Whether you are a first-time vehicle importer with a one-off purchase from Provide Cars, or a veteran motor enthusiast and dealer who is interested in long-term vehicle imports from Japan….  We all know that for a vehicle to move from Japan to you (or to your customer), it undergoes MANY processes … and encounters MANY MANY questions. 

Recently, we received a well questioned enquiry from a customer who thoroughly thought through his questions he sent to us. I have reproduced the questions and our answers here as they are similar questions to what other people would ask. We hope that this will bring clarity, and dispel any ambiguity surrounding the importation of vehicles from Japan. Remember that these questions vary slightly between one-time purchasers and dealers.

Can I buy a left-hand-drive car from your auctions? Is there a button or app on your system that makes it easier to search for LHD?
Yes, the auction sells LHD cars and dealer-imported cars also. No, there is no easy solution to finding left-hand drive cars in the auctions, however, we have agents with experience, who can inform you which models are usually in LHD. 

Which Auction houses can we participate in? 

You can participate in ALL of the auction houses via Provide Cars. 

How much do you charge for the auction house fee? 

Nothing, as this is included in our commission charge. You can access all of the auction houses for free. 

How much do you charge for commissions? 

For one car we charge 90,000 JPY + 5% of the vehicle + transportation to the yard.

For larger volumes, we charge 80,000 JPY plus 3% + transportation to the yard. (Minimum 5 purchase per month, dealer privilege commission).  

These are both FOB calculations. For CIF calculations, also includes the freight. If you like to learn more about this, please read further details here

Apart from the auction price (commission fee) will there be any other expenses? 

No other expenses will be charged, unless something else is required, such as JEVIC permits (the company involved in pre-shipment inspections), or IF shipped by container, container vanning costs. We will inform you of these potential additional costs before you make a bid to avoid unexpected charges.  

Expenses example table: 

Auction Price, Inland transport, and Commission cost.

+JEVIC or any other test if requested.

+If sending by the container: container vanning costs.

What are your prices for the JEVIC Certificate, QISJ Certificate, and the JEVIC odometer verification? 

Every country has different inspection requirements, especially importing into Africa.

We will give the inspection needed for each country’s requirements. Presently, those inspections cost between 25,000 and 30,000 JPY.  

How much do you charge for the customs clearance fee in Japan for 1 vehicle?

Nothing, this is included in our commission

Do you translate the auction sheets? How much do you charge for this? 

Absolutely! We provide translation services for auction sheets to our clients at no cost. 

We strongly believe that clients have every right to receive accurate and comprehensive information about their vehicle of interest. 

Can you inspect the vehicles before purchasing them (excluding auction house appraisals and reports)? If so, what is the price? 

As we cover ALL auctions over Japan, we cannot physically inspect cars ourselves. However, there is a company we can request to check the vehicle for us. The cost is 2000 yen per car. 

When bidding, how do you stick to the auction price being set? Do you go above the price even if this was not asked, or do you bid less?  

We personalise to YOU and YOUR REQUESTS and follow that process.

Some of our clients become disappointed if we DO go over their bid price. 

Some of our clients become disappointed if we do NOT go over their bid price. 

Please tell us what your preferences are before we bid.  

What happens to the vehicles not sold at auction? Can you negotiate with the seller for us? 

Yes, we can, but this needs to be through the auction. We don’t get direct access to the seller, so the only way is via auction. If you don’t mind paying the negotiation fee to the auction, we can do this for you. Just remember, negotiation goes UP from the last bid price NOT down!!

How much is the extra fee for your negotiation service

The auction charges an EXTRA 10,000 yen extra fee if bought through negotiation. 

If we want to buy any vehicles other than from auctions, can you find the Japanese market and export them? How much does this service cost?

Yes, we can do that. This happens at times when you cannot find the specific vehicle model in the auctions. Transportation becomes more expensive when picking up from a dealer’s yard rather than an auction. The Cost (the commission) remains the same. 

After purchasing the vehicles from the auction, do you send videos and pictures when the cars arrive at the stock area or the port area?

We send photos, but no videos sorry.

How much do you charge for sending the photos? 

Nothing, as this is part of our commission. 

What is the cheapest and most expensive domestic shipping fee from the auction house to the port? 

This depends on WHERE the auction house is.  If you buy from Sapporo for example, it is at the top of the country and the closest export yard is Tokyo, the 

inland transport for this is probably around 70,000  for a van.  If you buy the same van in Tokyo  and export from Tokyo the inland transport will be around 12,000 yen

If you buy in the Osaka region and export from the Osaka region the inland transport for a van will be around 9 to 10,000 yen.

The 3 ports of export from Japan are Tokyo, Nagoya and Kansai

Do you have an insurance agency which you have an agreement with for CIF prices? 

Yes, we do. Average insurance cost is between 5000 and 10,000 yen (cheap to expensive cars)

Do you arrange shipment by Roro and container? 

Yes, we specialise in both. 

When do you decide whether the purchased vehicles will be shipped via Roro or with the container? 

We usually discuss this BEFORE purchase, depending on the country we are sending to. The decisions are made after comparing the freight cost between RORO and the container and going for the cheaper choice. We do this as the freight price changes very often for containers. 

What difference do you expect between RORO and container shipping? 

Shipping by Container: 

-Usually quicker ONTO the boat. 

-requires extra vanning and THC costs

-can take a non-moving vehicle (eg, a vehicle needing engine repairs)

-40 ft container can hold either 

  1. 5 small cars
  2. 4 sedan cars, 
  3. 2 large cars. (vans)

Shipping by RORO: 


-Good for one or two vehicle purchases

-No risk of vanning damage

-NOT subject to freight price fluctuations, like in container shipping. This doesn’t mean it is cheaper however. 

Will we pay the RORO and container transportation fee to Provide Cars or to the shipping agency that carries out the transportation?

This will depend on FOB invoice calculations or CIF calculations.

If the shipping line does FOB for Roro, then you will be paying the shipping line separately to Provide Cars invoice. The shipping line will contact you once the boat arrives at your destination. 

Most shipping lines into Africa DO NOT do FOB but CIF. This means you will need to pay the freight on a CIF basis to us. 

If the vehicle does not arrive on the first available ship, how many days can you stock the car for free? 

One month at the yards is free. 

What is your daily storage fee per vehicle if we request to keep the vehicle in stock for longer than one month in yards? 

We will get charged 500 JPY per day after one month, we pass this cost onto you, unless the cause of this was created by Provide Cars. 


This is the end to a very good email sent to us at Provide Cars, but if you have any new questions, please feel free to contact us. We would love to clarify more answers for you. 

enquires#providecars.com (instead of # put the normal @ mark)