United Kingdom

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Import regulations for used and new cars from Japan to United Kingdom

Quick Reference: ・10 years or older easier to MOT ・ Monthly RORO shipping service to four ports ・Low customs brokerage fees ・Inner cargo shipping possible

Vehicles must be imported thru a customs clearance agent on the UK side. We work exclusively with Penguin Shipping to keep import costs to a minimum. Please contact Stephen Graham or Paul Clark for the most up to date import details.

*You may use your broker of choice as well.

Japan Side Costs

Please visit the How to Buy page for information on the process and costs involved. Ocean freight costs are prepaid and vary based on the volume of the vehicle. Please register for access to the auction marketplace and your dedicated agent will contact you directly with information and a quote.

UK Side Costs

•  Terminal handling and documentation: £70.00 – £100.00 per vehicle (depending on shipping line – shipping line charge)
•  Customs clearance: £75.00 per entry
•  Additional vehicles: £10.00 per vehicle (on same vessel and customs entry, if applicable)

•  Winning Bid + Freight x 10% = Duty
•  Winning Bid + Freight + Duty x 20% = VAT

*Import duty is usually 10% on a standard motor vehicle. This is calculated on the cost of the vehicle, the shipping cost to the UK border and the marine insurance premium (if applicable). VAT is 20% and this is calculated on everything. The cost of the vehicle, the shipping cost to the UK border, the marine insurance premium, the duty paid and the UK charges (terminal handling, docs and clearance fee).

Documents required for import and provided by Japan Car Direct LLC:

•  Commercial Invoice
•  Japanese Export Certificate
•  English translation of Japanese Export certificate
•  Bill of Lading

The vast majority of vehicle arrivals are cleared within a few hours of the vessel arrival. Collection is then normally possible the working day after arrival. Most shipping lines allow 7 free calendar days on quay, including the day of arrival. After this they begin to charge storage.

If importing as a company, then your company must have an EORI number to be able to import cargo. You can apply for a number here: https://www.gov.uk/eori

Before you can register the vehicle, a NOVA will need to be completed. If you are a private individual or NON VAT registered trader then HMRC will complete this on your behalf. Penguin Shipping will make an application once the vehicle has cleared customs. The waiting time for a NOVA is currently around 2 weeks. The DVLA will not register the vehicle until the NOVA is complete. There is no charge for this service.

If you are a VAT registered company, then you must complete the NOVA. Penguin shipping can complete the NOVA on your behalf, they charge £20+VAT per vehicle for this service (VAT registered traders only).

Also required by the broker:

•  Application Form completed by the importer
•  Passport or driving license of importer (if private importer)

In addition to these costs, it is the responsibility of the importer to handle MOT and registration on the vehicle.

Click here for more info on importing vehicles into the UK.

We look forward to answering all of your questions and going forward to get you the best value for your money, and a fresh JDM ride. We can also be contacted directly via info@japancardirect.com

  • It was my first time buying a car online, let alone overseas. These guys are legit!!!
    Yoshi has been very patient, transparent and prompt with all queries. The car was exactly...
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    Bobby Capa

    So…. I have just ordered my second car from Yoshiro Nakajima at Japan Car Direct. Keep in mind my first car has only just gotten to the port,...
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    Alpesh Patel Avatar
    Alpesh Patel

    Great service. This was my first time importing a car from Japan. Everything was well explained and the whole process went very smooth. Would highly recommend!! Thank you Yoshi!

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    John Power
  • Importing through Japan Car Direct has been a great experience through and through. Their assistance in the auction and bidding process and arranging shipping is top notch. More importantly their... read more

    Peter Hagemeyer Avatar
    Peter Hagemeyer

    Awesome experience working with Taylor, he was extremely helpful and patience. It was my first time exporting a vehicle and he walked me through step by step and didn't... read more

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    Eric Southerland

    Japan Car Direct made buying a car from Japan dangerously easy. 🙂 Yoshiro was a great help. He was responsive and supportive through the whole process. They have... read more

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    Tim Meunier
  • I had an excellent experience working with Matthew at Japan Car Direct. I was a first time auction buyer and importer to the United States. Mathew walked me through... read more

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    Alex Spiegel

    A great experience for my first time importing a car from Japan. Mike’s customer service was second to none and all the paperwork was in order.

    Bobby Crumpley Avatar
    Bobby Crumpley

    Matthew at JCD is the man. I’ve now imported three of my own cars through him. JCD was able to accommodate my unique needs, everything from short turn around inspections,... read more

    Chan Shin Avatar
    Chan Shin
  • I highly recommend Japan Car Direct. They help you find exactly what you are looking for and are with you throughout the entire process. Import was seamless. Mike was great... read more

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    Sir Selrahc

    Before this I have never imported any vehicles to NZ let alone one from Japan! I decided to give these guys a shot and bought a JDM Tesla into the... read more

    Edward Yuan Avatar
    Edward Yuan

    Great experience. Extremely easy process and Kept me well informed. Highly recommend them if looking to purchase a vehicle from Japan.

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    Antonio Sevilla
  • It's hard to say anything that hasn't been said from other reviewers! This was my first experience importing a vehicle. Mike Nguyen was super patient with me and my indecisiveness.... read more

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    Law_of_the Za

    I used Japan Car Direct's services to import a Nissan Silvia from Japan to Australia. Mike was very helpful from start to finish and definitely made the process stress free.

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    matthew martin

    Just picked up my car that I bought through JCD. I was a complete newbie about buying a car overseas and Mathew was kind enough to basically hold my... read more

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    TK Mad
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