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 [email protected]

  • 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

    Sir Selrahc Avatar
    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.

    Antonio Sevilla Avatar
    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

    Law_of_the Za Avatar
    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.

    read more

    matthew martin Avatar
    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

    TK Mad Avatar
    TK Mad

    I worked with Mathew on getting my first Japanese Kei truck. The process and communication were great. For me the back-and-forth communication was the reason why I decided to go... read more

    John Penny Avatar
    John Penny

    Taylor at JCD has been incredibly helpful in my search for a couple of unique rigs from overseas -- We've scored one, and are looking forward to finding another.

    Taylor's professinoalism,...
    read more

    camden lindsay Avatar
    camden lindsay
  • After seeing quite a few Kei Trucks on the road, I was intrigued. Seeing the local retail prices gave me sticker shock, so I immediately thought there has to be... read more

    Chris Okano Avatar
    Chris Okano

    Can't fault these guys - this was the first time I've bought a car at any auction, let alone one in Japan. The support from Yoshiro was brilliant, very patient... read more

    Phil Stebbing Avatar
    Phil Stebbing

    Japan Car Direct helped me find my dream car. We found a great deal on an ST205. Yoshiro was fantastic and super responsive and patient with all of my questions.... read more

    Brandon Moore Avatar
    Brandon Moore
  • So pleased with our companies new Japanese mini-truck import. Japan Car Direct made it all too easy. We made a few first-timer mistakes on the paperwork but the next import... read more

    MARKNADEN Studio Avatar
    MARKNADEN Studio

    Great dependable business! Highly recommended! Thank you Mathew for all your hard work!

    Dmitri Gordei Avatar
    Dmitri Gordei

    Yoshiro and the folks over at JapanCarDirect are the best! They were super helpful with my first time importing a vehicle to the US and were quick to answer all... read more

    Mike McD Avatar
    Mike McD
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Good day!

We will be away from the office while the majority of the auctions are closed from August 7th - August 17th during the Obon summer holiday. 

We hope you are having a great summer and we look forward to getting in touch with you soon.

Thank you.
The JCD Team
Good day!
We will be away from the office while the majority of the auctions are closed from August 7th - August 17th during the Obon summer holiday. 

We hope you are having a great summer and we look forward to getting in touch with you soon.

Thank you.
The JCD Team
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