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Importing a car from Japan to the United Kingdom

My Car Import offers everything you could ever need to import and register a car from Japan.
Importing a car for some can be an incredibly daunting task. Whilst for others it can be something they want to do by themselves. We understand that no two imports are the same and we want to help in any way we can. Whether your Japanese import is already in the United Kingdom or you have purchased it ready for shipping in Japan.

With the growth in the import market, we rarely deal with door to door imports from Japan – but we are experts in the registration process once the car is in the United Kingdom and we can offer faster IVA turn around times than anywhere else in the UK.

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If you want the hassle taken out of your registration then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please note that due to the overwhelming amount of telephone queries we would respectfully note that we are a car import specialist, as such we do not advise on how to register your car or what forms to fill out.

We advertise for Japanese registrations for those that would prefer someone modified their car professionally or guaranteed a swift completion of their registration application without any hiccups. And we’re one of the fastest ways to register a Japanese car under ten years old with our IVA testing lane.

black car parked beside white building during daytime

Are you looking to import a Japanese car to the United Kingdom but don't know where to start? Imagine driving your dream Japanese car on the picturesque roads of the United Kingdom. At My Car Import, we specialise in turning this dream into a reality. We offer seamless car importation services from Japan to the UK, ensuring you get behind the wheel of the car you've always desired, without the complexities. At present we are only registering vehicles that are in the United Kingdom but can advise on the shipping process on your behalf and assist with any queries if you decide to go ahead with My Car Import.

Vehicle Inspection and Compliance

We ensure your Japanese car complies with all UK safety and emissions standards, making any necessary modifications or adjustments.

Secure Transportation

We arrange safe and reliable transportation for your car from Japan to the UK, whether by sea or air, ensuring it arrives in pristine condition.

Customs Handling

We manage all customs paperwork, duties, and taxes, taking the stress out of the import process.

Registration and Documentation

We assist with the registration of your car with the DVLA, obtain the V5C registration certificate, and handle all essential documentation.

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Fill in our quote form for more information on what we can do for you.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the popular shipping ports in Japan?

There are several popular ports in Japan that are commonly used for shipping cars. Some of the major ports include:

Yokohama Port: Located near Tokyo, Yokohama Port is one of the largest and busiest ports in Japan. It offers frequent shipping services for cars and has facilities to handle both import and export operations.

Nagoya Port: Situated in the Chubu region, Nagoya Port is another significant port for car shipping. It has multiple terminals and is well-equipped to handle car logistics.

Osaka Port: As one of Japan’s major ports, Osaka Port serves as a key hub for international trade. It provides regular car shipping services and has dedicated facilities for automobile transport.

Kobe Port: Situated in Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe Port is an important port for car exports. It has specialized automobile terminals and offers efficient services for shipping cars.

Tokyo Port: Located in the capital city, Tokyo Port handles a large volume of imports and exports, including cars. It has facilities to accommodate car shipments and provides convenient access for shipping companies.

Shimizu Port: Positioned in Shizuoka Prefecture, Shimizu Port is known for its container terminals and handling of automobile shipments. It offers reliable services for transporting cars.

These ports serve as major gateways for shipping cars from Japan to various destinations worldwide. However, it’s important to note that the availability of shipping routes may vary depending on the destination country.

What does Kei stand for?

“Kei” stands for “keijidōsha” in Japanese, which translates to “light automobile” or “light car.” Kei cars, also known as kei jidosha or kei class cars, are a category of small, lightweight cars that adhere to specific regulations in Japan. These regulations were established to promote affordable and efficient transportation in urban areas, where space and parking are often limited.

Key characteristics of kei cars include:

1. Size and Dimensions:
Kei cars have strict size limitations. In general, they must not exceed a certain length, width, and height. These size restrictions help make kei cars more maneuverable and suitable for congested urban environments.

2. Engine Displacement:
Kei cars are equipped with small-displacement engines, often limited to around 660cc (cubic centimeters) in size. The engine size is one of the defining features of kei cars, as it affects their fuel efficiency and emissions.

3. Power Output:
Due to their small engine size, kei cars have limited power output. This is reflected in their performance and acceleration capabilities.

4. Tax and Insurance Benefits:
In Japan, kei cars enjoy certain tax and insurance benefits due to their small size and eco-friendly nature. These benefits help make them more affordable for consumers.

5. Fuel Efficiency:
Kei cars are designed to be fuel-efficient, making them an economical choice for city driving.

6. Design and Functionality:
Kei cars often have a boxy and practical design, maximizing interior space within the limited dimensions. Despite their compact size, they can seat up to four passengers.

7. Urban Mobility:
Kei cars are popular choices for urban commuting, short trips, and city driving, where their compact dimensions and low operating costs are advantageous.

