Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

Japanese Car Age: How much does it matter?

January 22, 2008

When we are dealing with exporting/importing Japanese cars as individuals or as import businesses, we generally are speaking about Japanese used cars. This means there was a previous owner, whereas a new car would be one that never was previously owned. Note the distinction: a used car is one that is previously owned, not necessarily a old car. In fact within days of being out on the market, the new 2008 Nissan GT-R was sold as “used” at AUCNET last December.

So since age isn’t connected to the term “used”, what and how much does it matter when buying for export?

Well, most importantly, it matters to the ultimate customer which is either you or the people you will sell to. Some people just don’t want an “old” car in which they use the term very loosely, then there are also people very particular the age of the car for various reasons. For example, one model year could have major reworking of styling or performance compared to the last model year. Additionally, whole model generations can change the car you get.

What is good about Japanese Auto Auctions (Part 1 & 2 so far) is that they provide such an enormous supply of cars (and pictures!) that is changing every week and eventually the car that you want will be available. Of course, if you are extremely picky on the exact car, options, year, sub-model, etcetera, the longest I heard of was a few months wait.

Another reason buyers are concerned about the age of the car is the fact car do degrade over time in performance and condition. It is safe to say the average Japanese car is kept in good condition. The shaken (Japanese Bi-annual car inspection test) is very strict and it encourages owners to keep their car in good shape. Also, during winter in Japan, roads are not salted like many other countries tend to do. Thus a Japanese vehicle will experience much less corrosion and rust than a Western vehicle. In general, age does affect the car’s quality per say, but on average, much lesser of extent than elsewhere.

One final thought of concern is your governments regulations. Some countries regulate the vehicle’s age directly, some indirectly. For example of regulating by age:

  • The United States allow 25 years or older to import very easily. Newer vehicle must pass a number of standards, and car less than 6 years old become even more difficult to import.
  • In Canada, cars older than 15 years can be imported without restrictions. Newer vehicles must already meet Canadian Safety Standards at the time of manufacturing.
  • Australia allow imports free to enter if produced before 1 January, 1989. If newer, rules are tighter and vehicles must be complied to ADR (Australian Design Rules) by a Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW).
  • New Zealand has similar rules which allow cars built be 1990 to enter will little restrictions. New Zealand allow any car import for any age, as long as the meet requirements.
  • In the UK, any car at least 10 years old can be imported by just passing the MOT. A car less than that age must also pass the ESVA.
  • Cyprus requires special approval for cars older than 5 years since production.
  • In Pakistan, only vehicle less than 4 years old can be imported.
  • Bangladesh does not allow vehicle more than 4 years old to be imported.
  • In India, imported cars must be under 3 years old.
  • Nearby, Sri Lanka forbids import over 2 years old.
  • Peru doesn’t allow vehicle more than 5 years of age to be imported.
  • In Jamaica, imports are restricted cars 3 years or less, vans/light trucks 4 years or less, and returning residents may import vehicles5 years or less.

The age of the vehicle needs to fit all three needs (taste, condition, and regulations) for an enjoyable time importing Japanese used cars. For more information:

JUCE.info

Changes in Import Markets

January 15, 2008

Russia has seen a recent rise in the number of disassembled cars imported. The used cars are disassembled in Japan and imported as parts, rather than whole vehicles, to benefit from lower tariff rates. This is because Russian Customs office considerable raise the duties for whole car verses car parts. Once it is imported to Russia, a car is reassembled for on road use as a used motor vehicle. Because this has increased dramatically in the recent year (a knock-on effect of the revived/reviving economy), it is said Russia will be taking steps to discourage this “loop-hole” in the rules.

Peruvian importers have had a new regulation for importing used vehicles since the 15th of November, 2007 that put restriction on importing vehicles by allowing used vehicles less than or equal to 80,000km only. Not too bad for them. Many Japanese used cars sold at auctions can run below that limit and still be cheap.

It appears the New Zealand government will indeed put the stricter emission controls scheme into effect starting from the 3rd of January, which is expected to reduce the number of new and old vehicles compared to the previous years. At the requests of importers, they’ve made the ramp-up to higher emission regulations longer than previously set. This may (most likely some say) have an affect on number of imports coming in. Time will tell how long before importers start buying smart.

After all the disappointing news, there is a bright side. Imports are as strong as ever world-wide and people still like JDM cars. Look at all the car that are allowed into countries around the globe. I would predict no loss of ground this coming year as emerging market open up and mature markets get smarter on importing. Of course, that is if they have the knowledge necessary for importing. Something that starts over at Japanese-Used-Car-Exporting.info AKA JUCE.info