Left hand drive German and Euro cars in Japan

Left hand drive Euro cars in Japan?

Yes, Japan is full of them, and so are the Japan auctions.  From the very expensive high grade sports cars to the cheaper lower grade ones as well.

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Left hand drive porsche 911, BMW, Benz, all on sale in the auctions in Japan.


As most people know, Japanese drive on the left side of the road like Britain and it’s commonwealth countries. The question arises then, why do they sell and drive left hand drive vehicles in Japan? Probably because the only restriction to bringing vehicles into Japan is an emissions test, not what side of the car the steering wheel is on!

In Japan it is a status symbol to drive a left hand drive vehicle! If you want to show your wealth you drive a GAISHA or car from abroad, and if it is left hand drive, all the better!  For this reason the auctions, especially USS Tokyo auction on a Thursday, are full of left hand drive Porsches, BMWs and Mercedes Benz.

Many of these, especially the sports cars, have low kms. The reason being they are usually only driven on special occasions by the drivers.

What makes German made LHD (left hand drive) vehicles and cars cheaper in the Japanese used car auctions?

  • Depreciation.  The depreciation curve for a new car bought in Japan is probably the steepest in the world
  • Main transportation in Japan is by train, so a similar vehicle sold in the auctions of a certain age will normally have less kms on the odometer.
  • The market for luxury cars in Japan, is the new car market.  The 2nd hand market for luxury LHD vehicles and cars exists but not at a premium.  (If I have the money for a luxury car in Japan, I am going to buy it new, not used).  Hence the decrease in value when they appear in the auctions.

Here are some cars bought recently by our customers, all left hand drive and bought in the auctions:

Mercedes CL550

Mercedes S550L

Maserati Quatroporte


C63 AMG Coupe Black Series (Most powerful high-performance C-class of all time, 6.3-liter, V8 engine
with 380KW output, 517hp, from zero to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.)


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