Japanese Imports

In the late 1990's when I first worked on 'grey' imports, the Mitsubishi Pajero was the main vehicle coming into the UK. The technical information we needed was not available. 'Applied knowledge' was our only option! Main dealers weren't interested; Many still aren't. So enthusiasts like me, specialise in 'grey imports'.

What is a Japanese 'grey' import?

They are vehicles manufactured for the local Japanese market, that are not imported into the UK by main dealers. They are generally imported by small companies or individuals.   

Japanese vehicles are strictly tested in Japan. Tests and repairs are not cheap! If a vehicle is likely to fail, it can make economical sense for it to be sold and a new one purchased. 

The used vehicles are sold at auction in Japan, listed by chassis number and grade. (See auction sheet with vehicle grade below.)

The auction sheet tells you little about the mechanical condition.

Japanese vehicles are rarely driven above 60mph. They don't rust proof their cars because they don't use salt on their roads, preferring to use winter tyres. Japanese imports can stand on the docks for a long time before they are sold.     

In the UK, as a minimum, a Japanese grey import will need a new speedo face, rear foglight and illuminated foglight switch. And it's likely to need additional testing to ensure it meets European standards.


There's advice on importing a Japanese vehicle on this link


It makes sense to have your Japanese import serviced, checked and rust proofed. Phone, text or email to book with us.

Japanese Auction Sheet

Japanese auction sheet with grades Japanese auction sheet explained.

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