8. Variants:
There are different types of kei cars, including hatchbacks, sedans, vans, and even small trucks. Some kei cars may have unique features like sliding doors for easy access in tight spaces.

While kei cars are specific to the Japanese market, their concept has inspired similar categories of small and compact cars in other parts of the world. These cars are designed to provide efficient and practical transportation while addressing the challenges posed by densely populated urban areas.

What ports are there in Japan?

Japan is surrounded by water, and as a maritime nation, it has numerous ports along its coastlines. These ports serve various purposes, including international trade, passenger transportation, and fishing. Here are some major ports in Japan:

1. Port of Tokyo: Located in the capital city, Tokyo, this is one of the largest and busiest ports in Japan. It consists of several facilities, including Harumi, Oi, and Shinagawa, serving both commercial and passenger needs.

2. Port of Yokohama: Located in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, this port is another major hub for trade and passenger transportation. It includes several terminals and facilities.

3. Port of Kobe: Located in the city of Kobe, this port is a significant gateway for international trade and cargo. It’s also known for its cruise terminals.

4. Port of Osaka: Osaka has multiple port areas, including the Port of Osaka and Port of Sakai. These ports play a vital role in trade and transportation in the Kansai region.

5. Port of Nagoya: Located in Nagoya, this port is one of the largest and busiest in Japan. It serves as a major industrial hub and handles a substantial amount of cargo.

6. Port of Hakata: Located in Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu, this port serves as a gateway to South Korea and other parts of Asia.

7. Port of Niigata: Located on the Sea of Japan coast, Niigata’s port is an important hub for trade, particularly with Russia and other neighboring countries.

8. Port of Sendai: Located in Sendai, this port serves as a gateway to the Tohoku region and handles both cargo and passenger traffic.

9. Port of Naha: Located in Okinawa, this port is strategically positioned for maritime trade and serves as a gateway to Southeast Asia.

10. Port of Tomakomai: Located in Hokkaido, this port is a key gateway for trade and cargo, particularly related to the island’s agricultural and industrial activities.

These are just a few examples of the major ports in Japan. Each port has its unique features and plays a role in the country’s economy, transportation network, and maritime activities.

What are popular cars to import from Japan to the United Kingdom??

Importing cars from Japan to the United Kingdom has become popular among enthusiasts and collectors, especially for those interested in JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars. Japan is known for producing a wide range of high-quality and unique cars that appeal to various preferences. Here are some popular types of cars that people often consider importing from Japan to the UK:

1. JDM Sports Cars: Japan is famous for producing iconic sports cars such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R, Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7, and Subaru Impreza WRX STI. These cars have a strong following due to their performance, technology, and cultural significance.

2. Kei Cars: While small and designed for urban use, kei cars have their charm. Models like the Honda S660 and Mazda Autozam AZ-1 are popular among collectors for their compact size and unique styling.

3. Classic Cars: Japan has a rich history of classic cars, including models like the Datsun 240Z, Toyota 2000GT, and Mazda Cosmo. These classics are highly sought after by collectors looking to own a piece of automotive history.

4. Drift and Tuner Cars: Japanese drift and tuner culture has led to modified cars with impressive performance and aesthetics. Cars like the Nissan Silvia (S15), Toyota Chaser, and Mazda RX-8 are popular choices for those interested in customization and motorsport.

5. Iconic Convertibles: Models like the Mazda MX-5 (Miata) and Honda S2000 offer open-top driving experiences and are well-regarded for their handling and driving dynamics.

6. Luxury and Executive Cars: Japan is known for its luxury brands, such as Lexus, Infiniti, and Toyota’s Century. These cars offer a blend of craftsmanship, technology, and comfort.

7. Micro Vans and Trucks: Japan produces a variety of compact vans and trucks, which can be useful for commercial purposes or as unique cars for personal use.

8. Retro and Nostalgic Cars: Models like the Nissan Pao, Honda Beat, and Suzuki Cappuccino have gained popularity for their retro designs and compact dimensions.

9. Off-Road and SUVs: Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Nissan have produced capable off-road cars, including the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol, which are well-regarded for their durability and reliability.

When importing a car from Japan to the UK, it’s important to research the specific regulations, import duties, taxes, and inspection requirements associated with the car type and model. Working with a reputable import specialist or agent who understands the process can help ensure a smooth and compliant importation process.

What classic cars are good to export from Japan to the United Kingdom?

Exporting classic cars from Japan to the United Kingdom can be an exciting endeavor for collectors and enthusiasts looking to add unique and historically significant cars to their collections. Japan has produced a wide range of classic cars that hold both cultural and automotive significance. Here are some classic car models that are popular choices for export from Japan to the UK:

1. Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32, R33, R34): The Nissan Skyline GT-R, especially the models from the 1990s, has achieved legendary status among enthusiasts. Known for their performance and advanced technology, these cars are highly sought after for their iconic design and motorsport history.

