid option?
Yes. Just tell us in details All of Your Requirements, like Make/Model/Year/Mileage/Auto/Manual/2WE/4WD etc. And then extra requirements like car colour, interior trim, special specs like reversing camera or sunroof etc. We will monitor Japanese Auctions for you and when suitable car come for auction - you will be the first to know. We will email and call.
Q) Who are adviced to use a paid option? 
If you are good with computers, and it's easy for you to learn online-systems, then yes, feel free to buy your Own Access To All Japanese Auctions. 
What you will get:
1. Can view all auctions.
2. Can view Sales Statistics with prices for the sold before cars - 2 million car in Sales Stats Database.
3. Place bids on the cars you choose. Get Translations and Our Opinion for every bid you place. 
4. Have access to the Electronic Office where all your bids, sold prices and our communication will take place and saved. 
5. Setup a Saved Search - for automatic auctions notifications. 

  • 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 than 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 over 20 years, most acknowledged way to make online payments. It's secure and your credit card data is never shared with us. You can use a PayPal to make a $1000 Deposit.
  • 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.
  • Does all cars pass compliance in NZ? ​We did not have even one case when car does not pass compliance. All cars pass. We make sure about it before we buy the car at auction for you. 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? ​Yes we do. Any car which is 20 years and older can be imported. Even though some of them have modifications and rust - they pass compliance in NZ. Many coming in stock condition, one owner, service history. If you are after mint Supra or GTR and have at least 25K++ budget - we can look into it. 
  • ​​Do you do shipping to other cities? Yes. Shipping to Tauranga, Napier, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Whangarei and Dunedin and is additional $180. Car will be shipped to the nearest port and then delivered by transporter. Examples: To Tauranga Via Auckland port, to Napier Via Wellington port, to Dunedin Via Christchurch port. This additional $180 will be added after we buy the car. Additional cost is only for the specified above cities. Keep in mind - we can deliver your car to ANY local town in NZ as well at modest additional fee.  
  • 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. 
  • 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? No. We buy cars directly from the Japanese Live 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. 
  • 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:
  • www.worksafe.govt.nz/worksafe/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/electric-vehicle-charging-safety-guidelines
  • Here a couple of companies which can help you with that:
  • www.juicepoint.co.nz
  • www.bluecars.co.nz
  • Q) What do 'numbers' written right next to wheels in the Auction List 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 'T' mean on the bottom of the auction sheet.   Car have a spare tyre.
  • Q) If we missed / bidding closed then the same car will be relisted?  Yes - car will be relisted next week often at the same auction, if was not sold.
  • Q) What is a cut of time to place or change or cancel the bid?  1.5 hour before the auction time. Make sure to make your decision and update us 1.5 hour before auction end time. 
  • Q)  Best advice on importing? Importing a car is about same like buying from the TradeMe. But you get ten times more selection and best prices. Our best advise - start bidding. Found the car you like - place a Test Bid - learn by doing it. 
Follow these steps 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. Checking auctions using computer is better then on the phone. 
Timing
Try to place most bids one day in advance. Same days bids ok too. 

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