Buyers Beware !
The Japan used car market is easily the best in the world.
There are excellent high quality cars with low mileage.
We have bought many 15 or 20 year old cars that have had 1 owner and with unbelievable genuine mileage.
Unfortunately, a lot of exporters (and foreign importers) take advantage of this fact by winding odometers back to low mileage, and telling customers “1 owner”.
How would the customer ever know? Unless one has contacts in Japan, it is near impossible to authenticate such claims.
A perfect example was presented to our company.
After moving to Japan, a customer asked us to IMPORT his 1996 limited edition GT-R from England to sell in the Japanese auctions.
Just 6 months earlier, he had bought it from a reputable car magazine in the UK, from a very well known company, who purchased it through a very well known exporter in Japan.
Because of the rare nature of this case (very few people send a car BACK to Japan), both companies were caught red handed.
In order to sell the car for him we obtained registration history documents showing that the car had SEVEN previous owners, and mileage records of over 143,000km.
Further research revealed that the car was sold at auction a few months before he purchased it with 147,000km, and the sale price was a mere 780,000JPY.
He paid the seller almost 3 times that amount, so someone made a lot of money with 2 small lies.
Buying stock or pre-purchased vehicles (e.g. “Already shipping”) is a very risky thing to do.
There is no guarantee that cars in auctions have genuine mileage, but the chances of tampering being detected are high, as are the chances of “stock” cars having fake mileage.
We do not claim to have better access to cars than other exporters, but we are proud of our honesty and resolve to protect the customer’s interest and make sure they get what they are paying for.
Had this gentleman bought the same car through us when it was sold in the auction, he would have saved over $10,000, and not had altered mileage and fake data.
We wish all consumers and dealers the best in acquiring genuine vehicles at good prices.