2. Toyota 2000GT: The Toyota 2000GT is a classic sports car that has become a collector’s dream due to its limited production, stunning design, and association with James Bond films.

3. Mazda Cosmo: The Mazda Cosmo is notable for being one of the first production cars with a rotary engine. Its futuristic design and technical innovation make it a desirable classic.

4. Honda NSX: The Honda NSX (Acura NSX in North America) is a mid-engine sports car that challenged the notion of what a supercar could be. Its combination of performance, reliability, and comfort has made it a sought-after classic.

5. Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST185, ST205): These rally-inspired sports cars are known for their all-wheel drive system and turbocharged engines. They have a strong following among enthusiasts who appreciate their performance and ruggedness.

6. Mazda RX-7 (FC, FD): The Mazda RX-7 is celebrated for its rotary engine, sleek design, and balanced handling. Both the FC and FD generations are popular choices among collectors.

7. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (Evo): Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution series gained fame for its rally heritage and performance. Models like the Evo VI and Evo IX are particularly desirable.

8. Subaru Impreza WRX STI: The Subaru Impreza WRX STI is another rally-bred icon known for its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive performance. It has a strong following among motorsport enthusiasts.

9. Isuzu 117 Coupe: The Isuzu 117 Coupe is a classic Japanese sports coupe with a distinct design and a relatively limited production run, making it a rare find.

10. Datsun Fairlady (240Z, 260Z, 280Z): The Datsun Fairlady Z series played a pivotal role in establishing Japan’s reputation for producing stylish and performance-oriented sports cars.

When considering exporting classic cars from Japan to the UK, it’s important to research the specific regulations and requirements for importing classic cars. This includes understanding import duties, taxes, compliance with UK standards, and any modifications needed to meet UK roadworthiness regulations. Consulting with experts who are familiar with both Japanese and UK regulations can help ensure a successful and compliant import process.

What is a Kei Truck?

A Kei truck, also known as a Kei-class truck or Kei mini truck, is a small, lightweight commercial car that falls under the category of Kei cars in Japan. Kei trucks are designed to meet specific regulations related to size, engine displacement, and other factors, making them suitable for urban and rural transportation needs. These trucks are commonly used for various commercial purposes and are known for their compact dimensions, fuel efficiency, and versatility.

Key features of Kei trucks include:

1. Size Limitations: Kei trucks are subject to strict size regulations in Japan. These regulations dictate the maximum dimensions of the car, including length, width, and height. These compact dimensions make Kei trucks well-suited for navigating tight spaces, narrow roads, and urban environments.

2. Engine Displacement: One of the defining characteristics of Kei trucks is their small-displacement engines. Typically, Kei trucks are equipped with engines that have a maximum displacement of around 660cc (cubic centimeters). This helps keep the cars fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.

3. Payload Capacity: Despite their small size, Kei trucks have a reasonable payload capacity. They are designed to carry light to moderate loads, making them suitable for tasks such as deliveries, landscaping, agriculture, and small-scale construction.

4. Versatility: Kei trucks come in various configurations, including flatbeds, cargo boxes, and dump beds. Some models even offer the flexibility to transform the bed for different purposes, such as passenger seating or cargo storage.

5. Fuel Efficiency: The combination of small engine size and lightweight construction contributes to the fuel efficiency of Kei trucks. This is advantageous for businesses and individuals seeking economical transportation options.

6. Access to Urban Areas: Due to their compact size, Kei trucks can access areas that might be challenging for larger commercial cars. This is particularly useful for deliveries in densely populated urban areas.

7. Tax and Insurance Benefits: Kei trucks in Japan often enjoy certain tax and insurance benefits due to their small size and eco-friendly nature.

8. Low Operating Costs: Kei trucks have relatively low operating costs, including fuel expenses and maintenance, which makes them attractive for small businesses and individual owners.

Kei trucks are popular in various industries, including agriculture, construction, small businesses, and local government services. Their practicality, affordability, and adaptability to different tasks have contributed to their widespread use in Japan. It’s important to note that Kei trucks are specifically designed to comply with Japanese regulations, and their import and use in other countries may be subject to local laws and regulations.

Can you import a Japanese drift car?

Importing a Japanese drift car to another country, such as the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, is possible, but it involves a series of steps and considerations due to varying regulations, emissions standards, and safety requirements. Here’s a general overview of the process:

Verify Import Regulations: Check your country’s import regulations and requirements for importing cars. Each country has its own rules, so you’ll need to research what’s allowed and what’s not.

