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The BIG thread on how to import from Japan



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,004 ✭✭✭eamonnq

    Did you need to book the VRT inspection a few weeks ahead and how long did it take from the ship landing in Dublin until you were able to get your car. Have one on the way but was hoping to be able to insure it and drive it from the docks but it looks as though that could be an issue. If I could book the VRT Inspection and have the car delivered to the inspection centre it might be the best thing, but don't want to book an inspection and then not be able to get the car there for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,362 ✭✭✭5500

    Its usually 2/3 days after landing that it's cleared to go unless customs take a look and request further info, Don't try and book vrt for the day you think its expected to clear, there can be too many delays with customs and cars and you'll likely miss an appointment, just try booking it for the following week after the cars due arrival to be safe (bare in mind you only have a few days free loading before port fees kick in) incase you planned to leave it sitting there, personally as soon as a car is cleared I get it outta there asap.

    Bare in mind the car may have been sitting months, battery possibly dead and running on petrol fumes, sometimes depending on the car driving it home isn't a wise choice and your better off getting a tow untill you've had a good look over (I've learned my lesson getting stuck on the quays on a Friday afternoon)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,004 ✭✭✭eamonnq

    Thanks, seems that it might be necessary to get it towed from the port and then towed to the NCT centre unless there is some way to arrange insurance before it gets VRT'd.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,362 ✭✭✭5500

    Even have it towed from the port and give it a once over at home, then if you can insure it off the Japanese reg (top left of your translated export cert) drive it to your vrt appointment. Depending on the car you might not get the price there and then so just be prepared that you might have to wait a week, you don't need to present the car a second time though when going to pay if it was a case they can't do it on the day and you'd had it towed

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,004 ✭✭✭eamonnq

    Thanks again, but if i can get it insured off the Japanese reg I would be happier to drive it from the port home (or to the nearest petrol stationi), but thought that it had to be VRTd before it could be insured as per the other posters experience.

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 553 Mod ✭✭✭✭LIGHTNING

    I have insured my last one on Jap plates and drove it home and then to the VRT centre. The battery on the car was dead but I have a mobile jump pack with me. Didn't need it as the lads had one as well. I suspect they are used to dead batteries.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,362 ✭✭✭5500

    Seems to depend on company/policy, just give yours a bell and see if they will do it, There's a petrol station just down the road on your right hand side beside Aldi if you take a right coming out of the compound

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 18,039 CMod ✭✭✭✭The Black Oil

    Was looking at earlier re 2019 Yaris models, potentially to replace my 2012 hybrid one which has served me well for 7 years, originally a UK import.

    Can you get higher spec offerings if you do some of the legwork yourself? By more spec, I mean the cabin is a little basic. My current one has buttons on the steering wheel, imports don't. Would prefer 2021 onwards ideally, but that's main dealer, really.

    Unless I start looking at other Toyotas.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 mczandre

    Hey guys

    would you recommend any other car exporter/agents from Japanese auctions other than the JDM Auction Watch? It doesn’t necessarily need to be based here in Ireland as long as it is reliable.

    I heard that major dealers are using the likes of Jimex but I’d love to hear your thoughts …


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭newmember2

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,362 ✭✭✭5500

    The below might be of interest to the stasticians amongst us, it's the exported vehicle figures from Japan for may and June.

    You can see ireland sitting at the bottom, the FOB is the average price per unit sold

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭LilyM1980

    Sorry if this has already been asked . What is the best insurance company to quote for a car insurance for a Japanese import. Many Thanks in advance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,309 ✭✭✭✭wotzgoingon

    axa, liberty. There more but I don't know them. Those two I used for a 90's Jap yoke in the past.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,623 ✭✭✭User1998

    Axa or Allianz. Call direct, don’t go online

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 mczandre

    Thanks for your reply.

    I've read this whole thread and it doesn't seem to cover IBC a lot, so I would love to learn more about your experiences. Tips, recommendations, and etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭newmember2

    All those countries surely don't drive on the left do they??

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,623 ✭✭✭User1998

    They are mostly third world countries with awful roads. They probably don’t care what side of the car the steering wheel is on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 RayzerSharpe

    Anyone imported and BMW from Japan. Importing something like a 530e seems to be cheaper alternative than the UK atm and here. the model here is a G30 but in Japan it seems to be a DBA-JA20 in japan. Wonder if there is much difference if any 

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,742 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    3LA-JA20PH 2019-now 530e

    CLA-JA20P 2016 -2019 530e

    ja-20 is the 530i

    you kinda want to make sure of what you are buying. lol

    No difference only maps and charging socket as far as I know.

    Post edited by kanuseeme on

  • Registered Users Posts: 702 ✭✭✭murphthesmurf

    The 530e don't seem to come up very often. Other than what kanuseeme said, there's no difference.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,742 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    I forgot, the radio frequencies also, I see 4 for sale today, 2 x 17, 18 and 2022.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 RayzerSharpe

    What site are you using a a matter of interest

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,742 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    J D M auction watch, I never used them, but its where I got that information.

    The 3LA-JA20PH is the latest version, it also has a bigger battery, Its a toss of a coin for me, spend more on the car save more on fuel, or buy the older cheaper version burn more petrol.

  • Registered Users Posts: 702 ✭✭✭murphthesmurf

    They're actually on the calculator too, can take around €585 off that price for the NOx too. Based on a 2019 model. Hard to know if spec matches though, calculator said "E CLA-JA20P" some are M spec, some luxury etc.

    There is a few up, don't know why I hadn't seen them before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 chocolate peanut


    Question on radio / navigation for newer Japanese imports. What is required to update the radio and sat nav to work in Ireland? Is it something a dealership can do?

    Thinking of importing a 2020 Mazda3 or CX30. But if it means needing a new head unit, I doubt there's much savings to be had!

    Any help be appreciated!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,641 ✭✭✭Midnight_EG

    You'll need a head unit

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,496 ✭✭✭corks finest

    You’ll need a replacement head unit

    I did

    last few I bought

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,496 ✭✭✭corks finest


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 MercNS

    I feel your pain. I imported a car around June/July, like that, the value was on the calculator but since removed. Unfortunately, you don't have a leg to stand on, you have to pay up. Now the good news, initially I paid €9k for VRT, appealed it and got just over €7k back, a big win, so a total of about €1800 VRT. I recommend getting a valuation report done, which helped my case massively. Cost me €150 for the report. PM for details of who I used if you like.

    I have appealed a previous car also, before this and got +50%, so hope is not lost.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭NeoSD5

    • Does anyone know when to get confirmation of the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport website


    • confirmation of the level of NOx emissions from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport website.

    I tried searching the japanese website but have not found anything. If anyone can point into right direction