Vehicle Eligibility: Ensure that the specific Japanese drift car you want to import meets your country’s eligibility criteria. Some countries have restrictions on the age of imported cars or require that they meet specific safety and emissions standards.

Compliance and Modifications: Depending on your country’s regulations, you may need to make modifications to the Japanese drift car to ensure it complies with local safety and emissions standards. This can include adding safety features, changing the lighting system, or modifying the exhaust.

Import Documents: Prepare the necessary import documents, which may include the car’s title, bill of sale, customs declarations, and any relevant compliance certificates.

Import Approval: Apply for import approval from the relevant authorities in your country. This process can vary widely, so it’s essential to follow the correct procedures.

Vehicle Inspection: Many countries require imported cars to undergo a safety and emissions inspection before they can be registered for road use. Ensure your imported drift car passes these inspections.

Customs Duties and Taxes: Be prepared to pay any applicable customs duties, taxes, and import fees. These costs can vary significantly based on the car’s value, age, and your country’s tariff schedule.

Transportation: Arrange for the transportation of the Japanese drift car from Japan to your country. You’ll need to select a shipping method (such as roll-on/roll-off or container shipping) and handle logistics.

Shipping and Import Costs: Calculate the total cost of shipping, including freight charges, shipping insurance, and any handling fees at the departure and arrival ports.

Register and Insure: Once the drift car has arrived in your country and has passed all necessary inspections and modifications, you can proceed to register it and obtain insurance for road use.

License and Registration: Ensure you have the required driver’s license and car registration documents for the specific type of drift car you’re importing.

Safety Gear: Be aware that many countries have strict regulations regarding safety equipment for drift cars, including roll cages and safety harnesses. Ensure your car meets these requirements.

It’s essential to consult with experts or import specialists who have experience with importing cars from Japan or other countries. Importing a Japanese drift car can be a rewarding experience for enthusiasts, but it requires careful planning and adherence to local regulations and standards to ensure the car is road-legal and safe.

What are popular Japanese campervans to export from Japan?

In Japan, as well as in many other countries, caravans and campers, often referred to as “campervans,” have gained popularity for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. These cars offer a convenient way to explore the great outdoors while having the comfort of home on the road. Here are some popular Japanese caravans and campervans:

Toyota HiAce Campervan: The Toyota HiAce is a versatile and widely used base car for campervan conversions. It’s known for its reliability, spacious interior, and options for customization.

Nissan Caravan: The Nissan Caravan is another common choice for campervan conversions. It offers various configurations and sizes, making it suitable for different needs.

Mitsubishi Delica: The Mitsubishi Delica, especially the older models, is a popular choice among campervan enthusiasts due to its off-road capability and roomy interior.

Toyota Alphard Campervan: The Toyota Alphard is a luxury minivan often converted into high-end campervans. It offers a comfortable ride and numerous amenities.

Nissan Serena: The Nissan Serena is a compact minivan that can be converted into a cozy campervan for couples or small families.

Honda Stepwgn: While not as common as some other options, the Honda Stepwgn has been used as a base for campervans due to its spacious interior and reliability.

Suzuki Every: The Suzuki Every is a small kei van that can be transformed into a compact camper suitable for solo travelers or couples.

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series: For those seeking an adventurous off-road experience, the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series, often converted into a camper, is a rugged choice.

Nissan NV200 Camper: The Nissan NV200 is available as a factory-produced campervan in some regions, offering a hassle-free option for buyers.

Mazda Bongo: The Mazda Bongo is a classic choice for campervan conversions with various pop-top roof options and interior layouts.

Suzuki Jimny Camper: While small in size, the Suzuki Jimny has been transformed into a tiny camper for those who prefer minimalist and off-road-friendly setups.

It’s important to note that many Japanese caravans and campervans are customized by third-party companies or individual converters. Therefore, the features and amenities can vary widely based on the conversion design and the specific model of the base car. When looking for a Japanese campervan, consider your travel needs, budget, and the level of customization you desire to find the right fit for your adventures.

Can you put car parts in the car when exporting it from Japan?

Depending on the method of shipping then you can fit a few spare parts in. It might be more affordable but remember that you might have to pay VAT on them.

Genuine Japanese parts for cars are worth a fortune in the United Kingdom though!

Why import a Japanese Car?

It’s hard to say whether or not there is any real proof behind it, but they’re more reliable. Any Japanese car owner will swear by the reliability of their Honda or Mazda. So having a dependable car is a great thing and generally speaking, the parts are still easy to find anywhere in the world.

The resale value is also greater in most cases. Japanese cars are highly sought after everywhere in Europe. They have a cult following that sees them appreciate year on year.

Generally, the condition of the cars is much better than their UK counterparts. You’ll struggle to find a rusty car from the 90s in Japan.

The specifications are also in most cases a world apart.

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